You will have regular appointments with your midwife throughout your pregnancy, and your midwife will explain this process to you. This is known as antenatal care.

Your maternity notes

You will be given your maternity notes at your first midwife appointment, which is usually when you are around 8 weeks pregnant.

Your maternity notes are a record of the care that you get from every health professional:

  • during your pregnancy
  • during your birth
  • after birth

It allows everyone involved in your care to communicate with each other. These notes belong to the maternity unit, so your midwife will need to return them to the unit once your care is finished.


You should bring your maternity notes with you to every health check, including GP and hospital appointments.

Tests and screening

Over 95% of all pregnancies in the UK result in the birth of a healthy baby, but tests and screening aims to detect problems early.

You will be offered a range of tests during your pregnancy, including blood tests and ultrasounds which:

  • help make your pregnancy safer
  • check the development and wellbeing of your baby
  • screen for particular conditions

Find out more about antenatal checks and tests

Harmony test

The harmony test, also known as NIPT, is a DNA based test for 3 chromosomal abnormalities.

It's an enhanced screening test that is not routinely available through the NHS for uncomplicated pregnancies. But it can provide an additional level of reassurance.

The test can be carried out from 10 weeks of pregnancy. The service is provided by our fetal medicine consultants, who will support you through the test and the results.

For more information or if you would like to book an appointment, please contact the antenatal screening co-ordinators on 0300 422 2415 or 0300 422 6106. You can also email us a

NHS antenatal classes

Antenatal classes help you prepare for your baby’s birth and offer advice on how to feed and care for your baby. They can also help you keep fit and well during your pregnancy.

Antenatal classes will be offered to you and your birth partner, either in our birth units or community health centre.

Your community midwife will be able to explain which classes are available in your area.