Just found out you are pregnant? Advice and information on what to do next

  • Reference Number: HEY-079/2018
  • Departments: Maternity Services

Introduction

This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about what to do next after finding out you are pregnant. Most of your questions should be answered by this leaflet. It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your midwife or doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.  If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team caring for you.

What to do next?

The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy are the most important time in your baby’s development. Early contact with a health professional is important, as it will help you to make informed choices about your pregnancy. Wherever you live in Hull & East Yorkshire you can now contact a midwife as soon as you find out you are pregnant. 

Things you may not know

For the first 12 weeks your baby starts off as a series of cells.

  • By four to five weeks your baby is approximately 5cm and mum and baby are connected by the umbilical cord
  • At 6-7 weeks your baby is approximately 8mm and your baby’s heartbeat can be found
  • By 8 weeks your baby is approximately 22mm and will be developing ears, arms, fingers and toes
  • By 12 weeks your baby is fully formed, is approximately 50mm and can open its fist and mouth

Looking after yourself properly and contacting a midwife when you know you are pregnant can ensure your baby has the best possible start in life.

Why contact a midwife?

A Midwife can:

  • Give you up to date information about looking after yourself and your baby during your pregnancy
  • Help you to plan and make decisions about the rest of your pregnancy
  • Help you to plan where you want to give birth to your baby either at home, at the Fatima Allam Birth Centre or on the Labour Ward at the Women & Children’s Hospital
  • Discuss with you options for your care after your baby is born
  • Give you advice about food and diet
  • Answer any questions you may have about this pregnancy or any worries you have about previous illnesses or family history, which may affect this pregnancy
  • Advise about healthy start vouchers and vitamins if you are entitled to them
  • Give you advice about vitamin supplements especially those containing folic acid and vitamin D

What else should I know?

  • Take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy this helps reduce the risk of spina bifida
  • Try to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Drink water – to keep yourself hydrated
  • Eat small amounts often this can help with early pregnancy sickness
  • Do you smoke? This is the time to stop. You can self-refer for advice on how to stop by calling 01482 247111 or text STEPS to 61825. More information is also available at www.readytostopsmoking.co.uk
  • Do you take recreational drugs, are worried about alcohol intake or are alcohol dependent? This is the time to stop. You can self-refer for advice by calling Renew on 01482 620013 if you live in Hull or The East Riding Partnership on 01482 344690 is you live in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, (unless you are alcohol dependent then reduction will be monitored by one of the above agencies).
  • Take gentle exercise – such as walking or swimming – this will boost your energy levels and help you sleep better. Your midwife or family doctor can advise you
  • RELAX – this is important for you!
  • Get medical advice from your family doctor or midwife about any medication or supplements you are taking

How can I get in touch with my midwife?

Contact the community midwives clerical team early for advice and to talk through your options. They will book you an appointment with your midwife before you’re 12 weeks pregnancy which will help provide the best care for you.

Online: www.hey.nhs.uk/directaccess

Email: direct.access@hey.nhs.uk

Call: (01482) 605304 (Mon-Fri 9.00am to 4.30pm)

Text: 07825 280822

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.