Maternity – Antenatal

COVID-19 – Visiting and attending appointments

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our services for the safety and care of our patients and staff. For more information, please see our maternity visiting restrictions.

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 Mon to Fri 9am to 5pm.
  • Home monitoring (CTG).

Antenatal clinic visits

Regular antenatal check-ups are essential, to ensure that you are well and that you are healthy throughout your pregnancy. Please consult your NICE guidance ‘Routine Antenatal care for healthy pregnant women‘ provided by your midwife.

You will receive the majority of your care from your midwife in your local area at GP surgeries or local Children’s Centres. Some of your antenatal care may be at the maternity unit.

When you are first pregnant please book to see the midwife at your surgery for a double appointment, ideally between 6 – 8 weeks after your last period.

Seven working days following your first contact with the community midwife, phone the Scan Appointment line on 01803 656326 to arrange your first scan at approximately 12-13 weeks. This appointment will be confirmed by letter.

When you first visit the maternity unit clinic this appointment may take up to two hours. To minimise waiting times, an appointment system is in operation and we would appreciate it if you could notify the clinic if cannot keep an appointment.

Please telephone to change your scan appointment on 01803 656326.

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

Your midwife should give you a booklet about antenatal and newborn screening called “Screening tests for you and your baby“.

Ultrasound scans

Dating scan

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!
  • Detect any abnormalities.

Please check with a member of staff before going to the toilet as a full bladder is required for this test. Your partner is welcome to be present during this procedure.

After your scan you will be seen by a healthcare assistant and offered a variety of blood tests including one for Down’s syndrome screening. Your community midwife will have given you information about these tests prior to your appointment.

Anomaly 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 abnormalities.
  • 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.

What if something is found to be wrong?
Occasionally, serious problems are detected. You will be given the opportunity to discuss this immediately with your consultant or a member of the team. Support will be offered in the making of any decisions.

Can scanning miss abnormalities?
Although we are able to see an amazing amount of detail, it is impossible to identify all abnormalities. Sometimes a problem can develop later in the pregnancy. However, the vast majority of babies are normal and this test will reassure you that your pregnancy is progressing well.

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.

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