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Pregnancy is an exciting - and sometimes stressful - time in a woman's life. While mothers-to-be are busy buying baby supplies and getting the nursery ready for the little one, it is also important for the patient to remember to take care of herself and her unborn child.

Here are some guidelines to follow for a healthy pregnancy:

  • Seek prenatal care
  • Take prenatal vitamins
  • Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole-grain breads and low-fat dairy
  • Avoid eating raw foods, unpasteurized cheeses and fish containing mercury
  • Drink plenty of water (helps curb constipation)
  • Limit caffeine consumption
  • Get moderate exercise – such as walking and swimming
  • Get enough sleep
  • Avoid alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking
  • Check with your physician regarding which over-the-counter and prescription medications are safe to take during pregnancy
  • Avoid changing the litter box (toxoplasmosis is harmful to a developing baby)
  • Avoid coming into direct contact with herbicides, pesticides, paint and cleaning solutions, as they may have chemical compounds, which may be harmful.