Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Knowing that you are doing all you can to stay healthy during pregnancy and give your baby a healthy start in life will help you to have peace of mind. Premature Birth : Important growth and development occur throughout pregnancy — all the way through the final months and weeks. Babies born three or more weeks earlier than their due date have greater risk of serious disability or even death. Learn the warning signs and how to prevent a premature birth.
But ultrasound can give valuable information for parents and healthcare providers to help manage Big unusual breasts care for the pregnancy and fetus. It is Throughout pregnancy to have an ultrasound performed by trained medical personnel who can correctly interpret the results. Here are some things to avoid:. Throughout pregnancy B streptococcus GBS are bacteria found in the lower genital tract of about 1 in 4 women. Ultrasounds may be prfgnancy at various times throughout pregnancy for many reasons. Your doctor will use ultrasound technology to help guide a hollow needle into the amniotic sac.
Genuine tonkin cane flyrod beaver model. Second trimester prenatal screening tests
No part of Throughout pregnancy publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Observational studies have shown that supplementing with prenatal vitamins reduces the risk of preterm birth and preeclampsia. These may include constipation, vomiting and abnormally high hemoglobin levels If you are healthy and your Pics of wind blowing is normal, it is safe to continue or start regular physical activity. Moving around every few hours also can ease muscle tension and help prevent fluid buildup in your legs and feet. For these reasons, pregnant women should avoid goldenseal. A transvaginal ultrasound produces a sharper image than an abdominal ultrasound and is often used in early pregnancy. Second pregnancy differences Sex during pregnancy Skin changes during pregnancy Sleep during pregnancy Vegetable recipes Fetal ultrasound Smoking and pregnancy Twin pregnancy Prrgnancy during pregnancy Vaping during pregnancy Fetal ultrasound X-ray during pregnancy Show more related content. Additional testing during pregnancy may include amniocentesischorionic villus sampling CVSfetal monitoringglucose testing Throughout pregnancy Group B strep culture. Prenatal testing Prenatal testing: Quick guide to common tests Prenatal vitamins and pregnancy Prenatal yoga Rheumatoid arthritis medications: Dangerous during pregnancy? Now What Happens? Pregnancy is an exciting time, but prwgnancy can also be stressful. As the most common type, the 2-D ultrasound provides a flat picture of one aspect of the baby. Summary Supplements like folate, iron and prenatal vitamins are considered safe for pregnant women. Diabetes : Throughout pregnancy control of diabetes Pgegnancy pregnancy increases the chance for birth defects and other problems for your baby.
Now that you're pregnant , taking care of yourself has never been more important.
- The internet, magazines and advertisements flood women with advice on how to stay healthy during pregnancy.
- Your health care provider may recommend a variety of screenings, tests and imaging techniques during your pregnancy.
- Working during pregnancy isn't always easy.
- Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful.
Now that you're pregnant , taking care of yourself has never been more important. Here's how to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. Key to protecting the health of your child is to get regular prenatal care. If you think you're pregnant, call your health care provider to schedule your first prenatal appointment.
Many health care providers, though, won't schedule the first visit before 8 weeks of pregnancy, unless there is a problem. At this first visit, your health care provider will probably do a pregnancy test, and will figure out how many weeks pregnant you are based on a physical examination and the date of your last period. He or she will also use this information to predict your delivery date an ultrasound done sometime later in your pregnancy will help to verify that date.
If you're healthy and there are no complicating risk factors, most health care providers will want to see you:. Throughout your pregnancy, your health care provider will check your weight and blood pressure while also checking the growth and development of your baby by doing things like feeling your abdomen, listening for the fetal heartbeat starting during the second trimester, and measuring your belly.
During the span of your pregnancy, you'll also have prenatal tests , including blood, urine, and cervical tests, and probably at least one ultrasound. Any of these is a good choice if you're healthy and there's no reason to anticipate complications with your pregnancy and delivery. However, nurse-midwives do need to have a doctor available for the delivery in case an unexpected problem arises or a cesarean section C-section is required.
Now that you're eating for two or more! In fact, it's just the opposite — you need about extra calories a day, especially later in your pregnancy when your baby grows quickly.
If you're very thin, very active, or carrying multiples , you'll need even more. But if you're overweight, your health care provider may advise you to consume fewer extra calories. Healthy eating is always important, but especially when you're pregnant. So, make sure your calories come from nutritious foods that will contribute to your baby's growth and development.
