A pregnancy is low-risk (or uncomplicated) when, after thorough routine evaluation, no risk factors are identified.
Pregnancy is a natural state; happily, most women are deemed to be low-risk at the start of their pregnancy, and most will continue to be low-risk throughout pregnancy, delivery, and beyond.
In most cases, yes. However, one of the greatest dangers during a pregnancy is when a low-risk pregnancy becomes a high-risk pregnancy, and the change goes unrecognised. The development of complications may be sudden and apparent, or insidious. This is the rationale behind routine screening tests and regular scheduled visits with your health care provider. Although the majority of women will remain low-risk during their pregnancy and delivery, those that won't cannot be reliably predicted by their personal history, and so vigilance must be applied to all women. An important aspect of good obstetric care, however, is recognising also when a pregnancy (or birth) is progressing normally and remaining low-risk, such that unnecessary tests and interventions can be appropriately withheld.
Women with low-risk pregnancies are recommended to undergo only the "routine" screening tests and surveillance during pregnancy. This generally includes a "schedule of visits" similar to the following:
At the initial visit, a full history is taken and targeted examination is performed. I will discuss clearly my approach to your care and am delighted to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have. Common topics such as exercise and healthy eating in pregnancy are discussed. A plan for the remainder of your pregnancy will be outlined. At follow-up appointments, your general pregnancy health is evaluated and problem symptoms or concerns are addressed. Baby's growth and well-being are determined and your physical well-being is monitored.
During your pregnancy, the following routine antenatal investigations are recommended (many of these will have already been arranged by your General Practitioner):
If, at any point, your pregnancy becomes high-risk, I will explain all the significant changes to you, and outline the appropriate changes to your pregnancy care.
David practices evidence-based medicine, and strives to ensure all conditions that may complicate a pregnancy are managed according to the best available medical literature and published guidelines.
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David is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and undertook his specialist training in Queensland. He is highly skilled in the management of complex and high-risk pregnancies, and has special training in minimally-invasive surgery, endometriosis, pelvic floor and incontinence surgery. David has completed a Master of Reproductive Medicine and is skilled in the assessment and management of fertility problems, and can offer the full range of assisted reproductive treatments. He is a Senior Lecturer with The University of Queensland Medical School, and has published both medical journal and textbook contributions.
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