Booking appointment

Your booking appointment will be with your midwife and will take place around 12 weeks. You will receive your maternity record which you will carry with you to all your appointments.  You should expect this first appointment to last approximately 1-2 hours.

Due to the Coivd-19 Pandemic face to face time at the Booking Appointment has been significantly reduced, so please read all relevant information contained in the Baby and U section.

You should be given information about:

  • how the baby develops during pregnancy
  • getting to know your baby
  • nutrition and diet
  • exercise and pelvic floor exercises
  • antenatal screening tests
  • your antenatal care
  • breastfeeding including workshops
  • antenatal education
  • maternity benefits
  • your options for where to have your baby

Please refer to PHA Pregnancy Book for more details or speak to your doctor or midwife.

Birth Place options

It is important that you make an informed decision about where you give birth. Your midwife will discuss with you options that are available to you locally, though you are free to choose any maternity services in NI, if you are prepared to travel.

Maternity Services within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust offer four types of birthplace options;

  • Antrim Area Hospital
  • Causeway Hospital, Coleraine
  • Birth in Causeway Hospital facilitated by the Lotus Continuity Team
  • Home birth

Antrim Area Hospital

The Maternity Unit in Antrim offers a team of Midwives and Obstetricians that facilitate care based on a woman’s individual needs.  If your pregnancy is low-risk a Midwife will be your lead professional.  If you develop or if you have any known complications, Obstetricians will be on hand to help develop a plan of care.

The Delivery Suite has one birthing pool which you can request to use should you wish to experience a water birth.

The hospital also has a Neonatal Unit facility available onsite in the unlikely event that your baby may require additional care.

Causeway Hospital

Causeway Hospital is situated in Coleraine.  The Maternity Unit has a team of Midwives and Obstetricians catering for women’s individual needs.  The unit is small and has a friendly atmosphere.

The Delivery Suite has a Coastal Birthing room, with stained glass windows above the water birth pool.

The hospital doesn’t have a Neonatal Unit on-site but has a team of Paediatricians available 24 hours a day, in the unlikely event that your baby may need medical attention.  Should your baby need to be admitted into Neonatal care, they will be transferred to the nearest available Unit.  Availability will be checked with Antrim in the first instance, and if no cots are available one will be sought regionally.

The Lotus Team

The Lotus team are a small team of Midwives offering continuity of care throughout your pregnancy, birth and beyond.  You will be assigned a named midwife and a buddy who will aim to carry out the majority of care throughout your pregnancy.  The team of midwives then go on call for your birth.  After birth you and your baby will be visited by your named Midwife or Buddy.  Birth is currently facilitated within Causeway Maternity Unit.

Some of the Midwives are trained in holistic therapies such as, Hypnobirthing, Yoga, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Aqua-natal and Baby massage.

For more information or to request to book contact

Home birth

Home birthing services are provided within the Northern Trust by a team of community midwives in your local area.  To organise a home birth please inform your community midwife about your interest, you will also need to write to the Community Midwifery Team Leader.  Your Midwife will provide you with contact details for this. Any requests should ideally be registered before 28-30 weeks in pregnancy so that the Midwives can complete a risk assessment and organise the on call rota/delivery of equipment.

Home births are particularly suitable if you are healthy and have a straightforward pregnancy.  If you have any identified risks your midwife will discuss these with you and provide you with relevant evidence based information.  You may be referred to the Obstetrician or Consultant Midwife for ongoing advice. The Team will then develop a co-produced individualised care plan, respecting your choices.  This care plan will be placed into your notes for future reference.

For more information on birth place options

Maternity Hand Held Record (MHHR)

It is at your booking appointment that you will receive your maternity notes often referred to as the ‘Maternity hand held record’ or ‘Green notes’. These notes are the same throughout all trusts and you receive a new MHHR for every new pregnancy. Your midwife will go through your notes with you at your appointment. These should be brought along to any appointment regarding your pregnancy. After discharge from the community midwife in the postnatal period your notes will be stored in medical records of the hospital of birth for 25 years.

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