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Pregnacare Tips

  • Diet & Nutrition

    Healthy eating during pregnancy is no different to healthy eating at any other time - it's just particularly important to ensure that you are eating enough of the main food groups to get the essential vitamins and minerals, for both you and the baby. A healthy, balanced diet includes a wide range of foods. The Department of Health has created the Eatwell Guide, which shows the proportions of the main food groups that form a healthy, balanced diet.

    Diet
     

    The Department of Health Eatwell Guide - Main Guidelines

    • Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day

    • Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing wholegrain versions where possible

    • Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

    • Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

    • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts

    • Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar have these less often and in small amounts.
     

    Some Basics of Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

    • Starchy food is an important part of a healthy diet and these provide energy for you and for the baby to grow. Choose higher-fibre, wholegrain varieties when you can such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice, or simply leaving the skins on potatoes.

    • Wholegrain food contains more fibre than white or refined starchy food, and often more of other nutrients. We also digest wholegrain food more slowly so it can help us feel full for longer plus help to prevent constipation and piles.

    • Try to have some milk and dairy food (or dairy alternatives) - such as cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais. These are good sources of protein and vitamins, and they're also an important source of calcium, which are important for the mother's and baby's teeth and bones. Choose low fat varieties when you can as some dairy food can be high in fat and saturated fat, but there are plenty of lower-fat options to choose from.

    • Choose foods rich in protein such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans and nuts. Some of these foods are very good sources of iron. Beans, peas and lentils are good alternatives to meat because they're naturally low in fat and they're high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

    • Aim for at least two portions of fish a week, including a portion of oily fish, as fish is a good source of many vitamins and minerals. Oily fish includes salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel etc. and are important for supplying the baby with the Omega-3 long-chain fatty acids (AA, EPA and DHA) which are essential for development of the eyes and brain. If you never eat oily fish you may think about taking a pregnancy supplement that contains Omega-3.

    • Fruit and veg should make up just over a third of the food we eat each day. Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg each day. Choose from fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. A portion is any of these: 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or other similar-size fruit, 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, a dessert bowl of salad, 30g of dried fruit or a 150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie. Limit the intake of fruit juices, smoothies and dried fruit as they are high in sugar!

    • Make snacks nutritious. Snacking is common during pregnancy. However too many indulgent snacks can result in excessive weight gain. Healthier snack choices include: oatcakes, houmous, currant buns, plain yoghurt, vegetable crudités, fresh fruit and nuts. Check the label and avoid foods which are high in fat, salt and sugar!

    • Get active and try to maintain a healthy weight. Being active not only helps to moderate weight gain, but also prepares the body for birth. The average pregnancy weight gain is 10-12 kilograms or 22-28lbs. Gaining too much weight can affect your health and blood pressure. But equally, it's important to avoid dieting when pregnant as this can limit the baby's nutrition.

    • Drink plenty of water and other fluids, aim to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. Pregnant women dehydrate more quickly than normal and so drinking plenty is important, especially when exercising or if the weather is hot. Water, lower fat milk, fruit juice, smoothies, sugar-free drinks plus tea and coffee all count towards your fluid consumption. However, you should limit your consumption of fruit juice or smoothies due to the high sugar content, and also of tea and coffee as they contain caffeine.

    • If you are struggling to eat due to suffering from nausea, you may find that eating little and often is better for you. Or, sticking to relatively bland, starchy foods such as crackers and pretzels can help. It is important to stay hydrated as dehydration can make nausea worse and sipping something like a glass of iced water with lemon can be refreshing.

    Source

  • Diet & Nutrition

    Healthy eating during pregnancy is no different to healthy eating at any other time - it's just particularly important to ensure that you are eating enough of the main food groups to get the essential vitamins and minerals, for both you and the baby. A healthy, balanced diet includes a wide range of foods. The Department of Health has created the Eatwell Guide, which shows the proportions of the main food groups that form a healthy, balanced diet.

    Diet
     

    The Department of Health Eatwell Guide - Main Guidelines

    • Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day

    • Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates; choosing wholegrain versions where possible

    • Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

    • Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

    • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts

    • Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of fluid a day If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar have these less often and in small amounts.
     

    Some Basics of Healthy Eating During Pregnancy

    • Starchy food is an important part of a healthy diet and these provide energy for you and for the baby to grow. Choose higher-fibre, wholegrain varieties when you can such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice, or simply leaving the skins on potatoes.

    • Wholegrain food contains more fibre than white or refined starchy food, and often more of other nutrients. We also digest wholegrain food more slowly so it can help us feel full for longer plus help to prevent constipation and piles.

    • Try to have some milk and dairy food (or dairy alternatives) - such as cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais. These are good sources of protein and vitamins, and they're also an important source of calcium, which are important for the mother's and baby's teeth and bones. Choose low fat varieties when you can as some dairy food can be high in fat and saturated fat, but there are plenty of lower-fat options to choose from.

    • Choose foods rich in protein such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans and nuts. Some of these foods are very good sources of iron. Beans, peas and lentils are good alternatives to meat because they're naturally low in fat and they're high in fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals.

    • Aim for at least two portions of fish a week, including a portion of oily fish, as fish is a good source of many vitamins and minerals. Oily fish includes salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel etc. and are important for supplying the baby with the Omega-3 long-chain fatty acids (AA, EPA and DHA) which are essential for development of the eyes and brain. If you never eat oily fish you may think about taking a pregnancy supplement that contains Omega-3.

    • Fruit and veg should make up just over a third of the food we eat each day. Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg each day. Choose from fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. A portion is any of these: 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or other similar-size fruit, 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, a dessert bowl of salad, 30g of dried fruit or a 150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie. Limit the intake of fruit juices, smoothies and dried fruit as they are high in sugar!

    • Make snacks nutritious. Snacking is common during pregnancy. However too many indulgent snacks can result in excessive weight gain. Healthier snack choices include: oatcakes, houmous, currant buns, plain yoghurt, vegetable crudités, fresh fruit and nuts. Check the label and avoid foods which are high in fat, salt and sugar!

