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Having your first baby: what to expect and how to prepare

Being pregnant for the first time can be scary for new parents, but it doesn’t have to be! Read our helpful guide and give your baby the best start in life.

Having your first child is undoubtedly one of the best experiences you’ll ever have, but it can also be one the scariest. Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll be going through a lot of changes and be worrying about a lot of things, from what you eat to the activities you can or can’t do. There’s a lot to think about!

To help calm your nerves and make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together this guide full of first-time pregnancy tips.

First-time pregnancy

Being pregnant for the first time, you should keep in mind that, in all likelihood, everything’s going to be okay! You don’t need to constantly worry about not doing something right or body and lifestyle changes, chances are you’re looking after your growing baby just fine! As long as you’ve read up a little on what to expect and know when something’s seriously wrong, you don’t need to panic.

Common pregnancy symptoms

You will experience a ton of new symptoms when pregnant, but they’re nothing to worry about. You’re growing a little human inside you, so your body’s bound to react!

Here are some of the things you may experience that are perfectly normal:

  • Morning sickness – whether this involves being sick, or just feeling a bit nauseated.
  • Food aversions or cravings
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness (though if this continues for a length of time beyond early stages of pregnancy, you should go and see your doctor)
  • Body changes during pregnancy – bloating and weight gain are common.

So, when do pregnancy symptoms start? This is different for every woman and is usually related to the date of your last period, though it generally begins around 4-6 weeks after that date.

Flying while pregnant

How many weeks pregnant can you fly? This varies depending on the airline. Usually, the cut-off is around 32-37 weeks, and that’s simply because the airline doesn’t want you going into early labour whilst on-board. Flying won’t harm your baby – though it may be a little uncomfortable for you!

What to avoid when pregnant

When having your first baby, there are some things you’ll need to avoid. Here’s a list of advice for first-time mothers to bear in mind:

  • Raw or undercooked meat
  • Unpasteurised milk
  • Too much vitamin A (steer clear of products containing liver)
  • Pate
  • Harsh on skin laundry detergents. Choose a product that is kind next to your delicate skin, like Persil Non-Bio, to carry out a healthy first-time pregnancy from the very beginning.
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cigarettes

You should also consider switching to a hypoallergenic, baby-safe fabric softener like Comfort Pure to keep your skin protected and your clothes soft!

A lot of women worry about what to do when pregnant for the first time but have some faith in yourself and your body! As long as you follow our advice, you’ll be doing everything you can to keep a healthy pregnancy.

For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.

Top Tip


If you have any concerns about what you can and can’t do while pregnant, make a note of them and ask your midwife about it at your next appointment.