Pregnancy care: medlineplus medical encyclopedia


A healthy pregnancy starts with good prenatal care, so make sure to find an ob-gyn or midwife you feel comfortable with. Other healthy pregnancy tips: Avoid alcohol, drugs, và smoking; limit your caffeine intake; eat good meals & snacks; & take a prenatal vitamin. Build strength và reduce găng with a good exercise program, make time to rest, get vaccinated, và take care of your emotional health.

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Healthy pregnancy tips

Now that you know you"re pregnant, it"s more important than ever to lớn take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Of course, many things aren"t in your control during pregnancy – including pregnancy complications that may arise. But by following these suggestions, you can boost your chances of having a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Get good prenatal care

Good prenatal care is essential for you and your baby. If you haven"t yet chosen a doctor or a midwife to lớn care for you during pregnancy, start asking for recommendations from friends, family, & any of your other healthcare providers. If you don"t have health insurance or need low-cost prenatal care, there are options. It"s important khổng lồ find a pregnancy caregiver who makes you feel comfortable and safe.

Once you get a positive home pregnancy test, hotline your healthcare provider right away và schedule your first prenatal visit. During that visit you"ll be screened for certain conditions that could lead to complications. Your provider will also nhận xét any medications you"re taking & discuss the risks and benefits before making the decision khổng lồ stop taking any medicines.

(Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, don"t suddenly stop taking your medication on your own. There are a small handful of medications that need to lớn be discontinued right away, but most are safe in pregnancy. & when some conditions go untreated, that can be riskier than the medication itself.)

Your provider will give you a schedule of appointments. You can expect to visit every 4 weeks for the first & second trimesters. In your third trimester, you"ll visit every two weeks from 28 lớn 36 weeks và weekly from then until you deliver. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you"ll probably visit your provider more often for monitoring. You may even need to see a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) doctor who is especially trained khổng lồ manage high-risk pregnancies.

Go to all of your prenatal appointments, even if you feel perfectly fine and aren"t having any problems. It"s important that your provider monitors your pregnancy & addresses any problems that arise as soon as possible. It"s also an opportunity for you to lớn ask questions and talk about any concerns you"re having. Prenatal appointments can be fun & very reassuring, too – when you hear your baby"s heartbeat, for example!

Be honest with your prenatal care provider. Tell them if you"re feeling depressed or anxious, or if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. Share any health conditions you have, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

Keep up with your oral health, too: Brush, floss, và get regular dental care. Increased progesterone và estrogen levels can cause the gums to lớn react differently to the bacteria in plaque, resulting in swollen, bleeding, tender gums (gingivitis). So see your dentist for a checkup & cleaning now if you haven"t had a visit in the last six months. Tell the office that you"re pregnant when you schedule your appointment.

Focus on eating well

Keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand, and plan your meals around whole grains và fresh fruits & vegetables. (Learn the 12 best foods to lớn eat when pregnant.) Limit calories from saturated fats & added sugars. If you"re on a special diet (for diabetes, a food allergy, or food intolerance, for example) or are a vegetarian or vegan, you may find it helpful to lớn consult with a dietitian for help making sure you meet all of your nutritional requirements during pregnancy.

Make sure you get plenty of protein, which is the building block of cells. You now need about 70 grams a day compared lớn 45 grams before you got pregnant. You also need:

While you can meet many of your nutrient requirements with a healthy diet, you may need supplements lớn get everything you & your baby need. Your prenatal vi-ta-min may fill in any blanks, or you may need additional supplements. Talk with your healthcare provider or a dietitian if you need guidance.

There are certain foods to lớn avoid during pregnancy. Steer clear of undercooked eggs và meat, unpasteurized dairy products and juices, raw seafood, và cold deli meats. Also avoid certain fish that may contain high levels of mercury or other contaminants.

Be sure lớn stay hydrated, too. Your water needs increase during pregnancy, & drinking enough will help tư vấn your body toàn thân and your pregnancy. It will also help reduce swelling and prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, & urinary tract infections. Drink water throughout the day, aiming for about 10 cups daily. Beverages other than water count, too, but limit those that are high in sugar and empty calories (such as sodas), and curb caffeine consumption.

Take prenatal vitamins

Your nutrient needs increase during pregnancy – you"re building a baby, after all!

Even if you eat a healthy, well balanced diet, it can be hard to lớn get all the nutrients you need during pregnancy. If you have any dietary restrictions, health issues, or pregnancy complications, it can be even harder. Taking a prenatal vi-ta-min will ensure that you"re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need each day.

