Having a safe and healthy pregnancy

Staying healthy and safe during your pregnancy is important for you and your baby.

As well as looking after your own health there are some key things you can do to pick up any possible problems early.

Help your baby stay fit and well

You can help your baby stay fit and well during your pregnancy by:

  • attending all of your appointments, and having all of the tests and checks offered
  • getting to know your baby's usual pattern of movements
  • being as healthy as you can, including eating a healthy balanced diet and keeping active
  • stopping smoking
  • having the flu and whooping cough vaccinations
  • sleeping on your side in the last 3 months of your pregnancy
  • managing any health conditions well

Your antenatal appointments, tests and checks

Some of the tests must be done at specific times, so it’s important not to miss any.

If you can’t get to an appointment, you can rearrange it with your midwife.

More about your antenatal appointments and tests and checks during pregnancy

Getting to know your baby's movements

Feeling your baby move is a sign that they're well. Every baby's different. What’s most important is that you get to know what your baby's doing and when they’re usually active.

If you know their usual pattern of movements, you’ll notice early on if they’re not moving as often or as much. If you’re worried at all, you should always get advice right away. Don’t leave it until the next day, ignore it or feel like you’re worrying unnecessarily. Tell your midwife or maternity unit immediately.

More about getting to know your baby during pregnancy

Stay healthy

When you’re pregnant or trying for a baby, be as healthy as you can by:

  • eating healthy foods
  • being active
  • not drinking alcohol

Your midwife can give you advice and information about staying healthy.

More about eating well, keeping active and drinking alcohol during pregnancy

Stop smoking

Smoking is the biggest cause of health problems in developing and newborn babies, so stopping is the best thing you can do for both you and your baby.

More about smoking in pregnancy

Flu and whooping cough vaccinations

Pregnant women should have the flu vaccine at any stage in their pregnancy to get ready for flu season (October to March) and the whooping cough vaccine from week 16 of each pregnancy.

More about immunisations in pregnancy

Sleep on your side

In the last 3 months of your pregnancy, go to sleep lying on your side. Don't worry if you wake up lying on your back, just roll onto your side again. It doesn't matter left or right side.

Manage your health well

If you have a long-term physical or mental health condition before you're pregnant, make sure it’s well managed and controlled. Speak to your midwife or GP.

More about managing health conditions and looking after your mental wellbeing during pregnancy