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Pregnancy/Antenatal Care

Pregnancy Journey

When you discover you are pregnant you should make an appointment with the community midwife as soon as possible from seven weeks onwards. They can be contacted directly on 01334 465848. A midwife clinic is run at the Practice every second Monday of the Month by appointment only. Please telephone the practice to book an appointment.

The midwife will begin your antenatal care over one or two “booking” appointments and refer you to the hospital whilst communicating with your GP to ensure she has your full medical history.

You will be offered screening tests as part of your routine care.

You will be offered immunisations as part of your routine care. Currently for Influenza and Whooping cough.

For most healthy women the majority of antenatal care will be provided in the community by a midwife.

The GPs and nurses in the practice will continue to provide you with routine health care through your pregnancy and you can make an appointment to see them at any time.

For lots more information about the Pregnancy Journey and the timing of various tests and scans please look at Ready, Steady, Baby.

Pregnant women are now being offered Immunisation against Seasonal flu.

Parent Classes

Parent-craft classes are held at St Andrews Community Hospital. You are automatically invited to classes between 28 and 32 weeks.  Partners are welcome. These classes are optional and are run by the midwife, health visitor and physiotherapist.

Free Dental Care

Dental care is free during pregnancy and afterwards until your baby is One year old. For help finding a dentist click here.

Health Education

Diet

Eat plenty of:

  • Fruit and Vegetables.
  • Starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and breakfast cereals.
  • Lean meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils.
  • Diary products like milk, Hard cheese and yoghurt.

Try to cut down on:

  • Sugar and sugary foods.
  • Fat and fatty foods.

Foods to take care with

  • EGGS: Make sure they are hard boiled to prevent the risk of salmonella poisoning.
  • AVOID EATING:  All types of pate and ripened soft cheeses e.g. Brie, Camembert, Blue Cheese.  Goat and sheep mild cheeses are best avoided to prevent the risk of Listeria infection.
  • DO NOT EAT: Liver or liver products such as liver pate or liver sausage.  They contain a lot of Vitamin A;  too much of this can harm your baby.
  • DRINK ONLY PASTEURISED OR UHT MILK

Vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy

  • IRON – Found in green leafy vegetables, red meats, dried fruit and nuts.
  • VITAMIN C – Required to help the body absorb iron. Found in citrus fruits, broccoli and potatoes
  • CALCIUM – Found in dairy products, sardines, nuts and vegetables
  • VITAMIN D – Helps the body absorb calcium. Found in margarine and oily fish; plus sunlight.
  • FOLIC ACID – Needed for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It helps prevent spina bifida. Found in green leafy vegetables, some breakfast cereals and bread. But you should take a Folic acid Supplement.

You will be offered Healthy Start Vitamin packs during your pregnancy and afterwards.

Alcohol

Any alcohol you drink may reach your baby. To be on the safe side, stop drinking alcohol altogether.

Pills, Medicines and other drugs

  • Some pills and medicines can harm the baby’s health so, to be safe, you should assume all medicines are dangerous until a doctor or pharmacist can tell you they are safe.
  • Make sure your doctor or dentist knows you are pregnant before taking anything or giving you any treatment.
  • Talk to your doctor at the first possible moment if you take regular medication.
  • X-rays should be avoided in pregnancy.

Exercise

  • Keep up your normal exercise for as long as you feel comfortable.  Do not exhaust yourself and make sure that you slow down as your pregnancy progresses.
  • If you go to exercise classes make sure your teacher is properly qualified, knows that you are pregnant and knows how far your pregnancy has progressed.
  • The more active and fit you are the easier it will be for you to cope comfortably with your changing shape and weight. If you are fit it also makes it easier to get back into shape again after the birth.

Sex

It’s perfectly safe to carry on with a normal sex life during pregnancy.  It is not uncommon, however, for your interest in sex to change. As the pregnancy progresses talk to your partner about your feelings towards sex; this will allow him to understand how you are feeling.

Smoking

  • When you smoke Carbon Monoxide and Nicotine pass into your lungs and blood stream.  This means that your baby gets less oxygen and may not grow as well as it should.
  • Nicotine makes your baby’s heart beat faster.
  • If you are constantly breathing in other people’s smoke it may also have a harmful effect.
  • Do Not smoke during Pregnancy – you’re making your baby smoke too!
  • See your GP, Nurse or midwife for help to quit. Click here for more info and help.

Animal problems

  • Cat faeces may contain an organism which causes Toxoplasmosis, a disease which can damage your baby.
  • While you are pregnant avoid emptying cat litter trays or, if no one else can do it, use disposable gloves. Trays should be cleaned daily and filled with boiling water for five minutes.
  • Avoid close contact with soil. This is important even if you do not have a cat in case the soil is contaminated with faeces. If you do come into contact with cat faeces wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Lambs and sheep can be a source of an organism called Chlamydia Psittaci which is known to cause abortion in ewes. Avoid lambing or milking ewes and all contact with newborn lambs. If you experience flu-like symptoms after coming into contact with sheep, tell your doctor.

Discharge home

Once your baby has been born and you have returned home please telephone the surgery to let us know. You will need to register the baby with the practice. We look forward to seeing you and your baby at the practice for your six week checks. Read more about the immunisations offered routinely to babies in the UK and when we advise these to be given.

Online resources

For the latest information on antenatal care in Scotland click onto Ready, Steady, Baby . For more information on pregnancy, as well as the opportunity to join in lively discussion, check out the Royal College of General Practitioner’s Emma’s Diary; a fantastic resource for first time and experienced mums-to-be.