During your pregnancy

When you decide to book your care with us, we ask that you complete a self-referral form, which you can either hand in to our Antenatal Clinic reception or email us. You can also ask your GP to refer you to us, but this may take longer.

You will be offered a booking appointment with a midwife in our Women’s Health Centre in the Outpatient Building. At this appointment we will find out more about you and your new pregnancy and ensure you have received an appointment for your first scan. Your appointment should take around an hour.

Following this appointment, women who have additional risk factors will receive a personalised care plan for their pregnancy from a consultant obstetrician and any additional referrals, scans and investigations will be organised at this point.

You will be assigned to either a community midwifery team or the hospital midwifery team to provide support throughout your pregnancy.

Virtual Maternity Unit tours

Due to Covid-19 tours are still currently virtual.  We will update when in-person tours are available again. 

Book now

Emergency Gynaecology Unit

The Emergency Gynaecology Unit (EGU) provides emergency care for women with problems in early pregnancy (up to 17 weeks of pregnancy) and emergency care for acute gynaecological problems.

We see women with:

  • pain or bleeding in early pregnancy
  • suspected ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the womb)
  • severe pelvic pain admitted to hospital who are not pregnant

The appointments are allocated from the Emergency Department, GPs or other healthcare providers. You will be given an appointment either on the day or within a few days.

Self-referrals

You can self-refer if you've had:

  • two previous miscarriages
  • a previous ectopic pregnancy
  • a previous molar pregnancy

What to expect when you attend EGU

A doctor or nurse will assess you by taking your medical history and you will also have an internal ultrasound scan. The scan findings will be explained, whether you need to have any more tests, and your treatment options. If you need to discuss these further with a doctor, you may need to wait to be seen as we give priority to those who are seriously unwell.

Contact Details

  • Direct telephone line: 020 8535 6499
  • Switchboard: 020 8539 5522 Ext 6575

Opening hours

  • Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 7pm
  • Weekends and bank holidays: 9am to 12noon.

If you are pregnant and are having pain or heavy bleeding outside of these hours, please go to the Emergency Department.

Antenatal screening

Our screening team is responsible for the day-to-day management of the six Antenatal and Newborn Screening Programmes.

Screening tests during pregnancy and beyond

  • Routine blood tests at your first appointment which includes checking your glucose level, blood group and iron levels. All pregnant women are offered testing for hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis.
  • Blood testing and ultrasound scanning for Down's, Edwards and Patau's syndromes.
  • A detailed ultrasound scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • A top-to-toe new-born physical examination is offered to your baby within 72 hours of birth.
  • Newborn hearing screening.
  • Newborn blood spot (sometimes called "the heel prick test") at around five days after birth

Screening timeline

The screening timeline explains which screening tests will be offered during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.

To give you more information about screening tests for you and your baby, Public Health England have produced information explaining the screening tests in detail.  A digital copy will be given to you by your midwife.

We use the terms ‘woman’ and ‘women’ to refer to anyone able to become pregnant, including trans men.

Obstetric ultrasound scans

Our obstetric ultrasound scanning unit is located in the Antenatal Clinic.  There are five dedicated scan rooms and our team is made up of seven sonographers including midwife sonographers. Find out about the scans offered in pregnancy.

Scan appointments are offered Monday to Saturday. You may be offered additional scans for uterine artery doppler screening at your anomaly scan, scans to check your baby is growing well and scans to recheck where your placenta is. At your routine scan appointment, we can arrange for a photo to be printed. They are free of charge.

Our office is based in the Antenatal Clinic and can be contacted Monday to Friday, 9sm - 5pm.

Telephone: 020 8535 6530

Email: bartshealth.wxhans@nhs.net

Fetal Medicine Unit (FMU)

Our Fetal Medicine Unit team is made up of four consultants and a specialist midwife. We offer individualised care to you and your family when there is concern about the health of your unborn baby.

The FMU diagnoses and manages:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Genetic conditions
  • Structural fetal defects
  • Fetal conditions that require surgical follow-up after birth
  • Suspected fetal growth restriction or small for gestational age fetus
  • Multiple pregnancy (twins and higher order)
  • Pregnancies affected by red cell antibody incompatibility
  • Diagnoses of chromosomal and genetic syndromes by invasive testing (amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling)

The FMU clinics take place in our scanning unit which is situated in the Antenatal Clinic and the clinics run:

Morning: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
Afternoon: Thursday. 

Helpful websites

Fetal medicine specialist midwife contact number

  • 020 8535 6530
  • 07927 683 224

Antenatal clinics and online courses

Birth Options Clinic

Our 'birth options' clinics are led by consultant midwives who will make a management plan with you for giving birth. The clinic provides an opportunity for women who have previously had a Caesarean section, traumatic birth or requesting care outside guidelines to explore the birth choices for their current pregnancy.

During this appointment we will review your previous notes and talk through your birthing wishes.

