Pregnancy

Illustration of pelvic organs in pregnant female, including the rectum, vagina, bladder, and uterus with embryo

Your exam today shows that you are pregnant.

Pregnancy symptoms

During pregnancy your body’s hormones change. This causes physical and emotional changes. This is normal. Knowing what to expect is important for your piece of mind and so you know when to seek help for a problem. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Morning sickness or nausea. This can happen any time of the day or night.

  • Tender, swollen breasts

  • Need to urinate frequently

  • Tiredness or fatigue

  • Dizziness

  • Indigestion or heartburn

  • Food cravings or turn-offs

  • Constipation

  • Emotional changes. This can range from anxiety to excitement to depression.

General care for a healthy pregnancy

Here are things you can do to help make sure your baby is born healthy:

  • Rest when you feel tired. This is especially true in the later months of pregnancy.

  • Drink more fluids. Your body needs more fluids than you may be used to. Drink 8 to10 glasses of juice, milk, or water every day.

  • Eat well-balanced meals. Eat at regular times to give your body enough protein. You can expect to gain about 30 pounds during the pregnancy. Don’t try to diet or lose weight while you are pregnant.

  • Take a prenatal vitamin every day. This helps you meet the extra nutritional needs of pregnancy.

  • Don’t take any other medicine during your pregnancy unless your healthcare provider tells you to. This includes prescription medicines and those you buy over the counter. Many medicines can harm the growing baby.

  • If you have nausea or vomiting, don’t eat greasy or fried foods. Eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 large meals.

  • If you smoke, you must stop. The nicotine you breathe in goes right to the baby.

  • Stay away from alcohol, even in moderate amounts. Daily drinking will harm your baby and can cause permanent brain damage.

  • Don’t use recreational drugs, especially cocaine, crack, and heroin. These will harm your baby. Also avoid marijuana.

  • If you were using recreational drugs or prescribed medicine when you found out that you were pregnant, talk with your healthcare provider about possible effects on your growing baby.

  • If you have medical problems that you need to take medicine for, talk with your healthcare provider.

Follow-up care

Call your healthcare provider to arrange for prenatal care. Prenatal care is important. You can see your family provider, a pregnancy specialist (obstetrician), a midwife, or a primary care clinic.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Vaginal bleeding

  • Pain in your belly (abdomen) or back that is moderate or severe

  • Lots of vomiting, or you can’t keep any fluids down for 6 hours

  • Burning feeling when you urinate

  • Headache, dizziness, or rapid weight gain

  • Fever

  • Vision changes or blurred vision

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered by Krames Patient Education - A Product of StayWell