Pregnancy & breastfeeding

Ante-natal support

During your pregnancy, your ante-natal care & support will be provided by our midwife. Please call reception to book an initial appointment in the antenatal clinic. Your GP will be involved in monitoring the progress of your pregnancy when medically needed. You are not normally seen by an obstetrician unless referred by your GP or midwife.

Pregnancy appointment schedule

Please bring your notes and a sample of urine to every ante-natal appointment. Depending on your individual needs, appointments will be made at the following stages of your pregnancy:

  • 6-8 weeks: Initial appointment with midwife. Screening tests for sickle cell, thalassaemia, & Downs syndrome will be discussed
  • 12 weeks: Dating scan
  • 16 weeks: Bloods taken
  • 20-22 weeks: Detailed scan
  • 28 weeks: Bloods taken. Anti D may be given if Rhesus negative
  • 30 weeks: You will be invited to parental classes, where you will meet other couples to discuss labour, delivery, and care of your baby
  • 34 weeks: Anti D may be given if Rhesus negative
  • 41 weeks: Membrane sweep will be offered. Induction booked for 12-14 days after your due date

Post-natal care

On discharge from hospital the midwife will visit you at home for at least 10 days.

The Health Visitor will visit you at home when your baby is about two weeks old. Health Visitors provide support for new mothers and babies in the form of home visits, baby clinics, post-natal support groups or telephone contact. They also arrange hearing screening for newborn babies, childhood developmental screening and immunisations.

Your GP will see you and your baby for a post-natal check-up 8 weeks after the birth to check your physical health and mental well-being.

General advice

We advise that you take folic acid tablets for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Research shows that extra folic acid can protect your baby against spinal deformities.

Please phone the Maternity Hospital (0300 421 8018) for any worries you may have, including:

  • Loss of fluid or blood from the vagina
  • Decreased movements of the baby
  • Persistent or severe headache
  • Sudden or marked swelling of hands, ankles or face
  • Visual disturbance
  • Abdominal or gastric pains


At Minchinhampton Surgery

  • Minchinhampton Surgery fully supports new nursing mothers who are breastfeeding to do so in the surgery waiting room.
  • Please ask reception if there is anything we can do to make you more comfortable, or if you would prefer to breastfeed in a more private room.

Benefits of breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding has proven maternal and infant health and wellbeing benefits which translate into reduced demand on healthcare services.
  • The UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world, with just 34% of babies receiving breast milk at six months of age, compared to 62% in Sweden.
  • Breast feeding is also sustainable, using no additional land or water resources, producing no carbon emissions, and minimal/zero waste. Conversely, formula milk, most of which is based on powdered cows milk, has a large water, carbon and methane footprint in it’s production, packaging, transportation and consumption.

Further information

For more support and information on breastfeeding, please visit