Pregnancy information

Who's Who in the Antenatal Team

While you're pregnant, you will normally see a small number of healthcare professionals. 

They want to make you feel as comfortable as possible while you're pregnant and when you have your baby.

Many pregnant women would like to get to know the people caring for them during pregnancy and the birth of their baby. 

The NHS is trying to make this happen, but in some cases you may see several different professionals.

At each appointment, the professionals you see should introduce themselves and explain what they do. If they forget, ask them.  Make a note of who you have seen and what they have said in case there is a point you need to discuss later on.

This page lists the people you're most likely to meet. Some may have trainee students with them - you'll be asked if you mind the students being present.


A midwife is an expert in normal pregnancy and birth.

Midwives are specially trained to care for mothers and babies throughout normal pregnancy, labour and after the birth. They provide care for most women at home or in hospital.

Increasingly, midwives work both in hospitals and in the community (GP surgeries and home visits), so that the same midwife can provide antenatal care and be present at the birth.

The name of the midwife responsible for your care will be in your pregnancy notes.

A midwife will look after you during labour if everything is straightforward, and they'll probably deliver your baby.

If any complications develop during your pregnancy or delivery, you'll see a doctor as well as being cared for by your midwife.

After the birth, you and your baby will be cared for by midwives or maternity support workers.

Head of midwifery

The head of midwifery can support you if you're having problems with the care or you feel your wishes aren't being considered.

The charity Birthrights has factsheets on your rights and the law in pregnancy and birth that you might find useful.

If you've had your baby and want to talk about your birth experience, even if this was some time ago, the head of midwifery will be able to arrange this for you.


An obstetrician is a doctor who specialises in the care of women during pregnancy, labour and after the birth.

In some hospitals, you'll automatically see an obstetrician. In others, your midwife or GP will refer you to an obstetrician if they have any concerns about your pregnancy - for example, you had a previous complication or have a long-term illness.

You can ask to see an obstetrician if you have any concerns you want to discuss.


An anaesthetist is a doctor who specialises in providing pain relief and anaesthesia.

If you decide to have an epidural for pain relief during labour, it will be given by an anaesthetist.

If you require a caesarian section, an anaesthetist will provide the appropriate anaesthesia.

They'll also be present if you require an epidural for an instrumental delivery - for example, with forceps or a vacuum device that helps deliver the baby's head (ventouse).


A paediatrician is a doctor specialising in the care of babies and children.

A paediatrician may check your baby after the birth to make sure everything is OK, and they will be present when your baby is born if you've had a difficult labour.

If your baby has any problems, you'll be able to discuss these with the paediatrician.

If your baby is born at home or your hospital stay is short, you may not see a paediatrician at all. Your midwife or GP can check on you and your baby.

Neonatal nurse

Neonatal nurses are specially trained to care for babies who are premature or unwell when they're born.

They usually work within specialist neonatal units in the hospital or in the community.

They also have an important role in providing support for parents whose babies need neonatal care.


A sonographer is specially trained to carry out ultrasound scans.

A sonographer will perform your

  • early pregnancy dating scan (around 12 weeks)
  • nuchal translucency scan (around 11-13 weeks, usually done at the same time as the dating scan) - this screens for the chances of your baby having Down's syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome and Patau’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities
  • anomaly scan (around 20 weeks)

Some women are also scanned at other times in their pregnancy.

Obstetric physiotherapist

An obstetric physiotherapist is trained to help you cope with physical changes during pregnancy, childbirth and afterwards.

Some attend antenatal classes and teach antenatal exercises, relaxation and breathing, active birth positions, and other ways to keep yourself fit and healthy during pregnancy and labour.

After the birth, they advise on postnatal exercises to tone up your muscles.

Health visitor

Health visitors are specially trained nurses who support and educate families from pregnancy through to a child's fifth birthday.

You may meet your health visitor before the birth of your baby and in the first few weeks after the birth.

You may continue to see your health visitor or a member of the team at home or at your child health clinic, health centre or GP surgery.


If you have any concerns about special diets or eating healthily - for example, if you develop gestational diabetes - a dietician can give you the advice you need.

You can find more information on pregnancy in the 'Your Pregnancy and Birth book'.


Last Updated: 25/07/2023 07:34:18
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website