Questions to ask your midwife
When you are pregnant, you may need support and reassurance as your baby grows and your body changes. If it is your first baby, you may want to know that what you are experiencing is normal. Your community midwife is your first contact as you begin your pregnancy journey. Your booking-in appointment will probably be the longest one, where you will be given the information about your antenatal checks.
Your midwife will offer antenatal checks, which will include:
- Checking your blood pressure
- Checking your weight
- Checking your urine for protein, which can be an indicator of pre-eclampsia in later pregnancy
- Blood tests for your blood group and rhesus status as well as checking for anaemia, rubella, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV
- Listening to your baby’s heartbeat – from about 16 weeks
- Measuring your bump – from about 24 weeks
- Arranging your scans and screening tests
During your antenatal checks your midwife can also provide you with information about:
- How often you will see her, what are the routine tests, when will you have your ultrasound scans?
- Good local antenatal classes and breastfeeding workshops – even if this is your second or third baby, you may still want some antenatal sessions to focus on preparing for birth
- Where to have your baby – your options for local maternity units as well as homebirth
- Any concerns you have about your pregnancy and your lifestyle such as food, exercise & fitness, air travel, etc
- Any niggles, aches and pains – especially if you are concerned about them
- Writing a birthplan
In a straightforward pregnancy, you will probably have about ten appointments with your midwife if this is your first baby and about seven appointments if this is your second or subsequent baby. However, if you have any concerns and you would like the opportunity to discuss them with your midwife, you can schedule another appointment.
It can also be useful to write down any questions you have before your appointment because it’s easy to forget something and to feel flustered if the clinic is busy.
Your midwife is there to check your health, as well as to provide you with information and reassurance when you need it, so don’t ever feel like you are wasting her time by asking questions.