Whether you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, you will want to give your baby a healthy start. Prenatal care is very important for your baby and yourself. Regular visits to your physician can ensure a healthy pregnancy, and making good choices will give your baby the best chance of being born healthy.

Some of the most important things to do before getting pregnant are:

  • Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day if you are planning or capable of pregnancy to lower your risk of some birth defects of the brain and spine, including spina bifida.
  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • If you have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Some conditions that can affect pregnancy or be affected by it include asthma, diabetes, oral health, obesity, or epilepsy.
  • Talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter and prescription medicines you are using. These include dietary or herbal supplements. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date.
  • Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials that could cause infection at work and at home. Stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces.

Pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks and healthcare providers generally divide pregnancy into 3 trimesters:

First Trimester: Week 1 thru Week 12
Second Trimester: Week 13 thru Week 28
Third Trimester: Week 29 thru Week 40

For a normal, healthy pregnancy you should expect to visit your physician for prenatal care:

Week 4 to Week 28: once per month
Week 28 to Week 36: once every two weeks
Week 36 to Week 40: once every week

If you are pregnant, or planning to be pregnant, make an appointment with your physician to receive prenatal care. There is plenty of information on countless websites about pregnancy. We would recommend the following websites for information on a healthy pregnancy:

Pre-term birth

These links are to external websites and are not covered by Verity Medical Foundation’s Website and Privacy Policies.

NOTE: The health information provided on this website is designed to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional before starting a new treatment or to answer questions about a medical condition.