The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy are the most important time for your baby’s development. The earlier you are seen by a midwife or doctor the sooner they can check that everything is alright with both of you.
Early access to maternity care, before the 12th week of pregnancy, ensures that women can be offered screening, dating scans and health services in a timely manner. Some of these services can help prevent premature births and low weight babies, which are factors that contribute to stillbirths and miscarriages.
Accessing antenatal services before 12 weeks ensures women can be offered the most effective screening test for Down’s Syndrome and early tests for blood disorders.
Seeing your midwife or doctor early means they can discuss how to keep you and your baby healthy during your pregnancy and give you information on:
- supplements such as folic acid (which can prevent major defects in the baby’s brain and spine) and vitamin D
- eating healthily
- avoiding alcohol and cigarettes
- seasonal flu vaccines
- screening tests to check that the baby is healthy
- the importance of booking the hospital early
- reviewing what medicines you are taking
If you have an existing health problem (for example, diabetes, epilepsy or mental health issues) or if you experienced any complications in a previous pregnancy or birth, it is important that you receive individualised advice and the most appropriate care at the earliest stages of your pregnancy.
Your local maternity services
If you are pregnant you can self refer to the maternity service of your choice, you don't need a GP appointment first. You can call the local maternity service directly or complete a self referral form.
North Middlesex Hospital NHS Trust
Tel: 020 8887 3055 open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Alternatively complete a self referral form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the maternity services please visit the North Middlesex Hospital NHS Trust.
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust
Tel: 020 8375 1254 open Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm
Alternatively complete a self referral form and return it by email, fax, post or hand deliver to any of the Trust's antenatal clinic venues. For further information about the maternity services please visit the Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust website.
Family Nurse Partnership
Enfield Family Nurse Partnership is a new programme for young first time mothers, providing support and advice. This is a free home visiting programme for first time young mums (and dads) in Enfield, aged 20 or under. A specially trained family nurse visits the young mum regularly, from early in pregnancy until the child is two.
For further information please download the Family Nurse Partnership flyer, visit the Enfield Community Services pages of the Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust website or contact the Enfield Family Nurse Partnership team directly by email: beh-tr.enf-FNP@nhs.net or call 0208 702 4465.
You can also ask your GP, health visitor or other healthcare professional for more information.