IF YOU REGISTER AT ANY ONE OF THE PARTICIPATING PHARMACIES, YOU WILL RECEIVE FREE SUPPORT AND ADVICE ON MATTERS RELATED TO PREGNANCY AND EARLY MATERNITY.

It is important to know that you are not alone in decisions that will impact on you and your baby. Pharmacists and their staff will help and advise you, providing guidance and support to empower you to take fact-based decisions. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the easier it is to make the best possible choices for you and your baby.

PRECONCEPTION

When you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, perhaps buying an ovulation test kit, that’s the time to think about the wellbeing of your baby. You should ask about taking folic acid supplements now as it is important to have it in the egg before it is fertilised. Continue taking it in pregnancy (up to 12 weeks) and also consider iron, vitamin D and iodine supplements.

PREGNANCY

If you are buying a pregnancy testing kit or already know you are pregnant, speak to us about the importance of continuing your folic acid supplement to reduce the chances of spina bifida. Ask us about stopping smoking and reducing your alcohol intake. You need to register with a GP and a dentist and book your antenatal appointments. These are all important for your baby.

ANTENATAL CARE

Early booking for antenatal appointments makes sure that you and your baby will be looked after by experienced midwives who will check your baby’s progress at 10 and 20 week scans and make sure you are in the best health to give birth. At the pharmacy, you may be offered vaccinations against influenza and pertussis (whooping cough) if not done already.

PERINATAL CARE

This is a period in your pregnancy when it is important to get advice on mental health care, breastfeeding and immunisations such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella or German measles) in your baby’s early years. The pharmacy team will introduce you to the Baby Buddy and MatImms apps, which are free and will also help support you and your baby

MATERNITY

As you prepare for the birth of your baby, now is a good time to think about your nutrition as well as that of your baby. Also, many women find it difficult to keep up their level of exercise. If you managed to give up smoking during pregnancy, to protect your baby do not start again.

CHILDREN OF EARLY YEARS (up to 3rd birthday)

The pharmacist and the pharmacy practice team will be able to help you with infant feeding issues, colic, teething problems, colds and fever as well as give advice on childhood immunisations, importance of registering your baby with a dentist and the early use of fluoride toothpaste. Please complete the registration and consent form and hand to a member of staff.