    • Get active and try to maintain a healthy weight. Being active not only helps to moderate weight gain, but also prepares the body for birth. The average pregnancy weight gain is 10-12 kilograms or 22-28lbs. Gaining too much weight can affect your health and blood pressure. But equally, it's important to avoid dieting when pregnant as this can limit the baby's nutrition.

    • Drink plenty of water and other fluids, aim to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. Pregnant women dehydrate more quickly than normal and so drinking plenty is important, especially when exercising or if the weather is hot. Water, lower fat milk, fruit juice, smoothies, sugar-free drinks plus tea and coffee all count towards your fluid consumption. However, you should limit your consumption of fruit juice or smoothies due to the high sugar content, and also of tea and coffee as they contain caffeine.

    • If you are struggling to eat due to suffering from nausea, you may find that eating little and often is better for you. Or, sticking to relatively bland, starchy foods such as crackers and pretzels can help. It is important to stay hydrated as dehydration can make nausea worse and sipping something like a glass of iced water with lemon can be refreshing.

    Source

  • Diet & Nutrition

    Do's & Don'ts of diet during pregnancy

    Do's:

    In addition to eating a wide variety of foods, there are certain precautions you should take to safeguard your baby's wellbeing. Your immune system tends to be slightly less effective duign pregnancy, leaving you more vulnerable to tummy bugs and upsets so extra care is needed.

    S

    Salmonella

    L

    Listeria

    T

    Toxoplasmosis

    Reduces risk of
    • Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so that there is no trace of pink or blood, and wash all surfaces and utensils after preparing raw meat. Use a separate chopping board for raw meats.
    T
    S
    • Wash fruit, vegetables and salads thoroughly - even pre-packaged types that are washed and ready to eat.
    T
    • Make sure eggs are thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid, and avoid foods containing raw and undercooked eggs like fresh mayonnaise, uncooked cheesecake and mousse's.
    S
    • Drink only pasteurised or UHT milk. If only raw or green-top milk is available, boil it first. Don't drink un-pasteurised goat's or sheep's milk or eat their milk products.
    L
    • You can eat peanuts or food containing peanuts, such as peanut butter, during pregnancy, unless you're allergic to them or a health professional advises you not to.
    • Reheat ready-to-eat poultry and cooked chilled meals thoroughly and ensure that these are piping hot before they are eaten.
    S
    • Make sure that raw foods are stored separately from ready-to-eat foods to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
    S
    • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling any food, after going to the toilet and before eating.
    S
    • Wear gloves when gardening or changing the cats litter tray.
    T
    • Limit caffeine to no more than 300mg/day as this can increase the risk of low birth weight and miscarriage. This means no more than 3 cups of coffee or 6 cups of tea combined in any one day, and don't forget that cola, hot chocolate, chocolate bars and energy drinks all contain caffeine too.

    Don'ts:

    Some foods pose a particular risk during pregnancy, either because of the way they are produced, or high levels of certain nutrients or substances they contain. The foods below are best avoided throughout pregnancy.

    S

    Salmonella

    L

    Listeria

    T

    Toxoplasmosis

    Risk of
    • Don't eat any type of pâté, including vegetable pâté, and mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert, and blue varieties, like Stilton or Danish blue.
    L
    • Don't eat liver or liver products such as liver pâté or liver sausage, as they may contain large amounts vitamin A, which could harm the baby. Avoid supplements containing vitamin A - check the label.
    Vitamin A toxicity
    • Don't eat shark, marlin and swordfish and limit tuna intake (no more than 2 servings fresh or 4 small cans) because the mercury levels in these fish is high and can damage the baby's developing nervous system. This also applies before conception and during breast feeding.
    High levels of mercury
    • Don't have more than two portions of oily fish a week. Oily fish includes salmon, mackerel, sardines and trout. But include one portion each week for important omega-3's.
    High levels of contaminants
    • Don't eat raw shellfish. This is because raw shellfish might contain harmful bacteria and viruses that cause food poisoning. However shellfish that is part of a hot meal and has been thoroughly cooked is fine.
    Food Poisoning
    • Don't drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol per week. The safest option is not to drink, particularly during the first trimester when the baby's organs are developing. However light drinking of no more than 1 or 2 units of alcohol per week is unlikely to harm your baby. (1 unit = ½ pint normal strength lager or beer, a single measure of spirits or a small glass of wine)
    Alcohol affecting baby
    • Don't Smoke. If you smoke it's important to give up as soon as possible as this can be very harmful to your baby. This includes partners too, as passive smoking can be just as dangerous to the unborn baby. Speak to your GP or midwife for help and support in smoking cessation for both parents.
    Poor growth & low birth weight

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Diet & Nutrition

    Ten Basics of Healthy Eating for Pregnancy

    Many people in the UK consume a diet, which contains lower than ideal levels of vitamins and minerals. This occurs for several reasons including; low fruit and vegetable intake, hectic lifestyle, erratic eating pattern, lack of balanced diet and poor food choices. As a result of this many women are at risk of not meeting the increased vitamin and mineral requirements during pregnancy. Many women choose to take a pregnancy specific multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, such as Pregnacare or Pregnacare Plus in order to boost dietary intake and ensure that the baby is receiving everything that he or she needs. The vitamins and minerals that are most likely to the deficient during pregnancy are outlined in the table below, along with the foods that will provide these:

