Congratulations on your pregnancy!
If during your booking appointment, your Community Midwife assessed your pregnancy as being low risk, the lead professional caring for you and your baby will be your named Midwife and her team.
Midwifery led care has been associated with several benefits for both you and your baby, including:
- A reduction in the use of epidurals
- Fewer episiotomies
- Fewer instrumental births (using forceps or vaccum)
- The chances of having a spontaneous vaginal birth is increased
Throughout you pregnancy you will be invited to attend routine antenatal care appointments that will be carried out by your named Community Midwife or a member of her team. As part of your care, you will also be offered two appointments at the hospital for ultrasound scans, should you wish to have them.
This is an option for you to consider and offered to all women. The purpose of the dating scan is to check:
- How many weeks pregnant you are and when your baby is due
- If you are expecting more than one baby
- That your baby is growing in the right place
- Your baby’s development
Following your dating scan, you will also see a Midwife, who will ensure that all the necessary information is within your notes and that you’re aware of the subsequent appointments and tests you will be offered.
Please be aware, this appointment will take a couple of hours, so please allow plenty of time.
Anomaly (also known as Anatomy) scan
This detailed ultrasound scan is carried out when you’re between 18 and 20+6 weeks pregnant. It’s offered to everyone, but you don’t have to have it if you don’t want to.
However, it’s particularly important to locate the position of the placenta and to rule out any abnormalities. This scan checks for major physical abnormalities in your baby – although it’s not always possible to pick up every concern.
It’s at this scan that you may ask to find out the sex of your baby. It’s worth noting though, that it’s not always possible to find this out, as your baby may not be lying in the appropriate position. You also have the option to buy copies of your scan photographs.
If your Midwife has any concerns during your pregnancy, they will refer you to a consultant, or a member of their team for their opinion.
If this is on-going, you will remain under the care of the consultant obstetric team for the rest of your pregnancy and delivery. If the concern is resolved, the consultant will refer you back to Midwifery-led care.
At 36 weeks of pregnancy, your Community midwife will discuss your birth plan with you – although you are welcome to discuss this with the team earlier than this if you like. If you’d like to have a home birth, your Community Midwife will arrange for you to have a home birth assessment carried out at 37 weeks or before.
If you go into labour naturally after 37 weeks, with no added complications, you will remain on the Midwifery-led care pathway/ A Midwife will give you one-to-one support during your labour and delivery.
If concerns arise, you can very easily be transferred to a Consultant-led care pathway. The Consultant and the on-call Obstetric Team will be involved in the planning of your care and will review your progress on a regular basis.
In the hospital, after your baby has been born, the midwives will come and visit you on the ward to carry out regular postnatal and baby checks. They’ll assist you with feeding and offer other practical support.
Before you’re discharged and able to go home, your baby will be offered a hearing screening test and a neonatal examination, which checks their eyes, heart, hips, etc. This check is usually performed by a Paediatrician or specifically trained Midwife. When you’re discharged will be agreed between you and your Midwife, and it could be as early as six hours after you have had your baby.
At home, your named Community Midwife or a member of the Community Midwifery team will visit you the following day, and they will perform a postnatal examination and baby check to assess the wellbeing of you and your baby. They will also offer you support with feeding your baby, as well as giving you practical advice on safe sleeping, practical baby care and registering your baby’s birth.
You’ll also be invited to attend a clinic appointment on day five, where your baby will be weighed again and have their neonatal blood spot screening test done. You may also have a postnatal examination from the Midwife.
Provided there are no complications and your baby is back to their birth weight – or every close to it – and the umbilical cord has come off on or around day ten, you and your baby can be discharged from Midwifery care, to the care of your GP and Health Visitor.
Rule of the Midwifery Support Worker
During your pregnancy, if you require additional one-to-one support, you may encounter one of our Midwifery Support Workers.
The role of the Midwifery Support Worker is continually evolving. They can provide social support, parenting support, feeding support and baby care support.
You may receive a visit from them or be invited to one of their clinics in the postnatal period in order to have the baby weighed and neonatal blood screening performed.