In this section:


Planning for pregnancy

There are many things to consider before becoming pregnant.
A visit to your GP (doctor) 3-6 months before falling pregnant will help you plan for a healthy pregnancy.
Talking to your doctor gives you the chance to ask about lifestyle changes you can make to support your health and wellbeing.

For example:

  • • “Am I at a healthy weight for pregnancy?”

  • • “Is my diet adequate? Should I be taking any supplements to support my pregnancy”

  • • “Should I quit smoking and be avoiding alcohol?”

To find a local doctor visit:

To support conversations with your doctor see translated health information about a wide range of pregnancy health matters.


Seeking antenatal care early

Antenatal check-ups are important to ensure that:

  • • You and your baby are kept healthy and safe

  • • You get the appropriate care and information for you and your family, for example, tests, scans and checks, and an opportunity to discuss pregnancy symptoms and details about the birth.

  • • You can access tips to feel comforted during pregnancy

  • • You can access tips to ensure you and your baby’s health

The ‘Thinking of having a baby’ brochure outlines steps women and their partners should take 3-6 months prior to pregnancy to promote healthy pregnancy. Access the brochure here in English or in Chinese.

The ‘Having a baby’ resource developed by NSW Health Maternal, Child and Health explains the options for pregnancy and birth care in NSW and promotes informed choices for pregnant women. See the resource in English or in Chinese.


Healthy eating before and during pregnancy

Eating a balanced diet before and during pregnancy can:

  • • Ensure you and your growing baby stay healthy

  • • Give you more nutrients (iron, folate, iodine) that may be required during pregnancy

  • • Help you achieve and maintain healthy weight gain

Tips to eating healthy during pregnancy include:

• Choose a wide variety of nutritious foods from all five food groups, including:

  • – Increase intake of grain and cereal foods including mostly wholegrain and high fibre options

  • – Choose a variety of different types and colours of fruits and vegetables (including legumes/beans)

  • – Choose to drink milk and eating calcium rich foods like yoghurt, cheese or alternatives – reduced fat varieties are recommended

  • – Choose foods that are high in protein and iron-rich including lean meats, poultry, fish eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes and beans

  • – Drink plenty of water

  • – To access more information on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating see the resource in English or in Chinese.

  • – For recipe ideas to help you enjoy healthy eating visit Dieticians Association of Australia smart recipe ideas.

• It is important to consider eating additional nutrients when planning for pregnancy and during the course of your pregnancy including:

  • – Iron: found in red meat, nuts and legumes

  • – Folate: found in green leafy vegetables, cereals, fruit and nuts. Supplements are recommended before falling pregnant and throughout the 3 months of pregnancy (your first trimester)

  • – Iodine: supplements are recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • – Note: it is important to be guided by expert advice from your GP (doctor) or health professional before starting any nutritional supplements during pregnancy

• Avoid ‘extra’ foods high in fat and sugar. For example: chips, chocolate and sugary drinks

• Avoid foods with high risk of food poisoning. For example: soft cheeses or raw fish

• There are no safe limits of alcohol consumption and tobacco use during pregnancy


Getting active and staying active through pregnancy

Being physically active is important for your own wellbeing, as well as the health of your baby.

Benefits of physical activity can include:

  • • Enjoyment

  • • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight gain

  • • Better sleep

  • • More energy

  • • Less lower back pain

  • • Feeling less stress and anxiety

Tips to get active and stay active during pregnancy include:

  • • Reduce the time you spend sitting, aim to take part in 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days

  • • Move regularly to break long periods of sitting and standing still

• Include exercise into your daily routine:

  • – Take the stairs rather than a lift

  • – Find something you enjoy, for example social walks with friends

• Include exercises into your daily routine that increase your heart rate and strengthen your muscles, for example:

  • – Brisk walking/jogging

  • – Swimming

  • – Yoga and stretching exercises

  • – Tai chi

• Include pelvic floor exercises into your routine. Pelvic floor exercises are important to strengthen muscles to help reducing leaking of urine after childbirth. For more information see the ‘One in Three Women Who Ever Had a Baby Wet Themselves” factsheet in English, or in Chinese.

• Exercises to avoid include:

  • – High impact activities, such as jumping, where there is an increased risk of falling on your abdomen

  • – Movements or exercise that put pressure on your ligaments such as knees and ankles as these can become more prone to injury during pregnancy

• Remember to always exercise at a level that suits you and be guided by expert advice from your GP (doctor) or health professional before starting, continuing, or returning to physical activity.


Pregnancy and a healthy mouth

Keeping your teeth healthy is important for the health of you and your baby.


