Health Tips for Pregnant Women
Getting the right health care and making smart diet and exercise choices while you’re pregnant will help keep you – and your baby – healthy.
Take Care of Your Baby With Prenatal Care
One of the most important things you can do for your baby is to start getting prenatal care within the first three months – or first trimester – of your pregnancy. This early part of pregnancy is a critical time for development – and it’s a time when your baby is most vulnerable. If you know you’re pregnant – or think you might be – call and make an appointment to see your health care provider.
During your pregnancy, you’ll see your doctor often. In fact, you’ll see him or her more frequently the closer you get to your due date. You might be nervous before your very first prenatal visit, but know that this visit is a time to talk with your provider and get answers to your pregnancy questions.
Having a baby? Learn more about what to expect during maternity.*
Health Tips for New Moms
After your baby is born, your excitement and to-do list will grow. Don’t forget that you’ll need to schedule your new mom checkup with your doctor.
As a new mom, this follow-up visit is very important. During the visit, your doctor will check to make sure you are OK. This checkup is also a good time to ask your doctor any questions you may have about your health since your delivery. The visit should occur between four and six weeks after you have your baby.
Effects of Pregnancy
Pregnancy can take a tremendous toll on a woman’s body. You may go through many physical and emotional changes after you have your baby. Most of the major complications of labor and birth take place within the first few hours after delivery, but some may not surface until days or weeks later. As you learn to deal with any changes and problems you may have, you should stay in close contact with your doctor.
If you are trying to lose weight, make sure you do so in a healthy way. Talk to your doctor before you start a diet or working out.
You may also feel sad or depressed. Seventy to 80 percent of all new mothers feel sadness commonly called, “the baby blues.” This can be a very normal phase that will go away on its own. If it doesn’t, it may be a sign of a serious illness called postpartum depression. In some cases, you may need medicine and therapy to help you feel better. Here are some facts you need to know about postpartum depression:
- Unlike “the baby blues,” it does not go away on its own.
- Babies are less likely to get proper care when postpartum depression is left untreated.
- It can be treated safely and effectively.
- Depression is not a sign of weakness, and it’s nobody’s fault.
- It affects 10 to 15 percent of all new mothers.
So, be aware of your feelings, and talk with your doctor about any prolonged feelings of sadness or depression you may have.
Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.