Call the midwife

Once the pregnancy test’s come back positive, you’ll need to get in touch with a midwife. Your GP can help you with this. You’ll need to make an appointment within the first eight to ten weeks of your pregnancy.

Midwives are specially trained nurses who look after and support mothers and their babies. Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll have regular appointments with your midwife, and he or she will continue to care for you during the period immediately after you’ve given birth. For most new mums, the midwife is the main point of contact during pregnancy, birth and aftercare, and the person who helps them make informed choices about their care. If there are any concerns or complications during your pregnancy, your midwife (or your GP) will refer you to a doctor who specialises in childbirth, known as an ‘obstetrician’.

When you have a baby, there are whole teams of NHS and other health professionals who may care for you and your baby:

Hospital midwives are based either within a hospital maternity unit or a midwifery led birthing centre. They work in antenatal clinics, on labour wards and in postnatal units.

Community midwives work in teams and come to see you in your own home or at local clinics. It’s the community midwives who will support you through a home birth if you request one. Once your baby (or babies!) arrives, it will be the community midwife who looks after you both for the next ten days or so.

Independent midwives don’t work for the NHS, but will support women planning a home birth. They will charge for this service.

Doulas and birth companions are not midwives, but are trained to support mums before, during and after the birth. They also charge a fee for their services.

Hypnobirthing consultants are trained professionals –not always midwives– who can help you to keep calm and relaxed throughout the birthing process. Many women find hypnobirthing really helps them to have a positive birthing experience. Hypnobirthing consultants charge for their services.

Sonographers are professionals who are specially trained to carry out ultrasound scans. In most cases, women have a dating scan at 12 weeks which confirms how far along in your pregnancy you are and is an opportunity to check the baby’s development. You’ll also be offered another scan at 20 weeks. Sometimes your doctor or midwife will ask for additional scans at other times as well, and where these are needed, they’ll discuss it with you.

Find out more about your local maternity services here.

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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.

Leicester City: text 07520 615381

Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615382

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