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Quick Tips: Healthy Pregnancy Habits

Getting Started

Here are ways you can have a healthy pregnancy.

  • See your doctor or midwife regularly.
    • Visit your doctor or midwife as soon as you suspect you are pregnant.
    • Go to all of your prenatal checkups.
    • Get treatment for all infections. Call your doctor or midwife if you have signs of an infection during pregnancy, such as a fever or unusual vaginal discharge.
  • Make healthy food choices.
    • Choose foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats.
    • Get enough folic acid. Take a daily vitamin supplement that contains 0.4 mg to 0.8 mg (400 mcg to 800 mcg) of folic acid.
    • Remember that your nutritional needs increase during pregnancy. If you are not sure about what or how much to eat, talk with your doctor or midwife.
  • Be active.
    • Get regular aerobic and strength-conditioning exercise. Activities like swimming and walking are safe choices.
    • Don't exercise if you're not feeling well.
    • Avoid exercising outdoors if the weather is hot.
    • Avoid exercising at a high altitude (above 6,000 feet). If you live in a place with a high altitude, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.
  • Get plenty of rest.
    • Go to bed earlier than usual and get up later, if possible.
    • Take naps if you can, unless napping makes you sleepless at night.
    • Put your feet up and rest as often as you can during the day.
    • Get help with housework and other duties whenever possible.
  • Take care of your emotional health.
    • Try things that relieve stress, such as breathing exercises or yoga.
    • Talk to your doctor if you are feeling sad or anxious and it's not getting better.
  • Be careful with medicines.
    • Talk to your doctor or midwife about medicines that you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines and supplements. Some medicines and supplements have been linked to birth defects.
    • Check with your doctor or midwife before you take any new medicine, vitamin, or supplement.
  • Avoid smoking, vaping, drinking alcohol, and using drugs.
    • If you smoke or vape, quit or cut back as much as you can. Smoking and vaping can be harmful to your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you need help to quit.
    • If you use alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs, quit or cut back as much as you can. It's safest not to use them at all. Talk to your doctor if you need help to quit.
  • Think safety first.
    • Take care to avoid falling. Changes in your body during pregnancy, such as a growing belly, can make you more likely to fall.
    • Avoid climbing on ladders or standing on anything that is high or wobbly.
    • Always wear your seat belt when you're in a car or on a plane.
    • Avoid things that can make your body too hot and may be harmful to your pregnancy, such as a hot tub or sauna. Or talk with your doctor before doing anything that raises your body temperature. Your doctor can tell you if it's safe.

    • Avoid roller coasters and other rides that are fast or jarring.
    • Avoid risky activities like horseback or motorcycle riding, water-skiing, and scuba diving.
    • Try to avoid strong chemicals such as paints, household cleaners, and pesticides.
    • If your partner is abusive and you are concerned for your emotional or physical safety, consider talking to your doctor.


Current as of: July 10, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.