Obstetric FAQs

Which hospital does Dr Hong attend?

Dr Hong attends deliveries at the Cairns Private Hospital.

How often do I need to see you during my pregnancy?

Dr Hong will typically see you when you’re around 10 weeks pregnant. Then she will see you every 4 weeks until you reach 28 weeks pregnant.

From 28 to 36 weeks, Dr Hong will see you every 2 weeks, and then will see you weekly until your baby arrives.

We will also schedule a postnatal appointment around 6 weeks after the birth of your baby.

On average, you will need to have around 13 appointments with me.

If you pregnancy is complicated or high-risk, we may need to adjust this schedule and have more frequent appointments.

Do I need to have a full bladder for my appointments?

You don’t need to have a full bladder before your obstetric appointments.  We know how uncomfortable it is to have a full bladder when you are pregnant – not to mention not using the bathroom! So, Dr Hong certainly does not expect you to arrive with a full bladder. An empty bladder doesn’t make it more difficult for Dr Hong to see your baby on an ultrasound.

However, if you are 12 weeks pregnant or less, Dr Hong does ask that you have a drink of water when you arrive at the practice – so your bladder is partially filled.

Do I need private health insurance?

I have a “No Gap” arrangement with most Private Health Funds for deliveries and obstetric hospital admissions. We will bill directly to your private health insurance, so there is no out-of-pocket fees for your hospital admissions during your pregnancy and delivery – regardless of whether you have a vaginal delivery or a caesarean section.

It is not essential for you to have private health insurance to see me for management of your pregnancy.

If you don’t have private health insurance and you are finding the cost to deliver at Cairns Private Hospital too high, you can have shared care at Cairns Hospital. If you choose this option, you would see me for your pregnancy care but deliver with Cairns Hospital.

As every private health fund has slightly different terms, it is important to check your level of cover and inclusions with your health fund. Most health funds have waiting periods for obstetrics.

Some types of cover (e.g. singles cover), may not include your baby if he or she needs admission to the hospital after birth. Family cover should cover your baby, but it is best to check with your insurer.

Who will deliver my baby if Dr Hong can’t get there on time?

Dr Hong will do her best to attend all deliveries, but there may be times when she may not be able to deliver your baby, such as:

  • Your labour and delivery progresses too quickly for her to attend
  • She is on leave or attending a conference
  • She is performing an operation

If your birth progresses too quickly for Dr Hong to make it there on time, there will be hospital midwives ready to assist.  If obstetrician input is needed and Dr Hong is not available, one of the obstetricians within the ‘on call’ group will be contacted.

Who will deliver my baby if I go into labour on Dr Hong's day off?

Three other obstetricians and Dr Hong share a 1 in 4 weekend ‘on call’ roster from Friday 12pm to 8am Monday. If your labour starts during this time, the ‘on call’ obstetrician will be called to attend your delivery.

The obstetricians who Dr Hong share’s the ‘on call’ rosters with are:

  • Dr Thomas Wright
  • Dr Natalie Kiesey-Calding
  • Dr Elizabeth Jackson

This group of obstetricians and Dr Hong have a joint arrangement to support one another. This arrangement helps us to continue to provide high-quality care for our patients (and it prevents us from becoming overtired or overworked).

Please note: the pregnancy care management fee is not refundable, whether or not Dr Hong is personally available to deliver your baby.

Do I need to pay more if another obstetrician delivers my baby?

No, you won’t need to pay any additional obstetric fees if another obstetrician in Dr Hong’s ‘on call’ group delivers your baby.

If you do not have private health insurance, all members of the ‘on call’ group mutually agree to honour the fee originally set by the principal  obstetrician – so there won’t be any surprises.

When should I contact the Hospital Maternity Unit?

It’s very important to contact the Cairns Private Hospital Maternity Unit or our practice if:

  • Your labour starts
  • Your waters break
  • You suspect your waters may have broken
  • You have any bleeding
  • You are concerned about your baby’s movement

We understand you may hesitate to contact us as you do not want to overreact – but we want you to feel comfortable contacting the practice whenever you have a question or are feeling unsure or anxious.

As your private obstetrician, Dr Hong is here to help, and she believes it’s always best to err on the side of caution and follow your gut instinct. If ever in doubt, please phone the practice or hospital.

Can I phone Dr Hong between appointments if I have a question about my pregnancy?

If you would like to speak with Dr Hong, you can phone the practice on (07) 4230 0030.

If Dr Hong can’t answer your call at the time, she will return it as soon as possible. You can also email: phoebehong@drphoebehong.com.au

If you need to contact Dr Hong after hours or in an emergency, please phone the Maternity Unit at Cairns Private Hospital on (07) 4052 4232 and ask to speak to the midwife on duty.

What should I bring to the hospital?

Going to the hospital, whether planned or in an emergency, can be an emotional time. You may need to leave quickly.

That’s why it’s important to try and pack your bag several weeks in advance.

If you’re not sure what to bring, here’s a list of my suggestions:

For you

  • Your pregnancy handheld record
  • Loose, comfortable clothing for labour (bear in mind this may get messy during labour)
  • Spare pairs of underwear
  • Toiletries including chap stick, hair tie, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrush
  • Comfortable clothes for day and night
  • 2 to 3 maternity bras
  • Nursing pads
  • Underwear and footwear
  • A packet of maternity sanitary pads

For your baby

  • 6 newborn singlets
  • 6 newborn jumpsuits
  • 6 to 8 bunny-rugs or small cotton blankets
  • 1 to 2 small beanies or hats
  • Baby Mittens
  • Baby socks/ booties
  • 3 baby face washers for baby bath

Other items to consider

  • Camera
  • Favourite music
  • Chargers for your electronic devices
  • Snacks – lollies, muesli bars
  • Bottles and formula (if you are planning on formula feed)
  • Baby car seat for discharge (mandatory)
  • It’s best not to bring valuable personal items to the hospital

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