Prenatal Care: Important for Both of You

If you have just discovered that you are pregnant or are thinking that you would like to become pregnant one day, you have a lot to consider. One of the things which you definitely should not ignore during pregnancy is your health. Prenatal care is everything you do to take care of your health and your unborn child’s health while you are pregnant. This should start with a doctor’s visit once you know you are pregnant or think you might be.

Your healthcare provider will schedule regular appointments, and you can expect these appointments to become more frequent as your pregnancy progresses. Keeping these regular appointments with your doctor will help you:

  • Have a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy
  • Find out about strategies to maintain/improve your health such as supplements and exercise
  • Spot potential issues early and decide on what to do
  • Prepare to give your baby a healthy start to life.

Be sure to see your healthcare provider as soon as you think you might be pregnant to get a good start on the path to a healthy pregnancy and child.

Like Texting?

A new texting service for mothers-to-be called Text4Baby was recently launched. Text4baby is an educational service of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.

Text4baby will send three text messages each week to your cell phone with expert health tips to help you through your pregnancy and your baby's first year. Sign-up and the messages are all free.

To sign up, text BABY to 511411. To sign up for Text4baby in Spanish, text BEBE to 511411. You can also sign up and find out more at text4baby.org.

If you want more information on prenatal resources, the library has a number of items which you will find useful.

Books

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Roger W. Harms, editor in chief ; associate medical editors, Robert V. Johnson, Mary M. Murry.
This comprehensive book includes: a month-by-month look at mom and baby and in-depth "Decision Guides" to help you make informed decisions on topics such as how to select a health care provider, prenatal testing options, pain relief for childbirth, and many more.

Natural Baby and Childcare by Lauren Feder
This book shows you how to complement conventional therapy with natural treatments such as homeopathic and herbal medicine; how to bathe your child without using damaging chemicals; and how to find healthy, organic food for your baby.

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel; foreword by Charles J. Lockwood.
Two generations of moms-to-be have relied on "What to Expect" turning to its frank, friendly voice for clear answers to their questions about prenatal health.

Prenatal Parenting: The Complete Psychological and Spiritual Guide to Loving Your Unborn Child by Frederick Wirth
Did you know that every year an increasing number of babies are born prematurely or with behavioral disorders? Learn how thinking positively and communicating with your partner and/or medical staff can help prevent a preterm birth and aid in the positive development of your unborn child's personality.

Your Pregnancy and Newborn Journey: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Newborn If You're a Pregnant Teen
Jeanne Warren Lindsay and Jean Brunelli

Electronic Books
Click here for information on using the electronic collection.

The KidsHealth Guide for Parents: Pregnancy to Age 5 by Steven A. Dowshen, Neil Izenberg, and Elizabeth Bass
"Lists, tip boxes, decision trees, and bite-size segments with clear headings allow parents--especially the newer, frazzled kind--to find what they need fast. Covers everything from prenatal care, and to common illnesses, emergencies, safety, growth and development, chronic conditions, special needs, medications, nutrition, and invaluable suggestions on making effective and affordable use of the health care system."

Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James F. Clapp, III
Enables expecting mothers and health professionals to develop rational and individualized approaches to exercise and pregnancy care.

The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating During Pregnancy by W. Allan Walker with Courtney Humphries
Tips on what to eat (whole grains, protein, vegetables), what to avoid (caffeine, alcohol, nicotine), supplements to take (folate, iron), and safe exercises before, during, and after pregnancy are presented. The author extensively addresses the question of a mother's weight both in terms of appropriate weight gain and the proper rate at which to lose weight after childbirth.

DVDs

The Business of Being Born
Inspired by their own unique birth experiences, producer Ricki Lake and director Abby Epstein team up to provide a nation of mothers-to-be with insight into the process of childbirth and the various options available when preparing for this special event.

Prenatal Fitness Fix: An Energizing Cardio and Toning Workout for Moms-to-Be
Presents two exercise routines for mothers-to-be: solo and with a partner.

The Complete Fit & Healthy Pregnancy Workout
Includes exercises that are safe for women during pregnancy as well as a warm up and cool down. In addition, exercises for women post-pregnancy are offered.

Web Resources

Prenatal Care
http://womenshealth.gov/faq/prenatal-care.cfm
FAQs for prenatal care from Womenshealth.gov.

Prenatal Care
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/prenatalcare.h tml
Medlineplus.gov offers resources that cover from preconception health through prenatal care.