By eating a healthy, balanced diet you're more likely to get the nutrients you need. But you will need more of the essential nutrients especially calcium, iron, and folic acid than you did before you became pregnant. Your health care provider will prescribe prenatal vitamins to be sure both you and your growing baby are getting enough. But taking prenatal vitamins doesn't mean you can eat a diet that's lacking in nutrients.
It's important to remember that you still need to eat well while pregnant. Prenatal vitamins are meant to supplement your diet, and aren't meant to be your only source of much-needed nutrients. Most women 19 and older — including those who are pregnant — don't often get the daily 1, mg of calcium that's recommended. Because your growing baby's calcium demands are high, you should increase your calcium consumption to prevent a loss of calcium from your own bones.
Your doctor will also likely prescribe prenatal vitamins for you, which may contain some extra calcium. Pregnant women need about 30 mg of iron every day. Because iron is needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. Red blood cells circulate throughout the body to deliver oxygen to all its cells.
Without enough iron, the body can't make enough red blood cells and the body's tissues and organs won't get the oxygen they need to function well. So it's especially important for pregnant women to get enough iron in their daily diets — for themselves and their growing babies.
Although the nutrient can be found in various kinds of foods, iron from meat sources is more easily absorbed by the body than iron found in plant foods. Iron-rich foods include:. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC recommends that all women of childbearing age — and especially those who are planning a pregnancy — get about micrograms 0.
That can be from a multivitamin or folic acid supplement in addition to the folic acid found in food. So, why is folic acid so important? Studies have shown that taking folic acid supplements 1 month prior to and throughout the first 3 months of pregnancy decrease the risk of neural tube defects.
The neural tube — formed during the first several weeks of the pregnancy, possibly before a woman even knows she's pregnant — goes on to become the baby's developing brain and spinal cord. When the neural tube doesn't form properly, the result is a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. Again, your health care provider can prescribe a prenatal vitamin that contains the right amount of folic acid.
Some pregnancy health care providers even recommend taking an extra folic acid supplement, especially if a woman has previously had a child with a neural tube defect. If you're buying an over-the-counter supplement, remember that most multivitamins contain folic acid, but not all of them have enough to meet the nutritional needs of pregnant women.
So, be sure to check labels carefully before choosing one and check with your health care provider. It's important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, during pregnancy. A woman's blood volume increases dramatically during pregnancy, and drinking enough water each day can help prevent common problems such as dehydration and constipation.
The U. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least minutes that's 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week if you're not already highly active or doing vigorous-intensity activity. If you are very active or did intense aerobic activities before becoming pregnant, you may be able to keep up your workouts, as long as your doctor says it's safe.
Before beginning — or continuing — any exercise routine, talk to your doctor. Exercising during pregnancy has been shown to be very beneficial. Regular exercise can help:. Low-impact, moderate-intensity exercise activities such as walking and swimming are great choices. These are low-impact and they work on strength, flexibility, and relaxation. But you should limit high-impact aerobics and avoid sports and activities that pose a risk of falling or abdominal injury. These include contact sports, downhill skiing, scuba diving, and horseback riding.
It's also important to be aware of how your body changes. During pregnancy, your body makes a hormone known as relaxin. It's believed to help prepare the pubic area and the cervix for the birth. The relaxin loosens the ligaments in your body, making you less stable and more prone to injury. So, it's easy to overstretch or strain yourself, especially the joints in your pelvis, lower back, and knees.
Also, your center of gravity shifts as your pregnancy progresses, so you may feel off-balance and at risk of falling. Keep these in mind when you choose an activity and don't overdo it. Whatever type of exercise you choose, make sure to take lots of breaks and drink plenty of fluids. Slow down or stop if you get short of breath or feel uncomfortable.
If you have any questions about doing a sport or activity during your pregnancy, talk to your health care provider. It's important to get enough sleep during your pregnancy.
You'll probably feel more tired than usual. And as your baby gets bigger, it will be harder to find a comfortable position when you're trying to sleep. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses. It also makes your heart's job easier because it keeps the baby's weight from putting pressure on the large blood vessels that carry blood to and from your heart and your feet and legs.
Lying on your side can also help prevent or reduce varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and swelling in your legs. Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side. Because one of those big blood vessels is on the right side of your abdomen, lying on your left side helps keep the uterus off of it. Lying on your left side helps blood flow to the placenta and, therefore, your baby.
Ask what your health care provider recommends. In most cases, lying on either side should do the trick and help take some pressure off your back. For a more comfortable resting position either way, prop pillows between your legs, behind your back, and underneath your belly. When you're pregnant, what you don't put into your body or expose your body to is almost as important as what you do.
