It is very important for you and your unborn baby that you choose the right pregnancy and childbirth support.
Many pregnant women and their husbands/partners assume pregnancy care is the same irrespective of who provides it. This is certainly not the case. There are huge differences between public and private pregnancy care. Regarding private pregnancy care, while all obstetricians have had to be accredited by the RAZCOG, the quality and amount of clinical training they received varies. As well, their level of clinical experience varies, how they run their private practices varies, their attitudes and personalities vary, their use of the internet and social media varies.
Below I have summarised important highlights of the care your will receive when you choose me to provide your pregnancy care.
Friendly, personalised and professional care. Our goal is not only for your pregnancy to have a successful outcome, but also for it to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We endeavour to provide the best quality professional care in a warm, caring and friendly environment. We want to hear and understand you wishes and concerns. We want to support you on your special pregnancy and childbirth journey to achieve both the outcome and the goals you want.
I use the three words ‘information, communication and relationship’ that helps summarise our approach to your care.
I have managed 15,000 pregnancies. I am an extremely experienced and highly skilled obstetrician. I am one of the most experienced obstetricians in Sydney.
I have had excellent obstetrician training mostly in Oxford, England. My last training appointments were as Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with the University of Oxford and as Senior Registrar to the Head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department Professor Sir Alexander Turnbull. My clinical work was done at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, a large tertiary hospital and a globally well recognised centre of excellence.
I am up to date with the RANZCOG continuing education training programme. I daily read medical articles online. Each day I get emails from multiple medical sources about current medical research, medical research breakthroughs, and patient management update views.
My background means patients can have confidence in my care. I believe my patients have fewer potentially avoidable complications than experienced by patients who go through the public hospital system or who book with a less experienced private obstetrician. As well, such considerable clinical experience and having an ongoing focus being up to date means I have considerable wisdom and discernment in clinical care. I can often suspect and detect non avoidable complications of pregnancy and labour sooner, and so avoid or minimise adverse outcomes, which are more prevalent with less experienced and less well-trained public hospital staff and more junior colleagues. This is very important as many complications and poor management decisions can have mortality and ongoing lifelong adverse health implications for you and/or your baby.
I know adverse developments that stressed me in the past do not stress me now, because of my experience.
Patients so often comment about how calm and confident I am, including during the unexpected crises that can happen in pregnancy and childbirth. That calmness and confidence comes from my experience and me being confident in my care. Because they know I am not stressed, they comment they can relax. I advise a new patient that they should endeavour to relax in their pregnancy and trust in my very considerable experience, my judgement, my careful management and in my caring nature, knowing I have theirs and their baby’s wellbeing as chief focus. I will always endeavour to communicate appropriately and with care, so you, as my patient, understand what is happening and are involved as much as possible in management options and in decision making. I want my patients to have enjoyable pregnancy experiences. My considerable clinical experience and my focus on providing quality care are key factors in achieving this.
We want to know, understand and accommodate your personal pregnancy and childbirth requests.
Having a baby is one of the most important times of your life. Being very conscious of this, we want to support you at this special time in such a way that not only do we celebrate with you the birth of your new baby but also at the end you tell us how pleased you have been with our care. Then we know we have done a good job.
We want to personalise your care to help you achieve a successful outcome for your pregnancy.
You may want to adopt a particular position for labour and childbirth, you may want a vaginal delivery without stitches, you may want an elective Caesarean section, you may want to an attempt at a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean). You may not want an epidural in labour, or you may want a labour without pain and so an epidural. You may have other labour and delivery preferences. I want you to discuss with me your plans and expectations, your thoughts, your requests, your concerns and your fears about childbirth so I can endeavour to tailor your pregnancy and childbirth management and endeavour to give you the childbirth experience you hope for.
