Is this topic for you?
This topic covers pregnancy information, including planning for labor and delivery. If you aren't pregnant yet, see the topic Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy. For more information on labor and delivery, see the topic
Labor and Delivery.
What can you do to have a healthy pregnancy?
You may be happy and
excited to find out that you're pregnant. And you may be a little nervous or worried. If this will be your first
child, you may even feel overwhelmed by all of the things you need to know
about having a baby. There is a lot to learn. But you don't have to know
everything right away. You can read all about pregnancy now, or you can learn
about each stage as your pregnancy goes on.
Pregnancy is measured in
trimesters from the first day of your last menstrual
period, totaling 40 weeks. But a full-term
pregnancy can deliver between 37 weeks and 42 weeks.
During your pregnancy,
you'll have tests to watch for certain problems that could occur. With all the
tests you'll have, you may worry that something will go wrong. But most women
have healthy pregnancies. If there is a problem, these tests can find it early
so that you and your doctor or midwife can treat it or watch it to help improve
your chance of having a healthy baby.
Taking great care of
yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby. Everything
healthy that you do for your body helps your growing baby. Rest when you need
it, eat well, and exercise regularly. Drink plenty of
water before, during, and after you are active. This is very important when
it's hot out.
You'll need to have
regular checkups. At every visit, your doctor or midwife will weigh you and
measure your belly to check your baby's growth. You'll also get blood and urine
tests and have your blood pressure checked.
It's important to avoid
tobacco smoke, alcohol and drugs, chemicals, and radiation (like X-rays). These
can harm you and the baby.
What kinds of exams and tests will you have?
first prenatal exam gives your doctor or midwife important information for
planning your care. You'll have a pelvic exam and urine and blood tests. You'll
also have your blood pressure and weight checked. The urine and blood tests are
used for a pregnancy test and to tell whether you have low iron levels (are
anemic) or have signs of infection.
each prenatal visit you'll be weighed, have your belly measured, and have your
blood pressure and urine checked. Go to all your appointments. Although these
quick office visits may seem simple and routine, your doctor is watching for
signs of possible problems like
high blood pressure.