New Pregnancy

Here at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital we provide shared HIV and pregnancy care. This means fewer appointments and a team approach to caring for you. Our pregnancy team includes an HIV doctor, midwife and obstetrician. We will give you the advice and support you need to help you keep you and your baby healthy. We will listen to your concerns and let you know what to expect during pregnancy, delivery and after the birth. We now know that it is safe for many HIV positive women to give birth naturally, rather than by Caesarean section. This is something we will discuss as your pregnancy progresses.

Once pregnant just inform your GP or HIV Doctor and request a referral to our maternity services. You can even refer yourself to our service by calling our Specialist midwife on 020 3315 6150. You will be contacted and offered an appointment before 10 weeks of pregnancy.

General advice if pregnant or planning a pregnancy

Continue to take your antiretroviral medication as this is safe. We advise you contact your HIV doctor or GP to discuss any other regular medication as this may need to be stopped or changed.

Start Folic acid 400mcg once a day if you haven’t done so already. This helps to reduce the risk of babies being born with neural tube defects and can be bought in any pharmacy or prescribed by your GP / HIV doctor.

Feeling tired and nauseous in early pregnancy is very common. Try to sleep as much as possible, avoid rich foods and eat little and often. If you are experiencing difficulty tolerating your medication seek advice from your doctor.

Avoid or reduce alcohol intake as we know sustained drinking during pregnancy can affect a baby’s development. If you do decide to drink do not exceed 1-2 units per week.

Try to stop smoking. If required advice and support is available from our hospital smoking cession service, just ask your doctor or nurse for a referral.

Stay active. Gentle exercise and keeping active will help you adapt to your changing shape as the pregnancy progresses. Remember not to over exert yourself and inform any class instructors that you are pregnant.

Try to eat healthy and avoid certain foods such as unpasteurised products, liver containing foods. Limit caffeine and eat a varied diet. See the links below for more extensive guidance.

Helpful Resources

The Pregnancy Book:
NHS Pregnancy and Baby Guide:
Smoking Cessation:

Also see
Thinking of having a baby
New Pregnancy
Sexual Health
The Menopause