First of all, congratulations!  Pregnancy is an amazing journey with ups and downs and a wonderful finish line. During your pregnancy, take time to educate yourself, but try not to spend too much time stressing. While it’s important to be careful and healthy during pregnancy, it’s also important to recognize that pregnancy is a natural process that your body was made for. Trust your instincts.

In the meantime, here are some tips to follow if you have just found out that you are pregnant:

Schedule an Appointment With Your OB/GYN
Depending on your doctor or midwife’s policies, you may be asked to go in early to take a pregnancy test and get some initial information. Some practitioners may not want to see you until you’re around 12 weeks pregnant. It’s important to make and keep this early appointment so you can get on track for the many screenings and exams required during pregnancy. Talk to your dentist about having a cleaning done during pregnancy as well, as good oral hygiene is especially important during pregnancy.

Learn About Early Symptoms
You may experience some weird sensations and symptoms during early pregnancy. It can feel like your body is being hijacked, and in many ways it really is. In addition to missing your period, you may experience early symptoms like frequent urination, tender breasts, fatigue and nausea. While these symptoms can be inconvenient, they’re generally harmless. However, you should call your health care provider if you’re concerned about symptoms or you’re experiencing bleeding.

Take Your Vitamins
It’s important to take pre-natal vitamins while trying to conceive, or as soon as you know you’re pregnant. These vitamins contain high levels of folic acid, a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects. Womensheath.gov recommends 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid in early pregnancy, and preferably before women know they’re pregnant. If you’re of childbearing age, consider taking this supplement.

Watch What You Eat
Nutrition and food safety are important during pregnancy. The FDA recommends heightened food safety measures for moms-to-be. Certain food-borne illnesses can be very dangerous during pregnancy. In addition to safety measures such as avoiding soft cheeses, uncooked meats, deli meat and foods high in mercury, pregnant women should eat well-balanced meals and should avoid cutting calories.

North Hills Hospital is ready to assist every new mother as she prepares for the arrival of her child. To learn more about giving birth at our Women's Center, please visit us online here. We also offer new parents a number of classes to prepare for a new baby, please register here. If you would like a referral for an obstetrician at North Hills Hospital, please call our physician referral line at 1-855-5NHILLS.

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