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Appointment schedule

The care you receive from healthcare professionals during your pregnancy is called antenatal care.

You'll be offered a series of appointments with a midwife, or sometimes with a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth (an obstetrician). The majority of your care will be provided by midwives in the community and you may come into the hospital if necessary.

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 12 antenatal appointments. If you've had a baby before you'll have around nine antenatal appointments. Under certain circumstances, for example if you develop a medical condition, you may have more.


Expected schedule of antenatal appointments
 
Week of pregnancy Healthcare professional Location What happens
6-10      Midwife Community
This is your ‘booking appointment’ and can last for up to two hours. You’ll meet one of our midwives, usually in a community location.

The midwife will ask questions to build up a picture of you and your pregnancy. This is to make sure you're given the support you need and so that any risks are spotted early.

You will probably want to ask a lot of questions. It often helps to write down what you want to say in advance, as it’s easy to forget once you're there. It’s important to find out what you want to know and to talk about your own feelings and preferences.

Several antenatal screening tests are performed on a sample of your blood which is usually taken at your booking appointment. In some cases, the baby's father may be asked to have a blood test to check for inherited conditions, such as sickle cell or thalassaemia.
11-13 Sonographer Hospital
This appointment is when you’ll be offered the first of two ultrasound scans during your pregnancy.

This scan is sometimes referred to as your ‘dating scan’ because it estimates when your baby is due.

The scan can also be part of the ‘combined test’ if you choose to have it, which is a screening test that predicts the chance of your baby having Down’s syndrome. During the scan the amount of fluid lying under the skin at the back of the baby’s neck is measured. We combine the result of the scan with a blood test from you to work out a risk figure.
16 Midwife or obstetrician Community or hospital
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up and we’ll discuss the results of your combined test.

If it has not been possible for you to have the combined screening test in early pregnancy you will be offered a quadruple blood test, which measures four proteins associated with pregnancy. This information is combined with your age and used to work out your individual chance of having a baby with Down's syndrome.
20 Sonographer Hospital
This is when you’ll be offered your second ultrasound scan.

This scan is sometimes referred to as your ‘anomaly scan’ because it checks for structural abnormalities (anomalies) in the baby.

If you want to find out the sex of your baby, you can usually do so during this scan.
25
Midwife or GP Community
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up and we’ll discuss the results of your scan.

You will only need an appointment at 25 weeks if this is your first baby.
28 Midwife Community
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up and we’ll offer you a blood test to check your iron levels and antibodies.

If an earlier blood test has shown that your blood is rhesus negative you will be offered an anti-D immunoglobulin injection to prevent rhesus disease.
We will also discuss blood spot screening, which is offered when your baby is five days old. This test is to find out if your baby has any rare but serious health conditions.
32

Midwife or GP

Community

During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up and we’ll discuss the results of your bloodspot test.

You will only need an appointment at 32 weeks if this is your first baby.

34 Midwife Community
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up and we’ll offer you a full blood count test.

We’ll also discuss breastfeeding and how to manage it.
36 Midwife or GP Community
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up and we’ll discuss the results of your full blood count test.

We’ll also discuss your birth plan.
38 Midwife Community
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up.
40
Midwife Community
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up.

You will only need an appointment at 40 weeks if this is your first baby.
41 Midwife Community
During this appointment you’ll have a general antenatal check-up.

You will only need an appointment at 41 weeks if you have not delivered yet.
 


Expected schedule of postnatal appointments
 
Day following birth Healthcare professional Location What happens
First day home    Midwife Home
During this home visit we'll discuss your progress so far and offer practical advice and support. We'll also arrange to contact you or visit you again a few days later.
3 Midwife Home
Depending on your preference we'll phone you or visit you at home to find out how you're getting on.
5 Midwife Home
During this home visit we'll check your baby's weight. We will also do a blood spot test if you have chosen to have this, to find out if your baby has any rare but serious health conditions.
10 Midwife and health visitor Home or community
This is usually your last appointment with the maternity service. After this appointment your care will continue with our health visitor service. One of our health visitors will contact you to arrange your first appointment.
 
Additional appointments may be offered depending on you and your baby’s needs.