Pre-pregnancy and Pregnancy Advice

Eat healthily.

Vitamin supplements

Folic acid is taken for the 1st 3 months to reduce risk of spina bifida.Normally the dose is 400 micrograms daily, but may be 5 mg daily if there are other risk factors.

10 micrograms of vitamin D each day throughout your pregnancy and if you breastfeed.

Do not take vitamin A supplements as too much can harm your baby.

Aspirin in Pregnancy

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends women at high risk of pre-eclampsia should take 75 mg of aspirin daily from 12 weeks until the birth of the baby.

  • Women at high risk include: hypertensive disease during a previous pregnancy ,chronic kidney disease ,autoimmune disease such as systemic lupus erythematosis or antiphospholipid syndrome , type 1 or type 2 diabetes and chronic hypertension
  • In addition NICE recommends women with more than one moderate risk factor for pre-eclampsia should to take 75 mg of aspirin daily from 12 weeks until the birth of the baby. Moderate risk factors are: first pregnancy , age 40 years or older, pregnancy interval of more than 10 years , body mass index (BMI) of 35 kg/m2 or more at first visit , family history of pre-eclampsia multiple pregnancy.

NICE clinical guideline 107 – Hypertension in pregnancy: the management of
hypertensive disorders during pregnancy
Available at :
Available at :

Pertussis vaccination

This is now recommended from 28 weeks of pregnancy.




Do nt have undercooked eggs (including in mayonnaise) or meat,pate, non-cooked fish/shellfish and unpasteurised milk. Avoid soft cheeses. (which may contain high levels of Listeria which may  sometimes causes miscarriage, stillbirth, or infections in the baby after birth and the non-cooked fish/shellfish contain other bacteria, viruses or parasites also)

Mercury and Pollutants

Avoid shark, marlin, swordfish. Be careful about the total amount of salmon you have as they accumulate mercury. You also need to limit the amount of tuna you eat (4x140g cans per week).


Wash salads.Wash your hands after handling raw meat.

Avoid cat / sheep stool if you have one as a pet or otherwise,as they carry toxoplasmosis. Avoid lambs also. Wash your hands after dealing with pets.

Exercise There is no risk associated with starting or continuing moderate exercise.

However,  avoid sports that may cause :

  • abdominal trauma (kickboxing, judo or squash),
  • falls (Don’t take part in horse-riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling) or excessive joint stress,
  •  scuba diving (because the baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream)).
  • Don’t lie flat on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, because the weight of your bump presses on the big blood vessels and can make you feel faint.

Sexual intercourse  Intercourse is thought to be safe during pregnancy.


Please limit coffee to 2 mugs of instant or 2.5 cups of tea.

Alcohol Advise women planning a pregnancy to avoid alcohol in the first 3 months if possible.If women choose to drink alcohol, advise them to drink no more than 1 to 2 UK units once or twice a week (1 unit equals half a pint of ordinary strength lager or beer, or one shot [25 ml] of spirits. One small [125 ml] glass of wine is equal to 1.5 UK units). At this low level there is no evidence of harm. Advise women to avoid getting drunk and to avoid binge drinking.

(This nhs advice was changed to one of no alcohol)

Smoking There risks of smoking during pregnancy. Please see the smoking section of the website. Please use firefox/chrome if you cannot see pages on smoking and children.

If you are unable to quit, please reduce smoking.

Cannabis from using cannabis.

Air travel Long-haul air travel is associated with an increased risk of venous thrombosis, although the possibility of any additional risk in pregnancy is unclear.

In the general population, compression stockings are effective in reducing the risk.

Car travel The seat belt should go ‘above and below the bump, not over it’.

Travel abroad Please discuss flying, vaccinations and travel insurance with their midwife or doctor.

Please look at this article. Though it is called planning to become pregnant it contains lots of health advice relevant to being pregnant.

You can also search for NICE Guidelines CG62

Advise for ladies with epilepsy

This links to the NHS Site and gives good advice about getting pregnant, what to expect when pregnant and who does what, labour and birth, your newborn and information about babies and toddlers.


How pregnant are you and when is your due date  ? – click on this

When pregnant you can make a midwife booking appointment for her to look after you through the course of the pregnancy




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