First things first…
At your first antenatal appointment with your midwife or GP, you may be offered two useful packs – which both come with heaps of online support – produced by Emma’s Diary, and Bounty Pregnancy. For many years they have provided advice on what to expect in each stage of your pregnancy, vouchers, coupons and free samples for all sorts of baby essentials; and now they both offer apps and online forums for chatting to other mums who are expecting at the same time. Ask your GP or Midwife for your sign up packs, and you’ll be able to register at both websites for all the benefits. http://www.bounty.com/
Keeping an eye on everything
The frequency of your midwife appointments will be agreed as part of your antenatal plan, and you’ll discuss your health and the baby’s health while your there. In the meantime, it’s important to get to know your baby’s movements – keeping track of the types of movement your unborn baby makes is one of the best ways to make sure your baby is well. Check out Make My Movements Matter, for pointers on what to look for during your pregnancy, and when to seek help. For this, and lots of other day-to-day things that are good to know for pregnancy, visit the http://www.saferpregnancy.org.uk/ website – “straight-talking good advice for pregnant women”.
Where to give birth?
Part of your antenatal discussions will be about how and where is best for the birth, for you and your baby. This very useful tool from Which? invites you to answer some simple questions about your birth choices, and based on your responses, will show you the best type of birth for you, and the venues you could choose from which offer that type of birth. It’s free to use, and you can store your results for future reference: Which? Birth Choice tool
Is that my waters breaking…or something else?
It’s very rarely like the films – waters flooding out in a public place, announcing that labour has started – and sometimes it’s hard to tell if that dampness is your amniotic fluid leaking, or something else! A new product AmnioSense, recently distributed at the Royal College of Midwives’ conference 2017, lets you test for amniotic fluid leaks, without having to visit the hospital. It’s a pantyliner that can be worn for up to 12 hours, and give an easy to read result in 10 minutes – which will tell you whether or not your waters have broken, and you need to make that call to your midwife or labour ward. For more information, ask your midwife, and have a look at the website: https://www.amniosense.co.uk/
More help and support can be found for all aspects of your pregnancy at the NHS Choices website – and if you are concerned about any aspect of your health or your unborn baby’s health, you should always speak to your midwife.