This is your first appointment in the hospital so it will be longer than other appointments. It can take up to 3 to 5 hours as the hospital needs to get your information and do some tests to make sure you and the baby are healthy.
You may want to take some water and snacks with you to keep your energy up. There is usually a shop or canteen at the maternity hospital so you can buy things to eat there too.
QUESTIONS YOU'LL BE ASKED
You will be asked lots of questions at your booking appointment. If you don’t understand the questions, ask them to break it down for you.
Every woman is asked the same questions at the book appointment. These answers are confidential and will not be shared or used with anyone else. They are being asked to make sure that you get the best supports for your needs and to help you need during the pregnancy.
The questions you can expect include: Personal Information – name, date or birth, phone number, address, PPS number
- Ethnicity or cultural background – it is important that you self-identify as a Traveller
- Family medical history – family history and your partners of illnesses that could be inherited, e.g. diabetes, blood pressure and heart problems, PKU, SKIDS, Galactosemia, Brittle Bones disease
- Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Domestic Violence
The hospital will ask you about your ethnicity or cultural background.
It is important to tell them that you are an Irish Traveller as they will test the baby for Galactosaemia once they are born. This is because Galactosaemia is more common for Travellers. If they don’t have this information it could be harmful for your baby.
This condition is common for Travellers, even if it isn’t common in your family. It means that the baby can’t process the milk properly and needs to go on a special (soy) feed. All Traveller babies are put on this feed right away when they are born until the tests come back clear.
THINGS TO WATCH
Your doctor or midwife will always want to know if these things are happening to you. They may or may not be serious.
- Having a show, bleeding or spotting
- Swelling or puffy face, hands or ankles
- Constant vomiting
- Blurring of vision or spots before your eyes
- Leaking or discharge
- Sharp stomach pains (with or without bleeding)
- Daily headaches
- Chills or fever
- Sudden weight gain
- Change in the baby’s pattern of movement
- Worries or concerns you may have about the pregnancy, birth or your baby
The hospital will check your weight, give you a scan (and picture) and rough due date. The hospital will tell you where you can attend the rest of your antenatal appointments. They will either be:
- At your local health centre (with your GP or Midwife)
- At the maternity hospital (with your midwife or a consultant)
After your booking appointment, you will see your GP/midwife usually every month until later on and then you will go every week.
Your partner can go to your appointments but children are not usually allowed.
What to expect at each antenatal appointment:
- Your blood pressure checked
- A urine test (to check for protein and glucose)
- Your stomach checked to see if the baby is growing and its position
- Your baby’s heartbeat checked and movement
At 20 weeks, you will have another appointment at the hospital where you will be given your ‘big scan’ (fetal anatomy scan). This makes sure the baby is healthy and developing okay. You might be able to find out the sex of the baby from this scan. If the scan shows a problem, you and your partner will be informed and the hospital will arrange for a specialist to meet and talk with you. A copy of this report will be sent to your maternity hospital, GP/ midwife to make sure they also know.
It is important to attend all of your appointments. If you cannot attend, you need to call the hospital or the health centre as you can be struck off the list. Contact your Community Health Worker if you need help.
Changes for you and your baby
You may feel:
- Worried, stressed or down
- Your baby moving
- Morning sickness but it should get better
- Put on more weight as you start to look pregnant
You may feel:
- You may a tightening in your stomach (like contractions) these are called Braxton Hicks. You should not be worried as these are normal and doesn’t mean that you are in labour.
- Pain under your ribs
- Sore back
If you are not feeling well during your pregnancy, contact your GP or midwife and they will let you know if need to come in for a check-up.
If it is an emergency you can contact the maternity hospital, they are open 24 hours per day.