Dr Danie Schneider
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Somerset West


Prenatal care is the care of you, the mother, and your unborn child during pregnancy. Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth, and your regular prenatal check-ups with your gynaecologist are your chance to learn how to manage your pregnancy, have tests that might be necessary, learn about warning signs and ask questions – especially if you are a first-time mom.

Did you know…?

  • It is best to consult with Dr Schneider before conceiving—at the pre-pregnancy health or preconception planning stage.
  • A preconception care visit can help you take steps for a safe, healthy pregnancy before you fall pregnant. During such a visit, you will be advised on developing a plan for your reproductive life.
  • During a preconception visit you will learn whether or not your specific family history (as well as your partner’s history) necessitates any special recommendations. You will receive advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, weight management, dietary advice and the importance of necessary supplements.
  • By seeking help for depression and/or anxiety, controlling medical problems like diabetes, epilepsy, thyroid disease or hypertension, as well as ensuring your immunisations are up to date; you will be increasing your chances of planning a healthy pregnancy when you are ready.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to see a gynaecologist for prenatal care?

A gynaecologist is a specialist trained to routinely screen you and your baby for conditions and diseases that could threaten your and your baby’s health. International studies show that mothers who do not have prenatal care have three times as many low-weight babies at birth compared to mothers who do seek prenatal treatment. It is important to remember that even though you might feel healthy, your pregnancy is not just about your own health, but also about that of your baby!

How can I reduce the risk of complications?

It is best to begin before you conceive by booking a preconception visit with Dr Schneider. If this is not possible before you fall pregnant, begin prenatal care as soon as you find out you are pregnant, by booking your first visit.

Your gynaecologist is a specialist trained to screen for and manage conditions that could threaten your pregnancy; this screening starts in the first trimester and continues right through your pregnancy. Dr Schneider will provide full genetic counselling, screen for diabetes and pre-eclampsia and monitor the growth of the baby. We will discuss how immunisations and screening for Strep B, urinary infections and blood group incompatibility can protect your baby before and after birth. You will be given advice on following a healthy, safe diet, getting regular exercise, how to avoid exposure to harmful substances and medications that will help protect your unborn child and maintain your health.

Do I need a birth plan?

Every pregnancy is unique. You may know what you want and don’t want for the baby’s birth, but there is no way of knowing exactly how the birth will unfold, so you can’t plan precisely. Keep in mind, however, that during your prenatal visits, your preferences will be discussed in a sensitive manner and we will guide and assist you to stay flexible in case something comes up that requires a departure from your birth plan. If a printed document gives you peace of mind, we won’t object: the ultimate goal is to see you use your birth skills to cope well during labour.