Having a baby will be one of the most exciting and special events in your life. It can at times be emotional and you may feel a little apprehensive. Your body will change as a new phase in your life begins. Dr Pearce understands what you are going through and is able to support you and your partner through this special time.
Dr Pearce is warm, approachable and reassuring, and will help guide you through your pregnancy and delivery with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Dr Pearce is experienced. He has been caring for pregnant women since 1996, and has personally delivered over 2,500 babies. Dr Pearce trained at Monash Medical Centre and has been in private specialist Obstetric practice for 10 years.
Dr Pearce delivers babies at Waverley Private Hospital and Cabrini Hospital, Malvern. Both hospitals offer state of the art medical facilities in a supportive and caring environment. Dr Pearce also admits high risk patients to Jessie McPherson Private Hospital, the private hospital of Monash Medical Centre. Dr Pearce consults at Waverley Private Hospital in specially built consulting rooms, and onsite at Cabrini Hospital, Malvern. Consulting sessions are widely available and flexible.
For some of your antenatal visits you will be seen by Mrs Michelle Sullivan, a specialist qualified midwife. Michelle will offer another dimension to your care, focusing on pregnancy symptoms, labour and birth and looking after a newborn baby, including breast feeding if desired.
During your first visit Dr Pearce will take a thorough medical history from you and perform a physical examination including a PAP smear if it is due.
Standard initial pregnancy investigations include:
Dr Pearce will arrange an ultrasound if needed and also discuss screening for chromosomal abnormalities. He will also discuss your pregnancy care and the visits. Feel free to ask questions or express any wishes, ideas or concerns.
Subsequent visits are initially every 4 to 6 weeks until 28 weeks, then every 2 to 3 weeks. The last few visits are weekly. This is a guide only. Your visits will be tailored to you and your pregnancies’ needs.
A blood pressure check and abdominal palpation are standard at every visit. At times your weight and a urine sample may be checked.
Michelle Sullivan is a qualified specialist midwife who will consult with you for some routine subsequent visits. Michelle will assist with your antenatal care, parenting skills and breastfeeding. You and your partner can also discuss any individual needs or requests you may have with regard to your birthing plan.
A routine check up is performed six weeks after your birth.
Feel free to ring the consulting room immediately prior to your departure for the visit to confirm that Dr Pearce is running on time. He does endeavour to run on time but occasionally is delayed due to attendance at a delivery or an emergency.
An ultrasound is usually performed at 20 weeks to check on the anatomy of your baby, confirm your dates if no prior ultrasounds have been performed and to check on the placental location.
A repeat haemaglobin and blood antibody screen (if Rhesus negative) is performed at 28 weeks. A test for gestational diabetes is also performed at this stage. Being pregnant can induce diabetes in some women. This can be tested for and treated, minimising problems for you and your baby.
A vaginal swab is usually taken between 35 – 37 weeks gestation to check for group B streptococcus (GBS), a bacteria that may infect a baby after the membranes (waters) break or during the labour. This risk can be minimised with antibiotics during labour. A repeat blood antibody screen may be performed if you are Rhesus negative.
A balanced healthy diet of three meals a day plus snacks is ideal.
Some food may contain bacteria called Listeria Monocytogenes. Listeria infection is rare but may cause miscarriage, premature labour and illness in your baby. Infection from Listeria may occur after eating certain foods. Foods to avoid during your pregnancy include soft cheese, pates, cooked meats that are eaten cold, raw seafood and shellfish, soft serve ice-cream and salads that are bought pre-prepared. Take care to wash salads well. Cold “deli” meats (such as ham and salami) can be eaten if they are heated thoroughly – e.g. on a pizza. Wash your hands after gardening and before preparing food and eating.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that can cause birth defects. Infection is rare. Sources include raw meat and raw eggs. Cat droppings can also harbour toxoplasmosis so avoid changing kitty litter and wash your hands after handling raw meat, before preparing food and eating.
Regular gentle exercise is important. Walking and swimming are ideal. Avoid horse riding. Use common sense if playing sport and avoid physical contact if possible. Drink plenty of water during and after exercise.
Get adequate sleep and rest.
Smoking is harmful to you and your unborn baby. Stop smoking if at all possible or at least cut down. Avoid being around others when they are smoking to limit passive smoking effects on you and your unborn baby.
Dr Pearce does not recommend you drink alcohol whilst pregnant or breastfeeding although it is unlikely the occasional glass will harm your baby.
Paracetamol is a safe analgesic to take whilst pregnant. Do not take NSAID’s such as Nurofen, Naprogesic or Ponstan whilst pregnant.
In a normal pregnancy there is no reason to avoid sexual intercourse. Interest may vary throughout the pregnancy and different positions may need to be used later in the pregnancy.
You should seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms or are feeling unwell.
Dr Pearce recommends classes, especially if this is your first pregnancy. They are run by experienced midwives and can be arranged by your hospital.
To ensure the health and well being of your new baby, Dr Pearce will arrange for a Paediatrician to see your baby while you are still in hospital, usually within the first couple of days of your baby’s birth. You should expect to receive an account from the Paediatrician, which is partly claimable from Medicare. However,
New born babies do not usually become patients in the hospital. Therefore, your private health insurance
will NOT pay a rebate on this account.
It is inevitable that sometimes Dr Pearce will not be available. He expects to work every weekday and most weekends although does take the occasional weekend or evening off. Holidays or continuing medical educational activities are usually planned well in advance and Dr Pearce endeavours to inform his patients well ahead of time if this will occur during your pregnancy. If Dr Pearce is absent there is an experienced group of Obstetricians that cover. This group consists of Dr. Maxwell Michael, Dr. Haider Najjar, Dr. Dennis Price, Dr. Susan Taylor and Dr. Weng Chan.