You will see your health care provider a lot during your pregnancy. That is why it is important you choose someone you enjoy and trust. Most pregnant women have 10 to 15 prenatal visits.
Usually an expecting mother will visit her health care provider every four weeks during the first 28 weeks, then once every two weeks until 36 weeks, and then weekly until the baby is born. However, the number of times you visit your health care provider may vary because of your medical history or pregnancy complications.
Prenatal Breast Care
It is important if you plan to breastfeed to learn as much as you can. As natural as breastfeeding is, the proper technique is a learned art. Women with any shape breast and nipple size can nurse, but women with flat or inverted nipples should prepare them before baby is born.
It was once thought prenatal nipple preparation would toughen the nipples and prevent soreness. We now know this supple tissue cannot be toughened and with appropriate latch-on skills after delivery a mom can lessen and often eliminate nipple soreness.
Some mothers who begin nursing their babies have problems. Allen Hospital's Breastfeeding Class, books and talking with other women who have nursed are great resources for learning about breastfeeding and hopefully avoiding these problems.
Heat up luncheon meat before you eat it to prevent Listeriosis, an illness caused by bacteria. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than healthy adults to get Listeriosis. Avoid raw meat and foods made with unpasteurized milk, including soft cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses and Mexican-style cheese such as queso blanco fresco. (Source - You & Your Baby: Pregnancy by Dr. Laura Riley, OB/GYN)
FDA/EPA recommends pregnant women avoid fish that contains high levels of mercury such as:
Tilefish (also known as golden or white bass or snapper)
Spanish mackerel (from Gulf of Mexico)
Pregnant women can consume up to two servings per week of fish that are lower in mercury. These include:
Shrimp - avoid raw fish and shellfish
Canned light tuna - avoid white albacore tuna
Limit to 300mg per day, about 2 cups (total) of coffee, tea or pop. Some studies show caffeine is associated with low birth-weight babies when more than 2-3 cups is consumed.
Many women worry about taking prescription drugs while trying to conceive, or during the early stages of pregnancy. However, you should never stop taking prescription medications without consulting your health care provider first. Speak to your health care provider immediately about your medications.
Before you start exercising, get your health care provider's approval. Your health care provider will probably say yes, unless your pregnancy is considered high risk. If you already exercise, stick to the routine you followed before you became pregnant. If you haven't exercised recently, start slowly and choose an activity that won't be too strenuous on your body.