I'm Pregnant. What do I do next?
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:
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.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can happen at any stage of pregnancy, but is more common in the second or third trimester.
It happens when your body cannot produce enough insulin – a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels – to meet your extra needs in pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes can cause problems for you and your baby during pregnancy and after birth. But the risks can be reduced if the condition is detected early and well managed.
Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you're at an increased risk if:
- your body mass index (BMI) is above 30 – use the healthy weight calculator to work out your BMI
- you previously had a baby who weighed 4.5kg (10lb) or more at birth
- you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
- 1 of your parents or siblings has diabetes
- you are of south Asian, Black, African-Caribbean or Middle Eastern origin (even if you were born in the UK)
If any of these apply to you, you should be offered screening for gestational diabetes during your pregnancy. For more information please visit here, or speak to your midwife.