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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Food and nutrition
- Having a healthy diet in pregnancy
- How to ensure you get lots of iron in your diet
- Healthy Start– Are you eligible?
- What vitamins do you and your baby need? Healthy Start Vitamins contain the recommended amounts of Folic Acid, Vitamin D and Vitamin C for you throughout your pregnancy and when breast feeding. You will be offered a free 2 month supply of Healthy Start Vitamins at your first appointment with your Midwife. Your midwife and the antenatal clinic at the hospital has further supplies if you are eligible for the Healthy Start scheme or you can buy them for just £1 from the antenatal clinic reception at the hospital or alternatively at some of the local Barnsley family centres (please telephone the family centre to check).
- Anaemia in pregnancy – advice for taking oral iron:
Women should be given advice on how to take oral iron supplements correctly. Ideally Iron supplements should be taken on an empty stomach, 1 hour before meals with a source of vitamin C to maximise absorption. Dairy, other medications or antacids should not be taken at the same time. However gastrointestinal toxicity (nausea and epigastric discomfort, constipation, diarrhoea) affects 35-59% of women and can lead to non-compliance with treatment. Therefore, in order to increase compliance with treatment women are advised to take oral iron with food.
- Healthy tips and advice for pregnant women, new mums, dads-to-be, and friends and family
- Why your weight matters during pregnancy and after birth
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)
- You can self – refer to IAPT Visit their website
- Managing Mental Wellbeing During Pregnancy Workshops
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