Your pregnancy and baby guideHealth things you should know in pregnancy
- Getting pregnant
- Secrets to success
- Am I pregnant?
- I'm pregnant
- Early days
- Week by week
- Preparing for the birth
- Work out your due date
- Tests scans and checks
- Your pregnancy (antenatal) care
- Your health and wellbeing
- Healthy eating
- Foods to avoid
- Drinking alcohol while pregnant
- Vitamins and supplements
- Stop smoking
- Your baby's movements
- Sex in pregnancy
- Pharmacy and prescription medicines
- Reduce your risk of stillbirth
- Illegal drugs in pregnancy
- Your health at work
- Pregnancy infections
- If you're a teenager
- Existing health problems
- Common pregnancy ailments
- Pregnancy-induced conditions
- Labour and birth
- The start of labour
- The birth
- Emotions and worries
- Premature babies
- Your newborn
- How to breastfeed
- Breastfeeding problems
- Lifestyle and breastfeeding
- Bottle feeding
- Newborn screening tests
- Newborn essentials
- New parents
- New mums
- Twins and multiples
- Babies and toddlers
- Weaning and solid foods
- Baby health and care
- Spotting signs of serious illness
- Reflux in babies
- How to take a baby's temperature
- Reducing the risk of SIDS
- Treating a high temperature
- Sleep problems in children
- Coughs, colds and ear infections
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Infectious illnesses
- Children's medicines
- Looking after a sick child
- Serious conditions and special needs
- Constipation in young children
- Your baby's height and weight
- Baby health and development reviews
- Leg and foot problems in children
- Learning, play and behaviour
- Safety and accidents
There are things you can do, and things you can avoid, to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible in pregnancy.
Go to your pregnancy (antenatal) appointments
It's important not to miss any of your antenatal appointments. These appointments are part of your NHS pregnancy journey.
The tests, scans and checks you'll have help look after the health of you and your baby.
Some of the tests and measurements that can find potential problems have to be done at specific times of pregnancy, which is why you have appointments at certain weeks.
There are also things you can do to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible in pregnancy.
- if you smoke, stop smoking
- take a folic acid supplement and think about taking a vitamin D supplement
Not all medicines are safe to take when you're pregnant. This includes prescribed medicines and medicines you can buy in a pharmacy or shop.
Check with a doctor, pharmacist or midwife before you take any medicines when you're pregnant.
If you're already taking prescribed medicine, do not stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first.
• find out about medicines in pregnancy
- do some safe pregnancy exercise
Protect against getting ill
- know how to avoid infections that may harm your baby and symptoms to look out for
- have the flu vaccination (offered between September and March, and it's free if you're pregnant)
- have the whooping cough vaccination, free if you're pregnant
- know about baby movements in pregnancy, and when to seek help
Your mental wellbeing
- know how to cope with feelings, worries and relationships in pregnancy
- mental health issues in pregnancy
- get tips on sleeping well in pregnancy
- travelling safely in pregnancy, including flying, long journeys and travel vaccinations
DVT (blood clots)
What if I have a health condition?
If you have a health condition, for example diabetes or asthma, these can affect your pregnancy. Pregnancy can also affect any conditions you have.
Don't stop taking your medicine until you've talked with your doctor.
Find out more about:
- asthma and pregnancy
- congenital heart disease and pregnancy
- coronary heart disease and pregnancy
- diabetes and pregnancy
- epilepsy and pregnancy
- mental health problems and pregnancy
- being overweight in pregnancy
if you can't speak to your GP and don't know what to do next.
Page last reviewed: 19/04/2016
Next review due: 19/04/2019