I have been waiting for today for about 2 weeks now!
When we found out I was pregnant I called my GP to find out next steps. They said to call the midwife and register for my first appointment; essentially saying it was over to them now. I called the midwife and was told to call back at 6 weeks. She checked my last period date and said to call on 26/7 and they would register me on the system. I had a couple of questions about medication but was advised to ring my GP for any issues between then and 6 weeks.
I was a little disappointed and perhaps confused. Any information I read on the web and in pregnancy books and apps on my iPhone says to let your GP know as soon as possible to start getting antenatal care. I have done a lot of reading about pregnancy before I fell pregnant so I’m pretty sure I’m doing all the right things. However, let’s take folic acid as an example. You should start taking a folic acid supplement before you get pregnant (for 6 weeks or so or you can start once you stop your contraceptive). It is a vital supplement in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. During week 5 most of the baby’s development on the neural tube takes place and this is where folic acid comes in. Folic acid is extremely important in helping the neural tube close properly to prevent the chances of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. If not told until 6 weeks of pregnancy when you first speak with your midwife that you should be taking folic acid, in my view you have missed out on a crucial time where this could make a difference.
Now I am 6 weeks, so I could finally call the midwife and register my pregnancy! How exciting!
My GP had given me the number to call. A kind, motherly sounding lady answered and explained that she needed to run through some questions and take my details. Here is a summary of the call:
Took my DOB
Took my name
Confirmed my address
Took my mobile phone number
Confirmed my doctor and surgery
Asked if I was married or single
Asked who was my next of kin
I gave my husband’s name and mobile phone number
Took my last period date and confirmed I was 6 weeks with a due date of 21st March 2014
Asked if I had been pregnant before
Asked if I was considering a home birth (I felt this was a bit too early to answer as I don’t know what options there are yet)
Asked if I had diabetes
Asked if I was taking folic acid
She gave me a telephone number for the community midwife
She said a midwife would be in touch by 10 and half weeks to confirm my first (“booking”) appointment. At this appointment they will give me the appointment for my scan.
If I haven’t heard by week 11, call them.
I questioned if it’s always 10 and a half weeks as I had read it is from 8 weeks – she said that’s the time they are supposed to give, the midwife may contact me earlier.
I let her know that I have chronic health condition as she only asked about diabetes and didn’t ask if there was anything else (one to watch out for if you may be a special case).
All done. I am “on the system” and I now have to wait for a call from the midwife.
Having gone through this with her I do feel much more at ease now. Even though I still have up to 4 and half weeks before my appointment, I feel a bit more supported now and have a midwife to reach out to if necessary.