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Healthy enough for 2

Now is the time to try to be the healthiest you can be. Take care of yourself. It's one of the best ways you can take care of your baby today and in the months ahead.

Good health is a great goal at any time in life. But it's extra important when your body is home to some very precious cargo.

When moms-to-be try to stay as healthy as possible, they're helping to give their little ones a great start.

This information from the March of Dimes, the National Institutes of Health and other experts can help you start off right.

Get what you need

Pregnant women need more of certain nutrients. These include iron and the B vitamin folate.

To make sure you're getting enough of such minerals and vitamins, your doctor will probably recommend a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid, along with other key nutrients.

Even with a supplement, you'll still need a well-balanced diet. Try to include:

  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Whole grains.
  • Milk, lean meats, and other calcium and protein sources.

Stay fit

Regular exercise is good for moms-to-be and babies. Most pregnant women can do moderate activities safely, but check with your doctor first.

Make a healthy new start

If you needed more reason to kick an unhealthy habit, look no farther than your soon-to-be-bulging belly. Consider these facts:

  • Smoking may increase your risk for miscarriage, early delivery and birth defects.
  • Alcohol can affect your unborn baby's growth. It can also cause mental and physical birth defects.
  • Illegal drugs may cause women to miscarry or increase the risk of birth defects.

If you need help quitting any of these things, tell your doctor.

See your doctor soon

Staying healthy isn't a solo act. Here are some of the ways your health team can play a vital role:

Regular prenatal care. You need these pregnancy care visits now and throughout your pregnancy. Make an appointment today.

Help managing health problems. You may need special care if you have an ongoing condition such as:

  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Asthma.

Your doctor may want to see you more often if you have a health condition. Also some of the ways you manage the disease may change.

For example, to control diabetes you'll likely need to check your blood sugar more often. And your doctor may prescribe a medicine that's safer right now. For example, you might need insulin instead of diabetes pills.

Vaccination advice. Ask about getting a flu shot. Anyone can end up with complications such as pneumonia. But pregnant women are at higher risk. If you get sick, let your doctor know.

You may need other vaccines if you are at high risk for other illnesses. Ask your doctor if you need any other shots.

Learn more

Your doctor can also tell you more about healthy eating and weight gain, reducing stress, and avoiding things that may harm your baby. He or she can also help answer any pregnancy questions that come up. Remember, you can do your best to stay healthy enough for two.

Reviewed 10/17/2021

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