There are few events in one's life that rival the significance of pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnancy can be a time of many emotions-from excitement to apprehension. Everyone has questions and concerns about pregnancy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn more about how to take care of yourself and your baby. To keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy, it is important to:

  • Have regular visits with your health care provider. These prenatal care visits help make sure that you and your baby are healthy. And if there are any health problems, your provider can find them early. Getting treatment right away can cure many problems and prevent others. If you do not know where to get prenatal care ask a friend or call your local Child and Family Services office. Even if you are feeling great you need to receive 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!
  • Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Good nutrition during pregnancy includes eating a variety of:
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Whole grains
    • Lean meats or other protein sources
    • Low-fat dairy products
  • Take a prenatal vitamin daily. Pregnant women need higher amounts of folic acid and iron.
  • Be careful with medicines. Always check with your healthcare provider before you start or stop any medication. This includes over-the-counter medicines and dietary or herbal supplements.
  • Stay active. Physical activity can help you stay strong, feel and sleep better, and prepare your body for birth. Check with your provider about which types of activities are right for you.
  • Avoid substances that could hurt your baby, such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

Regular healthcare visits for your new baby are also important. Your baby's healthcare provider can make sure your baby is growing well, can give good advice to parents, and protect your baby from several childhood illnesses.

Find a list of services available through South Dakota state agencies.

For more information, contact:

South Dakota Department of Health
Perinatal Health Program
1-800-305-3064  Download Educational Resources