Preparing for Pregnancy

If this is your first baby or if you have had problems with a previous pregnancy or if you or your partner have any health concerns e.g. diabetes, it is a good idea to see your GP for a pre-conception check up.

This is also the time to discuss any long-term medication that you are taking and to arrange to have a blood test to check whether you are immune to German measles (rubella). If you are not immune you can be vaccinated but you should not become pregnant until the vaccine virus has cleared from your blood stream, which takes about 3 months.

If you are from an African, Afro-Caribbean or Asian ethnic background it is a good idea for you and your partner to have a sickle cell test to see if you are carriers for the gene for sickle cell disease.

All patients are tested during pregnancy (unless they choose to opt out) for HIV, Hepatitis B & C and Syphilis - However if you think you may be at risk, it is a good idea to have these tests before pregnancy.

Antenatal Care

When you become pregnant, you will need to make an appointment to see your midwife at the surgery. Please arrange this with the receptionist.

First appointment with the midwife

At your first appointment with the midwife, arrangements will be made for you to be seen at your home. The midwife will complete the pregnancy notes with you, which you then keep for the remainder of your pregnancy. You can discuss where you would prefer to have your baby. The differences in the facilities provided will be explained.

The blood screening tests will be explained to you and you will be given information about these to help you to make your decision. The midwife will inform you when these tests are necessary.

Information about the midwifery service will be given to you including the patterns of care and where you may go to have your care.

You will be invited to free 'parentcraft' sessions, which are held in the evenings. These sessions are organised by the midwives and health visitors and will help to prepare you for labour and bringing your baby home.

Who are the Midwives & Health Visitors in my area?

Please click here for information and contact numbers for the midwives and health visitors in your area.

Postnatal Care

When you go home after having your baby, your midwife will visit you the next day. She will continue to visit as necessary.

Your doctor will also need to come and see you when your baby is five to seven days old to check that you are both recovering well from the birth. Don’t forget to register your baby with the doctor.

We don’t want to burden you with visits and so you will need to telephone the surgery to request a visit from your doctor on a day when the midwife will not be calling. Please check with your midwife!

Please try to give the surgery some notice of this rather than call on the day the visit is needed as it helps your doctor to plan his/her visits.

During the first few weeks after birth, both your midwife and health visitor will be able to offer advice and support.

Who are the Midwives & Health Visitors in my area?

Please click here for information and contact numbers for the midwives and health visitors in your area.