Early, regular prenatal healthcare is a must for mothers and babies during pregnancy. Mom (and dad!) get to discuss all the important issues with their health care providers, from nutrition and what to expect during birth, to basic skills for caring for your newborn. Typically, expectant mothers should visit their health care professionals once a month for the first six months, once every two weeks during the seventh and eighth months, and weekly in the last month before delivery.
If you are 35 or older, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, or other health problems, your doctor may want to see you more often. She may even suggest prenatal testing to screen for Down syndrome and other common genetic disorders, inherited family conditions, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or disorders like sickle cell anemia, prevalent among African Americans.
8 Great Information Sources About Baby and You
1. medlineplus.gov—"Teenage Pregnancy" and a vast array of other accessible information on pregnancy from the National Library of Medicine.
2. www.kidshealth.org—"Exercising During Pregnancy" and, just for kids, "Things to Expect When Your Mom is Pregnant" from the Nemours Foundation.
3. www.acog.org—"Later Childbearing" and "You and Your Baby: Prenatal Care, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum Care" from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
4. www.marchofdimes.com—"Just for Dads: Helping Out," an extensive "to do" list for expectant fathers to help them prepare for baby's arrival.
5. www.familydoctor.org—Printer-friendly Q&A's such as "Pregnancy: Should I use a Seat belt" and "Pregnancy and Exercise: What You Can Do for a Healthy Pregnancy" from the American Academy of Physicians.
6. www.womenshealth.gov—In-depth pregnancy information from The National Women's Health Information Center, Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
7. www.cdc.gov—"ABC's … Pregnancy Tips," an easy-to-use alphabet soup of good tips and links to many other public and private agencies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
8. www.niddk.nih.gov—"Fit for Two: Tips for Pregnancy" and much more from the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.