This is the care you receive while you're pregnant to make sure you and your baby are as well as possible.

The doctor providing your antenatal care will:

  • check the health of you and your baby
  • give you useful information to help you have a healthy pregnancy, including advice about healthy eating and exercise
  • discuss your options and choices for your care during pregnancy, labour and birth 
  • answer any questions you may have

Starting antenatal care

You can book an appointment with the doctor as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.

How many antenatal appointments will I have?

you’ll have 10 to 13  antenatal appointments.

Questions you might be asked

The doctor will ask about:

  • the date of the first day of your last period 
  • your health
  • any previous illnesses and operations you have had
  • any previous pregnancies and miscarriages

Antenatal appointments after 24 weeks

From around 24 weeks of your pregnancy, your antenatal appointments will usually become more frequent.

But if your pregnancy is uncomplicated and you’re in good health, you may not be seen as often as someone who needs to be more closely monitored.

Your doctor will: 

  • check your urine and blood pressure
  • feel your tummy (abdomen) to check the baby’s position
  • measure your womb (uterus) to check your baby’s growth
  • listen to your baby’s heartbeat, if you want them to

You can also ask questions or talk about anything that’s worrying you.

Talking about your feelings is as important as all the antenatal tests and examinations.

You should be given information about:

  • making your birth plan 
  • preparing for labour and birth
  • how to tell if you’re in active labour
  • induction of labour if your baby is overdue (after your expected date of delivery) 
  • the “baby blues” and postnatal depression
  • feeding your baby

At each antenatal appointment from 24 weeks of pregnancy doctor will check your baby’s growth.

To do this, they’ll measure the distance from the top of your womb to your pubic bone and do serial ultrasounds

Your baby's movements

Keep track of your baby’s movements.

At any stage of pregnancy, if your baby’s movements become less frequent, slow down or stop (called reduced foetal movement), contact your midwife or doctor immediately – do not wait until the next day.

You’ll be offered an ultrasound scan if they have any concerns about how your baby is growing and developing