Posted: 24th February, 2023

Issue 4 : Staying Healthy During Your Pregnancy

To keep you and your baby as healthy as possible during pregnancy, there are several things you can do, and a few you might avoid, to support your wellbeing and prepare for birth.

Ready for Pregnancy

There is a clear link between a mother's health before pregnancy, the risks she is exposed to or exposes herself to, and her baby's health.

We know that healthy women have fewer complications in pregnancy and are more likely to have healthy babies who grow into healthy children. Partners also have a role to play by staying healthy.

 

Stop smoking

Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life. It can be difficult to stop smoking, but it's never too late to quit.

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.

Benefits of stopping smoking in pregnancy

  • You will reduce the risk of complications in pregnancy and birth
  • You are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and a healthier baby
  • You will reduce the risk of stillbirth
  • Your baby is less likely to be born too early and have to face the breathing, feeding and health problems that often go with being premature
  • Your baby is less likely to be born with a low birth weight. Babies of smokers are, on average, lighter than other babies, which can cause problems during and after labour. For example, they are more likely to have problems keeping warm and are more likely to get infections
  • You will reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as “cot death”

Healthy eating

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time but is especially vital if you're pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow.

You do not need to go on a special diet, but it’s important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need.

Health information you should know during pregnancy.

Exercise

Aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week will help to support both your physical and mental health and wellbeing before and during pregnancy.

The Sussex WEPP (Wellbeing and Exercise in Pregnancy Programme) offers FREE exercise resources to refer to during your pregnancy. Before you start exercising please ensure that you have read our self-screening for exercise page.

Mental health

Being pregnant is a big life event and it is natural to feel a lot of different emotions. But if you’re feeling sad and it’s starting to affect your life, there are things you can try that may help.

Read more about mental health during pregnancy.

Further resources for mental health during pregnancy –

Other News

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Issue 14: Maternity and paternity leave and benefits

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28th September, 2023

Issue 11 : Creating a Safe Home for you and your baby

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26th May, 2023

Issue 7: Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy

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