Dr Connan passionately believes that the health and wellbeing of mothers, their babies and their families is best provided by obstetricians working with women themselves.

 

Respecting that every woman has a unique story, women's healthcare deserves to be provided in a personalised way. 

At her practice TasOGS, Kirsten provides comprehensive antenatal, birthing and postnatal care for women who are planning to birth at the Hobart Private Hospital. Dr Connan's practice is located in the heart of Hobart immediately opposite Hobart Private Hospital, allowing ready and convenient access to both her outpatient consulting and in-patient care.

Dr Connan supports vaginal births, elective caesarean sections, and vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC). Kirsten only accepts 10 pregnant women per month. This ensures Kirsten has time for each woman and her family, and ensures she herself remains appropriately rested. This is essential to ensure clinical excellence and safety can be achieved for her women, and for her own self-care. 

Kirsten is on-call and available for emergencies 24 hours a day on weekdays, and for the majority of weekends for her patients. During her weekend off, or her leave away from Hobart, Kirsten's patients are cared for by another female obstetrician. All women are offered the opportunity to meet this alternate obstetrician during their pregnancy. 

Kirsten is committed to provide personal obstetric care that is:

  • Open-minded toward conception, pregnancy and birthing preferences.
  • Personable and non-judgemental towards women, their families and support networks.
  • Sensitive to the physical, psychological and social impacts a pregnancy may have on a woman’s wellbeing.
  • Provided collaboratively with the midwives from both TasOGS and Hobart Private Hospital.
  • Ensures her rapid presence at Hobart Private Hospital in the event of an emergency.
 

It is always best that you see a doctor when planning a pregnancy.  This ensures that you are prepared and in the best possible health at the time of conception.

 

Your GP or a Women's Specialist GP is often well placed to provide this pre-pregnancy consultation for you. Some women however benefit from seeing a Specialist Obstetrician for a pre-pregnancy review, particularly women who:

  • Have a pre-existing medical disorder such as diabetes, epilepsy, hypertension or autoimmune disorders.
  • Have previously had a pregnancy affected by a fetal or chromosomal abnormality.
  • Have previously experienced a difficult or traumatic pregnancy or birth.
  • Have a personal preference to have pre-pregnancy counselling provided by a Specialist Obstetrician.

A pre-pregnancy consultation enables your Obstetrician to plan the extra steps that may be required before conception in order to optimise the health of you and your pregnancy, such as:

  • Optimisation of your health before pregnancy if you have a medical disorder.
  • Stopping harmful medication.
  • Fertility, dietary and vaccination advice.
  • Addressing any concerns you have about the pregnancy and birth process.
 

Antenatal care during your pregnancy is important to monitor to the health and wellbeing of mother and baby, while preparing you physically and mentally for your baby's safe arrival.

 

Dr Connan provides antenatal care at her TasOGS practice on 25 Argyle Street, Hobart. This antenatal care includes regular antenatal appointments at key gestations during pregnancy, along with planning for the safe birth of your baby.  These will be discussed with your during your first antenatal appointments. 

Blood tests and ultrasounds during your pregnancy may be provided onsite or at recommended pathology and specialist obstetric ultrasound providers (Women's Imaging). Dr Connan herself has a obstetric ultrasound qualification (DDU O&G), a valuable addition to the accuracy of ultrasound scans for all specialists. 

All of Kirsten's women are provided with additional and complementary antenatal appointments with her two TasOGS midwives. These midwives provide a fabulous addition to your care and are often the first point of call with any antenatal questions. 

The antenatal period provides a valuable opportunity to meet with other health professionals that you may require, such as perinatal psychologists, physiotherapists, paediatrcians and obstetric anaesthetists. TasOGS has onsite perinatal psychologists, as well as an Endocrinologist and physiotherapist. Obstetric anaesthetic services are provided 24 hours/day by the Hobart Anaesthetic Group. 

Dr Connan's obstetric patients also commonly attend the Hobart Private Hospital antenatal classes, offering further valuable preparation for birth and parenthood.

 
 

Birthing is a very personal experience. There are no exclusively right or wrong ways to birth a baby, and Dr Connan actively supports women in their right to make informed choices about their mode of delivery. Birth is for the benefit of mother and baby – not for the convenience of an obstetrician.

Kirsten manages her workload so that she can be well rested and available for her women birthing. For her weekends off or during holiday periods, Kirsten's patients are covered by her colleague and specialist obstetrician Dr Irena Nikakis. Expectant mothers are always informed of this, and additional choice over leave cover can be made as required. 

Birthing Choices

 
 
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Vaginal Birth

Dr Connan strongly supports vaginal birth for women where this is a safe and achievable option. Although an uncomplicated vaginal delivery is often enviable, there are maternal and obstetric situations where it may not be possible. Most importantly Kirsten believes that vaginal birth should not occur at the expense of physical or psychological trauma for women, and always supports her patient's informed choices in this area.

