Getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever



While flu was largely absent last winter, the CDC projects it will come back this year, at the same time COVID-19 will continue to circulate in Utah.

To help keep children and families healthy, experts are recommending flu vaccines for people ages 6 months and older as soon as possible. Flu vaccines are available now at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital’s Flu Shot Spot, and in many doctor’s offices, clinics and pharmacies.

Jade Elliott spoke with Sharon Soutter, RN, who runs the flu shot clinic at Primary Children’s Hospital, about the importance of the flu shot.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical for everyone to get the vaccine to protect themselves and their families, and help our hospitals from being overwhelmed by preventable diseases,” said Dr. Andrew Pavia, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health and Director of Hospital Epidemiology at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

For the upcoming flu season, vaccine is important to reduce flu because it can:

  • Keep individuals from getting sick with flu, reduce the severity of the illness for people who do get flu, and reduce the risk of a flu-associated hospitalization.
  • Prevent the anxiety and confusion of trying to tell whether symptoms are from flu or COVID-19
  • Lessen the resulting burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Reduce the risk of potential co-infections with both Flu and COVID-19, which might result in more severe illness.

In 2020, there were almost no flu cases in Utah, in large part due to universal masking and fewer in-person gatherings because of pandemic health prevention measures that were in place, Dr. Pavia said.

There have been a handful of confirmed flu cases in Utah this month. It is too soon to know if this signals the return of flu, but epidemiologists are concerned that flu could surge this year while COVID continues to circulate. Utah hospitals and health systems are already stretched thin and non-emergency surgeries are being cancelled. A major flu outbreak could lead to even more problems providing everyone the care they need.

Already, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is recording a rare summer surge, with more than 200 young children diagnosed with RSV every week in Utah since August, according to GermWatch.org. Typically, that surge comes in winter.

“We strongly recommend flu vaccine for people ages 6 months and older, and COVID-19 vaccine for eligible children ages 12 and older to help prevent these serious diseases,” Dr. Pavia said. “Vaccines can help keep children in school, and help parents remain able to work to support their families. They also help people who cannot receive vaccines stay healthy. Limiting the impact of flu can prevent a flu surge that could further stress our exhausted providers and over-burdened hospitals throughout the state.”

Here are some things families can do now:

  • Get a seasonal flu shot.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine for yourself and children ages 12 and over. This can be received at the same time as the flu shot.
  •  Wash hands often and well, and help children to do the same.
  • Stay home when ill.
  • Wear a mask in public particularly in indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

More information is available at IntermountainHealthcare.org.

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.


KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: Government shutdown averted, but not for long



Guests:

  • Maura Carabello – President and Owner of The Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist

Government Shutdown averted, but not for long:
Congress needs to fund the government, deal with the debt ceiling and decide if it will push through POTUS $3.4 trillion-dollar human infrastructure package or the bi-partisan package pushed by Senator Mitt Romney.

Bipartisan infrastructure deal Gives Utah $3.96 Billion over 5 years

Generals Contradict POTUS in Congress saying they advised leaving 2500 troops in Afghanistan.

Salt Lake City Police response times: The Chief says they are understaffed- are they? We break down the numbers of sworn officers you probably haven’t heard.

Gov. Spencer Cox in monthly news conference said no vaccine mandates: He would block any attempt by the Utah legislature to prevent private companies from mandating the vaccine, but also opposes government mandates for the private sector.

Sen. Lee has filed 9 bills to push back on Biden vaccine and testing mandate.

  • S.2840– A bill to permit civil actions against the United States for COVID-19 vaccination mandates.
  • S.2841– A bill to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publicly disclose information regarding adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • S.2842– A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to prohibit the Secretary of Defense from requiring that members of the armed forces receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • S.2843– A bill to prohibit the imposition of a fine, fee, or taxation on any person for violation of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or any other executive agency.
  • S.2846– A bill to require Federal agencies to acknowledge, accept, and agree to truthfully present, natural immunity pertaining to COVID-19 pursuant to promulgating certain regulations.
  • S.2847– A bill to prohibit the Federal Government from mandating vaccination against COVID-19 for interstate travel.
  • S.2848– A bill to exempt individuals with a personal health concern from complying with a Federal COVID-19 mandate.
  • S.2849– A bill to stipulate that nothing in federal law provides a Federal agency with the authority to mandate that an individual be inoculated by a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • S.2850– A bill to exempt individuals from complying with a Federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate on the basis of a personal belief, and for other purposes.

