During your visits, the midwife will examine you and your baby. This is done to check that the baby is developing normally and that you are well and getting the support you need.
The baby's father or someone else close to you is welcome to accompany you on your visits to the midwife and doctor. Many parents-to-be have a lot of questions and thoughts they want to discuss with the doctor or midwife. Bringing someone with you is also useful because a lot of information and advice will be given during the visits and it is good to have someone to discuss it with.
Your first appointment is around week 8-12 of pregnancy
Around week 8-12, you (and your partner, if you have one) will have your first appointment with the midwife who will follow you during the whole pregnancy. It is advisable for both parents to attend the appointment together. This allows the midwife to ask both the parents questions. And of course, this is an important milestone in your lives.
During the visit, a plan will be made for the coming examinations and visits. If you need to meet a doctor, an appointment will be booked. The midwife will do the first tests: blood pressure, weight, urine and blood samples. You will be asked about your feelings and expectations and will have the opportunity to ask questions. In addition, the midwife will ask about your medical history and whether you take any medications.
After your first visit, you may not need another appointment until pregnancy week 25. This might seem a long time to wait, but don't worry - you can contact your midwife at any time with questions and queries. It is important that you feel secure and have a phone number to contact her on.
Your check-ups with the midwife
You will see your midwife about 8-10 times during the pregnancy. She will enquire about your health and how you feel, and you can ask her any questions you may have. Tests will be done to check how the pregnancy is progressing.
Your visits to the midwife will follow the standard protocol if you are healthy and your pregnancy is without complications. If there are complications and you need more frequent visits, the midwife and doctor will adapt the protocol as necessary.
A maternity journal will be prepared for you at the maternity clinic containing information about your health and other details relevant to your pregnancy. The purpose of the journal is to give the midwife an overall perspective on your heath, well-being and everyday situation, since this is a time of big changes for you. It is important to tell the midwife about any past or present illnesses and medications that could affect you or the baby.
You should also tell her about any problems that could complicate your pregnancy or require extra monitoring. The midwife will take note of any hereditary illnesses in your family, as well as details of your lifestyle and health care habits. She will ask you about your current life situation. You will be asked if you are allergic or intolerant to any medicines, and about your smoking and alcohol habits. There will be a lot of things to discuss.
Take the opportunity to ask questions
The conversation will also be determined by what you and your partner want to talk about. You will be given information about prenatal diagnosis. The maternity journal will document your entire pregnancy. The midwife add enter new information each time you visit, such as weight, blood and blood sugar values, blood pressure and the baby's heart rate.
Your tummy will be measured to check that the baby is growing normally. The values will be entered in your journal. The journal will document everything that happens to you and the baby, and will be sent to the maternity ward when you go into labour.
Maternity journals are digital these days, and are often linked to the patient's local hospital.
Read more about pregnancy in Libero's free app, The Pregnancy Book.
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Your first visit to the midwife
The midwife's two main tasks are to monitor the pregnancy and provide support to the expecting mother.