Your maternity care is very important and your maternity team is there for you if you have any concerns or worries. Attending regular appointments will give you and your baby the best chance of staying healthy throughout your pregnancy, birth and beyond.
When you first register your pregnancy, you will be allocated to a midwife who will care for you during your pregnancy, labour and following the birth of your baby. Midwives are health professionals who specialise in caring for women and babies during birth and pregnancy and support your health and wellbeing throughout.
Ante – happens before (Latin)
Natal – to do with birth (from Latin, natalis)
Antenatal care – the appointments and procedures you have during pregnancy
Appointments will be:
- with your midwife or a member of the midwifery team
- with a sonographer for ultrasound scans.
You may also see:
- an obstetrician (doctor specialising in pregnancy and birth conditions)
- other specialists.
You will be informed about how to keep yourself and baby as safe as possible, including:
- lifestyle choices to stay well and support your baby to grow
- getting to know your baby’s movements
- knowing the warning signs to report straight away during pregnancy.
In Kent and Medway, your antenatal care is based on national recommendations and will include:
- a booking appointment where your midwife will discuss your health and wellbeing in-depth to plan your antenatal care
- a scan to date the pregnancy, detect twin pregnancies and check your baby is growing well
- any pregnancy screening you choose to have
- a scan for baby at around 20 weeks to check their development
- blood tests to check your iron levels and general health
- blood pressure and urine checks
- checks to ensure baby is growing as expected (measurements or scans).
How antenatal appointments are arranged can differ between each hospital and the midwifery team. Your midwife will provide you with information on your planned appointments at your first booking appointment. This plan will remain flexible as your pregnancy progresses.
Here is the full list of all the appointments you can expect in pregnancy.
In the most straightforward cases, a midwife can provide all the care needed for you and your baby for pregnancy, birth and the early weeks. Often, other professionals will get involved depending on what is needed. Meet the team explains the role of the obstetrician, physiotherapist and others.