Your First Visit

Obstetric First visit

Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to our practice.

Having a new baby is a wonderful experience and an exciting time in your life. It is a privilege to look after you during your pregnancy and delivery and those all-important weeks after the birth.

If this is your first baby, or if you need a refresher, the following information will assist you.

Our friendly, experienced staff are here to help you through this journey to becoming new parents. Please contact our reception team on 07 3832 7399 to book an appointment.

At your booking call, our reception team will ask for the first day of your last menstrual period to estimate when your baby is due. We will need your contact details, Medicare number and Private Health Fund details.

Your first antenatal appointment is scheduled for 45 minutes, and subsequent appointments are 15 minutes. Partners are most welcome to attend. Due to the nature of Obstetrics, delays are sometimes unavoidable and wherever possible we will endeavour to notify you as quickly as possible if we need to change your appointment time to avoid any inconvenience to you and you family.

Your first visit is usually scheduled between 6-8 weeks. Some patients may need to be seen earlier depending on the pregnancy progress. If you have any concerns prior to your first visit, you may contact your GP who can always contact us, and we will of course be happy to see you early if there is a need. Estimated due date calculator

At your first visit a detailed history will be taken, you will have your blood pressure and weight checked, and your antenatal blood tests will be ordered. We will perform an ultrasound scan to establish your dates if you have not recently had one and confirm that your pregnancy is progressing normally. Prenatal testing will be discussed and any questions you have will be addressed.

At each visit with us there is a general discussion of any health concerns you may have and an opportunity to discuss your birth and any specific issues or concerns you may have.

To streamline your first appointment please bring along any relevant documentation including the following:

  • Your referral from your GP or specialist.
  • A copy of any recent blood tests
  • A copy of any recent ultrasound scans
  • A copy of your most recent Cervical Screening Test (or Pap Smear)

You will need a referral to see your Obstetrician. A referral is required if you wish to claim a Medicare rebate.
A referral form your GP will be valid for 12 months and a specialist referral is valid for 3 months.

Regular antenatal visits are required to monitor you and your baby throughout your pregnancy. Routine visits are scheduled as follows.

  • Initial antenatal visit between 6 and 8 weeks
  • Monthly visits after your initial visit until 28 weeks
  • Fortnightly (second-weekly) visits until 36 weeks
  • Weekly visits from 36 weeks until delivery.

These visits provide an opportunity to discuss your pregnancy and delivery preferences, to get to know the team and one another before the birth of your baby. We are a family friendly practice and partners, or support persons are most welcome to attend.

High-risk pregnancies will have an individualised schedule to suit your pregnancy requirements.

In addition, as part of Dr McLaren’s Pregnancy Bloom Package, a schedule of consultations from our Dietician, Physiotherapists and Midwives is included to support your overall health throughout your pregnancy and post-natal recovery. 

If you are experiencing any concerns or feel that something is not right with your pregnancy, please phone anytime.

Contact the rooms during office hours Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm on 07 3832 7399.

After hours, including weekends and public holidays, Dr McLaren can be contacted on mobile 0417 709 513.

Dr McLaren delivers exclusively at the Mater Mothers Private Hospital in Brisbane with an experienced team of midwives, Anaesthetists and Paediatricians.

Dr McLaren delivers at the Mater Mothers Private Hospital, Brisbane. The Mater Mothers is the largest maternity hospital in Australia and is highly regarded for the quality of care provided by its staff.

After your first visit, you will need to phone the hospital to book in. The hospital will send you a package of information on education classes, tours, and what to bring to help you prepare for your delivery.

The Mater Mothers Booking Office can be contacted on 3163 8847 or you may wish to do this online by clicking here.

Dr McLaren works with the River City Obstetric Group, Brisbane’s most experienced team of female Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Throughout the week, Dr McLaren is on call for her own patients and is available to answer any urgent questions or concerns you may have.

To provide safe, high quality health care all Doctors work on a roster covering overnight call and weekends. This is essential for a sustainable practice, attendance at ongoing professional training and to prevent unsafe work due to fatigue. 

Regardless of the oncall arrangements, Dr McLaren has an excellent record of personally attending her women’s deliveries in 97% of cases. 

Babies arrive around the clock and there will be occasions when Dr McLaren is called out during a scheduled clinic consultation session to attend the hospital. If this occurs when you have an appointment scheduled, we will ensure you have another appointment to make sure your pregnancy is progressing normally.

In addition, we have Dr Vivienne O’Connor working in the rooms throughout the week providing antenatal care and advice. Dr O’Connor is a caring, dedicated Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with many years of experience in women’s health. During your pregnancy you may schedule some antenatal appointments with Dr O’Connor so that you get to know each other to ensure continuity of care and minimal disruptions to appointments due to commitments at the hospital. Dr O’Connor regularly assists Dr McLaren in theatre at caesareans.

Whilst we make every effort to run on time, inevitably in an obstetric practice there can be delays. Only 4% of babies deliver on the due date and pregnancy does not always go to plan. Wherever possible, if Dr McLaren is delayed at the hospital our reception team will contact you to offer you an alternative appointment to minimise any inconvenience to you. Dr McLaren delivers 97% of all patients referred and attends her patients who are admitted at the hospital each day.

Telehealth consultations are available to patients living remotely and in the current COVID-19 pandemic if you or your family are unwell and cannot attend your appointment. A Medicare rebate is currently available for telehealth consultations.

