Healthy Pregnancy Lifestyles

Sound Advice for a Healthful Pregnancy
Bringing a new life into this world is a big responsibility. Even seemingly simple things—like soaking in a hot tub or being around people who are painting—could affect your baby.
Tips for Traveling Moms-to-be
Today’s society is increasingly mobile, and the demands of career and family often require travel during a woman’s pregnancy. Here are some tips and guidance for safe travels while you’re pregnant.

Nutrition

Nutrition During Pregnancy
Not only is eating nutritious food good for you and your baby, it also can ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy. A balanced diet can help minimize symptoms such as nausea and constipation.
Folic Acid for a Healthy Baby
Getting enough folic acid can reduce the risk for neural tube defects (NTDs) and may also reduce the risk for other serious birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.

Exercise and Work

Exercise During Pregnancy
If you exercised before pregnancy, you can safely continue exercising. If you were inactive or you have medical complications, talk with your doctor before beginning to exercise.
Work and Pregnancy
Most women are able to work safely, in some cases, until the day of delivery, depending on the type of work performed and their condition.

Relationships, Sex, and Intimacy

Sex During Pregnancy
In most cases, sex during pregnancy is safe. In fact, with your doctor's approval, sexual relations can continue until delivery.
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
few mothers- and fathers-to-be receive training for the much more challenging and long-term tasks: becoming good parents and remaining close and loving partners in the face of new stresses and strains as their family grows.
Being There: Advice for Expectant Dads
Remember scenes from old movies where the husband paces around the waiting room while his wife is in labor? As a father-to-be today, you know that you can participate throughout your partner's pregnancy.
We're Pregnant–Tips for the Expectant Dad
More than ever, men are actively involved throughout the pregnancy experience. The term expectant father really fits, as men support, worry, and plan right along with their pregnant partners. Some of the more common experiences for expectant dads are included here.

Safety for You and Your Baby

Smoking and Pregnancy
Don't smoke during your pregnancy and limit how much time you spend in environments where there is secondhand smoke.
Alcohol and Pregnancy
Alcohol consumption by the mother is a leading cause of preventable birth defects in the fetus. In addition, the risk for miscarriage and stillbirth increases with alcohol consumption.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to a group of abnormalities in babies born to mothers who drink during pregnancy. The problems include small head and brain, facial abnormalities, and defects of other organs.
Illegal Drug Use and Pregnancy
Almost every drug passes from the mother's bloodstream through the placenta to the fetus. Illicit substances that cause drug dependence and addiction in the mother also cause the fetus to become addicted.
Medications and Pregnancy
All medications you take affect the fetus, depending on the stage of development, the type and dosage of the medication being taken, and your drug tolerance.
Diseases from Your Pets, Both Common and Exotic
Whether you have a turtle or a parrot or a tabby cat, the best prevention against disease is cleanliness.
Pregnant? Why You Should Know About Lead
If you're pregnant, it's just as important for you to stay away from lead as it is to protect your children from it.
Domestic Violence
Abuse often begins with verbal behaviors such as name-calling, threats, and hitting or throwing objects. It can become worse, including pushing, slapping, and holding against the victim's will.
Recognizing Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is behavior someone uses to control a spouse, partner, date or elderly relative through fear and intimidation.