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I'm Pregnant. What do I do next?


Congratulations on your pregnancy!

For most women the first step in getting the right care in the pregnancy is to see the midwife. You can ring your GP surgery and ask for a ‘booking appointment’ with the midwife. It is ideal to first see your midwife when you are about 8 weeks pregnant. If you think you are further into your pregnancy already tell the receptionist and ask for an urgent appointment.

It is recommended you start to take folic acid if you are not already taking it to help your baby’s development. You can buy this in chemists and supermarkets at a low cost. Some women need a higher dose of folic acid and this has to be prescribed by your GP (women who have had a baby with a spinal condition before or have a high body mass index/BMI.)

Sometimes it is best if we see women as soon as possible in the pregnancy:

  • If you are diabetic, have epilepsy or heart, liver or kidney conditions, for example
  • If you are a carrier for a condition like sickle cell disease or thalassaemia
  • If you have hepatitis B, HIV or syphilis
  • If there are conditions that run in your family which you think might affect your baby

Some women might prefer to be seen early if they have had complications or needed extra support in a pregnancy before, such as having a baby with Down syndrome or spina bifida.

If you fit into any of the groups above tell the receptionist and again ask for an urgent appointment, or if this isn’t possible ask for the midwife to contact you on your telephone.

To help you prepare for your first appointment with the midwife you can read the national leaflet about tests we offer for you and your baby:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/screening-tests-for-you-and-your-baby-description-in-brief

The leaflets are in different languages, an easy read version or in a podcast. When you see your midwife she will talk to you about the tests.