bristol • north somerset • south gloucestershire


Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group

South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group

New baby immunisation

A new vaccine to prevent meningitis has been added to the routine NHS immunisation programme offered to all babies: the Men B vaccine is recommended for babies aged 2 months, followed by a second dose at 4 months, and a booster at 12 months. Find out more here.

There is also a temporary catch-up programme for babies who are due their 3- and 4-month vaccinations in September 2015, to protect them when they are most at risk from infection.

More information about the schedule for all baby, child (and adult) vaccinations can be found here

Healthy living


The NHS Choices website provides expert advice on maintaining a healthy diet in pregnancy and advises which foods to avoid.

South Gloucestershire Council have produced a useful booklet on nutrition covering pre-conception to age 4. 


Exercise and free swimming

For current guidance on exercise during pregnancy click here.

Moderate-intensity physical activity will not harm you or your baby. At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity per day is recommended by national guidance. If you exercised regularly before pregnancy, you should be able to continue without adverse effects, but tell instructors that you are pregnant. If you are not used to exercising you should begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times per week, increasing gradually to daily 30-minute sessions. If you have any medical or pregnancy conditions, seek advice from your midwife or doctor first.

Pregnant women can swim for free in the following pools in Bristol:

Bristol South Swimming Pool- 0117 903 1618
Easton Leisure Centre - 0117 903 1628
Henbury Leisure Centre - 0117 353 2555
Horfield Leisure Centre - 0117 903 1643
Hengrove Park Leisure  Centre - 0117 304 8200
Jubilee Swimming Pool - 0117 903 1607 

Further information and eligibility

There are currently no free swimming sessions in South Gloucestershire and North Somerset, except for women on the SHINE programme in North Somerset.


Healthy Start scheme

You may be eligible for free vitamins and Healthy Start vouchers to help buy milk, fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables and formula milk. You qualify if you’re at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old and you or your family get certain benefits or tax credits, or if you are pregnant and under 18, regardless of if you receive any benefits. To see if you are eligible visit


Smoking cessation support

If you would like to stop smoking in pregnancy your midwife will be able to refer you to a local stop smoking service. You can also visit one of the local Smokefree websites for advice and support to give up, or call the following numbers:

Smokefree Bristol, 0117 922 2255.
Smokefree South Gloucestershire, 01454 865502
Smokefree North Somerset, 01275 546744 

Or telephone the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline on 0800 1690169


Weight management support

Your chances of becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy are improved if you are a healthy weight (Body Mass Index between 18.5 and 25) before you become pregnant. You can read more here. Maintaining a healthy weight will also reduce the chance of your children becoming overweight. The national guidelines do not recommend dieting during pregnancy, but weight management support services are available to help you eat well and be physically active during pregnancy, and to help you lose weight after the birth.   

Your midwife can generally refer you if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 or more. If your BMI is between 25 and 30 but you are very interested, referral may also be possible – speak with your midwife or directly with the service in your area.

Bristol: If you are pregnant or have had a baby within the last few months and you have a BMI over 30 (women with a lower BMI can be considered), you are eligible for free weight management support. The service is based at the Greenway Community Practice but clinics are held throughout Bristol. You can be referred by your midwife or you can refer yourself by telephoning the Weight Management Dietitians on 0117 959 8935 or 0117 959 8921 or with this form.

South Gloucestershire: Unfortunately, South Gloucestershire Council does not currently provide a weight management support service specifically for pregnant women, but you may be eligible for exercise on prescription via your GP, or if you have a BMI over 30 your GP may be able to refer you to Sirona's dietetic service.

North Somerset: You can join the SHINE (Self Help, Independence, Nutrition and Exercise) programme if you have a BMI of 30 or more or if you have gestational diabetes. It offers support and advice on a healthy lifestyle, one-to-one sessions, weekly advice, free swimming and menu planning. 

Safe sleeping advice

For information on safe sleeping click here


Vaccinations during pregnancy and baby vaccinations

During pregnancy, you will be offered vaccination (immunisation) against whooping cough (pertussis), which reduces the risk of your newborn baby getting whooping cough before he or she gets the first baby vaccination at two months. More information.

Depending on the time of year (between around October to March), you will also be offered vaccination against flu (influenza). If you get flu during pregnancy, you are at higher risk of dangerous complications than someone who is not pregnant. The flu vaccination offers protection for your baby as well. You can get a free flu jab from your GP and from many local pharmacies.
More information on flu vaccination in pregnancy.

Information on vaccinations for babies can be found here