Organising your pregnancy

Our midwife points you in the right direction as you begin to plan out your 41 weeks and labour


Milestones in your pregnancy countdown

  • 20 weeks – MATB1 form: you get this from your employer to fill in so you can receive maternity pay.
  • 25 weeks – Health in Pregnancy Grant: this is a new £190 one-off payment that the Government gives to help you through.
  • 29 weeks – Maternity leave: many mums-to-be stay longer, but legally you can leave work now.
  • 30 weeksAntenatal classes begin: don’t forget you’re entitled to paid time off from work to attend.
  • 40 weeks – Arrival time: your midwife can offer you a stretch and sweep to help kick start labour, if you’re getting impatient.

Subjects to raise with your midwife

  • Local maternity units and their birth rates. To help you choose where you’d like to give birth if it’s not at home.
  • Antenatal classes. Ask about when and where your nearest are. 
  • Birthing pools. Find out how many pools are at your hospital and if you’d be suitable for a water birth.
  • A home visit. Ask if she’ll visit you to chat through your birth plan with you and your partner.
  • When you go into labour. If you’d prefer to be assessed at home rather than go straight to the labour ward, let her know.

Pre-birth questions to ask your midwife

  • Which unit in your area has a high rate of straightforward, vaginal births, and what’s the rate of home births?
  • How many birthing pools are there available at any one time?
  • Is it possible to have a look around the labour unit in advance?
  • Will your midwife come and assess you at home when you’re in labour?
  • How likely is it that you’ll see your midwife throughout your whole pregnancy and at the birth?

Why you should attend antenatal classes

  • To feel reassured you’re not the only one worrying about things like the size of your bump – lots of other women there will be feeling the same way.
  • You meet mums-to-be who you can stay in touch with – a great support network for when your baby arrives.
  • You learn about what to expect at the birth and what pain relief is available.
  • Classes involve your partner and help him understand your wishes on b-day.
  • You get time off work as your boss has to let you go in work time.

Birth plan considerations

  • Make it easy to read, so if you labour quickly it’ll be faster to understand.
  • Staple a copy to the front of your notes and have a spare copy for the doctor in case you need intervention.
  • Focus on things that are specifically important to you and your partner, rather than a standard downloaded one.
  • If you want a second opinion, ask your community midwife to read it and see what she thinks.
  • Think about the tone If it’s open and friendly, people caring for you are more likely to respond in the same way.

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