In the surgery: Keeping fit is best for your baby

Prof. George Crooks
Prof. George Crooks

I am pregnant at the moment and feel like I am putting on a lot of weight. Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Unless you have been advised by your own GP not to exercise for a particular reason, keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy is important for your wellbeing and that of your baby. It also means that your body may be more prepared for the physical demands of labour, birth, and those early days with your newborn.

Simple walking can be a great way of getting exercise and getting fresh air during pregnancy. Swimming is often recommended by doctors and midwives, as the water supports your weight whilst helping your back and giving your heart, lungs and muscles a gentle workout. Ask your midwife about local aqua-natal classes, specifically offering exercise in water for pregnant women.

Exercise in pregnancy can be of great benefit. It not only helps your fitness, but also gives you an opportunity to concentrate on yourself and your growing baby. Start gently at first and your body will tell you if you have overdone it and enjoy looking after yourself.

I’m 26 and stopped taking the contraceptive pill several years ago. I have a new boyfriend and would like to go back on the pill. How do I do this?

You should see your doctor or family planning nurse before starting to take the pill again. They will check your general health and your blood pressure before advising whether the pill remains the best method for you. If so, they will give you new supplies and can make appointments for regular check-ups.

Family planning clinics also offer free, confidential advice and information on contraception and sexual health. You can get details of your nearest family planning clinic from your phone book, GP, NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88 or from the Family Planning Association website.

I have been feeling unwell for the past few weeks. I am constantly tired and I have had stomach cramp. I also have excessive wind and feel bloated with no appetite.

Everyone feels tired occasionally but it sounds as if this is quite persistent and also not typical for you.

This symptom alone but also the fact that this is accompanied by a tummy pain means that you should discuss all the symptoms with your GP.