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Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. But when you're pregnant, or there's a chance you might get pregnant, you should take a folic acid supplement. This is to reduce the risk of problems in the baby's development in the early weeks of pregnancy. Do not take vitamin A supplements or any supplements containing vitamin A retinol , as too much vitamin A could harm your baby.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: All About Pregnancy Nutrition

Which foods to eat and avoid during pregnancy

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Your health care provider may recommend a variety of screenings, tests and imaging techniques during your pregnancy. Many genetic abnormalities can be diagnosed before birth.

Your doctor or midwife may recommend genetic testing during pregnancy if you or your partner has a family history of genetic disorders. You may also choose to have genetic screening if you have had a fetus or baby with a genetic abnormality. Cystic fibrosis.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Hemophilia A. Polycystic kidney disease. Sickle cell disease. Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling withdrawing a small sample of the fetal blood from the umbilical cord. While some birth defects can be prevented through prenatal care, it's important to know what treatments may exist if your fetus is diagnosed with a birth defect.

First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. This screening process can help determine the risk of the fetus having certain birth defects. Screening tests may be used alone or with other tests. Ultrasound for fetal nuchal translucency. Nuchal translucency screening uses an ultrasound to examine the area at the back of the fetal neck for increased fluid or thickening.

Ultrasound for fetal nasal bone determination. The nasal bone may not be visualized in some babies with certain chromosome abnormalities, such as Down syndrome. This screen is performed using an ultrasound between 11 and 13 weeks gestation.

Maternal serum blood tests. These blood tests measure two substances found in the blood of all pregnant women:. Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A. A protein produced by the placenta in early pregnancy.

Abnormal levels are associated with an increased risk of chromosomal abnormality. Human chorionic gonadotropin. A hormone produced by the placenta in early pregnancy. When used together as first trimester screening tests, nuchal translucency screening and maternal blood tests have a greater ability to determine if the fetus might have a birth defect, such as Down syndrome trisomy 21 and trisomy If the results of these first trimester screening tests are abnormal, genetic counseling is recommended.

Additional testing, such as chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, cell-free fetal DNA or other ultrasounds, may be needed for an accurate diagnosis. Second trimester prenatal screening may include several blood tests called multiple markers. These markers provide information about your potential risk of having a baby with certain genetic conditions or birth defects.

Screening is usually done by taking a sample of your blood between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy 16 to 18 weeks is ideal. The multiple markers include:. AFP screening. AFP is a protein normally produced by the fetal liver that is present in the fluid surrounding the fetus amniotic fluid. It crosses the placenta and enters your blood. Abnormal levels of AFP may indicate:. Open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

Twins more than one fetus is producing the protein. This is a hormone produced by the placenta. It can be measured in maternal blood or urine to be used to determine fetal health.

Abnormal test results of AFP and other markers may mean that additional testing is needed. An ultrasound is used to confirm the milestones of your pregnancy and to check the fetal spine and other body parts for defects. An amniocentesis may be needed for an accurate diagnosis. Since multiple marker screening is not diagnostic, it is not percent accurate. It helps determine who in the population should be offered additional testing during pregnancy.

False-positive results may indicate a problem when the fetus is actually healthy. On the other hand, false-negative results indicate a normal result when the fetus actually does have a health problem. When you have both first and second trimester screening tests performed, the ability of the tests to detect an abnormality is greater than using just one screening independently. Most cases of Down syndrome can be detected when both first and second trimester screenings are used.

An ultrasound scan is a diagnostic technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the internal organs.

A screening ultrasound is sometimes done during the course of your pregnancy to check normal fetal growth and verify the due date. To diagnose an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Two types of ultrasounds can be performed during pregnancy:. Abdominal ultrasound. In an abdominal ultrasound, gel is applied to your abdomen. The ultrasound transducer glides over the gel on the abdomen to create the image.

Transvaginal ultrasound. In a transvaginal ultrasound, a smaller ultrasound transducer is inserted into your vagina and rests against the back of the vagina to create an image.

A transvaginal ultrasound produces a sharper image than an abdominal ultrasound and is often used in early pregnancy. There are several types of ultrasound imaging techniques. As the most common type, the 2-D ultrasound provides a flat picture of one aspect of the baby. If more information is needed, a 3-D ultrasound exam can be done.

This technique, which provides a 3-D picture, requires a special machine and special training. The 3-D image allows the health care provider to see the width, height and depth of the images, which can be helpful during the diagnosis. The 3-D images can also be captured and saved for later review.

The latest technology is 4-D ultrasound, which allows the health care provider to visualize the unborn baby moving in real time. These images often have a golden color, which helps show shadows and highlights. Fetal ultrasound has no known risks other than mild discomfort due to pressure from the transducer on your abdomen or in your vagina. No radiation is used during the procedure.

Transvaginal ultrasound requires covering the ultrasound transducer in a plastic or latex sheath, which may cause a reaction in women with a latex allergy. Ultrasound imaging is constantly being improved and refined.

As with any test, the results may not be completely accurate. However, an ultrasound can provide valuable information to parents and health care providers, helping them manage and care for the pregnancy and the baby.

In addition, ultrasound imaging gives parents a unique opportunity to see their baby before birth, helping them to bond and establish an early relationship. Fetal ultrasound is sometimes offered in nonmedical settings to provide keepsake images or videos for parents. It is best to have an ultrasound performed by trained medical personnel who can correctly interpret the results. Talk with your doctor or midwife if you have questions. An amniocentesis involves taking a small sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus.

