Many people would like to be under the care of an obstetrician but are often unclear on what to expect from them. Let’s take a closer look at their role.
When do I start looking for my obstetrician?
It’s best to find an obstetrician early in your pregnancy. This will ensure you receive expert guidance from the start of your journey to parenthood. Read more on finding the right obstetrician for you.
When will I first see them?
It is recommended that you see an obstetrician early, usually between 10 to 16 weeks.
Your GP can recommend the most suitable timing depending on your personal circumstances. They will need to provide you with a referral.
It’s best to ask lots of questions in your first appointment with an obstetrician and talk about your preferences for the birth.
If you don’t feel that the obstetrician is a good match for your needs, you can choose a different obstetrician.
How regularly will I need to see my obstetrician?
This will vary between people, depending on the circumstances of your particular pregnancy.
As a guide, your obstetrician might see you:
- monthly, until approximately 28 weeks
- every two weeks, until 36 weeks; and then
- weekly until the birth of your baby.
Please refer to your obstetrician’s advice during your first consultation to understand your schedule of appointments over the course of your pregnancy.
What if I have questions outside of these appointments?
Always feel free to raise any questions or concerns that you have outside of appointments. Your obstetrician will advise you on how to do so during your first appointment.
Typically, you can call the practice and speak with a member of the obstetrician’s team, who might be able to answer your query directly or refer you onto the obstetrician for a return phone call/email or appointment.
What are the costs involved in having an obstetrician?
Obstetric costs will vary depending on factors such as your health fund, the status of your Medicare Safety Net and even the state you live in. For example, obstetric costs are usually higher in Sydney than the national average.
A full schedule of obstetric costs should be provided at your first visit.
It is important to check with your health fund that you have family cover, and not just singles cover, to ensure your baby is covered by health insurance while in hospital.
In addition to obstetrics, you’ll also need to factor in some budget allowance for additional items that might come up, such as:
- pathology (blood tests)
- radiology (scans)
- a paediatrician (a doctor who specialises in caring for babies/children, some are specialised in babies only)
- antenatal classes (to help you prepare for childbirth and early parenthood)
- anaesthetics (for pain relief)
Costs for these can be obtained from each of the respective service providers.