Mothers-to-be should be able to see one named midwife throughout their pregnancy, the health regulator said.
The new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) comes after research found that a third of expectant mothers say they see a different midwife every time they need a check-up.
Research by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) also revealed that almost half of women (47%) said they would have liked more time with their midwife during pregnancy.
The new guidance for antenatal care set out by the watchdog also suggests that obese pregnant women are even special advice for healthy eating and physical activity.
Smokers should be referred to stop-smoking service and there should be special care for women at risk of diabetes, pre-eclampsia and those who may develop blood clots, it states.
Dr Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: “This new quality standard identifies 12 key priority areas of routine care that healthy women should expect to receive during their pregnancy, including screening tests for complications. It includes a set of measures to enable commissioners and providers to track ongoing achievement against this standard.
“The new quality standard also firmly places women at the centre of decision making about their care, ensuring they are provided with up to date information to enable them to make informed decisions in partnership with healthcare professionals about their care and treatment.”
Jane Munro, quality and audio development advisor at the RCM, added: “Good care throughout pregnancy can have a significant and positive effect on the wellbeing of the woman and the outcomes for her and her baby.
“This standard will contribute to safer and healthier pregnancies for women, and we fully endorse it. We look forward to its widespread implementation.”