Healthy Liverpool - Know Your Numbers

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Looking at Blood Pressure in the City Region

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Blood Pressure

The mid-pregnancy scan

What does it check for?

This scan is usually carried out when you are between 18 and 21 weeks pregnant. The scan checks for major physical abnormalities in your baby. In this article we learn more about what happens at this scan, and what kind of problems it looks for.

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Antenatal screening tests

What are they, and why?

You'll be offered some screening tests during pregnancy to try to find any health problems that could affect you or your baby, such as inherited health problems. This article and video describes the different tests, what they look for, and when you'll be offered them.

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Indigestion in pregnancy

What can you do?

Indigestion is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach. This article describes the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn, what causes, things you can do to help, and when to seek further help.

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Teeth and gums in pregnancy

Keeping them healthy

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your teeth and gums more vulnerable to problems. Your dentist will be able to help with this. Dental care is free during pregnancy and until one year after your due date. This article explains why our teeth and gums are affected by pregnancy, tips on how to look after them, and any dental treatments to avoid during pregnancy.

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Managing epilepsy in pregnancy

It's difficult to predict how pregnancy will affect epilepsy. For some women their epilepsy is unaffected, while others may see an improvement in their condition. This article offers advice on using medication during pregnancy, using folic acid, and relevant antenatal checks.

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Managing diabetes in pregnancy

Most women with diabetes have a healthy baby, but diabetes does give you a higher risk of some complications. The best way to reduce the risk to your own and your baby's health is to ensure your diabetes is controlled before you become pregnant. This article describes which antenatal checks you will need if you have diabetes, advice on taking folic acid, and adjusting your diabetic regime during p

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Being overweight when pregnant

Risks and advice

Most women who are overweight have a straightforward pregnancy and birth, and have healthy babies. However, being overweight does increase the risk of complications for both you and your baby. This article explains some of these risks, and offers advice on being active and eating healthy.

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Teenage pregnancy support

What's available?

Finding out you're pregnant when you're a teenager can be very daunting, particularly if the pregnancy wasn't planned. If you decide to continue with the pregnancy, there are a wide range of services to support you during pregnancy and after you've had your baby. Read this article to find out more about what support is available, as well as advice on continuing your education and finding a suitabl

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Travelling during pregnancy

What are the recommendations?

Most women can travel safely well into their pregnancy. However, there are many factors to take in to consideration. If you are considering travelling during pregnancy, read this article to check what is recommended.

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Infections during pregnancy

Which can cause problems?

Throughout life, we all encounter many viruses and bacteria. This article is about infections that can cause problems in pregnancy, their symptoms and what to do if you're worried.

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The risk of stillbirth

Reducing the risk

Stillbirth is when a pregnancy which has gone beyond 24 weeks ends with the death of the baby before she or he is born. It's not possible to prevent every stillbirth. However, we do know that certain factors increase the risk and there are simple things you can do to reduce the risks. The article offers advice on the things we can do to reduce the risks.

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Alcohol during pregnancy

Whats the recommendations?

Experts are still unsure exactly how much – if any – alcohol is completely safe for you to have while you're pregnant, so the safest approach is not to drink at all while you're expecting. This article explains further the potential risks of drinking during pregnancy, how to calculate units, and where to find support if you have difficulty cutting down what you drink.

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Vaccinations during pregnancy

Which can you have?

Some vaccines are perfectly safe to have during pregnancy if necessary. But it does depends on the type of vaccination. Others, such as MMR or yellow fever vaccine, have potential risks, and you need to discuss these with your midwife or doctor before making a decision about whether to have the vaccine or not. This article further describes which vaccines are and are not recommended during pregnan

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The whooping cough vaccination

Why, when and how?

Pregnant women are advised to get the whooping cough vaccination to protect their baby from developing whooping cough in the first few weeks of their life, until they are old enough to be routinely vaccinated against whooping cough at two months old. This article explains in detail the reasons to consider the vaccination, when to have it, and how.

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The flu jab in pregnancy

Why, when and how?

It's recommended that all pregnant women have the flu vaccine, whatever stage of pregnancy they're at. This article explains why the flu jab is important, when you should have one, and how to get one.

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When the baby is breech

What happens?

By the time labour begins, most babies move in to the head first position. However, some babies twist and turn and end up feet first (breech), or lying sideways (transverse). This article explains what happens if the baby is not lying head first, and when a c-section may be required.

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Screening for 3 syndromes

Down's, Edward's and Patau's syndromes

Pregnant women are offered a screening test for Down's syndrome, Edwards' syndrome and Patau's syndrome from 10-14 weeks of pregnancy. This is to assess your chance of having a baby with these conditions. In this article the three syndromes are explained, and the screening procedure is described.

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Severe morning sickness

What can you do?

Sickness in pregnancy is common. For most women, this improves or disappears completely by around week 14. However, some pregnant women experience excessive nausea and vomiting. This excessive nausea and vomiting is known as hyperemesis gravidarum. This article describes the symptoms of severe morning sickness, the causes, and how it can be treated.

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Preparing for twins

Having twins is exciting but challenging, so it's a good idea to be well prepared before your babies arrive. This article shares some tips on getting ready for their arrival, finding twins antenatal classes, and where to find advice online.

