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Pregnancy

Summary

You're going to have a baby! It's an exciting time, but it can also feel a bit overwhelming. You may have a lot of questions, including what you can do to give your baby a healthy start. To keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy, it is important to

  • Have regular visits with your health care provider. These prenatal care visits help make sure that you and your baby are healthy. And if there are any health problems, your provider can find them early. Getting treatment right away can cure many problems and prevent others.
  • Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Good nutrition during pregnancy includes eating a variety of
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Lean meats or other protein sources
    • Low-fat dairy products
  • Take prenatal vitamins. Pregnant women need higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and iron.
  • Be careful with medicines. Always check with your health care provider before you start or stop any medicine. This includes over-the-counter medicines and dietary or herbal supplements.
  • Stay active. Physical activity can help you stay strong, feel and sleep better, and prepare your body for birth. Check with your provider about which types of activities are right for you.
  • Avoid substances that could hurt your baby, such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

Your body will keep changing as your baby grows. It can be hard to know whether a new symptom is normal or could be a sign of a problem. Check with your health care provider if something is bothering or worrying you.

Start Here

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Symptoms

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

Prevention and Risk Factors

Living With

  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
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  • Pregnancy and Nutrition: MedlinePlus Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
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  • (National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center) - PDF
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Related Issues

  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in
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  • Health Problems in Pregnancy: MedlinePlus Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
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  • (American College of Nurse-Midwives) - PDF
  • (Food and Drug Administration)

Specifics

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  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in
  • (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation)
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Images

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Videos and Tutorials

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in
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Children

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Teenagers

Men

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Patient Handouts