Booking appointment

Hi ladies,

I am 9 weeks pregnant and had my booking appointment last week. It is my first pregnancy and I was really looking forward to get as much professional information from the midwife as possible. My appointment lasted for about an hour and was really only about my medical background. I expected to get some information on diet, hospital choice, exercises,NCT classes, etc. Even though I have read NHS website about pregnancy a hundred times I still feel like the midwife should have informed me about some of those essential information. Since this is my first pregnancy I am feeling anxious that I maybe missed out on some important things I should have been told about. I am wondering if any of you ladies has had similar experience?

13 Replies

  • I'm not in the uk but I would have thought they'd at least give you an information packet that you could read yourself. Did they mention the whooping cough vaccine? It's a relatively new vaccine offered to pregnant women in the third trimester. Even if you've had it already, it's best to get it to pass on antibodies to your baby until they can get vaccinated. That would be something to consider, as well as flu vaccine when flu season comes round. Have a read about both on NHS website and make a decision for yourself on whether you want them. Regarding diet, all the information does seem to be on their website too. Perhaps they will give you more info at the dating scan?

  • I was given a few packs and leaflets, some was the bounty stuff which is good for looking what to buy. Regarding food you can find its on nhs website. Regarding choice of hospital it depends where you're booked at really, is there more than a hospital that offers maternity services. My experience is yiu will get some basic info, some stuff to read, but otherwise you do have to be the one asking. The hospital I was at organised a birthing class to discuss the different options pain relief, the actual stages of birth. We also had a tour of the hospital. If you feel you didn't have enough info, make a list of things you want to know so you can ask. Also getting an app like what to expect when expecting is quite nice as it tells you about symptoms and baby's development every week,

  • Hi, I was given a bounty pack with all that information in plus an Emma's Diary (look ot up

  • Sorry, try again! All that info was in the bounty pack the midwife gave me but you should also have a number to call if you are really worried. I'd write a list of questions to ask for your next appointment. I found midwife helpful on everything except antenatal classes. I managed to get on an NHS one two weeks before my due date! They won't give info on NCT one, don't know why but I'd go on the NCT website and look into classes yourself! Hope everything goes well for you! X

  • It sounds about right what she did. The booking appointment is really about you and establishing your health, physical and emotional, and potential extra support or scans you may need. They make sure they've got all your history and get you on their system, so to speak. You have regular appointments throughout your pregnancy and the relevant aspects of pregnancy will be discussed when the time arises, such as Rhesus injections or flu jab as well as whooping cough. There's no need to bombard you with all that at your booking appointment. Also, the 12 week scan will clarify whether the baby is healthy or not and then again the next steps are being put into place.

    Don't worry too much about all the details that aren't relevant yet! But I understand why you do, when I was pregnant with my first I expected them to get as excited as I was and by the time you've got the booking appointment you feel like you've been pregnant forever and things should get a little bit more 'serious' in terms of info etc.

    I guess certain things they won't do just yet, such as booking you in for the antenatal class, which won't be for another 25 weeks or longer! A lot can happen during those weeks, for some it isn't great news at the 12 week scan, others deliver very early...

    In terms of diet etc your GP should've probably pointed out the basics to you already and advised to take extra vitamins, folic acid and all that. Avoid raw meat, sushi, alcohol but all this information is readily available online as well.

    I did get the Emma pack both times but didn't find a lot of useful information in there, a lot of adverts for baby related things and some trials of baby washing powder or sudocrem and similar.

    I can't remember with both mine at what point I received my folder, I think it's at or after the 12 week scan, or with your first midwife appointment. It is at that appointment that you can ask all sorts of questions, so make a list! When you get your folder it'll have all the important contact details on there listing which number to call in which scenario. So for example any concerns before 19 weeks (depending on hospital, with mine one was up to 16 weeks, the other up to 19) you need to talk to the early pregnant unit, after that it's the maternity ward/delivery suite.

    But yes, with my first and bad Gp I felt similar to how you feel right now, but I learnt over time that they have a pretty good system in place and have found them very supportive in two areas of London where I had my two.