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Itches during pregnancy

Itching is common in pregnancy, but sometimes it can indicate a problem which needs medical attention. In this article we learn about mild itches and potential remedies, as well as the signs of a condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, which required medical attention.

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What is pre-eclampsia?

What are the symptoms and treatment?

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects some pregnant women, usually during the second half of pregnancy or soon after their baby is delivered. In this article, we learn what pre-eclampsia is, what the common symptoms are, and how it is treated.

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Coping with stillbirth

It can be an enormous shock to lose a baby to stillbirth, and the emotions that follow can be unpredictable. Here, the NHS offers some initial advice on coping with stillbirth, and shares organisations that can help us further.

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What are the signs of labour?

Knowing the signs of labour, and being able to recognise them are important. In this article, we learn the signs of labour, what contractions feel like, what happens when our waters break, and when to call a midwife.

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Pregnancy with twins

Essential antenatal care

As there is an increased risk to carrying twins or triplets, good antenatal care is essential. This article describes the different types of twins we can carry, what antenatal check-ups we'll need, and what extra care we'll need during pregnancy.

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All about twins

What causes twins?

Multiple births have become more common in recent years. In this short article, learn about the different types of twins, and what causes them.

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Where to give birth?

What are the options?

Where to give birth is a topic of interest to most expectant mothers. The choice though will often depend on your needs, risks and location. In this article, learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of different birth options, and how to make an informed decision.

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Antenatal checks and tests

What's offered and why?

During your pregnancy, you'll be offered a range of tests, such as blood tests. It's important to understand the purpose of all tests so you can make an informed decision about whether to have them. This article takes us through some of the common tests, and explains what they look for.

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What is an epidural?

An epidural is an injection in your back, to stop you feeling pain in part of your body. Here, the epidural is explained, and we learn when they can be used, how they are given, what the risks are, and how we recover from one.

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How to make a birth plan?

A birth plan is a record of what you would like to happen during your labour and after the birth. This article helps us to understand what a birth plan is, what we might want to consider when making one, and a provides a template for us to create a birth plan.

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The first days after birth

You will probably spend a large part of the first few days after birth looking at your baby. This article explains the tests newborns will have, and what is normal for a new born, such as what bumps and spots are normal to see. Take a read to see what to expect.

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Antenatal classes

What to expect?

Antenatal classes can help you to prepare for your baby’s birth, and learn to look after and feed your baby. This article offers advice about choosing an antenatal class, and what to expect in a class.

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Packing your birth bag

Packing a bag for labour is an important step in the preparation for giving birth. Read here for some recommendations about what to pack, or what you'll need to prepare ready for a home birth.

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Antenatal appointments

When and why?

You'll have a number of antenatal appointments during your pregnancy, to check the health of you and your baby. Read more here about when to expect antenatal appointments throughout your pregnancy, and the purpose of each appointment.

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Morning sickness

What can you do?

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, also known as morning sickness, is very common in early pregnancy. It's unpleasant, but it doesn't put your baby at any increased risk and usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20 of pregnancy. This article provides advice on coping with morning sickness, and when to see a doctor.

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Pelvic pain in pregnancy

Why, and what you can do

Some women develop pelvic pain in pregnancy, which can cause severe pain around your pelvic area and make it difficult for you to get around. This article describes the symptoms of pelvic pain, who is more likely to get it, advice on how to manage pelvic pain, and when to seek medical attention.

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37-40 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Information about you and your baby at 37-40 weeks pregnant including getting ready for labour and warning signs to look out for in late pregnancy.

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Breastfeeding and thrush

Symptoms and treatment

Breast and nipple pain in breastfeeding women is sometimes caused by a thrush infection in the breast. Breastfed babies can also develop thrush in their mouths. This article describes some of the signs and symptoms of thrush, and how to treat it.

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Umbilical cord prolapse

An umbilical cord prolapse happens when the umbilical cord slips down in front of the baby after the waters have broken. The cord can then come through the open cervix (entrance of the womb). This patient information leaflet provides advice for women about umbilical cord prolapse which can happen in late pregnancy.

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Itching in pregnancy

This patient information leaflet provides advice for women who have been diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis or who have persistent itching in pregnancy.

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Malaria and pregnancy

Malaria is a serious infection caused by a parasite called plasmodium. The parasite lives in mosquitoes. If you are bitten by a mosquito that carries the parasite, you can become infected with malaria. In the UK, about 1500 cases of malaria are reported each year and around 10 people will die. This information is for you if you would like to know about malaria and pregnancy. The information applie

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Having a small baby

This information is for you if you want to know more about being pregnant with a small baby. You may find it helpful if you are pregnant and have been told your unborn baby may be small.

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Cervical smear in pregnancy

Most women in the UK start having smears by the age of 25. Therefore it is not unusual to be called for a smear test or to be asked to attend colposcopy during pregnancy. This patient information leaflet provides advice for women about cervical smear tests and results, and colposcopy, during pregnancy.

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Blood transfusion in pregnancy

Women may need a blood transfusion for a variety of reasons. One reason is if you haemorrhage (bleed very heavily), this is an emergency situation. As a result of heavy bleeding, you can become severely anaemic. Without a transfusion to replace the blood you have lost, you could become seriously ill or even die. This patient information tells you about having a blood transfusion when pregnant or s

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Air travel during pregnancy

This page contains advice related to air travel during pregnancy.

