Taking care of yourself
Make yourself a priority
Eat a healthy diet.A healthy diet will help you to feel your best and provide your baby nutrients as they grow. Build your meals around whole foods. Your provider may advise you to take supplements. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. Iron is a mineral used to make a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your organs and your baby.
Drink plenty of water.Constipation is a common complaint during pregnancy. Stay hydrated and limit (or eliminate) caffeine or sugary drinks.Avoid all alcohol.
Stay active!Talk to your provider about what is the best exercise for you. Many pregnant women enjoy the following throughout their pregnancy:
- Water aerobics
- Prenatal yoga
Make sleep a priority. Getting plenty of sleep helps with fatigue, anxiety and contributes to your overall well-being. Drink most of your fluids earlier in the day – this will help with night-time bathroom visits.
During flu season, get a free flu shot for you and your family!
Addiction and pregnancy
At Legacy Health, we know that women who struggle with drugs or alcohol while pregnant need extra support to have a healthy pregnancy.
Our midwives at Legacy Medical Group-Midwifery, provide supportive and experienced care for pregnant women living with addiction. We offer prenatal care and help connect you with treatment in a supportive, non-judgmental setting.
Legacy Medical Group-Midwifery offers Project Nurture. This is a treatment program with care before birth and parenting support for the first year after delivery.
Common tests during pregnancy
These are some of the more common tests done during pregnancy.
First trimester prenatal screening tests
First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. These tests help to determine if the fetus might have certain birth defects. Screening tests may be used alone or with other tests.
First trimester screening has 3 parts.
Ultrasound test for fetal nuchal translucency (NT)
Nuchal translucency screening uses an ultrasound test to check the area at the back of the fetal neck for extra fluid or thickening.
Two maternal serum (blood) tests
These tests measure 2 substances found in the blood of all pregnant women:
- Pregnancy-associated plasma protein screening (PAPP-A). This is a protein made by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels are linked to a higher risk for chromosome problems.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is a hormone made by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels are linked to a higher risk for chromosome problems.
When used together, these tests have a greater ability to find out if the fetus might have a genetic birth defect such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and trisomy 18.
If the results of these tests are abnormal, your healthcare provider will suggest genetic counseling. You may need more testing. That may include chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, cell-free fetal DNA, or other ultrasounds.
Second trimester prenatal screening tests
Alpha-fetoprotein screening (AFP)
This blood test measures the level of alpha-fetoprotein in your blood during pregnancy. AFP is a protein normally made by the fetal liver. It is in the fluid around the fetus (amniotic fluid) and crosses the placenta into your blood. The AFP blood test is also called MSAFP (maternal serum AFP).
- Open neural tube defects (ONTD) such as spina bifida
- Down syndrome
- Other chromosome problems
- Problems in the abdominal wall of the fetus
- Twins. More than one fetus is making the protein.
- An incorrect due date. The levels of AFP vary throughout pregnancy.
Multiple marker screening is not diagnostic. This means it is not 100% accurate. It is only a screening test to find out who should be offered more testing for their pregnancy. The tests show false-positive results. This means they show a problem when the fetus is actually healthy. Or the results may be false negative. This means they show that the fetus is normal when the fetus actually does have a health problem.
Having both first and second trimester screening tests done makes it more likely to find a problem if there is one than using just one screening alone. As many as 19 out of 20 cases of Down syndrome can be found when both first and second trimester screening are used.
High-risk pregnancy care
Having your baby
Preparing to give birth is an important and exciting part of pregnancy. We offer many support services to help prepare you for your delivery - from choosing a location, classes and birth plans.