A simple overview of how to access a midwife in your local area. But firstly Congratulations on your pregnancy...lets go!

Bailey the founder and lead midwife at Your Private Midwife, is going to answer a commonly asked question for you.

How do I book my first appointment with a Midwife?

Google searches, lots of inquiries, phone calls and my website users often ask how they can access care. Not necessarily with myself as a privately practising midwife, but just in general. So let’s try & answer this common pregnancy problem: How can I access care with a midwife here in the UK?

So you’re ready to access & notify the health system that you are expecting a baby. Ready to register with maternity services; booking for your first appointment, be it at the GP or a children’s service. This process has evolved significantly in recent years. We’re going to talk about two different ways that you can access your midwife for your first appointment. This is most up-to-date way being used within the UK. However, local maternity care providers may differ. Please do seek further information from your local NHS trust should you need to.

The first option

Go direct to your GP services. This is where you would contact your General practitioner. Via their receptionist or pop in and you can ask them how you can access maternity services. Some GP practises have a resident midwife who is linked to their surgery. The GP can refer directly into an appropriate appointment slot there and then for you.

Another way

access maternity services is by doing what we call a self referral. Most NHS trusts have moved to electronic records. Therefore you would do a self referral to maternity services & book in directly following on from your details. You can do a Google search to find out what your local maternity service is called. Or geographically, what’s the closest hospital to you? What’s the closest maternity NHS Trust that provides maternity care? And somewhere on their website there will be an option to self refer to maternity services. Now this may then send you to an external link (my pregnancy notes is a common service used) and you will fill in the information to be able to self refer through to the appropriate maternity provider.

Usually at that point it’s going ask you a couple of different questions. Your name, date of birth, NHS number if you know it & what the first day of your last period was. That information is used to predict when your first contact with your local midwife should be.

They may also take some extra information from you, including things like your previous medical history, any previous pregnancies. You are unlikely to hear an instant reply & it may take several working days. Sometimes even a couple of weeks if you contact them very early on. The reason for that is because we aim to get you booked into the health service system around the 7-10 week window. This can depend on what the individual circumstances are around kind of care provision you are seeking. What we call caseloads, the amount of women that midwives work with within the local geographical area and that will all depend on where you specifically are booking to have your pregnancy care.

What happens Next:

From that referral (be it the GP or a self allocated online request) they will book in your first contact face to face with a midwife, and at that first appointment you can expect for them to ask you lots of pregnancy related questions. Including but not exclusive to medical history, your family history, your partner’s family history, any previous pregnancies that you’ve got information about. The Midwife will offer to do your blood pressure & a urine sample, take some screening, bloods, if you consent. All of which should be explained in detail to you before it is taken and before it is sent off to the lab.

They might arrange at that appointment for a first contact with the scan department, Depending on what scans you opt for, and again they should be again explaining all of that information to you at that first appointment. So it’s a bit more in depth. It can take a little bit more time than you might be expecting. So if you are having to head out from work to go to that appointment, just make your employer aware that it’s going to take a little bit longer or if you haven’t yet to hold them, try and book a first thing in the morning appointment if possible, or later in the day if you’re able to.

What does your first contact look like if you are accessing care outside of the traditional maternity service:

We provide pregnancy care all the way through from your very first pregnancy test at around four to five weeks all the way through to six weeks of post Natal care, and can do the same job as my wonderful colleagues in the NHS. We can curate your care for you all the way through and our booking appointments look a little bit different, more personalised, time rich & on your schedule. You refer your self via our online contact form & we have 30 minute free consultation where you can ask all your questions & get a feel for what we do & how we can work for you. Then once your happy to proceed with your care we book in your face to face appointment on your schedule in the comfit of your own home, meeting the needs of you & your partner & on your own time frame.

This brief overview of ‘How to Make your First Midwives Appointment’ covers the very basics of the start of you care, and may not consider your local trust recommendations so if you are unsure do make contact with your local provider. However should you want to access a curated & personalised service we take on clients from Yorkshire & beyond, so do get in touch & we’re ba happy to support you on your journey.