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Newborn hearing test

What is it?

The newborn hearing screening test helps identify babies who have permanent hearing loss as early as possible. This means parents can get the support and advice they need right from the start. Learn more about the test and how it is carried out.

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Newborn blood spot test

What is it?

Every baby is offered newborn blood spot screening, also known as the heel prick test, ideally when they're 5 days old. This article explains what conditions the test looks for, how it is carried out, and if it's compulsory or not.

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How to combine feeding

Breast and bottle

It can take mums and babies up to six weeks to successfully establish breastfeeding. Once you've both got the hang of it, it's usually possible to offer your baby bottles of expressed milk or formula alongside breastfeeding. This is sometimes called mixed or combination feeding. This article describes why to consider combination feeding, and how to introduce formula and bottle feeding.

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Bottle feeding advice

If you are planning to bottle feed with expressed breast milk or infant formula, these tips will help keep your baby safe and healthy.

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Pain when breastfeeding

There are a number of reasons why you may experience breast pain while you are breastfeeding. This article shares some of the most common reasons for breast pain while breastfeeding, and how to deal with them.

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Sore or cracked nipples

Problems when breastfeeding

Sore or painful nipples are one of the main reasons women give up breastfeeding. But with the right help and support, this problem can often be sorted out. In this article, we find out more about how to get help for sore nipples, some self-help advice, and what to do if it doesn't get better.

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Tongue-tie in babies

Tongue-tie is where the strip of skin connecting the baby's tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual. Some babies who have tongue-tie don't seem to be bothered by it. In others, it can restrict the tongue's movement, making it harder to breastfeed. This article describes some of the signs and symptoms, and treatment for tongue-tie.

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Breastfeeding problems

Common problems

If you have any problems with breastfeeding, it's important to ask for help from your midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist as soon as possible. This article shares some of the problems breastfeeding mums sometimes have, plus tips on how to tackle them.

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Pregnancy stretch marks

How can they be prevented?

Stretch marks are very common in the general population and don't just affect pregnant women. They can happen whenever the skin is stretched, and are more likely if your weight gain is more than average in pregnancy. This article further explains stretch marks, how they are caused, and how they can be prevented.

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Premature labour

What are the signs?

Premature labour is labour that happens before the 37th week of pregnancy. About 8 out of 100 babies will be born prematurely. This article offers advice on signs of premature labour to be aware of, and what to do if you think you are in premature labour.

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Swollen ankles in pregnancy

How to avoid them?

Ankles, feet and fingers often swell a little in pregnancy as your body is holding more water than usual. This article describes some of the steps you can take to prevent swollen feet and ankles, and when seek medical attention.

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Vaginal bleeding in pregnancy

What causes it?

Bleeding during pregnancy is relatively common and doesn't always mean there's a problem – but it can be a dangerous sign. This article explains some of the different reasons for bleeding throughout the different stages of pregnancy.

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Vaginal discharge in pregnancy

Is it normal?

Almost all women have more vaginal discharge than normally in pregnancy. This is quite normal and happens for a few reasons. This article explains why we have more discharge during pregnancy, and when to seek medical attention.

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Common pregnancy ailments

Your body has a great deal to do during pregnancy. Sometimes the changes taking place can cause irritation or discomfort, and sometimes you may be concerned. This article describes some of the common ailments women experience during pregnancy, how to avoid them, and how to ease them.

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Morning sickness - Rob's story

Rob Dean from Cornwall is dad to three healthy children. His wife Caitlin had severe morning sickness in all three of her pregnancies. Rob looked after Caitlin, the children and worked full time. Here, he talks about how they coped.

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All about gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but is more common in the second half. This article explains what gestational diabetes is, what the symptoms are, what we can do to treat it, and what the long term implications are.

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A forceps delivery

Why and how?

An assisted birth is when forceps or a ventouse suction cup are used to help deliver the baby. Ventouse and forceps are safe and only used when necessary for you and your baby. In this article we find out more about what a forceps delivery is, why we might need one, what happens, and what the risks are.

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Expressing breast milk

And how to store it

Expressing milk means squeezing milk out of your breast so you can store it and feed it to your baby later. In this article we find out more about how to express milk, how to store it, and how to defrost and use it.

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Pain relief in labour

What are your options?

Labour can be painful – it can help to learn about all the ways you can relieve the pain. In this article we find out more about all the types of pain relief available to us during labour.

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Episiotomy and perineal tears

Why and how?

Sometimes a doctor or midwife may need to make a cut in the area between the vagina and anus during childbirth. This is called an episiotomy and makes the opening of the vagina a bit wider, allowing the baby to come through it more easily. In this article we find out why this may be necessary, how it is done, and what the recovery process is afterwards.

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Tips for your birth partner

Support during labour

Whoever your birth partner is – your partner, close friend or a relative – there are quite a few practical things they can do to help you. In this article, advice is offered on simple things our birth partners can do to help us.

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Giving birth to twins

What are your options?

