Antenatal appointments and tests diary
Once you know you are pregnant, your diary will quickly fill up with antenatal appointments with your midwife, GP or obstetrician to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
In some appointments, useful information is given; at others, progress will be checked and in some screening tests may be performed.
First time mums will have more than women who have already had a baby.
The first contact appointment with the midwife or doctor is arranged as soon as you know you are pregnant. Make sure your pregnancy care team knows about any problems in previous pregnancies, medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and any family history of conditions like spina bifida, sickle cell anaemia or cystic fibrosis.
At the appointment, you'll be given information about:
- Antenatal supplements: folic acid and vitamin D
- Healthy eating in pregnancy, nutrition and what not to eat
- Things to avoid, including smoking, drinking alcohol and illegal drugs
- Antenatal screening tests
Eight to 12 weeks: The booking appointment
At this appointment, you get some very important paperwork: your hand-held notes and plan of care to keep with you.
Plans will be made for care and any special measures during your pregnancy.
Risks will be assessed for gestational diabetes or pre- eclampsia.
This is the time to discuss any potential problems a job may cause with the pregnancy, such as chemicals or radiation, and what to do about them.
Then some checks and tests:
- Height and weight will be measured and BMI worked out (body mass index)
- Check for high blood pressure
- Test urine for protein
Further tests and screening will be explained and offered and appointments booked.
Screening offered will include:
You'll be given more information, including:
- Stages of how the baby develops during pregnancy
- Maternity benefits
- Options for the birth and planning ahead
Eight to 14 weeks: Dating scan
This ultrasound scan helps to estimate when your baby is due. The scan also monitors the baby's healthy development and checks for any possible abnormalities.
If you've had tests and previous appointments, results will be explained and discussed.
Routine checks include blood pressure and protein in the urine. Iron supplements may be recommended if anaemia is detected.
The next tests and appointments will be explained.
18-20 weeks: Anomaly scan
This ultrasound scan is the next step in monitoring the healthy physical development of the baby and to look for any physical abnormalities.
The 25 week appointment is for first time mums, during which blood pressure will be tested and urine checked for protein again.
The size of the uterus will also be measured.