When you're pregnant it seems like you're offered a lot of information.

The different magazines, website and books tell you what you should, and should not do, for the next nine months. Understandably it can be hard to know where to go for trustworthy advice. We've pulled together some top tips and the week by week guide is full of useful Knowsley information


Getting pregnant

For some couples, getting pregnant happens quickly, but for others it can take longer. Out of every 100 couples trying for a baby, 80 to 90 will get pregnant within one year. The rest will take longer, or may need medical help to conceive.

There are steps you can take to improve your chances of becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.

Week by week guide

This week by week guide aims to give you the essentials about what’s happening for your baby and what you can expect for yourself and all the appointments, entitlements, queries and things that are good to know during your pregnancy and the first 3 months of your baby’s life.

Free prescriptions and dental care

Did you know that all prescriptions and NHS dental treatment are free while you are pregnant and for 12 months after your baby's due date? Just ask your midwife for form FW8 and send it to your health authority. You will be sent a maternity exemption certificate (MATEX- it looks like a bank card) that lasts for 12 months after your due date. You must have the card with you to claim free prescriptions and dental care.

Immunisations

Looking after yourself is very important at any stage of life, but particularly while you are pregnant. Two vaccinations are recommended by the NHS during pregnancy; Flu and whooping cough (pertussis).

Feeding your baby

If you are looking for the perfect milk for your baby which has everything they need, is gentle on their tummy, always the right temperature, never runs out and has protective health benefits for them and for you then breastmilk is what you want.

Check-ups with your midwife

Keeping appointments with your midwife is important to make sure baby is growing ok and you also stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.

If you're pregnant with your first baby, you'll have more appointments than women who already have children.

Smoking in pregnancy

Stopping smoking whilst pregnant is one of the best things you and your partner can do to give your child the best start in life.

The risks of smoking during pregnancy are serious, from premature delivery to increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death.

Smokefree Knowsley are ready to help you stop.

Mental Health

Midwives ask every woman about their mental health history for an important reason.

Pregnancy can often increase the risk of past or present mental health issues becoming more of a problem. This can be anything from mild depression to medicated illnesses and includes postnatal depression. It’s better to seek help sooner rather than later.

Dads

Fatherhood is a joyous thing. It brings cuddles, settling baby after a feed, walks, sleepless nights and lots of love but it can also bring additional challenges and worries.

While Mum and bump might be getting most of the attention, don’t underestimate your feelings and role in sharing the journey together.

Healthy Start for baby...

It’s important to start taking folic acid as soon as you can – ideally before you’re even pregnant - until your 12th week of pregnancy.

You can get them quite cheaply from the chemists but Knowsley residents can also get FREE Healthy Start vitamin tablets (with folic acid and vitamin D), just ask your GP or midwife as soon as you know you’re pregnant and if you have other children ask your health visitor about them.

Alcohol in pregnancy

It’s understandable that a woman who regularly drinks alcohol may want to continue drinking after they become pregnant, but it’s important to be aware of the risks to your baby before you make the decision to drink alcohol.

Many women believe that they can drink alcohol safely during pregnancy as long as it’s not too much… but that’s simply not true.

Eating for 2

While it is very tempting to eat for 2, it’s unnecessary and keeping a healthy weight is incredibly important for yours and baby’s health. Being overweight or obese while you’re pregnant can increase the risk of;

  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Hypertension & pre –eclampsia
  • Venous thrombo-embolism
  • Induced labour
  • Caesarian section
  • Anesthetic complications
  • Wound infections
  • Death

The Healthy Knowsley Hub can support you in managing your weight.

WANT MORE SUPPORT AND ADVICE?

If you would like any advice about your pregnancy then it is best to contact your midwife.

If you want to stop smoking call Smokefree Knowsley’s trained pregnancy advisors on 0151 426 7462 who are ready to support you.

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Contact Healthy Knowsley Hub

Tel : 0800 0731 202 or 0151 289 9555
Mail : health.trainers@nwbh.nhs.uk