Welcome to the pregnancy page

Pregnancy is as unique as you are.

We hope this page will bring you knowledge, and assurance in your journey.   A woman holding a pregnancy test and her stomach

On this page we have information about:

  • antenatal care and health visitors
  • attaching with your unborn baby
  • safety in pregnancy
  • emotional / nutritional / physical wellbeing
  • illness and symptom management
  • and what happens when pregnancy doesn't go to plan

If you can't see all the options availabe please choose see more options to expand the page.

If you have concerns, make sure you talk to a healthcare professional such as your midwife or GP, of to your your health visitor. 

You can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat by clicking here or by giving the team a call on:  0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)


1001 Critical Days

Paper plane

1001 Critical Days

The 1001 Critical Days is an initiative that looks at the time between a child’s conception and their second birthday.

This time is very important.

Your baby will experience rapid growth and, the interactions they have with you and those around you will help to shape their brains. This will lay the foundations for their future development.

You can read more about 1001 Critical Days strategy online.


The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

Strong Start Team

The Strong Start team is a group of skilled early years’ professionals who work with our NHFT Health Visitors and Infant Feeding teams across our county. They help to support families with children under 5 years to understand the 1001 Critical Days initiative.

The Strong Start Team can help:

  • Signpost or refer to health services including the stop smoking team
  • Provide information and access to local support groups
  • Help to set up support groups in your community
  • Help to assess eligibility with early education and childcare costs for 2 years olds

Find out more about the Strong Start Team’s service and programmes on offer.


You can contact the Strong Start team:

Phone: 07880 136070

Email: strongstartteam@northamptonshire.gov.uk 


Antenatal care

White outline of a flower

Antenatal care

Antenatal care means the care you receive before you give birth. It might also be called prenatal, pregnancy care, or maternity care.

The first step is to tell your GP or midwife that you are pregnant, or that you think you might be pregnant. You should do this as soon as possible.

Antenatal care checks the health of your baby, and you, through your pregnancy.

If you are expecting your first child, you will have up to 10 antenatal appointments.

If you’ve had a baby before you will have around 7 appointments dependent on your situation.

During your pregnancy you will be offered screening appointments which are either blood tests, ultrasounds, or a mix of both. 

The video gives more information on screening information:

Find out more about the plan for antenatal appointments.

Read more on antenatal care on the NHS website.

Read our NHFT antenatal advice and guidance online



First trimester information.

Second trimester information

Third trimester information.


Read about KGH's maternity information

Read about NGH's maternity information



What is a health visitor?

What is a health visitor?

What is a health visitor?

During your second trimester – weeks 28 to weeks 32 of your pregnancy – our Health Visitor team will contact you.

Our first visit to you is so we can get to know you and see how we can best help you before your baby arrives.

If you are under 18 years and pregnant you may be eligible for our Family Nurse Partnership Programme (FNP).

Learn more about what the FNP.

You can ask your midwife or GP for a referral, or you can contact FNP Northamptonshire by:

Phone: 01604658830

Email: northamptonshire.fnp@nhs.net

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm) 08001707055 Option 4


Attaching with my unborn baby

Attaching with my unborn baby

Attaching with my unborn baby

Making an attachment with your unborn baby gives you, and those around you, a chance to connect with your baby and build an emotional bond before you meet. Attaching can help you to develop a close and loving relationship with your baby which will help them to feel safe, secure, and nurtured.

Parents, family, siblings, and friends can help your baby’s brain grow before they are born.

You can do this by talking, singing, reading, and touching your bump during pregnancy.

Sometimes your baby might even respond back with a kick or a wiggle.


Other resources you can use

Best Beginnings 
Best Beginnings is a website with lots of information about pregnancy including helpful videos such as MRI scan videos. They also have the Baby Buddy app which you can download for Android phones from the Google play store, or for Apple phones from the App Store.  The app is free to access and are for pregnancy and the first six months of your baby’s life.

Unicef's Baby Friendly
Helpful resources can be downloaded from Unicef's baby friendly resources website. You can also view the Meeting your Baby for the First time video below:

Safety in pregnancy

Safety in pregnancy

Safety in pregnancy

Your body is the safe space for your baby as they grow, so looking after yourself is very important.

While you are pregnant you will be seen by a midwife and health visitor who will provide you with information and support about safety during your pregnancy. It’s important you listen to what they say and ask any questions, no matter how big or how small the questions might seem, so they can support you.

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

Domestic abuse

When you are pregnant and during your appointments with healthcare professionals it is likely you will be asked, more than once, about domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse can come in many forms, and for some women it can start when they become pregnant.

No matter the cause, if you have found yourself in a situation where you are being emotionally, financially, mentally, or physically abused or mistreated you should speak to your healthcare professional.

You will be asked about domestic abuse in a private and safe environment. The information you share won’t be passed on to other services without your permission, unless there are concerns that you, your unborn baby, or any other children in the family might be at risk of serious harm.

There are support organisations both locally and nationally who are on hand to support you:

  • Northamptonshire Against Domestic and Sexual Assault (NADASA) 
    NADASA supports those going through domestic abuse in Northamptonshire
  • Refuge
    Refuge offers a free 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline – you can call them 08082000247
  • Women’s Aid 
    Women's Aid offers online support and information which you can access by visiting their website
  • Ring 999 – If you are in immediate danger call the police without delay.


Safe sleeping

When you are pregnant, and as you find your bump grows, you might find sleeping comfortably in your usual position can become harder.

Research suggests when you get to the end of your second trimester, you should sleep on your left or right side, for the rest of your pregnancy, as it suggests side sleeping can help to reduce the risk of stillbirth.

Find out more about side sleeping on the Tommy’s website. 

Find out more about NHS England’s stance on sleep information.


The University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) has some useful videos about getting in and out of bed, safely turning over and lying in bed which can be watched on their YouTube channel.


Protecting your baby, and yourself, from tobacco is important. It can be difficult to stop smoking but the risks during pregnancy can be severe including higher risk of:

  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Sudden infant death syndrome

Whenever you have a cigarette you are causing stress and harm to your baby which can last for 15 minutes at a time.

It is never too late to stop smoking. There is lots of support around Northamptonshire which can support you in taking steps to quit.

Register for the NHS Smokefree programme online

Learn more about the stop smoking services in Northamptonshire

Emotional wellbeing

White outline of a raincloud

Emotional wellbeing during pregnancy

Becoming a parent is a big change in your life and you might find you get pregnant when other changes are also happening in your life.

Pregnancy can be an unsettling experience for some people, and for others it may feel the complete opposite, but it is important that everyone focuses on their own emotional wellbeing,

Feeling up and feeling down is normal. There are many support systems across Northamptonshire, and beyond, that can help support you.

In Northamptonshire, when you access our maternity services you will receive a booklet ‘Emotional changes during pregnancy and following childbirth’ which includes useful information about feelings during pregnancy. The booklet also shares what you can do if you need support with emotional or mental wellbeing.

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

If you are struggling with your mental health, you can contact services such as our NHFT Changing Minds IAPT Team24/7 Mental Health Number or our Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team.


Top tips you can use

There are lots of things you can do to stay healthy and to care for your wellbeing, such as:

  • Gentle exercise such as swimming, yoga or going for a walk with friends
  • Treat yourself: a bubbly bath or a cuppa with friends
  • Try mindfulness or meditation
  • Breathing techniques to help you relax
  • Talk to your midwife if you are finding things difficult

You can find tips on emotional wellbeing during pregnancy on the Tommy’s website.


Other resources to access

Perinatal Positivity
Perinatal Positivity is a website that brings the voices and experiences of women and men who have had mental wellbeing difficulties during pregnancy and beyond. They have a useful self-care section which can help you look after your mental wellbeing.


Maternal Mental Health Alliance website 

Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Support website

Self-referral for emotional wellbeing support

If you are struggling with your mental health, you can contact services such as our NHFT Changing Minds IAPT Team24/7 Mental Health Number or our Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Team.

Nutrition in pregnancy

 Nutrition in pregnancy

 Nutrition in pregnancy

Although having a healthy diet is important no matter the stage of life you are in, it is very important when you are pregnant.

It might be tempting to start eating for two but unfortunately the benefits of this are a myth.

Your baby relies on you to provide them with the right balance of nutrients. This will help them to develop while they are in your womb but will also help them once they are born too.

The Eatwell Guide is one of the most well-known tools on eating healthy and achieving a balanced diet.

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

Should I take supplements?

Before you take any supplements talk to your GP, midwife, or health visitor to make sure they are right for you.

A healthy diet will give you most of the nutrition you need, but you might need to take folic acid and vitamin D too.

Read more on the national guidance on supplements from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

Read more about supplements including folic acid, vitamin D and iron on the Tommy’s website.

Other resources to access

NHS England’s healthy pregnancy diet information

Tommy’s pregnancy and nutrition information

Tommy’s 7 top tips for eating well during pregnancy

Just one Norfolk information on nutrition and common issues 

Start 4 Life has top tips on healthy eating during pregnancy


What does my 5 a day look like?

Check to see if your eligible for the Healthy Starts programme, which could help you access basic foods.

Physical wellbeing in pregnancy

Physical wellbeing in pregnancy

Physical wellbeing in pregnancy

Looking after your physical wellbeing is as important as eating well and looking after your mental wellbeing.

When you are pregnant make sure you speak to your GP, health visitor or midwife about how to look after your physical health.

If you were active before you got pregnant you should try to keep your fitness levels, but discuss this with your healthcare professional to make sure this is right for you.

The University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) YouTube channel has many videos about gentle exercises and fit tips.

One of our favourites from the playlist is the Cat stretch exercise video.

