what to do when you find out you are pregnant?
As soon as you find out you are pregnant, it is best to refer yourself to antenatal services at a hospital of your choice. A list of local common hospitals is available later on down this page.
What is antenatal care?
This is the care you receive while you're pregnant 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
Throughout your antenatal care, you will be offered several scans and screening tests. This is to ensure you and your baby are developing well.
- 2 pregnancy ultrasound scans at 8 to 14 weeks and 18 to 21 weeks
- antenatal screening tests to find out the chance of your baby having certain conditions, such as Down's syndrome
- blood tests to check for syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B
- screening for sickle cell and thalassaemia
There are also classes and groups that are available locally to support and teach you about the journey you will be taking. You can ask your midwife or search via the NHS website
When you refer yourself to a hospital you will be connected with a midwife for the duration of your pregnancy and a few weeks after giving birth, they are able to give advice or signpost you to an appropriate healthcare professional for any queries you have.
Your Midwife will be able to complete your medication exemption certificate (FW8) and your maternity certificate (MAT B1).
Self-referring to a hospital
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