Your Health In Pregnancy

Healthy Eating and Drinking:

Eating well and doing moderate physical activity during pregnancy are important for you and your baby. Nutritional needs are higher when you are pregnant. Meeting these needs helps protect the long-term health of both you and your baby. There is a range of information available about healthy eating and drinking during pregnancy, and other things you can do to maintain good health.

Eating For Healthy Pregnant Women PDF Food Safety In Pregnancy PDF
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Folic Acid and Iodine:

It is recommended that when you are pregnant you have a daily does of 0.8mg of Folic acid, from 4 weeks prior to pregnancy, up until the end of your twelfth week. If you have not taken Folic acid in preparation for becoming pregnant then start as soon as you know, until the end of your twelfth week. Folic acid helps to prevent abnormalities of the development of baby’s brain and spine. If you have a history of epilepsy or family history of spina bifida- your requirements are different, please discuss this with your GP or Hutt Pregnancy and Gynae Care. This can be purchased at a Pharmacy or by prescription from us.

Iodine is an essential nutrient required in small amounts to support normal growth and development. It is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women take one tablet of iodine (150 micrograms) daily. This can be purchased at a Pharmacy or by prescription from your LMC.

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Pregnant women are advised to limit the amount of caffeine they consume each day. High caffeine levels have been linked to low birth weight and reduced fertility in women trying to conceive, (source:


When you are pregnant, every time you drink alcohol (e.g. beer, wine, spirits or ready-to-drink beverages); your baby is drinking the alcohol too! Alcohol crosses the placenta to your baby.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may increase the risk of your baby having lifelong problems. There is a risk that your baby will not grow properly or will be more difficult to look after. For example, they may have permanent learning, behavioural or social problems. Fetal Alcohol syndrome is a condition in severe cases where the baby has significant neurological, physical and developmental abnormalities. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the general term used to describe the range of problems that can occur.

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Some medications can harm your baby. You should make sure that your GP knows you are pregnant before prescribing you any medications. In certain circumstances you may need to continue on your medications eg those used to treat epilepsy, diabetes, and asthma rather than leave those illnesses untreated. Please talk to us about any medications you are on.


Smoking produces harmful toxic chemicals. These cross the placenta directly into baby’s blood stream. This will reduce the oxygen and nourishment to your baby. We advise you to stop smoking, and can support you with access to the Quit Line and NRT.

When You Drink Alcohol PDF
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You should discuss flying with us if you are planning to travel. You should also check with your Airline what their policy is on travelling when pregnant. Long flights may increase the risk of blood clotting (venous thrombosis). We also recommend that you carry a copy of your pregnancy records if you are going away for more than a few days. You can get this from our practice nurse. Consider getting insurance. Discuss appropriate vaccination to the area you are travelling to with Travel Doctor or your GP.


Exercise is recommended for you and your baby. It helps maintain circulation, overcome tiredness and keep you fit for the birth. Discuss your exercise regime with us.

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