Antenatal care is the care you receive from healthcare professionals during your pregnancy.
The purpose of antenatal care is to monitor your health, your baby’s health and support you to make plans which are right for you. It's best to see us as early as possible and please let your midwife know if you have a disability that means you have special requirements for your antenatal appointments or for labour.
If you do not speak English, ask someone to call your midwife to arrange for an interpreter to be at your appointment.
The community midwives provide antenatal care at GP surgeries and at the Children's Centres. In addition a Midwives’ Antenatal Clinic is held on a regular basis at Darent Valley Hospital for women who live out of the area. You will be offered a series of appointments with a midwife, or sometimes an obstetrician (a doctor specialising in pregnancy and birth). For women who need to attend hospital, there is a dedicated Antenatal Clinic, which is run by an Obstetrician and is linked with the Obstetric Ultrasound Department. We offer a full range of antenatal screening including HIV, nuchal screening and downs syndrome and, where appropriate, further invasive screening tests such as amniocentesis.
Most expectant parents worry at some time during pregnancy that there may be something wrong with their baby. Some people find that talking openly about their fears helps them to cope. Others prefer not to think about the possibility that something could be wrong. Some women worry because they are convinced that if something does go wrong it will be their fault. You can increase your baby's chances of being born healthy by following the advice about your health during pregnancy, including information on healthy diet, exercise, smoking and drinking. However, there are certain problems that can't be prevented, either because the causes are not known, or because they are beyond your control. For more information please visit: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/screening-tests-abnormality-pregnant.aspx#close
During each antenatal visit, we will check that you and your baby are well, provide you with useful information about being pregnant and answer any questions you may have.
An important part of antenatal care is getting information that will help you to make informed choices about your pregnancy and birth. We try to take every opportunity to provide you and your partner or other relevant family members with the information and support you need, therefore you will also be offered antenatal classes.
Pregnancy Information Booklet for advice and guidance regarding your pregnancy.