22 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Don’t Smoke, Drink Alcohol, or Use Drugs

Stopping smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs before getting pregnant, or as soon as you can while you’re pregnant, is one of the best ways to safeguard you and your unborn child.

While pregnant, there is no safe amount to consume alcohol or smoke. Both can harm your baby’s health. Ask your doctor or midwife for advice on how to stop smoking.

It’s best for you and your child to stop using any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes (vapes). You and your child are at risk for health issues if you and your baby are exposed to secondhand smoke (smoke from other people’s cigarettes). Stay away from cigarette smoke during your pregnancy.

Additionally, using drugs while pregnant, such as opioid painkillers and marijuana, can be harmful to the health of your unborn child. Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you are pregnant and using drugs.

Learn more:

You can feel good while pregnant, gain weight in a healthy way, and have a healthy baby by choosing healthy foods and taking supplements as needed.

  • Check out these tips on healthy eating during pregnancy
  • Ask your doctor or midwife if you need to take a daily prenatal supplement during pregnancy
  • Take a daily supplement with 400 to 800 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid — folic acid is a vitamin that can prevent birth defects
  • Gaining a certain amount of weight during pregnancy is important for both you and your baby. Learn how much weight is healthy for you to gain during pregnancy.

    You must put on weight even if you are overweight in order for your baby to grow. Find out from your physician or midwife how much weight gain is healthy for you.

    Being physically active can help you have a healthier pregnancy. Plan to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking, dancing, or swimming, for at least 150 minutes each week.

    Even a 5-minute walk has real health benefits, and you can gradually increase your activity level if you haven’t been active before.

    Check out these sources for more details on exercise during pregnancy:

    To avoid infections and contribute to the safety of your baby, remember to:

    Being pregnant may be tiring or stressful at times. Extra support from loved ones can help. For example, family members or friends can:

  • Provide emotional support so you feel less stressed
  • Visit the doctor or midwife with you
  • Go with you to a breastfeeding or birthing class
  • Change the litter box if you have a cat
  • Help prepare for the baby’s arrival by setting up furniture
  • Consider what you require, and don’t be reluctant to seek assistance.

    Although having a newborn is exciting, it can also be stressful. Take steps to help you prepare for your new baby:

    Planning ahead can help you have a healthier pregnancy. For example:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, and the Office on Women’s Health provided the inspiration for this information on healthy pregnancy.

    Reviewed by: Heather Hamner, Ph. D. , M. S. , M. P. H. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Valerie Levy, M. P. H. Public Health Advisor Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

    Do I have any special nutrition needs now that I’m pregnant?

    Yes. You require more vitamins and minerals, such as folate, iron, and calcium, during pregnancy.

    Getting the appropriate amount of folate is very important. A B vitamin called folate, also referred to as folic acid, may help prevent birth defects. In addition to the folate you get naturally from foods and beverages, you need 400 mcg per day from supplements or fortified foods prior to becoming pregnant. During pregnancy, you need 600 mcg. While breastfeeding, you need 500 mcg of folate per day. Orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, fortified breads, and fortified low-sugar breakfast cereals are among the foods high in folate. These foods may even provide 100% of the daily value of folic acid per serving

    The majority of medical professionals advise expectant women to take a prenatal vitamin daily and eat healthy foods, snacks, and beverages. Ask your doctor about what you should take.

    Go to your prenatal care checkups.

    Women should receive routine prenatal care from a medical professional. A baby with low birth weight or other complications is much more likely to be born to mothers who don’t receive regular prenatal care. If available, consider group prenatal care.

    There are some foods that pregnant women should not consume. Don’t eat:

  • Raw or rare meats
  • Liver, sushi, raw eggs (also in mayonnaise)
  • Soft cheeses (feta, brie)
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Raw and unpasteurized animal products can cause food poisoning. Due to their high mercury content, some fish can harm a developing baby even after being cooked.

    Don’t drink alcohol before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The chance of having a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) rises with alcohol consumption. Unusual facial features, severe learning disabilities, and behavioral problems can all be a result of FASD.

    Before a woman may even be aware that she is pregnant, alcohol use during pregnancy can have an impact on the health of the unborn child. As a result, it is also not advisable for pregnant women to drink alcohol.

    Smoking is unhealthy for you and your unborn child. It raises the possibility of SIDS, premature birth, miscarriage, and other negative outcomes.

    You can maintain your health while pregnant by engaging in daily exercise or other forms of activity. Find out from your doctor how much exercise is appropriate for you.

    The flu can seriously impair pregnant women and raise your baby’s risk of complications. The flu shot can both prevent serious illness in yourself and your unborn child. Ask your doctor about getting a flu shot.

    It’s crucial for both you and your infant to get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours). To promote better blood flow, try to sleep on your left side.

    Reducing stress is crucial for improving birth outcomes. Stressful situations should be avoided as much as possible by expectant mothers. Invite your loved ones to assist you in reducing your stress levels.

    Pregnancy Tips: Ob/Gyn Doctor Explains Keys to Healthy Pregnancy

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