During my first pregnancy I remember seeing my midwife all the time. It felt like I had midwife appointments every other week. I loved hearing my baby’s heartbeat and being checked to make sure that my bump was measuring correctly.
However for my second pregnancy my midwife appointments seem to be few and far between. I’m currently 34 weeks pregnant and since letting my healthcare provider know I was pregnant at 6 weeks, I have only seen my midwife 3 times. In fact I have seen 3 different midwives as my midwife has been on holiday or not available. By this point in my first pregnancy I had had many more appointments.
Of course every pregnancy is different, and you may be consultant led in which case you may have more appointments. However as every pregnancy is different I would still like the same number of midwife appointments as my first, especially having had a complicated labour and c-section with my first, and also having to make the decision between VBAC or c-section.
Here’s the lowdown on how midwife appointments vary between your first and later pregnancies. Please note that I am not a healthcare professional or midwife so what happens during these appointments may vary from what I have written below.
8 weeks – Booking in appointment with your midwife. This is where you receive your pregnancy book and they place you into the system. They will weigh you, complete a urine check and a blood test.
16 weeks – This is a routine check where they review your blood pressure, urine, and check the results from your 12 or 13 week scan. Plus discuss any concerns that you may have.
25 weeks – This is another routine check, similar to the 16 week check, and they will also review the results from your 20 week scan.
28 weeks – The 28 week appointment is a much longer appointment. Here your midwife will discuss any concerns you have, measure your bump, listen to your baby’s heartbeat, repeat blood test, issue MATB1 form, discuss feeding your baby, and maybe give you the whooping cough injection. Be prepared for this appointment to be longer than your previous appointments.
31 – 32 weeks – This is another routine appointment, where you will be weighed, have your bump measured, and check blood pressure and urine.
34 weeks – In this appointment all the routine checks will occur. Alongside this you will also discuss your birth choices and give any specific information on preparing for labour and birth including your birth plan. You may also be booked into the birth centre.
36 weeks – This is more or less another routine appointment, and your midwife will also check your baby’s presentation and positioning.
38 weeks – The 38 week appointment is where all the routine checks will be carried out (blood pressure, urine, heartbeat and bump size). Your midwife will also check your baby’s presentation and position, as well as discussing any membrane sweeps to help kick start labour.
40 weeks (if required) – If you reach this stage you may be offered a membrane sweep alongside the usual routine checks. You will also discuss options for management of your pregnancy if you go overdue.
41 weeks (if required) – At this appointment you will discuss any concerns, have all the routine checks complete, and discuss a membrane sweep and induction of labour.
For your second or later pregnancy
During your second or later pregnancy, here are the routine appointments that you will have:
- 8 weeks
- 16 weeks
- 28 weeks
- 34 weeks
- 36 weeks
- 38 weeks
- 40 weeks
- 41 weeks
To summarise there are 8 routine midwife appointments in your second or later pregnancy, compared to 10 appointments with your first. For me I would still like to have a few more in between the 16 – 34 week stage just to make sure that every thing is ok, and also to hear the heartbeat.
I said at the beginning of this post every single pregnancy is different, and it does feel that during the second and start of the third trimester we are left to our own devices a little bit. I guess that’s because we have been through it before, and know what to look for. We have also had it drummed into us that if we have any concerns about our baby then it’s either call the midwife or your labour ward.
But because every pregnancy is different, does still make sense to have the 25 and 31 week midwife appointment to have those essential routine checks carried out and to discuss any concerns that we may have as a pregnant mum?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and whether you feel that second or later pregnancies should follow the same midwife appointment structure as your first pregnancy.