Medical Professionals You'll Meet Whilst Pregnantby Your Baby Club
For most people, pregnancy is full of scans, checkups, antenatal appointments and tests to ensure both mum and baby are happy and healthy throughout their 9-month pregnancy.
For a handful, the road to pregnancy and beyond is filled with so many more, but the basic appointments most women can expect involve the following medical professionals:
Whether you’re thinking about starting a family and need a preconception medical check or you’ve just found out you're pregnant and need a midwife referral, your GP will always be your first point of call for your health and wellbeing. If you have a home birth, your GP will likely perform the newborn (NIPE) check, rather than a midwife. You will also head to them for your 6-week check post-birth, to check on you and baby, check on any stitches or c-section scar and talk through post-birth contraception.
You’ll see your midwife several times and may even see a few different midwives throughout your pregnancy. They will look after you during your pregnancy, throughout labour and even after your baby arrives. They’ll take care of everything from blood tests, checkups, mental and physical wellbeing discussions, as well as coach you through labour and how to breastfeed. Once they’re happy and you’re sent home, you’ll be passed over to your health visitor.
The all-important scanner of your uterus! The sonographer appointments, to many women, are the most important and you’ll have a minimum of 2 scans throughout your pregnancy. The first ultrasound and nuchal translucency (NT) scan around 12-14 weeks is known as the dating scan to give you a due date. The NT scan also screens for Down’s syndrome, Patau’s and Edward’s syndrome if you want that testing done.
The second scan, between 18 and 24-weeks, is known as your mid-pregnancy anomaly scan and looks for 11 physical conditions in your baby and if you want to know, the sex of your baby.
Dietitian/ specialist diabetic midwife
If you suffer from gestational or normal diabetes, you’ll likely be referred to one of the above during your pregnancy. They will look at your current diet and suggest changes to help manage your blood sugar and maintain a healthy diet.
If you require an epidural during labour, or opt for a c-section, the anaesthetist will be there to offer you pain relief.
If your baby needs to go to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or requires special care, it will be a specialist neonatal nurse that looks after them.
Specialising in complicated pregnancies and childbirth, the obstetrician will be there to conduct some necessary treatments. If your labour requires it, they will be at the other end of the forceps, take charge of a ventouse birth, or lead a caesarean, and will ensure your baby is delivered safely.
These baby and child specialist doctors will be available to you when a birth may be a little less straightforward and will care for your baby in a neonatal unit. You’ll also see a paediatrician for any illnesses your child may have whilst growing up, alongside your GP.
They will be your post-pregnancy guardian. They’ll pay you a visit to your home while you’re still pregnant, then once you’re home with the baby, your health visitor will pop round after 10 days and keep you on track for a healthy recovery and help with the first few months with the baby. If you'll be caring for this baby on your own or are both struggling with this big change, your health visitor is also able to offer you support.
Physiotherapist or Osteopath
Joint, muscle, and back pain are common complaints in pregnancy, and if you’re really suffering, you will want to head to one of these specialists to alleviate your pain. After birth, pregnancy physiotherapists can help women with their incontinence issues as well. Let's Talk Birth and Baby also run a specialist women's 'Pelvic Girdle Pain Workshop' to teach you how to cope.