    What & how much you need per day Role in pregnancy Particular concerns/times Rich Sources
    Folic Acid
    400mcg supplement plus 200mcg from food. ¾ women fail to eat enough from diet and over half do not take a folic acid supplement prior to confirmation of pregnancy.
    Normal growth and development.
    Taking the correct amount can reduce the risk of having a baby with Spina Bifida by 40%.
    Women should take a 400mcg folic acid supplement from the time contraception stops until the twelfth week of pregnancy and also choose foods rich in folates. Black eye beans, brussels sprouts, beef or yeast extract, kidney, kale, spinach, spring greens, granary bread, broccoli and green beans. Also added to soft grain breads and some breakfast cereals.
    Vitamin D
    10 mcg
    100% women fail to consume sufficient amounts from their diets.
    Development of healthy bones and teeth for the baby - prevention of rickets. All pregnant and breast feeding women in the UK should take a 10mcg Vitamin D supplement daily. Main source is sunlight Also found in oily types of fish, eggs and full fat dairy products. Also added to margarines, some yogurts and breakfast cereals.
    Iron
    14.8mg
    8 out of 10 women eat too little. 2 in 5 women enter pregnancy iron deficient.
    Prevention of anemia in the mother and healthy growth of baby. Anemia is common during pregnancy affecting both the mother's and baby's wellbeing. All meat, especially red meat, fortified breakfast cereals and white bread, beans, chick peas, baked beans, eggs, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
    Calcium
    700mg
    ½ women eat too little.
    Healthy bones and teeth for mother and baby. Most of the baby's calcium is laid down in bones during the 3rd trimester. Milk, cheeses, yoghurt, fortified soya milk and soya products, canned fish e.g. pilchards and sardines, added to white bread, beans and baked beans, almonds and hard tap water.
    RDA = Recommended Daily Allowance, µg = microgram
    mg = milligram, IU = International Units.
  • Diet & Nutrition

    Common Dietary Myths

    Now that I'm eating for two, can I eat twice as much as before?

    In short, no. Falling for the myth of eating for two is likely to result in excessive weight gain, which is not good for you or the baby. The body becomes more energy efficient during pregnancy in order to meet the energy needs for pregnancy so you only need to eat slightly more e.g. the odd extra slice of bread or one or two healthy snacks each day.

    I've been having strong food cravings - does this mean I am deficient in something?

    Cravings or aversions to food vary between women and even between pregnancies in the same woman. We don't really know why food cravings or aversions occur, but they are likely to be caused by hormonal changes to taste and smell rather than any specific deficiencies for vitamins or minerals. For many women food cravings or aversions are unlikely to be harmful but if the craving is for unusual things, such as coal or matches then it is important to discuss this with your midwife.

    Eating spicy food will bring on labour. Is this true?

    No. Eating spicy food close to a due date may cause tummy upsets but that is as close to bringing on labour as you might get. So if you enjoy spicy foods you are safe to carry on eating these throughout the whole of pregnancy.

    I love herbal teas but have been advised to avoid raspberry tea until the end of my pregnancy. Why is this?

    Raspberry leaf tea is thought to have a stimulating effect on the womb, helping to induce contractions. Therefore intake of this is not usually advised until towards the end of pregnancy, generally after 36 weeks. Whether raspberry leaf tea helps with labour still requires further research, as there have been few studies in this area.

    I've been feeling sick all day - why is it called morning sickness?

    The cause of morning sickness is thought to be due to the rise in hormone levels during pregnancy. For many women nausea and sickness are at their worst in the mornings hence the name morning sickness, but it can indeed be 'any time of day sickness'. Most cases resolve by the end of the first trimester but women who are severely affected should speak to their midwife for advice on how to cope with this troublesome problem.

  • Diet & Nutrition

    Morning Sickness

    Nearly 80% of women experience pregnancy sickness - and not just in the morning. Some women will just feel a bit nauseous. Others will feel sick every day and may actually vomit. An unlucky few will be so unwell that they need to take time off work. The good news is that most women start to feel a lot better at about 14 weeks.

    Hormonal changes may be the cause: the pattern of sickness seems to follow the ebbs and flows of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), the hormone that orchestrates the production of other pregnancy hormones. Levels rise rapidly during the first six weeks, peak at eight to 10 weeks, and begin to fall at 11-13 weeks.

    Some people believe that pregnancy sickness protects your baby from harmful substances, this may be why so many women can't bear coffee, alcohol, cigarette or petrol fumes at this crucial time.

    Snacking can help reduce morning sickness. Some women are really helped by sucking lemons or peppermints, others swear by bananas or breakfast cereals. Nibble something at night if you wake up. It may stop you feeling so sick in the morning.

  • Lifestyle Tips

    Excercise

    If you're not used to exercising, then pregnancy is a good opportunity to start, but go easy. Heart and lungs are already working at increased levels, which makes pregnancy itself a kind of aerobic exercise. Be aware of this and always 'listen to your body'.
    Check your pulse regularly during exercise and slow down if it reaches 140 beats per minute. It's much better to exercise for 20 minutes every other day than three hours just on Saturdays

    Why you need to be careful

    Risks to you

    • Pregnancy softens your joints and ligaments, so there is an increased risk of sprains, twists and back injuries.
    • Sports involving quick, jerky movement, such as squash, tennis and fast jogging, may cause problems.
    • As your baby grows your centre of gravity changes and your balance may be affected. Falls may therefore be more likely.

    Risks to your baby

    • Impacts and falls may cause damage.
    • Avoid downhill skiing, water-skiing, diving, climbing, all contact sports and fierce team games, for example, netball and hockey.
    • If you get very hot, your baby will also get hot. Overheating early in pregnancy may possibly affect your baby's neural (nerve) development.
    • Avoid saunas, steam baths and hot tubs. Stop exercising if you get very hot - rather than just warm. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to replace lost fluids.
    • Sustained, vigorous exercise may affect the blood supply to your baby by diverting blood away from the uterus to the leg muscles. If you get very breathless, the amount of oxygen in your blood is reduced, which may affect your baby's growth.
    • Avoid exercising to the point of exhaustion. Take a rest every 15 minutes.

    Ways to keep fit

    Regular walking, swimming and yoga are all ideal. In addition, yoga teaches breathing and relaxation techniques, but certain positions are not advised so make sure that your teacher knows that you are pregnant.

    For further information on ways to stay fit safely during pregnancy, including exercises that will help you prepare for birth, ask your midwife, who may know of antenatal exercise classes in your area.

    Alcohol

    Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause physical and mental birth defects (known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS). Each year, it is thought that more than 40,000 babies are born with some degree of alcohol related damage. Although many women are aware that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects, many do not realize that moderate - or even light - drinking also may harm the foetus.

