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Care during your pregnancy

You’ll have a number of antenatal appointments and see various healthcare professionals as part of your pregnancy care. You’ll see a midwife, or sometimes a doctor, and your appointments might include blood pressure and urine tests.

Please note we do not allow children to come to antenatal scans or appointments within the antenatal clinic or day assessment unit.

What to expect from your first midwife (booking) appointment

Your first appointment usually happens when you’re 8 to 12 weeks pregnant and lasts around an hour.

The midwife will:

  • ask you about your pregnancy, medical and social history
  • discuss the type of care available to you (midwifery-led or consultant-led), depending on the history you give
  • tell you about the types of tests and screens you can have.

They may also do some blood pressure and urine tests, and discuss signs and symptoms of what to look out for in pregnancy and who to call if concerned.

We’ll offer you blood screening tests for things like sickle cell, thalassaemia, hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis.

Find out more about what to expect from your first appointment

Personalised care plan

Based on the information you give them, they’ll work with you to put together a personalised care plan based on your individual needs.

Watch the video below which explains more about personalised care plans.

Maternity notes

We’ll give you these at the end of your appointment to keep with you during your pregnancy. Bring them with you when you see your midwife, GP or attend the hospital for any reason.

Midwives and doctors will write about each visit you have and make sure you have access to your test results.

After your baby is born, we will keep your notes.

Booking your antenatal and screening appointments

After your first appointment, we’ll ask you to make future antenatal appointments, including optional screening tests.

If you can not make an appointment or need to change the time, call your GP surgery, community midwife, or the antenatal clinic on 01296 838888.

Where will I have my antenatal appointments?

Either at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a children’s centre
  • one of our antenatal clinics in Amersham, Stoke Mandeville or Wycombe Hospital.

This will depend on where you live and if you’re seeing your community midwife or one of the doctors in our obstetric teams.

Screening tests

At various stages during your pregnancy, we’ll offer you several screening tests to check for health conditions that could affect you or your baby. You can choose if you want to have any of these tests or not.

Tests include:

Watch the video below to find out which tests you can have and when.

More language options for this video

When you’ll have your antenatal and screening appointments

The information below gives you an overview of what to expect. If your pregnancy is more complicated, your appointments may differ.

From 11 weeks (also known as the 12-week scan)

We’ll offer you an ultrasound scan at Stoke Mandeville Hospital or Wycombe Hospital to estimate when your baby is due.

We’ll also:

It’s your choice if you have these screening tests. You can choose to screen for:

  • all 3 conditions
  • Down’s only
  • Edward’s Patau’s syndrome only
  • none of the conditions.

The screening test doesn’t tell you if your baby has one of these conditions, but it will tell you if you have a higher or lower chance of your baby one of them. You may need to make further decisions about your care depending on the result of these tests.

Find out more about what your results may mean.

16 weeks

Your midwife will check your:

  • blood pressure
  • urine for protein
  • results from any screening tests
  • wellbeing as well as your baby’s

18  to 20 weeks

We’ll offer you a detailed scan of your baby at Stoke Mandeville Hospital or Wycombe Hospital to check your baby’s physical development.

This appointment is also called ‘the 20-week scan.’

25 weeks (only if this is your first baby)

We’ll test your blood pressure and urine for protein, as well as the health and wellbeing of your baby. We will discuss the importance of fetal movements with you and who/where to call if you have any concerns. Find out more about how feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well. 

If you notice your baby is moving less than usual or if you have noticed a change in the pattern of movements – you need to contact your Midwife, the Day Assessment Unit (DAU) or the Labour Ward (if out of hours).

The contact numbers are as follows;

  • Midwife – Your midwife will have written her contact number on the front page of the green booklet in your handheld maternity notes
  • Day Assessment Unit– 01296 316106
  • Labour Ward– 01296 316103

28 weeks

Your midwife will do the same checks as the 25 week appointment. They’ll also:

  • offer you more screening tests
  • check for anaemia
  • measure the size of your uterus

31 weeks (only if this is your first baby)

We’ll do the same checks as we did at 25 weeks.

34 and 36 weeks

We’ll do the same checks as we did at 25 weeks and discuss your labour and birth, as well as postnatal care.

We’ll also help you make a final decision about where your baby will be born.

38 weeks

We’ll do the same checks as we did at 25 weeks, and talk to you about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.

40 weeks (only if this is your first baby)

We’ll do the same checks as we did at 25 weeks and offer you a membrane sweep.

41 weeks

We’ll do the same checks as we did at 25 weeks.

We’ll also offer you a membrane sweep and arrange induction of labour for overdue babies.

If you’re under 20 years old and expecting your first baby

You’re entitled to support from our family nurse partnership team.

You’ll have your own family nurse who’ll visit you regularly at home, or where you feel comfortable, to help prepare you for the birth.

Specialist maternity services

We may refer you to one of our specialist maternity services or clinics during your pregnancy.

Our team includes midwives who specialise in:

Vaccinations during pregnancy

We recommend some vaccines during pregnancy, such as the inactivated seasonal flu vaccine and the whooping cough vaccine.

If a vaccine uses a live virus, we do not recommend them.

You can talk to your midwife or doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Find out more about vaccinations during pregnancy

Antenatal classes – parent education

We offer free online parentcraft education. The online course consists of two 2-hour presentations. These are aimed at first time parents, although parents who’d like a refresher course are very welcome.

The first presentation is all about labour and birth and looks at:

  • late pregnancy and changing body
  • signs of labour and the stages
  • pain management options available
  • what you can do to help yourself and how a birth partner can offer support.

The second presentation is all about the early weeks with your baby and looks at:

  • newborn appearance
  • feeding your baby
  • safe sleep
  • baby brain development
  • nappies and bathing
  • ongoing support
  • your mental health
  • postnatal recovery

Book your space on our parent education course

Preparing for birth and your baby