and Prepared

Find details on how to contact your local maternity unit here

The NHS recommends you contact your local maternity unit as soon as you find out you are pregnant.

Why make contact early?

Contacting your local maternity unit as soon as you find out you are pregnant will ensure you are offered all available services during your pregnancy. You will also receive the most up-to-date information, reassurance and mutual support at the start of your journey.

Ideally you should make contact with a midwife well before 10 weeks of pregnancy in order to ensure you can be booked for your early screening tests. Early screening is recommended by the National Screening Committee to identify people who are at higher risk of a health problem, which means that they can get earlier, potentially more effective treatment and make informed decisions about their health and their baby’s health.

Your pregnancy will be treated confidentially, even if you are under 16.

For further information you can find your local maternity services here.

How do I contact my local maternity unit?

You can find contact details for your local maternity unit by following the links in this section.

If you live outside of Essex you can find your local maternity unit via the NHS Choices page here.

West Essex Patients

Including — Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Waltham Abbey, Rodings, Saffron Walden, East Hertfordshire
Contact — Princess Alexandra Hospital

Mid Essex Patients

Including — Chelmsford, Braintree, Maldon
Contact — Mid Essex Hospital Trust

South East Essex Patients

Including — Southend-on-Sea, Westcliff-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea, Shoeburyness
Contact — Southend Hospital

South West Essex Patients

Including — Basildon, Thurrock, Brentwood, Wickford
Contact — Basildon Hospital South

North East Essex Patients

Including — Colchester, Clacton, Kelvedon, Marks Tey
Contact — Colchester Hospital

When can you take a pregnancy test?

You can carry out most pregnancy tests from the first day of a missed period. If you don’t know when your next period is due, take the test at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.

Some very sensitive pregnancy tests can be used even before you miss a period, from as early as eight days after conception.

You can take a pregnancy test on a sample of urine collected at any time of the day. It doesn’t have to be in the morning.

For more information you can find your local maternity services here.

Where can I find more information on pregnancy?

Use our NHS-accredited links for more information and support on pregnancy, childbirth and becoming a new parent.

You can find further information on pregnancy via the NHS Choices page here.