During your pregnancy (antenatal care)
As soon as we know you are pregnant we will arrange your first appointment with a midwife. This is known as the 'booking appointment' and during this appointment you and your midwife will begin planning your antenatal care.
Lateral flow antigen testing for pregnant women and support people
To keep all pregnant women, people in labour and their support people safe while using maternity services during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we are asking women and their support people to take a lateral flow test the day before their routine appointment.
You can find out how to do a lateral flow test and how to order one here.
Testing twice a week is recommended.
- If you and your support person both have negative results - please attend your appointment as normal
- If you have a positive result - please call your maternity team before your appointment, so we can plan your care following local guidelines
- If you have a negative result and your support person has a positive result - please call your maternity team before your appointment for advice. Your support person must stay home and follow government guidance. If we ask you to come into hospital, you can bring an alternative support person with you, as long as they have a negative test result
Recording your test results
When you come into hospital, we will ask you for the date, time and result of your last lateral flow test and will record this in your notes. We will also ask your support person for the date, time and result of their last lateral flow test and record this.
Please note: if you cannot provide proof of your lateral flow test result this does not mean we will not see you but we ask you and your support person to do the tests to help us keep our staff and everyone using our maternity services safe during the pandemic. Thank you for your support.
Covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that pregnant women have the Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age who are having their first dose.
Anyone who has already had the first vaccination and is offered a second dose while pregnant should have a second dose with the same vaccine unless they had a serious side effect after the first dose. Click here to find out more.
When you have been contacted to book your Covid-19 vaccination, you can do so by visiting the National Booking System here.
Download the Mum & Baby app for links to the latest government information on Covid-19 and pregnancy. It is available for download on Apple and Android devices — just search 'mum & baby' in your app store.
Covid-19 and our antenatal care
The process for diagnosing COVID-19 infection is changing rapidly within the UK. Testing is now available to anyone, including pregnant woman, if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
If you have not displayed any symptoms for COVID-19, it is likely that your result will come back as negative. Should this not be the case and your test result is positive, if you are in hospital when your result is received you will be moved to a single room and cared for with the necessary infection control measures.
Testing positive for COVID-19 alone does not necessarily mean you need to stay in hospital so when your obstetric team feel it is safe for you to be discharged home, this will be arranged and you should continue to self-isolate at home.
You should not attend any non-urgent appointments during the isolation period; these will be re arranged.
Book a Covid-19 test close to home
What should I do if I am asked to self-isolate?
Pregnant women who have been advised to self-isolate should stay indoors and avoid contact with others for 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.
The NHS guidance on self-isolation currently recommends people should:
- Not go to school, work, NHS settings or public areas
- Not use public transport
- Stay at home and not allow visitors
- Open windows to ventilate rooms
- Separate themselves from other members of their household as far as possible, using their own towels, crockery and utensils and eating at different times
- Use friends, family or delivery services to run errands, but advise them to leave items outside.
You may wish to consider online fitness routines to keep active, such as pregnancy yoga or Pilates.
How long do I need to self-isolate for?
- If you have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 7 days. The first day of the 7 day period is counted as the day you started to have symptoms (a cough, temperate or loss of taste and smell) or from the date you receive your positive swab result,
- If you do not have a high temperature after 7 days, you no longer need to self-isolate and can leave your home on the 8th day after your symptoms started or from receiving the positive swab result, adhering to the government’s social distancing measure’s.
- If you still have a high temperature after 7 days, keep self-isolating until your temperature returns to normal and you feel better
What happens if I need to seek urgent Midwifery/Obstetric support during my isolation period?
If you have concerns about the wellbeing of yourself or your unborn baby during your self-isolation period, contact your midwife or, out-of-hours, your maternity team. They will provide further advice, including whether you need to attend hospital.
If you are advised to go to the maternity unit, please attend via private transport and alert the maternity unit reception once on site, before going into the hospital.
What happens if I go into labour during my isolation period?
If you go into labour during self-isolation, you should call the maternity unit for advice and inform them that you have confirmed COVID-19 infection.
The Midwife will make an assessment over the telephone and give advice on whether to continue to remain at home if thought to be in early labour or whether to attend the hospital.
Your maternity team has been advised on ways to ensure that you and your baby receive safe, quality care, respecting your birth choices as closely as possible.
When you and your maternity team decide you need to attend the maternity unit, general recommendations about hospital attendance will apply:
- You will be advised to attend hospital via private transport where possible
- You will be met at the maternity unit entrance and provided with a surgical face mask, which will need to stay on until you are isolated in a suitable room
What happens if I do not want to have the COVID-19 screening test?
Screening for COVID-19 is an optional test and requires consent before the swab is taken. Should you decide not to accept this screening test and are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19; there is no increased risk to yourself and your maternity care will not be affected.
All maternity staff are currently wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which is the same for all women regardless of those who have not had a COVID-19 screening test.
Should you decide not to have the COVID-19 screening test but you are displaying symptoms of the virus, you will be cared for with the appropriate infection control measures whilst in hospital and will be asked to self-isolate for at least 7 days with other members of your household needing to isolate for 14 days.
How will a positive result affect my partner or anyone else I am living with?
