Most pregnancies are healthy and straightforward but it is important to have regular check ups to pick up problems as soon as possible when they can be managed more easily.

Once your period is a few days late a pregnancy test from a pharmacy or supermarket may show a faint line. These tests are as reliable as those in a doctor’s surgery. Once you know you are pregnant see your doctor to arrange your initial blood tests and scan. An early ultrasound scan can be done at least 6 weeks after your last period, or there is nothing much to be seen!

As pre-natal tests have become more reliable and more complicated it is important you see a doctor who is up to date with the latest technologies. Cairns Doctors offer shared antenatal care and keep up to date with the latest tests available in pregnancy.

If you wish screening for abnormalities in your baby (eg. Down’s syndrome) there are a range of tests available depending on your age and other risk factors. Nuchal translucency scanning is a special ultrasound scan performed around 11-13 weeks with a timed blood test. If this shows you are at higher risk than your age would predict, you may wish to have a non- invasive pre-natal blood test performed. This is not currently rebatable on Medicare and so is expensive but avoids any risk to your pregnancy. Ultimately invasive tests such as amniocentesis or chorionic villous sampling may be necessary if the other tests confirm you are at high risk.

Our doctors can help guide you through the public and private hospital services to work out the best place for you to have your baby.