Welcome to Avonlea Clinic – the private practice of Dr Marilla Druitt, Dr Anne Hotchin, and Dr Tony Ma.
Your initial point of contact will be with our warm and friendly reception team – Donna (Practice Manager), Corinne, Mariska and Bec who will welcome and support you throughout your pregnancy.
Our experienced specialist team provide compassionate and comprehensive obstetrics care for women during pregnancy and childbirth, working with you and your family to promote a successful, informed and safe outcome.
We understand this is a very special time for you and your family – our priority is for you to experience a safe and enjoyable journey through pregnancy, to birth and postnatal care.
Our doctors provide birth care through St John of God Health Care Geelong.
Avonlea Clinic provides comprehensive specialist medical care for pregnancies including:
Pre-pregnancy assessment and counselling
Normal pregnancy management, antenatal care and confinement
Complicated and high risk pregnancy
VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean section)
We are 21st century professionals and offer a group practice approach to your pregnancy care.
We share our on-call for weeknights and weekends. We believe this helps us provide you with our best care.
All consultations are at our clinic, 159 Yarra Street, Geelong.
There are four office staff Corinne, Mariska, Bec and Donna (Practice Manager). Together they will handle your appointment bookings, accounts, certificates and all general enquiries. All medical enquiries will be referred to your doctor.
All consultations are by appointment; please call 03 4245 2007 during office hours to make appointments.
Medical care after hours
All our doctors share weeknight cover, but in some cases will be covered by specialists listed under “Weekends”
Our doctors provides weekend cover as part of a roster with Dr Sam Sabary, Dr Karl Najjar & Dr Saj Rathnayake. If you are seen after hours by a specialist covering our doctors you will not be charged an out of pocket fee.
Our obstetricians offer (if appropriate):
- Management of labour after Caesarean section
- Twin vaginal birth
- Bath use in labour
- Delayed cord clamping (in the setting of actively managed third stage)
- Skin-to-skin neonatal care
As we provide a medical model of care, the following are not provided by our clinicians:
- Post 42 weeks pregnancy
- Planned breech vaginal birth
- Water birth
- Physiological third stage (placental delivery)
- Lotus birth
- Planned birth outside hospital
Comprehensive classes are available through the hospital. A list of antenatal classes and workshops offered and the times that they are available will be sent to you when you book into the hospital.
The following publications provide a broad range of opinions combined with sensible practical advice:
- “Up the Duff” by Kaz Cooke
- “Everywoman” by Derek Llewellyn-Jones
- “Conception, Pregnancy & Birth” by Miriam Stoppard
- “New pregnancy & birth book” by Miriam Stoppard
- “Your Baby & Child. The essential Guide for every parent” by Penelope Leech
- “Keep it Simple Series. Guide to Pregnancy” DK: Felicia Eisenberg Molnar
- “Twins. From conception to 5 years” by Averil Clegg & Anne Wallett
Ultrasound assessment in pregnancy
Ultrasound is considered completely safe in pregnancy and is now a routine part of antenatal care.
Early pregnancy evaluation
The due date of a pregnancy is calculated by adding 40 weeks to the first day of your last menstrual period. If you have irregular menstrual cycles, calculation of the due date is difficult. An ultrasound is therefore recommended before 14 weeks to check how many weeks along your pregnancy is. In the case of bleeding and pain in early pregnancy a scan can be useful to check that the pregnancy is progressing normally.
First trimester combined screening
Between 11 weeks and 3 days to 13 weeks and 6 days gestation a First Trimester Screen is offered to all pregnant women. This test is to screen for chromosomal abnormalities in your baby. The decision whether to have this additional screening test is entirely yours. The scan is done at a medical imaging centre outside the practice and charges vary according to practitioners. The FTS involves a blood test (at 10 weeks) and an ultrasound at approximately 12 weeks.
Non-invasive prenatal screening
Non-invasive prenatal DNA screening (NIPS) is an alternative to FTS for chromosomal abnormalities. Your blood is taken after 10 weeks and DNA from the placenta examined to determine if there are certain chromosomal abnormalities. This may be done as well as FTS, or as a follow-on test if the FTS records an increase in risk. These tests will be discussed at your booking visit in more detail.
Between 18- 22 weeks of pregnancy a fetal anatomy ultrasound scan is recommended, where your baby’s development is systematically reviewed. This is also done at a Specialist Ultrasound Centre outside the practice and charges vary according to practitioner.
Ultrasound assessment in later pregnancy may be required for specific indications such as fetal growth and wellbeing, multiple pregnancies and other pregnancy complications.
Common pregnancy issues
Preeclampsia is a disorder of pregnancy which can risk the life and health of both the pregnant woman and her baby. We cannot yet reliably predict who will develop preeclampsia, although we do know of risk factors (eg multiple pregnancy, chronic hypertension, preexisting diabetes or kidney disease, first pregnancy, prior preeclampsia, family history of preeclampsia, SLE, obesity).
The risk of early onset preeclampsia can be reduced by calcium containing foods (1300 mg/day) and low dose aspirin from 14-36 weeks gestation. While aspirin reduces the risk in all women who take it, it is usually advised only for those with risk factors as above.
There are several proven interventions to reduce Preterm Birth.
Omega 3 EFA supplementation- the intake of 500 mg of Omega 3 EFA from 16-36 weeks reduces the risk of PTB. This can be either as oily fish 3 serves per week OR supplements.
Progesterone supplementation - for women with specific risk factors for PTB (prior PTB/short cervical length) vaginal progesterone pessaries can reduce the likelihood of PTB.
I'm in labour, what next?
If you think you are in labour, contact SJOG Birth Suite and speak to the midwives – 5226 8866.
Your obstetrician (or locum as per Medical Cover after hours) will be informed when clinically appropriate following your admission. The birth will be attended by a doctor and midwifery staff. A paediatrician will only be asked to attend if there have been any problems identified during the labor or prior to labor. This will be discussed with you at the relevant time.
Sometimes student midwives and student doctors may assist with your care but only if you agree.
Postnatal stays will vary depending on the type of birth you have and any concerns with yourself or your baby.
There are lactation consultants available at SJOG who can assist you if you have any breastfeeding problems during your stay or when you get home. If you have had prior problems with breastfeeding, you may wish to see the Lactation Consultant antenatally.
We will see you at the practice again for a six week post natal visit which we will arrange for you after your delivery.