The more you know about your pregnancy and your options, the more you are likely to feel in control.
Before you are pregnant
Women may sometimes need to take medicines to protect their own health and the health of their baby during pregnancy.
- Speak to your doctor, pharmacist or midwife when planning a pregnancy because some medicines may affect the baby's development. They can advise on the risks and benefits for you an the baby to help you decide what to do.
- If you have a chronic or recurring condition that requires long-term treatment, it is especially important to ask your doctor whether any changes are needed to your medicines.
- Do not stop taking prescribed medicines without talking to your doctor. The benefits of continuing your medication may be greater than the risks.
Report a side effect of a medicine during pregnancy
Reporting any side effects during pregnancy, including any suspected miscarriage or harm to the baby helps to increase the information available to everyone about the safety of medicines.
You can report any side effects via the yellow card scheme website. You can also download the Yellow Card app which is available via IOS and android.
More information is available on the following websites:
BNF - Prescribing in Pregnancy
Bumps - Best Use of Medicine in Pregnancy
NHS - Medicines in Pregnancy
If you have recently found out you are pregnant, you do not need to see your Gp. You can self refer
to a midwife online at www.lancsteachinghospitals.nhs.uk/pregnancy-self-referral. Just complete and submit the online form. A midwife will be in touch with you to arrange your first appointment.
Your pregnancy and labour
Find find out your approx. due date, follow this link to the due date calculator.
The first trimester begins on the first day of your last period and lasts until the end of week 12. This means that by the time you know for sure you're pregnant, you might already be five or six weeks pregnant!
A lot happens during these first three months. The fertilised egg rapidly divides into layers of cells and implants in the wall of your womb where it carries on growing. These layers of cells become an embryo, which is what the baby is called at this stage.
During this trimester, your baby grows faster than at any other time. By six weeks, a heartbeat can usually be heard and by the end of week 12, your baby's bones, muscles and all the organs of the body have formed. At this point, your baby looks like a tiny human being and is now called a fetus. He or she will even be practising swallowing!
The link below is a quick video which shows what is happening in the first trimester.
The second trimester of your pregnancy is from week 13 to week 28 - roughly months four, five and six.
As well as feeling and looking more pregnant during these weeks, you may also have more energy than you did in the first trimester. This will come as a great relief if you have been struggling with sickness, tiredness or anxiety about getting through the first trimester. You will be offered a 20 week scan which looks at how the baby is growing.
The third trimester of your pregnancy is from week 29 to week 40 - months seven, eight and nine.
Feelings at this stage of pregnancy tend to go from tiredness and worry to excitement about the baby.
Your baby continues to grow, and as the third trimester progresses they'll have a better chance if they're born early. You’ll have more checks with the midwife in the third trimester, because it’s important to keep an eye on your and your baby’s health.
The position your baby is in becomes more important now and you may start to think about what happens during labour.
If you can, use these last few weeks to get ready for the baby and enjoy some time for yourself, especially after you start maternity leave. If you have children already, you may find it hard to keep up with them sometimes. Take any offers of help you can get.
One important thing to remember in the third trimester is that you should now go to sleep on your side at night (and during any day time naps). You can read more here about tiredness, sleep problems and why going to sleep on your side in the third trimester is safer for your baby.
How the baby develops
If you are currently pregnant and need physiotherapy, you can self refer by
sending an email to email@example.com
You and your baby
You've probably heard the first few months of a baby's life being called the fourth trimester. It's used to describe the transition from womb to world when a baby depends on you for love, comfort, feeding and sleep more than any other time. Here's all you need to know about the fourth trimester now that you have a baby, from sleeping and comfort to crying and feeding, plus lots of advice on how to make it easier for both of you.
What is the fourth trimester?
A baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment they're born and lasts until they're three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in a new born as they adjust to their new world outside the womb.
You may find the term “trimester” odd, since your baby is already born. But think how much a baby still needs to develop over these next few months, from refining and developing all their senses and controlling their reflexes, to learning how to respond to you and your partner. The mental and physical strides a baby takes during their first three months are just as important to their development as those they take in the womb.
The fourth trimester is also a time for a baby to get used to the variety of noises, lights, smells, sounds and sensations of the outside world. Moving from the familiar comfort of the warm, dark and quiet womb, to a noisy, bright and often cold environment, is a major change for a baby. By offering your baby plenty of love and support in their first three months, you can make this transition easier.
Your baby will be offered vaccinations and a health check starting at 8 weeks of age.
To see the full immunisation schedule, click here.
General pregnancy topics
The Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS are encouraging parents and parents-to-be to sign-up to a new app that is packed full of advice and local information to help them through their pregnancy and beyond. The app has been developed to provide parents with a single source of trusted NHS information for all their maternity needs at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.