Just as you are planning your baby's arrival, you can also plan to look after yourself during your pregnancy.
It's normal to have some worries during pregnancy, but if you're concerned about how you're feeling, you can always talk to your midwife or doctor. They will point you in the right direction for all the support that you need, without judgment.
You can also share any concerns with your partner, friends or family. You may be anxious about your relationship, money, health, or how you'll cope when your baby is born. Whatever you're worried about, don't bottle it up – you are important and there is help available if you need it.
Last year local women came forward and recorded their stories of their pregnancy and postnatal journey, how their mental health changed and who they called upon for support. The films below give a glimpse into the life of these amazing women.
If you are experiencing mental health difficulties or need support speak to you GP, Midwife, Health Visitor or NHS 24.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of age, background, gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion.
At least 1:4 women experience domestic abuse. Pregnancy is a time when this can often start or worsen for a woman.
Often when people think of domestic abuse they think of physical violence, but domestic abuse is very often so much more than that. Domestic abuse can come in all different ways including financial, emotional and sexual. For many women who live with domestic abuse there will be no scars, bruises or broken bones, but for some it can take their life. No one kind of abuse is more serious than any other.
During pregnancy, it increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, infection, physical injury to the baby and even death. In addition to the physical risks the unborn baby’s emotional development is likely to be affected.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse then inform your midwife, health visitor or G.P who can support you. Alternatively you can access information on support by accessing the following links.
National LGBT & Domestic Abuse Helpline Tel: 0800 999 5428 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amina Muslim Womens Resource Centre Helpline Tel: 0808 801 0301
If you, your baby or children are at immediate risk then call 999 straight away
It is important for you to stay healthy during your pregnancy for your health, and to help the growth and development of your baby. Click this link to NHS Inform explaining how to eat well during your pregnancy.
Vitamins and Minerals
There are some vitamins and minerals that are very important to you when you are pregnant, see this page of Ready steady baby for more information.
In Scotland you are entitled to Healthy Start Vitamins throughout your pregnancy - these contain Folic Acid, Vitamin C and D.
Ask your Midwife about these.
There will never be a better time to stop smoking than when you find out you are pregnant - and the earlier you can stop smoking the better for you and your baby. Smoking increases your chances of certain health problems during you pregnancy and when you give birth, and can effect your baby's growth and development.
For more information on smoking and pregnancy click here
Please have a look at these short films below to find out why stopping smoking is a good idea in pregnancy and the services available to help you when you live in Tayside.
Some people will tell you that having the odd drink when you’re pregnant is okay.
In fact, there's no known safe limit of drinking during pregnancy.
The safest option is to stop drinking when you’re trying to get pregnant or as soon as you know you’re pregnant.
Drinking in pregnancy can increase the chances of miscarriage and may lead to life-long harm to the baby, with the more you drink, the greater the risk. A baby’s brain and body develop during the entire pregnancy, alcohol can affect this development and result in a number of lifelong physical, emotional and developmental difficulties.
Please click on this link to take you to more information about alcohol and pregnancy.
This leaflet on Alcohol and Pregnancy has been created by the Fetal Alcohol Advisory and Support Team in NHS Ayrshire and Arran and provides further information and guidance on alcohol and pregnancy.
The Advice Centre, located on the main concourse at Ninewells Hospital, provides up to date information, signposting, advice and referrals on a range of topics and services. Topics include welfare benefits, money worries (debt), housing, energy efficiency and food insecurity. This drop-in facility operates as a triage service with referral to other agencies as appropriate but will also offer opportunities for confidential discussion/support sessions on site.
The Advice Centre is supported by partner organisations, from both Local Authority and the third sector, such as Citizens Advice who delivers a regular outreach at the centre/unit. Advice Centre opening hours - Mon-Fri: 9am-12noon, 12.30-4.30pm (Twitter - @AdviceCentre_NW)
The Health Shop provides health promotion and disease management resources as well as information on financial and social inclusion services. The Health Shop has units at Whitehills HCCC and Links HC in Angus, Perth Royal Infirmary in Perth & Kinross and Ninewells in Dundee. Please visit Health Shop facebook page for further information: @NHSTaysideHealthShop
Click the links below for more information on managing your money, benefits you may be entitled to and financial support available for you and your baby -
Best Start Foods
Best Start Foods is a new Scottish benefit to help people on low incomes who are pregnant or who have young children. It can only be used to buy certain types of food, such as milk, formula milk, fruit and vegetables. Best Start Foods is paid as credit on a pre-loaded payment card.
You may be entitled to a Best Start payment card if you're pregnant and:
- under 18
- getting certain benefits and on a low income
You can get an application form by:
- asking your midwife or health visitor for one
- phoning the Best Start helpline (0800 182 2222) and asking them to send one to you by post
- fill it in online (link below)
Best Start Grant
You may be entitled to a Best Start Grant if:
- you're a parent under 18
- you or your partner are getting certain benefits
If you're eligible, you'll be paid:
- £600 for your first child
- £300 for each of your other children
You can apply when you reach 24 weeks in your pregnancy up to when your baby's 6 months old.
Best Start Grant is 3 cash payments. Each payment can only be paid once per child.
The 3 Best Start Grant payments are:
1. Pregnancy and Baby Payment
2. Early Learning Payment
3. School Age Payment