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Antenatal Care

Telling your GP and/or Midwife promptly will help to make sure you receive maternity healthcare that takes into account all your health needs and preferences. 

As soon as you’re pregnant, tell a midwife or your GP.

The earlier you do this, the better, so that you can be booked in for your first scan. You don’t have to tell your friends and family at this stage if you don’t want to, but you should tell a midwife or your GP. You can self-refer directly to a midwife by ringing your local antenatal clinic or by visiting the hospital’s website (use links below) and filling in the self-referral form:

You can get a full pregnancy guide on NHS UK and Emma’s Diary and they cover all aspects of getting pregnant, pregnancy, labour and birth, your newborn, babies and toddlers.

It’s best to see them as early as possible to obtain the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy, and because some tests, such as screening for sickle cell and thalassaemia should be done before you’re 10 weeks’ pregnant.

Midwife

The Midwife works with the Doctor to give care to women having a baby, both before birth and for ten days after the baby is delivered. Antenatal appointments are now generally provided by the Midwife at the Hospital or satellite clinic. For further information please contact your Practice.

The role of the midwife

A Midwife is a qualified nurse who has undertaken further training to provide and promote normal midwifery.

They help you to prepare for motherhood and promote good health for yourself and your baby by advising on the effects of drinking, smoking and good diet whilst you are pregnant.

The Midwife guides you through your pregnancy and endeavours to detect any problems and make relevant referrals if necessary.

Healthy Start

Healthy Start is a government scheme that aims to improve the health of pregnant women and mothers on benefits or low incomes, all pregnant women under 18 years of age and children who are under 5 years of age. Families who are supported by the scheme receive vouchers to spend on milk (including infant formula), fresh fruit and vegetables.

Your antenatal care

When you first learn that you’re pregnant, get in touch with a Midwife or GP as soon as possible. Ideally this should be by 10 weeks of your pregnancy. Telling your GP and/or Midwife promptly will help to make sure you receive maternity healthcare that takes into account all your health needs and preferences.

Further information available from NHS UK

Birth to Five information