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, your thoughts around place of birth, 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 anyone in your family has any mental health conditions.
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:
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 your and your baby's well-being. If you don’t have any specific complications with your health or wellbeing, your previous pregnancy history was straightforward and you are expecting one baby, you will be cared for by midwives and your GP throughout your pregnancy. This is called midwifery-led care or sometimes you may hear it referred to as shared care.
Our midwives work closely with the obstetricians (doctors who specialise in caring for women in pregnancy) and if at any point during your pregnancy either you or your baby develop a problem, or if you have any concerns, you will be referred to the hospital to see an obstetrician for a review.
If you have any existing medical conditions, previous pregnancy issues or any complications that arise during pregnancy, then you will see a doctor (an obstetrician) 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. We also have consultant midwives who may be involved in supporting your birth choices if needed.
You may also be referred to other specialists for their advice and support during your pregnancy, including fetal and maternal medicine specialists and anaesthetists.
From November 2022 you should now access urgent care when you have any pregnancy concerns using our maternity triage service. This service, which is available by downloading the Healthier Together app, will allow you to log any maternity concerns you may have during pregnancy and give you instant access to the help or advice you need.
The app will ask about your symptoms and it will then decide if you fall into a red, amber or green category. The outcomes of those categories are:
- Red: This is classed as an emergency and you will be advised to call 999
- Amber: You will be advised to call the maternity triage line if the concern is a maternity related or will be advised to contact your GP surgery or 111 if out of hours.
- Green: You will be given advice and information to self-care at home.
For both the red and amber categories you can press a button on the app and will be automatically connected to the service that has been recommended. All amber calls will be triaged by the midwives and, if required, you will be advised to attend your local Maternity Day Assessment Unit (MDAU).