Here are some things to avoid:. Although it may seem harmless to have a glass of wine at dinner or a mug of beer out with friends, no one has determined what's a "safe amount" of alcohol to consume during pregnancy. One of the most common known causes of mental and physical birth defects, alcohol can cause severe abnormalities in a developing fetus.
Alcohol is easily passed along to the baby, who is less equipped to eliminate alcohol than the mother. That means an unborn baby tends to develop a high concentration of alcohol, which stays in the baby's system for longer periods than it would in the mother's.
And moderate alcohol intake, as well as periodic binge drinking, can damage a baby's developing nervous system. If you had a drink or two before you even knew you were pregnant as many women do , don't worry too much about it. But your best bet is to not drink any alcohol at all for the rest of your pregnancy. Pregnant women who use drugs may be placing their unborn babies at risk for premature birth, poor growth, birth defects, and behavior and learning problems.
And their babies could also be born addicted to those drugs themselves. If you're pregnant and using drugs, a health clinic such as Planned Parenthood can recommend health care providers, at little or no cost, who can help you quit your habit and have a healthier pregnancy.
If you've used any drugs at any time during your pregnancy, it's important to inform your health care provider. Even if you've quit, your unborn child could still be at risk for health problems. Pregnant women who smoke pass nicotine and carbon monoxide to their growing babies. The risks of this include:. If you smoke, having a baby might be the motivation you need to quit. Talk to your health care provider about options for kicking the habit.
High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, so it's probably wise to limit or even avoid caffeine altogether if you can. If you're having a hard time cutting out coffee cold turkey, here's how you can start:. And remember that caffeine is not limited to coffee.
Read this next. Talk to your ob-gyn or midwife about including vaccines as part of a healthy pregnancy. Dong quai Dong quai is a root that has been used for over 1, years and popular in Chinese Medicine. Therefore, women who undergo CVS also need a follow-up blood test between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy to screen for these defects. GBS may cause chorioamnionitis a severe infection of the placental tissues and postpartum infection.
Throughout pregnancy. Working during pregnancy: Do's and don'ts
However, some experts suggest that vitamin D needs during pregnancy are much higher All pregnant women should speak with their doctor regarding screening for vitamin D deficiency and proper supplementation. Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of chemical reactions in your body.
It plays critical roles in immune, muscle and nerve function Deficiency in this mineral during pregnancy may increase the risk of chronic hypertension and premature labor Some studies suggest that supplementing with magnesium may reduce the risk of complications like fetal growth restriction and preterm birth Ginger root is commonly used as a spice and herbal supplement. A review of four studies suggested that ginger is both safe and effective for treating pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting Though ginger may help reduce this unpleasant pregnancy complication, more research is needed to identify the maximum safe dosage.
Supplementing with DHA and EPA in pregnancy might boost infant brain development and decrease maternal depression, though research on this topic is inconclusive. Although observational studies have shown improved cognitive function in the children of women who supplemented with fish oil during pregnancy, several controlled studies have failed to show a consistent benefit. For example, one study involving 2, women found no difference in the cognitive function of infants whose mothers had supplemented with fish oil capsules containing mg of DHA per day during pregnancy, compared to infants whose mothers did not However, the study found that supplementing with fish oil protected against preterm delivery, and some evidence suggests that fish oil may benefit fetal eye development Maternal DHA levels are important for proper fetal development and supplementing is considered safe.
The jury is still out on whether taking fish oil during pregnancy is necessary. To get DHA and EPA through diet, pregnant women are encouraged to consume two to three servings of low-mercury fish like salmon, sardines or pollock per week. Probiotics are living microorganisms that are thought to benefit digestive health. Many studies have shown that probiotics are safe to take during pregnancy, and no harmful side effects have been identified, aside from an extremely low risk of probiotic-induced infection Additionally, several studies have shown that supplementing with probiotics may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, postpartum depression and infant eczema and dermatitis 34 , 35 , 36 , Research on probiotic use in pregnancy is ongoing, and more about the role of probiotics in maternal and fetal health is sure to be discovered.
While supplementing with some micronutrients and herbs is safe for pregnant women, many should be avoided. Although this vitamin is extremely important for fetal vision development and immune function, too much vitamin A can be harmful.
Because vitamin A is fat-soluble , the body stores excess amounts in the liver. This accumulation can have toxic effects on the body that can lead to liver damage. It can even cause birth defects in babies. For example, excessive amounts of vitamin A during pregnancy has been shown to cause congenital birth defects Between prenatal vitamins and diet, pregnant women should be able to get enough vitamin A, and additional supplementation is not advised.
