Parent Education Resources
On this page:
We hope that you will find this Parent Education Hub useful. There are links below to local and national resources that can help you to develop current, evidence-based knowledge about your pregnancy and the choices you can make about your care.
The information is organised by trimester (each pregnancy is approximately 9 months long and can be divided into blocks of 3 months, each called a trimester), but it can be helpful to look at all of the resources earlier in pregnancy so you don’t feel overwhelmed by information in the last couple of months.
Healthcare professionals will usually discuss pregnancy in weeks, with your due date falling at 40 weeks.
The 1st Trimester – 0 – 13 weeks
What do I need to do when I first become pregnant?
These films produced by South West London provide a good overview of the national maternity pathway:
My Maternity Journey (English) – YouTube
My Maternity Journey (Urdu) – YouTube
My Maternity Journey (Gujarati) – YouTube
My Maternity Journey (Polish) – YouTube
My Maternity Journey (Arabic) – YouTube
My Maternity Journey (Tamil) – YouTube
When you find out you are pregnant by a positive result on a urine dip stick test, you need to self-refer for maternity care as early as possible, ideally by 6 weeks. Please follow this link to complete our Pregnancy Self-Referral Form. We would love to care for you in your pregnancy at St George’s! You do not need to see your GP or call the Maternity Helpline prior to submitting this form, unless you have concerns, as it will initiate the care pathway.
Your Booking Appointment and 1st Trimester Screening Tests
Once the pregnancy self-referral form is complete, within 2-3 weeks you should receive two letters. One letter will have an appointment for your ‘pregnancy booking’ with a Midwife – this should take place before you are 12 weeks plus 6 days pregnant in line with national guidance.
Please read further information about your booking appointment on the St George’s website here.
The second letter will have two appointments; one for a screening blood test, one for an ultrasound scan that we refer to as your ‘dating scan’. Please access the screening information in the link below.
Screening Tests For You and Your Baby information (translations available)
Test Your Breath – Carbon Monoxide Screening – What is it?
Further Antenatal Screening information is here:
Blood groups and red cell antibodies in pregnancy (NHSBT)
Information for fathers invited for a screening test for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia major
Concerns During the 1st Trimester
If you are experiencing pregnancy concerns e.g. vaginal bleeding or lower abdominal pain before 14 weeks of pregnancy, please visit the early pregnancy unit at St George’s Hospital – follow this link for more details Early Pregnancy Unit – St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (stgeorges.nhs.uk)
Early Pregnancy Education
For lifestyle information, including diet, exercise, pregnancy supplements and other FAQ’s visit NHS Start For Life Pregnancy Advice Pregnancy | Start for Life (www.nhs.uk)
Download the Baby Buddy App via this link Baby Buddy 2.0 | Join Us (babybuddyapp.co.uk) The baby buddy app is a one stop shop of information for those entering the pregnancy, labour, birth and parenting journey and we highly recommend that all parents-to-be download it!
The Pregnancy Book | HSC Public Health Agency (hscni.net)
Physical Activity for Pregnant Women (PHE)
Your guide to a healthy diet in pregnancy (Tommys)
Foods to avoid in pregnancy – NHS
RCOG – Being overweight during pregnancy and after birth leaflet
Quitting Smoking NHS Better Health
Sexual Health Services South West London (shswl.nhs.uk)
BUMPS – best use of medicine in pregnancy (medicinesinpregnancy.org)
Tommy’s Healthy Diet in Pregnancy leaflet
What are pelvic floor exercises? – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
We advise booking onto a course of antenatal education classes (usually you need to pay for these, but they are sometimes means tested), especially if it is your first baby. Search online for classes in your local area. One provider is the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) – follow this link to book onto their classes NCT Antenatal courses | Find a local antenatal class | NCT.
Later in pregnancy you have the opportunity to attend hospital based, free antenatal classes – usually 1 or 2 classes covering the basics of labour and birth, infant feeding and caring for yourself and baby. Please ask your midwife for more information and to book on!
The 2nd Trimester – 14 – 26 weeks
The routine midwife appointments in the 2nd trimester are around 16 and 24 weeks – these could be with a Midwife, a GP or an Obstetrician. If you have been referred to a specialist service for any reason, you may have more frequent contacts with a healthcare professional.
You will be offered a scan between 20-22+6 weeks called the ‘Anomaly Scan’ which screens for 11 major conditions that your baby could be affected by. This is an opportunity to discover gender of your baby if possible, but will depend on your baby’s position, and we are unable to offer repeat scans if the sonographer cannot identify the gender of your baby at the time.
Your Baby’s Movements
The 2nd trimester is when you may begin to feel your baby move. It is important to take notice of what time of day your baby tends to move, and if there is any pattern.
Please follow this link to find information about your baby’s movements and when to seek help. The leaflet is available in 45 different languages, and there is also an audio version – Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well | Tommy’s (tommys.org)
Vaccinations in Pregnancy
Gov.uk Pregnancy: How to Help Protect You and Your Baby information
Flu vaccine in pregnancy – NHS
Whooping Cough Vaccination Booklet – NHS
Vaccinations in pregnancy (PHE)
Coronavirus infection and pregnancy (rcog.org.uk)
Accessing Support During Pregnancy
We acknowledge that there can be a lot of stress and anxiety for families during pregnancy and after the birth. Please visit the below websites to access further support. Please speak to your midwife or any other member of staff if you have concerns at home. We can provide advice and assistance if you are struggling.
Women’s Aid (womensaid.org.uk)
Mental health crisis line (swlstg.nhs.uk)
IAPT Talking Therapy Self Referral (NHS) – this can be a helpful service for anyone struggling with their mental health, not just those going through pregnancy.
