Your Pregnancy Care

A/Prof Fiona Brownfoot is passionate about providing the best obstetric care in Melbourne for high and low risk pregnancies. Having a patient centred approach, she listens and understands her patients and individualises their care accordingly. With a strong academic background Fiona practices the most up to date obstetrics to achieve the best outcomes.


Before you become pregnant it’s a great time to ensure your health is at its best. In this appointment Fiona will ensure you are on the right supplements, your vaccinations are up to date and she will also discuss genetic screening (carrier testing) with you. If you have a medical condition she will discuss the risks to your health of becoming pregnant and the risks your condition poses to the pregnancy. This appointment also gives you the opportunity to meet Fiona.


Congratulations on your pregnancy! This is such an exciting time for you and your family. Perhaps the best place to start is to ensure you have an idea about what pregnancy care and birth involves. Fiona has written a pregnancy timeline detailing your appointment schedule, blood tests and ultrasounds below. Fiona will individualise your care so just be aware that this outline might change.

Birth and Beyond

It is great to start thinking about your baby’s birth and what is important to you and your family early. It is really important that you discuss your wishes and expectations about your baby’s birth with Fiona. She is absolutely committed to understanding you and will do her best to achieve the best experience and outcome for you and your baby.

Why Choose The Epworth Freemasons

Located in the heart of East Melbourne, the Epworth offers specialist obstetric care in state-of-the-art luxury facilities. This is one reason why the combination of having Fiona as your private obstetrician at The Epworth is a great choice for your care.

Here are links to The Epworth Freemasons website with useful information about the hospital and its care of you and your baby.

How To Prepare For Your First Visit

Welcome to your first visit! At this visit Fiona will ask you many questions about your past medical history, she will perform a general medical exam and an ultrasound. Some patients have lots of questions regarding pregnancy care and Fiona can answer all of these at this appointment. At the end of this consult you and Fiona will make a plan together for your ongoing pregnancy management. For this first visit it is really important that you bring your paperwork and your test results along with you. These include:

  • Referral letter from your GP or specialist
  • Any blood test results that may have been performed while you were pregnant
  • Any recent ultrasound results
  • Your last pap smear or cervical screening test results.
  • Your Medicare card and health insurance details.

Generally your first appointment will be when you are around 8 weeks pregnant. Even though you may not have seen Fiona, your care with her starts from the moment you book with her. You can contact her if you have any concerns even if it is before your first appointment with her.

Your Guide to Appointments and Testing

Pregnancy and birth is such a precious and exciting time in your life. A/Prof Fiona Brownfoot is a highly skilled female private obstetrician specialising in looking after all pregnancies including more complicated pregnancies.

Pregnancy Timeline

fionaBrownfoot pregnancy timeline

* ultrasound at every visit

Genetic testing for chromosomal disorders

The most common chromosomal disorders we screen for and diagnose are trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome), trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. There are a number of different tests available to screen and diagnose chromosomal disorders. These tests can be confusing and quite overwhelming for patients. Fiona will completely explain the different options so you have a good understanding of these and can make an informed decision and the right decision for you and your family. Fiona respects all decisions her patients make regarding screening for chromosomal disorders. For more information on genetic tests for your baby click HERE.

Blood tests

At your initial visit Fiona will check the blood tests you have had with your GP and may organise further tests depending on your health. When you are around 28 weeks pregnant Fiona will organise a sugar test (glucose tolerance test) to check for diabetes in pregnancy, as it is a common complication. Once you are 36 weeks pregnant Fiona will check on your blood counts and ensure these are optimised prior to the birth of your baby. Fiona may order extra tests depending on your risk factors and medical history and this is something she will discuss with you over the course of your pregnancy.


Fiona will perform an ultrasound at your first appointment. She will also organise an ultrasound at around 13 weeks and another ultrasound at around 21 weeks of pregnancy to assess the anatomy of your baby. Fiona may organise more ultrasounds and she will discuss this with you at your appointments.


There are some immunisations that are recommended while you are pregnant and these include the influenza (flu) vaccine and the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. The immunity you develop from having these immunisations in pregnancy will not only protect you however will also transfer into your baby to keep them protected in their most vulnerable first few weeks of life.

Group B streptococcus vaginal swab

At 36 weeks of pregnancy a vaginal swab is performed to check for a really common bacteria group B streptococcus. This bacteria isn’t harmful to mothers however it can infect the baby as it travels down the birth canal during labour or it can ascend into the baby if the membranes break. If it is present, it is easily treated with antibiotics if your membranes have broken or during labour.

Birth and beyond

It is really important that you discuss your wishes and expectations about your baby’s birth with Fiona. She is absolutely committed to listening to you and understanding your wishes and will do her best to achieve the best experience and outcome for you and your baby. If a vaginal delivery is a priority Fiona will make sure she gives you the best chance of this even in the setting of having had a caesarean before or if you have twins. If a caesarean section is wanted then this is often very reasonable and Fiona will discuss this with you.

Why have a private obstetrician

Pregnancy and birth is such a special, life-changing event and having a private obstetrician means you will build a relationship with a specialist over the course of your pregnancy. Fiona will see you for your pregnancy clinic appointments, most likely deliver your baby and see you after you have had your baby. Fiona is on call for you 24 hours a day if you have an emergency or go into labour. In the unlikely event that Fiona is unable to be there, she will ensure another excellent specialist obstetrician at the Epworth looks after you. To provide this level of care however Fiona caps the number of patients she sees. Therefore please book in with her as soon as you can.