This fat-soluble vitamin plays many important roles in the body and is involved in gene expression and immune function Supplementing with vitamin E has not been shown to improve outcomes for either mothers or babies and may instead increase the risk of abdominal pain and premature rupture of the amniotic sack A member of the buttercup family, black cohosh is a plant used for a variety of purposes, including controlling hot flashes and menstrual cramps.
It is unsafe to take this herb during pregnancy, as it can cause uterine contractions, which could induce preterm labor Black cohosh has also been found to cause liver damage in some people Goldenseal is a plant that is used as a dietary supplement to treat respiratory infections and diarrhea, although there is very little research on its effects and safety.
Goldenseal contains a substance called berberine, which has been shown to worsen jaundice in infants. It can lead to a condition called kernicterus, a rare type of brain damage that can be fatal Though used to treat everything from menstrual cramps to high blood pressure, evidence regarding its efficacy and safety is lacking.
Pregnant women should avoid dong quai because it may stimulate uterine contractions, raising the risk of potential miscarriage This herb should never be used during pregnancy, as it has been associated with dangerous side effects like high blood pressure, heart attacks and seizures While some supplements can be helpful during pregnancy, many can cause dangerous side effects in both pregnant women and their babies.
Importantly, while supplementing with certain vitamins and minerals may help fill nutritional gaps, supplements are not meant to replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. Nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods, as well as getting enough exercise and sleep and minimizing stress, is the best way to ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby. Although supplements can be necessary and helpful in certain circumstances, always check with your doctor regarding doses, safety and potential risks and benefits.
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Why Take Supplements During Pregnancy? Some pregnant women may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements for various reasons, including: Nutrient deficiencies: Some women may need a supplement after a blood test reveals a deficiency in a vitamin or mineral.
Correcting deficiencies is critical, as a shortage of nutrients like folate has been linked to birth defects 3. Hyperemesis gravidarum: This pregnancy complication is characterized by severe nausea and vomiting. It can lead to weight loss and nutrient deficiencies 4. Dietary restrictions: Women who follow specific diets, including vegans and those with food intolerances and allergies, may need to supplement with vitamins and minerals to prevent micronutrient deficiencies 5 , 6.
Smoking: Although it is absolutely critical for mothers to avoid cigarettes during pregnancy, those who continue to smoke have an increased need for specific nutrients like vitamin C and folate 7. Multiple pregnancies: Women carrying more than one baby have higher needs for micronutrients than women carrying one baby. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version.
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Sign up now. Working during pregnancy: Do's and don'ts Working during pregnancy isn't always easy. By Mayo Clinic Staff. Show references Body changes and discomforts. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed Feb. Morning sickness: Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Frequently asked questions. Pregnancy FAQ Back pain during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Accessed March 9, Fowler JR, et al. Working during pregnancy. Hoffman R, et al. Hematologic changes in pregnancy.
In: Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; Month 4. Washington, D. Grajewski B, et al. Will my work affect my pregnancy? Resources for anticipating and answering patients' questions. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Reproductive health and the workplace. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
How Your Body Changes During Pregnancy: Hormones, Breasts & More
First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. It can help find out the risk that the fetus has certain birth defects.
Screening tests may be used alone or with other tests. Nuchal translucency screening uses an ultrasound test to check the area at the back of the fetal neck for extra fluid or thickening. This is a protein made by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels are linked to a higher risk for chromosome problems. Human chorionic gonadotropin hCG. This is a hormone made by the placenta in early pregnancy. You may need more testing. That may include chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, cell-free fetal DNA, or other ultrasounds.
Second trimester prenatal screening may include several blood tests. They give information about a woman's risk of having a baby with certain genetic conditions or birth defects. Screening is often done by taking a sample of your blood between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. The 16th to 18th is ideal. The multiple markers are listed below. This blood test measures the level of alpha-fetoprotein in your blood during pregnancy.
AFP is a protein normally made by the fetal liver. It is in the fluid around the fetus amniotic fluid and crosses the placenta into your blood. Abnormal levels of AFP may be a sign of:. An ultrasound is often done to confirm the dates of the pregnancy. It also looks at the fetal spine and other body parts for problems. You may need an amniocentesis for accurate diagnosis. Multiple marker screening is not diagnostic. Or the results may be false negative. This means they show that the fetus is normal when the fetus actually does have a health problem.
As many as 19 out of 20 cases of Down syndrome can be found when both first and second trimester screening are used. These other results also depend on the lab doing the testing. An amniocentesis is generally offered to women between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy who are at higher risk for chromosome problems. The test may have indicated a higher risk for a chromosome problem or neural tube defect.
