Maternal Health

Prenatal care is the health care women get when they’re pregnant. With regular checkups and a healthy lifestyle, women can work with their health care provider to prevent potential problems and have a healthy pregnancy.

Are you thinking about having a baby?

Visit your provider before becoming pregnant. During this visit, speak with your provider about:

  • Medication safety
  • Vaccines or screenings you may need
  • Pregnancy hazards at home or work
  • Pregnancy history
  • Family health history
  • Managing health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, or epilepsy

It’s also important to be in your best health before becoming pregnant. In addition to visiting your provider, you should:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy
  • Quit smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs
  • Take a folic acid dietary supplement daily
  • Avoid toxic substances, such as fertilizers or pesticides

Do you think you may be pregnant?

If you think you may be pregnant, schedule a visit with your health care provider right away.

Regular prenatal care visits can help you:

  • Find any potential health concerns
  • Learn about healthy eating
  • Track your baby’s growth
  • Schedule tests
  • Learn about labor and delivery
  • Learn about breastfeeding

For a healthy pregnancy, you should also:

  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Quit smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs
  • Eat healthy
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Ask your provider if your medications are safe

What to eat during pregnancy

Healthy eating is key during pregnancy. This means eating an array of nutritious foods.

Most foods are safe for pregnant women. If you’re pregnant:

 

Eat

Avoid

  • A variety of proteins, including
    lean meat, poultry, eggs, and soy products
  • Fruits
  • Salmon, sardines, and trout
    (high in omega-3, low in mercury)
  • Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Vegetables, especially dark-green, red, and orange vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and peas
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Undercooked meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Store-made salads
  • Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish (high in mercury)
  • Unpasteurized soft cheese, such as Brie, queso blanco, queso fresco, and blue cheese
  • Unpasteurized milk or juice
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood
  • Medicinal herbs and plants, unless your health care provider approves
  • Raw sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean


Sources:

wicworks.fns.usda.gov/wicworks//Topics/PregnancyFactSheet.pdf

womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/staying-healthy-and-safe

BabyCare

Fidelis Care offers a special program called BabyCare to support the health of members during pregnancy. Any Fidelis Care member who is pregnant can join. For more information, call us at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547), or contact us to e-enroll.

For more maternal health information, including helpful videos, click here .

Maternal Health Resources

Women's Health (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Women's Health (New York State Department of Health)


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