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In this week’s episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast, Holly Menino sits down with Nurse Dani from Intermountain Moms to talk about what a woman needs to do before pregnancy and what to do after finding out she’s pregnant.
What a woman needs to do before pregnancy:
The Centers for Disease Control has challenged women to make a PACT with themselves to do what it takes to be as healthy as possible before getting pregnant:
• Take a prenatal vitamin. Neural tube defects like spina bifida can result from not having enough folic acid in your system during the first couple of weeks following conception (before you even know you’re pregnant).
A—Avoiding Harmful Substances
• Avoid alcohol, tobacco products, illicit street drugs, and ask your doctor before taking over-the-counter and prescription medications as well as herbal supplements.
• Avoid exposure to radiation, toxic chemicals, and sexually transmitted infections.
C—Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
• Talk with your doctor before you get pregnant. Schedule a preconception appointment to have your blood pressure, thyroid, blood sugar, weight, and overall health checked. Exercise and eat a healthy diet
T—Talk with Your Healthcare Provider
• It’s important to be educated about risks that apply to everyone and risks that apply specifically to you. Risks specific to you will depend on your history: preterm labor, history of c/sections, history of preeclampsia, advanced age, obesity, etc.
• Your provider will talk about immunizations you should get during pregnancy such as the flu shot and a Tdap booster shot.
What a woman needs to do after finding out she’s pregnant:
That moment when you see a positive pregnancy test is quite possibly one of the most exciting moments women might experience. But after you see that, you may or may not know what to do next. Nurse Dani says women should — Take A STEP.
Take a prenatal vitamin
• Make sure that you’re taking a prenatal vitamin each day—one that has at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in it—to prevent spina bifida.
Avoid alcohol — there is no safe amount to consume while pregnant
• Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. These disabilities are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).
Schedule your first prenatal appointment
• Your first prenatal appointment should happen by the 13th week of pregnancy, and you should plan on having at least 13 appointments over the course of the pregnancy.
Think twice about all medications
• Talk with your doctor before taking prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medications. They’ll decide what’s okay for pregnancy.
Pick a Provider
• Make sure they’re covered by your insurance, their location is convenient and not too far from home, find out what hospital you’d like to deliver at and pick a provider that has privileges there, think about the dynamics of group coverage.
The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.