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Pregnancy is a beautiful journey that some women may decide to take. If being a mother is something you wish to be, it is important to know what prenatal care is. Along with how it can ensure the well-being of both you and your baby. Here's a simple map to knowing the basics of prenatal care, as recommended by the John Hopkins School of Medicine.

Early and Regular Checkups: Making an appointment for your first prenatal visit early in your pregnancy is key. Your first trimester is crucial for your baby’s growth. These early visits often include talks about the personal medical history of both you and your partner. Educational chats about what changes you are going to see in your body. A pelvic exam to note the size of your uterus and to check the age of the fetus. As well as a Pap smear to check for abnormal cells. Regular visits allow doctors to check the baby's growth. Along with your own health and address any concerns right away.

Nutrition Matters: A healthy diet matters. Especially when you are pregnant. Eat fruits like cantaloupe, honeydew, mangos, prunes, bananas, apricots, and oranges for potassium. Have veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, cooked greens, and tomatoes for vitamin A and potassium. Eat whole grains like cereals for iron and folic acid. Also add proteins like beans, nuts/seeds, lean beef, pork, and cooked salmon for amino acids. It is also important to not forget to take prenatal vitamins for other essential nutrients.

Stay Hydrated: Drinking a good amount of water is vital during pregnancy. Drinking water helps with digestion. It also helps prevent constipation and supports the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby.

Exercise Safely: Staying active while you are pregnant is a great tool. It can help reduce discomfort and help you’re your recovery after you give birth. Gentle activities like walking and yoga can add to your and your baby’s overall health. Be sure to check your doctor for safe exercises.

Rest and Sleep: Getting enough rest is important for a healthy pregnancy. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Be sure to listen to your body. It will tell you it needs rest during the day.

Monitor Weight Gain and Stress: Healthy weight gain is a natural part of pregnancy. Just be sure to monitor it. Your doctor can tell you about the appropriate weight gain for your specific situation. Being pregnant can also bring on a lot of emotions. It is key to find healthy ways to manage stress. This can be things like meditation or leaning on friends and family to talk through what you are feeling.

Prenatal Classes: Going to a prenatal class can help you know what to expect for the labor and delivery process. Knowing this can help lower anxiety about giving birth. Talk to your support system and make time to take classes together. There they can teach you helpful tools for your pregnancy and for motherhood.

Visit Clincas: Remember, every pregnancy is different. Personalized care is key. This blog gives you a starting point for knowing the basics. Make your appointment at Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. today. Clinicas has your OB/GYN needs covered before, during, and after your pregnancy. Also, be sure to see our Health Education team. They can educate you on what to expect for the next nine months and how to prepare. Stay connected with us! Be sure to ask questions. Most importantly embrace your exciting journey into motherhood!