    New research suggests even moderate alcohol consumption makes a baby 3½ times more likely to suffer from abnormal spasms in the womb. It now appears that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy as even one glass a week can result in abnormal hyperactive behaviour, as a result of alcohol slowing the formation of the central nervous system. FAS children suffer neurological damage, learning disabilities and other problems, such as ADHD & behavioural problems.

    It is recommended that pregnant women do not drink any alcohol throughout their pregnancy and while nursing. In addition, because women often do not know they are pregnant for a few months, women who may be pregnant or those who are attempting to become pregnant should abstain from alcohol.

    Pregnacare is working with the charity FASaware to highlight Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.

    Smoking

    Smoking during pregnancy is arguably the cause of the greatest number of preventable health problems at birth and in early childhood. According to Government estimates, one in four pregnant women smoke and up to 400 babies a year are stillborn, or die about the time of birth, as a result.
    A third of all women smokers quit when they get pregnant - stopping smoking is the best gift you can give your unborn baby. This is because tobacco:

    • stunts the baby's growth by reducing oxygen levels and narrowing the blood vessels in the placenta;
    • makes the heart beat unhealthily fast;
    • fills the amniotic fluid with cancer-causing chemicals;
    • increases the risk of cot death;
    • reduces the chance of the baby having a normal, healthy, lively childhood.

    Sex

    Sex during pregnancy is quite safe for the baby, unless your doctor advises you otherwise. Whether you feel more keen on sex or totally off it, there's no cause for concern.

    Because your body doesn't change that much in the first trimester, sex can pretty much continue as it has in the past. If you're having a normal pregnancy, sex is considered safe during all stages of pregnancy. Many expectant mothers find that their desire for sex fluctuates during certain stages in the pregnancy. Also, many women find that sex becomes uncomfortable as their bodies get larger.

    Your baby is fully protected by the amniotic sac (a thin-walled bag that holds the foetus and surrounding fluid) and the strong muscles of the uterus. There's also a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix and helps guard against infection. The penis does not come into contact with the foetus during sex. It is therefore safe to continue having sex throughout the whole of pregnancy.

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Pregnancy & Nutrition

    It is important for both partners to try and eat a healthy diet in the months prior to conception to improve fertility and maximise the quality of the male sperm and the female's eggs. The quality of sperm and male and female fertility can be affected by lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol intake, smoking and poor nutrition - these should be avoided.

    For Him

    A healthy diet should consist of a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats. Good quality proteins are the building blocks for bodily growth and sperm production too - proteins can be obtained through foods such as lean meat, fish, milk, eggs, nuts or soya.

    The most effective way to provide the body with energy for growth and development is in the form of complex carbohydrates - these can be found in foods such as cereals, wholegrain rice, pulses, pasta and wholemeal bread for example. Small amounts of fats in the diet are required by all cells in the body - fish oil, olive oil and nuts are all excellent sources of these.

    Essential vitamins and minerals are important too and can be obtained by including vegetables in at least one of your daily meals. Remember to vary the types of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vegetables in your diet on a daily basis to provide your body with the variety of nutrients it needs to maintain optimum health.

    A multivitamin, such as Wellman, can be a useful addition to a balanced diet to ensure essential vitamin intake.

    For Her

    It is also advisable for your partner to have a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet during pregnancy and in the months prior to conception.

    During pregnancy you may find your partner gets cravings for certain types of foods with a rich flavour (e.g. liver or marmite which are rich in B vitamins). It is thought that this might be nature's way of encouraging the woman to try different foods so that she gets a range of nutrients. A varied balanced diet reduces the cravings and will help your partner maintain optimum health during pregnancy - it is also the basis for providing adequate building blocks for the health and development of the growing baby. It is also advisable to avoid uncooked foods eg. raw meats, pate and unpasteurised soft cheeses to minimise the risk of bacterial infection harming the baby.

    Appropriate vitamin supplementation, such as Pregnacare, in addition to a balanced diet is useful to help avoid deficiency in essential nutrients. It is known that B Vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin B12 are important for development of the baby's nervous system, blood synthesis and metabolism. It is advisable that your partner takes a supplement containing folic acid in the three months prior to conception and for at least the first three months of pregnancy (Pregnacare can be taken before, during and after pregnancy). B vitamins can also be found in whole grain cereals, liver, green leafy vegetables, meats, milk and nuts but a sure way for your partner to get enough folic acid is to take an appropriate supplement such as Pregnacare during this period. Calcium and vitamin D are important for normal bone development and iron is important in the synthesis of baby's blood. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are excellent sources of calcium and lean meat, liver, green leafy vegetables and eggs are good sources of iron too.

    Many couples worry about the nutrition of their forming baby during pregnancy and particularly during the first four months of pregnancy when morning sickness can stop the mother eating well. It is reassuring to know that only small amounts of food intake are usually enough during these periods to provide the essential materials for foetal growth but unfortunately mothers can become weak and exhausted during this time. A multivitamin supplement designed specifically for pregnant mothers - such as Pregnacare is an appropriate way to make sure of getting all the necessary vitamins prior to conception and through pregnancy.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Pregnancy & Nutrition

    It is important for both partners to try and eat a healthy diet in the months prior to conception to improve fertility and maximise the quality of the male sperm and the female's eggs. The quality of sperm and male and female fertility can be affected by lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol intake, smoking and poor nutrition - these should be avoided.

    For Him

    A healthy diet should consist of a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats. Good quality proteins are the building blocks for bodily growth and sperm production too - proteins can be obtained through foods such as lean meat, fish, milk, eggs, nuts or soya.

    The most effective way to provide the body with energy for growth and development is in the form of complex carbohydrates - these can be found in foods such as cereals, wholegrain rice, pulses, pasta and wholemeal bread for example. Small amounts of fats in the diet are required by all cells in the body - fish oil, olive oil and nuts are all excellent sources of these.

    Essential vitamins and minerals are important too and can be obtained by including vegetables in at least one of your daily meals. Remember to vary the types of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vegetables in your diet on a daily basis to provide your body with the variety of nutrients it needs to maintain optimum health.

    A multivitamin, such as Wellman, can be a useful addition to a balanced diet to ensure essential vitamin intake.

    For Her

    It is also advisable for your partner to have a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet during pregnancy and in the months prior to conception.

