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Healthy Babies, Healthy Pregnancies
Start prenatal care as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
Even better, talk to your health care provider before you become pregnant.
You'll educate yourself about the process and you'll learn about what you should do before pregnancy begins—like why you should take folic acid—to prepare your body.
Don't smoke while you are pregnant
It's best to stop smoking before you are pregnant. If you can't stop, cut down.
- Try to stay in smoke-free places.
- Don't let people smoke around you, or around the baby.
Plan for gaining 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
- If you don't gain enough weight, your baby may not gain enough weight.
- Eating for two from the five food groups – milk, meat, fruits, vegetables and grains – makes you and your baby stronger.
Pay attention to when the baby moves inside your body.
- If the baby's movements seem to slow down, call your health care provider.
Know the signs of preterm labor and what to do about it
Contact your health care provider immediately if you have these symptoms:
- Contractions every 10 minutes, or more than five contractions in one hour
- Backache that does not go away after resting on your side
- Changes in vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pressure that feels like the baby is pushing down inside
- Menstrual-like cramps
- Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
And when the baby comes…
- Put your baby on its back to sleep. You can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by placing your baby on its back while sleeping.
- Don't allow smoking around the baby.
- Don't sleep with your baby.
- Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress. Nothing should be in the crib; no pillows, blankets or stuffed animals.