So, you’ve just checked your pregnancy test, and it’s positive! What next? Research prams? Stock up on pregnancy products, such as the My Expert Midwife range? Have a look at the latest cots? Subscribe to Mother & Baby magazine?
Well, you can do all of the above, but at some point you need to make an appointment with a midwife who will organise all your scans, blood tests and hospital appointments. The midwife will also inform you of all the important things regarding your pregnancy along with choices for you and your baby’s care.
If you’ve decided to book for private midwifery care you can locate your nearest private, or ‘Independent Midwife’ through a google search or by searching the Independent Midwives UK register.
If you’ve decided to book with NHS care then you need to contact your local GP surgery and request to book an appointment with the midwife attached to that practice. It’s important that you let the receptionist know that this will be your first appointment with the midwife and also, how far along you think you are*.
This appointment lasts anything from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. There’s lots of information being given out and much information that your midwife will need. If you have children that you feel may distract you during this appointment it may be wise to arrange childcare.
What You Need to Bring
- Any medications that you may be taking
- Any early ultrasound scan reports that you may have
Arrive 5 or 10 minutes early so that you can provide a urine sample and ensure that the surgery has your correct contact details.
Research to Do Beforehand
- Where you would like to give birth; home, birth centre, consultant led unit
- Birth Choice UK website has lots of information on each hospital’s maternity care including statistics for types of birth
- Have a look at the different types of pregnancy screening tests that each hospital offers. Many offer blood tests to assess your level of risk of carrying a baby with chromosomal abnormalities
Information You’ll Be Asked to Provide
- Your medical history; whether you have any medical problems currently or in the past
- Your family history of any conditions, such as diabetes, birth defects etc.
- Your partner’s family history
- Any allergies that you may have; what they are and how it affects you
- Previous birth history including any complications during pregnancy, birth and with your baby
- An accurate birth weight or your previous births and the stage of pregnancy at which you gave birth (for example, 41 weeks and 3 days)
- The first day of your last menstrual period. If you’re unsure just give them the earliest possible date that it could be.
What Your Midwife Will Want to Know
- Where you would like to give birth, have your scans and any blood tests
- Whether there are any unresolved psychological issues regarding previous births as she may be able to offer referral for birth debriefing
Each clinic is different and some will wish to take blood samples at this appointment to check your blood group, iron levels, check for certain viruses and infections, amongst other things
What Information Your Midwife Will Give You
- What foods to eat and which to avoid (NHS Choices has some excellent information)
- What kind of exercise is best for you
- Vitamin supplements that are advised in pregnancy (NHS Choices has some excellent information)
- Information regarding immunisations during pregnancy such as the flu vaccine and whooping cough vaccine
- Detailed information on the screening tests for chromosomal abnormalities that are offered by the NHS
- Information on infant feeding choices
- Information on the availability of antenatal education classes and how to book them
- Information on smoking and alcohol in pregnancy
- Advice and information on medications that are generally felt to be safe in pregnancy that you may be offered
- Information regarding the dating scan; what the measurements mean and what further tests may be necessary
- A list of the appointments you can expect to have throughout your pregnancy
- A discussion around the type of care that would best suit you; midwifery led care or consultant led care
- An explanation of the specialist referrals that may need to be sent and tests that may be required later in pregnancy