prenatal care, pregnancy, pregnant, obgyn, healthy baby, northwest arkansas, womens clinicEach year the Center for Disease Control (CDC) receives reports of women who died because of a pregnancy-related complication. The yearly number was 658 in 2018, including deaths during pregnancy, at birth, or within 42 days of birth. The CDC estimates that up to one-half of pregnancy-related deaths could be prevented by better prenatal care.

Prenatal Care Tips

Early prenatal care can provide necessary information to the mother regarding nutrition-related and behavioral risk factors that can impact the mother and baby. We recommend that you consider a preconception visit with your Obstetrician before getting pregnant, start taking folic acid before conception and get early prenatal care. Following are some prenatal care dos and don’ts. As always, consult with your physician for any questions or unique circumstances.

Health

  • Get early and regular prenatal care.
  • Take a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin with 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day.
  • Ask your doctor before stopping any medicines or starting any new medicines.
  • Avoid x-rays. If you must have dental work or diagnostic tests, tell your dentist or doctor that you are pregnant.

Food

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Get all the nutrients you need each day, including iron.
  • Protect yourself and your baby from food-borne illnesses by washing fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Don’t eat fish with lots of mercury, including swordfish, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish.

Lifestyle

  • Gain a healthy amount of weight. Your doctor can tell you how much weight gain you should aim for during pregnancy.
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs.
  • Try to get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week unless your doctor tells you not to.
  • Don’t take extremely hot baths or use hot tubs or saunas.
  • Get plenty of sleep and find ways to control stress.

Environmental

  • Stay away from chemicals like insecticides, solvents (like some cleaners or paint thinners), lead, mercury, and paint (including paint fumes)
  • If you have a cat, ask your doctor about toxoplasmosis.
  • Avoid contact with rodents, including pet rodents and their urine, droppings, or nesting material.
  • Take steps to avoid illness, such as washing hands frequently.
  • Stay away from secondhand smoke.

Check out more detailed tips here.

If you just got the good news that you’re pregnant, we would like to offer our congratulations! Prenatal care is incredibly important throughout this exciting time in your life, and we’d like to help you get started. At Creekside Center for Women, we focus on making those first steps, and every step along the way, simple and informed. Call and schedule an appointment today with one of our physicians. 479.582.9268