Alert (Information)

Pregnant people are entitled to paid time off work to attend antenatal care. For more information please visit the website about Pregnant employees' rights. This also gives information about maternity benefits and leave entitlement.

Your first appointment

At the start of your pregnancy, during your first visit your Midwife will make an assessment based on your previous and current medical history and pregnancy history, as well as any social and mental health needs. 

Dependent on the outcome of your assessment, you will be allocated to either high risk or low risk care. Your care will be planned ensuring that you receive any additional scans or appointments with an Obstetrician if required. The Antenatal Pathways below show additional care you may require depending on your medical or pregnancy needs.

Throughout your pregnancy you will be offered regular appointments with your Midwife. Your care will be designed around your individual needs, although there are a minimum number of times it is recommended that you are seen. These appointments check that you and your baby are healthy and that any problems can be picked up as early as possible. Information about your appointments and what will be discussed can be found in the NICE Schedule of antenatal appointments.

For further information about your antenatal care visit: NHS Choices, Your antenatal care.

We understand that on some occasions you may wish to request a different Midwife to care for you. This can be accommodated by speaking to one of the Community Midwife Managers. Please e-mail with your contact details, asking to speak to a Manager. 

It is important that your baby’s growth is monitored accurately during pregnancy. Your Midwife will assess your risk of having a small or growth restricted baby, and will arrange regular ultrasound scans if you have any risk factors.

If you have no risk factors, your baby’s growth is assessed by measuring your abdomen. These measurements will begin to be plotted at you first appointment after 26 weeks.

All measurements are plotted onto a customised growth chart. The chart is calculated using your height, weight, ethnic origin and details about any previous babies you may have had. The chart shows your baby’s expected growth curve and as your baby grows, the measurements should be similar to the slope of the curves of the chart.

Personalised care planning

During your pregnancy we will continuously assess you and your baby to ensure that we provide the appropriate care. Your Midwife will discuss an individual plan of care with you and together you will agree the pattern of your appointments. If at booking or during your pregnancy, any risk factors are identified, you will be referred to an Obstetrician to further plan your care.

For women with health and pregnancy related conditions additional appointments are required. These are outlined in our antenatal care pathways.

Terms you may hear

During your pregnancy you may hear terms and not know what they mean, we have listed some below with an explanation to help.

Antenatal  Time before birth while being pregnant
Intrapartum Time during labour and birth
Postnatal Time immediately after birth
Perinatal Covers antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal period
ANDAU Antenatal Day Assessment Unit

Cardiotograph (CTG)

Electronic monitoring of your baby's heart rate
Obstetrician A Doctor specialising in care during pregnancy and the early postnatal period.
Screening tests Investigations and tests for you and your baby to assess for potential medical conditions or problems