Pregnancy

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.

Ante-natal & Post-natal Care

Introduction

This page details the medical staff that will be involved in looking after you when you are pregnant.

General Practitioner

Your GP will probably confirm your pregnancy and will refer you to the hospital in which you will have your baby and help you plan your antenatal care. Your GP and midwife will be responsible for all or part of your antenatal care. Post-natal care will also be provided by your GP with a final check at 8 weeks after you have your baby.

Community Midwife

Your midwife has been specially trained to care for mothers and babies throughout normal pregnancy, labour and birth.

Midwives are involved in giving antenatal care, attending home births and delivering babies in hospital. Your midwife will also look after you at home until they hands over your care to a health visitor at between 10 and 28 days after the birth of your baby.

If you wish to have a home birth you will need to arrange this with your midwife.

Health Visitor

A health visitor is a fully qualified nurse who has extra training in caring for people in the community.

Her role is to help families, especially those with very young children, to keep healthy. Your health visitor will visit you at home sometime after your baby is 10 days old.

She will give you information about feeding as well as general health and safety. She can also offer advice and give support if you have any problems.

Our practice nurses are also there to administer vaccination and a doctor to see babies for their 6-week check and any other medical queries relating to child development and well being. Please remember it is not a clinic for ill babies!

Hospital Clinics

When you attend the hospital clinic you may see an obstetrician, who is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy, labour and birth. They will have special expertise in dealing with any complications in any of these areas.

You will see the radiographer who usually does any ultrasound scans that you have when you are pregnant.

You may also see a paediatrician who is a doctor who specialises in the care of babies and children.

After the baby is born, a paediatrician will check to see that there is nothing wrong with your baby before you leave hospital.

If you are unable to attend any booked appointment please remember to let the hospital or practice know as soon as you can.