Antenatal care includes regular antenatal checks with a midwife or doctor to check how your pregnancy is going. Your midwife or doctor will give you information and advice on labour and childbirth too. It also includes ultrasound scans and screening tests if you choose to have them.
Antenatal care from a midwife or doctor can help you to have a healthy pregnancy. You’ll have information and support on the best way to keep you and your baby healthy. Your antenatal appointments can also help to pick up any problems early on.
You can contact your GP or local midwife team as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Ideally you should have your first official antenatal appointment by the time you’re 10 weeks’ pregnant. This is called your booking appointment.
The antenatal period means the period of time you’re pregnant, before you give birth. Antenatal care is the care you’ll get from health professionals during this period.
Antenatal classes can help you and your partner if you have one, to learn more about your pregnancy, labour and birth. You may also learn how to care for your new baby, including feeding them. There are different types of class available, so choose one that you feel comfortable with.
Your rhesus D status shows whether you have a protein called rhesus D on your red blood cells. If you’re rhesus-negative and you’re carrying a rhesus-positive baby, your body can start producing antibodies against rhesus D. This isn’t usually harmful to you or your baby, but it can cause problems if you go on to have another rhesus-positive baby later on.
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