Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.
Here are ways you can take care of your own and your baby's health during pregnancy.
See your doctor or midwife regularly.
Visit your doctor or midwife as soon as you suspect you are pregnant.
Go to all of your prenatal checkups.
Get treatment for all infections. Call your doctor or midwife if you have signs of an infection during pregnancy, such as a fever or unusual vaginal discharge.
Eat a balanced diet.
Choose foods from each food group: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein. Protein includes meat, beans, and eggs.
Get enough folic acid. Take a daily vitamin supplement that contains 0.4 mg to 0.8 mg (400 mcg to 800 mcg) of folic acid.
Remember that your nutritional needs increase during pregnancy. If you are not sure about what or how much to eat, talk with your doctor or midwife.
Get regular aerobic and strength-conditioning exercise. Swimming, walking, and arm exercises are the safest activities.
Don't exercise if you're not feeling well or if the weather is hot.
Avoid risky sports like horseback or motorcycle riding, water-skiing, and scuba diving.
Get plenty of rest.
Go to bed earlier than usual and get up later, if you can.
Take naps, unless napping makes you sleepless at night.
Put your feet up and rest as often as you can during the day.
Get help with housework and other duties whenever possible.
Think twice about medicines.
Talk to your doctor or midwife about medicines that you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Some medicines have been linked to birth defects.
Check with your doctor or midwife before you take any new medicine, vitamin, or supplement.
Stay away from harmful substances.
Do not smoke. Smoking increases the risk of low birth weight and fetal death. If you smoke, talk with your doctor about ways to quit.
Don't drink alcohol. No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.
Avoid strong chemicals such as paints, household cleaners, and pesticides.
Think safety first.
Take care to avoid falling. Unstable joints, your expanding belly, and your altered center of gravity can make you more likely to fall.
Avoid climbing on ladders or standing on anything that is high or wobbly.
Always wear your seat belt when you're in a motor vehicle or a plane.
Avoid things that can make your body too hot and may be harmful to your baby, such as a hot tub or sauna. Or talk with your doctor before doing anything that raises your body temperature. Your doctor can tell you if it's safe.
Avoid roller coasters and other rides that are fast or jarring.
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology