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 an electronic customised growth chart. The chart is calculated using your height, weight, ethnic origin and details about any previous babies you may have had. The system will calculate your baby’s expected growth rate and indicate if further investigation or actions are required.

GROW 2.0 Leaflet [Perinatal Institute]

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

Choose the right service within Maternity

Our Midwives are always here to answer any concerns you may have, however we would like you to contact the professional or department most appropriate for the concern you have.

Choosing the right service
I want to rearrange my appointment / scan

Antenatal Clinic (ANC): 01270 273127
(Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4:30pm, excluding Bank Holidays)

I cannot contact my Community Midwife

Community Midwives Office: 01270 612177
Your call or e-mail will be responded to within 72 hours

I would like to reserve a birthing pool for a homebirth Midwifery Led Unit: 01270 278063
I have symptoms of a chest / ear / throat infection / diarrhoea / illness not associated with pregnancy

NHS 111 via telephone or online

GP or out of hours service

I need a repeat prescription

Prescriptions given by Triage, Maternity Ward or ANC contact ANC: 01270 612171, (Mon–Fri, 8.30am – 4.30pm excluding bank holidays)
Prescriptions given by your GP, contact your GP surgery
Diabetes medication, contact the Diabetes Specialist Nurses

I have one of the following concerns:

  • Bleeding
  • Falls/accident
  • My waters have broken (with or without contractions)
  • Abdominal pain / injury
  • A reduction in my baby’s movements or a change in the pattern of movements
  • A urine infection not getting better with treatment by my GP
  • I think I am in labour (less than 37 weeks)
  • Headaches and visual disturbances
  • Itching all the time, particularly on my hands and feet
  • An immediate concerns relating to my pregnancy
  • Unusual calf pain

Triage can advise on pregnancy related concerns from 16 weeks gestation, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (similar to an Emergency Department). Triage: 01270 273116

We prefer if you telephone first so we can plan your care and advise you appropriately. However, you are welcome to come to Triage without ringing first if you would feel more comfortable to do so.

I have unusual chest pain Attend the Emergency Department immediately
I have had my baby and have concerns about myself and/or my baby

For urgent concerns dial 999.
Immediate concerns, Ward 23: 01270 612187 (24 hours a day)
Non immediate concerns/rearranging a postnatal visit,

I am in labour (37 weeks+)

Depending where you are planning to have your baby, contact:
Labour Ward, Triage: 01270 273116
Midwife Led Unit: 01270 278063

I have concerns about my baby's feeding Your named Midwife's mobile number can be found in your hand held notes or you can contact the office to speak to a Midwife or Community Support Worker: 01270 612171