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Antenatal Appointment

Towards the end of your pregnancy we will contact you for your antenatal appointment. This is a time to get to know about the services and support we offer for your family as your baby grows.

We will talk with you about lots of different things including;

  • What health services might be involved with your pregnancy and baby.
  • Your hopes for the birth and baby, and how your family will adapt. 
  • What to expect when your baby is born.
  • We will give you advice on what is recommended for babies, so you are able to make informed choices about what will work for your family.

This is also a time for you to ask any questions you may have. 

During the visit we will also talk about your health and wellbeing as parents, exercise and diet, smoking, taking time off for health appointments and parental leave.

Although a lot of information is aimed at women when a baby is coming into the world we know this is a massive change for dad's and partners too. So we ask you to participate in our visits, encourage you to ask questions and share your worries as well. We are here to support the whole family.

  • You may have already decided how you plan to feed your baby, or you may want to discuss it further with your health visitor. 

    Health professionals may have told you about the benefits of colostrum. This is the first milk your breasts produces, usually in the first few days. It usually looks golden yellow in colour. Your baby will only need a small amount (about a teaspoonful), as it has so many nutrients in it. The reason health professionals tell you about colostrum is because of the benefits it has - it lines the baby's stomach area, which then protects them from germs. It can help your baby poo out the meconium (black poo), which helps reduce jaundice. Colostrum can be expressed and given via a syringe or through breastfeeding.

    We are here to support your choices and there is lots of information on breastfeeding and formula feeding. If you want both, breast and formula feed, you can discuss combination feeding with your health visitor. 

  • During this visit we tell you about safe sleep for baby's, to try and prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

    The guidance we give is: 

    For the first 6 months your baby should sleep in your bedroom, in their own cot/moses basket etc.

    When you place your baby in the cot they are on their back, on a flat, firm and waterproof mattress; with no bedding, pillows or other items (like teddies, cot bumpers, sleep pods) around them, that could cover baby's face.

    The recommended room temperature is between 16 - 20 Celsius, if you're worried about maintaining the room temperature, you can talk to your health visitor about it.

    Much is said about baby's sleeping area, however one of the most dangerous times for SIDS is you and your baby fall asleep on a sofa or armchair.

    Breastfeeding can help lower the risk of SIDS.

    Most parents don't plan on co-sleeping, but sometimes find themselves doing so. If you do - risk assess. We do not recommend co-sleeping if anyone in the bed smokes, has drank alcohol, has taken drugs or medication that makes them sleepy. We do not recommend co-sleeping for pre-term baby's or baby's with low birth weight's. 

  • Pathway to Parenting is our, free to all families, online antenatal classes. You can do these with your birth partner at a time that works for both of you.  

    There are 4 sessions, with videos and resources:
    Session One - Becoming a Parent
    Session Two - Feeding and Caring For Your Baby
    Session Three - Preparing For Labour and Birth
    Session Four - Keeping Yourself and Baby Well

    If you want to meet other parents we have an online community forum for Norfolk families *BUTTON*

  • We are there because you're going to have a baby, but that does not mean we are there only for the baby. We are there to support parents adjust too. Adapting to parenthood can have an impact on parents mental health, we are available to offer support for this or signpost you to other services who are able to support.

    We routinely discuss domestic abuse at visits. We do this because we know it can get worse during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Domestic abuse can take many forms and is not always physical violence. It can be controlling behaviour, such as preventing someone seeing their friends and family. Making someone feel humiliated, stupid or bullied. It can be sexual abuse. It can be financial abuse, such as getting you or the family into debt or controlling the money you can access. 

    We usually discuss your mental health and how that may change in pregnancy and postnatally

    If there are specific things you want to discuss about your health and wellbeing with your heath visitor, there will be an opportunity for this.


  • You may begin to notice your baby is more responsive to certain things, like voices.

    From 16-24 weeks you'll start feeling your baby move. This will become more and more more up until about 32 weeks, you may notice your baby is more active at specific times of the day. From 32 weeks your baby will still be moving as much as they have been. If you notice your baby's movements have slowed down or stopped, contact your midwife or maternity unit. Do not delay in seeking medical advice. 

    Your baby is getting to know you at this time. You can sing and read to your baby in pregnancy and they will get use to your voice and know you better. People tend to enjoy rubbing the tummy to rub the baby to reassure baby you're there. 


  • During this visit we can discuss your options with regards to parental leave for both parents.

    Some families on a low income will be entitled to Healthy Start vouchers and these can be signed in pregnancy or postnatally by your health visitor or midwife. Your child will be entitled to this whilst you are on a low income, up until your child's 4th birthday.

    If this is your first baby and on a low income, towards the end of the pregnancy, or before your baby is 6 months old, you may be entitled to a Sure Start Maternity Grant. This is £500 to help with the cost of having a baby, and does not need to be paid back. 

    If you're pregnant and until your child is one year old, mum is entitled to free prescription and dental care, with a Maternity Exemption Certificate. You can discuss this at your midwifery appointments. Children are entitled to free prescriptions and dental care, whilst they are in full time education. 

  • When your baby is born, midwifery lets us know and we will contact you to arrange a New Birth Visit. Up until your baby is 28 days old you are under the care of midwifery and the Norfolk Healthy Child Programme. You can contact either service if you have questions or concerns. 

    Your personal Child Health Record (Red Book) will be given to you at your child's hearing screening appointment at the hospital. This usually happens in the first few days after birth. 



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