Antenatal Health

General Information

  • Although each pregnancy is unique, certain changes are common to all normal pregnancies. A basic understanding of physical and emotional changes of pregnancy helps a woman to understand pregnancy and have a positive experience. 
  • Travel During Pregnancy. Traveling during pregnancy can be very enjoyable. Through the first two trimesters and into the third, it is perfectly safe to travel as long as you are not experiencing any complications and your doctor has not indicated any reasons for prohibiting travel.


  • Even before pregnancy begins, nutrition is a primary factor in the health of mother and baby. A well-balanced diet before conception contributes to a healthy pregnancy and will probably need few changes.

  • One of the most important things a woman can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy for herself and her baby is to eat a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition during pregnancy is essential to creating an environment that allows the baby to grow and flourish.

  • When you are pregnant, your baby grows inside you. Everything you eat and drink while you are pregnant affects your baby.

  • Healthcare officials have issued a new advisory on the dangers of eating fish. Healthcare officials are concerned that the level of mercury in fish might pose certain risks to a developing fetus.

  • Food can be contaminated with a bacteria called Listeria. Learn to protect your food against this common bacteria.

  • The average recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 11kg to 15kg. There is no need to eat more food during pregnancy. It is recommended that for the first trimester, a woman’s energy (kilojoule, kJ) intake should remain about the same as it was prior to the pregnancy. During the second and third trimesters, energy requirements should increase by about 600 kJ a day. Increasing fruit intake to four serves each day (from the recommended two serves for non-pregnant women) will provide all the extra energy needed.

Pregnancy Care Appointment Schedule

First appointment – ideally between week 8 and 11.

  • This is a half an hour appointment and is a great time for you to ask any questions that you may have, Dr Holland will discuss your medical history and talk to you about any tests that will be coming up. 

Subsequent Appointments

  • Week 8-30 appointments will be between 3 and 5 weeks apart. 

During this time Dr will discuss referring your for one or all of these tests:

  • Nucal Translucency Test (NT Scan). The NT test is a simple, straightforward and non-invasive test undertaken at 11-14 weeks in pregnancy. It combines maternal age with high-resolution ultrasound assessment of fetal nuchal translucency (NT) and the levels of two proteins (free-BhCG and PAPP-A) in a pregnant woman’s blood. Normal fetuses accumulate fluid under the skin behind the head and neck between 9 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. If there is excess fluid it has been associated with chromosome abnormalities such as Down syndrome. A simple ultrasound performed between 11 and 13 weeks can measure this fluid (Nuchal Translucency). The gestational age of the fetus can be established by measuring from head to bottom – crown rump length ( CRL ). The NT tends to be larger in a fetus affected by a chromosome abnormality and it can be compared with what is expected for a fetus of the same size.
  • Morphology Scan. The morphology ultrasound performed between weeks 18 and 20 is used to check the development of fetal structures such as the spine, limbs, brain and internal organs. The size and location of the placenta is also checked. The baby’s sex can be established, if the parents wish to know.
  • Blood and glucose test. The GTT test is required to investigate gestational diabetes and is performed in week 34. This is not a fasting test. Patients will be given an oral glucose drink, they will wait for 1 hour and then a blood test will be taken. Results are usually available at your next appointment.
  • Week 31-36 appointments will be made fortnightly.

During this time Dr will discuss referring your for one or all of these tests:

  • Vaginal swab, screening for GBS (group B Strep). Vaginal swabs may be collected from pregnant women to determine if the GBS bacteria are present. If the bacteria are found in a pregnant woman, intravenous antibiotics are given during the labour. Women are able to collect this swab in the privacy of their own home.
  • Fetal well being ultrasound. The purpose of this examination is to assess:
    • Position of the baby
    • Size of the baby
    • Amount of fluid surrounding the baby
    • Placental resistance to blood flow
    • Baby’s current state of health
  • Week 37 – delivery appointments will be made weekly.

Post Natal – your postnatal appointment is scheduled for 6 weeks after delivery.

The postnatal appointment is made between 6-8 weeks after birth and is an appointment to check mum after birth. This is a great opportunity to talk about any concerns you have after birth and to discuss other women’s health topics like birth control. Although we love to see bub it’s not an appointment for babies health.

Antenatal Classes 

Newcastle Private Hospital offers antenatal classes, please contact 02 4941 9266 for more information.


Dr Holland delivers privately at Newcastle Private Hospital. As a no-gap doctor your delivery fee will be billed directly to your health fund. NPH appreciate receiving your admission forms by 20 weeks gestation. Please note, while Dr Holland will not send you an account other medical practitioners who may become involved in your care i.e. pediatricians, anaesthetists, theater assistants and items from the pharmacy may be charged to you.

  • Newcastle Private Hospital Deliveries: 02 4941 8400
  • Newcastle Private Hospital General: 02 4944 9267

When to contact Dr Holland or your hospital

It is recommended that you contact Dr Holland or your Hospital if you are worried or if you have any of the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Less movement of your baby than usual
  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Waters break (membranes rupture)
  • A high temperature
  • Vomiting that will not stop
  • A headache that will not go away
  • Vision loss or blurred vision
  • Widespread itching of the skin
  • Sudden swelling of face, hands and feet.
  • Pregnancy related issues can be concerning, we are happy to receive your call for any questions you may have. Our office hours are Monday to Thursday, 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-4pm. For out of hours please see below.

Where to get help

  • Dr Holland
  • Newcastle Private Hospital Delivery Suite – 4941 9267
  • Your GP
  • Your closest emergency department
  • After hours GP access – 1300 130 147