Josh profile & blogs

Dr Joshua Laing MBBS BBiomedSci (Hons)
Hospital Medical Officer at Peninsula Health

Profile

Josh obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science at Monash University where he then continued his career in scientific research, undertaking an Honours research project. Upon completion, he then studied Medicine at Notre Dame University in Sydney. He is now a practicing medical clinician at Peninsula Health who combines his previous biomedical science research background to treat and assist patients in need. Josh displays a strong interest in evidence-based medicine across several health areas including antenatal fertility through to early childhood. Recently, as a medical professional, Josh did some volunteer work in the Amazonas, Peru treating under-privileged communities and working with medical issues predominantly in women and children.


 

Posts by Josh

Written by Dr Joshua Laing. Posted on July 4, 2012.

An informed couple is essential for a successful pregnancy

Most couples are underprepared and do not have the necessary knowledge before having their first child, which can have significant health implications. Considering that 50% of pregnancies are not planned, there is a substantial population of women who become pregnant that are underprepared to have a baby. Even those planning to have a baby may also be ill-informed and be under-resourced when it comes to having a healthy, uncomplicated, and successful birth.

Antenatal Considerations

Who knows about pregnancy and making babies? Friends? Family? But which advice is right? When it comes to making babies, it seems that just about everyone wants to have their two cents, therefore finding the right advice can be difficult. The first stop for all health advice should be your general practitioner. A good idea even in the preliminary stages of contemplating having a baby, is to check in with your local doctor for a discussion about the options available to you. Whilst there, it is also important to get a medical checkup and see just how ready your body may be, to go through the energy to produce a child. Many women underestimate the physical and mental pressure that being pregnant brings, and some preparation to get “pregnancy-ready” can make a significant difference over the course of pregnancy and the early stages with your baby. Nutritional and energy requirements significantly rise during pregnancy, and getting the balance right before becoming pregnant is recommended. Some general screening tests are also routinely advised in all antenatal visits.

Pregnancy

Once the pregnancy test returns a positive result, the only emotions you should be feeling are enjoyment! If you have already seen your doctor/midwife and are pregnancy-ready then you have nothing to worry about! Good healthy habits such as eating well, some regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and making your appointments, go a long way to ensuring a healthy pregnancy. A healthy weight gain of roughly the same weight as the expecting arrival is ideal. It is important to address any health concerns early rather than leave things to the final few weeks to have peace of mind coming into your labor. Women may experience a range of health complaints that may turn out to be benign, such as morning sickness, though some symptoms may persist. Again, being proactive about your health before becoming pregnant will act as a buffer for any problems that may arise.

Labor

A variety of healthcare models exists when it comes to the business end of ensuring a healthy baby is born in a safe environment. Whilst the myths and conjecture around home births can be cleared up with the most recent evidence showing that the outcomes of low risk births are relatively the same, when it comes to managing complications and higher risk births there is no doubt that an obstetrician headed hospital birth cannot be matched. The recommended advice for first time mothers is to at very least be linked in with an obstetrician with a shared-care team of midwife and obstetrician favored. General practitioners with obstetric qualifications are also another option to be considered in this model. For high risk pregnancies however, an obstetric consultation is essential. And a quick comment on pain relief, just be open to the awareness of your options.

Breastfeeding

After the drama of delivery, and the resolution of the excitement of labor, you are left to bask in the glory of your new baby! However, the work is not finished just yet. Certainly some time for some rest and recuperation will be the order of the first few days for mum, but then comes the enhanced responsibility of looking after a newborn. Breastfeeding is the most important element of nourishing the growing healthy baby, and it is recommended that breastfeeding is carried out for 6-12 months. Once protected by the mother’s immune defenses of her body, the baby now relies on breast milk for immune factor protection until its immune system can defend itself. Furthermore, the nutritional value of breast milk will help the baby grow healthy and strong. Not all women find breastfeeding easy, nor do things go to plan for other reasons. Therefore it is important to know your options in relation to nutrition support and immune protection for the baby.Informed couples are much more confident and comfortable with pregnancy and birth itself, and are far more equip to manage the small and larger complications when they arise. As a result, they always achieve a safer birth and achieve a healthier outcome of pregnancy.