The NHS provides about 11 antenatal visits for women in their first pregnancy, with approximately two less visits for women with a previous pregnancy.
The Booking visit
The booking visit appointment will include details of any previous pregnancies, medical problems or surgical operative procedures in the past. They will discuss your concerns and aspirations for your pregnancy and the type of care you would like to undertake. At this visit screening investigations that are routine in the NHS will also be discussed. Blood samples and measurements of blood pressure and urine analysis will be done at this visit, or can be organised for a subsequent visit. Other important information, such as type and place of delivery, will also be discussed at this appointment. The booking visit usually lasts about one hour.
Once the details of your past medical social and surgical history is taken time will be spent going through the process of your visits, the blood tests you will require, and the scans you will need to have. At this visit a brief risk assessment will be made to determine whether or not you will need extra scans or medication to improve the outcome of your pregnancy.
Routine ultrasound scans
Routine pregnancy ultrasound scans are included as follows:
11-13 week scan, commonly referred to as the Nuchal Translucency scan
Anomaly scan between 18 and 20 weeks
Other scans are available as required, such as a cervical length assessment or uterine artery Doppler ultrasound. These are undertaken if there is a specific need, such as previous preterm birth, or previous small babies and blood pressure problems.
Routine antenatal blood tests:
During your pregnancy you will undergo a number of blood tests; most of these are undertaken at the booking visit. Another blood test is offered at 28 weeks.
Haemoglobin (Hb) – This tests checks the level of iron in your blood and whether or not you need further tests or iron suppliments
Blood group – Most women have a rhesus positve blood group. However, If you are rhesus negative, you will be advised to have a single injection at 28 weeks to help prevent you from developing antibodies that may harm your baby.
Haemoglobin electrophoresis – This test is performed to exclude the possibilty that you carry the gene for sickle cell anaemia or thalassaemia.
Glucose – This test checks your blood sugar level and may help your doctor determine your risk of diabetes in pregnancy.
Sypillis – All women are tested for syphillis because, although it is rare, it is easily treated and is harmful to the unborn baby.
Rubella – This virus is the cause of a condition called German measles which like sypillis can cause harm to your unborn baby.
Hepatitis B – This infection can be transmitted to your baby. If the result is positive this allows the paediatrician to plan for the type of vaccination your baby will need to prevent him from getting the disease after birth.
HIV – This infection can be transmitted between mother and baby during pregnancy. Transmission can be reduced if we are aware of it and you have medication to reduce the virus quantity in your blood and have delivery by Caesarean section.
If you require extra antenatal care or wish to have more time at an appointment, please feel free to contact us on:
01455 250 021 or email email@example.com