On Tuesday I had my first appointment with the obstetrician I’ll be using while we are here in Australia. It was my 20 week regular monthly appointment. At home that would have meant a super quick and easy appointment that consisted of a urine screen, weigh in, blood pressure reading, fundal measurement and listening to the baby’s heartbeat. In and out in 15-20 minutes tops. However, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at my first appointment here in Australia. I wasn’t sure how similar their prenatal care is to our prenatal care in the United States. I expected a bit longer visit since it was my first meeting with this doctor but other than that I went into it blind.
I had a hard time sleeping the night before my appointment. I was nervous about meeting the new doctor and what to expect from my appointment. Luckily, we had spent some time over the weekend figuring out the bus route to there and finding exactly where the office was so it was super easy for Maya and I to get there Tuesday morning. It gave me one less thing to worry about. My appointment was scheduled for 9:30 so we headed out the door a little after 8am to catch the 8:25 bus. The bus was running a bit late but got us to the hospital bus station right on time (sometimes you gotta love public transportation and crazy Australian bus drivers!).
Since we had walked by the office building on Saturday I knew it was a very nice looking office and I was anxious to see what it was like inside. It was gorgeous. The office is fairly big, they staff 4 OBs and 3 midwives. The waiting area is full of super comfy chairs, a bathroom (because we pregnant women need bathrooms everywhere!) and a great little play area for the kiddos. Let me tell you, the play area is a godsend for those of us who have to bring our little ones along. Maya had a great time playing with all the toys and reading the books. She actually didn’t want to leave when it was my turn to go back with the doctor.
When it was my turn I was greeted in the waiting room by the actual doctor! I had expected to be called back by a nurse. They actually don’t have any nurses on staff, the doctors and the midwives do everything. I sat with the doctor in his office for a while going over my medical history and reviewing my records from my doctor in the US. He had to pull out his calculator several times because all the weight measurements on my charts are in pounds and he is used to kilograms. It stumped me too when I hopped on the scale and it weighed me in kilograms. He broke out the calculator again to let me know what my weight was in pounds.
After our long talk about my medical history and prenatal care history for this pregnancy the appointment continued exactly like it would have had I been visiting my OB in the US. He took my blood pressure, had me get on the scale to be weighed (I haven’t gained any weight since my last appointment in the US but he didn’t seem concerned), then he felt my abdomen and listened to the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler. He explained what to expect at my next appointments and it sounds like the prenatal care is exactly like it is in the US. The one exception is that they don’t do a urine screen at every appointment, they only do urine screens if there is another indicator, like higher blood pressure than at previous appointments.
After I met with the doctor he had me sit down with one of the midwives so I could get to know her and she could go over the do’s and don’ts during pregnancy in Australia. The midwife was so nice. She went over everything with me as far as what exercise is permitted, the foods to avoid, etc. It is all the same as the do’s and don’ts rules in the US.
It ended up being a great appointment. Everything is progressing well with the pregnancy, Baby Girl 2.0 sounded great and I’m all set for another month. I really liked the doctor, the midwife and the front desk staff. Everyone was super friendly and nice. Turns out I had nothing to be nervous about.