Your First Appointment (Booking Appointment) – 8-10 weeks:

After you self-refer, you will be contacted for your first appointment (also called your ‘booking’ appointment). This first appointment is the start of your care. The appointment usually lasts about 1 hour, this is when your midwife or doctor gets to know you, and anything that matters to you or may affect the care you need.

Things you may wish to talk about:

  • Cultural or religious traditions or practices
  • Previous life experiences or trauma
  • Previous pregnancy and birth experiences
  • Any emotional or mental health worries
  • Questions you have

It’s a good idea to read through your ‘My Maternity Journey’ Personalised Care and Support Plan before your booking appointment and have it with you as it may help you to have these conversations.

Your midwife or doctor will talk to you about:

  • Learning about pregnancy and birth
  • Where to have your baby and your birth choices
  • Baby’s growth
  • Folic acid and Vitamin D
  • Eating well & Exercise
  • Pelvic health and exercises
  • Smoking, alcohol and drug use
  • Tests for you and your baby
  • Your care during pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding and classes

Your antenatal appointments are your chance to talk to your midwife or doctor about how you are feeling and ask any questions.

NOTE: If you are experiencing domestic abuse or in a vulnerable situation, your midwife or doctor can support you, they will listen without judgement and offer you information about help available.

Other questions they may ask:

  • If you need any extra support due to a disability
  • Your ethnicity, research shows that people from certain ethnic backgrounds face additional maternity risks, knowing the ethnicity of you and the biological father helps us to provide the care and information you might need.
  • About you and things in your life that may affect the care you need (where you live, your job, cultural or religious needs)
  • About your partner (if you have one)
  • About baby’s biological father’s (this helps us to know any genetic considerations)
  • Any other pregnancies or children (you can bring your red book)
  • Whether you’ve had fertility treatment
  • Your physical and mental health, and any issues or treatment you’ve had in the past
  • Any health issues in your family

To ensure you receive the right care it is important to tell us if:

  • You had problems or infections in a past pregnancy or birth, like high blood pressure or early birth.
  • You had help getting pregnant and used a donor egg or donor sperm.
  • You are being treated for a long-term health condition, like diabetes
  • You or your family had a baby with a health issue (for example, spina bifida)
  • There’s a family history of a condition passed down (for example, sickle cell or cystic fibrosis)
  • You know you carry a condition like sickle cell or thalassaemia – tell the midwife if the baby’s biological father also carries these conditions.

Tests for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia should be done before 10 weeks. This helps you make informed choices if your baby might have these conditions.

Some questions may not feel important, or you may feel uncomfortable answering, but they are asked for a good reason. Some of the questions help us to know if we need to offer you extra appointments or pathways of care. You can let your midwife know if you find it difficult to talk about anything and they will support you as best as they can. If you don’t know why they are asking a question, or need more information please talk to your midwife or doctor about it at your first appointment.

You will be offered these tests in your first appointment:

  • measure your height and weight
  • check your blood pressure and urine
  • Check your carbon monoxide levels
  • offer you some blood tests and discuss screening tests in pregnancy
  • ask you about your medical, mental health and personal social
  • circumstances
  • ask about any previous pregnancies you have had
  • ask about the medical and personal social circumstances of the father of the baby
  • discuss how you are feeling and see if you need any additional support
  • plan your pregnancy care with you
  • give you information about your care and health and answer any questions you may have.