Your pregnancy

To be referred to have your baby with us one of the following ways:

We aim to inform you of your first antenatal appointment date within two weeks of hearing from you or your GP. In most cases, antenatal care is shared between our midwives and your GP. This is known as shared care. If there are complications in pregnancy, care will be shared between our midwives and obstetricians. This is known as obstetric-led care.

Where will my care be based?

Depending on where you live, your care will be based either in your local community or at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Midwifery group practice care in the community is offered to women who live in Pimlico, Westminster, Victoria, Kensington, Holland Park, Chelsea, Earls Court, Parsons Green, Putney, Wandsworth and Battersea.

If you live elsewhere, your antenatal appointments will all take place at the hospital or one of the hospital clinics based in the community.

Who will be involved in my care?

Midwives

At Chelsea and Westminster Maternity Unit, midwives are the lead professionals for the majority of women. This means midwives take responsibility for planning and providing maternity care for you and your family. Most babies born in this hospital (and in the country as a whole) arrive with the help of midwives alone. At Chelsea and Westminster, around 60% of women give birth with the sole help of their midwife.

There are 10 midwifery teams at Chelsea and Westminster— 4 community teams and 6 hospital teams—with midwives in each team who you will get to know. In hospital, you will meet other midwives when you are on the postnatal ward or if you are admitted to the antenatal ward. These are ward-based midwives and they are there to support your team midwife.

Your General Practitioner (GP)

Your GP is an important part of the professional team caring for you during your pregnancy and in the days following the birth of your baby. Following your birth, you will need to register your baby with your GP, who will continue to provide care for you and your family. It is important that you see your GP for your 6–8 week postnatal check-up provided there were no problems in labour. If you have a home birth, your GP will arrange for your baby to be medically examined. Your GP has responsibility for your general medical care and, if you are not already registered with a GP, we would advise you to find one as soon as possible.

Obstetrician

An obstetrician is a doctor who has specialist knowledge of pregnancy and labour complications. Obstetricians are consulted when complications arise before, during or immediately after birth. There are 10 Consultant Obstetricians providing care at Chelsea and Westminster. A Consultant Obstetrician leads a team of doctors who are gaining experience and training to be independent obstetricians. At Chelsea and Westminster some of our Consultant Obstetricians specialise in the following areas of obstetrics: cardiac conditions, fetal medicine, diabetes, HIV, cervical sutures and drug misuse in pregnancy. All our Consultant Obstetricians are linked with midwifery teams.

Health Visitor

Health visitors are nurses and/or midwives with special training in the care of children under five and in wider issues of community health. They work closely with your midwives and may visit you during your pregnancy. In some of our clinics, they are involved in providing parent education classes.

Students

Within the maternity unit there are three different types of students—midwifery, medical and nursing. They are all likely to be at different stages of training. Nursing students are there to observe the work of midwives and obstetricians and are not involved in providing direct care. It is important that trainee midwives and doctors have the opportunity to work with women through the antenatal, labour and postnatal periods in order to gain the experience they need. We try to involve them as much as possible, but will only do so with your consent. Students will only carry out procedures under direct supervision, either by a qualified midwife or a member of the medical team.

Doulas

We support your choice in having a Doula present during your birth. Doulas support women and their families during pregnancy and childbirth. Their support is emotional, practical and non-medical based—they are not employed or contracted by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Further information can be found on the Doula UK website.

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