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Don't know much about NHS system

Hi! Hope everyone is doing good. Well I like to know how often to you communicate with your midwife? I am new in this country and we did think about getting private medical insurance but decided to stick to the NHS. I am new to this whole midwife lead system . And it often freaks me out. I am not a big talker, I keep things to myself and it often results in anxiety. First few weeks of the pregnancy were horrible cause everyone I know in random countries got their scans at 6 weeks and then check ups when ever they felt they needed reassurance, while I had to wait till 12 weeks to know if my baby was ok.

So I just want to get familiar with this system. I want to know how to develope a relation with my midwife. I called her after I had a long period of depression but she didn't seem that interested or helped at all. And like I said I am not a talker and the response I got I am sure next time I won't even bother mentioning it to anyone and keep it to myself like I do everything else . But it in return makes me feel so alone and scared all the time . Sorry for a long post, just had to get it out I guess.

4 Replies

Hi, it all depends on how good or bad your midwife is. You get excellent ones and rubbish ones. If you told her you feel depressed and she offered no help then that really isn't good. We do however have to see the Gp here if depression gets too bad. So if you still feel down it may be a option to speak with a doctor about it. You should see your midwife regularly for general checks such as urine, bloods and sometimes physical examinations. Also local hospitals often have midwife clinics there and you can pop in to ask any questions about anything really pregnancy/birth related. You would need to telephone the maternity office at the hospital to find out if they do these though. Also I don't know if you have one nearby but children's centres often have midwife drop in clinics and also groups for you to meet other mums may be worth seeing if there is one by you. They also have groups to help once the baby is born such as breastfeeding support groups, baby massage that kind of thing. Your maternity notes should have a list of useful numbers at the front.

I don't even have a midwife now as I am a high risk pregnancy and she transferred my care to the local hospital. Last time I saw mine I was 16 weeks and I am now 36 weeks. Hope you feel better soon x


Hello dear,

I am so sorry to hear about your experience that does not make you feel understood and listened to.

My midwife is very nice - always asks how I am doing and we always have a laugh. I told her that I don't have friends in the area so she put me in touch with a children's Center where they have some classes - as I am very looking forward to breastfeeding -I was invited to those classes (I am afraid I'll cry seeing all those babies when I'll go!)

I had only few appointments myself (I think week 9, then scan in week 13, then midwife week 16, then scan week 19, then midwife week 22 and now I am getting ready for our week 28 appointment today 😍 I think bump will be measured for the first time) I am so happy that in the UK they don't weigh the pregnant ladies as weight gain or loss shows nothing important about baby's development, health.

I have been lucky as my pregnancy has been straight forward and I never had feeling I need to see my midwife more than I have seen as I have nothing new to say except that everything is good. I had a private scan in week 26 abroad as my family gave me gifts for the baby girl and boy but I still was not sure about baby's sex and I did not wanted to take all stuff with me which I won't use. So I saw little willy and took only boys presents with me :)

If you ever feel you don't get along with the midwife it's worth trying to change to a different one as you need that reassurance from midwife in this period as she's the only one how knows in details about your pregnancy.

And - we other pregnant ladies are always here to reassure you! I found 2 lovely girlfriends here with who I write whenever I need a reassurance or have something to share :)

Enjoy this pregnancy! :) x

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Hi Nina-id,

In the UK the NHS follows an antenatal appointment schedule set by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which is applied to uncomplicated pregnancies. I've written it below to guide you;

- Booking appointment (ideally before 10 weeks)

- 16 weeks

- 18-20 weeks (scan appointment)

- 25 weeks (only for women having their first baby)

- 28 weeks

- 31 weeks (only for women having their first baby)

- 34 weeks

- 36 weeks

- 38 weeks

- 40 weeks (only for women having their first baby)

- 41 weeks

This timetable is a guideline and each hospital will adapt it to the community for which they provide care. In pregnancies where a deviation from normality has been identified extra appointments and investigations will be arranged.

Over time and following lots of research this timetable has been developed but it could be described as sparse in places with women not seeing their midwife for prolonged periods of time. Most midwives have desires to provide one-to-one care where they really get to know the women for whom they provide antenatal care for, however due to budget restrictions and staffing issues this is sadly not possible.

You, on the other hand have many options. If you want more contact with a maternity professional you could consider employing an independent midwife. These midwives are also registered with the nursing and midwifery council (NMC), the national professional body, which means they have to work to set standards and are just as accountable as NHS midwives. They have many different packages available to you, for example you could request an antenatal package where you arrange appointments between the NHS ones so that you are seeing a professional regularly.

You could also consider employing a doula/birth companion. A doula is a non-medical person who gives support, help, and advice to women during pregnancy, during birth and/or postnatally.

For your mental health I'd advise that you consider arranging an appointment with your GP as they may be able to refer you or provide you with the details of the local services available to you. You could also search the Internet to identify a support group near you, one such support group is pandasfoundation.org.uk.

You might also consider looking into what you your local community has to offer and find support groups and activities where you can meet other pregnant women and discuss your progress together. This may help you create a support network.

Finally, regarding your midwife, you could consider moving you antenatal care to another clinic or location so as to meet another midwife. While midwives are professionals they are also humans and to assume that they will meet every individuals expectations is an unrealistic request. People change exercise classes at the gym to avoid particular instructors due to personality clashes or in order to work with someone who specialises in a specific area. If you're unhappy with the relationship you have with your midwife you could be pro-active and find a new one.

Hope that helps


But with high risk pregnancies like mine you see no midwife! I just go to a hospital. I have only just been referred to the day clinic so will get 1 appointment before my op in 12 days time. I am now 36 weeks pregnant and not had 1 physical examination which is shocking. I am afraid the system is a bit rubbish and some people can slip through the net. So try and use as many services as you can only if you want to of course. There are also anti natal groups and things you can go to at children's centres.

It's def gone down the amount of appointments you get since my last pregnancy and that was 6 years ago so a lot has changed. With my first 12 years ago I saw a midwife every 2 weeks from about 9 weeks.


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