It is important to remember after 16 weeks you should not lie flat on your back for long periods of time.

NHS England’s tips for exercise during pregnancy.

Tommy’s exercise during pregnancy information.

Tommy’s 10 tip article on staying active during your pregnancy.

The British Nutrition Foundation’s article on physical activity during pregnancy.

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

Illnesses in pregnancy

Illnesses in pregnancy

Illnesses in pregnancy

During your pregnancy you might find you don’t feel like yourself and this could be for many different reasons.

In this section we list a few commonly searched topics, however if you aren’t feeling well or you notice any changes please talk to your GP, midwife, or health visitor as soon as possible.

You can also call NHS 111 to talk through any potential symptoms or changes that you are feeling.

Call 999 in a medical emergency.

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

Bleeding in pregnancy

It is important that if you have any bleeding during your pregnancy even if you don’t feel any pain, that you get checked straight away.

Bleeding during early pregnancy – before 12 weeks – is quite common and could be due to a few things such as cervix changes due to hormonal changes. You should call your GP or midwife to talk through how you are feeling and to let them know just in case. However, if you are feeling unwell, the bleeding is heavy or you are suffering from pain, you should go to your local A&E or call 999.

Bleeding after 12 weeks – if you experience any bleeding, go to your local A&E, or contact the hospital maternity ward immediately so you can be checked over.

You can find more information about bleeding in pregnancy by visiting:

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes can occur at any stage of your pregnancy, but it is more common in the second or third trimester (weeks 13 – 40)

It occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin to meet the additional needs of your pregnancy. Insulin is an important hormone in your body as it controls your blood glucose levels.

The Diabetes UK website has more information on insulin.

At your first antenatal appointment a healthcare professional will talk though any factors of your lifestyle that might put you at more risk of getting gestational diabetes such as:

  • if you are overweight or obese
  • if you have a family history of diabetes
  • if you have had it previously

NHS England -  Gestational diabetes website

Diabetes UK – What is gestational diabetes article


Infections are caused by bacteria or by viruses.

Infections caused by bacteria, known as bacterial infections, are usually treated with antibiotics.

Infections caused by viruses, known as viral infections, are normally treated through symptom management.

What infections could cause problems?

With most infections it is highly unlikely that there will any harm caused, but it is important to recognise this is not always the case.

Read more about pregnancy infections on the NHS website

Read more about infections and pregnancy complications on the Tommy’s website

Can I prevent myself from getting an infection?

Keeping good hygiene is an important way of helping to prevent an infection.

You can do this by:

  • washing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm soap and water and drying them thoroughly after
  • having vaccinations that are offered to you during your pregnancy
  • avoid sharing food, drinks, or cutlery with others
  • talk to your GP, midwife, or health visitor if you are worried


Pre-eclampsia is a combination of high or raised blood pressure known as hypertension and protein in your urine known as proteinuria. It can occur from around 20 weeks or can occur just after the baby is born.

You might find you have no visible symptoms of pre-eclampsia but in some cases, you might find you have:

  • Swollen feet, ankles, face, or hands
  • Severe headaches
  • Nausea or feeling sick
  • Heart burn
  • Problems with your visions
  • Pain just below your ribs

Speak to your health care professional such as your GP, midwife or health visitor or ring the NHS 111 if you experience these symptoms.

Your hypertension and proteinuria should be picked up during your antenatal care appointments.

Read more about pre-eclampsia on the NHS England’s website

Read more about pre-eclampsia on the Tommy’s website


Managing pregnancy symptoms

Managing pregnancy symptoms

Managing pregnancy symptoms

During your pregnancy you are likely to experience some symptoms such as morning sickness, haemorrhoids or piles, and many changes to your body.

If you have any concerns, worries, or just want some advice you should talk to your healthcare professional such as your GP, midwife, or health visitor.

The 0-19 Administration Hub can be contacted by:

  • Live Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)
  • Phone (Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm) 08001707055 Option 4

A few common pregnancy symptoms include:

Read more about other common pregnancy symptoms on the NHS website


What happens when pregnancy doesn't go to plan

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What happens when pregnancy doesn't go to plan

Pregnancies do not always go to plan. 

If you are concerned because of a previous pregnancy bereavement or traumatic experience speak to your GP, midwife, or health visitor to talk through your concerns and worries.

You can also access support from several services across Northamptonshire and more nationally such as:

Bliss is a support organisation for families of babies that were born prematurely or sick.

Miscarriage Association
The Miscarriage Association is a support organisation for those who have been affected by miscarriage, molar pregnancy, or ectopic pregnancy.

Perinatal Positivity
Perinatal Positivity is a website which raises awareness of perinatal mental health by sharing stories and voices of families. 

The Mental Health Number
The Mental Health Number is a 24/7 service with friendly mental health navigators who can help signpost you to appropriate support.

Sands - Stillbirth and neonatal death charity
Sands offers information and support for families when a baby is stillborn or shortly after birth.