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by Anna

Call the midwife (community Midwife) (week 16)

We're now well and truly into the swing of things. If I was going to have had morning sickness it would probably have been and gone by now and my body should have adapted to its avocado sized passenger.

This week I had my first appointment with the Community Midwife.

Once a week there is a midwife run clinic at my GP practice. The idea is that this is the midwife I will see for all my non-hospital appointments and should be my first point of contact if I have any questions.

The first appointment with the community midwife should be at around 16 weeks. Given the lateness of my dating scan we didn't have much time to play with but fortunately we got an appointment.

Seems the done thing on these occasions is to pee in a pot. So I did. My blood pressure was taken then I had to hop onto the bed for Little One to be examined. S/he rose to the occasion and immediately gave a good strong heartbeat through the monitor. The midwife then measured my belly and that was about it for the physical.

The midwife had access to my GP computerised records and asked me a few questions about some of the entries. We also had a brief chat about lifestyle such as food, exercise and generally how things were going and I was told about some of the services offered in the area and given some leaflets. Within my area there are a number of Surestart Children's which run various classes and sessions and I was told I should sign up with my local centre and get booked onto some of the classes offered.

In particular I was directed to the Active Birth and New Born Knowhow classes and was told I should probably try to book onto these sooner rather than later to guarantee a place on my preferred dates.

An further community appointment was made for 24 weeks and I was told I should bring a urine sample (and, very importantly my hand held records)

Clinical Comment

 Simon Mehigan Consultant Midwife

As mentioned in earlier blogs the system by which women access maternity services has changed recently. Now, once they discover they are pregnant women can contact the Liverpool Women's "early access" telephone line 0151 274 4747. After answering a few simple questions about their health women will then be offered an appointment at the hospital or in the majority of cases with the community midwife that is attached to their GP at a location in the community.

I'm glad you picked up Anna that your community midwife should be your first port of call if you have any queries or if anything is worrying you. Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy and birth and with that expertise comes the ability when something is not normal and needs referral to a doctor/hospital for further investigation.

You community midwife will follow you through your pregnancy and visit you at home once your baby is born. Because they are based within your local community they have a good understanding of all the groups that are run locally, many of them in Children's Centre's, that mat be of interest to you and you partner.

Each time you see your midwife it is important that you bring a sample of urine (it doesn't have to be an early morning sample) and bring your handheld notes with you. These are where a record of all your visits to the midwife and hospital will be recorded together with the results of any tests you have done. As your pregnancy progresses you will be seen more frequently by your midwife to ensure everything is progressing well.

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02 August 2012