If you haven't planned for a baby, discovering you are pregnant can be a scary time.

No choice may feel completely right - just what's best given your circumstances. You need to act quickly in order to keep all your options open, and therefore you should consult a health specialist as soon as possible. You can discuss it with your doctor, midwife or local family planning association. And don't forget that you may find it helpful to talk it over with a number of people you feel you can trust such as your partner, parent or carer.


If you haven't already done so, now is the time to stop smoking. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to problems for your baby once it is born. These problems can include low birth weight, premature birth and asthma developing later on. The earlier you can stop smoking the better but it is never too late to quit.

It is advisable to stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy. However, there is no evidence that an occasional drink is harmful - talk to your midwife or doctor about how much alcohol it is safe to drink.

You should see your midwife or doctor as soon as possible regarding any medication you may already be taking or would like to take. Do not take any illegal drugs as they can harm your baby.


It is possible to continue exercising throughout your pregnancy, the fitter you are the easier it is to deal with pregnancy and birth. Many forms of exercise are suitable during pregnancy, such as swimming or walking, but do not suddenly start exercising vigorously. You should consult your midwife or doctor about any exercise you wish to undertake.


We all know we should eat healthily but it is even more important before and during pregnancy. To find out more about the advantages of a healthy diet and get advice & tips on what to eat, visit our Trying for a baby? page.

Any dietary change should be made in consultation with your GP or ask your midwife or doctor.

Ensure you are getting enough of the
right vitamins

Once you are pregnant it is still important that you get enough Folic Acid and Calcium. The Department of Health recommends that women continue to take a folic acid supplement and eat a diet rich in folic acid up until the 12th week of pregnancy.

Pregnant women should avoid foods containing too much vitamin A. Speak to your midwife about what foods contain vitamin A and how much is safe to have.