Prenatal vitamins aren"t the same as standard multivitamins. They"re formulated specifically for pregnancy needs. Most contain more folic acid & iron than you"ll find in a standard multivitamin, for example.

Ideally, you"ll start taking your prenatal vi-ta-min even before you"re pregnant. Getting enough folic acid before you conceive và early in your pregnancy can reduce your baby"s risk of neural tube defects & other birth defects. And your body absorbs synthetic folic acid better than the folic acid found in food.

Your prenatal vitamin will also provide the iron you need, but cảnh báo that gummy vitamins usually don"t contain iron, so you may need to supplement with an iron pill. Your iron requirement increases significantly during pregnancy, especially during the second và third trimesters. If you find that the iron in your prenatal makes you constipated, try including more fiber in your diet, & be sure to drink plenty of water. Exercise may also help. Talk with your provider about using a stool softener, if necessary.

More is not necessarily better when it comes to vitamins và minerals – taking too much of certain things can actually be harmful. Don"t double up on prenatal vitamins or take any additional supplements or herbal preparations without your caregiver"s okay. (Using a weekly pill organizer can help you avoidaccidentally takingtwo prenatal vitamins in a day.) If you need more of a specific nutrient than your prenatal vitamin provides, talk with your practitioner and take the additional amount as a separate supplement.

Exercise regularly

A good exercise program can give you the strength & endurance you"ll need to lớn carry the weight you gain during pregnancy, help prevent or ease aches và pains, improve sluggish circulation in your legs, and help you handle the physical stress of labor. It will also make getting back into shape after your baby"s born much easier.

What"s more, exercise is a great way khổng lồ reduce stress, and research suggests that staying active may boost your mood & cognitive function.

Find out eight great benefits of pregnancy exercise.

Walking, swimming, aerobics, dancing, & running are great for cardio, while yoga and stretching will help you remain flexible, and weight training will tone & strengthen your muscles.

Don"t worry if you feel too exhausted or nauseated to exercise in early pregnancy. Just pick it up when you can. In the meantime, an occasional walk in the fresh air counts – and may help you feel better.

Once you"re able to lớn exercise, remember not to lớn push yourself too hard or let yourself get overheated or dehydrated. (You"ll also need khổng lồ avoid hot tubs & saunas while you"re pregnant.)

Learn when not to exercise while pregnant.

Get some rest

The fatigue you feel in the first và third trimesters is your body"s way of telling you to lớn slow down. So listen up & take it easy as much as you can. If you can"t swing a nap in the middle of the day, at least put your feet up & rest. Give yourself a break and let your other responsibilities slide a little.

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Ask friends and family members lớn help lighten your load, whether it"s doing laundry or providing an hour of childcare. If you"re financially able to, địa chỉ cửa hàng hired help lớn your village – for housekeeping, errands, và childcare, for example. The demands of work, home, & other children don"t come to a screeching halt just because you"re pregnant. Even though it can be hard to lớn ask for help, it"s important.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, deep breathing, & massage are all great ways lớn combat stress & get a better night"s sleep.

By the way, the best sleeping position during pregnancy is on your side, because it provides the best circulation for you & your baby. If you"re used to lớn sleeping on your back or tummy, try lớn make the transition khổng lồ your side early in pregnancy, while sleeping is still pretty comfortable. Try placing pillows under your belly, between your legs, and/or behind your back.

Just say no to alcohol, drugs, & smoking

Don"t drink while you"re pregnant: Any alcohol you drink reaches your baby rapidly through your bloodstream, crossing the placenta, & your baby can kết thúc up with higher levels of blood alcohol than you have. There"s no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.

Because your baby is developing throughout pregnancy, there is no safe time to drink alcohol, & all types of alcohol are equally harmful.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases your risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. & children who are born khổng lồ mothers who drank alcohol during pregnancy are at risk for a range of disabilities known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).

Women who have eight or more alcoholic drinks a week or three or more drinks on any one occasion are at much greater risk for giving birth to a baby with FASD. But problems can occur with less consumption. So play it safe – avoid alcohol completely.

Any drug you use gets into your baby"s bloodstream as well, & babies are much more vulnerable to the effects of chemicals và toxins than adults. Some studies suggest that marijuana may restrict a baby"s growth & increase the risk of preterm birth and placental abruption. Và using drugs likecocaine or opioidsis extremely dangerous during pregnancy.