    During pregnancy you may find your partner gets cravings for certain types of foods with a rich flavour (e.g. liver or marmite which are rich in B vitamins). It is thought that this might be nature's way of encouraging the woman to try different foods so that she gets a range of nutrients. A varied balanced diet reduces the cravings and will help your partner maintain optimum health during pregnancy - it is also the basis for providing adequate building blocks for the health and development of the growing baby. It is also advisable to avoid uncooked foods eg. raw meats, pate and unpasteurised soft cheeses to minimise the risk of bacterial infection harming the baby.

    Appropriate vitamin supplementation, such as Pregnacare, in addition to a balanced diet is useful to help avoid deficiency in essential nutrients. It is known that B Vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin B12 are important for development of the baby's nervous system, blood synthesis and metabolism. It is advisable that your partner takes a supplement containing folic acid in the three months prior to conception and for at least the first three months of pregnancy (Pregnacare can be taken before, during and after pregnancy). B vitamins can also be found in whole grain cereals, liver, green leafy vegetables, meats, milk and nuts but a sure way for your partner to get enough folic acid is to take an appropriate supplement such as Pregnacare during this period. Calcium and vitamin D are important for normal bone development and iron is important in the synthesis of baby's blood. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are excellent sources of calcium and lean meat, liver, green leafy vegetables and eggs are good sources of iron too.

    Many couples worry about the nutrition of their forming baby during pregnancy and particularly during the first four months of pregnancy when morning sickness can stop the mother eating well. It is reassuring to know that only small amounts of food intake are usually enough during these periods to provide the essential materials for foetal growth but unfortunately mothers can become weak and exhausted during this time. A multivitamin supplement designed specifically for pregnant mothers - such as Pregnacare is an appropriate way to make sure of getting all the necessary vitamins prior to conception and through pregnancy.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Changes to expect in your partner's body during pregnancy

    A number of changes occur in the female body during pregnancy and these can be broken down into three stages in pregnancy known as trimesters.

    Weeks 1 - 12 are known as the first trimester:

    The first change during this time is the absence of periods due to a change in the maternal hormone production and the production of hormones by the foetal placenta. Other changes, which occur during this time, are general tiredness, food cravings, constipation, swelling of the breasts and darkening of the area around the nipples. Minor sharp pains can occur in the lower abdomen as the uterus starts to increase in size. The urge to urinate more frequently is also common and many mothers to be develop morning sickness, which can cause problems if they become dehydrated through excessive vomiting.
    During times of severe nausea it is wise for your partner to drink small sips of non-carbonated fluids such as fruit drinks to keep her energy levels up and to help prevent dehydration. She will be unable to eat proper meals during these episodes so energy snacks such as cereal bars, toast and jam or other easily digested low fat foods will help her avoid low blood sugar levels which is thought to make morning sickness worse.

    Weeks 13 - 26 (second trimester)

    The abdomen starts to increase noticeably in size due to growth of the womb and the developing foetus within. Then the skin over the abdomen starts to stretch and can become dry during this period and early signs of stretch marks start to appear. Moisturising creams can reduce skin dryness and can be soothing at this time. Other changes, which commonly occur during this time, are further increase in breast size and tenderness in this area (time for your partner get new more comfortably sized bras), heartburn, haemorrhoids (high fibre diet and increased fluid intake can help reduce this), swelling of the ankles and feet (this can be reduced by regular foot elevation). Changes in the skin occur too during this period such as an increase in pigmentation and red glow to the face and increased thickness of head hair are also noticeable. Lower back pain can start during this period because of increased weight gain and natural softening of the spinal and pelvic ligaments (good posture and avoiding heavy lifting can help reduce these symptoms). It is around the 20th week that mothers will start to notice fluttering sensations in the abdomen caused by movements of the growing foetus.

    Weeks 27 - Week 40 (third trimester)

    The movements of the baby are much more noticeable during this period and the uterus increases further in size. The umbilicus starts to protrude, stretch marks increase, veins are more prominent on the stomach and mothers often start to feel early contractions in the last few weeks of this stage. Groin pains, back pain and tiredness can become more problematic during this period. Other common changes include the development of varicose veins on the legs, difficulty sleeping because of increased abdominal girth and breathlessness due to carriage of increased weight from the fully formed baby, the uterus, increased fat and fluid. Excessive tiredness can become a problem during this period so it is important for the expectant mother to take naps and rest frequently.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Some important physical warning signs in pregnancy

    Although it is impossible to list all of the physical signs of a potential problem with either the mother or baby during pregnancy the following are some of the more common. If in doubt always seek further medical advice from a doctor or midwife.

    1. Frequency of urination in association with a burning sensation on passing urine can be a sign of urinary tract infection - this can usually be cleared with a short course of antibiotics.

    2. Vaginal spotting or bleeding - this can be a sign of miscarriage although bleeding can sometimes occur in a normal pregnancy - an ultrasound scan can determine whether miscarriage has occurred.

    3. Severe nausea or vomiting in early pregnancy caused by morning sickness lasting for days can lead to dehydration and weakness and this can require hospital admission for intravenous fluid replacement.

    4. Reduced or absent foetal movements in the third trimester for 12 hours or more - although this can often cause false alarm as the baby rests it can be a sign of foetal problems so medical advice should be urgently sought - foetal heart monitoring is helpful at these times.

    5. Early uterine contraction before the 37th week or leakage of clear fluid from the vagina before this period can be a sign of early rupture of the sack within which the baby lies and can signify warning signs of premature labour.

    6. A persisting severe headache, abdominal pain, visual disturbance and excessive swelling of the hands and feet can be a sign of very high blood pressure and needs to be dealt with urgently.

    7. If the mother experiences sudden breathless or if a tense hot swelling occurs within the calf or thigh muscles then these can be signs of a blood clot which needs to be dealt with urgently.

