During your pregnancy, you will have regular tests and check-ups. Ultrasound scans are used to check to the baby’s development at key stages:
- Between six and eight weeks to confirm your pregnancy.
- Between 10 and 14 weeks to check on development and the risk of Down’s syndrome. - Between 20 and 23 weeks to check for spina bifida and other abnormalities.
- In the final stages to monitor development before birth.
You will also have regular antenatal appointments from around the 12th week, where your doctor or midwife will check your general health and that of the baby, feel your tummy to check the baby’s position, listen to the baby’s heartbeat and carry out blood and urine tests. You may find you are more forgetful while you’re pregnant, so write down any questions you may have!
Start thinking about what sort of birth you want too, check out the options in your area and discuss it with your midwife. You will have a ‘booking’ appointment early in your pregnancy to book your birth at the facility of your choice – make sure that you choose a hospital or birthing centre near your home, as you will have to travel there for antenatal care too.
Finally, remember that you have the right to free dental care during pregnancy and for a year afterwards, but you should avoid dental x-rays.