Maternity – Antenatal

Maternity Unit
Level 4
Torbay Hospital
Lowes Bridge
Torquay TQ2 7AA

Maternity Unit: 01803 655771


Our aim is to provide high quality care for pregnant women and their families.

Antenatal services

  • Midwife clinics in GP surgeries and local children centres
  • Antenatal Consultant clinics
  • Detailed fetal ultrasound
  • Ultrasound scanning
  • Down’s Syndrome Screening
  • Amniocentesis and Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
  • Hepatitis B and HIV screening offered to all.
  • Joint medical clinic for diabetic patients
  • Day assessment ward, every day, 9am – 5pm

Antenatal clinic visits

Regular check-ups during your pregnancy are essential to ensure that you are well and that your baby is developing as we would expect.

You will receive the majority of your care from your midwife in your local area at GP surgeries, local hospital or Children’s Centre. Some of your antenatal care may be within the maternity unit at Torbay Hospital.

When you discover that you are pregnant please inform the relevant midwifery team so that they can arrange a telephone consultation for when you are 7 – 8 weeks pregnant.

After two full working days following your telephone consultation with the team midwife, you can phone the Call Centre on 01803 655771 (option 8) to arrange your first scan at approximately 12 – 13 weeks. The Call Centre is open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm.

What will be done at clinic visits at the GP surgery?
At each visit we will test your urine and measure your blood pressure. You will be examined to assess the progress and growth of the baby. There will also be an opportunity to discuss any issues with the midwife.

Ultrasound scans and screening

Dating scans
An ultrasound scan will be performed on your first visit to the unit: This is usually when you are between 10 – 14 weeks pregnant. This scan is optional.

  • This helps to confirm the date when your baby is due
  • To see if you are expecting one baby or more
  • Check the baby is developing as expected

If you chose to have screening for Down’s (T21) and /or Edwards’ (t18) and Patau’s (13) syndromes, the scan is one part of the screening test. Screening is your choice. You do not have to have the screening test. Some people want to find out if their baby has one of the conditions and some do not. Screening is not perfect and might provide an incorrect result. It may lead to personal choices about your pregnancy.

If you choose to have screening, you can be screened for:

  • All 3 conditions
  • Down’s syndrome only
  • Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome only
  • This screening will be offered if you’re having one baby or twins

For more information about Down Syndrome please visit Positive about Down Syndrome or the Down’s Syndrome Association.

For screening information please visit GOV.UK – Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.

Anomaly 18 – 20 week scan
An ultrasound scan will usually be performed around 20 weeks of pregnancy. This scan is optional and is available at Torbay Hospital.

  • This helps to locate the placenta (afterbirth)
  • Detects any physical differences
  • It may be possible to identify the sex of the baby if you wish to know, but sometimes it is not possible to see. Scans are never done for this reason alone
  • Photographs of the scan are available at a cost of £5. Please bring change

Can scanning miss unexpected development?
Although we are able to see an amazing amount of detail, it is impossible to identify all physical changes. Sometimes a condition can develop later in the pregnancy. However, the vast majority of babies are not affected and this test will reassure you that your pregnancy is progressing well.

For more information, please see GOV>UK – 11 physical conditions (20-week scan) .

If you have any questions, please ask at the maternity unit antenatal clinic or speak to your midwife.


Peer supporters
Peer supporters are mums who have themselves breastfed and have trained as volunteers to help other mums. Ask your midwife about your local peer supporter.

Breastfeeding support groups and pump hire
The infant feeding specialist midwife can be contacted on 01803 656275.

Support videos

We have produced a number of support videos, which you can view in our video library.