Antenatal care

Your antenatal care

Community midwives run antenatal clinics in community hubs, health centres and a few Children’s Centres close to where you live. They are often the first point of contact for pregnant women and birthing people. It is important you contact your midwife a soon as possible in pregnancy so, that they can plan your ongoing care with you.

Did you know that you can refer yourself for an appointment with one of our midwives, without speaking to your GP first?

You can self-refer by calling our Maternity Helpline on 020 8836 4491.

Or fill out our online self-referral form for maternity services

You can also find information about antenatal care on the pregnancy pages of the NHS website.

Your community midwife will provide all aspects of maternity care provided your pregnancy is straightforward. If concerns are identified, your community midwife will refer you to the hospital team but will continue to offer you advice and support as part of your care plan.

Your ongoing pregnancy care will be provided in line with the current NICE guidelines for antenatal care, with appointments tailored to meet your individual needs. If your pregnancy is not straightforward, we will offer you an appointment with one of our team of obstetric consultants who will become the lead professional for your pregnancy and will review your plan of care with you. If problems are identified, you will receive shared care with your consultant obstetrician and community midwife. These appointments will be tailored to meet your individual needs.


Where will your care be based?

Depending on your individual needs, your care will be based either in community hubs, health centres or some children’s centres where midwives have a clinic, or at one of our hospital Antenatal Clinics.

Some people who have a low income or receive certain benefits can claim a refund for their travel to appointments using the government’s Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) - NHS ( Find out more about help with travel costs.


Specialist care for women with additional healthcare needs

Maternal Medicine Network (MMN) We have a dedicated obstetric medicine service providing advice and care for people whose health needs are the most complex/highest risk during pregnancy, at and after birth. We have a team of dedicated obstetric physicians and maternal medicine obstetricians and we are part of the Southeast Maternal Medicine Network (MMN). The network includes Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, King’s College NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation Trust. The MMN collaborates with other networks including clinical networks for maternity services, perinatal mental health networks and the neonatal operational delivery networks to improve equity of care.

In addition to seeing people who enter pregnancy with a medical condition, these specialist clinicians can also offer advice about medical issues that arise during pregnancy. At regular multidisciplinary team meetings they discuss the most complex cases with the experts in the MMN.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, when you book for maternity care with our Trust you can expect to be referred to one of the dedicated obstetric medicine clinics at University Hospital Lewisham or Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich. Our obstetric medicine clinics complement the dedicated pregnancy clinics we have for people with diabetes and high blood pressure.

We have specialist clinics where extra support is provided if you have additional healthcare needs in your pregnancy. Appointments for these clinics are made via your midwife or obstetrician.

Our Diabetic Pregnancy Clinic is run jointly with the diabetes specialist nurse, consultant obstetrician, dietitian and midwife for diabetes. In the clinic we see people who were diagnosed with diabetes before their pregnancy and those who have developed diabetes during their pregnancy (sometimes called gestational diabetes). The clinic provides high quality, individualised care during your pregancy if you have diabetes. In addition you can find recipe ideas for people who have gestational diabetes produced by Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation.

Our Fetal Medicine Clinic is a specialised clinic run by an obstetric consultant and a midwife who have training and expertise to provide care and advice to people who have been told that their baby might be born with a health condition, or a concern has been identified with the progress of the pregnancy.

Our HIV Clinic is run by a specialist midwife, obstetric consultant, HIV consultant and a specialist HIV nurse to support you if you have been diagnosed with HIV during their pregnancy or before. We will offer you high quality care to meet your individual needs.

Our Haemoglobinopathy  Clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic that supports you if your blood results identify that you have sickle cell disease or thalassemia. We review your results and agree an action plan with you for your pregnancy and birth, and refer you to specialist care where needed. 

In addition to our regualr antenatal care, we offer a range of specialist support: 

Multiple Pregnancy Clinics are run by a highly trained specialist obstetric consultants to provide care and advice if you are expecting two or more babies.

Birth after caesarean workshop If you have previously had a caesarean birth you can come to our Birth after caesarean workshop. These workshops are run by an experienced midwife who facilitates discussion and advises you about your birth choices for this pregnancy.

Listening Clinic If you would like an opportunity to talk through a previous birth experience or discuss future birth choices with a Professional Midwifery Advocate, please email or ask your midwife to put you in touch with our PMA team.

Breech (bottom first) presentation after 36 weeks gestation If your baby is presenting in a breech position after your 36-week scan, we will offer you an appointment to discuss your options and the way you birth your baby.

Pelvic Health Clinic Your pelvic health is important and there are things you can do to look after it during pregnancy and after the birth.Find out more about about our antenatal pelvic health class:

You and your pelvic health[pdf] 133KB


Additional support 

For lots of reasons some people may need additional support during their pregnancy and after the baby is born. Our maternity team offers specialist support at University Hospital Lewisham (UHL), Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), and/or can also refer you to support provided in the community. We’ve listed information about some of the specialist support below. Please discuss your needs with your midwife, who can put you in touch specialist services.

Additional support for: Support provided by the hospital Off-site support
Alcohol and substance misuse River Clinic (QEH)
Lands Clinic (UHL)
Domestic violence Best Beginnings (QEH)
Indigo Team (UHL)
Mental health issues Perinatal Mental Health Service  
Recent migrant/asylum seekers Interpreting services Interpreting services
Children's Centres
Smoking Smoke free specialist midwives  
Young/teenage pregnancy Best Beginnings (QEH)
Indigo Team (UHL)
Family Nurse Practioner
Children's Centres

Our hospital support clinics are all run by specialist midwives who have expert knowledge and experience to care for you during your pregnancy and birth if you may need this extra support, and they also know about the support support services available in the community.