Pregnancy Health & Safety
New & Expecting Families:
There are many health and safety tips to consider before, during, and after pregnancy. The best place to get this information is from your prenatal care provider. Early (within the first trimester) and continuous (no skipping visits) prenatal care is vital to the health and safety of you and your unborn baby. So is attending your postpartum visit(s).
The following health and safety tips do not include everything you need to know, but the FIMR team felt these specific topics were important to emphasize to the public. We encourage pregnant individuals, as well as their support systems, to review this information, know the important warning signs, and talk to their doctor about any health concerns.
1. Pre-pregnancy Planning: Did you know, a healthy pregnancy and baby starts before you get pregnant? This includes managing your weight and any chronic conditions, as well as making other healthy lifestyle choices. If you are thinking about getting pregnant, review this pre-pregnancy checklist from the CDC.
2. Folic Acid helps prevent birth defects. Be sure to take at least 400mcg every day! Read the Folic Acid PDF from the Indiana Department of Health for more information.
3. Preeclampsia Warnings: According to the CDC, preeclampsia occurs in 1 in 25 pregnancies in the United States. This is when your blood pressure is suddenly high and there is protein in your urine after 20 weeks gestation. Recognizing the signs early can help save your life and prevent preterm delivery. Read the Preeclampsia Infographic from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology to learn more.
4. Preterm Labor Signs: Going into labor before 37 weeks is considered preterm and puts you and your baby at risk. Knowing the signs of preterm labor and seeking care right away can help prevent your baby from being born too early. Review the March of Dimes preterm labors signs for more information.
5. Fetal Movement Monitoring: In your third trimester, it is important to monitor you baby's movement every day. A sudden change in the frequency or strength of baby's movements can be an early sign that they are in distress and you need to contact your provider right away. Visit our Stillbirth Prevention: Count the Kicks tab to learn more about fetal movement monitoring and an app to help you do it.
If you work professionally with new and expecting families, we encourage you to have the handouts in this list available to your clients. Even if you do not provide medical care, knowing important resources and warning signs can assist with getting your clients the help they need.