Single and expecting? Where to go for advice and guidance

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We look at practical ways for you to cope with pregancy and prepare for the birth

pregnant women standing together

© Getty - Handbag

Despite most women finding pregnancy an exciting time, it's also normal to feel nervous and apprehensive. If your own personal circumstances mean that you're experiencing pregnancy alone and facing the prospect of being a single parent you will be able to find support.

Here are some practical things you can do that will help you enjoy your pregnancy and prepare for the birth of your baby.

- Building a network of support around you is important during pregnancy, regardless of whether you're sharing the experience with a partner or not. Having someone to keep you company at your antenatal appointments will help you feel more at ease. Ask a friend or family member to accompany you.

- You'll need to think about who you might like to have as your birth partner, you might feel more comfortable sharing the experience with someone that has had a baby themselves. Someone that has been through labour and childbirth might be able to offer you a different perspective when it comes to certain parts of your birth plan.

- Pregnancy is also a good time to find out about support groups and meetings for new mums in your local area. You might be able to meet with other mums-to-be that are in a similar situation to you. See if you can meet up and shop for baby things or attend antenatal classes together.

- Make sure you research pregnancy, labour and childbirth thoroughly and prepare yourself for what's to come. The better your understanding, the more likely you are to cope with the challenges ahead. Speak with your midwife or GP, they will be able to advise and answer any questions you may have.

- As a single-parent-to-be, you might be worried about finances. There is support available to single parents and understanding exactly what you might be entitled to can help ease your anxiety. Visit www.gov.uk or make an appointment at your local job centre to discuss your circumstances.

- With so many things to consider, it's very important that you remember to look after yourself throughout pregnancy. Eating well, keeping active and spending time with family and friends will help keep you feeling healthy and positive.

For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life
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