Obstetrics

Obstetrician Melbourne

Dr Kent Kuswanto is a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist practising in Melbourne, Australia. He specialises in caring for both normal and high risk pregnancies.

Kent delivers his private patients in Epworth Freemasons in East Melbourne, St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Fitzroy and Mercy Hospital for Women in Heidelberg.

Kent’s philosophy on obstetrics care – Pregnancy and birth are natural physiological processes that women have gone through since the beginning of time. Statistically, it is also a period in a woman’s and baby’s entire life when the risk of injury is highest. I support spontaneous labour and normal delivery with minimal intervention. I am also there to help when sudden changes in circumstances pose a risk to the mother and her baby. My goals are to ensure that my patients are well informed, well prepared and well supported throughout their pregnancy as well as the birth of their child.

Choosing the Best Obstetrician for You

It’s 2 lines! Congratulations! What now? Friends or family members may have personal recommendations for an obstetrician. Your GP can also recommend you one depending on your medical history. Doing a Google search for an obstetrician in your area will also give you a list of names.

Some of the things you need to consider are: private vs public, hospital and its facilities, out of pocket costs, convenience for check-ups and birth of baby, and obstetrician cover arrangements.

But one of the most important factor in choosing your obstetrician is compatibility. Pregnancy and childbirth are exciting and rewarding, but they can also be stressful. It is important you feel comfortable talking to your chosen obstetrician, confident and well supported throughout the pregnancy and birth of your baby.

Click the maternity unit below to find a list of accredited obstetricians in each hospital.

Epworth Freemasons Maternity

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Maternity

Mercy Hospital for Women

Your Appointments

The first appointment in pregnancy is probably the most important in the whole pregnancy.

It takes place between 7 and 9 weeks (that is 7 to 9 weeks after the first day of your last period), and it is the basis for everything that will follow in the pregnancy. Kent will take a thorough history, perform a general medical examination, and do an ultrasound.

An ultrasound is really important at the first appointment, and Kent will do the ultrasound himself in his consulting room. It confirms that the pregnancy is growing well, the due date for the pregnancy, and whether there are twins. At 9 weeks, the ultrasound can be done through your abdomen about 95% of the time, making an internal ultrasound unnecessary. Plus, seeing your baby on the screen for the first time is incredibly exciting, and something you’ll never forget.

Kent will then arrange all the blood tests and ultrasounds needed, and talk about Down syndrome and genetic carrier screening tests.

It is the longest appointment for the pregnancy, taking about 45 minutes. There is always plenty of time to ask questions.

Subsequent appointments with Kent take place at every 4-5 weeks up to 28 weeks, then every 2-3 weeks until 36 weeks, then weekly until delivery. These are standard appointments, and others will be arranged if the need arises.

Routine Tests

Below is a list of tests that Kent recommends having during the pregnancy.

They are all screening tests. This means he is not particularly concerned that you might have these conditions, only that they are conditions commonly seen in pregnant women and are important to the outcome of the pregnancy. In special circumstances, he will also recommend other tests, and will discuss them with you as needed.

Routine Tests at First Visit

  • Blood group and antibody screen
  • Full blood count (FBE)
  • Ferritin (Iron count)
  • Infectious disease screen (Rubella, Varicella, Syphilis, Hepatitis B & C and HIV)
  • Thyroid function test (TSH)
  • Urine test for infection (MSU)
  • Pap test (if due)

Routine Tests at 28 Weeks

  • Blood group and antibody screen
  • Full blood count (FBE)
  • Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) – to diagnose Gestational Diabetes

Routine Tests at 36 Weeks

Prenatal Screening

Down Syndrome occurs if a baby has three copies of its 21st chromosome instead of two copies. A chromosome is a bundle of genetic material, and if you have too many or too few of these bundles, severe abnormalities can result. In the case of Down Syndrome, these abnormalities include intellectual, heart, thyroid and other endocrine, facial appearance and others.

It is possible to detect early in the pregnancy whether your baby might be at high risk of having Down Syndrome. This is possible through consideration of your age and additional tests.

The additional tests are Combined First Trimester Screening and Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT). Clicking the test will link you to VCGS website explaining these tests.

It is important to realise that both of these tests are considered to be “screening test”. This means they wont tell you “yes, your baby has Down syndrome” or “no, it definitely does not have Down syndrome”. They will, however, say if your baby is at high risk of having Down syndrome, in which case you should have a diagnostic test. A diagnostic test is one that will tell you “yes” or “no”.

Combined First Trimester Screening requires a blood test at 10 weeks and an ultrasound between 12 and 13 weeks. Most patients choose this option. The blood test costs about $120 (no medicare rebate) and a specialised ultrasound costs about $150 after the medicare rebate, however this varies from clinic to clinic.

