Author: Dr Jessica McEwan, a GP at Kingscliff Health medical and allied health centre in Kingscliff, NSW.
Pregnancy… it’s a magical time in a women’s life, right? Well not always! I should know, after not having the easiest pregnancy myself. I have a lovely almost 15 month old, and being pregnant gave me a great insight into just how an expectant mother feels and what is most important. Unfortunately I have found that a mum’s or mum-to-be’s needs aren’t always addressed adequately. Women tend to think they have to put up with the range of symptoms they are suffering from for the duration of the pregnancy, believe it is like a ‘rite of passage’ or that everyone does it. This is far from the case.
As your GP, I like to see my patients before you even become pregnant. During this consultation we talk about how to optimise your health for the best pregnancy possible. There are some really important topics we can discuss during this visit, and it can be a great way to manage any preventable health issues such as making sure your vaccinations are up to date before you start trying.
And then it happens, you’re pregnant! Congratulations!
When you first find out you are expecting a baby it’s usually an exciting time. If it’s your first pregnancy you might not know what to expect from your pregnancy or your first doctor consultation. The first visit with me is always a long one, usually lasting around 30 minutes long. During this time, we discuss your general health and establish how far along you are. We then discuss a number of other issues such as foods to avoid, screening for abnormalities and how you would like to to be cared for during your pregnancy. This is about you!
In our second consultation, we review the results ordered at your first consultation and find out how you would like your pregnancy care to proceed. I also go over some of the common first trimester symptoms during this time to see how you are going and make sure we are looking after you. Fortunately, there are some safe and useful ways we can manage the dreaded morning sickness!
You can choose a number of different paths to have your care managed through the rest of your pregnancy. If you choose to see a private obstetrician, they will see you most of the time, but I am always here if you’re unwell or have questions. Alternatively, you can go through the local public hospital and have a mix of care with doctors and midwives. If you go through the public health system you can also choose to have GP shared care. This means that you alternate your visits between the hospital clinic and me, your GP. As your GP, I love being involved in your pregnancy, and it is really helpful to know what has happened during that 9 months when you come back and see us with your beautiful new bub, then toddler, then teenager! Whatever you decide to do, you can be reassured that as your GP I can be there for you at any stage of your pregnancy.
Once you have your baby, we like to see both you and bub around the 6-week mark for a check-up. At this visit we talk about how your delivery went, check your mental health, discuss how you are feeding your baby and your contraception needs. I also try to sneak in a cuddle or two, they’re just too cute! We also do a check up of your physical health. The first few months of your baby’s life can be very overwhelming and tiring for new mums, so it’s important to look after you.
As your GP, I am always honoured to be involved in the care of you and your baby before, during and after pregnancy. Taking the time during these consultations to optimise a your health and quality of life now and into the future is really important to me. I currently have appointments available for ongoing and new patients of all ages and would love to see you at Kingscliff Health sometime soon!
Dr Jessica McEwan is a highly experienced GP with areas of interest in women’s health, children’s/family health and pregnancy care. She has a friendly manner and is dedicated to providing her patients with a comprehensive and personalised approach. Book an appointment online with Dr Jessica McEwen or call us on 02 6670 1400.
* The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. You must consult your doctor before acting on the information in this article, especially if you have concerns regarding health related issues for yourself and your family.