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Although we think of pregnancy as lasting 9 months, in reality most pregnancies last nearly 10 months. Research shows that babies are born healthier if they have at least 39 weeks to grow in the womb.


The NIH in Health offers these wise choices for a healthy pregnancy:

•  See your doctor for regular care while you are pregnant.

•  Talk to your doctor about the medicines you take. Some may not be safe during pregnancy.

•  Follow a healthy diet.

•  Take folic acid—at least 400 micrograms each day. This B vitamin can help prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine. Make sure you take folic acid for at least one month before you get pregnant, too.

•  Stay active. Ask your doctor which physical activity is safe for you.

•  Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking (and being around anyone smoking).

•  Control any existing conditions such as diabetes.

•  If you have no medical reasons to deliver early, wait until at least 39 weeks for delivery. A woman’s body will go into labor when the baby is ready to enter the world.

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.


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