Safety in pregnancy
When you travel by car you
should always wear a regular three-point seatbelt above and below
your bump, not across it.
If you are planning to
travel abroad, you should talk to your midwife or doctor, who
should tell you more about flying, vaccinations and travel
insurance. The risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) from
travelling by air may be higher while you are pregnant. If you fly,
drink plenty of water and move (change position or walk around the
cabin) regularly (every 30 minutes or so). You can buy a pair of
support stockings (available in most local pharmacies), which will
reduce leg swelling.
Because you may feel more
vulnerable and anxious while you are pregnant and after the birth,
your antenatal team should ask you about your mental health. This
will give you the opportunity to talk about any concerns, and to
get help if necessary.
When you have your first
antenatal appointment you should be asked if you have ever had
problems with your mental health in the past. You should also be
asked about this again following the birth of your baby. This is to
allow your care team to pick up on any warning signs more quickly
and to plan appropriate care for you.
Talk to your GP, midwife or
health visitor if you have any concerns about your mental health
during or after your pregnancy.
Domestic violence is any form of abusive, controlling
behaviour that can affect women of all ages, ethnicity and
religion. This is often thought of a physical assault, but
any behaviour that makes you feel frightened, humiliated or angry
is abuse. This might include:
Violence or threats of
Sexual abuse or being made to have
Being ignored or shouted at
Forced to ask for money
Prevented from seeing friends and
It is estimated that one in four women experience domestic abuse
or domestic violence at some point in their lives. Almost a third
of this abuse starts in pregnancy, and existing abuse may get worse
during pregnancy or after giving birth.
It can be very hard to make
changes and perhaps you don't want to. That is your choice and no
one can force you to leave or end a relationship. Domestic abuse
during pregnancy puts you and your unborn child in danger. Perhaps
you just want to talk to someone about options that are available
to you, providing information, advice and support.
If you are being hurt or
threatened, or are feeling unsafe or afraid of your partner
(ex-partner or anyone else) you can talk in confidence to your GP,
midwife, doctor, health visitor or social worker.
The following links and numbers are useful contacts
for help and support
The Dove Centre provides drop-in support and
assistance to women experiencing domestic
Safer Places offers a range of different
services to support you and guide you through an abusive
Click on the logo to see useful information on how to
cover your tracks online
Free 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
Support for victims of
honour-based abuse and forced marriage
0800 5999 247
Remember - everyone has the right to live without
If you are in immediate danger call 999