Taking care of your health during pregnancy is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy baby.
A healthy pregnancy starts even before you get pregnant. Start by making an appointment with your doctor for a full exam, blood work and lab evaluation. While you’re there, you can also make sure you’re up to date on vaccines and get answers to your questions about what to expect during pregnancy.
Once you’re pregnant, you’ll continue to check in with your doctor. Most women need to see their doctor once a month early in pregnancy, every two weeks during the middle and weekly toward the end. At each visit, your doctor will check your weight; vital signs, including blood pressure and a urine test. Your healthcare provider will also listen to your baby’s heartbeat and check fetal movements. You’ll also go over what happened since your last visit and what to expect in the upcoming weeks. In addition, you’ll get ultrasounds to check on your baby’s health and ensure adequate growth.
There are also steps you can take on your own to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy:
- Eat a healthy diet with adequate greens, fruit, protein, dairy and grains. Stay away from raw fish, fish high in mercury, processed lunch meat and unpasteurized dairy products.
- Get regular exercise, such as moderate running, walking, stationary biking, yoga or Pilates. Contact sports are not recommended.
- Limit caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
- Try Kegel and pelvic floor exercises to help ease of delivery.
- Consider taking supplements, including iron, calcium and vitamin D.
- Get extra rest.
- Take a prenatal class.
Edward-Elmhurst Health provides a team approach to care with physicians, midwives and nurses available to help provide everything you need during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Our healthcare facilities offer prenatal classes and support groups as well as specialized prenatal exercise classes. It’s the support and care you need, all in one place.