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Lifestyle information

For good physical and mental health, adults should aim to be physically active every day. Physical activity plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight, by preventing weight gain and reducing body fat. Physical activity is safe for women during and after pregnancy.  Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week.

During pregnancy:

The benefits of physical activity during pregnancy include a reduction in blood pressure disorders, improved heart and lung health, lower weight gain in pregnancy and a reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes.

After pregnancy:
The benefits of physical activity in the postnatal period (up to one year after the birth of your baby) include improved emotional and mental health, reduced postnatal weight gain, and a faster return to pre-pregnancy weight.
Type of physical activity:


Your choice of exercise should reflect how active you were before pregnancy, and should include strength training. Vigorous activity is not recommended if you were previously inactive.  After the 6-to-8 week postnatal check more intense activities can gradually resume, i.e. building up intensity from moderate to vigorous over a minimum period of at least 3 months.

A free step counter app is available from NHS Better health Better Health - NHS (



Eating healthily in pregnancy is good for you and your baby. This is not the time to diet, but you do not need to ‘eat for two’. Don’t go hungry or skip meals. Top tips for a healthy diet are

A free app is available from NHS Better health, for scanning barcodes on packaged food and finding healthy swaps Better Health - NHS (

If you’re more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

If you’re eligible, you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. We’ll add your benefit onto this card every 4 weeks.

You can use your card to buy:

  • plain liquid cow’s milk
  • fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  • fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • infant formula milk based on cow’s milk

You can also use your card to collect:

  • Healthy Start vitamins – these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding vitamin drops for babies and young children – these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

Check eligibility and apply here:

Being overweight when you're pregnant can increase the chance of some complications such as gestational diabetes. It is important that you DO NOT try to lose weight during your pregnancy. It will not reduce the chance of complications and may not be safe.

Instead, the best way to protect you and your baby’s health is to go to all your antenatal appointments. This is so your midwife, doctor and any other health professionals can help with any problems you might face and take steps to prevent or manage them.

You can find out more information here: