The importance of your antenatal appointments
Antenatal appointments will allow your baby to be monitored by a healthcare professional throughout your pregnancy. You can enjoy this wonderful time, knowing you are in safe hands. Even if your pregnancy is going well and you’re feeling good, it’s important for you to attend your appointments so that any potential risks can be identified and prevented, or reduced.
It’s also a great opportunity to ask any questions you have about your pregnancy such as what’s happening during each trimester, physical pregnancy symptoms and the birth itself. You may want to ask questions about caring for your baby after the birth too!
There are many ways our Doctors can provide you with support and advice for the safest and healthiest options for you and your baby. Help with lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking or avoiding drinking alcohol are areas which we are trained to assist you. We can also assist with mental health and dietary advice. You can discuss any problems you might be having at home or any circumstance, we are here for you. In other words, we would like to help and support you in any way you need to provide a healthy pregnancy.
What will happen during the appointments?
The antenatal care you get throughout your pregnancy depends on:
- your health and any risks you or your baby may have
- your stage of pregnancy
- any problems you may be experiencing
There will be a number of checks, scans, tests and discussions, such as:
- when the baby is due, what trimester you are in and what this means for you and your baby
- finding out about your medical history, general health and how any previous pregnancies were
- discussing any medication you are taking
- ensuring you are up to date with cervical screening
- making sure your mental health is OK, and supporting you if you have depression or anxiety
- checking your blood pressure and weight and testing your urine
- organising blood tests and screening
- providing advice on healthy eating and lifestyle changes
- feeling and measuring your tummy, and listening to the baby’s heartbeat
- asking you about your home environment, work and what support you have. If you are experiencing family violence, this is a good opportunity for you to discuss it
- checking about any physical symptoms that may be bothering you
- talking about if something doesn’t go to plan during the birth
- finding out about antenatal classes
- advice about taking your baby home, feeding them and other care