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
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 should make an appointment to see her.
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 an appointment with the Midwife.
Booking Your Midwife Appointment
Community midwives work under Leeds Teaching Hospitals but see patients at clinics in the community.You should self refer into Maternity Services.
- Go to the online website www.mypregnancynotes.com
- Here you should register to create an account, or sign in if you have used My Pregnancy Notes previously
- Community midwives will then be able to see a list of women who are pending a booking (initial) appointment and will book you in according to gestation or clinical need
- The community midwife will also be able to view all the details you have entered in the pre-booking form and start to plan your care
- As a patient My Pregnancy Notes will then act as an online portal for you to access leaflets and book appointments etc
- If you experience difficulty using the online form you can contact the LTHT referral and Booking Service on 0113 4870690 Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm (* This line is not suitable for clinical enquiries)
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 online portal My Pregnancy Notes is replacing much of the Maternity Book. My Pregnancy Notes online will enable you to:
- Record your Personalised Care Plan
- Note down any questions you wish to ask your midwife at your next appointment
- Add notifications, for example changing GPs or moving away from the area
- Access leaflets and information
- Add your Maternity Exemption Certificate and MAT B1
- Be remotely monitored, if suitable
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
My Pregnancy Notes lists when you will be seen by the Midwife 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.