Obstetrician in PerthDr Chris Nichols
Dr Chris Nichols — Perth obstetricianMurdoch obstetrician - practice located at St John of God Murdoch Hospital
I have been a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist for more than 20 years. Before commencing my specialist training, I was a rural GP in Narembeen and Karratha. I delivered many babies and realised this was my favourite part of the job.
I moved to the St George Hospital in Kogarah, NSW to commence specialist training. Then I completed my training at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth, WA
My consulting rooms have been at St John of God (SJOG) Murdoch Hospital for over 20 years. During this time, my practice has gone through significant changes. Ten years ago, with the help of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia, I established the first fertility clinic South of the river. It is called Fertility Specialists South and is located in Applecross.
My involvement in medical education includes an ongoing role as a college examiner, facilitating for the Anatomy of Complications workshops, and as a clinical teacher for medical students.
I am happily married, a proud parent and an avid cyclist and am always looking forward to conquering that next hill.
Why do we have obstetricians?
The answer is short, yet incredibly important: to prevent, if possible, adverse outcomes.
I am so glad and thankful to be living in the 21st century. Medical care has come a long way, particularly in the area of pregnancy. Outcomes are getting better and better.
A century ago, determined efforts were made to improve pregnancy outcomes. The most useful tool set up was Maternal Mortality Committees. They started in England and later spread all around the world.
The committee focussed on and reviewed the cause of all maternal deaths. Then they fed the information back to healthcare practitioners. The result was that more attention was paid to these causes. This led to progressive changes in practices and protocols, reducing the frequency of adverse outcomes. A similar committee focused on babies, also with amazing results.
Some people choose not to vaccinate their children. They only see the risk of vaccination and not the benefits, since the diseases that the vaccinations prevent are rare. Similarly, some people view obstetricians as people who interfere in a natural process, rather than someone who is actively seeking to prevent adverse outcomes.
Mother Nature is not kind, and is happy to accept adverse outcomes. When I care for you during labour, I am not happy with anything but the best outcome for you and your baby.
As an obstetrician caring for your pregnancy and delivery, I am delighted when we have a straightforward pregnancy and natural birth. This is also the most common outcome. That said, my role when caring for you is to constantly look five steps ahead. I watch out for every risk factor and potential problem — and head them off whenever possible.
When choosing an obstetrician to care for your pregnancy, respect and trust are essential, and that is a two-way street.
I will always respect your opinion and do my best to achieve your wishes. A big part of the journey of antenatal care is building your trust. That way, if I tell you that what you want is unlikely to be achieved, you should feel comfortable accepting and respecting my opinion. My opinion is based on vast experience and thorough consideration of your situation.
Pregnancies are often categorised as “high risk” or “low risk”. Low risk never means that there is no risk at all, just like high risk can be quite straightforward. Unfortunately, we cannot predict how a pregnancy will go. That is why I believe the best care comes from an experienced obstetrician.
What to expect when choosing Dr Chris Nichols as an obstetrician?Obstetrician Murdoch - rooms located at St John of God Murdoch Hospital
How to choose your obstetrician?
When choosing your obstetrician, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Choose someone that you trust, feel comfortable with, and who you enjoy seeing.
- Choose a practice where you feel welcome and cared for.
- Choose an obstetrician who is experienced and has an excellent professional reputation.
I am someone that you can trust. My staff are skilled, welcoming, and kind. I have over 20 years of experience as an obstetrician in Perth with excellent outcomes.
Natural birth vs c-section
I remember the first deliveries I was involved with as a medical student. After the first natural childbirth, I told my girlfriend at the time (now my wife), “You don’t ever want to do that!”
Just a couple of deliveries later, I was enamoured with the process and, to this day, I love delivering babies. It is an amazing experience and I look back on having our children as the most special days in my life. I am lucky to share that special experience with people every day.
So, what allowed me to get past my first impression? I saw women going through extreme pain (epidurals were less common then) and significant trauma. Tissues were stretched to and beyond their limits — vaginal tearing was the norm.
After a few deliveries, I saw beyond that. Instead, I witnessed the amazing transformation as the child transitions from the uterine environment out into the world. Then the baby starts interacting with this new world for the first time, usually by crying!
Alongside that, I saw the parents. They had that look of wondrous joy on their faces at that incredible moment when they met their new child. The same look that I know was on my own face when I had my children.
For more than a decade, and well into my training and practice as an obstetrician, I saw this wondrous process as being “right.” Simply because it was natural.
With time and experience, my views have changed. Vaginal birth is still awe-inspiring, but I see the same expression on the faces of women having elective caesarean sections. What I do not see with a c-section is the trauma to the pelvic floor. Trauma that is often accompanied by both short and long-term consequences, particularly prolapse.
Long-term consequences are the last thing on the mind of most women going through labour and delivery. Their focus is almost solely on the outcomes for their baby. My focus during labour is the outcome for both the mother and the baby.
Natural birth is not “natural.” It is simply the position that we have evolved to as a species. Mother nature is indifferent to long-term outcomes.
So how should you deliver? There is no easy answer. A big part of antenatal care is to assess your wishes and the clues that we get during your pregnancy. Based on this, we try to form an idea of how your labour is likely to go.
High-risk obstetrician Murdoch
As an obstetrician, I am skilled at evaluating both low-risk and high-risk obstetrics. With decades of experience, I have encountered most situations that can come my way.
I believe the true skill of an obstetrician is not just being able to deal with emergency situations. It is also being able to see a problem in advance and manage it before it has the chance to become an emergency.
Benefits of working with Dr Chris Nichols
I love my work, I love delivering babies, and I love sharing the joy of parenting with people every day.
I am highly experienced. I hope this gives you confidence in my capacity to guide our decisions about your care.
I am generous with my time.
I respect the financial cost to you of being cared for in the private sector at a private hospital. I try to limit its impact.
And maybe, hopefully, you might even enjoy my sense of humour.