Gynaecology first visit

What should I bring to my first appointment?

To streamline your first appointment, please bring along any relevant documentation including the following:

  • Your referral from your GP or specialist.
  • A copy of any recent blood tests
  • A copy of any recent ultrasound scans
  • A copy of your most recent Cervical Screening Test (Pap Smear)
Do I need a referral to see my Gynaecologist?

You will need a referral to see your Gynaecologist, as a referral is required if you wish to claim a Medicare rebate.

A referral from your GP will be valid for 12 months, and a specialist referral is valid for 3 months.

Your Obstetric Journey

Your first Visit

This visit is usually scheduled between 8 and 12 weeks. Some patients may need to be seen earlier depending on the pregnancy progress. If you have any concerns prior to your first visit we will of course be happy to see you earlier.

At your first visit, a detailed history will be taken and your antenatal blood tests will be ordered. We will perform an ultrasound scan to establish your dates if you have not recently had one and confirm that your pregnancy is progressing normally.

Genetic screening will be discussed and any questions you have will be addressed.

Dr McLaren delivers at the Mater Mothers Private Hospital, Brisbane. The Mater is one of the largest maternity hospitals in Australia and is highly regarded for the quality of care provided by its staff.

After your first visit, you will need to phone the hospital to book in. The hospital will send you a package of information on education classes, tours, and what to bring to help you prepare for your delivery.

The Mater Mothers Booking Office can be contacted on 3163 8847 or you may wish to do this online by clicking here

If you have any urgent questions or concerns after hours, please do not hesitate to contact the practice mobile on 0418 709 513 to talk to Dr McLaren, or contact the Mater Mothers’ Hospital Pregnancy Assessment Centre (PAC) on 3163 8800.

There are a number of important tests that are done routinely in pregnancy. These include a blood group and antibody screen, full blood count, Hepatitis, Rubella and Syphilis screen. Other tests include screening for antibodies for Chicken pox (varicella and parvovirus. We also check your Vitamin D, iron and thyroid as well as for signs of diabetes.

Blood tests are routinely done at booking, at 26–28 weeks and 34–36 weeks.

Additional blood tests may need to be arranged depending on your pregnancy progress.

All women are offered a Nuchal Scan between 11 and 14 weeks and a Morphology scan between 18 and 20 weeks.

The Nuchal Scan is a screening scan which screens for signs of Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13) which are the three commonest genetic abnormalities as well as other structural abnormalities.

A Morphology Scan is performed between 18-20 weeks to have a more detailed look at your baby to exclude any structural abnormalities.

The NIPT is an additional non-invasive screening test at 10 weeks for genetic abnormalities, which can detect 99% of Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), and 98% of Trisomy 18 (Edward Syndrome) and Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome). The blood is collected in Brisbane and sent Melbourne for analysis.

You may be offered a CVS or amniocentesis depending on the result of these tests.

All Doctors and nurses work on a roster to practice safely as no one can work 24 hours per day, seven days every week. Obstetricians have some weekends (and some weeknights) off to have a work life balance and catch up on sleep as much of our work is performed in the middle of the night.

Dr McLaren shares On Call with five colleagues in The River City Obstetric Group, Dr Brenda Biggs, Dr Jo Cheung, Dr Fiona Dalzell, Dr Melissa Luckensmeyer and Dr Di Poad.

Babies arrive around the clock and there will be occasions when Dr McLaren is called out during a consultation to attend the hospital. If this occurs when you have an appointment scheduled, we will ensure you have another appointment to make sure your pregnancy is progressing normally.

In addition, Dr McLaren works closely with Dr Vivienne O’Connor in the rooms throughout the week providing antenatal and postnatal care and advice. Dr O’Connor is a highly experienced, dedicated, and caring Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with many years of experience in Women’s health and regularly assists Dr McLaren in theatre.

The roster enables all Obstetricians take regular holidays and conference leave to stay refreshed and up to date to ensure we provide the best care for you and your baby.

Paediatricians (or baby doctors) provide specialised neonatal care for your baby during your hospital stay. They also work on an On-Call Roster and an experienced paediatrician will be arranged to examine you baby at birth. Your paediatrician will check your baby each day during your hospital stay and arrange a follow up appointment for your baby at 6 weeks after birth. 

Anaesthetists are available to provide epidural and anaesthetic services 24 hours a day. The Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital has an experienced team of dedicated Obstetric Anaesthetists who work on an on-call roster if you need an epidural in labour or for elective surgery.

The Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital is one of the largest maternity hospitals in Australia, with a large team of dedicated midwives who provide experienced midwifery support during labour and on the antenatal and postnatal wards.

Midwives work 8- or 12-hour shifts, so you may meet several Mater midwives during your hospital stay.

In addition, Dr McLaren works collaboratively with an experienced team of midwives at Mama and Me midwifery who provide antenatal and postnatal education and support, as well as lactation consulting to assist you in your parenting journey.

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Get in contact with our team

COVID-19 UPDATE

Your health and that of your family are our utmost priority during these unprecedented times.

We ask that you contact 1300HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice about testing for COVID-19 if you
• Have arrived from interstate or overseas in the last 14 days or
• Had close contact with someone who has arrived from interstate or overseas;
• Are unwell with a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, shortness of breath or loss or smell or taste;
Have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19