    8. A persisting itchy rash on the hands, arms, or other parts of the body can be a sign of pregnancy related liver disease in the mother. This can also cause problems in the baby so further medical investigation and monitoring of maternal liver function may be necessary in this case.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Emotional changes in pregnancy

    A mothers entire hormone and physical system is changing during pregnancy and this is associated with a variety of emotional changes which can again be broken down into the three trimesters of pregnancy:

    First trimester

    Excitement and happiness is usual for both partners during the early weeks of pregnancy but this can be mixed with times of worry when the realisation of parenthood becomes apparent. Both mothers and fathers feel proud that they are able to create a baby but at the same time some anxieties about ability to be a good parent and worries about potential problems during pregnancy set in. The woman may be starting to experience tiredness and morning sickness, which can bring frustrations and tearful times.
    Men also have emotional ups and downs over worry about the health and safety of their partner and developing baby, particularly when they see their partner feeling unwell during episodes of morning sickness. It is reassuring for both partners once they see this phase passing, after which a level of acceptance sets in and anxieties start to reduce. Closeness between partners is important during this period and will set the foundation for a strong relationship in the coming months.

    Second trimester

    During this stage the physical changes of pregnancy are becoming more apparent. Women see their body changing and they may experience a reduction in satisfaction of their body image. The inconvenience of clothes not fitting and the restriction on physical activities because of bodily changes can become frustrating which occasionally leads to outbursts of temper over minor problems and tearful episodes but these are usually short lived.
    During the second trimester you may or may not like the physical changes you see in your partner but any negative emotion in this regard is reduced by the fact that you can now put your hand on your partner's abdomen and feel the baby moving. This is a time when you and your partner can feel close and look forward to the days ahead when you will become parents. Woman start to feel the 'nesting instinct' during this time and many parents start getting things together for their new baby such as baby clothes, prams, cots and preparing bedrooms etc.

    Third trimester

    By this stage you and your partner are usually looking forward to the new baby and excitement builds, as the arrival of their new baby seems ever nearer. The woman is also usually looking forward to the relief from the symptoms of tiredness and other problems such as backache, heartburn, hand and feet swelling. Irritability can occur during this time as she is not able to do as much as in the earlier months and frustration can start to show at times.
    Men can also become irritable with their partners during this time because of the increased role they may have to take in running the home and a significant reduction in usual social activities because his partner is physically unable to do as much as before. It is important for both partners to understand these limitations and to work together as a team in preparing for their new baby. This is a good time to talk about birth plans and learn as much as possible about the early days of parenting.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Pregnancy and Sex

    First trimester

    Although a couple's sexual relationship will change during pregnancy there is usually no reason why sex should not continue provided that there the woman is healthy and there are no complications in pregnancy. During the first few months your partner may feel less attractive due to changes in her body but in fact many women feel more sexual due to changes in their skin, breasts and exaggeration of an overall more feminine shape. If your partner suffers with nausea, vomiting, and general tiredness this can lead to a reduced desire for sex but on the other hand she may experience times of increased sexual desire due to the changing hormonal situation within her body.
    Every woman experiences different emotional and physical changes - some find that their breasts become tender and swollen whereas others find the breast are more sensitive to touch which can heighten sexual desire. Women usually become prone to cystitis during pregnancy and this can be aggravated by sexual intercourse, which may put her off sex. Many women find that the increased sensitivity of the vaginal area during this time can make sex more satisfying.

    Second trimester

    During the second trimester of pregnancy your partner's sex drive may increase further after the disappearance of morning sickness and increased levels of energy. During this period vaginal engorgement and lubricating fluid production increases but on the down side the increasing abdominal girth caused by the enlarging uterus and growing baby can reduce comfort if intercourse is performed when she is lying on her back. To reduce any discomfort your partner may find intercourse more enjoyable while lying on her side or if she is on top which gives her more control over the position and depth of penetration.

    Third trimester

    The third trimester brings a significant increase in uterus growth and abdominal enlargement and some women find that penetration is uncomfortable as the growing baby descends into the pelvic cavity although many women still continue to enjoy sexual intercourse in alternative positions. Intercourse is perfectly safe during this period but both partners should talk and agree what is best for each other - some decide that cuddling, touching and mutual masturbation is an acceptable alternative if penetrative intercourse becomes too uncomfortable.
    A common worry of both partners is that they may be harming the forming baby during intercourse and at orgasm although this is generally not the case. There are however a few relatively rare situations in which your midwife or doctor may advice you to abstain from intercourse for a while - some of these are:

    • If your partner has a history of recurrent miscarriages or premature birth
    • If persistent bleeding occurs after intercourse
    • If leakage of fluid occurs from the amniotic sac surrounding the baby (a clear liquid may be noticed in the vagina)
    • If intercourse is painful or pain is experiences afterwards
    • If your partner experiences premature early contractions
    • If your partner is suffering with severe back problems
    • If you or your partner has signs of genital infection (If you have any doubts about always seek advice from your midwife or doctor.)
     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Helping your partner cope during labour

    First Stage

    The process of childbirth, known as labour, can be broken down into three stages. The early signs of labour, known as the first stage usually start around 38 to 40 weeks after which the baby is normally born anything from a couple of hours to 16 hours from the onset of this process.

    The first signs of this stage are a show of small amounts of blood and mucus within the vagina caused by opening of the membrane sack, which surrounds the baby. Once these signs are present you should contact your midwife who will usually advise you to make your way to your local obstetric unit if you are planning a hospital delivery or she will organise for midwife to attend your home if you have planned to have the baby at home.

    The early contractions of the uterus during this stage are more than five minutes apart to start with but gradually become more frequent. At this time the entrance to the womb, known as the cervix, starts to soften and open up in preparation for childbirth. It is important for your partner to try to relax but also take this last opportunity to drink sugary fluids and eat easily digestible carbohydrate foods such as toast with jam to provide her with enough energy during the times ahead when she will be required to push for prolonged periods. You can help her relax by giving a shoulder massage or by gently rubbing her abdomen during times of contraction. It is important that she empties her bladder and opens her bowels before the final stages of labour to reduce the pressure on the uterus and therefore make pushing more comfortable. Gently stroking her forehead or arms and giving calming reassurance during this time is helpful to reduce her levels of anxiety about the pending birth process.

