Your pregnancy journey will vary dependent on you, your baby and your medical condition. The Doctors and Midwives caring for you will develop a plan of care with you to meet your individual needs. This is known as your personalised care plan.
Once it has been established that you will need additional support from the Maternal Medicine Network during your pregnancy, you will be advised about the different appointments you will need to attend. These will include standard checks and scans on you and your baby at your local hospital, but may also include additional checks at that hospital or at one of the Maternal Medicine Centres. Where possible, we aim to provide care as close to home as possible to reduce disruption to you and your family. For example, many of those with medical problems during their pregnancies require additional scans of their baby to monitor baby's growth. In most cases, these scans can be performed at your local hospital.
In some cases the team caring for you will meet together to discuss and plan your care. This is called a Multi Disciplinary Team meeting (MDT) and may include Doctors, Anaesthetists, Midwives and Nurses from your local hospital as well as the team from the Maternal Medicine Centre. Your team will discuss the outcome of the MDT with you and use the information to plan your care. The hospitals and Maternal Medicine Centres will work together to ensure your records are kept up to date. Many areas are moving to electronic records but you may be given paper notes to take with you if you travel outside your local area, so that clinicians are informed of your specific condition.
If you have other health or wellbeing needs these can also be supported by your local midwives and obstetricians. For example if you want support to give up smoking, lose weight or drink less to ensure a better chance of a healthy pregnancy you can be supported locally or referred to local services to help.
Our overall aim is to provide appropriate, high quality and safe care as close to your home as possible - and if more specialist support is needed we will ensure you can access that support quickly and easily. You will be given a local midwifery and obstetric contact if you have any queries or concerns, or you can contact a Maternal Medicine midwife via this site for advice.
Labour and Birth
You will be given information about who to contact if you go into spontaneous labour or, in some cases, a date may be booked for a planned Caesarean Section. Again, you may give birth at your local hospital, or in some cases you may be asked to travel to the Maternal Medicine Centre. You will be supported to do this.
During the birth process your care will be overseen by professionals who have knowledge of your medical condition and you will be able to access experts in your physical and/or mental health conditions.
You will have your personalised care plan which contains information about what you want to happen during the birth. Any changes to this plan due to the circumstances of the birth will be discussed with you and you will be able to make an informed choice at this stage.
After the Birth
After the birth, your care and that of your baby will depend on your individual circumstances. Any options will be discussed with you to enable you to make an informed decision.
When you have recovered from the birth you will be reviewed before being discharged from hospital care, and your care will be transferred to a community midwife initially, and then onto Health Visiting services to continue to support you and your baby. Your GP will be informed of the birth and any relevant information about your health and wellbeing so they will also be able to effectively support you.
Preparing for an early birth
Sometimes babies may arrive before their due date. This may be planned or it may happen unexpectedly. If you think your baby may arrive early, the below video may help you prepare for this.