Antenatal Care

For urgent pregnancy problems before 12 weeks, please ring (01223) 217636.

After 12 weeks, the maternofetal assessment unit can be contacted on (01223) 217626. They are open from 08:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday.

At all other times, please ring the surgery number on (01353) 669923

If you know you are pregnant please make a booking appointment to see the Midwife by calling  01223 348981

As pregnancy is usually a state of good health most antenatal care is given by the Midwife, who will advise you if you need to see your doctor and will arrange all the necessary blood tests and hospital visits. Antenatal care monitors your health during pregnancy, as well as the health and development of your baby. It can help predict possible problems with your pregnancy or the birth, so action can be taken to avoid or treat them.

You can use the midwife appointments to ask any questions you may have and to share any concerns. If you need advice between appointments, please call your midwife or if unable to contact or an emergency call the practice.

Unless there's a problem with your pregnancy, most of your antenatal care will probably not take place at the hospital. You might go to the hospital's antenatal clinic if your doctor or midwife suggests an appointment with an obstetrician; you may also be asked to go there for antenatal appointments towards the end of your pregnancy.

What happens?

Your first antenatal appointment will probably be your booking appointment and usually happens between 8-12 weeks. This is done at home by a community midwife.

If you plan to have your baby at home, you'll almost certainly have this appointment at home or at Cathedral Medical Centre.

You'll be asked a number of questions about your health, family history and any previous pregnancies. The aim is to get a basic picture of your health and your pregnancy so far.

The midwife might discuss issues such as diet, smoking and work; she may also ask about your thoughts on breast or bottle feeding and give you information on these.

You don't have to make up your mind on this or on any other matter, but it's a good chance to ask questions and clear up anything you're worried about.

You may be asked to give a blood and urine sample at this appointment, you may also be weighed.

Routine checks at other appointments are likely to include:

  • Blood pressure
  • Weight
  • Palpation of your abdomen
  • Listening to your baby's heart - this is done with a Doppler, which uses ultrasound
  • Questions about your baby's movements
  • Urine tests
  • Checking for any swelling in your legs, arms or face
  • Questions about how you feel

How often?

Not counting appointments for scans or other hospital tests, you can expect to have appointments every four- six weeks after week 12, every two weeks from week 32, and every week during the last three or four weeks.

This varies, so please ask your midwife for your likely schedule.

The midwifes hold regular clinics at the Medical Centre.

Your notes

You will be given your handheld notes to look after. Your midwife and doctor should write their findings in your notes. If you see something you can't read or don't understand - ask them about it.


And finally here are some good links with sensible preconception advice and information on your following pregnancy.

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