For information throughout pregnancy, we recommend using the NHS website. It has lots of useful information about common pregnancy symptoms and how your pregnancy and baby will develop week by week. The Sussex Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) website is also a useful resource to signpost you to information right through from pre-pregnancy to after birth.
It is recommended that all pregnant women and people take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day. Ideally you should take this from before you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks pregnant.
The Department of Health also recommends that all adults, including pregnant women and breast/chest feeding people, need 10 micrograms (10mcg) of vitamin D a day. You should take a supplement containing this amount. For pregnant women and people with a BMI of 30+, 5mg of folic acid is the recommended dose. Contact your GP for a prescription.
Before or after pregnancy
If you are planning to become pregnant you should make sure you are up to date with all vaccinations. Ideally you should have had two doses of a rubella containing vaccine before you became pregnant.
You can help to protect you and your baby by getting vaccinated against flu and whooping cough during pregnancy.
Find out more about vaccinations and pregnancy on the Public Health website.
Get the latest information about COVID vaccines in pregnancy on the GOV.UK website.
Your baby’s movements in pregnancy
Feeling your baby move for the first time is special. You should begin to feel your baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. A baby’s movements can be described as anything from a kick, stretch, flutter, swish or jab.
If you have not felt your baby move by 24 weeks, tell your midwife. There are some reasons why you may not feel your baby move as early as you would expect, such as your body weight or the position that the baby is lying in. If you are pregnant with twins, you may not feel each baby’s movement until later.
Your baby’s movement is a sign of their wellbeing. Get to know your baby’s normal pattern of movement so that you are aware of any changes. You should try to get to know when your baby is most active so you can tell if they are moving less or if they have stopped moving. If your baby is moving less, it could be the first sign that they are unwell or are not growing properly in the womb.
Stillbirth affects 1 in 200 babies after 24 weeks’ gestation. A reduction in your baby’s movements may indicate an increased risk of stillbirth. There are other factors that could affect the movements of your baby; e.g., drugs, pain relief, sedatives, alcohol and smoking. We recommend that pregnant people and their partners get help to quit smoking.
At 36 to 42 weeks, it is important to recognise that movements may feel different to what you are used to, but the amount of movement shouldn’t change. You should feel your baby move right up to the point you go into labour.
If you have noticed any change in your baby’s movements, do not wait. Call our Maternity Triage advice line (24 hours, 7 days a week).
Royal Sussex County Hospital
Call 01273 664793
Princess Royal Hospital
Call (extn 8176) 01444 441881
Worthing and St Richard’s hospitals
Call 01903 285 269
- Health Things You Should Know in Pregnancy (sussexlmns.org)
- Support | Advice during pregnancy (sussexlmns.org)
- Feeling your baby move ENGLISH.pdf (tommys.org)
- Your baby’s movements in pregnancy (RCOG)
- You baby’s movements (NHS)
- Keeping well in pregnancy – NHS
- Pregnancy and COVID – NHS
- Pregnancy week-by-week – NHS
- Sussex WEPP | Sussex Wellbeing & Exercise in Pregnancy (sussexlmns.org)