Who will be involved in your care?
Midwives take responsibility for planning and providing maternity care for you and your family. Most babies born at hospital (and in the country as a whole) arrive with the help of midwives alone. Our midwives are based across the two hospital sites, our midwife led birthing centre at Maidstone Hospital and our full maternity unit and neonatal unit at The Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.
In most cases, your care during pregnancy will be with your community midwife. These appointments may take place either at your local GP surgery, a Children’s Centre or the Birth Centre at Maidstone.
If your pregnancy is normal, your community midwife will be the lead professional responsible for your care throughout. If there are any concerns, she may refer you for an obstetric opinion at either Tunbridge Wells or Maidstone Hospital. If you have a medical or obstetric condition meaning you are under the care of an obstetrician, you will still see your community midwife between hospital visits.
Your community midwife will carry out routine antenatal checks, and can provide a wide range of advice and information about pregnancy, delivery and care of yourself and your baby. They will also offer you the opportunity to attend local parent education classes if required.
Our community midwives work in seven teams across the area covered by our Trust and you will be informed which team your midwife is working in and how to contact her, usually via our community liaison office or by the teams email address.
After you have had your baby, you will see your community midwife again, either at home or in a postnatal clinic held at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, the Birth Centre or at a Children’s Centre. She will check that all is progressing well with both you and your baby, until the time that you are discharged to the care of your health visitor, usually around 10 days after your baby is born.
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. If you have had a positive home pregnancy test, you just need to tell your doctor. They’re unlikely to test you again.
Following the birth of your baby, 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. 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.
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.
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.