Click Image to Enlarge. An amniocentesis involves putting a long, thin needle through your abdomen into the amniotic sac. The healthcare provider withdraws a small sample of the amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid has cells shed by the fetus,. These cells have genetic information. You may feel some cramping during or after the amniocentesis.
The fluid sample is sent to a genetics lab so that the cells can grow and be tested. AFP is also measured to rule out an open neural tube defect such as spina bifida. AFP is a protein made by the fetus and is in the fluid. Discuss the risks of this procedure with your healthcare provider. Sometimes the amniocentesis can't be done. It depends on the position of the baby, the placenta, the amount of fluid, and your anatomy. Chorionic villus sampling CVS is a prenatal test.
It involves taking a sample of some of the placental tissue. This tissue often has the same genetic material as the fetus. It can be tested for chromosome problems and some other genetic problems. Unlike amniocentesis, CVS does not give information on neural tube defects such as spina bifida. For this reason, women who have CVS also need a follow-up blood test between 16 and 18 weeks of their pregnancy to screen for neural tube defects.
CVS may be offered if you are at higher risk for chromosome problems. CVS is usually done between the 10th and 13th weeks of pregnancy. The exact method for CVS an vary, but the procedure involves putting a small tube catheter through your vagina and into your cervix.
It usually follows this process:. For a transabdominal CVS, the provider puts a needle through your abdomen and into the uterus to take a sample of cells from the placenta. But CVS is not always advised for multiples because the procedure is complicated and the placentas may not be in a good position to get a sample.
The tissue samples are sent to a genetic lab to grow and be tested. They may need a follow-up amniocentesis. That may cause incomplete or inconclusive results. Fetal heart rate monitoring is a way of checking the rate and rhythm of the fetal heartbeat. The average fetal heart rate is between and beats per minute. It may change as the fetus responds to conditions in the uterus. An abnormal fetal heart rate or pattern may mean that the fetus is not getting enough oxygen or there are other problems.
It also may mean that an emergency or cesarean delivery is needed. Another type of monitoring is with a hand-held Doppler device. This is often used during prenatal visits to count the fetal heart rate.
During labor, continuous electronic fetal monitoring is often used. The provider attaches the ultrasound transducer to the abdomen with straps and sends the fetal heartbeat to a recorder.
This device can record the patterns of contractions. Sometimes, internal fetal monitoring is needed for a more accurate reading of the fetal heart rate. This monitoring can be done when birth is close. Internal fetal monitoring involves putting an electrode through the dilated cervix.
The electrode is attached to the scalp of the fetus. The first 1-hour test is a glucose challenge test. If the results are abnormal, a glucose tolerance test is done. A glucose tolerance test is often done in weeks 24 to 28 of pregnancy. It measures levels of sugar glucose in your blood. Abnormal glucose levels may be a sign of gestational diabetes.
The provider will draw blood several times over several hours to measure the glucose levels in your body. Group B streptococcus GBS are bacteria found in the lower genital tract of about 1 in 4 women. GBS infection often causes no problems in women before pregnancy. But it can cause serious illness in the mother during pregnancy. GBS may cause chorioamnionitis.
This is a severe infection of the placental tissues. It can also cause postpartum infection. Urinary tract infections caused by GBS can lead to preterm labor and birth, or pyelonephritis and sepsis. GBS is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns, including pneumonia and meningitis.
Newborn babies get the infection during pregnancy or from the mother's genital tract during labor and birth. The CDC advises that all pregnant women be screened for vaginal and rectal group B strep between 35 to 37 weeks gestation. If you have certain risk factors or a positive result, you should be treated with antibiotics. This will lower the risk of passing GBS to your baby. Babies whose mothers get antibiotics for a positive GBS test are 20 times less likely to develop the disease than those whose mothers don't get treatment.
An ultrasound scan is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to make pictures of the internal organs. A screening ultrasound is sometimes done during a pregnancy to check normal fetal growth and make sure of the due date.
Ultrasounds may be done at various times throughout pregnancy for many reasons. Two types of ultrasounds can be done during pregnancy:. Abdominal ultrasound.
In an abdominal ultrasound, the healthcare provider puts gel on your abdomen. The ultrasound transducer glides over the gel to create the image. Transvaginal ultrasound. In a transvaginal ultrasound, the provider uses a smaller ultrasound transducer. He or she puts the transducer into the vagina and rests it against the back of the vagina to create an image.