Thinking about having a baby

The period leading up to a pregnancy is also known as preconception. It’s about taking good care of yourself, looking at your lifestyle, and making changes to improve your chances of conception and having a healthy pregnancy.

A close up of a couple's fingers linked with matching anchor tattoos on their fingers

Preparing for pregnancy

It’s important for you to know you’re mentally prepared for a child – whether it’s your first, or if you are growing your family. Our mental health midwife has put together information to support and help you through this life-changing decision.

There are various things you can do to help ensure your pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible and your baby is as healthy as possible.

Get vaccinated

Get covid, flu and whooping cough vaccinations

Vitamin D

We recommend you take 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day throughout your pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding to keep your bones and teeth healthy.

Folic Acid

You should take at least 400 micrograms of Folic Acid each day until you are 12 weeks pregnant. Folic Acid helps prevent birth defects such as Spina Bifida. If you are not already taking a folic acid supplement, speak with your pharmacist or GP straightaway.

If your BMI is over 30, you are diabetic or you, your partner or a previous baby have had a neural tube defect you will require 5mg daily, which you will need to request from your GP.


Smoking is harmful to you and your baby. We offer friendly support and treatment to you and your family, please call our Maternity Stop Smoking Team on 01226 432193 or email

Alcohol and pregnancy

It is safest to avoid alcohol completely in pregnancy to reduce the risk of potential harm to your baby.  There is no safe level for drinking during pregnancy.  Please speak to your midwife if you require support to stop.

Medicines in pregnancy

Most medicines are not safe in pregnancy. If you are taking regular prescribed medication contact your GP before stopping any medication or ask for a review any current prescriptions.

Healthy eating in pregnancy

Exercise benefits the body both physically and mentally. In pregnancy these benefits remain the same and all pregnant women are encouraged to remain active throughout pregnancy. Ask your midwife about a referral to the Barnsley Wellbeing Programme for a 12 week free membership.



If you're diabetic and thinking about having a baby, there are some things you should be aware of.

Read more

Women in an exercise class

Healthy Mums

Exercising during pregnancy will help you to feel fitter, have more energy, sleep better, manage your weight and improve your self-esteem as well as helping to reduce back pain, stress and anxiety.

Come along to the Healthy Mums group at Barnsley Metrodome on Mondays at 7.30pm and Wednesdays at 9.30am.

Your 12-week funded membership also includes unlimited access to all gym, swim and group exercise sessions.

Email for more information.