Your Maternity Care
Maternity or antenatal care is provided for all pregnant women. Visits are arranged, according to your choice of maternity care, at the hospital Antenatal Clinic, your local health centre or GP surgery, and your own home. Regular examinations are carried out to confirm that your pregnancy is progressing normally. Your partner, a relative or a friend is welcome to attend antenatal visits with you.
Early in pregnancy your maternity care will be discussed. Maternity care includes . It is provided by midwives, general practitioners (GPs) and obstetricians. No matter what type of maternity care you choose, all the usual ultrasound scans and blood tests are available to you. If more specialised tests are appropriate you will be advised by the professionals caring for you.
Types of care
This is where all your care is carried out by the hospital- and community-based midwives, together with your GP. Before the birth, most of your care is given by your midwife and GP at the local surgery. You will attend the Maternity Unit at around 12 weeks for a dating scan and again at approximately 22 weeks for a detailed scan. Further hospital visits will be arranged as your pregnancy progresses. You will be cared for during labour and birth by a midwife and the obstetricians will be available if needed.
This type of care is designed for women who are identified as having a low-risk pregnancy. The maternity care is carried out by midwives and childbirth usually takes place in the Midwifery-led Unit at Craigavon Area Hospital or in the Delivery Suite at Daisy Hill Hospital.
Continuity of Midwifery Carer is an exciting new way of working that will provide integrated, appropriate and seamless care for all women across the continuum of pregnancy, birth and early parenting period. The introduction of this innovative new model has commenced. When fully implemented this will become the standard model of maternity care in Northern Ireland.
This is for any woman who has had problems with a previous pregnancy, who has a medical problem that may complicate her pregnancy, or who develops problems during her pregnancy. It is likely that more of your care will involve visits to the hospital, but your midwife and GP will also be involved. Your care during labour will be provided by the duty team of hospital doctors and midwives.
Where you will have your care
Care is across four hospital sites within the Trust – Craigavon Area Hospital, Daisy Hill Hospital, South Tyrone Hospital and Tower Hill.
Craigavon Area Hospital Antenatal Clinic
Daisy Hill Hospital Antenatal Clinic
What to expect at Antenatal appointments
During your pregnancy, you will usually have between seven and ten antenatal appointments depending on whether it is your first pregnancy.
Some women, who are expecting multiple babies or have more complex needs may require additional appointments.
Craigavon Area Hospital Antenatal and Outpatients Department (ANOPD)
There are many clinics located within the Craigavon Antenatal and Outpatients Department (ANOPD)
- Daisy Hill Antenatal and Outpatients Department (ANOPD)
Antenatally we follow NICE guidelines, seeing women at booking, 16 weeks, 20 weeks (anomaly scan), 25 weeks (prim only), 28 weeks, 31 weeks, 34 weeks, 36 weeks, 38 weeks, 40 weeks and 41 weeks.
Find our more about the Community Midwifery teams.
Early Pregnancy Problem Clinic (EPPC)
We can see you at the clinic if you have bleeding and/or pain up to 16 weeks of your pregnancy.
You can attend the appointment with your partner or someone you choose to support you.
Find out more about the Early Pregnancy Problem Clinic (EPPC).
Day Obstetrics Unit (DOU)
Women come to the Maternity Day Obstetric Unit (DOU) to be assessed and monitored if they have developed complications that require further investigation. This means that appropriate treatment and advice can be given and follow up appointments made if necessary.
Find out more about Day Obstetrics Unit (DOU).
The gynaecology ward is the area of practice that involves the treatment of women’s health and reproductive organs.
It is situated in Craigavon Area Hospital Maternity level 1.
Find out more about the Gynae services.
Antenatal Education Classes
There are a number of different antenatal classes available.
Find out more about which is suited to you by visiting the Antenatal Education Clinics.
Weigh to a Healthy Pregnancy Team
For all women good nutrition in pregnancy and after can improve the long-term health of both mother and baby.
Weigh to a healthy pregnancy is a PHA funded regional programme for women with a BMI higher than 38Kg/m2. It is expected and perfectly normal to gain weight during pregnancy. Weigh to a healthy pregnancy was developed to support women to manage their pregnancy weight gain safely whilst making maintainable healthy lifestyle changes.
Find out more about Weigh to a Healthy Pregnancy Team.
Working when pregnant
If you’re pregnant and working, your employer must protect your health and safety. You might be entitled to paid time off for antenatal care. You are also protected against unfair treatment by an employer.
Find out more about Working when pregnant.
Getting Ready to Meet Your Baby - Packing your Hospital Bag
You want the hours you spend in hospital before giving birth to be as stress-free as possible. That means having your bag packed in the third trimester at around 35-36 weeks. Just in case your baby might arrive earlier than expected!
Hospitals vary in their policies about what you are allowed to bring with you when you have your baby. You may want to take a few items from home, such as your own pillows, a blanket etc., to make the environment more personal to your own needs. It is advisable to check beforehand with your midwife, as hospital policy will have safety rules and regulations on items such as candles, flowers etc., which are not permitted.
If you would like you can pack two bags one for labour and the hours immediately after your baby is born and a second bag for your stay in the postnatal ward (the second bag can be left in the car initially if you are driving to hospital). If you have a straightforward birth, you may leave hospital on the same day and not need the second bag at all but it is better to plan for all eventualities in case your hospital stay is a little longer than planned.
Hospital bag for Mum
- Your hospital notes and birth plan. Don’t leave home without your notes!
- Loose and comfortable clothing to wear during labour and for your stay in hospital. Clothes that do not restrict you from moving around or make you too hot – short sleeve front opening nightdress or nightshirt. 3 changes of loose, comfortable clothes (darker colour bottoms preferable).
- Bras – 2 or 3 comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you’re planning to breastfeed – remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual.
- Breast pads – 1 packet (you don’t have to buy expensive brands).
- Maternity/sanitary pads – 2 packets of super-absorbent.
- Pants – 5 or 6 pair’s disposable or some cheaper brand dark coloured pants.
- Dressing gown and slip on backless slippers.
- Washbag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, hair ties and other toiletries
- Towels x 2 (dark in colour) for showering after the birth of your baby.
- Massage oil or lotion if you would like to be massaged during your labour!
- Lip balm to keep your lips from drying up.
- Water spray to cool you down!
- Healthy snacks and isotonic drinks (non-fizzy) to keep you energized.
- TENS machine if you intend to use one for pain relief.
- Eye mask and earplugs, to help you sleep in a brightly lit, noisy ward.
- Distractions and things to help you pass the time and relax – for example, e-books, books, crosswords, word-searches, magazines, music, podcasts, hypnobirthing rainbow relaxation or any other types of relaxation you may want to listen to.
Hospital bag for baby
- Nappies! (Does not have to be expensive branded nappies, there are cheaper companies offering good value nappies also).
- Cotton wool – your baby’s skin will be very delicate, so experts recommend using cotton wool and water for nappy changes at first.
- Wipes – alcohol and fragrance.
- Bodysuits x6, vests x6 , 6 Bibs and 2 cardigans.
- A comfortable stretchy outfit for baby to go home in along with a hat.
- Jacket or snowsuit for winter babies (remove before placing your baby in a car seat as they can overheat).
- Scratch mittens and socks or booties.
- One cellular blanket.
- Muslin squares or bibs for mopping up any milk your baby brings up (posseting).
- Car seat for the trip home.