NHS & private maternity care

Most women in the UK get their maternity care through the NHS, but there are also private options available. Understand what choices you have and the care you can expect to receive during pregnancy and labour.

  • Your booking appointment

    5 min read

    The first appointment you have with a midwife, when you’re around 8 to 12 weeks pregnant, gets you booked in for maternity care provided by a particular hospital or NHS Trust.

  • NHS vs private health care: what are your options?

    6 min read

    You can pay to have your baby privately or you can ‘mix and match’ private and NHS care. From 3D scans to private midwives, this guide covers what’s available before, during and after the birth.

  • Your antenatal appointments

    6 min read

    Find out how many times you’ll see a midwife during your pregnancy, what will happen at the appointments and how to make the most of your maternity care.

  • Maternity notes explained

    6 min read

    Your handheld notes are used by midwives to keep track of your health and your baby’s development throughout pregnancy – but these records can sometimes be tricky to decipher. We guide you through how to understand your maternity notes.

  • NHS and private ultrasound scans during pregnancy

    8 min read

    From early pregnancy to the anomaly scan, ultrasounds check that your baby is developing as it should be. We look at what scans you can expect on the NHS and what’s available privately.

  • Private maternity hospitals and facilities

    3 min read

    Private hospitals and private maternity units are available in some parts of the UK. Find out what’s available and where you can find the care you want.

  • What are the benefits of knowing your midwife?

    6 min read

    Getting to know your midwife can be beneficial for you and your baby. Here we explain the impact it can have and how you can improve your chances of knowing your midwife.

  • Who will look after you during pregnancy and labour?

    5 min read

    From community midwives to specialist doctors, find out which healthcare professionals will be looking after you during your pregnancy, labour and birth.

  • Care from non-NHS midwives

    8 min read

    Some women opt to pay for a private or independent midwife. Find out about private maternity care and how it can be paid for.

  • Your postnatal appointments

    7 min read

    Find out what help you can expect in the early weeks with your newborn baby, from community midwife visits to your six-week GP check-up.

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