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Clinic (VBAC)

Women who have previously had a Caesarean section will usually be seen before 20 weeks of pregnancy and again later in the pregnancy depending on individual circumstances. Depending on your medical and obstetric history, or your personal preferences, an elective Caesarean section may be recommended for you.

You may be referred to the birth options clinic if your midwife or obstetrician feels that you would benefit from a consultation to discuss your last birth and decide to support the birth this time.

NHS England has developed a very comprehensive decision aid for women following one previous Caesarean section. We recommend that you use this before attending your birth options clinic appointment.

Vaccination clinic

We run drop-in clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays in our Antenatal Clinic between 11:00am to 2:00pm offering pregnant women vaccinations for influenza, pertussis (whooping cough) and Covid-19. You do not need to make an appointment to attend.

More information about the vaccines (influenza, whooping cough, Covid-19).

Pre-assessment clinic

You will usually be invited to attend a pre-assessment the week before your planned Caesarean birth.

The clinic is run by a preassessment nurse who will

  • explain everything in person and give you written information about where and when you should go on the day of your caesarean birth,
  • what you can expect for your recovery
  • your length of stay
  • the process for your discharge back home. 

You and your birthing partner will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. 

Any investigations that need to be carried out before your surgery will be organised for you.  This usually includes blood tests for yourself two days before your surgery date; swabs to check for MRSA (bacteria that some of us may carry and need treating before planned surgery) for yourself; and Covid-19 for you and your birthing partner.

Women’s Health Physiotherapy clinic

We have a dedicated women’s health physiotherapy team who run clinics in the Outpatient Physiotherapy area at Whipps Cross Hospital.

Antenatal

Conditions that our team treat include pregnancy related: pelvic girdle pain, thoracic spine pain, lower back pain with or without sciatica and carpal tunnel syndrome.

You will need to be referred by your midwife or doctor. The first session will be a group session ideally between six to 28 weeks of pregnancy. These will be followed up by one-to-one sessions if necessary.  Due to Covid-19, these sessions may be virtual appointments.

Postnatal

We see women up to 12 weeks after their birth with pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain, thoracic spine pain, lower back pain, diastasis of your rectus abdominis muscles, rib pain and for support with pelvic floor exercises especially after a perineal tear.

Our contact telephone number is 0208 539 5522 extension 4181.

Day Assessment Unit (8am – 8pm daily)

Our maternity day assessment unit offers appointments for women who require additional care, monitoring, and treatment during their pregnancy and after birth.

Reasons you may need to attend this unit include:

  • Having high blood pressure in pregnancy
  • Regular additional monitoring for your baby
  • Itching in pregnancy
  • Referrals from your community midwife

We offer a home blood pressure monitoring programme in pregnancy for women who have high blood pressure either before pregnancy or during pregnancy.

Our contact number is 0208 539 5522 extension 5055 and or email bartshealth.dau@nhs.net.

Maternity Triage (24 hours a day)

This is an assessment area staffed by senior midwives for pregnant women who are 18 weeks pregnant and above (if under 18 weeks, please attend our A&E department for assessment) and up to six weeks following the birth of your baby.

When to contact Maternity Triage`:

  • Reduced fetal movements
  • If you think you are in labour
  • Your waters breaking
  • Vaginal bleeding

If you have any other concerns such as itching, headaches and visual disturbances, postnatal concerns, please call us for advice on 0208 539 5522 extension 6769. 

‘Birth and Beyond’ online courses run by Whipps Cross Parent Education

We run a condensed two-day course or four sessions over two weeks with morning, afternoon, and evening sessions to suit different people’s needs. These courses are free of charge and are aimed at being an interactive, safe space for you to ask questions and actively participate.

Please book these classes via Eventbrite. If you would like further information or have problems booking onto a course, you can contact us.

Requesting a caesarean section

A caesarean section is a major operation and should not be performed unless there is a medical reason, or it is necessary to protect the health of you or your baby. There are implications for you and your unborn child at the time of the surgery and for your future health and pregnancies.

We understand that some women have a fear of childbirth or have other reasons for wanting to have a caesarean section. If this happens you will be seen in the birth options clinic by a senior medical specialist for a consultation to discuss the reasons for your request and to explore your options.

Maternity Mates: one-to-one support during your pregnancy

Every woman deserves to feel supported during their pregnancy, birth, and postnatal period. We know having a baby is a life changing experience and you don't have to do it alone. Whether you're a first-time mum or have been through pregnancy before, we are here for you.

One-on-one support for women during pregnancy

Maternity Mates is a free and confidential service that provides one-on-one emotional and practical support to local women from their 5th month or pregnancy up until 6 weeks after birth.

How we can help

Maternity Mates are local women with training and experience who are passionate about supporting mums to thrive as they transition into life with their new babies. They can help you as you prepare for your baby, navigate maternity care and be there during your labour and birth.