PANDAS Foundation UK Mental Health Support
BirthRights – Protecting human rights in childbirth
Money Helper – Government provided financial advice for when you’re having a baby.
Drinking alcohol while pregnant – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Stop smoking in pregnancy – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Parent Education Videos
St George’s hospital parent education YouTube videos
Your Body’s Journey During Pregnancy Videos – NHS
Support and Information for Birth Partners/Dads
Ten tips for birth partners | NCT
Mind Charity Mental Health Information For Partners
New Dad Workshop – Dad Matters
DadPad | The Essential Guide for New Dads | Support Guide for New Dads (thedadpad.co.uk)
The 3rd Trimester – 27 – 40+ weeks
You will have more frequent appointments in the third trimester, depending on your individualised care pathway – please ask your midwife when you should expect to have appointments.
You will be offered a routine scan at 36 weeks called the ‘Growth Scan’ to assess the size/growth and presentation of your baby – this replaces the bump measurements by the midwife or doctor during appointments as evidence shows this improves our detection of babies who are not growing normally.
Please continue to monitor your baby’s movements through the last stages of pregnancy. This leaflet provides more information about how to monitor movements and when to come in to get baby checked (when you follow the link, scroll down the page for alternative languages): Leaflet – Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well | Tommy’s (tommys.org)
It is important to remember that a healthy baby will continue moving right up to, and throughout your labour and that you must call our Maternity Helpline (0208 725 2777) immediately if you have concerns that baby is not moving as they normally do. Please be assured that we will never turn you away or make you feel like you have come for no reason if you are concerned with your baby’s movements. Do not wait, always come to the hospital immediately if you are worried.
Preparing For Birth
In the third trimester, you need to begin discussions about the birth if you haven’t done so already.
We advise starting to pack your bag from about 30-32 weeks
Creating Birth Preferences
Infographics – Birth Preference Sheet (to be printed and completed)
Infographics Descriptions (this document supports the Birth Preference Sheet to provide more information)
Please use the two documents above together to produce your birth preferences from around 34 weeks. Your preferences will be discussed with your Midwife or Obstetrician at the 36 week appointment.
Supporting Information to Consider For Your Birth
FAQs Pain Relief | Labour Pains – Information on pain relief options
NCT Mobilising and Positions in Labour Leaflet Positions for labour and birth.pdf (nct.org.uk)
St George’s Maternity Giving Birth: Your Choices and Preferences page
Induction of Labour Information
St George’s Maternity Induction of Labour webpage – please use this instead of the PDF above if you do not speak English as a first language as you can translate the whole page with the Google Translate function in the top left corner (it is the same content as the leaflet).
Video about Induction of labour at St George’s:
(If the video above does not work) St George’s Maternity Induction of Labour Video https://youtu.be/GvMM7q34TXY
Breech Baby Information
St George’s Breech Presentation Leaflet
RCOG Breech Baby Information – includes information on External Cephalic Version (ECV)
Big Baby Information
St George’s Big Baby Diagnosis on Third Trimester Ultrasound Scan Leaflet
Caesarean Section Information
St George’s Maternity Caesarean Birth Leaflet – PDF
St George’s Maternity Caesarean Birth webpage – please use this instead of the PDF above if you do not speak English as a first language. You can translate the whole page with the Google Translate function in the top left corner (it is the same content as the leaflet).
St George’s Caesarean Birth Experience YouTube video
Birth after previous Caesarean Section (RCOG) information
High Dependency Unit (HDU) Information
Information For You and Your Baby After The Birth
Please visit our page here and follow the different sub-menus for more information about your care after birth including ward visiting, community care, feeding your baby, and coping at home . You should also have received a pack when you are discharged with resources and contact numbers in.
Registering Your Baby’s Birth – If they are born at St George’s, they must be registered with Wandsworth Council – please visit their website to book an appointment here.
For further information and advice please see the links below:
The Lullaby Trust – How to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (or cot death) for your baby
ICON Parents Advice – Advise and support to cope with a crying baby
Caring for your baby at night – UNICEF
TB, BCG and your baby – vaccination information (Public Health England)
Immunisations for babies born after 1 January 2020 (PHE)
Illness in newborn babies leaflet NHS – Jaundice or an unwell baby
eRedbook – The Digital Red Book For Parents – Child Health Record. Please download this and register while you are still pregnant to access your baby’s health record online.
Breastfeeding resources – Baby Friendly Initiative (unicef.org.uk)
Global Health Media Breastfeeding For Mothers Videos – look through the playlist to search for different languages
UNICEF Baby Friendly Foreign language Breastfeeding Resources
UNICEF Baby Friendly Hand Expression Video
Postnatal Care For You
Your Body’s Journey During Pregnancy Videos – NHS
NHS Contraception advice after a baby When can I use contraception after having a baby? – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Cervical Screening (PHE) Cervical screening helping you decide
If you have been discharged administering injections to prevent you developing a blood clot (VTE), visit this link for a guide on how to take them – Fragmin.co.uk. To arrange for the disposal of your yellow sharps bin once you have finished your course of injections, please contact your local council (or visit their website) – it MUST be disposed of correctly as it could pose as a health hazard to waste collection workers.
Support For Families Who Have Experienced A Loss
Very sadly, some babies die before they are born or shortly afterwards. We have a specialist Bereavement Team who care for families where this has happened. You may be offered access to a counselling service if you have been affected by pregnancy loss.
Please email email@example.com if you need support with a pregnancy loss.
Further support can be found via the following links:
Child Bereavement UK Leaflet Child Bereavement UK