Myriads of Midwife appointments

The wait of pregnancy seems to be filled to the brim with midwife appointments. From your very first appointment when they don’t even do a pregnancy test to possibly 41 weeks where they’re booking you in for an induction.

At the first appointment when you tell your midwife or doctor you’re first pregnant, they asked me my diet, family hereditary diseases, if i’d ever had any pregnancies or any children. They gave me that big book I’ve spoke about before, Ready Steady Baby, which features suspect looking individuals as they go through the process of pregnancy. And my wee slip that allows me free dental care up until a year after my baby is born. They took my weight (it was 60kg as opposed to the wonderful 73kg it is now) and sent me on my way. It was very sudden, I thought. It was very, ok your pregnant, now go away and read up on what you’ve done.
At the 12 week appointment I felt a bit more pregnant. My midwife checked my blood pressure and booked me in for my 12 week scan and wrote in red pen ‘Red Path’ in my new maternity notes book which also housed all the phone numbers of ante natal classes but really, not much else. She didn’t talk to me about anything specific or discuss any aspects of my future care. I had my 16 week appointment at 18 weeks, I didn’t see my own midwife as she was on holiday and the clinic were running late so I was whisked in and back out again having just my blood pressure and urine checked. Before meeting with a consultant who was to talk to me about my allergy of anaesthetic. The consultant basically booked me to see an anaesthetist after the 30 week mark.

My 25 week appointment was horrific for me, due to moving house I was transferring my GP and midwife to the Moodiesburn practice. In the morning I had an appointment with my soon to be ex midwife at Bellshill. And in the afternoon, teamed with my notes I was heading over to Moodiesburn to see my new midwife. Since it was a bright day I decided to walk round to the surgery in Moodiesburn, this was a mistake, it was blowing a hoolie of ice cold wind and with about 5 minutes to spare for my 2.45pm appointment, I approached the reception and gave my details, the girl said, “oh the midwife isn’t here on a Wednesday afternoon, she’s at our Chryston Surgery (same practice, different location), she’s only here on a Wednesday”. “I’ve just transferred to this surgery, I didn’t know there was a Chryston practice, nobody told me this when I booked my appointment” I said. “Well you still have 5 minutes to get there, you should be fine”. She assumed I had a car and that I knew where I was going. “Can I walk there” I said. “Yes but not in time for your appointment, and the midwife finishes at 3pm”. I all about ran out the door, and I ran, actually sprinted back to the house. I had to hold my belly as I could feel it bouncing about, like the feeling you get in your boobs when you don’t wear a sports bra doing star jumps. By the time I arrived back to the house I was holding onto the wall, panting for air whilst trying to search for the address of the Chryston practice on my phone. Once I had it, I jumped into the car, punched it into my Sat Nav and sped off towards the midwife. As Murphy’s law would have it, it was the wrong postcode and no matter how much I tried calling them, it rang out. Chryston is not huge and I drove up and down, up and down the same road a few times, I was getting really upset by this point. I saw a kind of doctory looking building in an mini industrial estate so pulled in and parked, jumped out my car and ran about a few times in a circle. Nope not here, “Oh no”! I called out loudly before getting back in my car (I really don’t see what my big fuss was all about, I should’ve just cancelled). Driving back up and down the same road again, I saw a female jogger, I stopped the car, window down, and all but accosted her for the surgery location. She was raging, I’m guessing she was doing a timed run, and kept looking at her watch. She pointed where I’d came from and said “just off that mini round about”. Saved, I about turned the car and jetted toward the mini round about, finally noticing the surgery settled in off the main road. I parked up, walked into the reception, the midwife was sitting waiting on me, once she had me in her wee room, I burst into tears. I was shattered and stressed. She then said, oh we don’t anything to go over with you today. You need to see a GP here first.

My 28 and 31 week appointments were pretty un eventful, they took blood tests and the usual urine, tried to chase up my appointment with the anaesthetist to no success and told me to book with the nurse for my whooping cough jab.

I’ve had a bit of upsy down due to me moving house mid pregnancy but here is the rundown of the appointments you should have and what should happen during them with the NHS. Remember every pregnancy is different so don’t be panicked if these are different from what you have received, but if you think you’re missing out on an important aspect of you and your babies care, speak up.

First contact
They should go over this
– folic acid and vitamin D supplements
– nutrition, diet and food hygiene
– lifestyle factors, such as smoking, drinking and recreational drug use
– antenatal screening tests
– there were any complications or infections in a previous pregnancy or delivery, such as pre-eclampsia or premature birth
– you’re being treated for a chronic disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure
– you or anyone in your family has previously had a baby with an abnormality, for example, spina bifida
– there is a family history of an inherited disease, for example, sickle cell or cystic fibrosis

8 to 12 week appointment
Here is what your midwife should cover
– how the baby develops during pregnancy
– nutrition and diet
– exercise and pelvic floor exercises
– antenatal screening tests
– your antenatal care
– breastfeeding, including workshops
– antenatal education
– maternity benefits
– planning your labour
– your options for where to have your baby
Your midwife should:
– give you your hand-held notes and plan of care
– see if you may need additional care or support
– plan the care you will get throughout your pregnancy
– identify any potential risks associated with any work you may do
– measure your height and weight and calculate your body mass index (BMI)
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– find out whether you are at increased risk of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia
– offer you screening tests and make sure you understand what is involved before you decide to have any of them
– offer you an ultrasound scan at eight to 14 weeks to estimate when your baby is due
– offer you an ultrasound scan at 18-20 weeks to check the physical development of your baby and screen for possible abnormalities

16 Week Midwife Appointment
What should happen
– Your midwife or doctor will give you information about the ultrasound scan you will be offered at 18-20 weeks. They will also help with any concerns or questions you have.
Your midwife should:
– review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– consider an iron supplement if you’re anaemic.

25 week appointment
– You will have an appointment at 25 weeks if this is your first baby.
Your midwife or doctor should
– check the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

28 week appointment
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– offer more screening tests
– offer your first anti-D treatment if you are rhesus negative

31 weeks
You will have an appointment at 31 weeks if this is your first baby.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

34 weeks
Your midwife or doctor should give you information about preparing for labour and birth, including how to recognise active labour, ways of coping with pain in labour and your birth plan.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– offer your second anti-D treatment if you are rhesus negative

36 weeks
Your midwife or doctor should give you information about:
– feeding your baby
– caring for your newborn baby
– vitamin K and screening tests for your newborn baby
– your own health after your baby is born
– the ‘baby blues’ and postnatal depression
– Your midwife or doctor will also:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– check the position of your baby
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

38 weeks
Your midwife or doctor will discuss the options and choices about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

40 weeks
You will have an appointment at 40 weeks if this is your first baby.
Your midwife or doctor should give you more information about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

41 weeks
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– offer a membrane sweep
– discuss the options and choices for induction of labour

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