Utah School Cases
The state has seen 9,957 school age cases kids age 5-17 in the month of September. They were predicting 39,000 cases.


Helping your children with fears and anxiety



Many infants and toddlers experience fear or anxiety. What may be challenging to parents is to know how to soothe their little ones.

Because infants cannot soothe themselves, primary caretakers do that for them – and that helps young children eventually internalize an ability to self-soothe, said Dr. Merrill Kingston, pediatric psychologist at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

Jade Elliott spoke with Kingston about tips to help your child.

“Infants are not born with a self-soothing function; they depend on primary caretakers to moderate strong emotional states for them, including anxiety,” Dr. Kingston said.

Babies and toddlers often express common fears and anxieties about the following:

  • Being alone
  •  The dark
  •  Dogs or other big animals
  •  Bugs
  •  Heights
  • Getting shots or going to the doctor
  • Unfamiliar or loud noises
  • Imaginary monsters — the “thing” under the bed
  •  Strangers (6-12 months)
  •  Separation (9-24 months)

But children can learn ways to calm themselves to cope with common fears. To facilitate self-soothing, parents can strive to:

  • Moderate or limit the amount of external stress-inducing events, such as anger, upset, and absence
  •  Limit developmentally overwhelming or anxiety-inducing influences, such as inappropriate media
  •  Recognize the child’s distress, such as fussing, crying or withdrawal, and provide verbal and physical soothing to calm that distress.

Issues that can interfere with a child learning to self-soothe include:

  • Primary caretaker absence (inability to recognize and soothe the anxious child)
  •  Primary caretaker or environment is overwhelming, reactive, dangerous, or scary (caretaker mental health struggles, food or housing insecurity, high crime rate, various other traumas).

“We recognize that parents are not perfect,” Dr. Kingston said. “We know, however, when the primary caretaker provides an adequate soothing function enough of the time, and if the external environment does not overwhelm the parent’s soothing abilities, the developing child will start to internalize the soothing function and begin to soothe himself or herself.”

While most fears and anxieties dissipate in time, there can be concern when they persist beyond developmental timelines, interfere with feeding or sleep, or when the child’s distress cannot be calmed.

In such cases, parents are urged to reach out to their pediatrician or medical provider, seek a psychological assessment or intervention, or contact family services.

More information is available at primarychildrens.org.

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.


KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: Is there really a ‘missing white woman syndrome?’



Guests:

  • Maura Carabello – President and Owner of The Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist

Gabby Petito Case brings up other missing person cases: Is there really a “missing white woman syndrome?”

High profile and diverse cases in Utah: 

  • Elizabeth Salgado case in 2015: 26-year old’s body found 3 years later in Hobble Creek Canyon
  • Hser Ner Moo in 2008: 7-year old girl missing from her South Salt Lake apartment. Her body was found at her neighbor’s apartment, also a Burmese refugee family.
  • Rosie Tapia in August 1995: Her kidnapper was never tracked down. The 6 year-old was abducted, her body was later found in a canal off the Jordan River. 

TIPS: Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000.

Do the Elizabeth Smart, Mackenzie Lueck and Gabby Petito cases far outweigh coverage of all women?

Utah has many missing indigenous women and girls Rep. Angela Romero heads task force 

Monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 center opens

Senate President Stuart Adams has been pushing for more access

State of Utah has given out 7K treatments since Nov. 2020.

The state has a scoring system to decide if you can get the treatment.

IRS Bank account access:

UT State Auditor John Dougal and treasurer oppose letting the IRS monitor middle class bank accounts. They join 21 other state financial officers in opposition to a proposed federal rule. If it happens, Utah leaders say the IRS could examine more than 100 million accounts when a deposit is made of $600+. They’re calling it an infringement of data privacy.

Utah Democratic Party Chair steps down:

Jeff Merchant “It has been among the greatest joys of my life to serve Utahns as your state party chair. While today I humbly offer my resignation in order to attend to my personal health, the work that must be done in our state and across our nation to protect our most vulnerable communities will continue on. I know that I leave the party in good hands with Diane Lewis, who will become acting Chair until confirmed by the Central Committee. Diane is a storied leader in our state’s labor movement and Democratic Party, and I believe that under Diane’s leadership, our party will continue to build on the gains that we have made in 2020. I’m excited for this new chapter for the party and will remain a staunch supporter of our mission and our organizing.”


Healthy toddler snack time



Toddlers love to snack. But many grab-and-go snacks popular with busy families are processed and contain excess sugar and sodium that can lead to poor eating habits and health concerns later in life.

There are easy ways to engage your toddler in snack time and teach them to eat right early on, said Sara Fausett, a registered dietitian-nutritionist at Intermountain Cedar City Hospital.

Jade Elliott spoke with Sara about some tips for healthy snacking.

“With a little planning, snack time can be a great way to help kids learn to eat right the fun way,” Fausett said.

Eating habits have the greatest impact on a person’s health, research shows. More than half of U.S. adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases, and many are related to poor diets and lack of physical activity. About one-fifth of U.S. children are clinically obese.

Teaching kids healthy eating and active lifestyles is a critical part of August’s Kids Eat Right Month, a campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Here are some toddler snack-time tips:

  • Establish a regular snack routine.
  • Serve snacks at the table. Eat together to model healthy snacking.
  •  Offer fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods, like string cheese.
  • Cut foods into small pieces and watch your toddler eat to prevent choking.
  •  Give toddlers choices among healthy options. This helps them learn to choose healthy foods and improve autonomy (which they love).

For on-the-go snacks, purchase healthy convenience items or make your own bagged snacks, like these:

  • Puree fruit mixes
  • String cheese
  •  Pretzels
  •  Mini packs of carrots or apples
  • Dry cereal
  •  Fruit (gummy fruit snacks don’t count!)

Additional information can be found at intermountainhealthcare.org.

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.


KUTV's Heidi Hatch hosts former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello of the Exoro Group in a new episode of Take 2. (Photo: KUTV)

Take 2 Podcast: COVID-19 booster, federal vaccine requirement, fertilizing the dead



SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – In this week’s Take 2 Podcast, host Heidi Hatch speaks to founder and resident of The Exoro Group, Maura Carabello, and former Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes.

They’ll talk about the initial rejection of the COVID-19 booster shot for all, and approval for older Americans and those at high risk.

They discuss the federal vaccine requirements announced by President Jo Biden, what that means for Utah, and attorney generals from several states threatening lawsuits against the plan.

A topic getting a lot of attention over the week was the arrival of thousands of Haitian immigrant staying under a border bridge acting as a temporary holding area in Del Rio, Texas.

Finally, Utah schools now under “Test to Stay” guidelines, Afghan refugees coming to the Beehive State, the weekend’s Justice for J6 rally in Washington, AOC at the Met Gala and fertilizing the dead.

Guests:

  • Maura Carabello – President and Owner of The Exoro Group
  • Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist

FDA approves third COVID-19 booster shot, but only for elderly and high risk – After overwhelmingly rejecting a plan to give Pfizer booster shots against COVID-19 to most Americans, an influential federal advisory panel has approved the extra shots for those who are 65 or older or run a high risk of severe disease. 

Utah Legislative Meeting discusses vaccine mandates:

  • Some people got nasty
  • Rep. Paul Ray blamed mismanagement for capacity problems at local hospitals.
  • AG Sean Reyes joins dozens of others threatening lawsuits against the White House over Biden’s  vaccine mandate.

