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Antenatal care

This information is to help you throughout your pregnancy, labour, delivery and afterwards. You may also find it useful to refer to the other sections such as Coming into hospital and General Information. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff.

Link opens in new windowWhere to give birth (pdf)

Link opens in new windowGoing home after the birth of your baby (pdf)

The team

Throughout your pregnancy, labour, delivery and afterwards, there is a team of people to provide the type of care you and your baby need. Because you are an individual person, the care you receive will be tailored to your needs.

Midwives

Midwives care for all women before, during and after their baby is born. The midwife will discuss lots of issues with you and help you to make choices about many aspects of your care, for example, what screening tests are available, the meaning of your test results, where to have your baby, how long you can expect to be in hospital and so on. When you go home a community midwife team will continue to care for you for at least 10 days and up to 28 days, depending on the needs of you and your baby.

Health visitor

The health visitor is a registered nurse with additional specialist qualifications in child development and child care. She works with the community midwife and general practitioner (GP) as part of the team specialising in caring for you and your baby. After the community midwife stops visiting you, the health visitor is there to support you and offer advice about yourself and your young baby.

Obstetrician

You will be booked in under the care of one of the consultants and they or one of their team will see you should the need arise. If everything with you and your baby is perfectly normal you will not see a consultant and your care will remain with the midwife and GP. However, at any stage if you, your midwife or GP feels it is safer to get the advice of the consultant then you will be referred to an antenatal clinic at the hospital, perhaps to have some tests done in the day ward or on some occasions be admitted to your consultant's ward. In emergency situations you will be admitted to the Labour Ward. Once everything has settled down, your care will be taken over again by your community midwife and GP. You may still need to attend the consultant's clinic on some occasions.

Other staff you may meet

Other members of the team are:

  • Hearing screeners who will check your baby's hearing.
  • Physiotherapists who can help teach you how to relax and avoid strain. They can help with specific problems such as back pain and stress incontinence and will help with postnatal exercises.
  • Dietitians can help with morning sickness, eating problems and weight problems.
  • Social workers and chaplains are available if the need arises.

Students

The Maternity Hospital is a teaching hospital, training medical and midwifery staff. You are asked to allow them to take part in your care. If you do not wish students to be present, please let a member of staff know. Your refusal will not affect the care you receive in any way.

Consent to treatment

Your medical care is supervised by a consultant obstetrician. It is important to understand the nature of any treatment or operation that has been advised before you agree to it being carried out or before signing a consent form.

The following booklets give you more information: 
Link opens in new windowConsent - it's your decision
Link opens in new windowConsent - your rights - a guide for children and young people under 16
Link opens in new windowConsent - making decisions about your health care and treatment (easy read)

These leaflets are available in other formats and languages from Link opens in new windowHealth Rights Information Scotland

Antenatal care

After your pregnancy has been confirmed by your GP or midwife, they will discuss your antenatal care with you. You may have all your care by your GP or midwife in the community, or you may come to the hospital for some or all of your care.

A specimen of urine is required at every antenatal appointment. Before you have any food or drink at the start of the day, a morning specimen should be obtained. To obtain a clean sample, please follow the instructions below.

  • Pass a small amount of urine into toilet, then stop.
  • Pass more urine into container, then stop.
  • Pass remainder of urine into toilet. This is called a 'midstream' specimen.
  • Wash your hands.

Now you can have your breakfast. 

Remember during pregnancy it is very important to have your urine checked at every clinic visit. This helps to prevent or detect problems such as pre-eclampsia and diabetes. 

Please remember to bring along your antenatal notes with you at each visit.

If the hospital or scan appointment is not convenient, please telephone 01224 552072 and we will try to arrange a more suitable time for you.

Will I have a scan of my baby?

You will be offered a scan in early pregnancy and a detailed scan at 20 weeks. If you are having all your antenatal care from your GP or midwife, they will arrange the scan with the hospital and an appointment will be sent to you.

If you are attending the hospital clinic, you will have your scan at your first visit. This will make your appointment a longer one so plan for about 2 hours.

It is important that the person doing your scan is able to concentrate, therefore only one person will be allowed to accompany you during your scan. It is not appropriate for babies and young children to attend.

Parenthood classes

Parenting classes are available from 28 weeks onwards. This information is available from your community midwife at booking.

In the event of adverse weather warnings over the winter please ring the parenthood dept on 01224-552615 for further infomation.

Breastfeeding

We actively promote breastfeeding because of the lifelong benefits to mother and baby. Antenatal breastfeeding workshops are available for all mothers to give you information and advice in preparing you to breastfeed your baby. Contact the Breastfeeding Centre on 01224 552615 or discuss this with your community midwife.

Antenatal records

To improve communications between the hospital and your GP you are given your own antenatal records. Please keep them safely and bring them with you on all visits to clinic or surgery and on admission to hospital. Although you carry your own antenatal records, they do remain the property of the hospital and are kept by the hospital after you have your baby. This does not affect your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998.

If there is anything you do not wish your partner or relatives to know, please tell your doctor or midwife so that this information is not recorded in the case record you will be carrying.

Please also see the Confidentiality information

Benefits

Your community midwife or the midwifery staff in the Antenatal Clinic can advise you where to get advice about benefits. If you or your partner receives Income Support, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, your travelling expenses are refunded by the hospital general office (at the main concourse, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital - opposite the Royal Voluntary Service Coffee Shop). You will need to show your allowance book or DSS form AG2 or AG3.