A midwife is usually the first and main contact for the woman during her pregnancy, throughout labour and the early postnatal period.
Are You Planning To Get Pregnant?
If you are planning to get pregnant it is worth seeing your doctor to discuss pre-pregnancy and pregnancy healthcare. This is especially important if you have any medical conditions such as epilepsy or diabetes, or if you or your partner have any hereditary conditions such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anaemia. If you are trying to get pregnant, you should also be taking:
- folic acid 400 micrograms (400mcg) daily until you are 12 weeks pregnant; which helps protect your baby from spina bifida
- Vitamin D 10 micrograms (10mcg) a day throughout your pregnancy and when you are breastfeeding
These can be obtained from the chemist. More information about pre-pregnancy and pregnancy healthcare can be found on the NHS website.
Help during your pregnancy
Jackie Turner is our midwife. A midwife is a qualified nurse who has undertaken further training to provide and promote normal midwifery. They help you to prepare you for motherhood and promote good health for yourself and your baby by advising on the effects of drinking, smoking and a good diet whilst you are pregnant. The midwife guides you through your pregnancy and endeavours to detect any problems and make relevant referrals if necessary. When you are pregnant you can make an appointment to see her through reception.
If You Think You Are Pregnant
The first step is to confirm that you are pregnant. This can be done by purchasing a home pregnancy kit from your local chemist. If possible, before twelve weeks of pregnancy you should make a booking appointment with the Midwife based at the practice by ringing the surgery.
First Appointment With The Midwife
At your booking appointment with the Midwife (which may last up to 45 minutes) you will be given a Maternity Book, which you keep and take with you when you attend antenatal appointments with either the Doctor, Nurse, Midwife or hospital consultant. The Midwife will discuss your options for delivery, arrange appropriate referrals and provide you with dietary advice. She will also take blood tests and will subsequently discuss the results with you. Whilst you are pregnant and until your baby is one year old, you are entitled to free prescriptions and dental treatment. The Midwife will organize for an exemption certificate to be signed and sent off.
During The Pregnancy
Your maternity book lists when you will be seen by the Midwife, Doctor and hospital through your pregnancy. Should you have any concerns at any other time you can contact your midwife or, if she is not available, make an appointment to see a Doctor during normal surgery hours. At some point during the course of your pregnancy the Health Visitor will meet you to talk to you about her role in your care and about the childhood vaccination programme.
After delivery your Midwife will visit you at home to help you and your baby. Following the birth she will visit you on your first day at home. When your baby is five days old she will carry out the Guthrie test (which is a special screening test that the Midwife will give you information about) and at ten days old she will discharge yourself and your baby from her care. Extra visits may be arranged according to need. Your Health Visitor will visit you at home when your baby is between ten and fourteen days old and can advise on feeding, weaning and any family issues you may have. About eight weeks after your birth you should make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss any concerns. You will also be able to discuss your contraceptive requirements.