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Key Elements for Your Healthy Pregnancy
Key Elements for Your Healthy Pregnancy
Taking Care of Baby Starts with Taking Care of You
Caring for your baby starts the moment you learn you are pregnant. It really means taking care of yourself, developing healthy habits, and getting good medical help. Following the advice of doctors and caretakers will help you feel better during your pregnancy and get your baby off to a good start.
Healthy Eating for You and Baby
Eating the right foods while you are pregnant will help you feel better and give your baby the nutrition needed for healthy growth.
- Whenever possible, choose whole foods, like apples, instead of apple juice, or a baked potato instead of french fries
- For carbohydrates, choose whole grain breads, whole wheat pastas and brown rice to add more fiber and vitamins to your diet
- Eat more leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach
- Lean protein foods like chicken and turkey, or beans and lentils, are also good choices
- Stick with low or non-fat milk or dairy products
- Try to stay away from deli meats and limit how much fish you eat
If you have morning sickness, try eating some crackers before you get out of bed. You may find that eating smaller meals more often during the day helps with queasiness, and makes you feel more energetic.
Your doctor may suggest a prenatal vitamin that can give your baby important vitamins and minerals that are needed to grow and develop. Remember, whatever goes in your body also goes in your baby’s body.
Taking Care of You and Baby
As soon as you know that you are pregnant, you should begin seeing a medical professional regularly. Doctors or nurse midwives who specialize in the prenatal care know how to treat both you and your baby. Your care professional can talk to you about what to expect during your pregnancy, recommend tests, and check your baby’s growth and development. Your doctor or midwife is the person to go to with questions or concerns, or to call for an emergency.
Help Getting Health Care
Maternal Infant Health Program
Pregnant women with Medicaid can receive free care at home from the Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP).
A nurse and social worker will work with you to provide support during your pregnancy and after your baby is born. Through MIHP, you’ll learn the skills you need to stay healthy and have a healthy baby. It’s like having a personal care team to coordinate with your doctor, your health plan, and other providers in your community.
The Nurse-Family Partnership program guides young, first-time expectant mothers from early pregnancy through their child’s second birthday.
A trained nurse partner will work with you to offer help and advice throughout your pregnancy, visit you at home and answer questions about infant care, and give you the support you need to raise a happy, healthy baby and create a stable, secure future for you both.
Caring for Your Teeth Through Your Pregnancy
Your body changes with your pregnancy, including your teeth. Pregnancy hormones in your body can cause inflamed gums, more cavities, and even tooth loss. Here are some things you can do to prevent dental problems:
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist now
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once
- If you are vomiting from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water, or use a fluoride mouth rinse.
Overall Pregnancy Tips
Try These Pregnancy Tips
- Rest when you can, and try to get a good night’s sleep
- Anything you put in your body will also go in your baby. Avoid smoking, drinking, and using drugs, which can result in serious health problems for your baby. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor
- Staying active will help you feel better, reduce your blood pressure and help you manage any other health conditions
More Pregnancy Tips
- Plan time for a daily walk or swim, or sign up for a prenatal yoga class
- Talk with your doctor or nurse midwife about an exercise plan during your pregnancy
- It’s also important that you stay up-to-date with your vaccines. Ask your doctor about an annual flu shot and other important vaccinations that guard against serious diseases
More Resources for Parents-To-Be
Stay Healthy During Pregnancy
Find information on what you can do to stay healthy during pregnancy from the Center for Disease Control.
Get Nutrition Tips
Get tip sheets on meal planning, exercise, and more from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate.
Get Pediatric Advice
HealthyChildren.org has helpful advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics.