What to expect at your initial consultation?

Your first appointment with Lionel is an opportunity for you to get to know Lionel and for him to get to know you. Your GP referral will provide him with general medical information, including your current health and health history. Lionel will then ask further questions about your fertility/pregnancy history, ovulation/menstruation cycles and general family health history. This is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and seek clarification about any areas of concern.

This appointment would also include an examination of your general health; this may include a Pap smear (if you are due) and a breast check. As part of your general health screen Lionel will discuss the need for routine blood tests to check on your basic blood profile (i.e Iron reserves), blood group, exposure to certain viral illnesses (i.e. parvo virus) and other infectious diseases (HIV, Hep B, Hep C). This information is helpful early on in your pregnancy in order for us to make proactive decisions about your care and management.

Pregnancy progression and genetic testing

Your gestation (or weeks of pregnancy) will guide the next steps in this appointment. After 7 weeks gestation, we are often able to identify a fetal heart rate via vaginal ultrasound (checking inside your uterus). This also provides an opportunity for Lionel to check that things are progressing well with your pregnancy.

Lionel will also discuss genetic screening options (to screen for genetic abnormalities such as Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), Trisomy 18 & 13, and others.

He will outline routine investigations, including a 20-week morphology ultrasound (checking on your baby’s development, placental location and other detail that may identify women at risk of complication).

How many appointments do I need?

Generally speaking, healthy low-risk women will have approximately 10 appointments between 11-40 weeks of pregnancy. Beyond 40 weeks of pregnancy, your appointments are likely twice weekly and include screening to check on the ongoing health of you and your baby.

What to expect at your antenatal appointments?

An 11-week appointment often follows your initial consultation. This appointment takes place to confirm that your pregnancy is continuing normally and precedes a NIPS (Non –invasive pregnancy screen) blood test collected by our onsite pathology group (if this is your choice of genetic screening). The results from these early blood tests take 4-5 business days to be available.

Each antenatal (pregnancy) appointment will have a similar basis from here on in. One of our Midwives will check your blood pressure, ask for a urine sample (to check on abnormal protein excretion), check your weight and answer any of your questions. Lionel will measure the growth of your uterus (with his hands on your abdomen), this tells him about the ongoing growth of your baby. To further check on your baby and provide you with confidence. Lionel uses a hand-held Doppler to listen to your baby’s heartbeat at each appointment. Lionel is available during all consultations to answer as many questions as you need and you are encouraged to call our offices to gain reassurance and information as you may need it from one of our Midwives.

Additional Care

In addition to your regular appointments, we have a commitment to monitoring your general health. We are very aware that pregnancy brings about many changes for a woman and as these changes occur we are here to help, providing information and support on a range of topics including pelvic floor health, pelvis and core strength, breast changes and maternal emotion and mental health. It is sometimes necessary to work with a pregnant woman to refer her to a member of our allied health team (i.e Physiotherapist, Osteo, Psychologist, Dietician/Nutritionist) to achieve the most optimal outcomes.

Gestational Diabetes and Post natal depression

At 28-29 weeks Lionel would routinely recommend completing a GTT (Glucose tolerance test) for Gestation Diabetes. Around 12-14% of Australian women will develop Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) during their pregnancy. In order to limit the risk factors associated with GDM, it is helpful to identify affected women so that we can individualise care and management.


At this gestation, we also ask that you undertake a short questionnaire about your emotional and mental health. This screening tool works as a starting point for conversation and can be the first step in working towards improving your mental health. It is understood that around 1 in 5 women experience antenatal anxiety and/or depression during their pregnancy and there is a clear link between antenatal and postnatal depression. It is therefore imperative that we focus on your entire wellbeing and not just your physical health.

Third Trimester

As your pregnancy continues, at each of your appointments we will check on your health (Blood pressure, urine test for protein and weight), baby’s health (growth of your uterus and fetal heart rate check), we will ask questions about your baby’s movements and how your body is adapting to the changes of later pregnancy (i.e. pelvic/ back discomfort, sleep changes and digestive health). It is common that after 28 weeks of pregnancy conversations about your birth will be at the forefront of your mind. As many women will be attending antenatal classes (childbirth education) around this time the birth of their baby can begin to feel ‘real’. We are here to help answer your questions and our Midwives are available to offer the support you need to feel confident and respected in the choices you make.

Would you like to book an appointment?