- Your partner and/or household members must self-isolate for 14 days from the day your symptoms started or from the day you received a positive result. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
- If more than 1 person at home has symptoms, household members must self-isolate for 14 days from the day the first person started having symptoms.
- If a household member gets symptoms, they should self-isolate for 7 days from when their symptoms start, even if it means self-isolating for longer than 14 days.
Who can I contact for further information and support?
If you wish to discuss a non-urgent matter with a Midwife you can either contact your named Midwife directly or contact the maternity advice and information line, open 7 days a week, 10-6pm: 020 8887 4238
If you need to speak to a Midwife urgently, please contact the Maternity Triage, telephone number 020 8887 3682
Preparing for your appointment
Before your appointment you will receive a letter and a booklet to inform you about screening tests for you and your baby.
When attending your first appointment at North Mid, please bring:
- Scan reports if you have already had an ultrasound scan
- A copy of your maternity notes, blood results or ultrasound scan reports if you are transferring your care from another hospital
What happens at your first appointment?
Your pregnancy appointment, also known as your booking appointment, will either take place at North Mid or in your local GP surgery or Children’s Centre.
At this appointment the midwife will ask you a series of questions about your medical history, previous pregnancies and health and well-being. The midwife will give you information for your pregnancy, including information about:
- Your previous medical and obstetric history which will help us plan the right care for you
- The blood tests offered to you that will be repeated at different times of your pregnancy
- The options that are available during your pregnancy and delivery
- The antenatal classes that we provide
- When your future appointments will be.
Your booking appointment usually takes around one hour and is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. You will also receive information about your first scan.
At your appointment you will be given your maternity notes. Please always take them with you when you have an appointment to see your midwife, GP or attend the hospital for any reason during your pregnancy.
We follow NICE guidance when planning your antenatal care and your appointments.
Your antenatal care
Your antenatal care at North Mid will be either midwifery-led, consultant-led or shared care.
Antenatal care is usually provided by the team of midwives, though if any complications arise, or if you have a known medical problem, the midwives will refer you to an obstetrician, who will then become the lead professional in your care.
The midwife may also refer you to other professional colleagues such as an anaesthetist, dietician, or psychologist during your pregnancy.
If everything is normal during your pregnancy, you will follow our low-risk midwifery-led pathway.
This means you will see a midwife for the majority of your appointments. If there is any deviation from the normal, your midwife will refer you to one of our consultants.
If you have any medical conditions that will affect your pregnancy you will be following the consultant-led care pathway. A midwife will still be involved in your care.
If you have medical conditions which wont detrimentally affect your pregnancy, you will have consultations with a consultant and a midwife.
Preparation for your birth
We offer preparation classes for parents-to-be that are informal and covers things that happen during your birth and beyond.
You can book your classes through your midwife.
We also offer hypnobirthing at North Mid. This is an alternative birth education programme that teaches simple but specific self-hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a better birth.
Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal education that will equip you with knowledge and understanding on how hypnobirthing works within the whole process of pregnancy and birthing experience.
There is a cost for hypnobirthing at North Mid, which our team can talk you though.
If your interested in hypnobirthing, get in touch with the team.
We have changed our visiting and accompaniment arrangements, in line with Government guidelines from Monday 12 April 2021:
- For all antenatal clinic and ultrasound appointments, 1 nominated adult can accompany you
- If you are in labour or having a planned caesarean section (C-section), 1 nominated adult can come with you.
- If you are booked for an induction of labour, 1 nominated adult can stay with you.
- After you give birth, 1 nominated birth partner can be with you on the postnatal ward during the 2 hour period allocated each day.
- If your child is in neo-natal intensive care, both parents can visit, but only 1 parent will be allowed at the baby's cotside.
Partners will need to wear a surgical mask to visit. We will give you a suitable mask at the entrance to the maternity unit.
For safety, we continue to socially distance within the maternity department, so please do not bring other children to appointments.
Remember, if you have tested positive to Covid-19 or have any symptoms, please stay home to keep our patients, babies, and staff safe.
Our professional midwifery advocates (PMAs)
Professional Midwifery Advocates (PMA) are experienced practising midwives trained to support and guide midwives to deliver the best possible care. Every midwife will meet with a PMA at least once a year to support them in their role as a midwife and help equip them to deliver a high standard of care for you and your family.
What do Professional Midwifery Advocates do?
· Give guidance and support to both you and your midwife
· Ensure your care is appropriate and delivered, in the right place, by the right person and that it will benefit you and your baby.
· Help midwives to access additional education and training in practice as necessary.
How can professional midwifery advocates help you?
Our Professional Midwifery Advocates work closely with our two consultant midwives by:
- Listening and advocating on concerns you may have about your current midwifery care
- Talking to your midwife/obstetrician on your behalf if you are concerned about your plan of care
- Supporting and advising on care choices, eg. place of birth
- Enabling good communication between you and your midwife in relation to your care.
If you become pregnant and feel that you had a previous difficult birth experience, a PMA will work with you to address any issues you may have experienced, and can work with you to plan for your next birth.
How can I contact a professional midwifery advocate?
You can email us at: Northmid.firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will respond to your email as soon as possible.