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Some women get pregnant quickly, but for others it can take longer. It’s a good idea to see your GP if you haven’t conceived after a year of trying.

Women aged 36 and over, and anyone who’s already aware they may have fertility problems, should see their GP sooner.

They can check for common causes of fertility problems and suggest treatments that could help.

Infertility is only usually diagnosed when a couple haven’t managed to conceive after a year of trying.

When the journey to parenthood becomes difficult, the Cotswold Fertility Unit can help in your next steps.

Further information about fertility can be found on the NHS website here


The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) is an appointment run service based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. In Gloucestershire many women who are experiencing bleeding or pain in early pregnancy are referred to the EPAU so they can talk to a specialist. Here women will be seen by a member of the EPAU team who will arrange any necessary tests.


Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire is a free service that provides healthy lifestyles support to women and their families during pregnancy and the early years. The service includes a dedicated healthy lifestyle team which comprises of a healthy lifestyles specialist midwife and maternity health coaches.

Our specialist team help expectant mum’s to take care of their health in order to have a positive experience, before, during and up to two years after birth. Our coaches provide tailored support for mums-to-be and their families to help them to give up smoking, eat healthily, be active and keep a healthy mindset. We will work closely with mum and her family to identify small changes to help them be feel their best and give your children the best start in life.

Further information 0800 122 3788 or visit the website at www.hlsglos.org


The fetal medicine team is made up of the Antenatal Screening Co-ordinating Midwives (ANSCOs) and three consultants.

They specialise in providing extra care for those who have previously had a pregnancy with fetal abnormalities or when there are concerns about fetal wellbeing in their current pregnancy.

They work closely with the sonographers (the clinical staff that carry our ultrasound scans). Your dating scan, combined screening test and routine anomaly scan are usually performed by a sonographer who will refer you on to the fetal medicine team if they have any concerns.

They also work closely with other departments in the hospital, and with the fetal medicine teams at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol.

They may offer you tests to check the fetal chromosomes if there is a concern that there may be a chromosomal problem with the fetus. This could be with chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis depending on how many weeks pregnant you are. We may offer non-invasive prenatal testing (blood test from mum which screens for some chromosomal problems in the fetus), usually for women with a high risk screen result.

They will support families when a diagnosis of a significant problem has been made, whether the pregnancy is continued or not, and will continue the support you after birth and into any future pregnancy.

You can contact the Fetal Medicine team on: 0300 422 6106/2415. More information can be found on the NHS website here.


The Midwifery Partnership Team (MPT) are a specialist team of midwives who provide increased care and support to women and their families who have additional needs. MPT midwives are able to give individual advice and support on improving physical and mental health during pregnancy. MPT midwives also work closely in partnership with other agencies to provide a complete care package of support to enable women and their families to get off to the best start in those important early years.


Up to 1 in 5 women need help with emotional problems during pregnancy. We know that women often suffer in silence.

Gloucestershire Perinatal Mental Health Team includes a perinatal mental health nurse, mental health social worker, consultant psychiatrist, nursery nurse, infant mental health therapists and psychologists. The team works closely with women, midwives, health visitors and GP’s. If women are already under the care of mental health services, the team will also work closely with their care coordinator.

Further information about the Perinatal Mental Health Team, mental health in pregnancy and as a new mother can be found on the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust website here.

If you need advice and support speak to your GP, midwife or health visitor. You can also find further sources or support via this page.


The death of a baby is devastating to parents and their families. At the Women’s Centre based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital they have two specially designed suites in which you and your family can spend time with your baby and prepare for your return home. You will be put in touch with one of their specialist bereavement midwives who will help you to find the best way for you and your partner to cope with your loss.

It may also help to talk about your feelings with other parents who have lost a baby in a similar way. SANDS (the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) has a Gloucestershire branch, run by local midwives, and can offer you support and put you in touch with other parents who can offer friendly help.


Gloucestershire provides additional midwifery support to any pregnant young person under the age of 18 at the time of conception through a specific Teenage Pregnancy Midwife. These specialist midwives will support you on your journey to parenthood including working with other agencies in order to ensure you have access to the services you may need including housing provision, postnatal contraception, education and employment. For those young parents that are aged 16 or under at the time of conception the teenage pregnancy midwives will work with you and other agencies to ensure education remains a priority both during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby.

You can read more on the NHS website here

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also provide this helpful leaflet


Maternity services in Gloucestershire are able to support new parents and families, to make decisions around how they wish to feed their new babies. They are a UNICEF Baby Friendly Accredited service. This means all staff in the team are appropriately trained to support families both in making decisions around feeding and then supporting them with their choice.

The team work closely with the staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Children’s Services. When you no longer need support from the Midwifery team your care continues with the Health Visiting team.

Gloucestershire has an Infant Feeding Team comprising two Infant Feeding Support Midwives and led by an Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife who is a Lactation consultant. They are based on the Maternity Ward in the Women’s Centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and are available Mon-Fri to support maternity staff to ensure mums and babies in need of additional support receive the personalised care they need.

We also provide a tongue tie assessment service with clinics based at both Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

As a team we liaise with dietitians, speech and language specialists and more regional specialist services such as the cleft lip and palate team based in Bristol as required.

Gloucestershire benefits from good peer support provided by the local branch of the national charity, The Breast Feeding Network who can offer telephone support and run several groups. There is also a local charity run by a team of very dedicated volunteers called Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Supporters’ Network who run support groups across the county.


In Gloucestershire you can self- refer to a physiotherapist who specialises in joint problems relating to pregnancy. The Physiotherapy team can also help women after they have given birth with pelvic floor exercises and more specialist support as required. For further information and the link to the self-referral form please visit the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust webpage here

Physiotherapy aims to relieve or ease pain, improve muscle function, and improve your pelvic joint position and stability.

Further information about can be found on the NHS website here


Neonatal care is is usually given on the Neonatal Unit and is the type of specialist care a baby born prematurely (before 37 weeks gestation) or with a medical condition which needs treatment, or at a low birth-weight would receive.

Over 100,000 babies are born premature or sick and needing neonatal care in the UK each year. That is one in seven babies, or around 300 babies every day.

Having a baby in neonatal care can be worrying for parents, but the staff looking after your baby should make sure you receive all the information, communication and support you need.

To read more please visit the Bliss website here

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has further information about the Neonatal Unit in Gloucestershire, based in the Women’s Centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. You can read more here

Locally, there are two active support groups for parents with babies on the unit – HOPE and the dad’s group, S.H.E.D. Please ask the staff on the unit for more details of both. You can also find out more about S.H.E.D here.