Congratulations! Welcome to the exciting journey of becoming a parent. In the days and months ahead, your body and your baby are both developing and changing in amazing ways. Your physical and emotional health are very important to your growing baby. It is important to make sure you are receiving regular prenatal care to monitor your health as well as the growth and development of your baby.

You will spend a lifetime loving, nurturing, and guiding your new baby. Take the time throughout your pregnancy to learn about what to expect when your baby is born. Consider reading and learning about parenting skills such as attachment, nurturing, and responding. Guiding and supporting your child’s learning are critical to your child’s development. They say babies don’t come with directions, but these basic skills will put you and your child on the right path.

Before Pregnancy

Make sure you get connected with a physician as soon as you think you may be pregnant.  Monitoring your health as well as the growth and development of your new baby is important.  Be sure to talk to your doctor about health problems you have now or have had in the past. If you are receiving treatment for a health problem, your health care provider might want to change the way your health problem is managed. For example, some medicines used to treat health problems could be harmful if taken during pregnancy. At the same time, stopping medicines that you need could be more harmful than the risks posed should you become pregnant. In addition, be sure to discuss any problems you had in any previous pregnancy. If health problems are under control and you get good prenatal care, you are likely to have a normal, healthy baby.

The Bottom Line

  • Be sure you keep up regularly scheduled preventative care visits prior to becoming pregnant.
  • Start taking folic acid before conception.
  • Schedule a preconception visit.
  • Get early prenatal care.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • With doctor’s approval, get regular exercise.
  • Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and street drugs.

Prenatal Health and Development Information

Prenal health and child development

Comprehensive prenatal information can be found at where you can see your baby develop week by week!


CDC pregnancy information

Information about prenatal health and well being can be found at