Prenatal Care: The Essential Guide to Pregnancy

Tips from A to Z and Advice on Your Pregnancy

That’s right—the test was positive! Congrats on your pregnancy! No matter what it took to get to this point, if it was a surprise, or whether or not this is your first pregnancy—we know you have questions.

So we’ve put together an essential guide to prenatal care, to help you find answers to your questions about pregnancy and the resources you’ll need for prenatal care!

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Worried your weight isn’t staying on track during your pregnancy? Concerned you are going to gain too much weight, or already have? Or maybe health conditions or morning sickness are preventing you from gaining weight, and you’re concerned for your little one’s health.

There is already a lot of societal pressure about looking a certain way and being healthy, but still accepting your body for what it does. Finding that balance in daily life is hard enough without the added stress of pregnancy. And the pressure about weight and looks can become even more daunting when you are pregnant.

The last thing you want to do is put your little one at any risk. So, what advice do you follow? Can you be on a diet while you are pregnant? Is there anything you shouldn’t be eating? What about when morning sickness is so bad you are losing weight? And how do you avoid gestational diabetes?

There’s a lot of advice (i.e. “you’re eating for two”) that isn’t helpful or accurate. And there is much more advice that, although generally good, may not be best for you. You want to gain the right amount of weight for you at the right time for you. The goal of every pregnancy is keeping you and baby healthy, to set your lives up for a healthy start when your newborn (or newborns) arrive.

Remember, each person is unique when it comes to how, where and when they gain weight during their pregnancy. Understanding some basic principles about healthy eating, average pregnancy weight trends and things to watch for can help you feel better in between your doctor appointments. Also, understanding how family or personal medical history comes into play in your health during pregnancy can create the healthiest pathways to appropriate weight gain.

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Diet and Nutrition During Pregnancy

Your nutrition has now become your little one’s nutrition! How much do you need to change your eating habits (if at all), what foods should you eat while pregnant and what foods do you need to avoid while pregnant?

Our Certified Prenatal Nutritionists break it down for you in the following articles:

Healthy Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

Childbearing is the time when you need to take your health seriously and think carefully about what to eat during pregnancy. A healthy diet matters a lot in keeping your baby well-nourished from the time of conception.

It is typical to start going over your diet routines the moment you discover that you’re pregnant. But like others, you may be inclined to seek advice from your mom or friends, the Internet, or you simply rely on your past pregnancy habits. What you may not realize is that each pregnancy is different. Age or environment can be a contributing factor to physical or hormonal changes that may affect pregnancy, so the body’s response could be different.

Like it or not, there are conditions that only a prenatal care specialist can understand and help you get through. There are also questions about prenatal diet that only a certified nutritionist** can accurately answer.

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What Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

As soon as you find out you are pregnant, you start to worry about what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy.

You and other pregnant individuals may begin their pregnancy journey by searching the Internet or asking friends or family about what foods to avoid while pregnant. More than yourself, you worry about your baby’s well-being so you want to be careful with your diet.

While popular sources of information might help, none of those can replace guidance from a certified prenatal nutritionist. Why? Remember that when you conceive, you are now eating for two, and you and your baby’s health should be the top priority.

Healthy foods will no doubt provide your baby with proper nutrition but, a proper diet for a pregnant individual is often based on their health conditions, symptoms, and lifestyle.  To be sure that what you eat will benefit your offspring and get you through your pregnancy period with ease, a prenatal nutritionist or a dietitian will be your most reliable source and ally.

This article features dietary advice directly from our certified prenatal nutritionist and is a trusted source for information. You can determine the basics of what foods to avoid while pregnant and get explanations of how you can generally get the most out of your meal plan.

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Taking Medications During Pregnancy

Pregnant individuals are not exempt from illnesses, but the options can be limited when it comes to safe medications during pregnancy. Your doctor will caution you about certain over-the-counter medicines and propose alternatives that are safe for you to take. It is easy to deal with minor illnesses, such as headaches, fever, or even flu. But what if it’s something serious or chronic, such as diabetes, hypertension or asthma?

You need to know what medications to avoid when pregnant and what medicines are safe to take. Dr. Folch-Hayek, OBGYN at Family Health Centers San Diego, shares some insights in this article.

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Medical Concerns and Common Discomforts of Pregnancy

Top Medical Complications of Pregnancy—Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Pregnant individuals experience a variety of mild to moderate ailments during pregnancy. Some illnesses are normal—headaches, swelling, and fatigue—while others can be alarming. According to Dr. Folch-Hayek, OBGYN at Family Health Centers of San Diego, adequate rest and a proper diet can solve the issue. But when you have done all that you can and the symptoms are still persistent, consultation is essential. It’s better to be safe especially when the frequency and gravity of these symptoms may lead to a pregnancy complication.

So, what are these common pregnancy complications and what are the warning signs? How can you prevent them or manage these conditions? Read the full article to learn more.

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Swelling During Pregnancy—When to Worry and When is it Normal?

Edema, or swelling, in pregnancy is normal, but when should you start to worry? First-time pregnant individuals find it hard to distinguish normal swelling from medically serious swelling, but that doesn’t mean those who have been pregnant before have mastered it. Either way, swelling is uncomfortable and the inconveniences of swelling can affect a pregnant individual’s well-being, whether at work or at home.

The swelling occurs in the feet, legs and fingers. Usually, it becomes significant towards the end of the day but goes away by the next morning. Although normal, it can be uncomfortable, and for pregnant individuals who experience it, this may cause an alarm.

Read the full article to learn more about swelling during pregnancy—when it’s normal, when you need to worry, causes, treatments and risks—and get tips from our OBGYN on ways you can help reduce it.

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Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy—How to Get Rid of Them

Many of you may be eager to know how to get rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy, which is so uncomfortable and often painful! That burning feeling every time you use the toilet is hard to ignore, but it’s a common part of childbearing. While non-pregnant individuals also experience hemorrhoids, pregnant individuals are more prone to develop them because of the changes in your body.

Some individuals manage to keep this issue at bay, while most are not very lucky and develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Usually, they develop during the later stage of pregnancy until after childbirth. Understanding the nature of hemorrhoids may not completely save you from it, but these tips could help alleviate the symptoms. Read the full article to learn more.

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Your Health and Immune System During Pregnancy

Illness During Pregnancy—How to Avoid Sickness

Pregnancy is a difficult process as your body is working hard to ensure your baby’s health and safety. Along the way, you may face several challenges no matter how many precautions you take, including morning sickness. Morning sickness is already a handful, and so you should avoid adding other illnesses (disease, bacterial and viral, etc.) on top of your pregnancy symptoms. A cold, flu or fever, among others, can be worse because it may compromise you or your baby’s well-being. Getting sick is the last thing that you want so knowing how to avoid sickness during pregnancy is critical.

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Learn more:

For more information on prenatal care, contact our staff at (619) 515-2428 or fill out the form below.

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