Preparing for Pregnancy

Diet Advice
There are certain foods to avoid during pregnancy and when you are trying to conceive.
• Raw or partly cooked eggs
• Mould-ripened soft cheeses like brie, and blue veined cheeses like stilton
• Paté
• Liver – too much vitamin A can harm the baby
• Shark, swordfish and mantis
• Limited amount of tunaExtra Iron
Pregnant women can become low in iron, so when you’re trying to get pregnant it’s a good idea to choose plenty of iron-rich foods to build up your iron stores. Try to have some food or drink containing Vitamin C, such as a glass of fruit juice, at the same time as an iron-rich meal because this will help your body to absorb the iron.

Good sources of iron:

• Red meat
• Pulses
• Bread
• Green vegetables
• Fortified breakfast cereal

Also, you are advised not to eat large amounts of peanuts, to reduce the chance of the baby developing a peanut allergy. You shouldn’t eat more than two cans of tuna (or equivalent) a week either. Otherwise you should eat a normal healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly and wash fruits and vegetables.

Folic Acid
This is a vitamin which is very important for the development of the baby’s spinal cord and brain. You should take a 400microgram tablet every day from when you start trying for a baby and carry on until you are 12 weeks pregnant. You can get these tablets from any chemist.

Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. If you want to get your folic acid from a multi-vitamin tablet, make sure it contains the right amount. Remember that if you take more than one multi-vitamin tablet, you could overdose on the other vitamins they contain. If you have already had a pregnancy affected by a neutral tube defect, consult your GP for advice.

This is an excellent time to stop smoking. If you stop, you are more likely to have a healthier pregnancy and healthy baby. The baby is less likely to be born too early or underweight. Children whose parents smoke are more likely to have chest problems. You can get help to stop smoking from Phoenix Stop Smoking Service. To arrange an appointment and to get free support from your local Phoenix Advisor you can contact Phoenix on tel.: 0800 840 1533 or text ‘QUIT’ to 07781 481 717. For more information click here.

Heavy drinking can harm the baby’s development. Preferably avoid drinking alcohol or if that is difficult, you are advised to limit your alcohol intake to one or two units once or twice a week.

If you catch Rubella (or German Measles) while pregnant it can cause various problems for the baby. Most women have been vaccinated against it as children – a blood test can tell if you are immune. Ask to have the blood test before you conceive if possible, but if not it will be done early on in your pregnancy. If your not immune you should be vaccinated before pregnancy.

Using illegal drugs can harm your baby. Tell your doctor or midwife and they can refer you for help coming off the drugs.

Inherited Conditions
If you or your partner, or a relative, has any condition which you inherited, or aren’t sure about (examples include Cystic Fibrosis, Haemophilia, Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassaemia) talk to your doctor.

Your General Health
If you have an existing medical problem such as diabetes or epilepsy, or take regular medication, talk to your doctor – ideally before you are pregnant or as soon as you find out.
Where can I get more information?
If you would like more information on planning a pregnancy, speak to your GP or Health visitor, or contact your local health promotion unit.
You can find out more about food at


Beacon Medical Practice congratulates you on the news of your pregnancy!

Useful telephone numbers:

Pilgrim Hospital, Sibsey Road, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 9QS:

 Main Switchboard:  01205 – 364801
 Community Midwives:  01205 – 445414
 Labour Ward:  01205 – 445424
 Antenatal Clinic:  01205 – 445426
 Maternity Ward:  01205 – 445429
 Assessment Unit and advice after 20 weeks:  01205 – 445426
 Beacon Medical Practice:  01754 – 897000
 Community Midwife at Beacon Medical Practice:  01754 – 897000
 NHS Direct:  0845 – 4647


Appointments with the midwife
The first appointment with the community midwife is usually at around 10 weeks. The first appointment is always longer than the other appointments, lasting approximately 45-60 minutes. At this appointment the midwife goes through various things such as past medical history, families medical history. Routine tests will be carried out including blood tests, blood pressure, weight, height and urine testing – all these will be discussed at your appointment.

What is the midwife’s role?
The midwife has been specially trained to care for mothers and babies throughout normal pregnancy, labour and birth. A midwife usually works either in a hospital, a midwifery unit or is attached to a GP practice. Midwives are involved in giving antenatal care, attending home births and delivering babies in hospital. She will continue to look after mother and baby at home.

Health Professionals who will be involved in your care:

You will see your GP for any illness or medical condition you may suffer during your pregnancy; your GP will work with your community midwife during your antenatal care.

Health visitor
The Health visitor is a nurse with extra training in caring for children and families. One will visit you at home sometimes after your baby is 10 days old. She provides information about feeding, and support and advice about your family’s health.

Hospital Obstetrician
An Obstetrician is a doctor who specialises in pregnancy, labour and birth, with a special expertise in dealing with complications. If any problems arise during your pregnancy your midwife or doctor will refer you.

Community Midwife
Community midwives attached to Beacon Medical Practice are Alison Benton and Sandra Cussons. They are your named community midwives looking after you and your baby throughout your pregnancy and for up to twenty eight days following your delivery.

Booking visit
The main aim of our first meeting, known as the ‘Booking Visit’ is so that we can be introduced. You may or may not wish to bring your partner, a friend or relative with you at this appointment.

It is also important for us to ascertain information about your social, family, medical, surgical and previous obstetric history so that together we can decide which options of antenatal care will be best for you. Please consider where you want to have your baby, otherwise we will discuss this at your appointment.

A home visit may be arranged giving us the opportunity to meet other family members and complete the remaining paperwork.

If you have not commenced folic acid therapy, it is important that you do so immediately. If you are less than 12 weeks’ pregnant the receptionist can arrange a prescription for you if needed.

Any old Co-op cards or previous record of pregnancy in your possession would be helpful if you have them available.

Your community midwife can offer updated advice regarding diet, exercise etc.

It is important that you attend appointments and if you are unable to attend please inform the receptionist so that an alternative date can be offered.

We look forward to seeing you soon.