Antenatal & Postnatal Midwifery Appointments
If you have just found out you are pregnant you will need a booking appointment with your midwife. Follow the current advice on your local hospital website or contact your GP.
During your pregnancy and after your baby is born if you have any worries about your own health or the health of your baby then it is still very important that you get medical advice.
You can contact your maternity unit using the contact details given at your booking appointment. Your midwife will be able to answer any questions you may have throughout your pregnancy.
Pregnancy appointments are essential health care for the wellbeing of yourself and your baby.
- You should attend all of your appointments as planned unless you are told not to.
- If you or anyone else living in your household are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you must not attend the hospital.
- It is important that you phone your midwife to let them know. They will ensure that you are safe and will re-arrange your appointment or arrange to see you in a special COVID-19 isolation area of the hospital.
The way that appointments happen may change in the coming weeks. There may be more telephone appointments and face to face appointments might be held in different places. Unless you are told otherwise (and as long as you have no COVID-19 symptoms) you should attend as planned.
You can keep up to date on local midwifery service plans by checking your local maternity unit’s social media pages.
If you have an appointment booked and you or someone you live with have any COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature and/or a new cough), or you are self isolating you should phone your midwife. You should not attend. Your midwife will let you know what you should do next.
It is important that you follow their advice, there are specific plans in place to keep you and your baby as safe as possible.
If you go into labour and you or someone you live with has COVID -19 symptoms, or you are self isolating, you should contact delivery suite as usual and tell them this. They will tell you what to do next. You should not worry - the teams are prepared for this and will take good care of you.
If you are pregnant and have symptoms of COVID-19, let your midwife know. If at any point you feel like your symptoms are getting worse or you are struggling to breathe you must dial 111 or 999 if it is an emergency.
This video is available in many different languages and also with British Sign Language - *click here* to access other versions.
What about Quitting Smoking Support during Appointments?
Carbon Monixide (CO) is a harmful, poisonous gas. Breathing it in can make you unwell. If Carbon Monoxide is breathed in, it can enter your blood stream and mix with the haemoglobin – the part of your red blood cells which normally carry oxygen around your body. When this happens, the haemoglobin cannot take oxygen around your body anymore and cells and tissues begin to die.
During your antenatal appointments your midwife will usually ask to check the CO levels in your breath by asking you to blow into a machine which measures the levels of CO. Women who live by a busy road, or perhaps have a faulty gas appliance at home or whose partner smokes around them will have higher levels of CO in their breath. We also know that women who are smokers will have a higher reading of CO in their breath as Carbon Monoxide is present in cigarette smoke.
Knowing the levels of CO in your body will help the midwives to make a plan of support for you, if you are a smoker, your midwife will ask you at each appointment about this and will support you to reduce or quit smoking all together. There is a variety of support and resources available to help you.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, CO monitoring of pregnant women is being paused due to infection control risks of blowing into the machine.
Your midwife will continue to ask you about smoking and signpost you to services which can help. You will still be able to get support from a Quit Smoking advisor. Your appointments with them will take place by phone. You will still be able to access the free nicotine replacement therapies you are eligible for.
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Who can Help?
If you feel worried and want more advice you can speak to your midwife.
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text Chathealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of the Healthy Child Programme team.