Maternity: care during pregnancy
Your appointments can be:
- by telephone
- by video call
How your antenatal appointments work
The number of antenatal appointments you have will usually be:
- 10 or more, if this is your first pregnancy
- 7 if you have had a baby before
Appointments may take place in the hospital with a midwife if you live outside the catchment area, or in a local clinic if you live locally. We'll explain this to you at your first midwife appointment.
You usually only need to be seen by a midwife and GP. However, you might be referred to an obstetrician (a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth) or one of our specialist clinics. The midwife will explain the reasons for this. These appointments take place in the hospital.
You'll also be offered antenatal ultrasound scans when you are around 12 weeks and 20 weeks pregnant. These take place at St Thomas' Hospital.
Changing or cancelling your appointment
Phone: 020 7188 2300
We answer this number from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
Before your appointment
Please bring your purple maternity notes booklet to all your appointments. We’ll give you this at your first appointment.
You'll need to bring 2 forms of identification to your 12-week scan (sometimes called your nuchal scan).
If you need to do any other preparation for an appointment, such as fasting, we’ll let you know when we confirm the appointment.
Please do not arrive more than 30 minutes before your face-to-face appointment.
If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, we'll rebook another appointment. We cannot see you on the day.
If you do not attend, the doctor or midwife will decide if your appointment can be rebooked.
During your appointment
Your first appointment with the midwife will take 1 hour.
After that, appointments with our midwives and doctors usually take 20 to 30 minutes.
We strongly advise you to attend every appointment, so that we can check that you and your baby are well.
At each appointment we will test your pee (urine) and check your blood pressure.
We will always ask you about your baby’s movements from 24 weeks onwards.
Your appointments are also an opportunity to talk about how you are feeling.
If the midwife feels it’s necessary, you might also need to see doctors and might be referred to a specialist clinic.
Find out more about what to expect at your 12-week scan on the NHS website.
Your scan will take place on the 8th floor of North Wing at St Thomas' Hospital, in either the fetal medicine unit or the ultrasound department.
The examination takes around 20 to 30 minutes. If we’re not able to get a clear picture, we may ask you to repeat the exam on another day.
At this scan you will also be offered screening for Down's syndrome.
It's important to know that it's your choice whether to have this screening or not. Your midwife or GP will discuss the test with you to help you decide if you want to have it.
Please ask the sonographer at your appointment if you have any questions or if you would like an ultrasound picture of your baby.