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Women's Healths

Pregnancy: How to Make a Healthy Baby

Before Conception - Early Pregnancy (Weeks 1 to 14) - Middle Pregnancy (Weeks 15 to 28) - Late Pregnancy (Weeks 29 to 40) - Caesarean Deliveries - Breast-Feeding

You can increase the chances that your baby will be healthy. The following guidelines will help.

Before Conception

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Your health, both before conception and during the first weeks after, is particularly important for your baby's health. Start helping your baby even before you become pregnant.

Early Pregnancy (Weeks 1 to 14)

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Middle Pregnancy (Weeks 15 to 28)

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Late Pregnancy (Weeks 29 to 40)

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Caesarean Deliveries

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Most babies are delivered vaginally, just as nature intended. However, when the health of the baby or mother is at risk, doctors can deliver the baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen. This is called a Caesarean delivery or a C-section.

There are 3 main concerns with Caesarean deliveries:

C-sections are a good idea when either the baby or the mother is in danger. A Caesarean delivery should not be done just because it is easier to schedule. If you previously had a C-section delivery, you can probably have a vaginal delivery with your next pregnancy. Ask your caregiver what you can do to help avoid the need for a Caesarean delivery.

Breast-Feeding

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Breast milk is the ideal food for your new baby. Consider taking a breast-feeding class before your baby is born. See Breast-Feeding.

A nursing mother needs to consume 500 more calories per day than she did before becoming pregnant. Although you don't need to drink milk to make milk, extra calcium and protein are important, and your doctor may prescribe a vitamin supplement. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, and limit caffeine to 1 or 2 beverages per day. Do not take any medication while breast-feeding unless it is prescribed by a health professional

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