When you first learn that you’re pregnant, it’s important to contact an NHS professional as soon as possible. Find out what to do to stay healthy during your pregnancy.

Last updated: 10 January 2023

Staying healthy during your pregnancy is important, for you and your baby.

NHS UK has a range of helpful tips and advice on how to stay healthy during pregnancy.

NHS.UK prenatal and postnatal exercise

Return to running after giving birth

NHS pregnancy care

You should book an appointment with your community midwife as soon as you know you’re pregnant. You can also make a doctor’s appointment, and your GP can put you in touch with your community midwife.

The first meeting with your midwife, sometimes called a booking appointment, will last up to 2 hours and may take place at:

  • a hospital
  • your GP surgery
  • home

In order to give you the best pregnancy care, your midwife will ask you about your health, the health of your family, and your preferences for your pregnancy care.

Your midwife will also arrange a number of tests and scans, some of which will be carried out throughout your pregnancy. The results of your tests may affect your choices later in pregnancy, so it’s important not to miss them.

Find out more about your antenatal care.


We've set up a playlist of short films providing you and your partner with some information on your pregnancy, birth and the early days with your baby.

View playlist here

Vitamin D

You should consider taking a supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D between September and March, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

You may be at added risk of not having enough vitamin D if:

  • you have dark skin (for example, if you're of African, Caribbean or South Asian origin)
  • you rarely expose your skin to the sun, for example, if you always cover your skin when outside or spend lots of time indoors

You may need to consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D all year. Talk to a midwife or doctor if you think this applies to you.

Find out if you are entitled to free vitamin supplements.

Vitamin D in Pregnancy


When you’re pregnant, your midwife will talk to you about the risks of smoking and offer you support to give up. This includes:

  • smoking cigarettes
  • smoking shisha
  • chewing tobacco

More about support to stop smoking during your pregnancy

Risks relating to race and ethnicity

We are working hard to reduce the increased risks that affect people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds during pregnancy. Steps we are taking include:

  • implementing new care guidance as it’s published by Royal Colleges and NHS England
  • developing a pregnancy specific COVID-19 assessment tool that includes ethnicity as a risk factor
  • regular monitoring of outcomes for families from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds
  • adapting services to better suit families from different cultures and backgrounds

We welcome your views on culturally appropriate maternity care. You can get in touch on Twitter, @glosbetterbirth and @gloshospitals.

You can also give feedback through the Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP).

Mental health and wellbeing

You may feel more vulnerable and anxious while pregnant and after giving birth, so you should have the opportunity to speak about your mental health with:

This will give you the opportunity to talk about any concerns and get any help you need.

If you have a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth, you may need more urgent care to support you and your baby.

The Gloucestershire Perinatal Mental Health Team prioritise women with serious and complex mental health needs, including those who have experienced trauma and loss.


Don’t be afraid to talk about how you feel with your midwife, GP or a psychiatrist. They will be able to offer you support and extra care.

Getting help

The NHS UK website has a range of helpful advice on mental health during pregnancy. You can also find additional support from: