What to Expect at Your First Midwife Appointment
Expectant mothers will need to attend various antenatal appointments throughout their pregnancy. A midwife, or occasionally an obstetrician, will check both yours and your baby’s health. What’s more, they will provide informative information, such as the importance of a healthy diet and details of antenatal screenings.
If you are set to meet your midwife for the first time, here’s what to expect at your first midwife appointment.
Where Will I Have My Appointments?
Your first midwife appointment may take place in either a GP surgery, your home, a hospital or a children’s centre and it will likely take no longer than one hour. First-time mothers often need to attend more appointments compared to women who have had children.
What Tests Can I Expect at My First Midwife Appointment?
At your appointment, your midwife will need to learn more about your current weight to avoid health risks to both you and your baby. For example, a midwife will ask to:
- Measure your weight and height to identify your body mass index (BMI)
- Take your blood to identify if you have HIV, hepatitis B or syphilis
- Review your blood pressure and test your urine to identify signs of pre-eclampsia
Your midwife will also provide you with maternity notes in either a folder or book at the end of your appointment. It is essential to take your notes with you to each appointment, as it will be used to record of your health and any test results. The notes are for both you and your midwife to review and will include important phone numbers, such as your midwife’s contact details and the telephone number for your maternity unit.
What Questions Will a Midwife Ask?
During your first appointment, a midwife will ask various questions to ensure you and your baby are effectively cared for throughout your pregnancy.
For instance, a midwife could ask about:
- The baby’s father
- Any health issues within your family
- Past pregnancies or children
- Your mental or physical health
- Your career
- Your support system
- Smoking, alcohol or drug usage
- Your home and its residents
The initial appointment will allow your midwife to learn more about your health history and background. It is also an opportunity to express any concerns regarding your pregnancy. Don’t hesitate to talk to your midwife if you have been or are currently a victim of domestic violence or female genital mutilation (FGM).
It is, however, important to note that you can express these concerns at any point to your midwife during your pregnancy, who will ensure you receive the help you need.
What Information Will I Receive?
A midwife will provide much information regarding your pregnancy during your first appointment, such as health tips and classes.
They will commonly provide information on:
- The benefits of breastfeeding
- A healthy pregnancy diet
- The scans and tests you can receive during pregnancy
- Your baby’s development throughout pregnancy
- Antenatal classes
- Antenatal care
- Childbirth options
- Medical benefits you are entitled to (such as free prescriptions and dental care).
If you don’t understand a process or have a question, your midwife will be happy to provide all the information you need to feel relaxed and knowledgeable throughout your pregnancy