Information for pregnant woman and their families

In this section you will find links to leaflets, booklets and other information that may be of help to you. Scroll down to browse the list, or click on one of the links below to go to a specific section:

Support and Training

Midwifery Led Unit at the Mater
The midwifery led team provide care throughout your pregnancy, delivery and the postnatal period, in conjunction with your community midwife and GP. The unit is small and friendly with a home from home setting; you remain in the same single room after the delivery until discharge. There is open visiting time following the birth.

National Childbirth Trust - Belfast Branch (website)
Branches are led by volunteers and offer local parents and parents-to-be invaluable support, service and NCT events, to help them get the most out of their new roles.

Getting to know your baby (produced by the Public Health Agency)
You are about to become a mum, again or maybe for the first time. This is a time of great change, on the outside and inside!  This leaflet will help you understand what your baby needs to feel safe and secure and will help you get off to a good start with feeding and caring for your baby. It will also explain where to get help if you need it.

Off to a good start (produced by the Public Health Agency)
All you need to know about Breast Feeding Your Baby. (produced by Public Health Agency) Breastfeeding has been written and designed especially for parents in Northern Ireland to provide help and support to make breastfeeding easier.

Helpful Support Information

Early Pregnancy Scans 
Early pregnancy can be a worrying time for some women and we want to provide the best care for you. If you attend the Admissions unit at RJMS or the Accident and Emergency department at RVH or MIH, you will be assessed by a midwife or senior nurse. If it is not an emergency ie. if the bleeding is not heavy, and the pain is not severe, your details will be taken and you will be contacted by the midwives from the Early Pregnancy clinic to arrange an appointment at the earliest appropriate time.

Early Pregnancy Loss
Losing a pregnancy can be an emotionally traumatic experience for a woman and her family. We at the Early Pregnancy clinic are here to help and support you in any way we can.

Your Choices for Treatment of Miscarriage
You have three options for dealing with your miscarriage – you may choose a surgical operation, you may decide to let nature take its course or you may choose tablets to speed up the natural process.

Medical Management of Miscarriage
You have chosen to have your miscarriage medically. This leaflet is to explain the process.

Pregnancy of unknown location
A very early, normal pregnancy may not be visible if the scan is done too early. If we can’t see a pregnancy in your womb at a stage when we would expect to see it (between 5 and 6 weeks), there are 3 possibilities.

Pregnancy of unknown viability
To be sure that the pregnancy is progressing normally, we need to see the baby’s heart beat. It can be difficult to see in very early pregnancy, but when the baby measures 7mm, if the heart beat is there, we will be able to see it.

For mother

Coping with the very early stage of Labour
Labour is a journey which can take a long time. Every woman’s labour is different. This leaflet is designed to help you to help yourself cope with the early stage of your labour

After a Caesarean   
If you have already had a baby delivered by caesarean section you may be uncertain about which type of delivery could be available to you in this pregnancy. During the early part of your pregnancy you will be given this leaflet to read and you can discuss the issues with the consultant or specialist registrar at the antenatal clinic.

Pregnancy and your weight
All pregnant women have their height and weight measured as part of the general health check carried out at the first booking appointment. BMI is a means of classifying whether your weight lies within the healthy range for your height and is always recorded in your handheld maternity record.

Illness and Injuries

Flu is more serious than you think (produced by the Public Health Agency)
I received a flu vaccine in the past, do I still need this vaccine? Yes. Even if you received a flu vaccine in the past, you still need to get the flu vaccine. Flu protection only lasts for one flu season, so it is important to get vaccinated every year.

Newborn blood spot screening for your baby (produced by the Public Health Agency; other languages available via their website)
In the first week after birth, you will be offered a blood spot screening test for your baby. Why should babies be screened? Newborn blood spot screening identifies babies who may have rare but serious conditions.

Whooping Cough (produced by the Public Health Agency)
If you are pregnant you should get vaccinated to protect your baby.


Back Care in Pregnancy
Ligaments and muscles provide joint stability and help us maintain good posture.  In pregnancy there is increasing demand put on these structures and therefore many pregnant woman experience back ache. This leaflet will give you simple advice and exercises to help you.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Pain, numbness, pins and needles, swelling, stiffness or weakness in your hands or fingers could be a sign of CTS. This leaflet explains why this happens and some simple steps to help reduce your symptoms.

Exercising During Pregnancy 
This information leaflet outlines the important facts about exercise in pregnancy. It should encourage you, as well as reassure you that exercise is not only fun and enjoyable but it has great benefits for you and your baby.

Pregnancy Related Pelvic Girdle Pain
Pelvic Girdle pain is common in pregnancy. This leaflet will provide you with advice on what to avoid and on simple measures to help in the self-management of PGP.

Massage can reduce stress and anxiety and can aid pain relief during pregnancy and labour. Give it a try!

Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Pelvic floor muscles lie at the base of our pelvis and support the organs within the pelvis thus helping with bladder and bowel control. Women through pregnancy and childbirth will put strain on these muscles and may begin to develop leakage of the bladder or bowel. In order to prevent this, it is recommended that everyone should perform pelvic floor exercises daily. This leaflet provides more information on how and when to exercise these muscles.