It's important to understand your birth options if you are expecting more than one baby, and to discuss your birth options with your midwife or consultant early on in your pregnancy. This article offers advice on the birthing options available to us when expecting twins.

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Feelings during pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about big changes to your life, especially if this is your first baby. Some people cope with these changes easily, while others find it harder. Everybody is different. This article offers advice on how our feelings may change during pregnancy, how it may impact our relationships, and where to find sources of further support.

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When babies need special care

Some babies, who are ill or premature, may need special care on the ordinary postnatal ward or neonatal ward. In this article we find out more about why babies may need special care, and what to expect.

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All about a caesarean section

The what, why and how

In this article from NHS choices, we learn what a caesarean section is, why we might need one, what happens during the procedure, and how we recover from a caesarean section.

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Over 40 Weeks Pregnant

Information about being over 40 weeks pregnant, including what to expect and having labour induced.

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33-36 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Information about you and your baby at 33-36 weeks pregnant including tips and warning signs to look out for.

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What is Blood Pressure?

This article provides an overview of what blood pressure is, and how to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

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Blood Pressure Medication Side Effects

This article provides information on side effects of blood pressure medication, including how to identify a side effect and what to do if you do identify one.

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Blood Pressure Medication

Making the Most of It

This article from Blood Pressure UK provides some useful tips for getting the most out of your blood pressure medication.

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Blood Pressure Medication

Why You May Need It

This article provides a brief introduction to some of the reasons why you may require blood pressure medication.

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Weight Loss Tips For Lowering Blood Pressure

This article provides advice on how to effectively lose weight in order to reduce your blood pressure.

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29-32 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Information about you and your baby at 29-32 weeks pregnant including tips and warning signs to look out for.

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Alcohol Consumption Lowering Blood Pressure

Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. This article provides information on what level of alcohol consumption is recommended, and tips to help reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.

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High Blood Pressure Medication

This article provides an introduction to medication used to treat high blood pressure including finding the right medication.

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Impact of High Blood Pressure

This article provides a brief insight about the impact of high blood pressure on your health.

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What is High Blood Pressure?

This article provides an overview of what high blood pressure is and what might cause it.

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What Is Normal Blood Pressure?

This article provides an overview of what blood pressure readings are considered normal and when it is recommended to consider making some lifestyle changes.

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Classifying Blood Pressure

Low, ideal, pre-high or high? This article provides an easy to interpret chart to help classify your blood pressure reading and understand what it means.

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How can alcohol affect my baby

It’s safer not to drink any alcohol if you’re pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, because it can damage your growing baby. By not drinking, you are protecting your baby and minimising the risks to their development and future health.

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Living With Hypertension Tim's Story

Read about how Tim discovered he had a rare accelerated version of high blood pressure (hypertension).

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Preventing High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can often be prevented through a healthy lifestyle. The NHS provide some advice on the lifestyle changes that can be made to reduce blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure Symptoms

This NHS article provides lots of information about high blood pressure, including what it is, the risks of having high blood pressure, causes, and ways to reduce blood pressure.

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Causes of High Blood Pressure

This article provides an overview of the causes of high blood pressure.

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Healthy Start Scheme Are you Eligible?

If you're pregnant or have a child under 4 years old, and are receiving certain benefits, you may also be entitled to free vouchers to purchase vitamins, milk, fresh or frozen fruit and veg, and instant formula. Check your eligibility here.

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24 Hour Cardiac Monitoring

This video provides information about 24 hour ECG and blood pressure monitor tests.

Antenatal care

Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies

This information is for healthcare professionals. This guideline covers the care that healthy women and their babies should be offered during pregnancy. It aims to ensure that pregnant women are offered regular check-ups, information and support.

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Hypertension in pregnancy

Diagnosis and management

This information is for healthcare professionals. This guideline covers diagnosing and managing hypertension (high blood pressure), including pre-eclampsia, during pregnancy, labour and birth. It also includes advice for women with hypertension who wish to conceive and women who have had a pregnancy complicated by hypertension. It aims to improve care during pregnancy, labour and birth for women a

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Dyspepsia in pregnancy

Clinical Knowledge Summaries

This information is for healthcare professionals. This NICE CKS covers pregnancy associated dyspepsia.

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Rubella

Clinical Knowledge Summaries

This information is for healthcare professionals. This is the NICE CKS for suspected rubella in pregnant women.

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Birth after previous caesarean

Clinical guidelines

This information is for healthcare professionals. This guideline provides evidence-based information to inform the care of women undergoing either planned vaginal birth after previous caesarean section (VBAC) or elective repeat caesarean section (ERCS).

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Measuring Your Blood Pressure

This video provides a step by step guide on how to measure your own blood pressure.

Choosing the Right Medication For High Blood Pressure

This article outlines the steps used to prescribe the right medication for high blood pressure.

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Weight Loss To Control Blood Pressure

Keeping to a healthy weight can help to control your blood pressure. This article provides information on the importance of being a healthy weight for blood pressure control.

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Hypertension and Eye Tests

High blood pressure can cause damage to the eyes so an eye test may be needed. This article provides information on what to expect from, and how to prepare for an eye test.

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Diabetes & High Blood Pressure

This article from Blood Pressure UK describes the different types of diabetes and the relationship between diabetes and high blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure FAQs General

Can high blood pressure be cured? Can high blood pressure give you headaches? Find out the answers to some frequently asked questions about high blood pressure in this article from Blood Pressure UK.

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Blood Pressure Numbers FAQs

This article from Blood Pressure UK provides information on what blood pressure readings mean.

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0-8 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Week by week information about you and your baby from 0 to 8 weeks pregnant.

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9-12 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Week by week information about you and your baby from weeks 9 to 12 of pregnancy.

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13-16 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Week by week information about you and your baby at 13-16 weeks pregnant.

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17-20 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Information about you and your baby during weeks 17-20 of pregnancy including tips and warning signs to look out for.

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21-24 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Information about you and your baby at 21-24 weeks pregnant including tips and warning signs to look out for.

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25-28 Weeks Pregnant

You and Your Baby

Information about you and your baby at 25-28 weeks pregnant including tips and warning signs to look out for.

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PALS Patient Advice/Liaison Service

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is an NHS service which offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. This article explains what PALS is and provides some important links and contact information.

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Patient Advice and Liaison PALS

The NHS Patients Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) helps patients navigate through the NHS and find the support they need. PALS can also help you to resolve issues or concerns with the service you have received. This article from Blood Pressure UK provides some more information on the service.

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Tiredness in Pregnancy

Information about tiredness in pregnancy including bump friendly sleep positions, insomnia remedies, and bad dreams.

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Blood Pressure Specialists

Some people with complicated high blood pressure may require support from a specialist. This article outlines when a specialist may be needed.

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Arteries and Blood Pressure

This article from Blood Pressure UK provides information on your arteries and high blood pressure, including how arteries affect blood pressure, and what happens when arteries become too narrow.

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Urine Tests & Hypertension

If you are diagnosed with hypertension, you may need to have a urine test to check that your kidneys and other organs are working ok. This article from Blood Pressure UK provides important information on urine tests including how it is carried out and what it will show.

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The White Coat Effect

This article explains 'The White Coat Effect', which can lead to an unreliable blood pressure reading when it is taken by a doctor or medical professional.

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Blood Tests with Hypertension

Although blood tests are not used to diagnose high blood pressure (hypertension), they may help identify how well your body is working, what is the best treatment, and whether or not you have certain conditions.

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24hr Blood Pressure Monitoring

This article provides information on 24 hour blood pressure monitoring including what it is and what to expect.

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ECG and Hypertension

An electrocardiogram (ECG) can detect abnormalities with the heart. This article provides some key information on ECGs including how it is carried out and what to expect.

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Echocardiogram

Echocardiograms are particularly useful looking at the structure of the heart and how it is working. They can also be used to investigate heart murmurs and heart attacks. This article describes what an echocardiogram is, including information on how to prepare for one and what to expect.

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Swollen Ankles and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can cause ankle swelling. This article explains why ankle swelling might occur and how it can be treated.

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Enlarged Heart & Hypertension

Hypertension can increase the risk of developing a condition called left ventricular hypertrophy. This article describes the condition and provides additional information on how it is detected and treated.

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High Blood Pressure FAQs Lifestyle

Can I fly if I have high blood pressure? Can sex be dangerous if I have high blood pressure? This article from Blood Pressure UK answers some questions relating to lifestyle after diagnosis with high blood pressure.

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MS, Pregnancy and Birth

Many women who have MS are diagnosed in their twenties and thirties, at a time when they may be thinking about starting a family. Having MS shouldn't stop you from having a baby, but careful planning with family, friends and your doctor becomes more important. Learn more about conception and pregnancy with MS.

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E-cigs and pregnancy

Using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), also called 'vaping', is becoming more common. Learn more about using e-cigarettes during pregnancy.

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Antenatal healthcare staff

Depending on what type of pregnancy you have: straightforward, complicated or high risk, you may be required to see a variety of healthcare professionals specialising in different areas of pregnancy and birth. This article outlines the medical staff you may meet during this time.

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Pregnancy breakfast ideas

There are plenty of delicious foods to choose from during pregnancy that are good for you and your baby.

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What is a doula?

A doula supports women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. It is becoming increasingly common for women to use a doula in addition to receiving pregnancy care from a midwife. Read to find out more about the services that can be provided by a doula, UK based doula support and possible costs.

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Underweight during pregnancy

If your BMI shows that you are in the 'underweight' range, you might be advised to eat more than someone who is in the normal range during pregnancy. Learn more in this article.

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What is a midwife?

If you are wondering 'what is a midwife?', read this article to find out more about midwifery and the role of midwives in providing antenatal care.

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The mucus plug

What is it and what does it look like?

The mucus plug protects your baby in pregnancy. Find out more about its purpose, about having ‘a show’, and what a mucus plug looks like.

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Pregnancy hormones

Changes in hormones during pregnancy can cause physical changes and mood swings. This article covers topics regarding pregnancy hormones

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Perineal massage

Massaging the perineum - the area between the vagina and anus - in the last weeks of pregnancy has been shown to reduce the likelihood of tearing during birth, and of needing stitches or an episiotomy. Read to find out how to do perineal massage during pregnancy and for information on the benefits of massaging the perineum before childbirth.

