Pregnant Women Urged to Call the Midwifes

As soon as you find out you are pregnant, make an appointment with your midwife. That’s the message NHS Forth Valley is sending out to women across Forth Valley as part of a national drive to encourage the best start for pregnant women and their babies.

All pregnant women, even those who have children already, are being encouraged to book into their local maternity services before 12 weeks to benefit from the full range of screening options available and have their individual health needs met.

Early contact with the midwife ensures the best care is provided for every mother and her baby. Support and advice around health and social needs is delivered on an individual basis.

New posters currently on display in GP surgeries, pharmacies, community centres, nurseries, libraries and family planning centres  advise women to call for an appointment with their midwife as soon as they know they are pregnant  Supporting leaflets also provide information on what to do next after finding out you are pregnant.

Gail Bell, NHS Forth Valley’s Deputy Head of Midwifery, explained:

 “We want to get the message out to women across Forth Valley  that as soon as they have a positive pregnancy test they should call 01324 567146 to book an appointment with a  midwife. Meeting their midwife is the first step towards a healthy pregnancy and will ensure they receive appropriate care and advice with support from other health professionals, as required.”

The NHS Forth Valley midwife booking line (01324 567146) is open Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 1200 noon.

Gillian Smith, Director at Royal College of Midwives Scotland said:

 “Women will meet a number of health professionals on their maternity journey but the midwife is without question the expert on what to expect in pregnancy. That’s why it’s important that women meet their midwife as early as possible, so that their individual support plan is put in place and a strong relationship can be built up. We know that although all women need a midwife, some will also need an obstetrician, GP or other service during pregnancy, so the earlier we can get each woman’s plan under way the better.”

While women are being offered the option of a midwife as first professional contact, the choice of seeing a GP at any point in the woman’s pregnancy remains available.

Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, said:

 “Getting into maternity services early will help to ensure that all children in Scotland get the best possible start in life, even before they are born. Maternity care plays a vital role in providing women, their partners and their babies with the care and support they need at this important time. We know that those women at highest risk of poor pregnancy outcomes are less likely to book for antenatal care early. Improving rates of early access to antenatal care for all women will strengthen the contribution the NHS makes to improving long-term health.”