bristol • north somerset • south gloucestershire


Have you had your flu jab?

Flu during pregnancy can put you at greater risk of complications than when not pregnant. Flu vaccination offers protection for your baby as well. You can get a free flu jab from your GP and from many local pharmacies – ask your pharmacy if they are participating and if you need to book. More information on flu vaccination in pregnancy.

Care in pregnancy

Your local community midwife or midwifery team will offer antenatal appointments in line with national guidance and your plan of care. You will have a named midwife, which is normally the midwife you can expect to see most often. It is likely that you will also see other community midwives, as most midwives work part-time and have on-call duties, for example to attend homebirths.  In a survey held by Maternity Voices last year, many women said they highly valued seeing the same midwife or small group of midwives throughout their pregnancy. The maternity services strive to provide continuity of midwifery care, and you can help to maximise continuity for yourself by planning appointments in discussion with your midwife. It is useful to indicate if your priority is flexibility of appointments or seeing the same midwives.

Early (pre-booking) and booking appointments are a two-way process to ensure you have all the information you need to enable you to make informed choices regarding your care. This includes for example written information based on the best available research evidence on where you can have your baby and about antenatal screening. You will be offered a number of screening tests during pregnancy and after your baby is born, including ultrasound scans and blood tests. Your midwife or doctor will explain any tests, answer your questions and ask for your consent. You can find more information on the NHS Choices website and can download a booklet on antenatal and newborn screening in several languages here.

At your booking or pre-booking appointment you will be asked about your previous health, any previous pregnancies and about your social circumstances to ensure the midwife can make any referrals as required.

You will also be given your maternity record (‘yellow book’), which will be used by all health care professionals providing your maternity care, so it is important to bring it with you to each antenatal appointment and if you attend the hospital or birth centre. On the front cover are local contact numbers for you, and on the back further useful contact details. Midwives aim to respond to all non-urgent telephone messages within 72 hours on Monday-Friday. Before making a call, consider whether midwives are the best people to assist you as some queries might be dealt with quicker by others. Your maternity notes provide guidance on who would be best placed to help (for example midwives are not able to provide fit to fly letters; you must request this from your GP).

At each appointment your urine and blood pressure will be tested and you will be asked about your emotional wellbeing. The midwife will also measure your bump to check your baby’s growth and ask about your baby’s movements.

You will be offered vaccination against flu and whooping cough. Click on the links for more information.

Mat B1 forms can be issued after 21 completed weeks of pregnancy. Your midwife will give you this at the most appropriate antenatal appointment after 22 weeks. Please remember to ask for it. 

More information about care in pregnancy can be found on the websites of the maternity services:

North Bristol NHS Trust (links also to additional pages with information on antenatal appointments, screening tests, and other information)

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust community midwifery and general midwifery information

Weston Area Health NHS Trust