Maternity (Obstetric) Care

Ben

Please Note: Anyone who has recently become pregnant (or is planning to), should start taking Folic Acid 5mg IMMEDIATELY
It has been shown that 0.8mg reduces Spina bifida risk by about 80%, while 5mg [funded], if taken early enough, reduces spina bifida, cleft palate and hare lip risk close to zero. I don't recommend other supplements, you are best to ensure an adequate diet.
You are also advised to stop smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol (don't wait till your first visit)!

The Practice currently offers:
  • Full antenatal, labour (at Hawera) and post-natal medical care -this service will require co-operation with either hospital or private midwifery services. I am happy to accept referrals from other GPs.

  • Partial antenatal care -with referral on to a Hawera independent midwife for 3rd Trimester and delivery, or a New Plymouth Independent Midwife or specialist Obstetrician where appropriate. While a true "shared care" option is not possible under current funding arrangements, an Independent Midwife is able to call me to assist if the delivery is problematic and those delivering in New Plymouth can transfer back to Hawera if I have been involved in their care earlier.

  • Emergency Obstetric support to local Independent Midwives when called (may avoid a transfer to Base). This service will no longer be available if I stop labour care.

  • Six week baby check and vaccination of my patients -including when pregnancy care has been delivered by an Independent Midwife.

  • U/S scan16 week dating scans on all my antenatal patients. Note that this is part of my standard care so that I am confident about the number and age of your baby (but is not a screen for disease). It means that more sophisticated Fulford or Wanganui scans can be done at a more appropriate date (after 20 weeks) to provide better information on disease or structure (morphology), although this is not essential.

  • U/S scanAntenatal Screening. Other than routine screens, referrals for amniocentesis for genetic screening (eg Downs Syndrome if at increased risk) or genetic counselling (best before conception) are available. High risk women may be referred for a 12 week "Nuchal Translucency" scan (at best 80% sensitive). A morphology Ultrasound screen is offerred (best over 20 weeks) to all mothers.

  • Stem Cell collection for banking. It is now possible to have cord blood stem cells collected by me at birth from the placenta and stored by CordBank for possible future use for yor child, which may prove invaluable if your child developes leukaemia, some cancers like Hodkins, and various blood & immune disorders (45 at present). However it is expensive (over $1600, and $150 per annum). Check it out at the CordBank site. You will have to have arranged this well in advance of delivery.

Obstetric care is offered from a "medical model" which views pregnancy and delivery as a normal process but one with particular risks and disease associations.  As such only safe and evidence based choices are offered and I will not accept patients who wish to deliver at home or insist on unsafe options, nor will I accept care in Hawera Hospital if I haven't been involved antenatally.

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