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Vasa praevia

Vasa praevia is a condition that affects about one pregnancy in every 2000-2500 women. It involves the position of the placenta and/or the umbilical cord.

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Anxiety about giving birth

When you are pregnant; feeling scared of giving birth is very common. Here we talk about tokophobia and common fears about childbirth pain, as well as the support available.

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Tips for going alcohol free

During pregnancy

Avoiding alcohol may be easy if, like lots of women, you go off the taste early in your pregnancy. But for some others, it can be a challenge. Learn some tips here for going alcohol free.

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Flu and pregnancy

Women are at greater risk of catching flu in pregnancy. This article discusses having the flu jab or vaccine when pregnant and the potential impact of flu when you are expecting.

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Sepsis and pregnancy

Sepsis is a common and potentially life-threatening condition caused by infection. Here the signs and symptoms are discussed, and what to do if you think you might have sepsis.

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Pregnancy myths

Here the NCT look at old wives tales about pregnancy and other common pregnancy myths to reveal which ones are facts and which ones are fiction.

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Excessive saliva in pregnancy

It is fairly common for pregnant women to produce more saliva than they do normally, especially early on in pregnancy. This article discusses the causes and forms of treatment.

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Nosebleeds during pregnancy

Nosebleeds during pregnancy are common but they’re not usually serious. Find out more about treatment and prevention of nosebleeds.

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Drinking alcohol in pregnancy

You don't have to stop having fun now you're pregnant - but there are a few things you'll have to give up or cut to almost zero. Alcohol is one of these things, because it can damage your growing baby. Learn more about the risks of drinking during pregnancy.

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Antipsychotics in pregnancy

Expecting a baby is an emotional time for anyone, but it can be particularly challenging if you experience a mental health problem like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder which you usually manage with antipsychotic medication. This page covers the risks of taking antipsychotics during pregnancy and advice on whether to continue taking them or to seek alternative support.

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Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks is the name given to the action when the womb contracts and tightens with your bump becoming hard to touch; it then relaxes again, becoming soft. Learn more in this article.

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Eating disorders in pregnancy

If you have an eating disorder (or have had one in the past), you may find it hard when your body gets bigger as your baby grows. Some women find their eating disorder gets worse when they’re pregnant, but for other women their symptoms improve. Learn more in this article.

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Seizures Over 5 Minutes

Epilepsy Action provide information about treatment and care for seizures that last more than 5 minutes and for status epilepticus.

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Pregnancy super snacks

During pregnancy eating small more frequent meals can help with sickness. If you want a snack, there are lots of healthier options.

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Judith's Story

Living With Hypertension

Read about Judith's experience of been diagnosed and living with high blood pressure.

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How your cervix dilates

During labour, contractions make your cervix (the ring of muscle at the bottom of your womb) gradually open up, or dilate, until it is about ten centimetres wide. In this video, Tommy's show you what 1cm to 10cms looks like in fruit form.

Safe Sleeping During Pregnancy

It is suggested that sleeping on your side in the third trimester can help prevent stillbirth. This video explains the importance of going to sleep on your side during pregnancy.

Caffeine in pregnancy

Learn more about how much caffeine is safe to consume during pregnancy, and use this handy calculator to estimate how much caffeine you currently consume.

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What Causes Heart Disease?

This video explains how factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

High Blood Pressure

An Overview

This video from the Mayo Clinic described what high blood pressure is, what impacts it can have, and how it can be treated using a combination of medical and lifestyle interventions.

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What is a membrane sweep

The membrane sweep is a drug-free way of helping to bring on labour when you are going past your due date.

Blood Pressure Explained

This link contains information on what blood pressure is and how lifestyle changes can help to lower blood pressure.

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Tom's Story

Living With Hypertension

Read about how Tom found out he had dangerously high blood pressure, and how he dealt with the diagnosis to gain better control of his condition.

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Dale's Story

Living With Hypertension

Read about how Dale discovered he had high blood pressure, and what he has done to better control his condition.

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What Is Hypertension? An Introduction

An introduction to hypertension, including what it is and how the body controls blood pressure.

Waters breaking early

Your unborn baby lies in an amniotic sac of fluid or ‘waters’. ‘Waters breaking’ means that the sac has ruptured or broken. Your waters normally break around the time labour is due but in around 2% of pregnancies they break early for various reasons. . Read here about what to expect when your waters break early before 37 weeks.

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When your waters break

What to expect?

In popular culture, ‘waters breaking’ is always the first sign of labour, and it happens very suddenly somewhere inconvenient and public. In real life, yes it is true that your waters can break before you go in to hospital but they are more likely to break during labour, or they can even be broken for you by your midwife to speed up your labour. Learn more here about waters breaking.

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Hypertension Complications

Having high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can increase the risk of a number of health complications which are outlined in this NHS article.

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Stages of Hypertension

What is considered a healthy blood pressure, and when does it become hypertension? This video outlines the different stages of high blood pressure.

Complications of Hypertension

This video highlights the complications associated with high blood pressure (hypertension).

How Is Hypertension Diganosed?

This video explains how hypertension is diagnosed, including blood pressure measurement, ECG and the use of blood tests.

A range of emotions

Following a miscarriage

Every pregnancy loss is different and there is no right or wrong way to feel about it. This page looks at how your loss might affect you, your partner and other people in your life.

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What Is Hypertension?

Want to know more about hypertension? What is it? What causes it? Why does a high salt intake contribute to increased blood pressure? If so, this video is for you!

Causes of High Blood Pressure

This article provides a list of some of the causes of high blood pressure.

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Diagnosing High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure often doesn't have any symptoms, so it can be difficult to identify. This NHS article describes how the condition is diagnosed and why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

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What Is High Blood Pressure?

This Mayo Clinic article provides an introduction to high blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure Symptoms

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, does not usually display any symptoms. This article from Mayo Clinic provides information on symptoms that may occur, and when to seek medical advice.

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Hypertension Risk Factors

Are You At Risk?

Are you at risk of high blood pressure? This article describes some of the factors that may increase the risk of having high blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure Complications

This article from Mayo Clinic describes some of complications associated with having high blood pressure.

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Diagnosing High Blood Pressure

This article describes how high blood pressure is diagnosed. It also explains what blood pressure readings mean.

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Depression and pregnancy

During and after pregnancy

Learn more about types of depression during pregnancy and the postnatal period, symptoms and causes, and how to find support.

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Free prescriptions & pregnancy

Are you pregnant, or have you just had a baby? If so, you can keep costs down by getting free prescriptions and NHS dental care with a Maternity Exemption Certificate.

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What is High Blood Pressure?

Dr Smarty and his team explain what hypertension is and what can be done about it.

Secondary Hypertension

This video covers some of the causes of secondary hypertension - high blood pressure (hypertension) as a result of another condition.

High Blood Pressure Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can be essential to help manage and reduce high blood pressure. This article from the Mayo Clinic outlines some of the healthy lifestyle behaviours that can help.

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Blood Pressure & Nutrition

High Blood Pressure Ann's Story

In this video, Ann talks about the lifestyle changes she made to help control her blood pressure.

What Is High Blood Pressure? (Sign)

This video explains what high blood pressure is, and what can be done to help lower it.

Eating healthily in pregnancy

This patient information leaflet provides advice for women who want to know more about eating healthily in pregnancy. It also gives advice on using vitamin supplements before and during pregnancy.

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A healthy diet in pregnancy

What's needed?

A healthy diet is vital if you're pregnant. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow. This article offers advice on the variety of every day foods needed to get the right balance of nutrients for you and your baby.

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A healthy twin pregnancy

Eating well and staying active

If you're expecting twins or triplets, a healthy diet and lifestyle will help you cope with your pregnancy. In this article, learn about eating healthy and staying active when expecting more than one baby, and common pregnancy worries you may have.

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High Blood Pressure FAQs Diet and Food

This article from Blood Pressure UK covers some commonly asked questions about high blood pressure and food.

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Eating More Potassium

To Lower Blood Pressure

Potassium can help to reduce your blood pressure. This article provides some tips and benefits of eating more potassium. If you have kidney disease, or are taking certain blood pressure medications, a large increase in potassium could be harmful so check with your doctor before dramatically increasing your potassium intake.

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Potassium and Blood Pressure

This article provides information on how potassium can help to lower blood pressure.

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Low Salt Shopping Tips

This article provides some useful information on how to cut down your salt intake by choosing low salt options. It provides practical tips to apply when shopping, and gives examples of foods which you might be surprised to learn contain a high amount of salt.

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Cooking with Less Salt

This article provides some useful tips for cooking with less salt, including examples of foods that can be used to season and flavour meals as an alternative.

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Eating Less Salt

This short article provides some useful tips on how to reduce your salt intake.

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Stocking Your Cupboards

For Lowering Blood Pressure

This article provides advice on what to stock your cupboards with at home to help lower and control your blood pressure.

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Tips for Healthy Food Shopping

Lowering Blood Pressure

This article provides some useful tips for food shopping for lowering blood pressure, with a particular focus on picking healthier food options.

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Reducing Salt Intake

To Lower Blood Pressure

This article provides an insight into the importance of lower salt intake, and tips on how to eat less salt to help your blood pressure.

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Lowering Blood Pressure Diet and Exercise Tips

This article provides information on some simple lifestyle changes that can help to lower blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure A Short Summary

The British Heart Foundation provide information on high blood pressure, including what it is, how it is diagnosed and what can be done to reduce it.

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High Blood Pressure Ann's Story (Sign)

In this video, Ann talks about the lifestyle changes she made to help control her blood pressure.

Food Labels and Blood Pressure

This article provides an insight into using food labels to help lower your blood pressure.

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Tips to Control Blood Pressure

There are many ways to help reduce your blood pressure. This article identifies 10 lifestyle changes that can be made.

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Fruit and Vegetables For Healthy Blood Pressure

This article provides information on how fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, how much to eat and tips to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat.

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Reducing Your Blood Pressure

Ian has a learning disability, and also has high blood pressure. In this video, Ian talks about the lifestyle changes that he has made to help reduce his blood pressure.

Foods to avoid in pregnancy

During pregnancy there are some foods and drinks that are best avoided or limited because of small risks to the safety of your baby. Learn more here about safe food choices.