It is used to diagnose chromosomal disorders and open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Testing is available for other genetic defects and disorders depending on your family history and the availability of lab testing at the time of the procedure.

An amniocentesis is generally offered to women between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy who have an increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities. Candidates include women who will be over age 35 at the time of delivery or those who have had an abnormal maternal serum screening test. An amniocentesis involves inserting a long, thin needle through your abdomen into the amniotic sac to withdraw a small sample of amniotic fluid.

The amniotic fluid contains cells shed by the fetus, which contain genetic information. Although specific details of each procedure may vary, a typical amniocentesis follows this process:. Your doctor will use ultrasound technology to help guide a hollow needle into the amniotic sac.

He or she will withdraw a small sample of fluid for lab analysis. You may feel some cramping during or after the amniocentesis. Strenuous activities should be avoided for 24 hours following the procedure.

Women who are pregnant with twins or other higher-order multiples need sampling from each amniotic sac to study each baby. The fluid is then sent to a genetics lab so that the cells can grow and be analyzed. AFP is also measured to rule out an open neural tube defect. Results are usually available in about 10 days to two weeks, depending on the lab. CVS is a prenatal test that involves taking a sample of some of the placental tissue. This tissue contains the same genetic material as the fetus and can be tested for chromosomal abnormalities and some other genetic problems.

Testing is available for other genetic defects and disorders, depending on your family history and the availability of lab testing at the time of the procedure. Unlike amniocentesis, CVS does not provide information on open neural tube defects. Therefore, women who undergo CVS also need a follow-up blood test between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy to screen for these defects.

Pregnancy Diet & Nutrition: What to Eat, What Not to Eat

While pregnancy is not the time to lose weight, women should not use their expanding bellies as a reason to eat more than is necessary. The amount of food a woman needs during pregnancy depends on a number of things including her body mass index, or BMI, before pregnancy, the rate at which she gains weight, age and appetite. All pregnant women should eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods each day. It may also be necessary to take a vitamin and mineral supplement if recommended by a physician. Many women start off pregnancy with an overweight or obese BMI and many gain more weight than is healthy during their pregnancy.

Now that you're pregnant , taking care of yourself has never been more important. Here's how to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. Key to protecting the health of your child is to get regular prenatal care.

If you are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, you need to be careful about taking vitamins or any other type of supplements. Only certain supplements are recommended for pregnant women; they include folic acid, which helps prevent neural tube defects. Your body needs a variety of nutrients for good health: vitamins, minerals , protein , carbohydrates , fats and fibre. Apart from vitamin D , which is mostly sourced from sunlight, most of the vitamins you need come from food. Dietary supplements are complementary medicines which contain nutrients that may fill a deficiency a gap in your diet.

Healthy Weight during Pregnancy

Congratulations, and welcome to your pregnancy! From what to expect each week to how to prepare for labor and beyond, here's the info you need. The educational health content on What To Expect is reviewed by our medical review board and team of experts to be up-to-date and in line with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines, including the medically reviewed What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff. This educational content is not medical or diagnostic advice. Use of this site is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy. Getting Pregnant. First Year. Baby Products.

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow. You do not need to go on a special diet, but it's important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need. Read more about vitamins and supplements in pregnancy.

COVID is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Pregnant women need to ensure that their diet provides enough nutrients and energy for the baby to develop and grow properly.

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Caring for Young Children

Your health care provider may recommend a variety of screenings, tests and imaging techniques during your pregnancy. Many genetic abnormalities can be diagnosed before birth. Your doctor or midwife may recommend genetic testing during pregnancy if you or your partner has a family history of genetic disorders.

Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs. Type a minimum of three characters then press UP or DOWN on the keyboard to navigate the autocompleted search results. Good nutrition during pregnancy can help to keep you and your developing baby healthy. Your need for certain nutrients, such as iron, iodine and folate, increases when you are pregnant. A varied diet that includes the right amount of healthy foods from the five food groups generally provides our bodies with the vitamins and minerals it needs each day. However, pregnant women may need to take vitamin or mineral supplements during pregnancy such as folate and vitamin D.

Nutrition During Pregnancy

Pregnant people should take steps to reduce their risk of getting sick. People caring for young children should protect the children and themselves against the spread of COVID You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy. Related: How to Protect Yourself. Based on available information, pregnant people seem to have the same risk of COVID as adults who are not pregnant. However, much remains unknown.

Feb 6, - This is called prenatal care. You're more likely to have a healthy birth if you maintain a healthy pregnancy. Path to improved health. Schedule an.

So when you are pregnant, it is important for you to increase the amounts of foods you eat with these nutrients. Most women can meet their increased needs with a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. If you do, you are likely to get all the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy. Helps to build strong bones and teeth.

Health Tips for Pregnant Women

This is called prenatal care. Your doctor will start by reviewing your medical history. He or she also will want to know about your symptoms.

Pregnancy and diet

Hector Chapa does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. That question, sent to me by a colleague who is both a registered nurse and an expectant mother, stopped me in my tracks. Her email reminded me of the uncertainty expectant mothers now face as health risks and the health care system around them change amid this coronavirus pandemic.

What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is her baby's main source of nourishment.

This information is not intended to meet your specific individual healthcare requirements and this information is not a clinical diagnostic service. If you are concerned about your health or healthcare requirements we strongly recommend that you speak to your clinician or other healthcare professional, as appropriate. Generally, pregnant women do not appear to be more likely to be seriously unwell than other healthy adults if they develop coronavirus. Cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache and loss of sense of smell are other relevant symptoms.

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