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Safety in pregnancy

Travel

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.

Mental health

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 abuse

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 violence
  • Sexual abuse or being made to have sex
  • Bullying
  • Stalking
  • Being ignored or shouted at
  • Forced to ask for money
  • Prevented from seeing friends and family

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

 

SOS project

 

The Dove Centre provides drop-in support and assistance to women experiencing domestic abuse.   

01702 302333

 

 

 Safer Places

Safer Places offers a range of different services to support you and guide you through an abusive relationship.     

03301 025811

 

  Womens aid

Click on the logo to see useful information on how to cover your tracks online

 

 

refuge logo

 

Free 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline

0808 2000 247

 

 

 

 

Karma NirvanaSupport for victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage

0800 5999 247

 

Remember - everyone has the right to live without fear

If you are in immediate danger call 999