  • • Changes to your body during pregnancy i.e. hormones, morning sickness or cravings may increase your risk of having dental problems

  • • If you have dental problems, it is likely your baby can develop dental problems after birth

What to look out for:

  • • Sore/bleeding gums

  • • Toothaches/ sensitive feeling teeth

  • • Cavities (holes) in teeth

  • • Bad breath

Tips to maintain healthy teeth and gums whilst pregnant include:

• Eat well

  • – Eat a healthy balanced diet

  • – Cut down on sweets like biscuits, confectionary, chocolate

• Drink well

  • – Drink free fluoridated tap water every day

  • – Avoid sugary drinks, caffeine drinks and alcohol

• Clean well

  • – Brush your teeth and gums morning and night

  • – Clean in between your gums with floss

• Stay well

  • – Have regular dental check-ups to keep your teeth and gums healthy – don’t wait for a problem.

  • – Visit a dental professional before or soon after falling pregnant for a check up

  • – See this brochure access free Public Dental Services to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.

For more information on taking care of your gums and teeth during pregnancy see the ‘Oral health during pregnancy’ factsheet in English or in Chinese.


Free information and support services to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle during pregnancy

Free information and support services are available in language and include:

  • • Get Healthy in Pregnancy (Chinese)

  • • ICanQuit

  • • National Diabetes Service Scheme health information

  • • Mental wellbeing services and support

For more information about each service please see below.


Get Healthy in Pregnancy Service (Chinese)

Do you want to get healthy in pregnancy? Start a healthy conversation about you and your baby with the Get Health in Pregnancy Service where you can speak to a health coach in Cantonese or Mandarin at the comfort of your own home.

The Get Health in Pregnancy Service:

• Is a free telephone based information and health coaching service for all pregnant women in NSW aged 16 years and over

• English, Cantonese and Mandarin speaking health coaches are available

• Your own personal health coach can help you to:

  • – Eat healthily

  • – Get active

  • – Reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes

  • – Gain or maintain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy

  • – Reduce alcohol intake

  • – Access to free Chinese resources

For more information on the Get Healthy in Pregnancy Service see the Get Healthy Service brochure in English or in Chinese.

To register to the Get Health in Pregnancy program visit: or Call 1300 806 258, 8am-8pm Monday to Friday


ICanQuit (NSW Chinese Quitline Service)

The ICanQuit service is a free and confidential telephone service to help you quit smoking. English, Cantonese and Mandarin advisors available.

Learn more about the ICanQuit service through this video here.

For more information and to register for the program visit: or call 1300 7848 36 (Cantonese: Wednesday 2 to 10pm, Thursday 3 to 10.30 pm, Saturday 9 am to 5 pm; Mandarin: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 am to 5 pm).


National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS)

The National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) offers a range of in language health information including:

  • • Understanding gestational diabetes in pregnancy

  • • How to care for yourself and your baby with gestational diabetes

  • • Tips to make healthy food choices

  • • Tips to include physical activity in your routine

To access this information visit:


Mental wellbeing services and support

Support services are available for you and other members of your family during and after your pregnancy journey.

Including support for:

  • • Antenatal and postnatal depression or anxiety

  • • Grief counselling following miscarriages or stillbirths

  • • Birthing complications

  • • Domestic violence

  • • Support for new fathers



Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood.

For more information see the PANDA factsheets and resources in English or in Chinese.

Visit the PANDA website for more information:


Karitane Careline

Karitane Careline offers support for depression and anxiety in parents.

Contact: 1300 CARING | 1300 227 464

For more information visit:


Brighter Futures Program

The Brighter Futures programs provides support and services that will help you give your children a good start in life. This can stop family problems from getting worse. Including support for domestic violence, drug and alcohol problems or if you are finding parenting tough.

For more information see the Brighter Futures Program Information for Parents resource in English or in Chinese.

Visit the Brighter Futures website for more information:


Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)

Do you need an interpreter to talk to a health service?

  • 1. Call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.

  • 2. State your language; Cantonese or Mandarin

  • 3. Wait to be connected to an interpreter

  • 4. Advise the interpreter which organisation/service you need to contact.

TIS National provides interpreting services 24 hours, every day of the year.

For more information about Translating and Interpreting Service visit the website available in English or in Chinese.


The final stages of pregnancy and preparing life with your baby

In preparation for the arrival of your baby, see some tips to keep you and your baby healthy can be accessed by visiting the ‘Healthy Beginning parenting booking – your third trimester’ in English or in Chinese.


Tell us about your experience with using this webpage by answering these quick questions, please click here.


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