When you have your first antenatal appointment (booking appointment), your Community Midwife will ask you about relevant aspects of your medical or surgical history, previous pregnancy outcomes, any medications you take and relevant aspects of your family history. These questions will help define the 'risk analysis' of your pregnancy.
You might come under the category of 'complex' or 'high-risk' pregnancy because:
- You could have a pre-existing medical condition for example diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure which could have an impact on both you and your baby during pregnancy.
- There could be complicating factors in your previous pregnancy (ies) which would mean you need specialist care in this pregnancy to achieve safe and better outcomes for you and your baby.
- You could have had a completely normal pregnancy up till now, but your Midwife might have identified a problem that needs referral to the hospital for specialist input for example varied blood pressure or a baby that appears smaller than anticipated.
In fact over 40% of all pregnancies in any Maternity Unit come under this label due to a variety of reasons.
The term 'high risk' may seem frightening -but you do not need to feel anxious as it only indicates that your pregnancy needs additional input from specialists experienced in such conditions.
We aim to provide you the best of care delivered by an expert team of both Doctors and Midwives to ensure the best outcomes for both you and your baby.
In 2009, we redesigned all our antenatal clinics to care for complex pregnancies according to the particular condition/s that make a pregnancy more complex.
Watch a video about our complex pregnancy clinics
Day Assessment Unit (DAU)
You might be referred to the Day Assessment Unit (DAU) by your GP or Community Midwife or indeed the specialist at the hospital condition based clinic.
The DAU will monitor you and your baby or offer further investigations if necessary.
This helps avoid admission to hospital and avoids anxiety and inconvenience to you.
You will be cared for by our expert team of midwives who will refer to a Doctor if a further opinion is required.
For full details, please see Day Assessment Unit and maternity ultrasound.
Referrals to other specialities
If you have a complex pregnancy that requires input from other specialities for example you have epilepsy, diabetes, heart and kidney disease etc, you will be referred through the relevant condition based clinic to specialists looking after these conditions.
You may also be referred to the Anaesthetic Assessment Clinic (held in DAU) if any factors in your condition, your previous history or your present pregnancy indicate this is necessary.