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Antenatal care

Our community midwifery teams offer a full range of antenatal services, parent education, aquanatal, birthing at home and postnatal care.

You can either be referred by your GP or self-refer for maternity care. Following this the community midwife will usually be the first person you meet along your pregnancy journey. She will complete your booking appointment taking all your history and planning your personalised care pathway.

Apart from your scans – which take place at the hospital – the remainder of your antenatal care will be with either the community midwife or shared with the obstetrician at the hospital according to your needs.

Community midwife antenatal clinics are held in GP surgeries or health centres and children’s centres. Each GP has an allocated midwife to try to ensure continuity during your pregnancy and postnatal period.

The community midwifery service also provides a 24-hour on call service to support women who wish to have their baby at home.  Please speak to your community midwife to discuss this further.

There are two teams of community midwives who between them cover both West Lancashire and Sefton. They can be reached on the following numbers usually between 4 pm and 5 pm every day (you can leave a message outside these hours):

  • Ormskirk 01695 656668
  • Southport 01704 704699

Screening

Screening tests form an important part of both antenatal care and care of the new-born baby. They are used to detect women or babies who may be at a higher chance of being affected by a specific health problem.

Most women and babies will have normal screening results meaning they are low risk of having the condition they were screened for. However, some will receive higher risk results and will be offered further tests which will provide more conclusive information either confirming the condition is present, or as in many cases, that it is not.

The screening tests may involve a blood test, an ultrasound scan, or in the case of new-born screening, a top-to-toe examination, a hearing assessment, or again a blood test.

All midwives are trained to inform and counsel women about the tests they will be offered, both for themselves and their babies, and these discussions begin at the first consultation with the midwife, which is known as the booking appointment.

Further information is also available from the National Screening Programme website, or from the booklet Screening Tests for You and Your Baby which is usually sent out prior to your booking consultation.

The screening co-ordinator is also available to counsel any parents who have specific concerns regarding any aspect of antenatal or new-born screening. The screening co-ordinator is a specialist midwife who has undergone extensive training, and co-ordinates all the screening programmes, follows up any positive screen or high chance results, and ensures that all those eligible are offered screening in a timely manner and have a conclusive result.

There are currently four antenatal programmes:

  • Infectious diseases – hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis
  • Sickle cell disease and thalassaemia
  • Screening for Down’s, Edward’s and Pataus’ syndromes
  • Fetal anomaly scan at 20 weeks to check baby’s anatomy

 

There are three new-born programmes which are:-

  • Physical examination (top-to-toe check) done within the first 72 hours after birth and then repeated between six and eight weeks
  • Hearing assessment also done within 72 hours of birth
  • Blood test which is done at five days of age which tests for several conditions such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, thyroid disease, and a series of metabolic disorders

 

For further information, please see your copy of The Pregnancy Information Book, which can be found towards the back of your yellow hand-held notes, or contact the screening co-ordinator Jayne Parkinson on 01695 656379/656949, or soh-tr.ormskirkanc@nhs.net.

Post-natal care

After your baby is born, the midwife will visit you the day after your leave hospital to check both you and your baby. The reason for and frequency of visits will be discussed with you at the first visit but please be aware that the midwife does not visit every day. She will leave contact numbers for advice 24 hours a day.

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