It is important to visit your GP as soon as you find out you are pregnant, so you can get the right care during your pregnancy and for the birth.
The GP will be able to advise you about your health, healthy diet, stopping smoking and tests for certain diseases and disorders. The GP will also refer you to a midwife or team of midwives depending on your needs.
In England, women have the choice to either carry a pregnancy through to birth, or to end a pregnancy so it doesn’t result in the birth of a baby (having an abortion or termination).
If you are pregnant and you need to talk to someone about ending a pregnancy, please go to the bottom of this page for more information.
Midwives are NHS nurses who work in a maternity care team. They are qualified to care for you and your baby during your pregnancy and when you are giving birth.
The maternity care team in Leeds is run by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and is based at the two biggest hospitals in the city: Leeds General infirmary and St James’s University Hospital.
Find out more on the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust website:
You will be invited to several appointments with a midwife, starting at 8 weeks into your pregnancy. These are called antenatal appointments.
It is really important you attend the appointments as soon as you can because you will get lots of helpful information about your baby’s health and development, how to look after yourself during pregnancy and caring for your baby. You can also get specialist care if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
You will also learn about your care plan (how the maternity team will care for you) and have ultrasound scans to find out when your baby is due and to check its development.
Find out more about antenatal appointments on the NHS website:
Preparing for birth
You will also be invited to antenatal classes which you can attend on your own or with your partner. The classes run at the hospitals and in the local community to help you prepare for birth and caring your baby. It is really important to go to the classes.
There are classes designed for refugees and asylum seekers too, called Haamla. The classes are women only, include staff who can speak different languages and support different cultural needs.
Find out more about Haamla on the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust website:
Baby Buddy app
An app has been developed which offers lots of support during pregnancy and after the baby is born until it is 6 months old. The app has lots of videos and information to support you to care for yourself and your baby. Baby Buddy is available as a website as well an app.
Family Information Service
The Family Information Service is a Leeds City Council website that includes Information, advice and support about pregnancy and birth.
Best Start Peer Support Project
The Best Start Peer Support Project is a free parenting course for people living in South or East Leeds. You can attend if you are pregnant or have a baby or child up to 2 years old. It runs for 6 weeks and has a free crèche. The course helps you gain confidence and learn ways to look after yourself and your child. The course is run by Leeds charities Touchstone and Women’s Health Matters. Find out more:
Women’s Health Matters
When it is time for you to have your baby, you can choose where to give birth (have your baby). You can give birth at home if you like, or in one of the two biggest hospital sites in the city, which have maternity wards to support you:
Leeds General Infirmary, Great George St, Leeds LS1 3EX
St James’s University Hospital, Beckett St, Leeds LS9 7TF
If you choose to have your baby at home the midwife will support you to do this.
You can find out more about support for parents in Leeds in Caring for your Family.
Other useful information
Here is some further helpful information about pregnancy and maternity in different languages:
Abortion or Termination
In England, women have the choice to either carry a pregnancy through to birth, or to end a pregnancy so it doesn’t result in the birth of a baby.
If a woman chooses not to continue with a pregnancy, she would need to have a medical procedure, called a termination or abortion.
Deciding to have an abortion can be one of the most difficult decisions a person can make.
It is important to know there are safe and legal choices in the UK, so you should always speak to a medical professional. They can support you through the process and can be trusted to keep the information confidential.
Abortions can only be carried out in an NHS hospital or a licensed clinic, and are usually available free of charge on the NHS. The procedure is done by taking medications or having a minor surgery. You should usually be able to choose how you want it to be carried out. This will be discussed with you.
In England, most abortions have to be carried out in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.
To request an abortion, you must tell a medical professional that you choose to end your pregnancy. There are 3 ways you can do this:
- Tell your GP
- Visit a sexual health clinic and tell a medical professional
- Contact an abortion provider directly. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) can help you find a provider https://www.bpas.org/
If you request an abortion, the medical professional will keep this information completely confidential.
Find out more on the NHS website: