Your pregnancy, your baby, your choice
The birth of a child is an exciting, life-changing event – a time of new beginnings and fresh hopes and dreams. Your experiences during pregnancy, child-birth and early parenthood will become lasting memories. The information in this leaflet is designed to help you enjoy this special time and stay healthy both during pregnancy and in early motherhood.
Healthy you, healthy pregnancy, healthy baby
Eat for you, not for two – It’s always a good idea to eat healthily but now you’re pregnant, it matters even more. It’s only in the last three months of pregnancy that you need to eat a little more. Putting on too much weight when pregnant can affect yours and your baby’s health and increase your blood pressure. Don’t try to diet; just eat healthily and stay active.
Take vitamin D and folic acid to help your baby develop – It’s unlikely that you’ll get enough vitamin D or folic acid from the food you eat. Taking supplements helps protect against birth defects and keeps you healthy in pregnancy. If you plan to breastfeed, it’s advised to keep taking it after the birth too. You may be eligible to receive folic acid and vitamin D supplements for free. Search ‘Healthy Start Scheme’ online.
Exercise during pregnancy – Being active won’t put your baby at risk; in fact, it’s good for you both! Into aerobics, yoga or jogging? It’s fine to keep them up, but go more gently than usual. Staying fit helps you keep your energy levels up and it helps to prepare for child birth. If you were inactive before you were pregnant, don’t suddenly take up strenuous exercise. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can help keep you and your baby healthy. For more tips, look online at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-exercise.aspx
Avoid alcohol – What you drink, your baby drinks. It’s safest to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy. Drinking during pregnancy increases the risk of your baby being born with problems such as facial deformities, emotional and learning difficulties, and poor growth.
Give up smoking – If you smoke, your baby smokes. If you, or anyone who lives with you smokes (or uses e-cigs), now is a really important time to stop. Mums who smoke increase their risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. And there’s an increased chance that your baby will die from cot death. The facts speak for themselves. Your midwife can refer you to a local stop smoking support service. Alternatively, look online at www.smokefree.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 1044.
For personalised support and lots of useful information direct to your smart phone, tablet or email, search online for the Baby Buddy app. https://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/baby-buddy
Maternity providers in West Cheshire
The Countess of Chester Hospital offers safe, high-quality maternity care to meet your needs. It has a midwife-led Birthing Suite and its Labour Suite has an assessment area, eight multi-purpose delivery rooms (one with a birthing pool) and a theatre. Midwife support is also available for homebirths. The hospital also has a well-established Obstetric Day Unit, Fetal Medicine Department, Medical Disorders Clinic and High Risk Clinic, while the Post-natal ward has a Transitional Care Unit where babies who require extra support can be cared for at their mother’s bedside. You will be allocated a named midwife who will be your lead caregiver throughout pregnancy.
Pre-birthing classes are also on offer through the Countess of Chester, contact 01244366518 to book.
Expectant mums can self -refer by calling the booking hotline on: 01244 363487.
One to One Midwives provide a community-based midwifery service. You will be allocated a named midwife who will be your lead caregiver throughout pregnancy, birth (if you choose a homebirth) and for up to 6 weeks of post-natal care. Care can take place in your home at times to suit your needs, including in the evening or at weekends, to ensure that the whole family can be involved. Community based clinics are available for scans, parent education and hypnobirthing courses.
You can self-refer to One to One at: http://www.onetoonemidwives.org/enquiries or on 0330 3309 121.
Other Local Providers
For more information on other local Maternity Service providers including Arrowe Park and Leighton Hospital, look online at: http://www.nhs.uk/service-search/Maternity-services/Chester/Results/6/-2.893/53.193/1802/4322?distance=25
Page updated: 14 February, 2022