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During your pregnancy

The team of specialists who deliver antenatal care and beyond can include midwives, an obstetrician, an anaesthetist, a paediatrician, health worker and sometimes a dietician. Each has their own individual role to play. Here at Liverpool Women’s, we offer many services during pregnancy, including specialist antenatal services, advice on diet and exercise, restricting alcohol intake and smoking cessation, support for women and their families with disability needs and specialist care for women with complex medical problems.

Antenatal breastfeeding workshops are available to women and their partners from 28 weeks. To book onto one of our workshops, call our antenatal reception on 0151 702 4180.

  • Changes in your body

    Hormonal changes taking place in your body can make you feel nauseous, sore, emotional and upset – particularly in the first three months of pregnancy. Breast tenderness is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and results from the increased blood flow to the breast area and changes in the breast tissue. You may also find your nipples getting larger and darker in colour and they may even leak a thick, yellowish substance called colostrum as your pregnancy progresses. All these are signs of the body preparing for breastfeeding, whether you may choose to or not. During pregnancy, ligaments become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour, which can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis and cause backache. You may also find that you cry more easily, sometimes for no reason, and lose your temper more. Being tired and run down can make you feel low. Try and look after your physical health and get plenty of sleep.

  • Looking after yourself

    Women who adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle during their pregnancy not only stand a better chance of keeping themselves well but are giving their babies the best start in life. A sensible eating plan that includes a variety of different nutrient-packed foods is a simple but effective way of keeping well, taking care also to avoid the ‘danger’ foods – such as liver, undercooked meat and eggs - that can cause harm to both mother and baby. Care should be taken in preparing and storing food as well. If you are a smoker, then try to stop. You can call the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Line on 0800 169 9169 or we can put you in touch with the support provided by your Primary Care Trust. In some instances patients also receive one-to-one support from our enhanced midwives. We also advise you to either stop drinking alcohol or limit yourself to two units a week. For help you can contact Drinkline on 0800 917 8282. You can get help from our team of enhanced midwives by seeking a referral through your GP. Keeping active boosts circulation and makes you feel better so try and keep active on a daily basis, taking care to avoid anything too strenuous though. Maintaining your fitness will also help you with the birth and prepare you for life with a newborn.

  • Rubella and MMR Vaccine

    If you have not been vaccinated for the rubella virus, you could be susceptible to contracting the infection. If you contract it in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, it can cause multiple problems for your unborn baby, including deafness and heart defects. We advise any pregnant women to report any rash like illnesses to their GP or midwife as soon as possible.

    If you are concerned you may be not vaccinated against the rubella virus please contact your GP and they will arrange screening for you and, if necessary, organise for you to have the MMR vaccination after you have had your baby. This will be 2 doses within one month of each other and we would advise you not to become pregnant within one month of this vaccine; however you can still breastfeed and have anti-d if you have the vaccine.

    If you should bleed heavily and require a blood transfusion after your vaccination, you may need an extra dose of the MMR later on. Your GP can check this for you at 6 to 8 weeks after the birth of your baby.

    If you have any further questions about this, please ask your midwife, GP and you can look at NHS Choices – rubella in pregnancy.

  • Antenatal breastfeeding workshops

    If want to attend the breastfeeding workshop here at the Liverpool Women's Hospital there are two sessions per month. They are delivered by members of the Infant Feeding Team and can be booked via 0151 702 4180. The appointments department will be able to give you the next, most applicable dates dependant upon your due date.

    Breastfeeding workshops are also held at most of the 26 childrens centres across Liverpool. You can attend any of them, it doesn't have to be the one closest to where you live. Contact your most convenient centre. To find out which location is best for you, a list of childrens centres can be found on the Liverpool City Council website.