I will try to avoid doing an episiotomy. I endeavour for my patients to have an intact perineum, and often achieve this. Failing this, I consider a perineal tear usually better than an episiotomy. A small tear is more comfortable and heals better than an episiotomy. But if it looks like a large tear will happen or if a forceps delivery is needed then I will do an episiotomy. For most vacuum cup operative deliveries there is no need to do an episiotomy.
If an operative vaginal delivery is needed I endeavour to do this with the vacuum suction cap rather than using forceps as there is usually less patient trauma with the vacuum suction cap and often the patient has an intact perineum. Some obstetrician colleagues prefer using forceps for operative vaginal deliveries.
I have advised both hospitals that there will be no medical students at your delivery. Childbirth is a very special time for you and your husband/partner. I consider it important for your privacy to be respected. The option of saying ‘no’ to medical and nursing students is usually not available to public patients. Some of my obstetrician colleagues encourage medical and nursing students to be present.
I am very careful with uterus and abdominal wall closure with Caesarean sections. I close the uterus in three layers, and I carefully close all abdominal layers. It takes a few minutes longer, but it is worth it. Closing all layers carefully often results in less postoperative discomfort and better long-term healing. Often with public patients and with some obstetrician colleagues not all layers are closed. Some close only three, rather than the seven layers that I close.
I will be delivering your baby. I do not have partnerships with other obstetricians. I value the special bonds I make with patients. It is important for me to be there and to make sure personally all goes well with your delivery, and so you can achieve any personal goals.
As a public patient you usually have no ideas who is going to manage you in labour and at childbirth. There is no relationship with the person delivering your baby and you have no idea about their expertise. You may have a midwifery student, and you may be that student’s first delivery.
These days it is popular for private obstetricians to have partnerships with other obstetricians. They ‘job share’ with another obstetrician /obstetricians and so have times when they will not be available for their patients. This could include regular weekdays and / or rostered weekends off. The disadvantage for you as the patient is that another obstetrician may be called for your delivery, while your chosen obstetrician remains at home. In contrast, I am solo obstetrician practitioner, and I am available for my patients’ care 24 hours per day 7 days per week. I value my patients and the relationships I build with them. I always want to be available for them and manage their labours and deliveries, endeavour to make sure all goes well, and to share in their joy of meeting their new babies.
The only times I am not available are if I am unwell or have a personal or family commitment or I am away e.g., for a holiday. I will then arrange for a colleague to cover. If I have a major holiday planned I will advise this on my website and on my social media sites 12 months in advance so patients, their families and friends can plan timing of pregnancy. As well, I will not take bookings of anyone who is due while I am away. That is because I care about my patients so much and personally want to be there to make sure the delivery goes well. As well, I do not consider the extra delivery workload is fair for my covering colleague.
- A thorough first consultation where I get to know you and understand your expectations.
- FREE 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound scanning of your baby at every antenatal visit. Images are also projected onto a large flat screen TV monitor in the examination room located on the wall at the end of the examination couch for convenient viewing by you and your family/friends attending. There is no out of pocket charge to you for our ultrasound scanning of your baby. Not available if you are a public patient. Not done by some obstetricians.
- FREE USB flash drive. We give you a personalised USB at your first visit, so you collect a personal album of photos of your baby’s growth during pregnancy.
- Saturday morning antenatal appointment times so you and your husband/partner can more easily attend together. Usually not available if you are a public patient. Not available by some obstetricians.
- I do all patient consultations myself. I am keen to build a good relationship with you and this is facilitated by having only one-on-one consultations. If you are a public patient usually you are seen by a midwife. Some obstetricians have midwives in their rooms who see patients.
- Minimal waiting time at visits. Your time is important and there is nothing worse than having to wait a long time in doctor’s waiting room. We endeavour to run to time with appointments, so you have minimal or no waiting. Usually not the case if you are a public patient. Not a priority of some obstetricians.
If I am called away (usually to the hospital for a delivery) and my secretary knows I won’t be there when you are due to be seen she will phone you and ask you to reschedule your appointment so you don’t have to wait in my waiting room for me to return.
