Have a Healthy Baby
- Start prenatal care as soon as you find out you’re pregnant and go to every appointment.
- Don’t smoke during the pregnancy or once the baby is born.
- Eat well and gain 25-35* pounds during pregnancy. Eat from each of the food groups and avoid empty calories.
- Know the signs of preterm labor and what to do if you experience it (see checklist for Preterm Labor).
- Pay attention to the baby moving inside you. Call your doctor if you feel less than 10 baby movements during a 2 hour period when your baby is usually active.
- Sleep your baby ABC–Alone, on her Back, in a Crib or play yard (see checklist for SIDS).
Learn more from the Indiana Perinatal Network
Signs of Preterm Labor
Babies born before 37 full weeks of pregnancy are considered preterm and may need care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery.
A pregnant woman who experiences these symptoms before the 37th week of pregnancy, particularly two or more of them, should alert her doctor:
- A feeling like the baby is pushing down low in your pelvis.
- Contractions—10 minutes or less apart, may be painless.
- Low, dull backache.
- Clear, pink or brownish discharge or leaking from your vagina.
- Cramps similar to menstrual cramps, with or without diarrhea.
Warning Signs in Pregnancy
Call your doctor right away if you have:
- Bleeding from your vagina, enough to soak a pad in an hour.
- Fluid leaking (or gushing) from your vagina.
- Sharp pains in your stomach or severe cramps.
- Sudden or severe swelling of the face, fingers or feet.
- Blurred vision, or seeing spots or flashes of light.
- Fever over 100 degrees.
- Decrease or absence of baby movements.
- Dizziness or fainting.
- Pain or burning when urinating or inability to urinate.
- Unusual or severe abdominal pain or backaches.
- Frequent, severe, or continuous headaches.
- Excessive vomiting or diarrhea.
- Can’t eat or keep down food or liquids.
- Muscular convulsions.
Other SIDS Prevention Strategies
- Be sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly in a safety-approved crib or play yard .
- Nothing should in the crib except a mattress pad and fitted sheet—no bumper pads, quilts, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals or toys.
- Don’t allow the baby to sleep on sofas, chairs, regular beds or with anyone
- Don’t allow smoking around the baby.
- Be sure the baby is not too warm when sleeping. Use a fan in the baby’s room.
- Consider putting the baby to bed with a pacifier. Pacifiers have been shown to have a protective effect against SIDS.
- Avoid using products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. Very few have been approved by national SIDS prevention agencies.
- To reduce the possibility of flat spots on the baby’s head, change the direction the baby lies in the crib each week.
- To keep the baby’s development on target, be sure the baby has Tummy Time when s/he is awake and supervised to develop neck and upper back muscles.
For more info on safe sleep for infants, go to: Safe Sleep For Infants
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