Early and regular prenatal care is vital for both mother and baby.
Doctors can spot health problems early when they see mothers regularly. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others. Studies show that babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who receive prenatal care.
If you are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant, here are some important health tips:
- See a doctor within the first 12 weeks of learning you are pregnant.
- Expectant moms should gain a healthy amount of weight.
- Quit smoking before you become pregnant.
- You should not drink alcohol or use drugs while you are pregnant.
- Get plenty of sleep and try to control your stress.
- Incorporate regular, moderate intensity exercise weekly, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Take steps to avoid illness like regular hand washing and getting your flu shot.
For more information about prenatal care and pregnancy, visit these websites:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services