At the booking meeting
The first meeting with the midwife usually takes place in your local GP practice or health centre. Your community midwife will discuss options for pregnancy care, antenatal screening tests and scans and give you advice on lifestyle and how to maintain your health and wellbeing during your pregnancy.
It's important to tell your midwife or doctor if:
- There were any complications or infections in a previous pregnancy or delivery, such as pre-eclampsia or premature birth.
- You are being treated for a chronic disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- You or anyone in your family have previously had a baby with an abnormality, for example spina bifida.
- There is a family history of an inherited disease, for example sickle cell or cystic fibrosis.
If the information gathered at this meeting suggests that your pregnancy is at ‘low risk’ of complications then you will be cared for the team of midwives that covers your local area. You can, if you wish, have some of your pregnancy care appointments with your GP.
If we find anything in your medical or previous pregnancy history then your midwife can refer you to an obstetrician for further disucssion.
You also have the opportunity access an early pregnancy information class which provides you with additional information on all the different choices surrounding pregnancy.
The booking meeting will decide whether you will be given:
Midwifery led care
Whilst you are pregnant, every time you see your doctor or midwife they will be checking to make sure that everything is going well.
At each antenatal visit, the midwife will check you and your baby's well being. If your pregnancy is normal then we call this 'low risk' and the midwives and your GP would care you for throughout your pregnancy. This is called midwifery led care or sometimes you may hear it referred to as shared care.
If at any point during your pregnancy either you or baby develop a problem, then you will be referred to the hospital to see an obstetrician for an opinion.
If you are under midwifery led care, then you have a further choice in deciding where you would like to give birth to your baby.
- At home.
- In the homely birthing suites in the hospital.
Consultant led care
If you have any existing medical conditions or any problems are found, then you will see a doctor who will discuss a plan with you to make sure you and your baby remain safe. The midwives and the hospital doctors would care for you and this is called consultant led care.
Obstetricians are registered medical doctors who specialise in pregnancies and births which have become complicated. If the medical condition is not likely to affect the pregnancy the obstetrician may suggest that the midwife provides most of your antenatal care and will only need to see you if any problems arise.
If you do require your care to be planned in conjunction with an obstetric consultant, we take your wishes into consideration and try to actively promote a positive birth experience.
Before your booking appointment
Please read the information on the below links before your booking appointment:
- Screening tests information (NHS CHoices)
- Downs syndrome
- Infectious diseases (HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B)
- Sickle cell disease
- Screening tests for you and your baby (NHS CHoices)