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Prenatal Care & Testing

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Dear Debi,
I am a first-time mother, currently in my second trimester. What are the best foods to eat? And how can I properly prepare for delivery?
Lili Brown
Debi's Tips
Debi Gutierrez
Debi Gutierrez
Host
  • Get prenatal care as soon as you know you're pregnant
  • See your medical clinician regularly
  • Get all recommended tests or treatments
  • Learn the warning signs that something may be wrong
Expert Advice
Dr. Kimberly Gregory
Dr. Kimberly Gregory
Obstetrician/Gyneclogist
The goal of prenatal care is to monitor the progress of a pregnancy and to identify potential problems before they become serious for either mom or baby. All mothers-to-be benefit from prenatal care. Women who see a health care provider regularly during pregnancy have healthier babies, are less likely to deliver prematurely, and are less likely to have other serious problems related to pregnancy. In fact, prenatal care reduces the risk of having a low-birth-weight baby.

The key to having a healthy baby is to take good care of your own health. The healthier you are, the stronger both you and your baby are likely to be.

Arrange to have prenatal care as soon as you know you are pregnant. Recommendations of how many times expectant mothers should see their clinicians vary, depending on their age, their medical history, their current health, and whether their pregnancy is "low-risk" or "high-risk."

The first prenatal visit is usually the longest because it includes a thorough examination. Subsequent regular checkups are important because serious health problems can occur during pregnancy. Any information you share with your health care provider is confidential, so you shouldn't be afraid to talk about issues that may be uncomfortable or embarrassing. It's OK to tell your provider if you smoke, drink alcohol or take any drugs, or if your partner hurts or scares you. Your provider needs to know all about you and your lifestyle so that he or she can give you and your baby the best care.

Child Care Provider Comments
Joanna Velarde
Joanna Velarde
Mother of two
The first time I became pregnant, I took the advice of "eating for two," and I gained over 60 pounds and didn't exercise. For my second pregnancy, I am eating a high fiber, high lean protein, high calcium, low-fat diet. For exercise, I bought a prenatal yoga DVD that helps keep me tone.
Craig Velarde
Craig Velarde
Expectant father
When you are a first time parent, you don't know. You want to make sure the baby is healthy. What should she eat? What should she lift? Should she be exercising? One thing that I didn't know...I thought a woman needs to rest all the time. The doctor said that she should exercise and do cardio, which keeps the baby healthy. So I encourage her to exercise and I take walks with her.
Maria Velarde
Maria Velarde
Grandmother of one
I support my daughter-in-law by babysitting my grandson for a day or a weekend, which gives her some time for rest. I try to help a lot with my grandson and invite them to my house for a good meal to make sure mom eats well.

Pregnancy & Nutrition Featured Activity:
Pregnancy & Nutrition
Prenatal Care & Testing Featured Video:
Prenatal Care & Testing
Topic: Health & Safety
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Related Episodes
Healthy Eating
Low-Cost Health Services
Choosing a Pediatrician, Plus Week in Review
Postpartum Depression
Resources
The National Women's Health Information Center
1-800-994-9662
 
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