    Second Stage

    The second stage of labour is the process of delivering your baby and can last anything from minutes up to three hours in some cases. This stage is recognisable by the uterine contractions becoming more frequent and stronger. These can be uncomfortable and your partner will need to sit or lie down during these. Massage and gentle stroking of the abdomen can help your partner relax between contractions. Other useful relaxation techniques are positive reassurance and controlled breathing exercises to help her remain calm. If possible she should move her leg position frequently to prevent her back and other muscles becoming too stiff. She may require analgesia during this period but your midwife will be attending and advising on this where necessary. Just as the baby's head fully appears your midwife will advise your partner to pant instead of push so that the baby's head appears slowly without tearing the vaginal area.

    Third Stage

    The third and final stage of labour is the period immediately after the baby is born in which the placenta is delivered. Contractions continue during this stage to completely push out the products left behind after delivery. Although your partner will be completely exhausted this is a very pleasurable and emotional time when you both realise that your baby has finally arrived. You will both have the opportunity to hold your new baby and experience this memorable experience together. Your midwife will examine your partner to see if she needs any stitches to repair tears that may have occurred in the vagina during the final pushes of labour. Shortly after all the necessary baby checks are performed you will all be able to have some quiet time together as a new family.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Pain relief in labour

    Every woman will have a different birthing experience and some will feel less pain than others but most first time mothers worry about how uncomfortable the process may be.

    During pregnancy your partner will get the opportunity to discuss her preferences with her midwife and obstetrician as to which analgesics they may wish during labour. Gas and air and pethidine injections are commonly used during labour but many women also wish to have epidural anaesthesia - this involves injecting controlled amounts of anaesthetic medication into the space surrounding the lower spinal cord using a fine canula placed through the back. Epidural canulas are normally fitted just after the early stages of labour so that the woman is prepared for any discomfort during the later stages of childbirth.

    Epidural anaesthesia is particularly useful if your partner requires a caesarean section birth, as this is the preferred method of pain relief for this procedure. Caesarean section may already have been pre-planned if your obstetrician feels that there are sufficient reasons for your partner not to attempt a natural delivery although this is relatively rare for a first time mum unless she is expecting twins or the baby is lying in the breech (feet first) position. A caesarean section may also become necessary if your partner's labour is not progressing satisfactorily. The birth experience during and after a caesarean section is just as special as a natural delivery although your partner may require a few extra days in hospital to recover from the operation.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Early days of parenting

    After the birth you will feel a sense of responsibility knowing that you have to look after your offspring who now depends on you for everything. This can be a scary experience for first time dads, as you won't have had any formal training to do the jobs that you are now faced.

    Your partner will feel exhausted after birth but her strong maternal instincts driven by emotion and hormones will allow her to feed, wash and care for the new baby. It is important for dads, to get involved too, not only to help your partner in the early days but so that you can bond with your new baby and stay close with your partner at this time. After a little bit of instruction, cleaning your baby and changing nappies will become a relatively simple business - you will master the technique very quickly.

    In hospital your partner will be given support from the midwives. When she comes home it is then for you both to find your way but your midwife will still be at hand if you need further help. The excitement of finally getting your new baby home is very special but can be exhausting too. You may have taken time off work to be at home with your family and after this period you will need to find a routine which allows you both to cope when you go back to work. It's amazing how quick you can learn to change, feed and care for your new baby and it is also important that both you and your partner gets some rest to help you get through the tiring weeks ahead.

    Many couples take it in turn to look after the baby through the day or in the night so that neither partner gets completely exhausted - teamwork and sharing is essential at this time and will help to reduce the impact of this complete change in lifestyle. Once exhaustion sets in, it can take many days to resolve so to avoid this try to get some help from reliable relatives and friends so that both of you can get a few hours sleep.

    If your partner has chosen to breast-feed you may feel a little redundant at times although you can still get involved with all the other bits, which can be just as rewarding. Every couple will have different ideas as to how to look after their new baby but it is important to communicate and be flexible with each other so that in time you find the routine that is best for you both.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Breast and bottle feeding

    Provided there are no complications after birth your newborn baby will have the inbuilt instinct to suck when placed near to the mother's nipple. The first moments of breast-feeding can be a wonderful experience for dads too as they witness their partner and baby displaying one of natures most amazing survival instincts.

    Breast feeding is not only a wonderful way for the mother to bond with her new baby but is also the recommended form of feeding for most babies because the mothers milk provides all sorts of nutrients and minerals which help the baby grow strong. It also gives protection against potential infections provided by the antibodies contained within this milk. Breast-feeding can be a frustrating business for your partner to begin because the supply of milk can be slow initially but it soon increases as the baby learns to latch on and suck properly.

    Mums can also learn to express milk from their breasts using a special pump and collection bottle, which can be useful as either you or your partner can then give breast milk if a break from breast-feeding, is required. Breast-feeding also helps reduce excess weight gained during pregnancy but it is still important for her to continue to eat a balanced diet including extra carbohydrates to give all the nutrients and energy needed to make good quality milk - an appropriate multivitamin supplement like Pregnacare, can also be useful during this time.

    Breastfeeding mothers should also ensure that they are getting enough calcium from their diet. Calcium can be obtained from foods such as sardines, milk, yoghurt and sesame seeds. A calcium supplement, such as Osteocare, can be a useful addition to their diet to ensure they are getting the recommended daily amount of 1000mg.

    There are some situations in which mums either choose not to or can't breast-feed the baby, in which case bottle milk is a perfectly satisfactory alternative. Manufacturers have tried to make milk powders, which closely resemble breast milk although they don't contain the antibodies and balance of nutrients that is unique to every mum.

