Antenatal appointments

By contacting your GP or maternity service as soon as you’re pregnant and going to all your appointments, you’ll have support and advice throughout your pregnancy

Having regular antenatal appointments is really important in pregnancy. Some of the tests and measurements have to be done at specific times, and your midwife will give you information as your pregnancy progresses. The midwife’s priority is for you and your baby to get the care and attention you need. Your appointments are also a chance to talk about how you feel physically and emotionally and to ask anything, however small, about your pregnancy

One of the most important things your midwife will do in the later months of pregnancy is measure your baby’s growth. Sometimes a baby’s growth starts to slow down or change and this can be a sign that there’s a problem. It will only be picked up if you have your abdomen measured regularly, so don’t miss an appointment. If the midwife is concerned, she will refer you to an NHS qualified sonographer for further diagnostic scans.

Get the most from your antenatal care by

  • Contacting your local hospital maternity unit or GP as soon as you know you are pregnant so your first antenatal appointment can be arranged

  • Taking someone with you to the appointment if you’d like some support

  • Writing down questions to ask beforehand

  • Checking the procedure for making your next appointment


  • Don’t forget that you’re entitled to paid time off work to attend appointments; fathers don’t have this right, though some employers allow it, but fathers and partners are entitled to take unpaid leave for two antenatal appointments

  • The dates and times of your appointments should be written on your hand-held pregnancy notes – if you miss an appointment or find that you can’t attend, phone to rearrange it

  • If you can’t attend during normal hours because of other commitments, find out about other options for receiving your antenatal care


These short films about the importance of antenatal visits were produced for Our Chance, a campaign by the charities Sands and Best Beginnings to raise awareness of health issues in pregnancy
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