Advice and support

As soon as you know you are pregnant, contact your GP via your local surgery to plan your pregnancy. You can refer yourself to a midwife by ringing your local antenatal clinic.

NHS have produced a Your pregnancy and baby guide .

Local support services

Keeping active

People may tell you that pregnancy is a good time to put your feet up. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated it is actually much healthier for you and your baby to keep active while pregnant. Physical activity during pregnancy can be helpful, particularly walking and gentle activity. Avoid high impact sports. For advice, talk to your GP or midwife.

  • Your guide to staying active in pregnancy
  • Buggymovers sessions for new mums who want to get back in shape are available at Greenhead Park, Spenborough Pool and Leeds Road Sports Complex.
  • Swimming is a great form of exercise for new and expectant mums. You can take part in 10 free sessions including public, length, family or aqua relax swims. Show your Maternity Exemption Card and Flexi Card at reception.
  • Parent Sanctuary offers walks and meet-ups from pregnancy to preschool, helping you with your mental and physical health.

Healthy Start

If you're more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

If you're eligible, you'll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. We'll add your benefit onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  • cow's milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • infant formula milk based on cow's milk

You can also use your card for Healthy Start vitamins to support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Also, vitamin-drops for babies and young children which are suitable from birth to 4 years old.

Applying for Healthy Start online can take as little as 5 minutes! Find out if you are eligible and how to apply - get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

Healthy eating

Now that you are pregnant it's important to eat well. Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop. Find out more about nutrition during pregnancy .

Folic Acid in pregnancy - pregnancy supplements

Eating a healthy, varied diet in pregnancy will help you get most of the vitamins and minerals you need.

But when you're pregnant, or there's a chance you might get pregnant, it's important to also take a folic acid supplement.

It's recommended that you take:

  • 400 micrograms of folic acid every day - from before you're pregnant until you're 12 weeks pregnant

This is to reduce the risk of problems in the baby's development in the early weeks of pregnancy.

It is also recommended that you take a daily vitamin D supplement.

Where to get pregnancy supplements

You can get supplements from pharmacies and supermarkets, or a GP may be able to prescribe them for you.

If you want to get your folic acid from a multivitamin tablet, make sure the tablet does not contain vitamin A (or retinol).

You may be able to get free vitamins if you qualify for the Healthy Start scheme. Find out more about the Health Start Scheme

Folic acid before and during pregnancy

It's important to take a 400 micrograms folic acid tablet every day before you're pregnant and until you're 12 weeks pregnant.

Folic acid can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida.

If you did not take folic acid before you conceived, you should start as soon as you find out you're pregnant.

Try to eat green leafy vegetables which contain folate (the natural form of folic acid) and breakfast cereals and fat spreads with folic acid added to them.

It's difficult to get the amount of folate recommended for a healthy pregnancy from food alone, which is why it's important to take a folic acid supplement.

Higher dose folic acid

If you have a higher chance of your pregnancy being affected by neural tube defects, you will be advised to take a higher dose of folic acid (5 milligrams). You will be advised to take this each day until you're 12 weeks pregnant.

You may have a higher chance if:

  • You or the baby's biological father have a neural tube defect
  • You or the baby's biological gather have a family history of neural tube defects
  • You have had a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect
  • You have diabetes
  • You take anti-epilepsy medicine
  • You take anti-retroviral medicine for HIV

If any of this applies to you, talk to a GP. They can prescribe a higher dose of folic acid.

A GP or midwife may also recommend additional screening tests during your pregnancy.

Alcohol and smoking

Pregnant women should avoid alcohol and tobacco altogether. Smoking and drinking alcohol when pregnant can harm your baby. It's really important to be honest with your midwife so you can find out what support is available.

If you smoke, you can get advice and support about stopping from the following:-

Bonding with your bump and baby

The first 1001 days, from conception to age two, is a period of rapid growth. During this time babies growing brains are shaped by their experiences, particularly the interactions and relationship they have with their parents and other caregivers. What happens during this time lays the foundations for future development.

Feeding your baby

Support around feeding your baby is available from your Midwife and Health Visitor. Additional support is also available via Baby Cafés.

Auntie Pam's peer support service can also offer support for infant feeding.

Start4Life provides lots of helpful information and advice on breastfeeding and bottle feeding your baby.

Registering the birth of your baby

All births, by law, must be registered within 42 days with a Registrar of Births and Deaths. You can find out more information on registering the birth of your baby in Kirklees on our register a birth page.

National websites, helplines and support groups

  • Tommy's: I'm pregnant - visit this website led by midwives for the latest information for parents-to-be.
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