Pregnancy

Introduction


Pregnancy marks the beginning of every child’s best start in life. The first 1001 days are a critical time for development. Local services offer a range of support for pregnant women and their partners to have better outcomes for themselves and their babies. 

Eating


You don’t need to spend lots of money or go on a special diet.  You just need a balance of the right types of food. These include:

  • Fruit and vegetables.
  • Starchy foods like bread, potatoes, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles.
  • Protein foods like fish, chicken, beans and nuts.
  • Eggs. Pregnant people can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs (as long as they have the British Lion stamp).
  • Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt.

There are certain foods that you should avoid while you’re pregnant.   This is because they can put your baby’s health at risk. These include some types of cheese and raw or undercooked meat.

No – this is a myth! You might feel more hungry than usual, but even if you are expecting twins, you don’t need to eat extra portions.  If you eat the right types of food this should help you feel fuller for longer.  In the final three months of your pregnancy, you’ll need an extra 200 calories a day.  This is the same as two slices of bread and margarine.

Yes. If you are more than 10 weeks pregnant and receive benefits, you can get help to buy healthy food, milk and vitamins.  You can find out more and apply here: Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

Exercise


Doing some gentle exercise when you are pregnant is good (and safe) for you and your baby.  It will help you stay a healthy weight and help prepare your body for labour.

If you are used to doing regular exercise, you should keep it up. You should do what feels comfortable for your body but don’t push yourself too much.

If you’re not used to exercising, or haven’t done any for a while, it’s a good time to start. Try and do 10 or 20 minutes a day.  Exercise has loads of benefits for pregnant people.

No matter what your fitness level is, you should always listen to your own body.  Do what feels right for you. You should be able to talk to someone while you are doing exercise. If you can’t manage this, you need to slow down.

There are lots of different types of exercise that you can enjoy whilst pregnant. This includes:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Aerobics classes
  • Pelvic floor exercises

There are also some types of exercise that you should avoid.  This includes things like team sports and more extreme sports.  You can find out more here. Whatever you do, make sure you warm up before and cool down afterwards. You should also drink plenty of water.

Find out more about exercising in pregnancy here.

Feeding your baby


We appreciate and understand that how you feed your baby is a very personal choice.

What happens in your baby’s first years has a big effect on how healthy they will be in the future. This leaflet talks about the ways to feed your baby to give them a healthy start.

What are my options?

There are two ways you can feed your baby:

  • Breast feeding
  • Bottle feeding using expressed breastmilk or formula milk

Are you thinking about breast feeding?

Breast milk gives your baby all the nutrients they need for around the first 6 months of life. It helps to protect your baby from:

  • having watery poo (diarrhoea)
  • being sick
  • chest infections
  • ear infections

Breastfeeding helps you and your baby to get closer. This can be physical and emotional. So while you are feeding your baby, your bond will grow stronger.

Breast milk:

  • is free
  • does not need to be prepared
  • changes to meet your baby’s needs

Your first Milk – Colostrum

The fluid your breasts produce in the first few days after birth is called colostrum. It’s thick and usually a golden yellow colour. It’s a very concentrated food, so your baby will only need a small amount, about a teaspoonful, at each feed.

Your baby may want to feed quite often, perhaps every hour to begin with. They’ll begin to have fewer, but longer feeds once your breasts start to produce more “mature” milk after a few days.

The more you breastfeed, the more your baby’s sucking will stimulate your supply and the more milk you’ll make.

As a very rough guide, your baby should feed at least 8 to 12 times, or more, every 24 hours during the first few weeks.

It’s fine to feed your baby whenever they are hungry, when your breasts feel full or if you just want to have a cuddle.

It’s not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby.

When your baby is hungry they may:

  • get restless
  • suck their fist or fingers
  • make murmuring sounds
  • turn their head and open their mouth (rooting)

It’s best to try and feed your baby during these early feeding cues as a crying baby is difficult to feed.

Breastfeeding is a skill that you and your baby learn together, and it can take time to get used to.

Are you thinking about bottle feeding?

There are also ways to help you bond if you choose to bottle feed. Touch skin to skin while holding your baby close and looking into their eyes when you give the first bottle.

Infant formula is mostly made from cow’s milk and other ingredients. There are other options if you have dietary needs such as a vegan diet. All milk made from infant formula meets your baby’s needs.

Responsive feeding

Keeping your baby close and responding to feeding cues helps build a relationship with your baby. We recommend parents feed their baby’s themselves during the first few weeks. This helps to build a strong bond and ensures baby feels relaxed and secure.

It is important that bottles are sterilised and made up safely at the right time.  Powdered formula is not sterile and needs to be made up at the right temperature, which will kill any potential bacteria.

Anya


Anya is here to provide every parent with practical and emotional support on the overwhelming journey into parenthood.

Using smart technology, the Anya app provide parents and parents-to-be with vital support on their breastfeeding and parenting journey, anytime, anywhere.

#AskAnya and #AnyaAnswers, 24/7

Activities