Things You Can and Can't (Or Shouldn't) Do During Pregnancy

checklistJust a few changes during your pregnancy can improve your and your baby's health. For example, you probably know that getting enough folic acid is important. But did you know it is just as important to avoid your cat's litter? You probably knew that abdominal x-rays might be harmful to your baby, but did you know some researchers are concerned about electric blankets?

A few of the items listed under "Think Twice" are controversial. Some studies have shown they are dangerous, others not. It's up to you to do the research and decide if the risks outweigh the benefits.

Here's What You'll Find Below:DO's: These actions will help you and your baby have a great pregnancy:
DONT's: Precautions while you're pregnant
THINK TWICE about these controversial subjects

Plan Ahead

The ideal situation would to be able to plan our pregnancies down to the last dot over the "i". However, life, let alone babies, seldom let us do that. This is why it's so important to be aware about everything that can or will directly affect you and your baby. While we can't plan everything, being prepared and having the tools and knowledge you need really helps! Here are some good reminders about the do's and don'ts for moms and their babies.

Positive Steps: Things You SHOULD Do

share ideasTake an Active Part in Your Pregnancy Health Care
Choose a provider that fits your ideal philosophy of care. From midwife to OB/GYN, personality and communication are key ingredients to a great relationship and a healthy pregnancy.

  • Schedule regular prenatal visits: Checking in regularly with your provider helps avoid problems and complications during pregnancy.
  • Start folic acid early: Folic acid significantly reduce your baby's risk for spinal bifida. Begin this supplement when you think of having a baby.
  • Take prenatal vitamins: These specially formulated multivitamins help make up for deficiencies in your diet.
  • Talk about pre-existing conditions and family history: Pre-existing conditions include things such as diabetes, herpes (and other STDs), heart problems, epilepsy and high blood pressure.
  • Test Immunity to German Measles: If you're not immune, try to avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms of rubella. After baby is born, consider vaccinating so your next baby will be protected.

healthy dietEat Well and Get Plenty of Exercise
A healthy pregnancy diet focuses on whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, lots of vegetables and fruits. Just 300 extra calories a day! Need to know more? Ask for a referral to a nutritionist.