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Reducing Salt Intake

Eating too much salt may raise your blood pressure. It is important that you don't eat too much salt each day to keep your heart healthy. This article gives you more information on how much salt is too much and how you can go about reducing the amount of salt that you eat.

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Joy's Story

Living With Hypertension

Read about how Joy, with the help of her optician and doctor, discovered she had high blood pressure. Find out how she now manages her blood pressure using a combination of exercise, diet, and medication.

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Primary Hypertension

This video explains primary hypertension, the most common type of hypertension, and explains the risk factors associated with it.

Treating Hypertension

This video covers the lifestyle changes and medication that can help to treat hypertension.

Blood Pressure & Activity

High Blood Pressure Ann's Story

In this video, Ann talks about the lifestyle changes she made to help control her blood pressure.

What Is High Blood Pressure? (Sign)

This video explains what high blood pressure is, and what can be done to help lower it.

High Blood Pressure Ann's Story (Sign)

In this video, Ann talks about the lifestyle changes she made to help control her blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure A Short Summary

The British Heart Foundation provide information on high blood pressure, including what it is, how it is diagnosed and what can be done to reduce it.

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Lowering Blood Pressure Diet and Exercise Tips

This article provides information on some simple lifestyle changes that can help to lower blood pressure.

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Exercise & Physical Activity Lowering Blood Pressure

This article provides an introduction to exercise and physical activity to better manage blood pressure including basic guidelines for starting and increasing physical activity and exercise.

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Tips For Getting More Active

This article provides advice on how to incorporate physical activity into your day to day life.

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Reducing Your Blood Pressure

Ian has a learning disability, and also has high blood pressure. In this video, Ian talks about the lifestyle changes that he has made to help reduce his blood pressure.

Aquanatal exercise

Swimming and doing other exercises in water is a particularly good way to stay active during pregnancy.

Exercise & Activity Ideas For Lowering Blood Pressure

This article suggests some exercise and activity ideas to help lower your blood pressure including how to incorporate activity into your daily life.

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Primary Hypertension

This video explains primary hypertension, the most common type of hypertension, and explains the risk factors associated with it.

Treating Hypertension

This video covers the lifestyle changes and medication that can help to treat hypertension.

Types of Exercise For Lowering Blood Pressure

This article gives examples of types of exercise that can help to reduce blood pressure.

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Treatments

High Blood Pressure

In this video an NHS doctor provide information about high blood pressure including the importance of diagnosis and treatment to lower blood pressure.

Diuretics

For Treating Hypertension

This article provides an overview on diuretics, a type of medication used to treat high blood pressure. Information within describes the effect diuretics have, and why they may be prescribed.

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What Is High Cholesterol?

This article from Bupa includes important information about high cholesterol including what it means, how it is treated, and the complications that can arise.

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High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (hypertension) is common but has few obvious symptoms. This article from Bupa provides an overview of high blood pressure including causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

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Pharmacists How Can They Help?

This article provides an explanation of the role of the pharmacist and how they can help you.

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Practice Nurses

How Can They Help?

This article describes the role of a practice nurse including how they help people with high blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure & Stroke

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can increase the risk of having a stroke. It is important to know how to recognise the signs of a stroke so it can be treated as soon as possible This article from Blood Pressure UK outlines the signs and symptoms, how they are treated, and the relationship between high blood pressure and stroke.

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Hypertension and Heart Failure

High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart failure. This article from Blood Pressure UK provides an overview of what heart failure is, including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

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Hypertension & Kidney Disease

High blood pressure can raise your risk of kidney disease. This article from Blood Pressure UK describes what chronic kidney disease is, how it is treated and what you can do to reduce the risk.

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Calcium-Channel Blockers

Treating Hypertension

This article provides an introduction to calcium-channel blockers, a medication used to treat high blood pressure. Information within relates to why the medication might be prescribed, and some of the food and drink to avoid if taking the medication.

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Angiotensin Receptor Blockers

Treating Hypertension

This article provides a brief overview of antiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), a high blood pressure medication. The information provided also describes some of the reasons why you might be prescribed the medication.

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ACE Inhibitors

Treating Hypertension

This article provides information on ACE inhibitors, a medication prescribed to treat high blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure & Stroke

This information leaflet provides information on high blood pressure and its link to stroke. It also covers treatments that may be used and lifestyle changes that can be made to help reduce blood pressure.

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High Blood Pressure A Short Summary

The British Heart Foundation provide information on high blood pressure, including what it is, how it is diagnosed and what can be done to reduce it.

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Treating High Blood Pressure

This NHS article describes the different treatment options available for people with high blood pressure, including lifestyle changes and medications.

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What Is High Blood Pressure?

An Overview

This NHS article provides an overview of what high blood pressure is, what causes it, who's most at risk, how it is treated, and how it can be prevented.

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MS chemotherapy treatment

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an intense chemotherapy treatment for MS. It aims to stop the damage MS causes by wiping out and then regrowing your immune system, using your stem cells. Learn more about HSCT.

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Hypertension Diagnosis and Treatment

What is classed as high blood pressure, how is it diagnosed, and how is it treated?

Treating High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be treated through lifestyle changes and medication. This article describes some of the treatments used.

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Treating Hypertension

This video covers the lifestyle changes and medication that can help to treat hypertension.