Information about health professionals

Your midwifery team are usually the main care providers throughout the early postnatal period. They will ensure that your care is personalised to meet your individual needs and will work in partnership with you and your family to ensure you can make informed decisions about your baby’s care. Visits are arranged at home/postnatal clinics/community hubs. Care is provided by the midwifery team for a minimum of 10 days or up to 28 days following your birth. The frequency and location of visits will be decided between you and your midwife. Your midwife also works in partnership with other health professionals and can refer your baby to an appropriate specialist if required.

Health visitors are qualified midwives or nurses who have done additional training in family and child health, health promotion and public health development work. They work as part of a team alongside your GP and other community nurses as well as midwives. Your health visitor will visit you at home after you have had your baby, and further contacts can then take place either at home, local health centre, GP surgery or at a local children’s centre. They will ask how you are feeling and how your family is adjusting to your new baby. They will also ask if you have any questions or concerns you may have about your health or your baby’s health.

Family doctors (GP) are responsible for general medical care and you will need to register your baby as soon as possible after the birth. Your doctor will follow your baby’s development closely through regular assessments in partnership with the midwife and health visitor.

Some babies with medical problems from birth may need to be followed up by a neonatologist/paediatrician. This will depend on what problem has been identified.

Child health clinics are usually based in your local health centre, GP surgery or community hub and provide information and advice on all aspects of health and baby care. Your health visitor will give you all the information about where and when these clinics are held.

The Personal Child Health Record (PCHR) or ‘red book’ will be given to you, usually at birth. This is the main record of your child’s health, growth and development and needs to be kept in a safe place.