It is recommended that you take a Vitamin D supplement during pregnancy as it can help reduce the risk of respiratory infections. Most people living in northern hemispheres will have low levels of vitamin D and women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds with melanin pigmented (dark) skin, may be particularly at risk of low levels of vitamin D. We advise all pregnant women to consider taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day to keep bones and muscles healthy. Vitamin D supplements are available from most pharmacies, supermarkets and other retailers. For families that qualify, Healthy Start provide these for free.

If you have any questions or concerns about yourself or your baby at any time, contact your GP, midwife or local early pregnancy unit straight away to discuss them. Some symptoms, such as pelvic pain, cramping and/or bleeding during early pregnancy are linked to ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage and you should seek urgent medical advice should you experience any of these symptoms. Usually a telephone appointment will be arranged as soon as possible to check your symptoms and you may be asked to visit the hospital to receive the care you need.

Find out more in the RCOG guidance and information on the changes to early pregnancy care and what to expect during the coronavirus pandemic.

For any of us, living through a pandemic is worrying – and being pregnant during the pandemic can add an extra level of anxiety. Your midwife, your GP or your practice nurse should ask about your mental health at every contact. If you’re struggling, whether it’s directly related to your pregnancy or not, do let them know so that they can get you the support you need.

Your mental health can be impacted by isolation, bereavement, financial difficulties, insecurity or an inability to access support systems. We also know that, sadly, the pandemic has increased the incidence of domestic abuse or violence. If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please disclose this to a health professional who can provide information and support you to keep safe.

If you already struggle with your mental health, it may become worse as a result of the additional stress of the pandemic. Please maintain contact with your mental health team if you have one, or with your GP if you are under their care. Talk to your midwife if you feel you are not getting the support with your mental health that you need. Where necessary, women in England can self-refer to local IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services. In Scotland, advice is available from Parentclub and NHS Inform. More information about mental health and pregnancy, including the signs of perinatal depression, is available from the NHS website.

As well as the support from your midwife and other healthcare professionals, you can also access advice and support from a number of trusted organisations, including these:

Public Health England – COVID-19: guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing

NHS – Every Mind Matters

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Maternal Mental Health Alliance

Women’s Aid