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What to expect at your first antenatal appointment?

Posts Tagged Health and wellbeing

What to expect at your first antenatal appointment?

Your first antenatal (pregnancy) appointment is exciting and is probably the longest time-wise of your appointments while you’re pregnant. The appointment is an opportunity for your caregiver to take your history and set up a schedule of ongoing appointments for the rest of your pregnancy. Its also the perfect time for you to get answers to any questions you might have. Some women are apprehensive about this appointment thinking that there may be uncomfortable, embarassing or invasive tests done but that’s generally not the case at all.

So what happens at your first antenatal appointment?

At your first appointment you will be asked:

The date of your last period and the length of your cycles. This will help work out your baby’s expected due date (EDD). Don’t be surprised to find that the estimated due date that you are given is different to the one you might have found online: this is because there are more variables than just the date of your last period. Your OB or midwife may also offer you a dating scan, even if you’re certain of the date of your past period. Research has shown that when an EDD is calculated with the help of an early pregnancy scan, there tend to be fewer inductions for pregnancies that have progressed beyond 41 weeks, compared to dating using the last menstrual period alone.

You will be asked about any previous miscarriages, terminations or births.

A history of your health will be developed which may include some questions about close relatives’ health (ie. questions around diabetes, blood pressure etc). This is so that any health issues that may cause a problem in your pregnancy are identified early and certain screening tests are available for genetic conditions and you may wish to avail yourself of these.

There will be a couple of quite personal questions also. Your care provider needs to care for you holistically, for all of you, so questions around your emotional and psychological health as well as asking you if there is any domestic violence in your home or behaviours you are concerned about.

You will be asked where you want to have your baby. OBs and private midwives generally offer a choice of birth place (usually a choice of one or two hospitals they have visiting rights at) as well as homebirth options where they are available. It’s perfectly ok to be undecided at this first appointment and to ask for some time to do some research and decide later on.


This is the part that some people are concerned about, but you need not be. None of the tests are terribly invasive and you will almost always stay dressed .

A urine test — this test is used to check for pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

A blood test — you will have a blood test which will include a full blood count and testing for various diseases.

A blood pressure check.

An ultrasound scan may be done if the equipment is present, otherwise you will be referred to an ultrasound clinic. The ultrasound is done to check your baby is doing OK, to see how many babies you are carrying and also to establish your EDD.

Listening to the baby’s heartbeat — this may be the first opportunity you’ve had to hear your baby’s heart. Its a very special moment and its such a shock to hear just how fast their little hearts beat!

Tummy examination — You may have a tummy exam on the outside of your belly just to check baby is growing properly and that your uterus is in the right place.

Once all the talking and testing is done you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have and ask any questions you would like to. An ongoing schedule of appointments will be set up so that you have regular appointments during your pregnancy that get closer together as your baby’s EDD gets closer, often every 4-6 weeks and eventually weekly till baby arrives.

Remember you don’t have to wait for your next appointment to speak to your care provider if something is bothering you. Most times there will be a number you can call as well as a 24 hour emergency number offered.

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How to clean your Medela pumping kit

I just had a lovely customer who has hired a Medela Symphony to express breastmilk at home call and ask how to clean her kit. So I explained it all on the phone and though to myself – I should probably do a factsheet so that other customers can print it out and have a read of it when they want to clean their kits too. So here’s how.

Cleaning your kit properly is very important to maintain the health and hygiene of your milk and to keep baby safe.
When you first get your kit you must clean the kit before you use it. It is sterile but its always safer to give it a good clean first.

If you are the only person to use your breast pump and your baby is well and healthy you can clean your kit by:

1. Rinsing all parts well in cold water after each expressing session to remove surface milk.

2. Store your kit in a clean closed container or you can store it unrinsed in a closed container in your fridge.

3. Once a day give your kit what I call the BIG clean!

BIG clean instructions

1. Wash your hands well with soap and water and dry them on a clean unused tea towel or on a new paper towel.

2. Separate all your pump kit parts and rinse all the pieces in cold water.

3. Clean all traces of milk and dirt with a small amount of household dishwashing liquid and warm water. Make sure its all nice and clean again with no sticky or greasy marks or residue.

4. Rinse all the pieces in hot water really well, then rinse them again (2x).

5. Sit all the bottles and parts upside down on a new clean paper towel and cover with another new clean piece of paper town while they air dry.

6. Store your kit when its not in use in a clean dry container, and I used to line my container with clean paper too, just in case!

Please note – word to the wise here – your kit isn’t dishwasher safe and the dishwasher isn’t clean enough so handwashing is a necessity.

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Try before you buy

Try before you buy is really one of the many (and varied) reasons people choose to hire baby equipment. As we all know, what Mum and Dad like, it doesn’t necessarily follow that baby will like that too – no matter how shiny, how fashionable or how expensive the product is. Babies just don’t care. The same principles apply with baby’s first bed. Babies have grown and developed in a snug, warm, cocoon like womb for 9 months. Upon arrival babies are probably rather surprised to realise that:


– they’re now expected to sleep alone
– they’re now expected to sleep at a set time
– they should sleep for set periods of time in each 24 hours
– and they are now being put to sleep in a rather cold flat bassinet or cot.

Some babies do sleep “like a baby” but many don’t. Some babies are unsettled and can be difficult to settle and resettle to sleep during the day and night. This experience, of having an unsettled baby who was struggling with colic and sleep, is what spurred Ambrose Hooi to develop the Amby Hammock. Ambrose’s little girl slept wonderfully for the first 4 weeks of her life and then developed what is termed “colic” – that often misunderstood syndrome that results in babies crying inconsolably for hours on end. The Amby Air hammock is a great help for these babies and their parents, with the gentle bouncing and swinging of the Amby spring moving baby in both horizontal and vertical directions, naturally mimicking “the colic dance” movements that the colicky baby wants and needs. You could say the Amby is a baby colic home remedy.

The Amby Baby Hammock Air is also the only baby hammock on the market that can be used up to 12 months of age. It is also larger, safer and has an adjustable incline unlike any other.


Here at Rock-A-Bye Baby we suggest you to hire for a week or two, and if your baby loves the Amby Hammock we can replace it with a brand new hammock delivered to your door – yours to keep – and we’ll pick up the hire one once your new one has arrived and is set up. Hire-Try-Buy is 100% risk free – just hire your Amby, if you love it, we’ll get you a brand new one to keep.

Ambrose says: “Today, many thousands of parents in Australia and Europe have finally come to terms with the fact that for babies, to sleep, grow and feed well, they need a sleeping environment that has at least some ingredients of the maternal womb. The use of Natures Nest by hospitals and child care centres in Australia and Europe is extensive and growing rapidly.”


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The Princess and the Pillow

Your pillow doesn’t talk back…

And it doesn’t get you pregnant!
Your pillow can be your best friend especially if it’s a DreamGenii Pregnancy Support Pillow. These pillows are a wonderful invention by an Australian mum and they take a lot of the pain out of your nighttime sleep during pregnancy.
So many mums tell me that they just can’t get comfortable in bed especially as their pregnancy progresses. The weight of the baby pulls heavily on the lower back and it’s difficult to find a comfy position to sleep in.
The DreamGenii pillow helps take away the pain and discomfort. It supports your back, bump and knees without taking up all of the room in the bed. The makers of the pillow say:
“If used from around 20 weeks can help to encourage optimal foetal positioning which can lead to a shorter and less painful labour with less chance of intervention.”
Now that’s worth fighting for!
The best thing about the DreamGenii is that it makes a great feeding pillow once your baby is born. In effect it has two lives – double the value for money.
I would have paid a king’s ransom for a good night’s sleep especially in the later stages of pregnancy but with DreamGenii you don’t have to do that. It is only $69.95 for a pillow that will allow you to rest, regain your energy overnight and be ready to cope with the next day and the next….
These pillows sell out quickly because they are such a great product. If you are desperate for a good night’s sleep order yours today through our shop:

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