Antenatal Care

Antenatal Care

IMPORTANT - Your maternity notes

At your first appointment at approximately eight weeks pregnant, your midwife will give you your maternity notes.

This is a record of the care that everyone gives you during your pregnancy, birth and after birth, and helps us to communicate with each other. It is very important that you bring it with you to all your appointments. Please take these with you to all health appointments including your GP and hospital. These notes remain the property of the maternity unit and your midwife will need to return them to the unit once your maternity care is completed. 

Antenatal appointments with your midwife

You will have regular appointments with your midwife throughout your pregnancy and your midwife will explain this process to you. Your midwife will ask you if you smoke and can offer you support to quit- read more.

Tests and screening

700,000 women get pregnant in the UK every year. Over 95% of these pregnancies result in the birth of a healthy baby. However, in a few cases, screening aims to detect problems that may affect you or your baby.

For more information on screening, please see the National Screening Committee website.

For more information on testing, visit this page on the NHS Choices website.

NHS antenatal classes 

Antenatal classes can help you to prepare for your baby’s birth, as well as looking after and feeding your baby. They can also help you to keep fit and well during pregnancy. All pregnant women and their partners are offered a range of antenatal classes, either in our units or in the community in health centres, for example.

The classes you will be offered will include the following topics:

  • Giving birth
  • Feeding your baby and the early days

Breastfeeding gives your baby the best start in life, so it is a good idea to be prepared by finding out about how to breastfeed. You can do this by attending hospital antenatal classes (your midwife will tell you about these) or those run by other organisations.

Your community midwife will be able to explain to you exactly what classes are available to you in your area.


All the numbers you need for maternity

Mother and Father with newborn View of a birthing room at the Cheltenham Birth Centre Mother and Father with newborn
Your choice
Your labour and birth After your baby is born