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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Maternity

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Pregnant - what next?

Congratulations on your pregnancy

Please contact your GP. Your GP will ensure you receive an appointment with your local community midwife, who will co-ordinate your maternity care.

Emergency information

If you are in the early stages of pregnancy (up to 16 weeks) and experience pain, bleeding or other problems relating to your pregnancy, please make an appointment at the Community Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) at Rose Hill.

If you are 16 weeks pregnant or over, please contact the JR Maternity Assessment Unit: 01865 220221

When to call an ambulance in pregnancy (999)

  • Severe and constant abdominal pain (not coming in waves like contractions)
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding (blood flowing or trickling out steadily, not just spotting)
  • Abdomen sore to touch (pressing it lightly causes you pain)
  • Abnormal coloured fluid (green or brown), umbilical cord or any part of the baby coming out
  • An urge to push

Folic acid

If you haven't already started taking folic acid, the NHS recommends that you start taking 400mcgs of Folic Acid in the first trimester (conception through to 12 weeks).

This has shown to significantly decrease any neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

If you are diabetic, epileptic, have a family history of neural tube defects such as spina bifida or a BMI over 30, please see your GP, as you may need a higher dose.

Diet

Eating a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients will help your baby to develop and grow. There is no specific diet to follow, but ensuring a balance is key. There are a number of foods you should avoid in pregnancy - please visit:

Have a healthy diet in pregnancy - www.nhs.uk

Foods to avoid in pregnancy - www.nhs.uk

Smoking

Smoking in pregnancy is very harmful to your health and the health of your baby.

Stopping smoking will help both you and your baby immediately, and reducing smoking means harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, and other damaging chemicals will clear from your body.

Smoking is linked to pregnancy loss, premature birth, miscarriage and still birth.

Smoking in pregnancy also increases the risk of:

  • low birth weight
  • problems with your baby's ears nose and throat
  • higher chance of your baby having conditions later in life, such as:
    • respiratory conditions
    • obesity
    • diabetes.

The sooner you stop smoking, the better, but even if you stop in the last few weeks of your pregnancy this will benefit you and your baby.

Talk to your midwife or GP about services to help you quit, and visit:

Stop smoking in pregnancy - www.nhs.uk

Smoking cessation - Oxford University Hospitals

Alcohol

While evidence is unclear on how much alcohol is harmful during pregnancy, the Chief Medical Officer advises pregnant women to avoid alcohol altogether. Drinking in pregnancy can lead to long-term harm to the baby; the more you drink, the greater the risk.

Drinking alcohol while pregnant - www.nhs.uk

If you are worried about your drinking and need support, please speak to your GP or midwife or contact Turning Point Oxfordshire.

Healthy weight

It is important for both you and your baby to have a healthy weight in pregnancy; but if you are overweight and pregnant, losing weight during pregnancy may not be safe.

However, it is important to minimise further weight gain, and we can support you with this: please speak to your midwife.

How much weight will I put on during my pregnancy? - www.nhs.uk

Eating a well-balanced diet combined with physical activity is beneficial for all pregnant women - remember, exercise doesn't have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Mental health

There is no normal way to feel during pregnancy and everyone is different. Mental health difficulties during pregnancy and in the months after giving birth can happen to anyone.

Pregnancy can be a joyful time, but sometimes it can be stressful and difficult.

For information on how we can help you and your family, please see Mental health.

Antenatal and Postnatal Depression (pdf, 881 KB) - Oxford Health Infant-Parent Perinatal Service, July 2010.

Links