Pregnancy and giving birth

New born babyCare during your pregnancy

When you are pregnant you require specialist care to help you through your pregnancy and birth. Our dedicated professionals will support you to plan and prepare for pregnancy, birth and beyond.

It is important you contact your GP or your hospital of choice early in your pregnancy so that you can get the maternity care you need that will help get the best outcomes for you and your baby.

Our dedicated team provide care through and beyond your pregnancy. Perinatal mental health problems can occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child and are fairly common. Up to 1 in 5 expectant mothers experience perinatal mental illness and can benefit from accessing specialist care.

If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the woman, the child, and the wider family. That’s why we offer specialist care and treatment. Perinatal support in Tower Hamlets is provided by the East London NHS Foundation Trust. You can speak to your GP or other health professional for advice, or refer yourself to the service.

Where to give birth

When you first find out that you are pregnant you should register for antenatal care as soon as possible.

You can choose where to access your maternity care and where to give birth. You can speak with your GP or community midwife about your options or search for your local maternity services on the NHS website.

The main maternity care provider for Tower Hamlets is The Royal London Hospital which offers a variety of options for your care depending on what happens during your pregnancy. This includes:

  • having your baby at home
  • in their Lotus Birth Centre
  • Barkantine Birth Centre or
  • the delivery suite at The Royal London Hospital.

You can be referred to their maternity services by asking your GP or community midwife to complete a referral form or completing the form yourself.

Finding support 

Baby Buddy 2.0

Baby Buddy 2.0, is a free app from the parenting charity, Best Beginnings. It’s designed to help parents give their child the best start in life, with bite sized information and advice from pregnancy, to birth, to their babies first year. 

It has birth planning tools, a personal child health record for growth, vaccinations, appointments and other development milestones and daily personalised content for mums, dads and non-birthing co-parents. With information available 24/7, the Baby Buddy app echoes midwife advice and guidance, endorsed by health professionals and approved by the NHS.

Parents in North East London can now access extra, localised information from their local maternity unit. When joining the app, parents due to give birth at The Royal London Hospital, Newham University Hospital, Homerton University Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital and Queen’s Hospital will have access to additional information regarding their maternity unit.

Maternity Mates

A Maternity Mate is a female volunteer trained by the charity Women’s Health and Family Services, to provide practical and emotional support to women during pregnancy, childbirth and the early weeks of motherhood.

Maternity Mates are recruited from their local communities and where possible, will speak the same language as the mother-to-be.  Maternity Mates support the mum to help her understand the issues and decisions that affect her care, and that of her baby. 

In Tower Hamlets, support can start any time from the fifth month of pregnancy, through to birth and up to six weeks after the baby is born. For more information about Maternity Mates or to make a referral, visit the Maternity Mates website.

Maternity Voice Partnerships

A Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is a group of parents, maternity staff and funders who work together to improve maternity services. The group is parent-centred, working together to design services and improve communication, whilst keeping parent feedback at the heart of what they do.

The MVP for Tower Hamlets is run by the parenting charity Best Beginnings. They carry out outreach in the community as well as in hospital sites across Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Newham to ensure they know what parents are experiencing and what they want from services. 

To share your experience or find out more from the Tower Hamlets MVP, visit the MVP website.

Women’s Experience Forum

If you’re pregnant or a recent new parent, you can join a monthly discussion with senior midwives and maternity staff from across North East London to ask questions about your pregnancy and hear updates on maternity services in your area. 

The Royal London Hospital is often the hospital of choice for pregnant people in Tower Hamlets, but if you are booked to give birth at any hospital in North East London, there will be staff from each of the hospitals on hand to help answer your questions. North East London Hospitals include: Homerton University Hospital, Newham Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, Queen's Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital.

The forum, which is open for anyone to join, is hosted online using Zoom. It takes place on the last Wednesday of every month, from 11am-12pm.

You can join using the link and details below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83052410697?pwd=TC9kQ05ORWMxUDhKS3BKVy9yVTBCdz09 

Meeting ID: 830 5241 0697
Passcode: BABY

For questions about the forum, email: elhcp.maternity@nhs.net.