Before you get pregnant

To give you and your baby the best start in life together, it is a good idea to make sure you are fit and healthy before you get pregnant.

Starting your pregnancy in good health
You may want to make some changes to your diet, and it is also a good idea to check you are up to date with immunisations against diseases that may harm your baby if you are infected while you are pregnant (such as rubella). If you smoke, now is a good time to try and give up. Smoking while pregnant can be harmful to your baby and can damage your own health. Stopping will have a positive effect on your fertility. Encourage your partner, if he smokes, to give up as well because second-hand smoke still contains chemicals that can harm your baby. For help with this, Visit the NHS website

All women who are trying to get pregnant or are less than 12 weeks pregnant should take a folic acid supplement. This reduces the risk of your baby being born with a neural tube defect, a condition that can have a serious effect on your baby’s development and well-being. You can buy folic acid supplements at your local chemist or pharmacy.

For more information on how to get your pregnancy off to a healthy start, please visit the NHS Choices website .

We run a specialist antenatal clinic for women with health conditions that can be affected by pregnancy, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

If you are overweight, it is a good idea to lose some weight before you get pregnant. Raised BMI (Body Mass Index) has been shown to be linked to an increased risk of emergency caesarean section in labour, increased risk of needing to be induced, increased risk of excessive bleeding after birth, and numerous other problems. We therefore strongly recommend that women try to normalise their weight prior to conceiving.

If you have any concerns about your health and getting pregnant, make an appointment with your GP to discuss them. Your GP will be able to advise you on issues like general health, weight, and any specific concerns you may have.

If you become pregnant please ensure that you are referred as soon as possible for ante-natal care. This should ideally be before you are 10 weeks pregnant.

Specialist pre-conception advice
If you suffer from a long term medical condition which may be affected by pregnancy, your GP may refer you for support and advice to one of our consultant led clinics.
If you suffer from diabetes and are thinking of getting pregnant you may contact the clinic directly to ask for an appointment (020 8510 7175).
If you are HIV positive and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you can ring our specialist HIV midwife for advice (020 8510 7009).

Specialist antenatal clinic appointments
tel: 020 8510 7175
HIV specialist midwife
tel: 020 8510 7009

Help with conceiving
If you are trying to get pregnant but are not succeeding, please see your GP in the first instance. Your GP can help find out if there is a problem, and refer you to fertility services if necessary.