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Pregnancy appointments and scans

This page will tell you about the appointments you will have if you are having a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy.

Some pregnancies may need extra appointments with doctors. These appointments will be made for you.

Your midwife will make sure you understand your care before anything is done. This is known as ‘consent’.

Always ask if you are not sure about anything.

Feel free to read on or click below to navigate to a particular appointment to find out more:

Missed antenatal appointments

It is important that you have regular appointments, so the health of you and your baby can be checked.

If you cannot come to an appointment with your community midwife, please call: 0116 258 4834

If you cannot come to a hospital appointment, please call the hospital antenatal clinic:

Leicester Royal Infirmary: 0116 258 6106
Leicester General Hospital: 0116 258 4829

During appointments, you and your baby’s health will be checked through, this will include:

  • Blood pressure check (at every appointment)
  • Urine test (at every appointment). This is to check for protein and sugar (glucose). This may be a sign of diabetes or pre-eclampsia
  • Your baby’s movements
  • The midwife will feel your tummy to check the position and how deep your baby is in your pelvis (the lie, presentation and engagement of your baby)
  • Measuring your baby’s growth

If you wish, the midwife or doctor can listen to your baby’s heartbeat with a handheld doppler from 25 weeks.

The use of home fetal dopplers to listen to your baby’s heartbeat is not recommended because:

  • It can be difficult to find baby’s heartbeat sometimes
  • Handheld dopplers can pick up your heart rate instead of baby’s heart rate. This means you might think that your baby is ok even though they might not be
  • Just because you can hear a baby’s heartbeat does not mean the baby is well
  • Midwives look at lots of different factors when they listen to your baby’s heartbeat

If you have concerns about your baby, you should always contact the Maternity Assessment Unit. 

You will be given a handheld maternity booklet to keep during your pregnancy. We advise that you always keep these notes with you. Please make sure you bring these notes with you to every appointment. This includes scan and hospital appointments.

Image of the maternity booklet

Your appointments

8 to 10 weeks – earlier the better

First appointment with a midwife (‘booking appointment’)

  • You will be asked about your health and your lifestyle. You will also be asked about any pregnancies you have had before. It is important to tell the midwife if you had any complications during earlier pregnancies or birth.
  • Antenatal care will be explained, and a plan will be made for you.
  • Your blood pressure, height, weight, and Body Mass Index (BMI) will be recorded.
  • Your urine will be tested for protein, sugar (glucose), and any infections.
  • We will talk to you about blood tests and scans. Your first blood test can be done at this appointment. Click here to find out more about antenatal screenings.
  • Information will be given to you about diet, lifestyle changes, pregnancy care services, maternity benefits, and screening tests.
  • Information will be given to you about smoke free pregnancies and homes. You will be given information to support you if you or someone who lives in your house is a smoker. Your carbon monoxide levels will be checked with a CO monitor at every antenatal appointment even if you do not smoke. Click here to find out more advice and information on your lifestyle and wellbeing during pregnancy.

11 to 14 weeks

First scan (‘dating scan’)

This scan is to check the pregnancy and the number of babies in the womb.

  • Your baby will be measured to estimate your due date.
  • The scan will check for any major problems.
  • You will be offered a screening test (alongside a blood test) for Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndrome. (nhs links)
  • (Please ask about having the Flu and Covid-19 Vaccinations after your scan)
  • If your blood group is found to be rhesus negative, you will get a letter from Blood Transfusion. We can offer you a test (the fetal RHD screening test) at your dating scan. This can tell us the blood group of your baby. If your baby is also rhesus negative then this means you will not need to have an injection around 28 weeks. Click here for more information on this.

Please do not bring children to the scan with you. We know how important the baby is to you and your family, but it is not possible to bring children into the scan room. If this causes difficulty, please phone the number on your scan invitation letter to discuss/make arrangements in advance.

Please make sure you come to your appointment on time. We will not be able to do your scan if you are more than 15 minutes late. If you are late, another scan appointment will be made for you.

We have both male and female sonographers working within the maternity ultrasound department so your scan may not be with a female sonographer. If this is a concern to you, please phone the scan department as early as possible before your appointment to discuss this. We will record your preference and try to arrange this but cannot guarantee that you will have a female sonographer.

If you choose to decline the scan, we will not be able to offer you another appointment due to the high number of scans that we do.

15 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

  • We will give you the results of your blood tests.
  • Your midwife will check if you need a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). This is a test to check if you have diabetes. If you do, you will be given more information and a test will be booked for 26 weeks of pregnancy.
  • From 15 weeks, all monitoring visits will include:

18 to 22 weeks

Detailed scan

A scan will be done to check for any problems with your baby at the hospital.

If you want to find out the baby’s gender, this might be possible at this scan. The sonographer will tell you.

(Please ask about having your Whooping Cough Vaccination after your scan)

25 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

This is an extra visit. It is usually only offered if you are having your first baby.

28 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

  • A blood test to check your iron levels, antibodies and blood group will be offered.
  • If you are rhesus negative and your baby is rhesus positive, or you have not had the fetal RHD screening test you will be booked to have an Anti-D injection.
  • Your midwife will talk to you about feeding choices and the support you can have. You will be given a booklet about feeding your baby after they are born.
  • Depending on your pregnancy, your baby’s growth will be checked by either:
    • having regular scans at the hospital (‘GROW pathway’), or
    • your midwife will measure your tummy at each appointment from 26 weeks of pregnancy.

31 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

Your midwife will give you the results from your 28 week blood tests.

34 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

  • Your midwife will ask you to think about your birth plan. This will be discussed at your next appointment.

Please ask your midwife about the ICON message. Click here for further information about ICON.

36 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

Your midwife will talk to you about your birth plan with you at this appointment.

38 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

Your midwife will talk to you about your choices if your pregnancy lasts longer than 40 weeks. This will include your options for induction of labour and membrane sweeps.

Click here to find out more about membrane sweeps.

40 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

Your midwife will again discuss options for you about induction of labour and offer you a membrane sweep.

41 weeks

Monitoring visit with midwife

If you have decided to wait longer than 41 before inducing labour, a membrane sweep will be offered.

Personalised Care Plans

During your pregnancy you can add comments, questions, and preferences about your care in your personalised care plan. This will be given to you at your pregnancy booking appointment.

ChatHealth Logo

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

Page last reviewed: 06-12-2023

Next review due: 06-12-2026