Healthy Pregnancy Tips
The following are recommendations on how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby from the Family Birth Center team at Montage Health.
Prenatal care is the healthcare you receive during pregnancy, and it can benefit you and your baby. Get prenatal care during regular checkups with your obstetrician, or OB (pregnancy doctor). Protect yourself and your baby by:
- Exploring with your doctor ways to ease any pregnancy discomforts safely
- Talking with your doctor before using any over-the-counter or prescription medications or supplements
- Getting recommended vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. These shots can prevent serious illnesses
Nutrition and hydration
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough water. Your body needs more water while pregnant. Aim for eight or more cups of water daily
- Eat healthy foods. Your baby needs nutrients to grow healthy and strong in the womb. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods, and foods low in saturated fat. Consider talking to your doctor or making an appointment with a dietitian to talk about getting nutrition for your specific needs
- Avoid certain foods that may increase your risk of food poisoning. These include raw or rare meat, raw fish (sushi), raw eggs, soft cheese like brie and feta, and unpasteurized milk and dairy products. Some fish, even when cooked, can be harmful to a growing baby because they’re high in mercury
- Take a prenatal vitamin as prescribed by your OB. A daily prenatal multivitamin can help you get the right amount of key nutrients you and your baby need during pregnancy. These nutrients include omega-3s, folic acid, iron, and calcium
Exercise and daily movement help you stay healthy. Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are some examples. Talk with your doctor about the type and amount of physical activity that may benefit you.
Emotional and mental health
It takes a village to raise a child, and everyone needs and deserves support during pregnancy and parenthood. Family, friends, and community organizations can help. You may also consider a support group for pregnant people or new parents.
Consider adding stress-relieving, enjoyable self-care activities into your day. Tell your doctor if you have anxiety, depression, or other symptoms. Learn more about common mental health conditions that can happen during and after pregnancy, when to get emergency help, services we offer, and resources you may be interested in.
Sleeping seven to nine hours each night benefits you and your baby. We recommend sleeping on your side to help improve blood flow.
Avoid alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, smoking, vaping, and secondhand smoke. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). FASD and drug use can cause severe learning disabilities and behavior issues in your child. Smoking and secondhand smoke increase the risk of premature birth, miscarriage, childhood respiratory illnesses, and other conditions.