Pregnancy screening and testing

What to expect at your first doctor visit

Pregnant women in the Northern Territory (NT) should see their doctor or midwife within the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

Your doctor or midwife will:

  • confirm your pregnancy
  • plan your pregnancy care
  • discuss pregnancy care options.

They will also give you advice about:

All tests offered and performed in pregnancy are optional and performed only with your consent.

You will also be offered screening between nine and 13 weeks for a protein produced by the placenta known as PAPP-A. A low PAPP-A is less than 0.37 and should be investigated.

You should ask your doctor or midwife to explain the tests and give you written information.

What to expect on your first doctor/midwife visit 

Your doctor or midwife will work out when your baby is due. They will also:

  • measure your height and weight to calculate your body mass index (BMI)
  • take a medical, surgical, family, mental health and social history
  • ask you about allergies, medication, smoking and alcohol
  • ask you about previous pregnancies and births
  • take your blood pressure
  • check baby position and growth - after 16 weeks of pregnancy
  • listen to the baby's heart beat - after 16 weeks of pregnancy
  • discuss baby feeding preferences - midwives will usually discuss this with you at around 20 weeks
  • check blood, urine and ultrasound tests
  • ask about domestic violence 
  • ask about general health.

What to expect on subsequent doctor/midwife visits

Your doctor or midwife will check to make sure that you and your baby are healthy. They may:

  • take your blood pressure
  • feel your belly to feel the position of the baby
  • measure your belly with a measuring tape
  • listen to the baby's heart beat
  • check blood, urine and ultrasound tests
  • answer you and your partner's questions
  • provide education about good health and parenting
  • discuss breast feeding.

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Last updated: 13 May 2016

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