    Bottle-feeding can be expensive in comparison to breast-feeding and requires a lot of preparation such as sterilising the bottles and making up the feeds with the correct amounts of powder to cooled boiled water. There are various different brands of milk powder on the market - your midwife or health visitor can advise you further on types that are suitable for your baby. One advantage of bottle-feeding is that the milk can be prepared and given by either parent.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Sex and contraception after birth

    Your partner's sexual desire may be diminished in the early weeks after childbirth due to a sudden drop in her hormones but also because of tiredness. It may take anything between two and eight weeks after childbirth before she can comfortably have sexual intercourse again although this will vary from woman to woman and will depend somewhat on whether she has had stitches to repair any external and internal vaginal tears, which may have resulted. Once the blood stained discharge from the vagina has settled completely then it is likely that the healing process in well under way but always but be guided by your partner as to what is comfortable. You are unlikely to do any damage provided you stick within comfort zones and stop if your partner experiences any discomfort. If vaginal bleeding occurs after intercourse it may be wise to refrain for at least a further week and then if necessary use spermicidal lubrication gel to minimise friction over any tender areas. Sexual intercourse may in fact be beneficial in helping your partner improve the tone of her pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy and can also speed up closure of the entrance to the womb through release of female hormones during sex. (Seek advice from your doctor if pain or bleeding persists)


    Contraception

    If your partner is breast-feeding then her fertility will be significantly reduced but don't rely on this as a method of contraception as it is still possible for her to become pregnant. In fact ovulation (release of the female egg) can occur at any time after childbirth so she should seek advice as to appropriate contraception from her doctor as soon as possible after childbirth.

    Contraceptive pills, which contain oestrogen, are not recommended for breast-feeding women, as this hormone will get into the breast milk causing problems in the baby. Another type of pill containing progesterone, commonly know as the mini pill is a useful alternative in breast feeding woman as this hormone is unlikely to cause any problems in new babies.

    Other forms of contraception, which are suitable for both breast and bottle-feeding mums are condoms, the Depo-provera injection which lasts three months or an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), which is placed in the entrance of the womb stopping pregnancy for up to five years or more if required. An IUCD is best fitted after six weeks when the entrance to the womb has fully closed. It can be removed at any time resulting in potentially immediate return of fertility but is best used in women who want long term protection against pregnancy.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Paternity Leave

    When you take time off because your partner's having a baby you might be eligible for 1 or 2 weeks paid Paternity Leave.

    You are eligible for paternity leave if you are an employee, and have worked continuously for the same employer for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth (known as the 'qualifying week').

    Statutory paternity pay (SPP)

    The statutory weekly rate of Paternity Pay and Additional Paternity Pay is £139.58 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).

    Any money you get is paid in the same way as your wages, e.g. monthly or weekly. Tax and National Insurance will be deducted.

    Applying for Paternity Leave and Paternity Pay

    You must tell your employer at least 15 weeks before the week the baby is expected:

    • the baby's due date
    • when you want your leave to start, eg the day of the birth or the week after the birth
    • if you want 1 or 2 weeks' leave

    You must give your employer form SC3 at least 15 weeks before the week the baby is expected.


    When can you start your leave?

    Leave can't start before the birth. It must end within 56 days of the birth. You must take your leave in one go. (A week is the same amount of days that you normally work in a week, e.g. if you only work on Mondays and Tuesdays a week is 2 days).

    You must give your employer 28 days' notice if you want to change your start date.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Glossary

    1. Caesarean Section - a surgical operation to deliver the baby through an incision in the abdomen. Performed either as a planned method of birth but is also sometimes required if attempted vaginal delivery fails to progress satisfactorily.

    2. Contractions - the abdomen visibility moves as the muscles within the uterus (womb) try to push the baby downwards - these can be painful.

    3. Canula - a needle placed into the back to deliver anaesthetic drugs to spinal nerves giving pain relief during labour.

    4. Conception - the moment when the male sperm fertilises the female egg giving rise to the first stages of foetal development.

    5. Depo-Provera - contraceptive medication, which is given by injection every three months.

    6. Epidural - the process of providing pain relief in labour through injection of anaesthetic medication into the space surrounding the spinal cord.

    7. Gas and Air - pain-relieving medication called 'nitrous oxide' inhaled through a mask during the labour process.

    8. Intrauterine Contraceptive Device (I.U.C.D) - a small device, which can be inserted into the womb to prevent pregnancy occurring - these can remain in place up to seven years if necessary.

    9. Miscarriage - inability of a pregnancy to continue further - usually presents as 'period like' vaginal bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy.

    10.Morning Sickness (hyperemesis) - nausea and vomiting caused by the rise in hormones produced during the early stages of pregnancy.

     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.

  • Baby Shopping Basics

    Bringing your baby home from hospital

    To help plan for your baby's arrival the checklist below provides an essential list of everything a new born baby needs in the early weeks.

    LINEN

    • Cellular Blankets (with holes) 4 X Small (Moses Basket)
    • Fitted Cot Sheets 4 X Small (Moses Basket) 4 X Large
    • Mattress Protector 3-4 Moses Basket 2-4 Cot
    • Flannelette Sheets
    • Muslins 12-15
    • Terry Nappies 10
    • Hooded Towels 2-3

    LAUNDRY

    • Non-Biological detergent
    • Fabric Conditioner
    • Non-Biological Stain Remover

    NURSERY

    • Nappy Sacks
    • Changing Mats
    • New Baby Nappies
    • Disposable Changing Mats
    • Cottons Wool Balls and Pads
    • Sensitive Wipes
    • Nappy Rash Cream
    • Emollient cream
    • Pure Olive Oil (Or Almond Oil)
    • Saline Nasal Drops
    • Calpol
    • Infacol
    • Gripe Water
    • Zinc & Castor Oil Cream
    • Moisturising Cream
    • Vaseline
    • Baby Scissors
    • Baby Brush & Comb
    • Safety Cotton Buds
    • Newborn Dummies
    • Room Thermometer
    • Dettox
    • Monitor
    • Tupperware (for topping and tailing)

    BATH

    • Baby Bath
    • Support Seat
    • Bath Wash
    • Moisturiser
    • Newborn Sponges
    • Flannels
    • Water Thermometer
    • Newborn Shampoo

    CLOTHES (All 100% Cotton)

    • Long Sleeved Vests 4-6
    • Short Sleeved Vests 4-6
    • Babygrows 4-6
    • Newborn Socks
    • Cotton Hats
    • Cotton Mitts
    • Cardigans
    • Lightweight Jacket
     

    Please note that any health tips or advice provided on this site are not intended as, and should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or health professional.