During your pregnancy you will have a named community midwife who will provide most of your antenatal care at your GP surgery.
Your handheld pregnancy notes will be given to you the first time you see your community midwife. These notes are a record of your pregnancy and should be carried with you at all times, including if you go on holiday. They also provide very useful information to help you understand your pregnancy.
Your handheld notes should be taken with you to any antenatal appointment, including with the midwife, GP, antenatal clinic, health in pregnancy support etc.
During this first appointment, your medical, family and pregnancy history will be discussed and choices for your care will be offered, with referrals made appropriately. A personalised care plan will be developed, centred on yourself, your baby and your family, based around your needs and your decisions, enabling you to have genuine choices informed by unbiased information.
Other things we will discuss with you are:
- Birth place choice (consultant led care, midwifery led care, home birth)
- Scans of your baby
- Blood and urine tests
- Further appointments appropriate to your needs
- Vaccines offered to you later in your pregnancy
- Diet and lifestyle, including taking pregnancy vitamins
- Exercise in pregnancy
- Smoking and support available to quit
- Employment rights and maternity benefits
- A urine sample bottle will be provided at this appointment for you to bring a urine specimen to all of your antenatal appointments.
Following on from your booking appointment, you will be offered regular appointments from the health professionals involved in your care. These appointments are to check that you and your baby are well, give you support and information about your pregnancy and help you make informed choices.
How often these appointments are will vary for each woman. For example, you could see a midwife more in your first pregnancy than in your second, and the frequency of appointments may need to be adjusted if circumstances change throughout your pregnancy. Your handheld notes will include a pregnancy planner page where you can see the minimum number of times you should be offered appointments and at which point in your pregnancy.
Other conversations you may have with your community midwife during these appointments are:
- Plans for pregnancy and parenthood
- Where to have your baby
- Preferences for labour and birth and discussing a birth plan
- Infant feeding and baby care
Remember: You must bring your handheld notes and a urine sample to every appointment you attend.