11 Feb 2013

Fifty Shades of Obstetrics

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I have been looking at my bookings for the year and can’t help but notice I have a mini baby boom going on in March and April. Despite our best efforts my numbers are higher in those two months than in any other time in the history of my practice.

I have been racking my brain trying to think what could have initiated such a baby boom. Of course it wasn’t the Olympic Games (for some reason seeing Aussies win gold leads to some – er – celebratory bonking) as they took place in August last year. However baby due dates in March and April mean conception dates in June and July. This was the time when sales of the erotic thriller (well it was hardly Pride and PrejudiceFifty Shades of Grey were at their peak.

In order to keep up to date with current trends in Obstetrics and Gynaecology I of course – being such a dedicated soul – began to read Fifty Shades of Grey last June especially as for some reason a copy had made it’s way onto my ipad. However I gave up after about fifty pages when I was overwhelmed with terrible feelings of inadequacy. And these feeling were not just because I don’t fly my own helicopter.

Seriously though the next couple of months will be a bit busy for the practice. I may be called away to labours and births a bit more frequently than usual so we may “bump” your appointments from time to time (I always prefer rescheduling to making people wait for hours). It is probably smart to ring Rebekah just before you leave for your appointments with me just to check I haven’t rushed out the door because someone has gone into labour. 

31 Jan 2013

Your Baby’s movements

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I have had a couple of women ring the office asking Rebekah to move their appointments forward because of a reduction in their baby’s movements.

I cannot emphasise strongly enough that a reduction in your baby’s movements is a potential emergency and that you must call or text me on my mobile phone if you are concerned – and that you must not go to bed worried about your baby’s movements.

Please read Your Baby’s Movements on my website. This information is also found in the booklet I gave you at your booking visits.

22 Jan 2013

Classy Breastfeeding

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David Koch has defended his right to have an opinion – and express it live on national television – and I for one would defend that right. In fact I would really like Kochie to explain and expand on his opinion. What constitutes “classy” breastfeeding in public? Wearing Armani whilst doing so? Breastfeeding at Catalinas in Rose Bay? We know exactly what he really means though – out of the way.

I’d also like to remind David of a couple of issues:

1. Women are thoroughly sick of (usually suit – wearing ) men telling them what they can and cannot do with their bodies, their reproductive tracts, their breasts and their children, and

2. The opposite of “classy”, “discreet”, and “modest” is trashy and no woman – including those who are breastfeeding – likes to be called trashy.

Oh and David I am not a politically correct member of the “noisy social media brigade” – I’m a just a hard working women’s health professional

19 Dec 2012

Watch out – Listeria is about

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I was reading my usual source of up to date medical information this morning – The Sydney Morning Herald – and I came across a piece about a listeria outbreak in Melbourne. The source of the infections appear to have been Australian – made soft cheeses (Brie and Camembert). This just highlighted the need to be very careful about potential sources of listeria when you are pregnant as the infection can be very harmful to unborn babies.

For more information about food and Listeria you can check out www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/consumers/life-events-and-food/pregnancy/

(And before many of you ask the Christmas Ham is NOT safe unless it is freshly cooked and served hot – so throw some on the barbie and cook the crap out of it if you are desperate)

05 Dec 2012

A spot of leave!

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Sue and I are off to Lord Howe Island from tomorrow (6th December) to Monday the 10th.

I have just discovered this could be the perfect Obstetrician’s hideaway because there is no cellphone reception so I really will need to turn my phone off.

If you have any urgent concerns while i am away please ring the Delivery Unit of the hospital at which you are booked (RHW 93826100, POW 96504444) or Natalie on the weekend cellphone.

05 Oct 2012

Next Year’s Break

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This year is passing by so quickly – I just can’t believe it. Of course the nature of my business is such that I need to organise study leave and holidays 8 months or so in advance so that you are fully informed of my availability (or lack thereof). Accordingly I will be off on study leave and holiday for the first three weeks of June 2013, returning to work on Monday 24th June. I know my partner Dr Natalie Shaw is then having three weeks off for the same reason (through to mid July).

Both Natalie and I have decided to engage a locum to cover our respective practices over June and July (the last time I was away for two weeks poor Natalie delivered the babies of seven of my patients as well as looking after her own patients!). The locum will be Dr Lynn Townsend. Both Natalie and I have worked with Lynn for many years at the Royal Hospital and regard her very much as an assiduous, caring, safe obstetrician – so we think she fits in very well with the way we practice. Lynn’s other job is in Obstetric ultrasound – she works at Ultrasound Care so some of you may meet her when you have your routine ultrasound scans (such as the Nuchal Translucency).

23 Aug 2012

Stop Press: Prince of Wales Private (POWP) Hospital turning women away

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Stop Press: Prince of Wales Private (POWP) Hospital turning women away

Without any notice (to obstetricians like myself, at least) POWP has imposed a cap on maternity bookings and is now turning down requests for bookings. This has affected a couple of my patients due in October and – to put things mildly – the women are very unhappy.

I think much of this comes from – how can I put this delicately? – the unpopularity of the public system and the fact that The Royal Hospital for Women is comparatively unwelcoming towards private obstetricians and their patients. As a result POWP has become overwhelmed with bookings hence the cap on numbers.

My strong advice to you is to book into the hospital of your choice early (I.e. before 12 weeks). I usually perform my first booking visit at 8 to 9 weeks (most obstetricians won’t see new patients until after 13 weeks) so we simply have to get on and book you in at the time of your first visit. It is best not to wait for hospital tours before making your choice.


07 Dec 2011


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Unfortunately my father is very ill in New Zealand and I have ot get over there to see him tomorrow.

This will mean that I am bumping many appointments to next week.

I am very sorry about the inconvenience that this is causing.

Dr Natalie Shaw will manage any emergencies or births while I am away and if you have any concerns please call the weekend cellphone number


25 Oct 2011

More holidays for me!

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I know I have only just been away for a couple of weeks but I have already organised my next holiday (remembering I need to organise my breaks about 8 to 9 months in advance).

I will be away from Saturday the 9th of June to Sunday the 24th of June 2012 inclusive. As always my partner Dr Natalie Shaw will ably deliver any babies that arrive while I am away.

If your due date is definitely while I am away you may wish to book with Natalie for your pregnancy care and birth. Natalie can be contacted at 9650 4964 or www.natalieshaw.com.au

12 Sep 2011

Your Obstetrician is getting old!

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I celebrated my (gulp!) fiftieth birthday on the 8th of September by delivering a beautiful baby boy (that I tried very hard – unsuccessfully – to have called Robert).

However the true celebrations start today when Sue and I abandon the kids and go to Europe for some medical education and some much needed R and R in Italy. I will be back on deck on the 26th of September.

Melanie will manage any non-urgent issues at the office (appointments etc) and Dr Rachel Ryan will be doing a few visits in my office while I am away.

If you have any urgent concerns about your health or your baby’s health please contact either the Delivery Unit at the hospital at which you are booked or Natalie Shaw on the weekend emergency number.