Schools now starting Test to stay

  • SLC votes to keep masks for another 30 days

9,000 + migrants staying under a bridge in Del Rio TX in temporary holding – The Biden administration plans the widescale expulsion of Haitian migrants from a small Texas border city by putting them on on flights to Haiti starting Sunday, an official said Friday, representing a swift and dramatic response to thousands who suddenly crossed the border from Mexico and gathered under and around a bridge.

“More than 200,000 people crossed last month, bringing the total this fiscal year to more than 1.5 million.” 

Utah will welcome 765 Afghan refugees starting in October

Romney pressed Sec. Blinken on SIV applicants left behind in Afghanistan

Justice for J6 Weekend rally planned in DC (Jan 6th 2.0?)Dozens of people gathered at Union Square near the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the Justice for J6 rally Saturday afternoon.

AOC- tax the Rich – Did her Met GALA stunt work?

Fertilizing the deadThe Colorado legislature passed a bill that legalizes an alternative to burial or cremation – allowing instead for an accelerated process of biological decomposition, aka composting of human remains. 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO ALL TAKE 2 PODCASTS.


Baby’s first foods: How to form healthy eaters



Baby’s transition to solid foods can be a source of stress for parents – or the most natural thing in the world.

The key: Don’t force it. Instead, allow baby choices and a fun introduction to food, said Sara Fausett, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Cedar City Hospital.

Jade Elliott spoke with Sara Fausett about introducing foods to your baby.

“Eating is a continuum, and food is an experience,” Fausett said. “Allowing babies to explore food in a way that makes them feel safe helps them create a healthy relationship with food, which makes feeding easier for them — and for mom and dad.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC recommend introducing solid foods at age 6 months. That’s the time when breastmilk or formula alone no longer provides the number of calories and protein babies need, Fausett said.

But babies who express interest in foods mom or dad eat can be allowed to explore foods a little earlier.

“The expectation is not to perform, but to have a safe exposure to food anytime earlier than 6 months of age” Fausett said. “If you feed babies too early and they don’t know what to do with solid food, they will resist you as long as possible because it’s a safety issue for them.”

At six months, babies should be introduced to solid foods, even if they don’t seem interested, Fausett said. Parents could serve thinned rice cereal with several spoons to encourage exploration and play.

Parents should continue to provide breastmilk or formula when introducing foods, Fausett said. Other milks from legumes or animals and protein shakes should be avoided.

Here are some additional tips for introducing foods:

  •  6 months: Introduce cereal if baby is showing signs of readiness (sitting up, looking at you, able to tongue thrust, and turn head away)
  • 6-8 months: Start strained or pureed foods. Introduce one new food per week.
  • Add thickness, lumps, or chunks as baby’s ability to eat thinner purees or liquids improves.
  •  Offer firm large foods as an experience, so long as they cannot choke baby (whole celery or carrots are good options).
  •  Progressively offer foods that you eat at home as part of your healthy diet.

Remember, babies have a clean-slate palate, and this is good time to introduce fruits and vegetables, Fausett said.

For more information: Intermountainhealthcare.org.

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.


Take 2 Podcast: Pres. Biden’s vaccine mandate, Utah County death penalty



In this week’s Take 2 Podcast, host Heidi Hatch speaks to former Utah Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, and former Salt Lake mayoral candidate David Ibarra about the vaccine order President Joe Biden spoke about earlier in the week.

They’ll also talk about Utah County Attorney David Leavitt’s decision to no longer seek the death penalty in cases he prosecutes.

They discuss Utah Senate President Stuart Adams’ recent comments that came under fire about “educating” Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and helping him to “understand” the state’s critical race theory resolution.

Finally, understand the problems with Utah’s homeless crisis and ideas to fix it.

Guests: Greg Hughes – Former Utah Speaker of the House- businessman and lobbyist
David Ibarra- Former SLC Mayoral Candidate President/CEO at eLeaderTech, Inc.

Vaccine Mandate President Biden: 2 Months after declaring the nations “independence” from the virus
July 25 White House: Vaccine mandates are “not the role of the federal government.”

