Antenatal care

Your first appointment

Once you decide that you would like to have your baby with us we will arrange your first appointment with a midwife and together you will start planning your antenatal care. This appointment is known as your booking appointment and will usually take place between 9-10 weeks pregnancy.

At your appointment you will be given the contact details of your named midwife who will have overall responsibility for co-ordinating your pregnancy care and supporting your care choices.

The booking appointment will take place at your local GP surgery or Family Centre, in your home or in one of our antenatal clinics. At this appointment the midwife will take a detailed medical and social history, including details of any previous pregnancies. At the appointment you will have an opportunity to  discuss whether you would prefer to have your baby at home, at our birth centre or at our delivery suite. This choice is dependent on your pregnancy history and medical history.

The midwife will also discuss with you whether you would like to have any antenatal screening tests we offer.

Your antenatal care

Your appointments are flexible. You will be given your maternity notes at your booking appointment and you should take them with you when you go to see your midwife, GP or attend the hospital for any reason. These maternity notes are a confidential record of the antenatal care you receive while you are pregnant. They contain valuable information that relates to your pregnancy and are designed to keep you informed. There is also a section for you to write information about your birth preferences. After your baby is born, your notes will be retained by the hospital where you had your baby.

Your antenatal care is usually provided by a team of midwives. If everything is normal during your pregnancy, you will follow the routine schedule of antenatal care. You will have blood tests and a urine sample taken at your booking appointment. View the screening tests leaflet (available in different languages). Routine blood tests will be repeated at 28 weeks to check for anaemia and also for antibodies.

There are also vaccinations that we advise women to have during pregnancy. Please view the Public Health England leaflets.

At 36 weeks you will be asked about your birthing preferences. Please make use of the 'birth plan' section of your notes and discuss your thoughts with your midwife at this appointment. You may wish to access other resources when planning your birth. We recommend you use Mum & baby app. This free app will help you create a personalised birth plan to reflect your birth preferences.

Women who have had a baby previously will be seen less frequently; women experiencing complications will be seen more often. If complications arise or if you have a known medical problem the midwives will refer you to an obstetrician who will then become the lead professional in your care. The midwife may also refer you to other professional colleagues such as an anaesthetist, physiotherapist, dietician, or psychologist during your pregnancy.

Women who have previously had a Caesarean section or traumatic birth may be invited to our birth options clinic to explore the birth choices for their current pregnancy.

We also offer a wide range of parent education workshops for women and their partners, the details of which can be found here.

How to get help

Refer yourself