Before your baby is due (Antenatal)

Every woman is entitled to antenatal care. You will be offered a range of appointments and tests. If you have a complicated pregnancy you may need more appointments or tests than those shown on these pages.

This pathway shows useful information for some keys points through your pregnancy. Click on each of the numbered sections to find out more.

Seven to ten appointments with your midwife, GP or obstetrician (a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth).

Your midwife will enquire about your health and mood at every visit to identify any problems early.

Keeping physically active in pregnancy is important for both your physical and mental health. For more advice see:

Eating a well-balanced diet during pregnancy can help both mum and baby. Find out more at
Women who are pregnant should take folic acid supplements for at least the first 12 weeks.

Routine Blood Tests to identify your blood group and check for various illnesses or genetic blood disorders which includes: HIV, Syphilis,Hepatitis B, Anaemia (Low Iron), Sickle Cell, Thalassaemia.

There are some foods you should avoid when pregnant, to find out more, visit: Always check with your GP, Pharmacist or Midwife before you take any medicine.

It is safest to not drink any alcohol in pregnancy. For more information see

Ultrasound scan (when you are 8 to 14 weeks pregnant) to confirm your expected due date. The scan can be combined with blood tests to screen for genetic conditions including Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau's syndrome (also known as T21, T18 and T13). For more information about Down Syndrome, visit the Positive About Down Syndrome website:

Ultrasound screening anomaly scan (18+0 to 20+6 weeks) to check for possible physical problems with your baby and to check your baby's growth. This is also the scan when your baby's sex may be determined. Ask your midwife for a MAT B1 certificate - this confirms your pregnancy for your employer.

At this scan, you should be provided with a copy of the Parent Held Child Record (Red Book) which contains lots of important health information.

Flu vaccination. This is given during flu season, as soon as possible after the vaccine becomes available (usually September), but may be given up until the end of March depending on availability.

Parent Education. Antenatal classes are offered to parents with information that will help you prepare for birth and parenthood.

Talking to your bump is an important part of forming a bond with your baby. It is also important for your baby’s brain and language development. Your baby can hear sounds from the outside world from about 15 weeks.

Whooping cough vaccine. This is usually given between 16 and 38 weeks.

Information on feeding your baby. Visit: and

Infant feeding support from midwives, maternity support workers and health visitors, who will advise and support you in your chosen method. For more information visit the national breastfeeding help line:

The opportunity to meet your Health Visitor before you have your baby.