Take Action: Prenatal Care
There are lots of things you can do today to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Get regular prenatal care.
Plan on getting a prenatal checkup at least every month for the first 7 months, and more often during the last 2 months of your pregnancy.
Get important shots.
The whooping cough and flu shots are recommended for all pregnant women. Talk to your doctor or midwife about getting other shots (vaccines) to help protect you and your baby. Learn more about important shots.
Take charge of your health care.
Speak up and ask questions when you are at a medical visit. When you play an active role in your health care, you help make sure that you and your growing family will get good care. Find out how to take charge of your health care.
Keep track of your baby’s movement.
After about 28 weeks of pregnancy, you will probably start to feel your baby move. Keep track of how often your baby moves. If you think your baby is moving less than usual, call your doctor or midwife.
Take Action: Don't Smoke or Drink
Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
One of the best ways to protect your health and your baby's health is to stop smoking and drinking alcohol before you become pregnant – or as soon as possible during your pregnancy.
There is no safe amount to drink or smoke while you are pregnant. Both can harm the health of your baby. Talk with your doctor or midwife about ways to help you quit.
Secondhand smoke (smoke from other people’s cigarettes) can also put you and your baby at risk for health problems. Stay away from cigarette smoke.
Take Action: Eat Healthy and Stay Active
Eat healthy foods.
Making healthy food choices during pregnancy can help you gain weight in a healthy way, feel good while you are pregnant, and have a healthy baby.
Gain weight in a healthy way.
Gaining a certain amount of weight during pregnancy is important for your health and your baby's health. Use this tool to learn how much weight is healthy for you to gain during pregnancy.
Remember, pregnancy is not a good time to lose weight. Even if you are overweight, you still need to gain some weight for your baby to grow well. Ask your doctor or midwife how much weight is healthy for you to gain.
Being physically active may help you have a more comfortable pregnancy. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, like walking fast, dancing, or swimming. Do aerobic activity for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Get more information about exercise during pregnancy:
Take Action: Prevent Infections
Take steps to prevent infections.
To prevent infections and help keep your unborn baby safe:
Take Action: Get Support
Ask for help if you need it.
Being pregnant may be tiring or stressful at times. Extra support from loved ones can help you have a more comfortable pregnancy. Family members or friends can:
- Provide emotional support so you feel less stressed
- Visit the doctor or midwife with you
- Go with you to a breastfeeding class
- Change the litter box if you have a cat
- Help prepare for the baby’s arrival by setting up furniture
Think about what you need, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Take Action: Plan for Baby
Plan ahead for the first few weeks with your new baby.
Having a new baby is exciting, but it can be stressful.
Take Action: Before You Get Pregnant
Not pregnant yet? Plan ahead.
Schedule an appointment with a doctor or midwife.