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Quick Tips: Healthy Pregnancy Habits

Getting Started

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.
  • Be active.
    • 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.

Credits

Current as of: February 23, 2022

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

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