Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health

Pregnancy Information and Services

I Didn't Know posterPregnancy is a time of many emotions — joy, excitement, fear and confusion. Every pregnancy is special and every pregnancy is different. Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn more about how to take care of yourself and your baby. Knowing what to expect can make you feel better and decrease your fear and confusion.

First, as soon as you think you may be pregnant, begin regular health care visits called prenatal care. If you do not know where to go to get health care, ask a friend or call your local Child and Family Services office. Help is available.

During prenatal care visits you will be given help to eat right, exercise and do other things that will good for your baby. You will be checked to make sure your baby is developing normally. And if they arise, problems can be identified and taken care of early. Even if you are feeling great it is very important for you to get prenatal care as soon as possible. Women who start prenatal care soon after they become pregnant and continue until they have their baby are more likely to have fewer problems and healthier babies.

It is also very important that you avoid certain things that can harm your baby. Don't use any tobacco products, don't drink anything with alcohol, and don't use any "street" drugs. Don't take any prescription or other drugs, even aspirin, before you check with your check with your health care provider.

Regular health care visits for your new baby are also important. your baby's health care provider can make sure your baby is growing well, can give good advice for parents, and can protect your baby from a number of childhood illnesses.

Check this site for a list of services available through South Dakota state agencies.

For more information, contact:

South Dakota Department of Health

Perinatal Health Program


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