Wednesday 28 February 2024
Salisbury Foundation Trust

Antenatal Care Timeline

Antenatal care (also known as pre-natal care) is the care you receive from the start of your pregnancy until after your baby is born.

If you are unsure of your gestation, you can use the NHS Due Date Calculator to help.

Employers must give pregnant women time off for antenatal care and pay their normal rate for this time off – please see the government website for further advice.

Every pregnancy is different, however below is a generalised guide of antenatal care events – the timings of these appointments may vary, and more appointments may be deemed necessary if you are considered high risk.

Please note that the schedule of appointments may change during your pregnancy, and you may be advised to attend the Antenatal Clinic (ANC) for your ongoing care. You will be allocated a named consultant. Although you will be invited to attend your named consultant’s clinics, you may not see your consultant at each appointment. However, you will be seen by another member of the obstetric team who will discuss your ongoing care with your consultant. Please continue to book in with your community Midwife for your regular appointments if you wish to. 

 

Gestation

Aim of consultation

Making contact with maternity services

When you are 6-8 weeks pregnant, please notify a midwife by using our online booking form. Alternatively, please call our Day Assessment Unit (DAU) on 01722 425 185.

We will then put you in touch with a midwife who covers your local area, and they will arrange your phone/virtual booking appointment. Your midwife will also arrange your first clinic appointment and confirm these two appointments via email. Within these emails, you will also be provided with important information such as options for screening etc.

8-10 weeks

Your midwife will take a detailed medical, childbirth-related and social history and from this information determine whether you may be classed as ‘high risk’, due to identifying additional risk factors, and need to see a childbirth specialist (obstetrician) in your pregnancy.

We will discuss your screening options and offer you some blood tests. We will also check your blood pressure and send off a urine sample for analysis. At this point your midwife may advise that you have the flu vaccine.

In the next couple of weeks you should expect to get a letter in the post for your dating screening scan.

10-14 weeks

The dating scan is an ultrasound scan, used to see how far along in your pregnancy you are and check your baby’s development. Screening can also happen at the same time, if it has been requested and consented to by the parents.

16 weeks

This is an opportunity to discuss your screening results with your midwife, who will also document your initial blood test results. If your blood group is rhesus negative, you will be offered an additional blood test to try and predict your baby's blood group, as this may impact on some of your antenatal care going forward.

Your blood pressure and urine will be checked again.

In the first months of pregnancy, due to the baby’s size it is not always possible to locate your baby’s heart rate. However, this gets easier as you progress through your pregnancy and from 16 weeks onwards there maybe the opportunity to hear your baby’s heartbeat during antenatal appointments. 

At this point you may be advised to see the practice nurse at your GP surgery regarding the whooping cough vaccine.

18-21 weeks

Ultrasound scan, also referred to as the ‘fetal anomaly scan’. This is a much longer and more detailed scan – the main purpose of this scan is to check for any physical abnormalities of your baby. It is at this scan you can request to find out the sex of your baby – if the baby is in the right position to show the sonographer!

25 weeks

(1st pregnancies only)

If this is your first baby, you will be offered a midwife check up at 24-25 weeks. You will also be offered free virtual antenatal education sessions run by an NHS midwife over 2 x 2 hour sessions on Microsoft Teams. Your email address is required to sign up for this service.

Your midwife will discuss the importance of fetal movements and who to call if you have any concerns.

You will also be given your Mat B1 form.

28 weeks

The midwife will check your blood pressure and urine. If your blood group is rhesus negative, you may be offered an Anti-D injection.

We will offer further blood tests – mainly to check your iron level and to see if you have developed any antibodies.

Your midwife will measure your bump using a tape measure (unless you are on a plan for regular antenatal scans).

31 weeks

(1st pregnancies only)

Your midwife will review and record your blood test results. Your blood pressure and urine will be checked and your bump will be measured (unless you are on a plan for regular antenatal scans).

34 weeks

Regular antenatal appointment.

Your midwife will discuss postnatal contraception options with you.

36 weeks

Regular antenatal appointment.

Your midwife will discuss postnatal contraception options with you (if not previously done so at your previous appointment).

Your weight will also be recorded again.

38 weeks

Regular antenatal appointment.

40 weeks

Regular antenatal appointment and you will be offered a membrane sweep. A membrane sweep involves having a vaginal examination that may stimulate the cervix to produce hormones that may trigger natural labour.

Between 40-41 weeks pregnant your midwife will discuss induction of labour. National guidance recommends induction of labour to avoid the risks of a prolonged pregnancy (pregnancy lasting beyond 42 weeks).

It is not possible to reliably predict which babies are at increased risk, so the Department of Health recommends induction of labour to all women between 41 and 42 weeks of pregnancy (usually when you are 12 days over your due date).

41 weeks

Regular antenatal appointment and you will be offered a further membrane sweep. If not already done, a date for induction of labour can be booked. You may choose not to be induced – please discuss this with your midwife. Increased monitoring of your baby will be offered if you choose not to be induced.

 

 

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

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