Seven Steps to having a Healthy Baby

STOP DRINKING

Alcoholic beverages, even small amounts are dangerous for your baby. Avoid alcohol tonight and for the rest of this pregnancy! Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most common known cause of mental retardation. Just one drink a day puts your baby at increased risk for a number of major and minor problems.

TAKE FOLIC ACID.

It is an important vitamin. It can be found in green leafy vegetables and peas. Go to your local drug store today and tell them you need prenatal vitamins that have folic acid. Folic acid helps prevent some types of severe birth defects. Even if you are not pregnant now, but may be considering pregnancy in the future, start folic acid now.

FIND A DOCTOR, A NURSE MIDWIFE OR A CLINIC

you trust and make an appointment as soon as possible. Tell your clinician all medications that you are taking.

STOP SMOKING.

This addictive substance is extremely hazardous to you and your baby. Don't let others smoke around you! If you can't stop completely, cut down as much as possible.

WEIGHT GAIN

of 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy produces the healthiest babies. Now is not the time to lose weight. A slow steady weight gain is best. If you begin gaining more than 2 pounds a week, check with your clinician or midwife.

EAT A WELL-BALANCED DIET.

Eat a variety of foods from each food group with a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. Your bones and teeth will lose calcium if you don't get enough in your diet. Four cups of milk a day or 5 Turns should do the trick. If you need help, talk to a registered dietitian. Limit your caffeine intake.

USE CONDOMS

if there is any risk of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections during this pregnancy. Don't let an infection hurt your health or your baby!

Good Luck!

Good luck with this pregnancy. Take great care of yourself and your baby! Complete information about what you should do to have the healthiest baby possible is available through your clinician. Beware of using any medications and talk them over with your clinician as soon as possible. Start thinking now about nursing your baby.

More information

You may have your questions about contraception answered by clicking on the following website: : ManagingContraception.com

CHOICES: Preparation of this material was not supported by funds from a pharmaceutical company. This information is not copyrighted and may be copied or adapted without asking permission. rah: 11/11/99: 404-616-3709 or 706-782-6038.

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