    Any concerns I'd get in touch with your GP and ask for them to put you in touch with the midwife team. They can give you a call and discuss everything with you, and probably reassure you!

    Your next big step is the 12 week scan and you'll see that after that things will start to take shape!

    But if you're ever unsure, make sure you get the midwife team's contact details and check with them.

    Also, the Bounty or Emma packs you can get from Boots and Asda as well. They really aren't as exciting as one might think ;-)

    With regards to NCT classes, I guess they could be mentioned them but the NCT is a private service that's not part of a standard NHS pregnancy and by now they might assume people just know about them. And either way, you won't attend any NCT classes for another few months, so at the booking appointment they might also think this is something that comes up later on. If you contacted the NCT now they might not even yet have the classes up for the time that you need them!

    All the best!

  • Ps: I was too anxious to wait for the 12 week scan and nothing else happening beforehand, so we booked in for a private early scan at 10 weeks, for about £50, and it was very reassuring.

    Also, it says '12 week scan" but I have yet to meet someone who actually had the scan at 12 weeks.

    If you don't get an appointment sent/given to you by 11 weeks, call your GP but chances are it's closer to 14 weeks. Mine were at 13+6 and 13+4.

  • Hehe mine was at 12 weeks +2! Oh yes makes ire you read your pregnancy book... There is a lot of information about all things mentioned.

  • Thank you so much for all your replies and being so helpful.

  • Hi there - I was pregnant earlier this year and unfortunately lost the baby. But like you I was really confused by the booking appointment. When I was first pregnant I called up my GP and they said 'we don't see you anymore, call a midwife'. Then the midwife said they would see me at the booking appointment, and all that information and questioning was so confusing, especially being asked to make decisions about screening right after first being told about it.

    I've done a lot of research into this recently and found out that the NICE guidelines and the NHS website say that you should be seen by a medical professional at the beginning of your pregnancy, even before your booking appointment. This is because you need a lot of information early on. There are things to do with diet, lifestyle and health that I didn't know, even though I'm somebody who researches a lot, but that I only found out at the booking appointment. Things vital for the early development of the foetus.

    I have chosen to tackle my local NHS trust over this, because I think they are eroding antenatal services. My midwife said that they disagreed with the new policy but had no power over it. She urged me to take the issue up the chain.

    I would strongly urge you to take this up with your local GP surgery, who will probably refer you to policy people in the trust. This won't help you, perhaps, but it could help others in future.

    These are the guidelines that say we should be seen as soon as we're pregnant:

    Let me know if you decide to take this further!

  • Hi Amy,

    I am so sorry. Thank you so much for your help. I had an appointment with my GP when I found out I was pregnant but it was really brief. Although I read and research wherever possible, there are so many things that I am not sure or confused about. Reading and researching on your own is not as reassuring as as a professional advice/ help. I will contact my GP and talk to her about it. Thaks again

  • You're always welcome to ask things you are unsure about here, as going to your gp every time is not always feasible.

  • I'm sorry for your loss. Did you not receive booklet about screening when they sent the pregnancy book? i was sent one about all the things they check on your bloods for infections and Down syndrome screening. Maybe it's a different trust policy

  • Thank you. No in our trust, you get no information or face to face contact before the booking appointment between 8-12 weeks. Apparently a few years ago the GPs gave up all antenatal care to midwives, but the midwife services stuck to their existing plan and therefore all first contact and info in the first couple of months of pregnancy went out the window. I think it's shocking. Even as somebody who long-planned the pregnancy and did loads of research, there were things that I just didn't know that I only found out at the booking appointment and should definitely have known during the crucial early weeks of development. I think this could be really detrimental to women who are potentially more vulnerable, or didn't plan the pregnancy so haven't done research, or maybe speak a different language. Also I was told about screening options (I only knew about Downs before) at the booking appointment and at the same appointment asked to make my decision on which ones I wanted. I'm still trying to get a straight answer from the management of our trust as to whether this is trust policy, or wether it's just something that has slipped through the net. Because NICE guidelines and the NHS website specifically state that you should receive loads of information right at first contact. So far I've only received vague, jargon-filled replies, but I'm persisting! Good to hear that it's not in all trusts.

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