Women's Health Portal

 Your Health During Pregnancy

Last Updated: October 06, 2021
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Is there any known safe amount of alcohol I can drink during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant? 

No. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) can occur in an individual who is exposed to alcohol before birth. A woman should not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, or if there is a chance she might be pregnant. Learn more in this Women and Alcohol Fact Sheet External Link (CDC) and Women and Alcohol External Link webpage (NIH).


What should I know about COVID-19 during pregnancy? 

Learn more about COVID-19 during pregnancy (APHC) here.


What do I need to know about immunization before, during, and after pregnancy?

The CDC External Link states that when you get vaccines, you protect yourself and give your baby early protection. Get a flu shot and whooping cough vaccine during each pregnancy to help protect yourself and your baby.

Pregnancy is a Crucial Time for Immunization Health External Link It is a most important time in a woman's life to be fully immunized against disease.

How can I get a good night's sleep during pregnancy?

Learn tips on getting healthy sleep External Link when pregnant in this sleep presentation (WRAIR - coming soon) sleep experts.


What kind of exercise do obstetric care providers recommend?  

ACOG Committee Opinion 804, Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period External Link (April 2020) encourages patients to continue or to commence exercise as an important component of optimal health. Women who habitually engaged in vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  Pregnancy/Postpartum Physical Training Program is designed for pregnant and postpartum Soldiers and is a proven resource for maintaining fitness during and after pregnancy. 


Do I need to eat twice as much during pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, you need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid, but this doesn't mean you need to eat twice as much. Learn how to make smart food choices for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby at MyPlate during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding External Link (USDA) and Healthy Eating During Pregnancy External Link.


How does stress impact pregnancy outcomes?

Anxiety, depression, and stress in pregnancy are risk factors for adverse outcomes for mothers and children. Learn more here External Link.


Is it safe to have routine dental examinations or treatment during pregnancy?

Changes occur in oral health during pregnancy, but there is no evidence to prevent routine dental examinations or treatment during an uncomplicated pregnancy. Make sure to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Find more at the American Dental Association: Mouth Healthy External Link.


What is the evidence related to secondhand smoke and pregnant women?

There is more evidence all the time of how extensive the harm can be from both smoking External Link and exposure to secondhand smoke.  Health Harms Caused by Pregnant Women Smoking External Link explains the health harms caused by pregnant women smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy.


Is all prenatal care the same? 

No. Centering Pregnancy External Link is group prenatal care that allows eight to twelve women with similar gestational ages to meet together for health assessment and education. This special type of care encourages you to make new friends and build support systems during the pregnancy experience. Ask your provider if it is available at your medical treatment facility.