The community midwife, Jo Wheatley, works with the team at the surgery (she is employed by West Hertfordshire Hospital NHS Trust). The midwife provides care in pregnancy, during birth and the early postnatal period. The antenatal clinic is every Thursday and Friday 13:30 – 17:00.
When you find out that you are pregnant, it is advisable to make an appointment through reception to see the midwife as soon as possible, ideally between 6 – 8 weeks of pregnancy. This is to initiate antenatal care and complete a referral for an ultrasound scan at the hospital of choice. The next appointment, called the booking appointment, is to:
- complete the comprehensive pregnancy records
- discuss recommended screening tests available
- make an individual care plan for the pregnancy
The initial meeting to undertake the booking history will take place:
- at the surgery
- at home
- at a children’s centre or
- at a hospital-based booking clinic.
Thereafter antenatal appointments with the community midwife or GP will take place at regular intervals throughout pregnancy. Should referral to a consultant obstetrician be required, the midwife or GP will refer you for an obstetric opinion at the hospital. You will be assessed on an individual basis with safety for both the mother and the baby being a priority.
Therefore at the booking visit each pregnancy will be assessed as to the level of care required:
- Standard Care: Your care will be shared between the GP and the community midwife
- Intermediate Care: Your care will be shared between the community midwife and Obstetric Consultant
- Intensive Care: Most of your care will be delivered by the Consultant led antenatal clinic at the hospital however you will also continue to see your community midwife.
You can give birth at home, in a unit run by midwives (a midwifery unit or birth centre) or in hospital. Some hospitals have a separate midwifery unit. The choice you have about where to have your baby will depend on your needs and risks and, to some extent, on where you live.
Wherever you choose, the place should feel right for you, and the midwife will provide information and advice.
For further information about pregnancy and birth, visit the NHS website.