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Pregnancy and birth

Pregnancy can be wonderful and exciting but also a confusing time and you will probably be bombarded with lots of different and conflicting advice from friends, family and the media. Most will be well meaning but not all of it accurate or helpful! The following are our top tips for pregnancy. Consult your midwife or doctor for specific, up-to-date advice tailored to you and your situation.
Top tips
  • Stay active and ensure gentle exercise is part of your routine to keep healthy
  • Practice pelvic floor muscle exercises
  • Take a daily 10mcg vitamin D supplement
  • Take a daily 400mcg folic acid supplement
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • Aim to have five different fruit and vegetables a day
  • Swap high-fat and sugar snacks for healthy snacks
  • Eat carbohydrates, such as bread, rice and pasta (preferably wholemeal), at each meal
  • Eat protein-rich foods, such as lean meat and chicken, fish, eggs and pulses
  • Talk to your midwife, family and friends about any concerns you have
Wellbeing of Women funds vital medical research on preterm birth.
Having a baby should be a joyful event, and the vast majority of births are just that. It is a good idea to be as prepared as possible for labour, remembering that things do not always go to plan.
Top tips
  • Attend a antenatal course at your GP surgery or hospital or through a charity such as the National Childbirth Trust
  • Decide where you would like to have your baby and who you would like with you
  • Research types of pain relief
  • Think about feeding options for your baby
Our research
See how our research at our Baby Bio Bank is making a difference to the health of mothers and babies.
From the use of ultrasound and fetal monitoring through to protecting babies against brain damage, understanding the genetics of cerebral palsy and the role of NK cells in recurrent miscarriage, our work has touched the lives of every woman in the UK and beyond.
Fertility and IVF
The journey to starting a family is not always straight forward. It can be a confusing and emotionally difficult time when things don’t go to plan. Often couples who don’t fall pregnant will start to question their own health and consider whether they have any issues that are affecting their path to pregnancy. Read more here.
How we have invested our funds in this area
  • £6.5m for the investigation of and screening for birth abnormalities
  • £3.5m to support women with recurrent miscarriages towards a successful birth
  • £16m for wide-ranging research on premature birth and health in the womb
  • £4m towards fertility treatment, including IVF
Conservative estimates of funding adjusted for inflation
Helpful websites
NHS Choices 
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists