It’s been a busy month at Turn the Corner, with record numbers of flu vaccines being administered by our clinical staff. We’ve welcomed two new administration team members, Amelia-Emily and Sarah who are introduced in more detail below. Dr Kinga Price talks to us all things babies, a very informative piece for anyone thinking about babies.
Those of you that have visited Turn The Corner recently you will have noticed that we have revamped our Reception area. Previously, our Reception team used to welcome you, bill you, manage queries, receive phone calls, send emails… it was pretty full-on.
As we’ve got busier, we’ve realised we can’t consistently provide the level of service we’d like by having all those tasks managed in the same place. When you arrive at Turn The Corner today, you’ll be greeted by our Client Services representative, who will welcome and check you in. Later, after your consultation, you’ll see a different member of the team to organise your billing, and perhaps your next appointment. While all that’s happening, upstairs another member of the team is dealing with phone calls and emails.
We’ve had lots of positive feedback about the changes, but if you’d like to share your opinion (whether positive or negative), please drop us a note by reply.
Let’s talk babies
There are so many things to think about when you start planning for a baby. Having enough money, secure jobs, parental leave, grandparents’ support, health insurance, maybe even MCC membership for your 1st born are things to consider; but this last one is not where my expertise lie.
When I see prospective parents I like to make sure they are as healthy as possible to conceive and carry a healthy baby. We talk about their general health and any medicines that they talk as some are not safe in pregnancy, so of course, are smoking and alcohol. Fathers-to-be that smoke may have poorer sperm quality and smoking mothers are at high risk of poor health outcomes in their child. Infants of parents who smoke also have a higher risk of SIDS. All prospective parents should reduce their alcohol intake and once pregnant, women should not drink at all.
It is important to have a healthy weight and we encourage you to exercise regularly, have a healthy diet and in some cases, it may be appropriate to check you for deficiencies. All prospective mums should start taking folate supplements at least 3 months preconception Your doctor will want to know if there are any known genetic conditions or family history that may affect your baby. There are now tests available to screen prospective parents for many genetic conditions. We like to ensure that all prospective mums are up to date with their cervical screening tests and are encouraged to be screened for infections and have their vaccinations status checked.
When planning a baby, think about any work travel and the holidays you are going to have while trying, during pregnancy and when your baby is very young. Although travel is wonderful and all Australians like to travel, some travels may not be safe during that time. There are places with a high prevalence of infections that are dangerous for your baby, both in utero and when he or she is born. There are destinations that require vaccinations, which are not always safe during pregnancy or in infancy. Finally, the way you travel may not be appropriate. Pregnant women may not be allowed on long haul flights in their 3rd trimester, long car or boat trips in 1st trimester that will make your morning sickness a lot worse and that camel ride may not be that comfortable either!
Of course, your mental health is also very important. Pregnancy can make you tired, more emotional and more anxious; a young baby will almost certainly make you sleep deprived. Attend to your mental health issues before and don’t presume that happiness from becoming pregnant will solve everything else. Finally, don’t forget about your relationship with your partner. Love and nurture each other, as the happiest babies are those that have happy parents.
Ideally, see your doctor if you are planning to have a baby in the near future. But if you are already pregnant and didn’t know these things and therefore have been caught unprepared, don’t stress but discuss your concerns with your doctor. You can’t turn back the clock but you can turn the corner. Take good care of yourselves and enjoy this wonderful time.
Dr Kinga Price