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Top tips for a healthy pregnancy

Baby Steps - Little changes make a big difference 

 Being pregnant is a big change for your body and mind.  To help you have as healthy a pregnancy as possible we’ve developed some top tips below. And for more information there’s also leaflets attached using feedback from local mums-to-be,  partners and midwives on topics such as being active in pregnancy, advice about alcohol and staying well mentally and emotionally during pregnancy.  

  • Healthy foods give your body a boost
    • Fruit and veg are great for helping mums-to-be stay healthy and feel good.
    • You don’t need to eat for two. You only need an extra 200 calories a day (equivalent to 50g of cheese) for the last three months of your pregnancy.
    • Vitamins C, D and folic acid are recommended for all mums-to-be.

    Read more in the Healthy Eating leaflet

  • Being active is great for you and your baby
    • If you’re not active already, a 10-15 minute walk is a great start. Try to then build up to a 30 minute walk most days.
    • Being more active tones your muscles, gives you an energy boost, helps control your weight and could help you feel more relaxed.
    • Keep up any current activities (jogging, swimming, pregnancy yoga) as long as you feel comfortable.

    Learn more in the Feel Good leaflet

  • Your emotional and mental health is as important as your physical health
    • Pregnancy puts a strain on both your body and your mind. It’s completely normal to feel a bit stressed or worried sometimes.
    • Take time out to relax – whether that’s through gentle exercise or simply finding a quiet space to have a breather.
    • Talk to someone about how you’re feeling such as your partner, family or midwife – it can be the first step to you feeling better.

    Learn more in the Feel Good leaflet

  • Drinking alcohol can cause your baby harm
    • The Chief Medical Officer for England advises that mums-to-be should avoid alcohol altogether to minimise risks to their baby.
    • Drinking alcohol (at any stage in your pregnancy) increases the risk of harming your baby’s development, including the risk of learning and behavioural problems.
    • All alcohol including Guinness, wine, shandy, spirits and spritzers could be harmful.

    Learn more in the Alcohol leaflet

  • Smoking is bad for you and your baby
    • When you smoke, your baby’s heart has to beat harder to make up for the lack of oxygen.
    • Smoking increases the risk of stillbirth, can cause your baby to be born early, and increases their chance of getting infections and chest illnesses.
    • If you quit smoking, you’ll have more energy and feel healthier (and save money!).
    • There is free help and support available for mums-to-be to quit tobacco and e-cigarettes. Speak to your midwife to find out more.

    Learn more in the Smoking leaflet

  • Babies need a lot of sleep so it’s important they are sleeping as safely as possible
    • Keep your baby away from cigarette smoke before and after birth.
    • Always put your baby to sleep in their own cot – never fall asleep with them.
    • Place your baby on their back with their feet touching the end of the cot.
    • Keep their head and face uncovered and make sure they don’t get too hot.
    • Breastfeed your baby.

    For more, visit

  • Vaccines protect you and your baby before, during, and after your pregnancy
    • Flu can be serious for mums-to-be and their babies. All mums-to-be should have a free flu vaccine during each pregnancy. It’s safe at any stage in pregnancy and is usually available from the end of September. Ask your GP, midwife or pharmacist.
    • Whooping cough can be very serious for young babies. Help to protect your baby by having the free whooping cough vaccine from the 20th week of your pregnancy. Ask your GP or midwife.

    For more info, search online for ‘NHS Choices healthy pregnancy

  • If your baby is unwell, there’s always help available
    • Contact your GP or health visitor.
    • Visit your local pharmacy for some over-the-counter medicine.
    • Call NHS 111 or dial 999 in an emergency.

    For more, visit 

  • Breastfeeding is healthy for you and your baby
    • Your breast milk has all the right nutrients.
    • It protects your baby from infections and diseases.
    • Breast milk is ready for you whenever you need it (and it’s free!).
    • Breastfeeding helps to build a strong bond between you and your baby.
    • Breastfeeding lowers your risk of ovarian and breast cancer.