If you’ve decided to have a baby, the most important thing you can do is to take good care of yourself so you and your baby will be healthy. Girls who get the proper care and make the right choices have a very good chance of having healthy babies.

Prenatal Care

See a doctor as soon as possible after you find out you’re pregnant to begin getting prenatal care (prenatal care is medical care during pregnancy). The sooner you start to get medical care, the better the chances that you and your baby will be healthy.

If you can’t afford to go to a doctor or clinic for prenatal care, social service organizations can help you. Ask a trusted adult, like a parent or school counselor, to help you find low-cost or free care in your community.

During your first visit, the doctor will ask you lots of questions, including the date of your last period. This helps the doctor work out how long you have been pregnant and your due date.

A baby’s due date is only an estimate. In fact, women don’t usually deliver exactly on their due dates. Most babies are born between 38 and 42 weeks after the first day of a woman’s last period, or 36 to 40 weeks after conception (when the sperm fertilizes the egg).

What’s in this article? (click to view)

       Prenatal Care


       Changes to Expect in Your Body

       Things to Avoid

       Taking Care of Yourself During Pregnancy

       Emotional Health

       School and the Future




Premature Birth Facts:

  • 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely in the United States
  • Worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely
  • Premature births are the number on killer of babies
  • Premature babies are at risk for severe health problems and lifelong disabilities.

How you can help:

  • Learn the causes and who is at risk for premature births, so you can educate not only yourself, but your friends, families, coworkers, and anyone who will listen.
  • Learn that you can reduce your risks by getting prenatal care, spreading out your births by 18 months (if your first was a preemie), and talk to your doctor about progesterone supplements.
  • Share this on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail the link to this article, so other people know it’s Prematurity Awareness Month or about World Prematurity Day on November 17th. You can also like and share the World Prematurity Facebook Page.
  • Read more on the National Institute of Health’s site about premature births including the latest research and news about babies born prematurely.