Healthy Pregnancy Checklist

You can do a lot of things to improve the chance of having a healthy pregnancy. And you should not do some other things! Knowing what to do and what to avoid will help you and your baby stay well.

•  Ask your health care provider before you take any medicines, even ones you can buy without a prescription.

•  Go to all your prenatal health care visits.

•  Don’t drink alcohol, take drugs, or smoke. When you drink alcohol, smoke, or take drugs, your baby does, too!

•  Have a routine for exercise. Follow your health care provider’s advice.

•  Eat healthy foods.

•  Take your prenatal vitamins (vitamin pills) every day. These also supply the minerals you need.

•  Get plenty of rest.

•  Wash your hands throughout the day.

•  Accept all your emotions. Express your feelings to others.

•  Learn to deal with stress. Experts think stress may limit blood supply to the placenta. The placenta is the baby’s only source of oxygen and nutrients.

•  Don’t have X-rays unless your prenatal health care provider says it’s okay.

•  Avoid harmful chemicals such as paint fumes, insect poisons, and weed killers. Ask your health care provider what else you should avoid.

•  When you use cleaning agents, wear rubber gloves. Make sure there is plenty of fresh air.

•  Don’t wear high-heeled shoes.

•  Don’t pick up, carry, or move heavy objects.

•  Stay out of hot tubs and saunas. When you bathe, use warm water only. Never use hot water. Put a rubber mat in the tub or shower to prevent slipping.

•  Don’t handle cat feces or cat litter. If you have a cat, have someone else empty the litter box. Cat droppings can carry a disease called toxoplasmosis. (Eating meat that is not cooked enough can cause this, too.) If a pregnant woman gets this disease, the baby can be harmed. It’s okay to pet your cat.

•  Don’t have any contact with hamsters, guinea pigs or any rodents. These animals can carry a virus that can cause severe harm to your baby.

•  Discuss your work life with your health care provider. Find out if it is healthy for you and your baby.

•  Find out if you should limit or stop having sex. Bleeding or pain during sex could be reasons. Ask your health care provider.

•  Always wear lap and shoulder seat belts when you ride in a vehicle. Fasten the lap belt as low as you can, below your belly.

•  Are you going far from home late in your pregnancy? Have your health care provider refer you to a provider in the area where you are going. Take a copy of your prenatal records with you.

•  When you travel:

– By plane or train, get up and walk around every now and then. Get an aisle seat.

– By car, stop at least every 2 hours and do the same.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


The American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) is not responsible for the availability or content of external sites, nor does AIPM endorse them. Also, it is the responsibility of the user to examine the copyright and licensing restrictions of external pages and to secure all necessary permission.


The content on this website is proprietary. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute, in any manner, the material on the website without the written permission of AIPM.