NIPT is no doubt the future of prenatal testing for Down Syndrome and other genetic abnormalities due to its incredible accuracy and lack of risk to the baby. It uses a maternal blood sample to find and test the baby’s cells in the mother’s bloodstream. Costs are constantly falling, but it is quite expensive costing about $500 and no rebate applies.

Most women would still opt for a 12 week ultrasound if doing NIPT; whilst the ultrasound has no impact on the Down Syndrome result when doing NIPT, it does provide other useful information about the development of the baby; so a saving is often not made by omitting the ultrasound.

Another test to consider is a genetic carrier screening test for cystic fibrosis (CF), fragile X syndrome (FXS) or spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). This recently available test identifies whether an individual carries the gene, and therefore increases the chance of having a child affected by the condition. If the unborn baby has a higher chance of having the condition based on the parent’s results, then diagnostic testing with amniocentesis or CVS will be offered. Clicking the test will link you to VCGS website explaining this test.

Kent will discuss these options with you at your first pregnancy appointment.

Ultrasounds

An ultrasound scan at 20 weeks is essential. It gives important information; an anatomy (organ) survey of the baby, assessment of the baby’s growth, check of where the placenta is growing and how long your cervix is.

A 12 week ultrasound is also important. Whilst not absolutely essential, about 99% of patients have a specialist scan at 12 weeks. Early fetal abnormalities are being diagnosed with increasing accuracy, plus it is at this scan that the nuchal translucency (NT), the thickness of a fluid layer behind the baby’s neck, is measure allowing for an estimation of the chance that the baby has Down Syndrome. Some of the time, the fetal sex can be determined at this scan.

Kent highly recommends that you have each of your ultrasounds at a specialist women’s clinic. You can be sure if you go to one of his recommended clinics you will be getting the most accurate and reliable scan possible.

Specialised ultrasound clinics can be a little more expensive than a non-specialist clinic (although non-specialised clinics often charge significant out of pocket fees, too) but it is money wisely spent, and eliminates the need for repeat ultrasounds should the first show an abnormality or if the non-specialist ultrasonographer is simply not sure what she is seeing. This can end up more stressful, too.

Maternity Hospitals

Dr Kent Kuswanto delivers babies at the following Hospitals.

Epworth Freemasons East Melbourne
Freemasons has an excellent reputation as one of Melbourne’s premier and most popular obstetric hospitals. It has an excellent location between the city and eastern suburbs, and offers postnatal care at the Park Hyatt.

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy
Located close to the city centre, St Vincent’s is a vibrant hospital with a long tradition of outstanding pregnancy care. The hospital facilities are excellent, and postnatal care is offered at the Park Hyatt.

Mercy Hospital for Women Heidelberg
The Mercy is a large tertiary maternity hospital well renowned for having the best perinatal outcomes in Melbourne. It is suited for women with highest risks in pregnancy.

Weekend and Holiday Cover Arrangement

Kent is on call for his patients 24 hours a day.  This only changes if he has a particularly special personal engagement (a child’s birthday, for example, and is usually for a few hours only), or if he is at a conference. Conferences are important as they ensure that you are offered the most up to date care.

Very occasionally during the week, Kent needs to be in two places at once.  If this happens, he may call on a colleague to help out with your care.  It will always be a specialist. It is always done with the safety of you and your baby in mind, and it is undoubtedly a good thing that obstetricians help each other out in this manner.

Kent remains on call for his patients on almost all weekends and public holidays too. He occasionally has another specialist obstetrician covering him when he needs to recharge. Kent is in a cover group with some of Melbourne’s finest obstetricians – Dr Len Kliman, Grant Saffer, Pregs Pillay, Sam Soo, Joseph Sgroi and Steve Cole. In any case, you can always be sure that an excellent obstetrician will be available for your care.

Annual leaves are planned well in advance so that patients are aware. If you are due around the times of his annual leave and would like to meet the covering obstetrician, this can be arranged.

Pregnancy Management Fee

We understand there can be significant costs incurred in having a baby under the private care of a specialist obstetrician in a private maternity hospital.

We are proud of the quality of service we provide, which includes highly qualified specialist care 24/7 every day of the year. Such service provision is subject to significant expenses, and these in turn determine our fees.

We try our best to keep fees within reach of many families with private health insurance.

Please do not hesitate to call or visit us to introduce yourself as a potential new patient to discuss this further, and obtain written information on our fees. We also encourage you to contact other obstetricians, as it is important to us that you feel completely comfortable with your specialist and the services provided. There is always an obstetrician suitable for you.

Pregnancy Related Links

Labour and Birth Related Links from RANZCOG

Parenting Related Links

Obstetrician Melbourne

Would you like an obstetrics appointment with Dr Kuswanto?

Book a consultation on (03) (03) 9115 9338

Dr Kent Kuswanto

Main rooms located in Epworth Freemasons in East Melbourne. Also available for consults in Epworth Eastern in Box Hill and Women’s Health Hub in Werribee.