The best way for a pregnant woman to take care of her baby is by staying healthy herself. If you are pregnant, it is important to see an obstetrician (a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and childbirth). This type of doctor, also called an OB, will set up regular appointments so you and your baby can receive special care, your baby’s development can be watched, and so you can learn about caring for the baby once he/she is born.
At your first visit with your doctor, you will be asked about your health history, family medical history, and any risk factors. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have taken or are currently taking any medications (drugs), including over-the-counter drugs and vitamins. If your doctor prescribes you prenatal vitamins, take them. They will help keep you and your baby healthy.
Your doctor will talk to you about how much weight you should gain when you are pregnant and the benefits of breastfeeding once the baby is born. Breastfeeding is good for your baby and helps you lose weight after delivery.
Eating right and exercising during pregnancy will help keep you and your baby healthy. Your doctor will help you make healthy food decisions and develop an exercise routine that is safe for you and your baby.
If you smoke, use drugs, or drink alcohol during pregnancy, it can harm your baby and cause serious birth defects. Take steps to quit right away and talk to your doctor if you need help. If you are pregnant and HIV-positive, treatment with antiviral medicines will lower the chances of passing the virus to your baby.
If you are a Fidelis Care member who is pregnant, we encourage you to join our free BabyCare program. The program helps you get the care you need when you are pregnant so you and your baby stay healthy. When you join, you will have your own Maternal Care Associate who will help you with any concerns or questions during and after your pregnancy. For more information about this free program, call 1-888-FIDELIS
How Much Weight Should I Gain?
The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your body mass index (BMI) before you become pregnant:
Pre-Pregnancy BMI Total Weight Gain
Underweight: 28 to 40 pounds
Healthy Weight: 25 to 35 pounds
Overweight: 15 to 25 pounds
Obese 11 to 20 pounds