  • Employers with 100 + employees must require vaccine or test weekly (80 million people)
  • All health care facilities
  • All Federal Employees and contractors – no test out option
  • $14k per violation

Is it legal?
Will states challenge?
Will the Supreme Court weigh in and how quickly?

Death Penalty off the table in Utah County
Utah County Attorney David Leavitt announced Wednesday that he’ll no longer seek the death penalty.

“Pretending that the death penalty will somehow curb crime is simply a lie,” Leavitt said in his video. “The answer to preventing these types of horrible crimes is in education and prevention before they occur. No family wants to hear, ‘My child is dead and that man got a long sentence.’ What they want to hear is, ‘My child was never killed.’”

  • Ronnie Lee Gardner was the last state execution- 13 years ago by firing squad.
  • 2022 Session will tackle the issue again.
  • Senator Steve Urquhart bill failed in final hours in 2106
  • 2018 the bill was pulled without support.

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams at ALEC says Donovan Mitchell did not “understand” state critical race theory resolution.

“I hate to use names, but I will. Donovan Mitchell is not happy with us,” Adams says in the video from May 21 posted on social media. “And you start to get very popular sports stars like that that are pushing back. We’ve got work to do to try to educate them. My text back was, ‘Let’s get after him and let’s go tell him what we’re doing,’ because I don’t really think he understands what happened.”

Utah Homeless Crisis rears its ugly head again both Ibarra and Hughes have worked on the issue, understand the problems and have ideas to fix it.

  • Are streets safe?
  • Do we need an overflow shelter?
  • Who’s problem is it?

What to expect at prenatal appointments



What happens during prenatal visits is different depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. You should schedule your first prenatal visit around 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy (2-4 weeks after a missed period). Early and regular prenatal visits help your midwife or doctor will check your health and the growth of the fetus.

Jade Elliott spoke with Emily Hart Hayes, a certified nurse midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner with Intermountain Healthcare, about what you can expect at these prenatal appointments.

1. Your first prenatal visit will be one of your longest, so be sure to allow plenty of time. During the visit, you can expect your midwife or doctor to:

  •  Answer your questions. This is a great time to ask questions and share any concerns you may have.
  •  Check your urine sample for infection and to confirm your pregnancy.
  •  Check your blood pressure, weight, and height.
  •  Calculate your due date based on your last menstrual cycle or ultrasound exam.
  •  Perform tests to check for blood type, do a blood count, and check for infections that can affect pregnancy including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, rubella, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  •  Ask about your health, including medical conditions, surgeries, and previous pregnancies.
  •  Ask about your family health and genetic history.
  •  Ask about your lifestyle, including whether you smoke, drink, or take drugs.
  •  Ask about your home environment and safety.
  •  Discuss exercise and diet.
  •  Discuss immunizations and recommend a flu or COVID vaccine if you haven’t already received these.
  • Do a complete physical exam, which may include a pelvic exam.
  •  Do a Pap test or test for human papillomavirus (HPV) or both to screen for cervical cancer risk if you are due for this screening.
  • Do an ultrasound, depending on the week of pregnancy.
  •  Offer genetic testing: screening for Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities, cystic fibrosis, other specialized testing depending on history.

2. If your pregnancy is healthy, your health care provider will set up a regular schedule for visits that will include a visit every month during the first and second trimesters, and every 2 weeks from 28 to 36 weeks, and weekly from 36 weeks until your birth.

3. As your pregnancy progresses, your prenatal visits will vary greatly. During most visits, you can expect your health care provider to check your blood pressure, measure your weight gain, measure your abdomen (“fundal height”) to check your baby’s growth once you are about halfway through your pregnancy. Your provider will also check the fetal heart rate, feel your abdomen to find the fetus’s position (later in pregnancy), and possibly do tests, such as blood tests or an ultrasound exam.

4. Later in your pregnancy, some of your visits will include tests to check for gestational diabetes (usually between 24 and 28 weeks) and other conditions, depending on your age and family history. In addition, pregnant women should receive a booster of whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.

