Pregnancy
8 weeks and 6 days pregnant

This 3D ultrasound scan shows a baby lying on its back, in exactly the same orientation as the image opposite. It is just possible to pick up the limb buds on an ultrasound scan taken at this stage.

You don’t have long to go until you have your booking-in antenatal appointment and will meet one of your midwives.

In a couple of weeks’ time, you will have your booking-in appointment with the midwife. If you haven’t been given a date for this yet, contact your doctor now to arrange it. You will be given a choice of hospitals. Before making a decision, chat to women you know locally who have had their babies at those hospitals to find out about their experiences. For example, some hospitals may have a birth centre attached, and have a less medically managed approach to childbirth.

Start thinking now about the kind of questions you want to ask your midwife. It’s worth writing these down. Also make a note, in advance, of the key details of your medical history and any pregnancy symptoms.

Cold remedies contain a variety of ingredients, including antihistamines, that are best avoided in pregnancy. Check the label and talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any.

Try natural remedies, such as steam inhalations, before resorting to medicines, or take paracetamol at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

It’s my first pregnancy. Can I have a home birth?

Midwife: if you’re in good health with no complications, giving birth at home is an option. Many women enjoy the experience of giving birth at home, and there is less likely to be unnecessary medical intervention, which can sometimes result in complications. Labour also appears to progress more rapidly and steadily, without the interruption of being transported to hospital.

Obstetrician: there is no problem with this in general, but take advice from your doctor and midwife. You should avoid taking risks. If there is a history of long or complicated labours in your family, your baby is breech or very small, there are issues about the location of the cord or the placenta, you are very overweight or unfit, or you suffer from conditions such as diabetes, it might be worth erring on the side of caution. If you have your baby in a hospital, quick and early intervention can take place if needed. You do have a right to have a home birth; however, it is sensible to listen to the experts. Delivery of a healthy baby is the most important thing.

Mum: I had my first baby at home, and it was wonderful. I was nervous about what might go wrong, but my midwife reassured me that she would be monitoring me, and would get me to hospital if there was a problem. She also explained I could change my mind if I didn’t think things were going well, and go into hospital for the birth (and an epidural!).

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Find out from your doctor and midwife if a home birth is a possibility for you.

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