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The pregnancy care planner

Your NHS guide to having a baby

Your health during pregnancy

A healthy diet is very important if you're pregnant or are planning to have a baby. The best diet is one with a variety of different foods, but take care with certain foods because they can be harmful (see the link below). You also need to be careful with alcohol, medicines and drugs, so check with your doctor before taking any of these. If you smoke, it’s important to stop as soon as possible.

It is recommended that all pregnant women should have the flu vaccine, whatever stage of pregnancy they're in.

Keeping active during pregnancy is also a good idea, as it will help you to adapt to your changing shape by strengthening muscles so that you can carry the extra weight of pregnancy. Keeping active will also help to prepare you for the birth by strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor, which come under great strain during pregnancy and childbirth.

What should you eat?

Find out about having a healthy diet in pregnancy, plus tips on healthy snacks to keep hunger at bay.

Vitamins, minerals and special diets

Find out about the essential vitmains and minerals you need when you're pregnant, including folic acid, vitamin D and iron. Plus information on supplements and Healthy Start.

Foods to avoid

Get the latest information on cheese, eggs, rare meat, sushi, nuts and more.  

Smoking

Find out the risks to you and your baby from smoking in pregnancy, and where you can get specialist support to help you quit. Plus why your partner should quit too.

Alcohol, pills, medicines and other drugs

Find out the facts about drinking when you're pregnant, and what you need to know about taking over-the-counter medicines. Includes an alcohol unit calculator.

Exercises and keeping active

Keeping active when you're pregnant can help you adapt to your changing shape, and also to get back into shape after your baby's born. It can help you cope with the demands of labour, too. Find out what activities are safe.

Infections that may affect your baby

Find out about the infections you need to be aware of in pregnancy, which ones you'll be checked for, and what to do if you're worried.

Stay healthy at work

Find out about some of the risks to be aware of, plus links to information on maternity leave and benefits.

Who should have the flu jab?

Information for pregnant women, the over-65s and other at-risk groups who will need the flu jab


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