August 8, 2011
Teens need to receive the appropriate medical care and take care of themselves to have healthy babies. Those who do not receive appropriate medical care are at greater risk for fetal death, high blood pressure, anemia, labor and delivery complications (like premature labor and stillbirth), and low birth-weight infant. The sooner you as a teen get prenatal care, the better your are for chances to have a healthy pregnancy. If you need help finding medical care, check with social service groups in the community or at your school.
At your first prenatal visit, you will probably be given a full physical exam, including blood and urine tests. You will be screened for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and for exposure to certain diseases, such as measles, mumps, and rubella. Your health care provider also will talk about how often prenatal visits should be scheduled, what you might be feeling physically and emotionally, what changes to expect in your body, and how to deal with some of the unpleasant side effects of pregnancy.
Knowing what to anticipate can help ease some of the fears you might be having about being pregnant. You will probably prescribe a daily prenatal vitamin to make sure you get enough folic acid, iron, and calcium. Folic acid is very important during the early weeks of pregnancy, because it helps the development the brain and spinal cord. Your doctor will also talk to you about lifestyle changes you should make for the health of her baby, like not smoking, not drinking, not using drugs, avoiding excess caffeine, eating right, getting enough rest, amd not having unsafe sex.
Drinking plenty of water is very important too. And understand that at this time it is not okay to go on a diet. Some teens are tempted to defy typical pregnancy weight gain by reducing calories or exercising excessively. Low-impact exercises, like walking and swimming are okay in...