Staying healthy

How to look after yourself and your baby while you're pregnant.

A useful guide of do's and don'ts from the Maternity team at Barnsley Hospital

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Useful information

Smoking in pregnancy

When a mother-to-be smokes her baby may not grow healthily. Smoking in pregnancy increases the chances of miscarriage, baby being born prematurely, sudden infant death and other health complications. Women who smoke are more likely to have life-threatening complications during pregnancy and labour than non-smokers.

All pregnant women regardless of whether they smoke or not will be offered Carbon Monoxide (CO) testing at every antenatal appointment as part of their routine care. Smokers and women who have high CO readings are offered a referral to the Barnsley Maternity Stop Smoking Team. Women are encouraged to refer themselves if they wish, consenting partners and/or family members will be supported as well.

The service offers free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and behavioural support therapy delivered by the Specialist-trained Barnsley Maternity Stop Smoking Team.  Contact our Barnsley Maternity Stop Smoking Team today Tel: 01226 432193 9am-5pm Monday to Friday or email

E Cigarettes

Are you using or considering using an e cigarette? For further information on the safety of e cigarettes view Tommys or contact our team for support.

Yorkshire Smoke Free Website

Alcohol and drugs

It's recommended that if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant you should not drink alcohol. This will keep any risk to your baby to a minimum.

Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk.

Using illegal or street drugs during pregnancy, including cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin, could have a serious effect on your unborn baby.

If you regularly use drugs, it's important to tackle this now you're pregnant. 

Drinking alcohol while pregnant

Illegal drugs in pregnancy


Food and nutrition

Keeping active

The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour

Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable.

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. There is evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

Find out more about the local Health Referral Scheme – supported physical activity sessions provided by Barnsley Premier Leisure.

Barnsley IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies)

Best Beginnings is a website to engage, equip, educate and empower parents, from conception.

Car safety

You should continue to wear a seat belt if you’re pregnant, unless your doctor says you don’t have to for medical reasons.

You should use a certified car seat for your baby. Read more about types of child seat and legislation on the website

Seat belt law