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Healthy Pregnancy

Family planning

Contraception is available at no cost to commercial group members. At least one type of service is available in each of the 18 FDA-recognized methods. Click here for more information on contraceptive methods.

Decide with your doctor which method fits your goals best, from you want to start a family in the next year to you want permanent contraception.

Getting ready

  • Talk to your doctor about what you can start doing now to be sure you have a healthy pregnancy and, of course, a healthy baby.
  • Ask about any prescription you take for a chronic condition such as asthma, if you should continue them while you are pregnant, and alternative treatment available. Don’t forget to talk about over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements you take.
  • Adopt healthy behaviors including eating right, exercising, and quitting alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. It is also time to choose an obstetrician if you don’t already have one.
  • Be sure you get enough folic acid.

You’re pregnant!

Prenatal visits

  • It is very important that you go to the doctor for prenatal care. Your doctor can let you know what steps you can take to help protect your health and the health of your baby during pregnancy.
  • Your doctor will tell you how often and at what intervals you need to have checkups.
  • Although each visit will be different, each should have some of the same basic points.
    • Tests/exams – your doctor will let you know what you need and when that may include ultrasounds, blood tests, or other tests.
    • Weight checks – your doctor will let you know how much weight you should be gaining during each stage of pregnancy.
    • Baby checks – your doctor will measure your abdomen, check the baby’s position, and listen to his or her heartbeat.
    • Immunizations – your doctor will let you know if you need any immunizations such as a flu shot.
  • Ask questions. Click here for a list of topics to discuss.

Complications

  • Bleeding can mean different things throughout your pregnancy, but you should always consider it to be serious. Call your doctor immediately or go the emergency room.
  • Although it is common to have morning sickness, severe nausea and vomiting may be serious. Call your doctor for direction.
  • Hypertension can cause preeclampsia, placental abruption, and gestational diabetes. It is important to control your blood pressure.
  • Gestational diabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high during pregnancy.
  • Pre-term labor is any labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Other complications, such as miscarriage, may happen.

Complications

Nutrition

  • Eat balanced meals.
  • Take prenatal or other vitamins as directed by your doctor. You don’t need a prescription in most cases.
  • Click here for information about nutrition and healthy eating.

Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, and Prescriptions

Anything you take in during pregnancy, so does your baby. Alcohol, drugs, and tobacco can affect your baby’s size and heart, lung, and brain development. They can increase the chance of miscarriage, premature birth, birth defects, and stillborn births.

There is no “safe” limit of use during pregnancy.

If you are concerned about taking prescription or over-the-counter medication during pregnancy, talk to your doctor right away. Don’t stop taking previously prescribed medications without talking to your doctor first.

Click here for help with tobacco cessation.

Click here for help with substance use.

Exercise

Don’t change your exercise habits until you talk to your doctor. Click here for information about fitness and exercise.

To-do Lists

First trimester

  • Choose a network obstetrician if you don’t already have one.
  • Schedule prenatal appointments.
  • Discuss medications or supplements you take.
  • If you smoke, take drugs, or drink alcohol, quit.
  • Talk to your partner about parenting.

Second trimester

  • Choose a network hospital.
  • Prepare family members.
  • Order your breast pump.

Third trimester

  • Choose a network pediatrician.
  • Choose day care.
  • Take child birth classes.
  • Purchase a car seat and learn how to install it correctly.
  • Set up the crib and stock the nursery.
  • Limit travel.
  • Discuss pain management.

It’s time!

Labor and delivery

  • You must choose an in-network facility for delivery unless it is an emergency and it is unsafe to get to an in-network facility.

Breastfeeding

  • Lactation support is available.

Breastfeeding 

Benefits

GlobalHealth plans include maternity benefits. Commercial plans cover newborn care under maternity benefits. Medicare Advantage plans only cover the Medicare beneficiary, not the baby.

Medicare Advantage members click here.

State retiree members click here.

State & Education members click here.

Federal members click here.

Group members click here. You will need the group number from your member ID card.

Additional Resources