If you give birth in a hospital, you will be cared for by hospital midwives who will provide care during the birth, and afterwards in a postnatal ward. The hospital may book you an appointment to return for a check-up around six weeks after the birth, or they may advise you instead to go to your GP for this check-up.
Your community midwife is there to support you throughout your pregnancy, and possibly during the birth, but also for up to 28 days after the birth. They can also visit you at home for up to 10 days following the birth.
A health visitor is a qualified nurse who has had extra training and is part of a team that offers screening and developmental checks as part of the government’s Healthy Child Programme. The job of health visitors is to help families, especially those with babies and young children, avoid illness and stay healthy. You can also talk to your them if you feel anxious, depressed or worried. They will support you with the challenges of the first few days and weeks, such as breastfeeding, coping with your baby’s sleeping patterns, and your family relationships.
Many GP health centres and children’s centres hold regular baby clinics where you can speak to a health visitor or a mid-wife.
- What is the health visitor’s role?
- What is the role of a midwife?
- NHS guide to the Healthy child Programme
- Visit the Netmums Drop In clinic for online advice from trained parent supporters or health visitors
- Find a children’s centre near you
- NHS guide to parenting Your Newborn section
- Netmums Baby Advice section
- Life with your newborn – and information about your child up to aged 2
- Bonding with baby for Dad