Let a Midwife Know You’re Pregnant

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If you have recently found out you’re pregnant, your local maternity team would like to know as soon as possible as there are midwives ready to support you.

It can be tricky to know who to contact first regarding your pregnancy, but if you haven’t done so already, the best place to start is by completing a self-referral form from your local maternity service. By completing a short, online form, you are making the local team aware of your pregnancy and appointments can then be planned, offered, and scheduled.

The first appointment will be offered to you at around 8-12 weeks of pregnancy. You don’t need to contact your GP unless you have any existing medical conditions, where your medication may need to be reviewed or additional support may be required. However, if you have any concerns regarding your health or wellbeing – or that of your baby – before your first midwife appointment, do contact your GP surgery for assistance.

Booking Appointment

The first appointment is known as the booking appointment. This is the first time you meet your midwife, discuss your pregnancy, have an opportunity to ask any questions, and perhaps share any concerns you may have. Don’t worry if you forget anything at this appointment. There will be plenty of other occasions to talk with your midwife and other health professionals throughout your pregnancy.

One of the purposes of the booking appointment is to begin to piece together a suitable care plan that is individual to you. To create this plan, the midwife will ask you lots of questions about yourself, such as your medical history, your lifestyle and any previous pregnancies. These questions help the maternity team get to know you a little more and understand how best to support you.

Your maternity notes will also be given to you at this appointment. These notes are important and should be taken to every appointment during your pregnancy. Every scan and test result will be recorded in your notes to build a picture of your health and the health of your growing baby – or babies – as your pregnancy progresses.

Your midwife will also provide you with a maternity prescription exemption application form to complete, which means you can claim free prescriptions and dental treatment until your baby is 12 months old.

Care Pathways

There are two different types of care pathways available to you from your maternity care provider. A Midwife-led pathway and a Consultant-led pathway.

The booking appointment will be the time your midwife will discuss with you which pathway is best suited to meet your needs. This pathway may evolve and adapt to your requirements throughout your pregnancy. Don’t worry if things change, your midwife is there to re-assess and develop your pathway with you.

A Midwife

Midwives provide care and support throughout pregnancy, labour and during the period after a babyʼs birth. This care and support extends to the whole family. Midwives provide care in hospital and at home.

A Consultant

A consultant, sometimes called an ʻobstetricianʼ is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth. Your midwife or GP will refer you to an obstetrician if they have any concerns about your pregnancy or if you require further support due to existing medical conditions.

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