What is antenatal care?
Having a baby is a life-changing event that is different for everyone. It is important to get the right care for you and your baby. That means arranging referral to an antenatal clinic as soon as possible after you discover you're pregnant.
Our leaflet called Planning to Become Pregnant also explains all the steps you should take before you get pregnant and in early pregnancy. And our pregnancy hub has a host of information on every aspect of your pregnancy.
My baby, my choice
There are several options for where you give birth to your baby. They include:
- Home birth.
- Freestanding birth centre (not directly attached to a hospital, one-to-one care from midwives and maternity support workers).
- Attached birth centre (a 'home from home' birth centre in a hospital, close to the main obstetric unit).
- Hospital labour ward or delivery suite.
The NHS is committed to providing choice to pregnant women. But do remember that not all these options are suitable for everyone, and not all are available in all areas. In particular, it would be very unwise to attempt a home delivery or deliver at a freestanding birth centre if your pregnancy is complicated in any way, because any transfer which needs to involve a journey by road will take a long time. Your midwife or GP will be able to discuss options for care during your pregnancy and delivery, including giving birth at home or in a midwife-led birth centre.
Your GP practice can give you details of your local midwifery service and how to contact them directly.
How to register for antenatal care on the NHS
Your GP can refer you to a hospital or a midwife-led team for antenatal care and delivery. But many NHS hospitals, and some midwife teams, also offer the option of self-referral. If you know which hospital or trust you want to have your baby in, and you live in their catchment area, you can refer yourself using one of the links below. This may be via an online form or a phone contact with your local midwives.
If you're not sure which trust or hospital you're allowed to book into for antenatal care, your GP practice will be able to let you know. Please note that not all hospitals allow self-referral. Otherwise, contact your GP.
Please be aware that self-referral is not available in every part of the UK. If you can't find the hospital you're looking for below, or if any of the links are not working. you can do a web search for 'antenatal self-referral' followed by the name of the hospital you're looking for. Otherwise, please search the NHS website or contact your GP.
Self-referral for antenatal care in England
Airedale General Hospital West Yorkshire
Ashford Hospital Surrey
Barking Community Birth Centre London - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Barnet Hospital London
Bedford Hospital Bedfordshire
Bolton NHS Foundation trust (information on community midwifery service, Princess Anne Maternity Unit, Royal Bolton Hospital)
Broomfield Hospital Chelmsford, Essex
Buckland Hospital East Kent
Chorley and South Ribble Hospital Lancashire
Colchester Hospital Essex
Conquest Hospital East Sussex
Croydon Health Services (Croydon University Trust)
Doncaster Women's Hospital Yorkshire
Eastbourne District General Hospital East Sussex
East Kent Hospitals Maternity services are provided across East Kent in the community and in four different hospital settings; Buckland Hospital (Dover), Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital (Margate) and the William Harvey Hospital (Ashford)
East Lancashire (details of delivery options - referral via GP or local Children's centre)
Epsom Hospital Surrey
Frimley Park Hospital Surrey
Harrogate and District Yorkshire
Hillingdon Hospital London
Hinchingbrooke Hospital Cambridgeshire
Horton Midwifery Unit Banbury (information - no self-referral)
Jersey (no routine self-referral available - contact your GP)
King George Hospital, Goodmayes, Essex (Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals)
King's College Hospital London
Kingston Hospital Surrey
Lewisham University Hospital London
Lister Hospital Hertfordshire
Liverpool Women's Hospital Merseyside
Macclesfield Maternity Unit Cheshire
Medway CCG Kent
Newham Hospital London - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Northwick Park Hospital London
Oxfordshire Community Midwives (information - no self-referral)
Peterborough City Hospital Cambridgeshire
Poole Hospital Dorset
Princess Royal Hospital Surrey
Queen Elizabeth Hospital London SE18
Queen's Hospital Romford (Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals)
Rochdale infirmary (self-referral to community midwives)
Rosie Hospital Cambridgeshire (information, no self-referral)
Royal Berkshire Hospital Reading
Royal Oldham Hospital (midwife referral via your GP)
Royal Free Hospital London
Royal London Hospital - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Royal Preston Hospital Lancashire
Royal Surrey County Hospital Guildford
Royal Sussex County Hospital Brighton
Saint Mary's Hospital Manchester (self-referral to your midwife or via your GP)
St George's Hospital London
St Helier Hospital Sutton
St Mary's Hospital Manchester
St Mary's Hospital Paddington
St Michael's Hospital Braintree, Essex
St Michael's Hospital Bristol, Avon
St Peter's Hospital Surrey
St Peter's Hospital Maldon, Essex
Warrington Hospital Cheshire (Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
Watford General Hospital London
Wexham Park Hospital Surrey
Whipps Cross Hospital London - click on 'your appointments' for details of self-referral
Whittington Hospital London
William Harvey Hospital East Kent
Worcestershire (Alexandra Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre, Worcestershire Royal)
Wythenshawe Hospital Manchester (direct to midwife service)
Yeovil District Hospital Somerset
Antenatal care Isle of Man
Self-referral for antenatal care is not available on the Isle of Man. Please contact your GP to arrange referral.
Antenatal care Scotland
While every effort is made to keep these details up to date, the company cannot be held responsible for links to NHS services. If you have any queries, please contact your GP.