Posted: 27th April, 2023

Issue 6: Book Before Ten Weeks

Did you know that your first midwife appointment (also known as your booking appointment) should happen before 10 weeks? It's important to see a midwife as early as possible to get the antenatal (pregnancy) care and information you need to have a healthy pregnancy.

Finding out you are pregnant

Signs and symptoms of pregnancy

Every pregnancy is different and not everyone will notice all of these symptoms.

  • Missed or lighter period
  • Feeling sick during pregnancy
  • Feeling tired is common during pregnancy
  • Sore breasts in early pregnancy
  • Peeing more can suggest pregnancy
  • Strange tastes, smells, and cravings

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Your First Midwife Appointment

You can self-refer to maternity services by following the link below.

Home pregnancy tests

If you do a home pregnancy test, a positive test result is almost certainly correct, as long as you have followed the instructions correctly.

A negative result is less reliable. If you get a negative result and still think you may be pregnant, wait a week and try again.

If you’re pregnant, use the pregnancy due date calculator to work out when your baby’s due.

Existing health conditions

If you have an existing health condition and are under the care of a hospital consultant, it is important that you tell your specialist and your GP as soon as you find out you are pregnant.

It is important you do not stop taking any medicines until you have spoken to your specialist.

You should also refer yourself to maternity services so that a dating scan and midwife booking appointment can be arranged for you.

It is important to tell your midwife about any existing health conditions and medications when asked early in pregnancy at your booking appointment.

Screening for you and your baby

What are screening tests?

Screening tests are used to find people at higher chance of a health problem.

This means they can get earlier, potentially more effective treatment, or make informed decisions about their health.

Ultrasound scans

Ultrasound scans use sound waves to build a picture of the baby in the womb. The scans are painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy. Talk to your midwife, GP or obstetrician about any concerns you have.

Your antenatal care

Antenatal care is the care you get from health professionals during your pregnancy to make sure you and your baby are as well as possible.

The midwife or doctor providing your antenatal care will:

  • check the health of you and your baby
  • give you useful information to help you have a healthy pregnancy, including advice about healthy eating and exercise
  • discuss your options and choices for your care during pregnancy, labour and birth
  • answer any questions you may have

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Issue 9: Having a Healthy Pregnancy if you Smoke

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Issue 14: Maternity and paternity leave and benefits

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