Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Below is some useful advice and answers to some of your questions.
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, please make an appointment to see the midwife. The
first visit will be to choose which hospital you wish to have the baby at, to discuss antenatal
screening for Down’s syndrome and other problems and to arrange an ultra sound dating
scan. She will give you general advice and planning for the pregnancy.
Routine tests will take place: blood tests (checking for anaemia, blood group, rhesus status,
thalassaemia, sickle cell disease), urine tests, weight and blood pressure.
The ultrasound scan will then be arranged to accurately date the expected delivery and
check the healthy development of the baby.
The midwife is specially trained to care for ladies during their pregnancy, labour and birth.
She will continue after delivery to supervise mum and baby on their return home. The
midwife works between the practice and hospital and visits post natal ladies in their homes.
OTHER PEOPLE INVOLVED IN YOUR CARE
GP – Your GP will work with the midwife to plan and care for you during and after the
HEALTH VISITOR – Health Visitors are nurses with special training in caring for young
children and families. They will visit you soon after the baby’s birth – supporting you with
advice about feeding, healthy development of the baby and good life-style.
OBSTETRICIAN – This is a doctor specialising in pregnancy, labour and delivery with
special expertise in problems and complications. They work at the hospital.
Please start to take FOLIC ACID tablets as soon as you find you are pregnant if you are not
already doing so – 400mg per day in the ideal dose. This should continue until you are 12
weeks pregnant (it can be bought at any pharmacy).
It is important that you attend all appointments and if you are unable to come, please notify
the surgery and we will try to reschedule.
PREPARING FOR AND WAYS TO HAVE A SAFE PREGNANCY
This is a very important vitamin for the development of the baby’s spinal cord and brain.
Ideally you should start this as soon as you start trying for a baby. You should continue folic
acid until you are 12 weeks pregnant. (As previously mentioned, 400mg ideal dose and can
be bought at any pharmacy).
Some pregnant women become low in iron so try to choose iron-rich foods pre-pregnancy to
build up good stores. It helps to eat food containing vitamin C, such as a glass of fresh
orange juice, with iron rich food as this helps you to absorb the iron.
Good sources of iron:
Pulses e.g. lentils
Green vegetables e.g. spinach, cabbage
FOODS TO AVOID
Certain foods should be avoided when trying to get pregnant and during your pregnancy:
Raw/partly cooked eggs
Mould ripened cheese – Brie, Camembert, Stilton
Liver (too much vitamin A)
Shark, swordfish, marlin (too much mercury)
Limited amounts of tuna (2 medium sized tins or 1 fresh steak per week
Large amounts of peanuts (to reduce the chance of baby developing peanut allergy)
Otherwise eat a normal healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Cook all meat and
poultry thoroughly and wash all fruit and vegetables properly.
This is an excellent time to STOP!
This will mean you are more likely to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthier baby with
less risk of baby being born too early or being underweight.
Children whose parents smoke are more likely to have chest problems.
For help with STOPPING smoking contact:
Telephone number 0800 1694219
Heavy drinking can harm the developing baby.
It is now recommended that you have less than one or two alcoholic drinks per week.
Using illegal drugs can harm you and the baby.
Your midwife or GP can refer you for help coming off drugs.
You can self-refer at NEDS (North East Drugs Service) telephone: 0113 2625281
Toxoplasmosis is an infection which can harm the unborn child. It can be picked up from cat
faeces. Always wash your hands after handling cats and wear gloves when changing litter
trays or working in the garden.
RUBELLA (also known as GERMAN MEASLES)
Catching rubella can be serious to the unborn baby. Most women have been vaccinated
against it as children (e.g. MMR) but a blood test will tell if you are immune. This test is done
in early pregnancy but, if there is any doubt, can be done pre-pregnancy and vaccination
given before you are pregnant – NEVER during pregnancy.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Midwifery Office: 0113 2066241 (for both LGI SJUH)
LGI: 0113 3923830
SJUH: 0113 2065372
NHS Direct: 0845 4647
Early Pregnancy Unit: 2065473 - Self referral for bleeding/pain