What to expect throughout your pregnancy.


As a group practice, we have a collaborative approach, sharing expertise and patient care. We encourage you to meet all your AOC obstetricians during your antenatal visits. This ensures that you will have met the doctor looking after you when your baby is born.

We offer a set fee, which is all-inclusive, regardless of pregnancy complications or how your baby is born. Our fee also includes postnatal midwifery visits and your six week postnatal check-up. The fee for full pregnancy care can be paid by instalments during your pregnancy.

We have clinics every day Monday to Friday. When you come to visit us at AOC you are welcome to bring your partner or a member of your family or whanau. We will help you to make informed decisions. We recognise that pregnancy care is very much a partnership.

We recommend booking with us at the earliest stage of your pregnancy.

First Trimester

When you phone AOC to make a booking we will usually arrange your first consultation for about your 10th to 11th week of pregnancy. This initial appointment is 45 minutes long.

At your first visit to AOC we can arrange for you to have a set of booking bloods taken if this hasn’t been done already by your GP. Ideally this is done during the first twelve weeks of your pregnancy. These tests are all done on a single blood sample.

Most women at this stage feel tired and experience “morning sickness”, which may occur through much of the day. You may also find you need to go to sleep much earlier than usual. Some women also experience constipation and breast tenderness. Don’t worry: most of these symptoms subside and you will feel much more energetic as your first trimester symptoms start to settle.

You should be taking a folic acid supplement during the first trimester at a dose of 800 micrograms (0.8 milligrams) daily. You should also be taking an iodine supplement at a dose of 150 micrograms (0.15 milligrams) throughout your pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Second Trimester

Most women are aware of a “bump” from about 12 to 14 weeks after their last period but at first it may only be obvious at the end of the day. By 14 to 16 weeks your pregnancy “bump” should be noticeable to family and colleagues at work. Between 18 and 20 weeks most women will have started to feel baby moving.

During the early part of the second trimester there are some further screening tests that many women opt to have. These include screening tests for Down Syndrome that comprise a blood test at 10 to 14 weeks and a nuchal translucency scan at 11 to 14 weeks. The results of these two tests are used together as a “combined screening test” to produce an individualised assessment of the chances of you having a baby with Down syndrome. For more information, see our Medical Testing page.

At 18 to 20 weeks most women will have an anatomy scan to check baby’s heart, spine, brain and other important organs. This scan also checks that the placenta is in the right place and that your baby has grown appropriately.

At this stage we are only seeing you every four weeks but there is no need to save all your queries for your clinic visits. You can call us between appointments with any questions or concerns that you might have.

If you are planning to attend antenatal classes it is worth booking these now as they fill up quickly. You can find more information about antenatal education providers on our Helpful Information page.

At 26 weeks you will have a second set of blood tests to screen for diabetes (the polycose test), anaemia and blood group antibodies.

If you are travelling overseas at this time do check that your insurance covers problems in pregnancy as most insurance companies will not cover you after 24 weeks. You will also need to start planning when you will cut back or stop working.

Third Trimester

During the third trimester we are seeing you in clinic every two weeks and then weekly from 36 weeks. At about 35 weeks you will have an extended appointment to discuss your birth plan and make sure we know how you wish to be cared for during labour. Your partner should also attend this appointment.

Baby’s movements may start to follow more of a pattern with movements being more marked in the evening or at bedtime. Many women do not sleep well in late pregnancy so make time for a rest during the day. Do call if you are worried that baby is moving less often or you experience any abdominal pain or bleeding.

Most women will go into labour within a few days of their due date. For some women it may be safer for their baby to be born earlier by induction or caesarean section and if we have any concerns about how or when your baby should be born we will discuss those with you. We will also organise closer monitoring of you and your baby if you are still pregnant after your due date.

You may also wish to express and store colostrum in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, particularly if an early birth is anticipated, you have had problems breastfeeding before or have diabetes in pregnancy. You can read or download a brochure from National Women’s Health with information on antenatal expressing and how to store colostrum here.

Women with Disabilities

As a group we have looked after many pregnant women with vision or hearing impairment or mobility problems. It has always been a privilege to be part of their pregnancy care. Do talk to us if you are concerned that these issues may make pregnancy care and delivery a problem for you. Our clinic is on the ground floor of the Birthcare building with easy wheelchair access.