5. After your baby is born, your midwife or doctor will have you set up postpartum appointments, usually at 2 and 6 weeks postpartum. At these visits, your provider will check your blood pressure and do a physical exam to ensure your postpartum recovery is normal. They will also do screening for postpartum mood disorders, such as postpartum depression or anxiety, help you with breastfeeding, and discuss birth control (contraception) and family planning.

To listen to the Group B Strep episode mentioned in this podcast, click here.

For more information about pregnancy or to find a midwife or OB/Gyn visit intermountainhealthcare.org

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.


What to do after your pregnancy test comes back positive



There’s a whole range of emotions that women experience when they decide to do a home pregnancy test and it comes back positive. Women may feel nervous, surprised, excited, relieved, afraid, happy, overwhelmed or any combination of those all at once. You might not know what to do first!

Jade Elliott spoke with Emily Hart Hayes, CNM, DNP, Intermountain Healthcare, about what you need to do.

After sharing the news with your partner, what should you do to help ensure you have a healthy pregnancy?

1. Schedule an appointment with your midwife, OB/Gyn, or primary care provider.

Studies show that good prenatal care helps ensure healthier pregnancies, safer labor and deliveries, and stronger babies. Your first prenatal visit should happen between 6 and 8 weeks of pregnancy (when your menstrual period is 2 to 4 weeks late).

At your appointment, your provider will do another pregnancy test or blood test to confirm the positive results. They will also order routine blood tests and may do an ultrasound to confirm your due date. At this visit, you can discuss any questions or concerns you have and learn of the importance of going to prenatal visits throughout your pregnancy.

2. Check with your doctor if you are taking any prescription or over the counter medications to find out if you should continue taking them.

If you can’t get to see your provider right away, call or send a message to your provider about any current medications you’re taking.

3. Don’t smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or use marijuana or illegal drugs, they are harmful to your baby. If you need help quitting any of these, talk to your midwife or doctor and they can help you with resources.

There’s no “safe” number of cigarettes or drinks, and many common medications can harm your developing baby.

4. Protect yourself from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for pregnant women by the two national organizations of obstetric physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine. The American College of Nurse Midwives also recommends the immunization.

Pregnant women are at a higher risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19, and there is preliminary evidence that severe disease from COVID can cause pregnancy complications, too.. Wear a mask, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.

5. Start taking prenatal vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins are available over the counter. Look for prenatal vitamins with at least 400 micrograms (0.4 mg) of folic acid. Taking folic acid before and during a pregnancy can reduce the risk of a child born with serious birth defects of the spinal cord or brain.

6. Get enough sleep and exercise.

Balancing activity and rest will help you nurture your developing baby – and will help you feel good, too. Both rest and exercise help you cope with the mood swings of pregnancy, ease aches and pains, and manage morning sickness. Talk with your provider if you have any questions about exercise and what’s safe for you and your baby.

7. Eat nutritious meals and stay hydrated

What you eat can affect the health of your growing baby. So, make every bite count. Limit high-sugar and high-fat foods (like sodas and ice-cream and other desserts, and fatty meats like sausage or fried chicken). Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread and brown rice. Go for low-fat protein foods like low-fat milk, skinless chicken or turkey, and beans. Avoid fish that contains mercury. Drink eight glasses of water every day.

8. Wear a seatbelt.

It may not always feel comfortable around your growing waistline, but right now a seatbelt may save two lives. And if you want a head start on a safety seat for your baby, check out this car seat safety information from Intermountain’s Primary Children’s Medical Center.

9. Be informed. Learn about pregnancy, childbirth, recovery, parenting, etc. Intermountainhealthcare.org has many patient education resources for pregnant women.

10. Be aware of any mood changes, depression or anxiety during pregnancy or after childbirth and talk with your provider about your concerns.

Your provider can refer you to a behavioral health provider if needed.

For more information about pregnancy or to find an OB/Gyn or midwife visit intermountainhealthcare.org

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.