- Virtually everything you consume, inhale or expose yourself to can be transmitted to the fetus. You need to be on a well-balanced diet, not smoke including exposure to second hand smoking, do not drink alcohol (this can result in some birth defects) and please inform your physician of any medications prescription or otherwise, so you will know which ones would be safe for the pregnancy.
- Get the best prenatal care. Follow-up regularly with your obstetrician so they can monitor the pregnancy and catch any problems that might start to develop.
- Nutrition - The obstetrician will be prescribing some prenatal vitamins which will contain iron, folic acid and other minerals which can prevent some birth defects prior to the second trimester.
- Eating for Two - You will need to be eating more than 300 calories more than your normal. This is not a time to diet. You will be needing the extra calories to carry your baby and the breastfeeding after delivery.
- Exercise - Is also important during pregnancy. discuss a fitness program with your doctor. Avoid jumping and jarring movements.
Tests during Pregnancy
- fetal ultrasound is the most common test done in pregnancy, it checks for fetal growth and development and can detect abnormalities
- Non-stress test monitors the fetal heart rate. This is usually performed during the last trimester.
- Stress test monitors the fetal heart rate in response to uterine contractions. This occurs when the birth of the baby commences.
- Oral glucose tolerance test is done to check for gestational diabetes towards the latter part or the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester
- Blood test is obtained to check for the alpha feto protein levels, HCG and estrogen. This triple screen can detect fetal abnormalities early in the pregnancy.
Source: Your Baby's First Year by Steven Shelov