safe motherhood

Finding out you are pregnant

Visiting your doctor's practice

Am I pregnant?
Pre-conceptual care
Early symptoms
Home tests
Visiting your doctor's practice
Your feelings
Telling other people
Back to Introduction

Once you suspect you are pregnant, make an appointment to visit one of the community midwives attached to your local doctor's practice.

You can see your GP if you prefer or, if you have a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure which needs monitoring, a doctor).

At the visit you can:

• Talk about your general state of health;
• Discuss birth options (see Choosing your antenatal care);
• Talk about any further tests you might need and when (see Your antenatal care);
• Ask about eating well and looking after yourself;
• Get tips on combating some pregnancy discomforts;
• Work out your due date.

The length of your pregnancy is calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period, or LMP. This method works well if you have a regular menstrual cycle. However, some women have irregular periods, or are confused by bleeding in early pregnancy. The LMP method may not be helpful in these circumstances.

If there is any uncertainty about your due date, the GP or midwife may suggest an ultrasound scan to check it.

When is my baby due?

Working out your estimated date of delivery (EDD)

Note that the date you will be given is an estimated date! Your baby can be born any time between 37 and 42 weeks and still be considered 'due' by most people. (Because there is this wide variation, it may be a good idea to talk about your baby being due 'sometime in June' or 'about Christmas', rather than an exact date. That will stop everyone from focusing too heavily on one date!)

Most midwives calculate your estimated date of delivery by adding nine months and seven days to the date when your last period started.

For example:

first day of your LMP was 12 December, 2000
add nine to the months = September 2001
add seven to the days = 19
Your EDD is therefore: September 19, 2001.