Smoking deprives your baby of the oxygen they need khổng lồ develop. It increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects (such as a cleft lip or palate và heart defects), preterm birth, low birth weight, & SIDS.

If you"re struggling to lớn quit drugs, drinking, or smoking, ask your caregiver for help. They may be able to lớn provide referrals and recommend products (that are safe during pregnancy) lớn help you quit.

Cut back on caffeine

The March of Dimes và The American College of Obstetricians và Gynecologists (ACOG) advise women to limit their caffeine consumption intake to less than 200 mg per day, an amount you could get from one 8-ounce cup of strong coffee.

Caffeine crosses the placenta into your baby"s bloodstream. Research is ongoing, but to lớn date most experts believe that moderate caffeine consumption (less than 200 mg a day) doesn"t cause problems such as low birth weight, IUGR, miscarriage, or premature birth.

Caffeine has no nutritive value and makes it harder for your body to absorb iron, something pregnant women are already low on. It"s also a stimulant, so it can raise your heart rate và blood pressure và make it even harder for you to get a good night"s sleep.

Limit your coffee drinking khổng lồ one (small) cup or consider switching lớn decaf. And kiểm tra the caffeine content of other products you consume, like tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and coffee ice cream, as well as over-the-counter drugs, such as headache, cold, và allergy remedies.

Get vaccinated

Three vaccines are not only safe, they"re recommended specifically for pregnant women:

Your healthcare provider will review your vaccinations with you at your first prenatal visit.

Ask for tư vấn at work

Some women wait lớn tell their coworkers & employer about their pregnancy until they"re past the first trimester. But if you"re experiencing morning sickness, need lớn take time off for prenatal appointments, or are concerned about your work tasks or workload, you may need lớn tell your boss and coworkers sooner.

Some things lớn consider about working while pregnant:

Consider taking an occasional day off, if you have PTO days to spare, to get some rest.Identify & avoid hazardous substances. If you"re routinely exposed khổng lồ chemicals, heavy metals (like lead or mercury), certain biologic agents, or radiation, you"ll need to make changes as soon as possible, as these substances can be hazardous to lớn you & your developing baby. Keep in mind that some cleaning products, pesticides, solvents, and lead in drinking water from old pipes can also be harmful. Talk khổng lồ your doctor or midwife about what your daily routine involves, so you can come up with ways to avoid or eliminate hazards in your home and workplace.Some pregnancy complications may require you khổng lồ reduce hours or stop working.

Stay safe

Staying active và having fun is important. But there are certain activities lớn avoid during pregnancy. These include any activities that increase the risk of trauma khổng lồ your uterus from a fall or sudden, stop-and-start movements. Don"t ride roller coasters, bumper cars, water slides, four wheelers, or motorcycles, for example. Skip liên hệ sports such as soccer and basketball that can result in a collision or fall.

Be sure lớn always wear a seat belt while pregnant. Use a three-point restraint (a lap belt và a shoulder strap), and secure the lap belt under your belly (low và snug on your hipbones), not across it. The shoulder belt should fit snugly between your breasts & to the side of your belly. Don"t put it behind your back or under your arm.

Take care of your emotional health

Many women feel like they"re on an emotional roller coaster at one time or another during pregnancy. Mood swings are common, thanks lớn hormonal changes. Sometimes you may be feeling stressed or fatigued, or anxious about becoming a parent. Other times you may feel excitement và joy.

Share your feelings with your partner, & talk with friends. Take good care of yourself by getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and exercising. You might find it helpful to keep a journal, practice meditation or prenatal yoga, or use affirmations for pregnancy.

If your mood swings are extreme or interfering with your daily life, however, you may be suffering from pregnancy depression or an anxiety disorder.

If you"ve been feeling low for more than two weeks & nothing seems to lớn lift your spirits – or if you"re feeling particularly anxious – mô tả your feelings with your caregiver. Both therapy và medication can be helpful in treating mental health conditions in pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife can provide a referral for counseling, and they can also help you weigh the risks và benefits of antidepressant medications during pregnancy.

Again, don"t suffer alone. Reach out to lớn family, friends, or a professional for support. Consider joining a tư vấn group of other moms struggling with depression during pregnancy. (Ask your provider to help you get in cảm biến with local groups.) You can also find tư vấn in"s Community.

Also let your caregiver know if you"re in an abusive relationship. Pregnancy can cause áp lực in any relationship, và it"s a common trigger of domestic violence, which puts your health & your baby at risk.