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Your health during pregnancy is important for you and your baby.

The NHS website provides lots of advice on a healthy diet and some foods to avoid.

Smoking and drinking alcohol can harm your baby; visit the NHS pages on quitting smoking and alcohol.

You can also find advice and support through Gloucestershire Healthy Lifestyles Service (HLS).

Exercise in pregnancy

There are lots of reasons why exercise during pregnancy can be good for both you and your baby including reducing problems you may experience in later pregnancy and helping you to cope with labour. Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise (sport, running, yoga, dancing, or even walking to the shops and back) for as long as you feel comfortable.

Find out more via the NHS website about exercise in pregnancy or keep reading for local information on classes you can sign up for.

Some vaccinations are recommended during pregnancy, to protect both mother and unborn baby. Read more about them below.
There are some vaccinations which are not recommended in pregnancy.

If you have an existing health condition you may be nervous about what it means for your pregnancy and baby. Some existing health conditions include asthma, mental health problems, Diabetes and Epilepsy.

It is important that if you have an existing health condition you try to go to all your antenatal appointments so your pregnancy team can monitor the health of you and your baby.

It is not unusual for women to suffer with mental ill health for the first time in pregnancy. Women may feel more vulnerable and anxious, and some may develop depression.

If you have had severe mental illness in the past, or have it now, you’re more likely to become ill during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth than at other times in your life. Severe mental illness includes bipolar affective disorder, severe depression and psychosis.

Some women with a history of severe mental illness remain well during pregnancy – everyone is different, with triggers for becoming unwell. It’s useful to plan for all situations.

Whatever your situation, talk to your midwife or doctor – there is help, support and treatment available.

You can also self-refer to the Let’s Talk service, who offer talking therapies to adults in Gloucestershire who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression. Contact them on 0800 073 2200 or use the online referral form.

If you are receiving treatment for an existing mental illness, see this information on managing your medication.

Your body has a great deal to do during pregnancy and it can come with a number of symptoms which may cause irritation or discomfort, from constipation and needing to pee a lot to itching or bleeding gums.

There’s rarely any need for alarm, but if you are worried it’s important to speak to your midwife or GP.

On this page we cover just a couple of potential problems that may be worrying you, but the NHS website has lots of information about common health problems during pregnancy, and advice about things you can do to prevent or relieve your symptoms.

Some women may experience conditions as a direct result of pregnancy. If you are worried about any symptoms you may be experiencing during pregnancy then please contact your midwife or GP.