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    Understanding Pregnancy Discomforts -- the Basics

    What Are Pregnancy Discomforts?

    Most pregnancies are medically uneventful and end happily in the successful birth of a healthy baby. Yet, you still have 40 weeks to wonder whether certain physical and emotional discomforts are serious enough for medical intervention or are minor problems you can deal with on your own.

    Your first -- and most important -- step is signing up for a comprehensive prenatal program with an obstetrician (doctor who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth). You and your developing baby will get routine monitoring to make sure everything is going well -- and if it isn't, you will be referred for appropriate care for any problems. You and your partner will get confidence-building information about each stage of your pregnancy, including labor, childbirth, and the care and feeding of a newborn.

    A pregnant woman is as likely as anyone to get minor illnesses. But when you're pregnant, always keep your health care provider informed of any illness so you get proper treatment. Your main responsibility is keeping yourself and your baby well nourished and cared for. That means you need a balanced diet, appropriate exercise, plenty of rest, and a low-stress environment. Above all, don't smoke or use alcohol while you're pregnant, and avoid all drugs except those prescribed by your doctor.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on March 14, 2015

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