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Antenatal Care

Your antenatal care

Community midwives run antenatal clinics in Children’s Centres and GP practices close to where you live, and are often the first point of contact for pregnant women. It is important you contact your midwife a soon as possible in pregnancy so that they can plan your ongoing care with you. 

If you know you are pregnant, please make an appointment with a doctor or nurse practitioner. During this appointment the doctor will ask you to book your first antenatal appointment for the Friday afternoon clinic. This clinic is attended by a midwife who is allocated from Lewisham Hospital.

Whilst we try to have the same midwife every week, there are occasions when this is not possible due to circumstances beyond our control. It is a long appointment and, depending on your needs, may last for up to an hour. Therefore please be prepared to be seen for this length of time. Your follow-up antenatal visits are by appointment on a Monday morning from 9:15am until 11:45am and Monday afternoon from 1:00 – 4:0pm. Your appointment time is 10 minutes. 

If for any reason during your antenatal care you would like to speak to a midwife, information on how to do this is contained in the Yellow Book which will be given to you during your first appointment.

Care is mainly carried out by the midwives with the full support and back-up of the practice GPs and Lewisham Hospital. We support the right of the mother to choose where they have their baby, ie either at home or in hospital, and the midwife will discuss this with you. After the birth of your baby, the midwife and the health visitor will monitor the progress of both you and your baby, and give advice on feeding and immunisation. Postnatal checks are carried out by Dr Sau during normal surgery hours. Please book an appointment in the usual way.

Did you know you can refer yourself for an appointment with one of our midwives without speaking to your GP first?

You can self-refer by calling our midwife hotline on 07787 841 986, or alternatively by completing the online self-referral form; you can access this by clicking on the button shown below.

It’s best to see them as early as possible to obtain the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy, and because some tests, such as screening for sickle cell and thalassaemia should be done before you’re 10 weeks’ pregnant.

Midwife

The Midwife works with the Doctor to give care to women having a baby, both before birth and for ten days after the baby is delivered. Antenatal appointments are now generally provided by the Midwife at the Hospital or satellite clinic. For further information please contact your Practice.

The role of the midwife

A Midwife is a qualified nurse who has undertaken further training to provide and promote normal midwifery.

They help you to prepare for motherhood and promote good health for yourself and your baby by advising on the effects of drinking, smoking and good diet whilst you are pregnant.

The Midwife guides you through your pregnancy and endeavours to detect any problems and make relevant referrals if necessary.

Your antenatal care

When you first learn that you’re pregnant, get in touch with a Midwife or GP as soon as possible. Ideally this should be by 10 weeks of your pregnancy. Telling your GP and/or Midwife promptly will help to make sure you receive maternity healthcare that takes into account all your health needs and preferences.