How to have a healthy pregnancy

A doctor discussing pregnancy advice with a pregnant woman and her partner

A healthy pregnancy means making a commitment to a lifestyle that will sustain you and your baby throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. For many, it means giving up habits and foods that could harm you and an unborn child.

Keep in mind that The Mother Baby Center does not provide prenatal care. The Mother Baby Center is where your baby will be delivered. If you have questions about your pregnancy and health care during this time, please talk directly with your pregnancy care provider and clinic.

We recommend the following for every expecting parent

Stay away from smoking

If you smoke, it’s not too late to stop. Smoking decreases blood flow to your baby, which means that your baby will get less oxygen. Smoking also increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and sudden infant death syndrome.

Don’t drink alcohol

Drinking beer, wine, or liquor during pregnancy would harm a developing baby, causing birth defects and, in some cases, lifelong learning problems. Even small amounts of alcohol can hurt brain development.

Don’t use drugs

Using street drugs (such as marijuana, cocaine, or methamphetamines) can damage blood vessels and cause premature labor. Babies born to those who use these drugs are often irritable with sleeping and feeding problems. If you need assistance with substance abuse, please talk with your provider.

Eat well

Eating a variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, and grains will nourish your baby and improve your overall health. Add lean sources of protein, such as chicken, turkey, or fish.

Find out about 10 foods that fight nausea during pregnancy.

Limit caffeine

Caffeine speeds up your heart rate and stimulates your central nervous system. It’s best to limit caffeine to two, 6-ounce cups of coffee, three cups of tea, or two cans of caffeinated soda each day.