During pregnancy – antenatal
Antenatal care is the care you receive from healthcare professionals during your pregnancy. You’ll be offered a series of appointments with one of our midwives, or sometimes with a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth (an obstetrician).
They will check that you and your baby are well, give you useful information to help you have a healthy pregnancy (including healthy eating and exercise advice) and answer any questions you may have.
If you’re expecting your first child, you’ll have up to 10 antenatal appointments. If you’ve had a baby before, you’ll have around seven antenatal appointments. Under certain circumstances, for example if you develop a medical condition, you may have more.
We strongly advise you to attend every appointment, so that we can check that you and your baby are well. If you can’t make an appointment please let us know so we can reschedule.
Your first visit
You first antenatal appointment will be held at the Cygnet Wing at Bedford Hospital, this is a routine ‘booking appointment’ where you will be seen by on of our midwives and in some cases a doctor. During this appointment your midwife will offer you information about your pregnancy and ask some questions so we can build a picture of you and your pregnancy. This means we can tailor the care and support we provide to suit your needs.
Scans, tests and screenings
Public Health England have an online screening timeline advising of the tests that take place throughout the different stages of your pregnancy and the new born tests available for babies.
Antenatal care (before the birth)
This is provided by the midwifery team caring for women in your local area, alongside your GP or obstetrician. During your pregnancy they will see you regularly to make sure you and your baby are well. Your care includes routine health checks such as blood test and other screenings. Your screening options are explained in a screening information leaflet, which is produced by Public Health England and is available in several languages.
Clinic and scan locations
Check your appointment letter to see where to go for your appointments, because these are held at a variety of locations including GP surgeries (Leighton Buzzard) and at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital site.