Maternity Mates can also help after birth, to guide you on feeding and bonding with your baby after they're born and connect you with other local services, like children’s centres.

Who we can help

Maternity Mates can support pregnant women who are isolated, without a support network or have specific health needs. This might include:

  • Single mums who do not have family or friends to offer support
  • Women new to the UK without access to support from family or friends
  • Women who have had a previous traumatic birth
  • Women currently experiencing domestic or sexual violence
  • Women with substance misuse issues
  • Women affected by mental health issues like anxiety or depression
  • Women who do not have a good command of the English language
  • Women in temporary accommodation or who are homeless

Find out more and get support

If you are living and giving birth in Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, or Newham, we are here to support you from your 5th month of pregnancy.

Ask your midwife, GP or other support worker to refer you or you can refer yourself by visiting our website: whfs.org.uk

If you have any questions, please call 020 7377 8725

Midwifery care in the community and hospital

We have five community midwifery teams covering all areas for your antenatal care. For your postnatal care, our community midwifery teams cover the designated areas of Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

We use the continuity of carer model with the aim of ensuring that you receive dedicated support throughout your pregnancy and after your birth from the same team.

At your booking appointment, you will be told which team you will be seen by. We provide homebirth cover to low-risk women in our catchment area.

Case loading

The Caseloading Team Midwives provide continuity of carer support from your booking appointment, antenatally, intrapartum wherever you decide to deliver and to postnatal care after your birth. These appointments are carried out in your own home for your convenience. Contact: 07798 532 421

Emerald

  • The team covers E4, E18, IG8, and part of IG7.
  • Contact: 07725 217 013.
  • Team Leader: Jenny Turney 07798 522 739

The Emerald Team Midwives are based at Whipps Cross Community Hub and antenatal and postnatal clinics are held at:

  • Chingford Health Centre, 109 York Road E4 8LA
  • Silverthorn Centre, 2 Friars Close E4 6UN
  • Handsworth Medical Practice, Handsworth Avenue
  • Orchards Children’s Centre, Liston Way IG8 7BL
  • South Woodford Health Centre, 114 High Road E18 2QS
  • Hainault Health Centre, Manford Way Chigwell IG7 4DF

Diamond

  • The Team covers parts of Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Out of Area (E10, E11).
  • Contact: 0208 539 5522,  extension 4693 or 4692.
  • Team Leader: Mattie Boateng – 07798 532 371

The Diamond

Team Midwives are based at Whipps Cross Maternity Hub and antenatal and postnatal clinics are held at:

  • Wood Street Health Centre, 6 Linford Road E17 3LA
  • Leyton Green Clinic, Leyton Green Road, E10 6BL
  • Cyberlink Clinic, 51 Beaumont Road, E10 5DE
  • Allum Medical Practice, Fairlop Road, E11 1BN
  • Wanstead Place Clinic, 35 Wanstead Place, E11 2SW

Opal

  • Covers parts of Redbridge (IG1, IG2, IG4, IG5, IG6).
  • Contact: 020 8539 5522 Ext 4693 or 4692
  • Team Leader: Pearl Safo-Sobre – 07944 202 836

The Opal Team Midwives are based at Whipps Cross Maternity Community Hub and Antenatal and Postnatal clinics at:

  • Cranbrook Children’s Centre, The Drive Ilford, IG1 3PS
  • Aldersbrook Children’s Centre, Ingatestone Road, Wanstead, E12 5HE
  • Redbridge Children’s Centre, College Gardens, IG4 5HW
  • Hainault Health Centre, Manford Way, Ilford, Chigwell, IG7 4DF

Topaz

  • Covers parts of Waltham Forest, the E17 area.
  • Contact: 07925 376 611.
  • Team Leader: Emily Mitchell 07919 211 641

The Topaz Team Midwives are based at Whipps Cross Maternity Community Hub and Antenatal and Postnatal Clinics:

  • Forest Road Medical Centre, 354-358 Forest Road, E17 5JL
  • St James Health Centre, 47 St James Street, E17 7NH
  • Comely Bank Health Centre, 46 Ravenswood Road, E17 9LY
  • Wood Street Health Centre, 6 Linford Road, E17 3LA

Each community midwifery team provides cover for the home birth service.

Ruby

  • Contact 0208 539 5522, extension 6733 / 6781 and women can self-refer to the team.
  • Perinatal Specialist – Jean Daniel 07798 571 580

The Ruby Specialist Team Midwives are based in the Antenatal Clinic at Whipps Cross Hospital. The Team caseloads pregnant women with complex factors and aims to empower and support women throughout their pregnancy into parenthood. 

They liaise with other multi-agency professionals to ensure that families are supported and have positive outcomes. 

Hospital Midwifery Team

If you have additional risk factors such as multiple pregnancy, you will be offered appointments to see the hospital midwives in the Antenatal Clinic.

Colostrum harvesting kits

These are available from all our midwifery teams including Antenatal Clinic. Please ask if you would like one or more information.