Your first midwife appointment is also referred to as your ‘booking appointment’ and can be a very anxious and/or exciting time. The booking appointment often takes place before you are 10 weeks pregnant and can take up to an hour.
During this appointment, you will be asked a lot of questions about your health to determine what care you need. The kind of information that your midwife will need to know includes questions about your own health, your family’s health and your lifestyle (for example, whether you smoke, whether you have had any previous pregnancies, whether you have any other children). You may feel as though some questions are irrelevant, if you don’t understand why you are being asked a particular question then ask your midwife. Furthermore, if you have any worries or concerns about your pregnancy use this appointment to tell your midwife.
In addition to your physical health, you will also be asked about your mental health. Depression and anxiety are common in pregnancy and you will not be judged for feeling down. Your midwife will be able to offer you support and appropriate care.
During your booking appointment, your midwife might also:
- Measure your height and weight to work out your body mass index (BMI)
- Offer you a blood test. This it so find out whether you have any conditions that may affect your baby.
- Measure your blood pressure. This is to look out for signs of pre-eclampsia.
- Make recommendations on what vitamins you should be taking in pregnancy.
- Provide you with information for free prescriptions and NHS dental care.
In addition to the above, your midwife should also talk to you about:
- How your baby will develop during pregnancy
- How to maintain a healthy diet and what foods you should avoid during pregnancy
- What antenatal classes are available in your area
- The scans and other testing that will be offered to you during pregnancy
At the end of your booking appointment, your midwife will provide you with your maternity notes. These notes will include your appointments and test results, and should also include phone numbers of your midwife team and your maternity unit. You should carry these notes with you until you have had your baby.