Maternity

Maternity

We recognise that expectant mothers require very special attention. Our dedicated teams are here to help you through your pregnancy and birth and provide you with the best care to suit your individual needs.

You can choose to access maternity care in any of our units:

Your appointments

Making your first appointment - how to be referred

When you first find out that you are pregnant you should register for antenatal care as soon as possible. This enables us to organise maternity care for you that takes into account all your needs and preferences.

There are currently three ways that you can be referred to Barts Health maternity services. You can:

Once your referral has been received a booking appointment with a midwife will be sent out to you and ideally be completed before the week 10 of your pregnancy.

At this appointment your individual plan of care will be discussed with you and plans made for your future appointments.

If you have booked to have your baby at another unit but wish to transfer your care to us, please complete the self-referral form above. We will do our best to see you within two weeks of receiving your form.

The Trust offers an interpreting service, Bilingual Health Advocacy Service which includes face-to-face interpreting and also telephone line interpreting. For more information visit the interpreting service pages of our website here.

If English is not your first language and you require this service then this should be included on the referral form and an interpreter will be arranged for your appointment. We prefer not to use any friends or family members to interpret for you.

Before your first appointment

With your appointment letter we will also send a booklet called screening tests for you and your baby. Please read this before your appointment. You will then be able to ask any questions with the midwife before deciding which screening tests you wish to have. 

Please bring with you to your appointment:

  • scan reports if you have already had any ultrasound scans
  • a copy of your maternity notes, blood results or ultrasound scan reports if you are transferring your care from another hospital

We provide additional services for patients with learning disabilities by giving them a hospital passport. For more information about the passport visit the patients with disabilities page here.

At your first appointment

Your first pregnancy appointment, also known as your booking appointment, will either take place at one of our hospitals 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:

  • maintaining a healthy pregnancy such as how to eat healthily and stop smoking
  • what choices are available to you during your pregnancy, including screening tests and where to have you baby
  • how to access antenatal classes

Your booking appointment usually takes around one hour and is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have. You are welcome to have your husband, partner, mother, or friend attend with you.

You will be given your handheld maternity folder which includes your green maternity notes. You should keep these maternity notes in a safe place and bring them with you to every appointment and hospital attendance.

Choices of antenatal care

At your first appointment the midwife will help arrange the best antenatal care package for you and your pregnancy. The midwife will work with you to assess whether your pregnancy has any special considerations called risk factors. This enables us to offer the best care package for you and your baby. 

What to expect from your antenatal care

You will be invited to attend regular appointments throughout your pregnancy in order to monitor the health and wellbeing of you and your baby. 

Some of the things you should expect at these appointments include:

  • checking your urine and blood pressure
  • feeling your tummy to assess the growth and position of your baby
  • listening to you baby’s heartbeat (from 24 weeks)

You should use these appointments to discuss any concerns or worries that you may have.

To find out more visit about antenatal care, visit the NHS Choices website here.

The table below outlines your likely schedule of care if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, this includes 10 appointments for women having their first baby and seven appointments for subsequent births. 

If you have any existing medical problems, or develop complications during pregnancy, you may need to be seen more often.

Schedule of care
Weeks' pregnant Who you will see Mother and baby checks
10 - 12 weeks Community midwife Booking visit, meet your  midwife and take your history, check BP and urine
11 - 13 weeks Hospital Scan and blood test Nuchal translucency scan: measures fluid under skin at back of baby’s neck (a test for Down’s syndrome)
16 weeks Community GP / midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby
20 - 23 weeks Hospital Anomaly scan: detailed scan for fetal wellbeing
25 weeks Community GP / midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby
28 weeks Community midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby, blood tests and anti-D if rhesus negative
31 weeks Community GP / midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby
34 weeks Community midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby, anti-D if rhesus negative, birth plan
36 weeks Community GP / midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby, discuss test results and baby’s position
38 weeks Community GP / midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby, discuss options if you go beyond 40 weeks
40 weeks Community GP / midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby, discuss options if you go beyond 40 weeks
41 weeks Community midwife Antenatal check of mother and baby, membrane sweep and book induction

At the end of each your appointments, we will give you details of where and when your next appointment will be and with who. If this is not possible, you will be contacted by telephone or letter with the details of your next appointment.

If you have either missed or not been told about an appointment that you think you should have had, please contact your midwife or antenatal clinic as soon as possible.

Refer to our service

Ask our antenatal team a question