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It might sound obvious, but it’s really important to look after yourself during your pregnancy. The thing is, it can be a bit daunting when you see how much information there is out there on what you should be doing, eating and watching out for. But don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed at first, you’ll soon find your feet. 

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Getting support from your midwife and family nurse

Your midwife is a great source of reassurance and support at every step of the way – so make sure you go along to your appointments. 

Tip #1: Get to know your midwife

Keeping in touch with your midwife regularly will help you build a good relationship with them. Having that positive connection can really help your pregnancy get off to a great start. It’s about you and your baby, your midwife is there to make your pregnancy experience the best it can be. 

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Tip #2: Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your midwife questions. There are no silly questions! Your midwife will be happy to give you all the answers you need. She’s there to guide and support you throughout your pregnancy, provide antenatal care for you and your baby. She will talk you through all the options to help you have a positive experience that takes into account what’s best for you and your family. Your midwife is there to set you and your baby up for a healthy, happy start.

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Tip #3: Be open to change

It’s only natural that how you feel about your pregnancy and the birth of your baby will develop as your baby grows. So try to keep an open mind and chat to your midwife about any changes you’re experiencing – these could be physical changes to your body, or changes in the way you’re thinking and feeling. You’ll feel better after speaking to someone you can trust.

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Top tips from parents

Tip #1: Family nurse

By Erin, Mum of 1

Erin talks about the help and support she received from her family nurse on what foods to avoid during pregnancy.

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Tip #2: Eat good food and sleep!

"Try to eat healthily and get as much sleep as you need or as much as you can get before the baby comes."

Kellie, Mum of 1

Visit the Ready Steady Baby website for more tips on eating healthily while you’re pregnant.

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Tip #3: Pregnancy and parenting classes

Parenting classes can be really useful, whether you’re becoming a new parent or getting ready to juggle two or more wee ones at once. It’s a great way to prepare for what lies ahead (or remind yourself!). And you'll also get the chance to meet other expectant mums and dads and share your stories over a friendly cuppa.

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Tip #4: Time out

Image of a woman sitting on a sofa reading a newspaper.

Pregnancy can take it out of you, so have time for yourself when you can. You’ll be going through a lot of changes physically and mentally – so give yourself a bit of breathing space to adjust, and do something nice for yourself.

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Tip #5: How dads and partners can help

When you’re a new parent-to-be, it can be hard to know how to support the baby’s mum. But sometimes the simple things mean the most. Try to be involved as much as you can. And remember that hormonal ups and downs can lead to changes in behaviour, and that’s completely natural during pregnancy.

Our page on supporting your partner when they're pregnant has more tips and advice.

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Tip #6: Do your pelvic floor exercises

Having strong pelvic floor muscles means you'll be less likely to have problems like stress incontinence after your baby's born. You can do pelvic floor exercises anywhere and no one will know! Find out how to do pelvic floor exercises and how they help on the Ready Steady Baby website.

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Giving up smoking and drinking when you’re pregnant

Stopping smoking, and not drinking are some of the best things you can do for you and your baby, and it’s never too late to stop. Cutting out smoking and drinking alcohol reduces the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth and means your baby is more likely to develop well inside you. This isn’t always easy but your midwife will be there to support you every step of the way, so don’t be afraid to talk to them about it – they won’t judge you. You can find out more about why giving up smoking and alcohol is the best thing for your baby on the Ready Steady Baby website.

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. You can find out more at the Ready Steady Baby website

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Exercise when you're pregnant

It's totally fine to exercise while you’re pregnant, as long as you’re aware of your bump and don’t overdo things. Equally, if you feel like taking it easy and enjoying life at a slightly slower pace that's ok too. You know your body best. You can find out more at the Ready Steady Baby website.

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Reducing the risk of stillbirth

When a baby dies after 24 weeks of pregnancy, before or during birth, it is known as a stillbirth. Sadly, 4 babies a week are stillborn in Scotland and it’s a truly devastating event for any family to go through. Sometimes we don’t know the cause, but we do know that there are things you can do to reduce your risk of stillbirth. The latest research strongly advises you to:

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Looking after your mental health

It’s not just your body that’s affected when you get pregnant – the flood of new thoughts and emotions can be overwhelming too. So it’s important to pay attention to your mental health when pregnant – we’ve put together some tips to help you cope

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More information

For more information on looking after yourself throughout your pregnancy, check out our page on common pregnancy questions, talk to your midwife or visit Ready Steady Baby.

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