How do I get my first appointment?
Those first few weeks can actually be super hard as you don't receive any medical care till about 12 weeks when you have your first scan! I know I often wondered if I even had a baby inside me :) even though I felt sick constantly! Haha! Make sure you use your supports and reach out if you need help. The first trimester can be lonely otherwise, especially if you want to keep the pregnancy a secret till 12 weeks.
Your first midwife appointment:
Tips from one midwife/mumma to another:
~ Take a drink bottle
~ Take snacks (if you need to eat when you feel sick)
~ Don't be afraid to say you need a break to go pee
~ Bring your partner if possible, its exciting for them too!
Your first appointment is quite often the longest one. Be prepared for it to go for at least an hour and a half or longer, and anything shorter than that would be nice!
~ Chase up your blood and urine test results (if you haven't had any they will give you a form to go and get them done ASAP. These include things like -Complete Blood Picture, Ferritin, Blood Group, Rubella etc.
~ Full Pregnancy history. This will include all previous pregnancy's (live births, still births, miscarriage, VTOP/s)
~ Full medical history, including any surgeries that you might have had.
~ Full mental health history plus risks and the interventions available
~ Relevant family history on both sides of the family ie. congenital conditions, heart conditions, diseases, mental health. It's ok if you don't know all of these :)
~ Consent to give blood if needed in an emergency
~ Current intake of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes
~ The midwife will give you a screening tool to asses for anxiety and depression. These tools are called EPDS and ANRQ
~ Current living conditions and relationship with partner ( this is just to make sure that you are safe and therefore so is your baby).
~ They take down your partner and one other designated persons details to keep for their records in case they can't get in contact of you.
~ What type of care you would like to receive at the hospital - midwife based/MGP/ GP led care etc.
OK now for the FUN stuff....
Then the midwife will sit down and figure out when your due date is. This is when you will need to have an idea of the first day of your most recent period is (LMP). This will be how they calculate how many weeks you are. They will then compare this with your 12 week scan if you have had it already and then determine a due date.
The midwife will also take your height and weight as well as your blood pressure as a guide to measure the rest of your pregnancy by.
Unfortunately your baby is still too small to be heard via the fetal doppler so sadly they cannot listen to your baby's heart rate at this visit.
Once all of this is completed, if you have not yet had your First Trimester Screening (which is part of the 12 week scan) then the midwife will write an order form for you.
Part of this screening includes a blood test, and then a Nuchal Translucency scan. This scan looks for the 'risk of fetal abnormality' specifically at the risk of Down Syndrome and Trisomy 18 &21.
The midwife will also give you a form for your Morphology scan to have between 18-21 weeks gestation. And will then proceed to book an appointment to have within a couple of days after your scan.
They will then run through things to look out for, where to go if you need help or have a pregnancy emergency and ensure you have ambulance cover.
Even I came away overwhelmed by all of the information (and technically I know it all :)). So allow yourself a couple of days to take it all in, and feel free to write down any questions you might have (because baby brain is a real thing and you'll probably forget by your next visit!)
Good luck Mumma! And CONGRATULATIONS once again on your pregnancy!! Hope you're able to go take a nap now :)
*Written by Registered Midwife Sharne King