Information for the public

Antenatal appointments schedule

Antenatal appointments schedule

At each appointment you should be given information and clear explanations that you can understand. You should have the opportunity to discuss any issues and ask questions. You should receive verbal information supported by written information and antenatal classes.

Appointment

What should happen

First contact with your midwife or doctor

Your midwife or doctor should give you information about:

  • folic acid supplements

  • food hygiene, including how to reduce the risk of a food‑acquired infection

  • lifestyle, including smoking cessation and the risks of recreational drug use and alcohol consumption

  • antenatal screening tests.

Booking appointment

Your midwife or doctor should give you information about:

  • how the baby develops during pregnancy

  • nutrition and diet, including vitamin D supplements

  • exercise, including pelvic floor exercises

  • antenatal screening tests

  • your pregnancy care pathway

  • where to have your baby

  • breastfeeding and workshops

  • antenatal classes

  • maternity benefits.

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • see if you may need additional care or support

  • plan the care you will get throughout your pregnancy

  • ask about your job to identify any potential risks

  • measure your height and weight and calculate your body mass index

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

  • find out whether you are at increased risk of gestational diabetes or pre‑eclampsia

  • ask about mental illness and ask about any signs of depression

  • offer you screening tests and make sure you understand what is involved before you decide to have any of them

  • offer you an ultrasound scan to estimate when the baby is due

  • offer you an ultrasound scan at 18 to 20 weeks to check the physical development of the baby.

16 weeks

Your midwife or doctor should give you information about the ultrasound scan you will be offered at 18 to 20 weeks and help with any concerns or questions you have.

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

  • consider an iron supplement if you are anaemic.

18 to 20 weeks (anomaly scan)

Ultrasound scan to check the physical development of the baby if you wish it.

25 weeks*

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

28 weeks

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

  • offer more blood screening tests

  • offer first anti‑D treatment if you are rhesus D‑negative.

31 weeks*

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

34 weeks

Your midwife or doctor should give you information about preparing for labour and birth, including how to recognise active labour, ways of coping with pain in labour and your birth plan.

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

  • offer second anti‑D treatment if you are rhesus D‑negative.

36 weeks

Your midwife or doctor should give you information about:

  • breastfeeding, including hints and tips for success

  • caring for your newborn baby

  • vitamin K and screening tests for your newborn baby

  • your own health after the baby is born

  • being aware of the 'baby blues' and postnatal depression.

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • check the position of the baby and discuss options to turn the baby if he or she is bottom first (breech position)

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

38 weeks

Your midwife or doctor should give you information about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

40 weeks*

Your midwife or doctor should give you more information about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein.

41 weeks

Your midwife or doctor should:

  • check the size of your abdomen

  • measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

  • offer a membrane sweep

  • offer induction of labour.

* Extra appointment if this is your first baby.