Finding out you are pregnant and that you are going to become a parent can be an overwhelming experience. Even if this is not your first child; life is about to change dramatically and you will need to know what is going to happen, look after yourself and most of all plan for the birth and take whatever help and advice you can get.
Trying for a baby
For some people, getting pregnant is not planned, for others it can be, but whatever the circumstances life will change dramatically. (For more information about family planning and fertility see the section Relations and Sexuality).
In trying for a baby it can help to understand conception and to understand the physical process behind a woman’s monthly cycle. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, obesity and other problems can affect your pregnancy.
If you’re a woman who’s interested in getting pregnant then this website can provide vital information:
Finding out if you are pregnant
There are many signs that you may be pregnant from feelings of nausea to actually being sick, changes in breast size, tiredness or for those women who have a regular monthly cycle, missing a period. The most reliable way to find out if you are pregnant is to carry out a test and many test kits are available from pharmacies to use yourself or contact your maternity team through your GP. If your pregnancy is confirmed then it will be treated confidentially, even if you are under 16, and you will be advised about care choices in your area.
Whilst nature takes over when you are pregnant; you should remember that birth is about choices and therefore you need to take control and plan for your pregnancy and birth. Make sure your antenatal care is in place and screenings are being offered. If you are employed you should understand your rights and plan your maternity leave. You must also work out how and when to tell people and do this in your own time and on your own terms.
You can get access to lots of information and an NHS Choices Pregnancy Care Planner online at:
The NCT (also known as the National Childbirth Trust) is a charity for parents . The NCT supports thousands of people through pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. You may wish to attend an NCT ante-natal group where you will have the opportunity to meet others preparing for the arrival of their baby. Find a group closest to where you live by ringing this number
08442436191 National Helpline 0300 33 00 772 www.nct.org.uk
It is very important to look after yourself and the baby and you can find lots of hints about what to do in this guide but make sure when you are trying to conceive that you pay special attention to vitamins, minerals and getting a balanced diet. You are advised to take folic acid, which can help prevent birth defects. Smoking harms you and your baby so seek advice on how to stop. Alcohol and medicines can seriously affect your baby’s health, so make sure you know the facts and read the health advice contained in this guide.
If something goes wrong
Losing a baby during pregnancy as the result of miscarriage can be very difficult at any stage. The mixed emotions and emotional turmoil can continue for a long time and not everyone deals with it in the same way. You should seek all the help and support you can get.
If you experience a miscarriage and need help and advice you can consult your GP or contact the Miscarriage Association for advice:
Information for dads
This period can also be a challenging one for dads as well as mums and your role is very important. The NHS provides helpful information for dads at