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Pregnancy Information

If you are planning pregnancy
If you are trying to become pregnant, remember to take a 400-microgram supplement of folic acid every day up until the 12th week of pregnancy.

You should give up smoking and reduce your consumption of alcohol, and not take any drugs without talking to your doctor first.

Signs of pregnancy
The most obvious sign of pregnancy is a missed period. A few women continue to have a monthly bleed when they are pregnant. Other signs include:

Feeling or being sick in the morning or other times of the day
Breast tenderness
Needing to pass water more often
Being constipated
An increased vaginal discharge
Feeling tired
Having a strange taste in your mouth
‘Going off’ certain things like tea or coffee, tobacco smoke or fatty food, for example .
Where to have a test
You may get pregnancy tests free from your GP, family planning clinic or young person´s clinic, such as a Brook Centre. Many pharmacists and most pregnancy advisory services also offer tests, usually for a small fee.

Keeping the baby
Give yourself time to adjust and be prepared for mixed reactions. A baby will change other people’s lives too. Even if the father isn’t supportive, he can’t force you to have an abortion. There are plenty of people and organisations who can help or support you if you´re together or on your own. This includes post-natal care for you and your baby.

Adoptions can be arranged through the social services or special agencies. You can’t formally agree to an adoption until 6 weeks after the birth – in case you change your mind.

It’s not an easy decision. Under the law, in England, Scotland and Wales, the operation can be carried out up to the 24th week of pregnancy, but the earlier – the safer. Most abortions are done before week 16.

There are certain legal requirements that you will have to fulfil. Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland.

Get information and advice on your options from your doctor or from Brook Centres on 020 7713 9000, British Pregnancy Advisory Service on 01564 793 225, Marie Stopes Clinics on 020 7388 0662 or your local young people´s services.

Pregnancy care (ante-natal care)
All pregnant women need care during pregnancy and you should be referred on to a hospital or clinic for antenatal care. You will be followed up at regular intervals during the pregnancy to ensure that both you and your baby are well, to see how the pregnancy is going, and to have the opportunity to discuss plans for the birth.

This care is usually provided by a midwife or a doctor who has specialised in pregnancy and birth. You will also be offered post-natal care for you and your baby.

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