“Meet and greet” consultation
We offer you a free “meet and greet” consultation. No referral is needed and there is no charge (no cost).
At these visits you can get to know me and my staff, get to know our services, ask me general pregnancy and childbirth questions, chat to my secretary about pregnancy costs and our fees. You are not committing and there is no pressure to make another appointment. Though you can book your first antenatal visit at the end if you wish. There is no need to bring along pregnancy test results, etc. as this is not a formal consultation and so the conversation is general in nature.
- Well-located office with considerable parking and a shopping centre with a Coles Supermarket, coffee shops and restaurants nearby.
- Our office is very comfortable and tastefully fitted out for your comfort and aesthetic appeal.
- Kiddies’ play area in our waiting room.
- Affordable pregnancy care fee. Your ‘out of pocket’ obstetrician expenses will be kept the least possible. ‘Quality care at an affordable price’ is our motto.
- Convenient payment facilities. These include Medicare and health funds on-line, instalment payment plans and electronic payment facilities (EFTPOS, Visa card, MasterCard and American Express).
- No ‘out of pocket’ cost for delivery, if covered by a health fund. We have “no gap” practices for health funds for your in-hospital delivery fee charged by us. Your health fund will be billed, instead of you and we will be paid in full by your health fund (if you are entitled). Assuming you belong to a ‘no gap’ program health fund there will be no delivery fee /gap for you to pay for this account.
Information and communication
Our Obstetric Excellence website. I believe in providing you with the best quality and most easily accessed pregnancy information and communication channels. There are hundreds of pages of pregnancy information on our Obstetric Excellence website. I have personally written every article. We believe, and have been told, it is the most comprehensive obstetric information website in Australia. Patients say it presents so well, is so informative and comprehensive and so easy to navigate.
Our social media sites as well as our Obstetric Excellence website have information and links with introductions on our social media platforms. I have also made hundreds of VLOGs on pregnancy, labour and childbirth topics. Our social media sites are…
- Facebook: We have two Facebook sites. We have a friend’s Facebook site (DrGarySykes.Obstetrician) where patients are invited to be ‘friends’. Patients can ask me questions through Messenger. As well, there are lots of ‘proud parent’ photos, hospital photos, pregnancy ultrasound photos and personal photos. We also have a ‘fans’ site (ObstetricExcellence) that anybody can ‘like’ and follow. Here you will find lots of helpful information about pregnancy and pregnancy care, see ‘proud parent’ photos and pregnancy information VLOGS.
- X (Twitter) where there are comments and there is lots of helpful information about pregnancy and pregnancy care.
- YouTube: Enjoy our channel and VLOGS
- TikTok Enjoy our channel and VLOGS
- Instagram: Our Instagram site has photos given to us by our wonderful patients and pregnancy information VLOGS done by me.
- Pinterest Our Pinterest site has photos given to us by our wonderful patients and pregnancy information VLOGS done by me.
- LinkedIn Our Linkedin site has links to pregnancy articles written by me.
- Flickr: Our Flickr site has photos given to us by our wonderful patients.
We have lots of communication options for our patients to contact us with any questions and concerns. We want to stay connected with you in your pregnancy and help you to not have questions, fears and concerns. Our communication options include:
- Phone – (02) 9680 3004
- Our web site – The ‘contact us’ option on this website
- E-mail – E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook – by becoming a Facebook friend (patients only) and then private messaging me – VERY POPULAR
- X (Twitter) – Twitter message
- Linkedin – Linkedin message
Our secretarial staff is extremely supportive, helpful and friendly. Our secretarial team consists of Kylee and Lauren.
We are a ‘paperless’ office. All patient notes, medical records and reports entered into and stored on our secure computer system for efficiency, security and convenience. We use multiple secure backup storage strategies to protect your data long term. Having a paperless office means that – if needed – I can access your notes when I am at any location at any time.