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“Pregnancy is a life-changing experience, and it’s important that you have the best information from the start,” says the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Make a before, during and after pregnancy wellness plan. There are a lot of steps you can take, and there are ways your family and friends can join in to help.
And preventive care services are available for you and your baby at no additional cost to you when you use in-network providers.* Find out more about your preventive care services.
Some things are important from preconception until after the baby is born:
Get started by focusing on good health to prepare for a healthy pregnancy. These steps can help while you’re trying to get pregnant:
Download our Perinatal Wellness Guidelines for more information about staying healthy during pregnancy.
And find out what preventive care services for mom and baby are available at no cost-share for you.
Your HealthLiving a healthy life and keeping doctor’s visits are key while you’re pregnant. You’re more likely to have a healthy birth if you have a healthy pregnancy, says the American Academy of Family Physicians. Some things to talk to your doctor about:
Pay Close Attention to Your Blood PressureMany women have high blood pressure during and after pregnancy. It is critical to get treatment for it. It can put both mom and baby at risk. It can also cause problems during birth. High blood pressure and the complications it causes are among the leading causes of maternal death.
High blood pressure can cause serious problems during pregnancy, including preeclampsia and stroke. Preeclampsia is high blood pressure and signs of liver or kidney damage after the 20th week of pregnancy. Signs of preeclampsia include:
High blood pressure also puts the baby at risk for early delivery (before 37 weeks) and low birth weight.
Baby’s HealthYour doctor will track your baby at all stages during your pregnancy, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. This may include:
Your doctor plays an important role in your postpartum recovery. The postpartum period is the first six weeks after your baby is born. A health check during this time is your chance to make sure you’re healing well and ask your doctor questions about your health.
New moms worry about many things. Being responsible for a baby can be stressful and overwhelming.
“Disrupted sleep and being overtired can amplify these feelings. The best thing you can do is accept help from your partner, family and friends — even if they’re not doing things exactly the same way you do — and then rest and recharge while someone else is caring for your baby,” says Shari Lawson, M.D., medical director of general obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Lawson suggests additional tips for feeling better mentally and physically:
You may have heard of the “baby blues.” If you’re feeling very sad and anxious, and it doesn’t go away, you might have post-partum depression. If you think you may have post-partum depression, it’s important to get help. Talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling and what kind of help you may need.
From babyhood to preschool and beyond, keeping your child healthy means following a vaccine schedule. Vaccines protect against serious diseases, like polio, whooping cough and mumps. Those diseases can result in a hospital stay, or even death.
It’s important to make sure your child is fully vaccinated against these vaccine-preventable diseases. That means finishing the whole series of recommended shots at the right time. Studies have shown they are safe. But veering from the shot schedule is not.
For quick reference on the immunization schedule for children and more, download our Children’s Wellness Guidelines.
Originally published 1/7/2022; Revised 2023
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