Helplines and


The Sainsbury's/Wellbeing Eating for Pregnancy Helpline (0114 242 4084), set up by Sheffield University, offers down-to-earth advice based on the latest research from dietitians at the University's Centre for Pregnancy Nutrition. They have also produced a book, Healthy Eating For You And Your Baby by Fiona Ford, Robert Fraser and Hilary Dimond (Pan), which offers plain-speaking and unhysterical information.

Foresight (the Association for the Promotion of Preconceptual Care), 28 The Paddock, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1XD. Foresight is strictly for couples who are prepared to take extreme measures - and men have to follow the programme, too. Mostly helps women who have had previous problems. Planning For A Healthy Baby by Belinda Barnes and Suzanne Gail Bradley (Vermilion) sets out the Foresight programme in detail. There is also a video.

On Thursday, 24 April, the Women and Children's Welfare Fund is holding a symposium on the importance of the pre-natal period in building healthy babies at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Information from Ticky Wright (01335 324314).


Your Pregnancy Month By Month, by Peter Saunders (Hodder & Stoughton), is refreshingly non-judgmental. Books devoted to the subject tend to be more evangelical, such as Planning A Baby? A Complete Guide To Pre-conceptual Care by Dr Sarah Brewer (Vermilion).

drug supplements

Although several drug companies produce multivitamin supplements targeted at women planning a pregnancy, the only vitamin recommended by the DoH is folic acid (pounds 2.09 for 56 days supply at Boots) which reduces the risk of a baby with spina bifida. For further information, call the Health Information Service freephone line on 0800 665544.