 
 

Caesarean Section

Caesarean section is a common mode of delivery in Australia, although contrary to popular belief, occurring predominately for medical and obstetric reasons so as to keep mothers and babies safe. Kirsten always supports the autonomy of her women to make informed choices about their birth plans, including choosing elective caesarean sections if right for the individual.

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Vaginal Birth after Caesarean Section

'Vaginal Birth After Caesarean' (VBAC) or more accurately 'trial of labour after caesarean', occurs when a woman has previously delivered by caesarean and now wishes to birth vaginally. Dr Connan supports women making this decision, ensuring they are informed and that such vaginal births are safely managed. 

 
 

Above all else, Dr Connan aims to provide an open, non-judgemental environment for women to discuss and explore their birthing choices. Your birth is not about right or wrong, it's about feeling empowered to safely make the right plan for you and your baby.

 
 

In 2011 Dr Connan completed her Diploma of Diagnostic Ultrasound (Obstetrics & Gynaecology) through the Australian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM), following training and work at East Melbourne Ultrasound under the guidance of internationally renowned specialist obstetric sonologist Dr Andrew Ngu.

Kirsten's additional ultrasound skills and qualifications beyond those of a general obstetrician help to guide her pregnancy care, particularly when managing women with complex and higher-risk pregnancies. She also routinely refers her women to Hobart's own Women's Imaging for critical obstetric ultrasound examinations under the leadership of obstetric radiologist Dr Lynne Brothers.

 
 

In addition for providing normal pregnancy care, Dr Connan also has extra training and special interest in caring for women with complex and high-risk pregnancies, including:

  • Pregnancies with previous caesarean sections, including vaginal birth after caesarean section.
  • Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets and higher)
  • IVF pregnancies
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Breech presentation
  • Previous preterm births
  • Previous pregnancy loss or miscarriage
  • Pregnancies complicated by maternal medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, epilepsy, hypertension, lupus, arthritis, cardiac disease, renal impairment, neurological and neuromuscular disorders, gastrointestinal disease, respiratory disease, solid organ transplants, infectious diseases and mental health illness.

Women with higher-risk pregnancies frequently require additional antenatal appointments, along with extra pathology tests, ultrasound scans and consultation from other medical specialists. To limit the financial impact of such closer monitoring, Dr Connan ensures that you will not pay anything more for her antenatal appointments than you would for a lower-risk pregnancy.

 
 

After birthing at Hobart Private Hospital, immediate postnatal care is provided by Dr Connan and HPH's team of experienced midwives. Additionally HPH provides ready access to experienced lactation consultants, specialist paediatricians, physiotherapists, physicians and anaesthetists, should their expertise be needed.

Dr Connan is a strong advocate for new mothers staying in the maternity suite after delivery for as little, or as much, time as needed to feel supported and confident at this important life event. 

During your first few weeks at home, the TasOGS and HPH midwives are available for any concerns. You will have a minimum of one postnatal review with a TasOGS midwife 2-3 weeks after arriving at home. 

Six weeks after the birth of your baby Dr Connan provides a review back in her rooms at TasOGS. This is an important opportunity to discuss the challenges of new parenthood, post-obstetric recovery, plans for contraception and/or family growth, plus overall health and wellbeing. If you have any concerns or questions before this time, Kirsten strongly encourages you to contact the rooms for advice or an early review.

 
 

Dr Connan only practices at the Hobart Private Hospital (HPH), both for obstetric deliveries and surgical operating. She believes that there are significant safety and convenience benefits for patients receiving their care at HPH, with both its close proximity to Tasmania's tertiary referral centre, The Royal Hobart Hospital, and with the high level of care provided by the HPH team.

 

Hobart Private Hospital is located on the corner of Argyle and Collins Street in the Hobart CBD, and has a maternity unit and delivery suite, 24-hour emergency operating theatre, and a level-2 neonatal nursery that provides care for babies at 34 weeks gestation and above. The HPH maternity unit is staffed by experienced midwives who provide antenatal, labour, postnatal care and lactation support.

Antenatal education and physiotherapy classes are provided through the HPH maternity unit. Each birthing room contains a double bed allowing partners to stay during the birthing and postnatal period. HPH encourages you to have your newborn baby stay in your room at all times when nursery care is not required. This provides an excellent opportunity for bonding with your baby during your supported admission.

The Royal Hobart Hospital houses Tasmania's level 3 neonatal nursery.  In the unlikely event that you require delivery at Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH), HPH's co-location to the RHH ensures you are never far from your baby during his or her nursery admission. 

The birthing and postnatal period are both fully supported by highly trained specialist anaesthetists, neonatologists and paediatricians who work at HPH.