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Quick Tips: Healthy Pregnancy Habits - Get started

The following 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.
  • Keep regular appointments for prenatal checkups and care.
  • Get treatment for all infections. If you have signs of an infection during pregnancy, such as fever or unusual vaginal discharge, call your doctor or midwife.

Eat a balanced diet

  • Eat a balanced diet. Remember that your nutritional needs increase during pregnancy. Eat from each food group—grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, and meat and other proteins, including beans. If you are not sure about what or how much to eat, talk with your doctor or midwife.
  • Get enough folic acid. Women who are planning to become pregnant or who already are pregnant should take daily vitamin supplements containing 0.4 mg to 0.8 mg (400 mcg to 800 mcg) of folic acid. It's also found in fortified cereals, orange juice, spinach, and broccoli.

Be active

  • Women who have uncomplicated pregnancies are encouraged to get regular aerobic and strength-conditioning exercise. Swimming, walking, and arm exercises are the safest activities.
  • Don't exercise if you are not feeling well or if the weather is very hot. Do not participate in dangerous sports like horseback riding or motorcycle riding, waterskiing, or scuba diving.

Get plenty of rest

  • Go to bed earlier than usual and get up later, if possible. Take naps, unless napping makes you sleepless at night. If you cannot sleep, try reading, writing a letter, or doing another quiet and restful activity.
  • Put your feet up and rest as often as you can during the day. Share housework and other duties with your partner whenever possible.
  • As your pregnancy advances, it is best to lie on your left side. Placing a small pillow under your belly for support may increase your comfort. Have your partner roll another pillow in the small of your back. A third small pillow can be placed between your knees.
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