And now that you are taking care of not just your own body but another tiny one - or two or three! - it's even more important that you stay as healthy as you possibly can.

The NHS offers great care but when you are pregnant, you want the reassurance of knowing that you are receiving top quality treatment. Let's face it, draughty NHS waiting rooms aren't much fun at the best of times let alone when you are nursing a big bump.

Private health insurance for pregnancy is therefore top of the priority list for many couples; having the peace of mind of knowing that the best help is on hand if you need it is a huge relief.

However, private health insurance and pregnancy aren't exactly a match made in heaven; we run through what you can typically expect and how to get the best insurance for antenatal care.

Limitations of pregnancy cover

Private health insurance is designed to cover conditions which arise unexpectedly, not illnesses for which you may have been suffering from for a length of time.

Although not all pregnancies are planned, it isn't the type of event that private medical insurance is intended to cover. For this reason, routine pregnancy care as well as fertility treatment such as IVF is excluded from most private healthcare policies.

However, if you already have health insurance pregnancy won't stop you being able to receive treatment as you would do normally for non-related conditions, and of course, it's more important than ever to try and stay in the best health possible.

When private cover can help during pregnancy

Although it's fair to say you won't be able to find a provider that offers medical insurance for pregnancy, at least the routine elements of it, you can still get pregnancy health insurance for when things aren't going quite so well.

Being pregnant can mean lots of aches and pains and even some rather unpleasant symptoms such as the dreaded 'morning sickness'. Unfortunately, treatment for run-of-the-mill problems such as these aren't included in the vast majority of private healthcare plans, if any at all. However, you can expect to be protected if something goes really wrong.

Whilst most pregnancies go without a hitch, there are a very small minority which have complications. This could include problems such as eclampsia, a retained placenta or even gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that occurs in non-diabetic women during pregnancy).

Many providers include pregnancy cover which offers protection if you are unlucky enough to suffer one of these more serious complications during your pregnancy.

However, not every provider offers the same level of protection so when you compare health insurance for pregnancy, it's worth checking the fine print to see what you would be covered for.

It's also worth knowing that some companies pay a 'baby bonus'; a small payment typically around 100 as a token of congratulations for your new addition to the family. Whilst it's not a good idea to pick an insurer solely based on that, it's certainly a great freebie to have!

Pre-existing conditions & pregnancy cover

Whilst you will want to check the level of protection you receive and compare quotes to get the best price available, it's also important that you check to see when you would be eligible to claim.

Most insurers exclude pre-existing conditions so typically you can expect there to be a waiting period before you are eligible to claim for pregnancy-related complications.

If your policy also pays out a baby bonus, there may also be a waiting period for this too which is often set for around 10 months after you take out the policy.