Finding out that you are expecting a baby introduces a range of emotions, from joy to the fear of the unknown. The first trimester can also be a somewhat confusing time as you begin to navigate your way through the array of information available becoming a mother. To help make your first trimester a little easier, The Portland Hospital’s, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Penelope Law, lists the five essential things every mother-to-be must do.
1. Consider your birthing options:
If you think that you may be pregnant, your first course of action should be to see your GP who will confirm the pregnancy through blood and urine tests, and provide you with information on the next steps.
Upon reading this information you will discover that there are now more birth options available than ever before. Whether you are thinking about Consultant or Midwife-led care, a caesarean, hypno or natural birth The Portland Hospital has a range of bespoke maternity packages available. More information on these packages can be found here.
2. Meet your team:
Once you have had some time to consider the type of birth you would like, your next step will be to make an appointment with the facility you have chosen to meet your Consultant or Midwife.
If you have decided on a Consultant-led birth at The Portland Hospital your chosen Consultant will discuss the antenatal and delivery options available to you under their care. All mothers expecting to deliver at The Portland Hospital will also be invited to attend the Midwifery booking clinic to meet their Midwife, and their Consultant may also refer them to our Consultant Anaesthetist should they wish to discuss their pain relief options.
Women who choose to have a Midwife-led birth will also be encouraged to meet with their team and develop an individual plan of care for their pregnancy. They will then be invited to attend two appointments with a Consultant Obstetrician who will check that the pregnancy is proceeding as expected.
3. Eat well:
A healthy diet can boost your health during pregnancy and The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) also recommend taking the supplements Vitamin D and folic acid during pregnancy. Expectant mothers should take at least 400-microgram folic acid tablet every day for the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy and a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.
4. Speak to your sonographer:
Your first ultrasound appointment will usually take place shortly after the 11th week of your pregnancy. Here your sonographer will confirm the number of babies that you are having, listen for your baby’s heartbeat and estimate your due date.
During your first trimester you will also have the option of undergoing a screening for fetal chromosomal abnormalities. If you choose to undergo the combined nuchal test, this can be performed at the same time as your first scan. The alternatives to the nuchal test are the Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests (NIPT) Harmony and Panorama. Highly effective in detecting the most common fetal chromosomal abnormalities, NIPT testing can be carried out from 9 weeks gestation by The Portland Hospital’s ultrasound department.
5. Check out the antenatal classes available:
As your pregnancy progresses and you enter the second trimester you may wish to attend an antenatal class. The Portland Hospital offers a wide range of classes including childbirth preparation, antenatal exercise, hypnobirthing and holistic therapies. Full details of The Portland Hospital’s antenatal classes can be found here and you can book to attend our classes regardless of whether you are having your baby with us or at another hospital.
For more information on the maternity services available at The Portland Hospital or to book an appointment with Dr Law please contact our maternity services enquiry line on 020 7390 6068 and speak to an advisor. Alternatively you can book a maternity tour of our delivery suites here.