I’ve found out I’m pregnant – when will my first appointment with a Midwife or Doctor be and what will happen?
The recommended number of scheduled appointments is determined by parity (number of pregnancies). For a primigravida (first pregnancy) with an uncomplicated pregnancy 10 visits are adequate, and for the multigravida (more than one pregnancy), 7 visits should be adequate.1
Ideally, you will have a 1st contact appointment with your Midwife or Doctor at about 6-8 weeks and a ‘Booking appointment’ will be arranged to take place between 8-12 weeks. As soon as you know you are pregnant, it is a good idea to get in touch with the Doctor as soon as possible. At your 1st contact visit you be asked a few questions to identify whether you are low or high risk and options of maternity care will be discussed. At the booking appointment a full risk assessment that includes both medical and social risks will be undertaken and then in partnership with you your future care during pregnancy and birth can be planned.
Information will be given on diet (foods to avoid), and lifestyle considerations (smoking and alcohol or drug intake), pregnancy care services, maternity benefits, and screening tests (blood tests and downs syndrome screening). An ultrasound scan will be arranged for around 12 weeks to determine an accurate EDD (Expected Date of Delivery).
You will be weighed, height measured, your blood pressure taken, and your urine tested. A lot of information is exchanged at this time so be sure to ask questions as they arise.
1 NICE, 2003, Antenatal care, Routine care for the healthy pregnant woman. Clinical guideline 6.