What to Expect At Your First Midwife Appointment
Your booking appointment gets the ball rolling
You’re pregnant! You’ve peed on that stick and those magical two pink lines have shown up to indicate your life is about to change forever. Congratulations!
But what now?
Other than the fact you might want to scream your exciting news from the rooftops and tell anyone who’ll listen, you’ll have to think about the practical side of things and contact your healthcare provider.
Depending on where you live, you may have to arrange to see your doctor first before they refer you to a midwife. In other places, they might send you straight to a midwife or you might have to self-refer to get that all-important booking appointment.
This incredible time might bring with it a whole host of overwhelming terminology if you’re a first-time parent.
But don’t worry. This article tells you what you can expect from your first antenatal appointment.
What is a booking appointment?
A booking appointment is your first antenatal appointment with a midwife (or doctor, depending on your location).
When should I schedule my first midwife appointment?
You should contact your doctor to find out the process for booking your first appointment with the midwife as soon as you know you’re pregnant.
This booking appointment usually takes place when you’re between eight and 12 weeks pregnant.
What happens at your first midwife appointment?
First of all, you’ll have your height measured, along with your weight and blood pressure. Get used to this as your weight and blood pressure are checked at every appointment during pregnancy!
You’ll need to give blood and urine samples, although your healthcare provider may ask you to make a separate appointment for these, again depending on how things are done where you live.
Your midwife or doctor will ask you about you and your family’s medical history, your mental health, any previous pregnancies, any medication you currently take, allergies and more.
You’ll also be asked about your alcohol intake and if you smoke. There’s no time like the present to stop!
They’ll also ask the date your last period started so they can calculate your due date based on that, although this date may change when you go for your first scan, also known as your dating scan.
What else is discussed at the booking appointment?
Your midwife will explain your appointment and scan schedule and inform you of the options available in your area in terms of where you can give birth to your baby.
They should also provide you with dietary information on what foods are beneficial and what others you need to avoid (having to cut out certain foods is enough to make any hormonal, pregnant woman cry) and they may subscribe you supplements, like the extremely important folic acid.
They’ll discuss antenatal screening tests that are offered as well as any free dental care you’re entitled to.
They may also mention antenatal classes, breastfeeding workshops, and relevant vaccines during pregnancy.
You’ll also have the chance to ask any questions you may have at this exciting but apprehensive time.
What comes after my first antenatal appointment?
You’ll be given your pregnancy notes that will accompany throughout your journey. Remember to take these with you to every appointment.
After your first midwife appointment comes your dating scan. This is the most keenly awaited part of the first trimester as sometimes people can’t quite believe their pregnancy until they see their baby on-screen, despite all the symptoms they may have been having.
You’ll either be given the date of your scan at your booking appointment or you’ll be sent it in the post.
Depending on the time of year you fall pregnant, you may be advised to get a flu jab.
And of course, it’s always up to you when you decide to tell people the happy news. Some choose to share it straight away, others wait until the dating scan to know for sure. Whatever you decide is right for you.
Now, just try to take it easy in the first few weeks as they can often be some of the most difficult with raging hormonal shifts, occasionally wild symptoms, and extreme fatigue.
But we’ll save all the fun of those for another post…