During your pregnancy

It’s really important we see you regularly throughout your pregnancy. Your plan of care is in your handheld antenatal (yellow) notes, so remember to bring them when you see your midwife, consultant, or GP.

Appointments, check-ups, and clinics

Your first appointment

One of our midwives will see you for the first time at your booking appointment.

We’ll talk about your health and your medical history, and the types of care and support that’s right for you. Don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions.

We’ll also arrange your follow-up appointments, ultrasound scans, and screening tests.

You’ll also have a blood test to find out your blood group, and to check for signs of any blood disorders (including sickle cell and thalassemia), sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, or hepatitis.

Follow-up appointments

Over the next few months you’ll have regular check-ups to make sure you and your baby are doing well.

We’ll check your blood pressure and urine, and examine your abdomen.

Antenatal clinics are held at our main hospital sites and health clinics across our boroughs – which means you won’t have to travel far.

Depending on your health and medical history, you’ll see a midwife or consultant at each appointment.

Specialist antenatal clinics

Depending on your health, medical history, or needs, we'll book you into a specialist antennal clinic.

Your needs will be discussed at your booking appointment and during your ongoing care – just in case anything changes.

  • Joint endocrine antenatal clinic: for mums with diabetes, thyroid, or pituitary diseases
  • Joint obstetric haematology clinic: for mums with blood conditions like clotting disorders, severe anaemia, and other related illnesses.
  • African well women’s clinic: for mums of African origin with special health needs.
  • Bereavement clinic: for mums and dads who have had a pregnancy loss.
  • Early pregnacny unit (EPU): specialist care in the early stage of your pregnancy and you're experiencing problems.

Tests, scans, and screening

We want to make sure you and your baby are happy and healthy throughout your pregnancy.

Your midwife or consultant will talk you through each of our tests and scans.

Scans

Dating scans

A dating scan will give us an estimated due date. It’s painless, and is totally safe for you and your baby – you’ll even see their heartbeat.

Dating scans take place between 8 and 18 weeks.

Detailed ultrasound scans

A detailed ultrasound scan – sometimes called an anomaly scan – checks for possible physical problems.

We offer an anomaly scan to everyone, but not all mums take it. If you do decide to go ahead, it’ll happen between 19 and 22 weeks.

Screening for specific conditions

We can test to see if your baby has an increased chance of chromosomal conditions such as Down’s, Edwards, or Patau syndrome.

Screening will take place between 11 weeks and 14 weeks + 1 day.

If we do find that your baby has a higher risk, we’ll offer you further tests.

The quadruple test, where we test your baby’s blood, takes place between 14 weeks + 2 days and 20 weeks. The test screens for Down’s syndrome and disorders such as spina bifida.

Find out more at screening.nhs.uk.

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