What happens at antenatal appointments? Morgan’s experience

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Young mum Morgan talks about how going to her antenatal appointments may have saved her baby’s life for Our Chance.

Here’s what Morgan says in the video if you can’t watch it…

[Narrator]: When you’re pregnant, going to your midwife and doctors appointments is vital. For Morgan, it may have saved her baby’s life.

When she found out she was pregnant, Morgan went to see her GP who referred her for a midwife appointment.

[Morgan]:

When I went to see the midwife, I was a bit nervous.

I didn’t know what to expect. I thought that in pregnancy you just had scans — I didn’t really think about that you’d see someone quite regularly.

The first appointment with my midwife, I think they call it a booking appointment and it does really feel like you’re booking in for something!

They do your height and weight and you get given a book of notes which is yours to have throughout your pregnancy. So it’s just really helpful to go to your first appointment to get those notes and get an outline of what’s to come.

They also do your blood pressure, which for me was really important.

I have quite low blood pressure so when they took it in my initial appointment, my midwife outlined it in my notes and told me so I knew what would be classed as high blood pressure for me.

When I was 38 weeks I woke up one morning and I had a really bad headache and I was really swollen everywhere: my face was swollen, my hands were swollen.

I was in two minds whether I should even call anyone and see if anything was wrong.

But something rang alarm bells in my head about swelling and the headaches together.

I remembered at an antenatal appointment my midwife talking about preeclampsia and I thought the best thing to do would be to call the maternity unit. When I went there, the midwife did some checks, they tested my urine and there was a bit of protein in there.

[Narrator]: The midwife was concerned that Morgan might have preeclampsia, a condition that can be life-threatening. She called in a doctor.

[Morgan]: So, the consultant came to look at all the results from everything the midwifes had done and he spoke to me a bit about my blood pressure and that it wasn’t alarmingly high — it wasn’t out of the normal range that they would expect for blood pressure of a pregnant lady.

But I reminded him to look at my notes from my booking appointment and that my blood pressure is normally quite low. And he said ‘yes, you’re blood pressure normally is quite low so actually this has been quite a big jump for you’.

[Narrator]: Because Morgan had gone to all her appointments, she had the information she needed to make sure her preeclampsia was spotted early. She received the right treatment and gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

[Morgan]: For me, going to antenatal appointments gave me knowledge and understanding of pregnancy that I didn’t have before. I could have the care tailored to me that I needed.

I think a lot of people worry about going to antenatal appointments, especially young parents.

You’re not sure what’s going to happen at them and I think that was a worry that I did think about. But then I was thinking about what was best for my baby.

At the end of the day it’s worth it just to know that your baby’s OK and that you’re keeping healthy.

More information about antenatal appointments

For more information about why going to your antenatal appointments can help avoid problems, watch Our Chance‘s film called Antenatal visits – what’s the point? below.

You can find more information about pregnancy and birth on our pregnancy guides for young mums-to-be here (there is also some information for young dads, too).

If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant or haven’t been to your GP yet, you can get more information on what to do next on the NHS website here.

Talk to other young mums about anything to do with pregnancy on our Community; just register here or login and then post a question in a group.

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