ANTENATAL

Antenatal care is the care you get from health professionals during your pregnancy.

You should start your antenatal care as soon as possible once you know you're pregnant. You can do this by contacting a midwife or GP.

Your pregnancy journey padlet: Find all the information you need about your pregnancy, screening, maternity leave and entitlements and much more.

Your feeding journey padlet: Lots of information on feeing your baby, including videos and support group information.

Preparation for labour and birth: Find all the information you need about your birth options, pain relief in labour and much more.

Details of these classes will be given to you at your first visit along with a list of centres throughout Coventry and Warwickshire where they are held.

The classes are very useful and we hope you will attend to meet other new parents and also to chat and seek advice from the midwife. For full details, please ask your midwife.

Making healthy lifestyle choices is one of the best ways to invest in your health and there is no better time to do this than when you are expecting a baby.

Health professionals involved in your care want to support you to be as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.

Eating healthily during pregnancy is really important for you and your baby. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid foods and drinks which are high in sugar, fat and salt.

You may be entitled to Healthy Start vouchers to help with the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and vitamins.

Within Coventry there are many community resources available to keep fit and well during pregnancy. As well as increasing your strength and stamina for when you go into labour, keeping fit can contribute to positive mental wellbeing and can help you achieve a healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

It is important that you exercise safely when you are pregnant. There are a very wide range of activities which are suitable during pregnancy. Most low intensity forms of exercise are great to do.

Please see these useful leaflets from the Association of Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapists which cover the following areas:

  • The Mitchell method of simple relaxation
  • Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain for mothers to be and new mothers (general advice)
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises (for women)
  • Pilates in women's health physio
  • Fit for future (essential exercises and advice after childbirth)
  • Fit for birth (information for pregnant women)
  • Exercise and advice after pregnancy
  • Promoting continence with physiotherapy
  • Pelvic organ prolapse (pop).

By attending your appointments, your midwife or doctor can make sure that your pregnancy is progressing well, refer you for specialist care if needed and answer any questions or concerns you may have

Antenatal classes are a great way to meet other parents-to-be and find out more about pregnancy, labour and birth, and caring for your newborn baby.

Screening tests will be offered while you are pregnant and there are also screening tests for your baby in their first few weeks.

It is important that you understand the purpose and possible results of the screening tests before you decide whether to have them. To help you the UK National Screening Committee has written a booklet explaining the screening tests in detail.

Please download and read the booklet as it will help prepare you for discussions with your midwife or doctor and will help you ask the questions that are important to you.

Some of the tests need to take place as early as eight weeks in pregnancy, so you should read the booklet as early as possible.

It is important that you contact your midwife, GP or the hospital if you notice any change in your baby’s regular movement pattern.

Taking care of your mental wellbeing when you are pregnant or have recently had a baby is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Ensuring that you eat well, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest can all contribute to positive mental health.

Whilst pregnancy and having a baby is a time of happiness for many women, it is not at all uncommon to experience negative emotions. These could include experiencing feelings such as unhappiness, anxiety or difficulty bonding with baby.

Have a discussion with your midwife, health visitor or GP is you are concerned.