6 ways extras cover can help during pregnancy


4 minutes

03 March 2022

A young, happy pregnant woman eating healthy fruit and yoghurt

Your body goes through some incredible changes during pregnancy. Here’s how health insurance can help you with some self-care essentials.

Pregnancy is an exciting time and there are a lot of changes happening in your body.

That can mean some of your health and wellbeing needs change too, and you may find you need a little extra support to keep you feeling healthy, comfortable and energised.

Here are a few steps you can take for a healthy, happy pregnancy, and some of the ways extras cover can help support your wellbeing along the way.

In this article

1. Healthy eating

Healthy eating is always important for your health and wellbeing, and if you’re pregnant it’s important for you and your baby.1

As your baby grows, you should aim to eat a wide variety of healthy foods to make sure you’re both getting the vitamins and minerals you need each day.1

A few things to focus on including in your diet include:1

  • Fruits and vegetables. Aim to eat a variety of types and colours, with two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day.
  • Grains (especially wholegrains) – things like breads, rice, oats, pasta and quinoa.
  • Protein. Good sources include lean meats, fish, eggs and beans/legumes.
  • Milk, yoghurt and hard cheese products, recommended mostly to be reduced fat varieties.
  • Iron, found in foods like lean meats, eggs, nuts, and tofu.
  • Folate from foods like leafy greens, vegetables, legumes, wholegrains and nuts. Because getting an adequate amount of folate and iodine is so important for your baby’s development, it’s typically also recommended to take folate and iodine supplements during pregnancy.1

How can health insurance help?

HBF extras cover can include:

  • Diet and nutrition. A dietitian can give you personalised nutrition advice to help make sure you and your baby are getting the most from your diet.

2. Exercise

Staying active during pregnancy is important for both your body and mind. However, changes in your body during pregnancy can mean that some exercises may need to be modified.2

It’s important to always listen to your body. Depending on the level of activity you were doing before pregnancy you might vary the intensity of your exercise – in general a light to moderate exercise program should be the aim.2

For the best health benefits, it’s recommended to do a mix of:2

  • Cardio exercises like walking, fitness classes, swimming or cycling to help boost your cardiorespiratory fitness.
  • Strengthening exercises like resistance training, yoga or Pilates to condition your muscles, which may help reduce back and pelvic pain and prepare your body for giving birth.2

Your GP can give you some guidance on safe and appropriate exercise during pregnancy and refer you to another health professional if needed.

How can health insurance help?

HBF extras cover can include:

  • Physiotherapy. A physiotherapist can work with you during pregnancy to safely improve your strength and mobility and manage aches and pains.
  • Exercise physiology. An exercise physiologist is an expert in managing health issues through exercise and can also give you personalised exercise advice for pregnancy.

3. Mental health and wellbeing

Preparing to welcome a baby into your world can come with a whole range of emotions – excitement, fear, joy, stress and anxiety to name a few.3

But if your feelings become difficult to cope with or you feel like you need some extra support, it’s important to reach out for help.3

It’s common for both men and women to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety while expecting a baby.3

A good first step is to talk to your GP. They can offer some support and guidance and refer you to a mental health professional if needed.

How can health insurance help?

HBF extras cover can include:

  • Psychology. A psychologist can give you support, guidance and strategies to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing.

4. Aches and pains

Aches and pains during pregnancy are common. In particular, the changes in your body can put stress on your back, neck, shoulders and abdominal muscles.4

A few things that may help if you’re experiencing backache or other pains and discomforts include stretching, gentle exercise and pregnancy massage.5

How can health insurance help?

HBF extras cover can include:

  • Physiotherapy. A physio can help treat aches and pains and show you exercises and stretches that can help.
  • Remedial massage. A qualified remedial massage therapist can help soothe muscle and joint pain, as well as helping improve mood and sleep.5
  • Chiropractic and osteopathy. Some people find these treatments helpful for reducing low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy.6
  • Natural therapies. Some people also find natural therapies such as acupuncture helpful for soothing aches and pains and promoting feelings of wellbeing.6

5. Pelvic floor 

As your baby grows, the weight can put pressure on your pelvic floor, the muscles that support your bladder.7

This can lead to stress incontinence (accidental leakage of urine, most commonly when you cough, sneeze, lift something, or exercise).7

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can help reduce this, and can also help to reduce or avoid stress incontinence after the baby is born.7 

How can health insurance help?

HBF extras cover can include:

  • Physiotherapy. A physio can teach you exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and keep them working well. This may include clinical Pilates sessions.

6. Dental care

It’s important that you continue to care for your teeth and gums throughout your pregnancy and see your dentist during this time.8

Your dental health can play a big role in your overall health, and therefore your baby’s health.8

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also affect your gums, causing them to become easily irritated, inflamed and tender.8

If this happens, visit your dentist as soon as you can so they can check your teeth and gums and advise you on how to care for any issues.8

How can health insurance help?

HBF extras cover can include:

  • Dental. Get great benefits for dental check-ups, scale and cleans and treatments to keep your smile fresh and healthy.

What am I covered for?

It’s important to know that different HBF extras cover products may not cover all of these services mentioned, and annual limits apply.

If you’re an HBF member, you can check what you're covered for by logging on to myHBF or calling us on 133 423.

Extras cover you can feel good about

With great benefits for physio, dietetics, remedial massage and more, HBF extras cover can help support your wellbeing.

Find out more


  1. 1Better Health Channel – Pregnancy and diet (2021)
  2. 2Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Exercising during pregnancy (2021)
  3. 3Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Mental wellbeing during pregnancy (2019)
  4. 4Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Pregnancy massage (2021)
  5. 5Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Backache in pregnancy (2020)
  6. 6Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Complementary therapy during pregnancy (2019)
  7. 7Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Pelvic floor exercises (2020)
  8. 8Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – Looking after your teeth during pregnancy (2020)
  9. 9healthdirect – Remedial massage (2021)


This article contains general information only and does not take into account the health, personal situation or needs of any person. In conjunction with your GP or treating health care professional, please consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.