By educating yourself on pregnancy, you can help ensure the well-being of both you and your baby during this special time. The pregnancy information contained in this article is organized in an A-to-Z format. The information you need to know involves a wide range of topics, such as diet, exercise, prenatal care, pregnancy complications, information on medications, and more.
Unfortunately, not all pregnancy complications or birth defects can be prevented, but a woman can take some actions that increase her chances of having a healthy baby. Many birth defects occur very early in the pregnancy -- sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant. What's more, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned.
The sections that follow provide an overview from A to Z of suggestions for a healthy pregnancy.
Avoid exposure to toxic substances and chemicals, for example:
- Cleaning solvents
- Some insecticides
- Paint and paint fumes.
Be sure to see your doctor and get prenatal care as soon as you think you're pregnant. It's important to see your doctor regularly throughout pregnancy, so be sure to keep all your prenatal care appointments.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for both you and your baby. Talk to your doctor, your family and friends, and your employer about how you choose to feed your baby and how they can support you in your decision.
Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can result in low birth-weight babies. It has been associated with the following pregnancy complications:
- Tubal pregnancies
- Infant mortality
- Childhood morbidity.
In addition, cigarette smoking may cause long-term learning disabilities. If you smoke, you should try to quit. Secondary smoke may also harm a mother and her developing baby. It is a good idea to ask people around you to stop smoking during your pregnancy and after the baby is born.