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.
You can book an appointment with your GP or directly with your midwife as soon as you know that you’re pregnant. Your GP surgery or a Children’s Centre can put you in touch with your nearest midwifery service.
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, should be done before you’re 10 weeks pregnant.
If you have special health needs, your midwife, GP or obstetrician may take shared responsibility for your maternity care. This means they will all see you during your pregnancy.
Let your midwife know if you have a disability that means you have special requirements for your antenatal appointments or for labour. If you don’t speak English, let your midwife know and arrangements will be made.
If you’re expecting your first child, you’ll have up to 10 antenatal appointments. If you’ve had a baby before, you’ll have around seven antenatal appointments. Under certain circumstances, for example if you develop a medical condition, you may have more.
Early in your pregnancy, your midwife or doctor will give you written information about how many appointments you’re likely to have and when they’ll happen. You should have a chance to discuss the schedule with them. If you can’t keep an antenatal appointment, let the clinic or midwife know and make another appointment.
Your appointments can take place at your home, in a Children’s Centre, in your GP surgery or in hospital. You will usually go to the hospital for your scans. Your antenatal appointments should take place in a setting where you feel able to discuss sensitive issues that may affect you, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental illness or drugs.
To give you the best pregnancy care, your midwife will ask you many questions about your health, your family’s health and your preferences. Your midwife will do some checks and tests, some of which will be done throughout your pregnancy. The results of these tests may affect your choices later in pregnancy, so it’s important not to miss them.
Contact your GP or midwife as soon as possible after you find out that you're pregnant.
They should give you information about:
folic acid supplements
nutrition, diet and food hygiene
lifestyle factors – such as smoking, drinking and recreational drug use
antenatal screening tests
It's important to tell the doctor if:
There was a complication in a previous pregnancy.
You are being treated for a chronic condition disease or if there is family history of any disease