• Prenatal care

Congratulations – you are pregnant! But what next…..

First appointment

The ideal time to see you is around 3-4 weeks after you have missed your period (7-8 weeks since the last period). At this stage an ultrasound scan can accurately date your pregnancy. The first appointment is a double appointment so that I have the time to ask you about your previous medical history, perform the scan, organise any tests (blood and urine) that are necessary and outline the normal schedule of care. You will have plenty of time to ask questions. Don’t forget to bring a USB key if you want to have a picture of your baby.

All appointments can be arranged by telephoning the secretary on 02 434 8100

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Subsequent appointments

As a rough guide, you are usually seen once a month and a little more frequently at the end of the pregnancy. At each visit I will offer to check the baby with the ultrasound machine – although this is not strictly necessary, most women are reassured to see that their baby is well. In the second half of pregnancy you will need to have a urine sample tested at each visit and your blood pressure will be measured. I do not perform vaginal examinations routinely. If there is any concern over the possibility of premature birth (eg: contractions) I will perform a vaginal scan to measure the cervix instead. This is far more accurate and carries no risk. The normal schedule of appointments is as follows:

  • 7-8 weeks – First visit
  • 12 weeks – Combined nuchal translucency test, a screening test for Down’s syndrome +/- NIPTest
  • 16 weeks – Pre-morphology scan. At this stage many abnormalities will already be visible.
  • 21 weeks – detailed ultrasound scan. This is the scan that specifically checks the anatomy of your baby looking for any malformations. It also checks on the position and function of the placenta. It is performed by a colleague in the ultrasound room next door to my office. Recent evidence has supported the use of a vaginal scan at the same time to measure the length of your cervix as a screening test for premature birth so don’t be surprised if a vaginal scan is offered at this time. Immediately following the scan I will see you to go through the results and to plan for the next appointment.
  • 24-6 weeks – blood test for diabetes.
  • 30 weeks  Whooping cough vaccination
  • 34 weeks – growth scan
  • 36 weeks – vaginal swab for Group B streptococcus
  • 38 weeks – Routine check-up
  • 39 weeks -routine check-up
  • 40 weeks and later – Appointment with the midwife at the hospital for monitoring (baby’s heartbeat, blood pressure).

Midwife appointments

  • Since 2016 the Delta midwives have started offering two types of prenatal appointments. A formal consultation (‘consultation pré-natale‘) can replace one or more of the standard medical visits – this is similar to the ‘shared-care’ practised in the uk. The midwife will perform the necessary medical evaluations and tests including listening to the baby’a heartbeat but she also has more time to discuss other aspects of your pregnancy care and the upcoming delivery.
  • The midwife is also available to see women and their partners on a one-off basis (‘rencontre périnatale‘) to talk through specific aspects such as previous traumatic birth experiences, or to discuss practical aspects such as where to come, what to bring, and what will normally happen at your arrival to the delivery ward.

Urgent appointments

It is usually possible to fit you in at short notice should the need arise. Please telephone the secretary on 02 434 8100 to organise this.

Hospital appointments

Sometimes it is necessary for you to be seen by the midwife in the hospital where an analysis of your baby’s heartrate can be performed. For example, this is usually performed if you go past your due date. For this you should go to the second floor of Delta Hospital and follow signs for ‘monitoring’.