Who is who?

Click on any of the below to see how that person may help you.


An Anaesthetist is a doctor who specialises in providing pain relief and anaesthesia. If you decide to have an epidural, it will be given by an anaesthetist. If you require a caesarean section or an instrumental delivery (e.g. using forceps or ventouse), an anaesthetist will provide the appropriate anaesthesia.

A Clinical Psychiatrist is a doctor specialising in mental health, if you have a known mental health condition before you become pregnant, you may already see a psychiatrist. If you develop mental illness during your pregnancy, or after your baby is born, you may see a psychiatrist. Your midwif or G.P. can refer you to the Perinatal Mental Health team if you need support.

A Clinical Psychologist specialises in working with people who have mental health disorders or psychological distress. If you have a known mental health condition before you become pregnant you may already see a psychologist. Some women become mentally unwell whilst pregnant or once they have had their baby and may need to be seen by a specialist clinical psychologist for support. Your midwife or G.P. can refer you to the Perinatal Mental Health team if you need support.

A Community Midwife is often your first point of contact. Many work from Medical or Health Centres alongside General Practitioners, Health Visitors and Dieticians. The community teams are based in locations within the city close to the women and families to whom they provide care. They work every day and also provide an on call service for home births wherever possible.

A Dietician provides advice about healthy eating or special diets, for example if you develop gestational diabetes.

A Fetal Medicine Doctor is an obstetrician who has a special interest in fetal medicine; they will care for you at your local hospital. They work closely with fetal medicine specialists to ensure your care happens in the safest place.

Fetal Medicine Services: The Northern regions work closely together to provide as much specialist care as close to your home as possible, with referral for more specialist opinions and treatments when it is absolutely necessary.

Fetal Medicine services across the North East and North Cumbria are provided by small teams of closely connected doctors, midwives and other specialists in the management of unborn babies who are at higher risk of complications.

All maternity services in the North East and North Cumbria are able to offer fetal medicine care, provided by fetal medicine doctors who are obstetricians with additional training in the management of babies with health complications, such as smaller than usual or suspected abnormalities.

There are two hospitals in the area offering more specialist diagnostic services such as amniocentesis (sampling the fluid around the baby to assess the baby’s chromosomes) and chorionic villus biopsy (sampling the placenta): these are the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where there are fetal medicine subspecialist doctors.

The Fetal Medicine Centre at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle is able to provide further specialised care and treatments for babies who might need transfusions in the womb, or placing of shunts into the baby’s bladder or chest. Care of newborn babies who will need complex surgery when they are born, are seen by the specialist paediatricians alongside the fetal medicine team.

A Fetal Medicine Specialist is an obstetrician doctor who specialises in unborn babies (fetal) medicine; they work at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle Upon Tyne (RVI) the regional tertiary referral centre and James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Some women will have to travel for regular appointments to the fetal medicine department to see their fetal medicine specialist.

Health Visitors are specially trained nurses and midwives who offer help and support with the health of the whole family. You will meet your health visitor before the birth of your baby and you will be visited by a member of the team in the first few weeks after your baby is born.

An Infant Feeding Co-ordinator is either a midwife or a health visitor who work for hospital trusts. They are specialists in helping women with their choice in feeding their babies, when they need extra support. They have undertaken specialist training to give clinical advice on breastfeeding, bottle feeding or a combination of both. Midwives and doctors can refer you to them should you require their services.

A Maternity Support Worker (MSW) helps with many tasks on the wards; in clinic, in theatre, on the Delivery Suite and Birthing Centre. They ensure the smooth running of the unit.

A Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is a NHS working group: a team of women and their families, commissioners and providers (midwives and doctors) working together to review and contribute to the development of local maternity care. Please ask your midwife about groups in your local area. http://nationalmaternityvoices.org.uk/

A Midwife will look after you during labour and, if everything is straightforward, will deliver your baby. If any complications develop during your pregnancy or delivery, you will also see a doctor. After birth, you and your baby will be cared for by midwives and maternity support workers.

A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is a trained nurse specialising in new born babies.

A Neonatologist is a doctor specialising in the care of newborn babies. They work in specialist wards for premature, ill and compromised babies who need extra support.

A Nursery Nurse where available will help you care for your baby on the postnatal ward.

An Obstetrician is a doctor specialising in the care of women during pregnancy. Your midwife or GP will refer you for an appointment with an obstetrician if they have a particular concern, such as previous complications in pregnancy or chronic illness. You can also request to see an obstetrician if you have a particular concern.

A Paediatrician is a doctor who specialises in the care of babies and children from birth to their late teen years. A paediatrician or neonatologist may check your baby after the birth to make sure all is well and may be present when your baby is born, if the midwife or doctors have requested they are their for the delivery. If your baby has any problems, you will be able to talk this over with the paediatrician / neonatologist.

A Physiotherapist is specially trained to help you cope with the physical changes during pregnancy and childbirth. You may be referred if you are receiving back or pelvic pain, bladder or bowel problems. Individual appointments offer advice and safe effective exercises to help you manage during your pregnancy and return you to health and fitness after delivery.

Professional Midwifery Advocate (PMA) These are experienced midwives who have undertaken extra training; they use a national model called A-EQUIP which helps midwives to help women, their families and other midwives to, advocate, improve the quality of maternity services, help with education and give midwives clinical supervision.

A Researcher may ask if you will participate in a research project. This may be to test a new treatment or to find out your options on an aspect of your care. Such projects are vital to improve maternity care. The project should be fully explained to you and you are free to say no.

A Sonographer performs ultrasound scans. Many midwives are also trained as sonographers for pregnancy.

Students: Some of the health professionals you see will have students with them. The students will be at various stages of their training but will always be supervised. You can say no, but if you let a student be present it will help their education and may even add to your experience of pregnancy and labour.