3 Proven Ways to Protect Your Pregnancy
You may feel overwhelmed about everything you need to remember now that you’re pregnant. Relax. Here are 3 of the most important things you need to know.
Visit your healthcare provider
Your healthcare provider will help you figure out your due date. It’s about 280 days from the first day of your last menstrual period. During checkups, you and your healthcare provider will talk about any pregnancy risk factors you may have. This way, you can make changes that will help the health of you and your baby.
This is also the time that you and your healthcare provider will talk about your schedule for prenatal visits. You’ll likely need a checkup once a month for about the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Then you’ll see your healthcare provider about every 2 weeks from 28 to 36 weeks. Then you’ll have weekly checkups from 36 weeks until you give birth.
Your healthcare provider may also schedule tests. This depends on your risk factors. These may include diabetes, high blood pressure, or a past preterm birth. In later months, you’ll also talk about your birth options and take a childbirth class.
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your healthcare provider may see you more often. Or he or she may send you to a specialist. You may be high-risk if you are older than 35, have high blood pressure or diabetes, or are pregnant with more than one baby.
You’ll need to eat about 2,200 to 2,900 calories a day when you’re pregnant. If you're of average weight, your total weight gain should be between 25 and 35 pounds. If you’re overweight or underweight, or are expecting twins or more, talk with your healthcare provider about the right amount of weight gain.
You’ll also need to make sure you get enough folic acid throughout pregnancy. Be sure you're getting enough protein, calcium, and iron in your diet. And drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Staying fit while you're pregnant is a must. It will help you deal with the demands pregnancy places on your body. It also may make labor and delivery a little easier. Talk about your exercise plan with your healthcare provider before you start. For most women, swimming, brisk walking, and taking prenatal fitness classes are great ways to stay fit. But don't overdo it. Don’t get overheated and drink plenty of water. You should also make sure you wear comfortable shoes and a supportive bra.
Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016
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