Pregnancy is a transformative journey that should be filled with joy and anticipation – and responsibility. If you are a woman who did not plan on getting pregnant, it can be a bit hard to wrap your mind around the idea that you are expecting a baby. Still, it is crucial that you take your responsibility to heart as soon as possible, both for your own and your baby’s well-being.


At Open Arms Real Choices Clinic in Hayden, Idaho, promoting the well-being of both mother and baby and advocating for a healthy start from the earliest stages of pregnancy is one of our primary missions.


The Vital Role of Prenatal Care

Safeguarding your health is always important, but when you are pregnant, taking proactive steps to ensure your health and that of your unborn baby is critical for the long-term well-being of both of you. Prenatal care is not just a medical routine but a commitment to nurturing a new life. Timely and regular prenatal checkups are essential; studies confirm that babies born to mothers who receive prenatal care are three times less likely to have a low birth weight and five times less likely to face mortality compared to those born to mothers without such care.

Early detection of potential health issues is a critical advantage of regular prenatal checkups. It allows healthcare providers to intervene promptly, offering treatment and guidance to prevent complications and ensure a healthier outcome for both mother and child during pregnancy, childbirth, and after birth.

Some Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts: A Guide to Wellness

Once pregnant, there are several standard practices of prenatal care that all mothers should adhere to, and one of them is regular intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Many vitamin supplements are formulated specifically for prenatal intake. The nutrients in these supplements, such as folic acid (Vitamin B9), are essential for developing your baby’s body systems. More than that, when babies cannot get the nutrients they need from the mother’s intake, they may draw those nutrients, such as calcium, from the mother’s body. This can result in mothers suffering deficiencies even when the baby is doing fine. 

In addition to taking nutritional supplements, a balanced diet is vital; supplements alone are insufficient. Choosing a variety of healthy foods, staying hydrated, and monitoring iron intake can prevent complications such as anemia, which is linked to preterm birth and low birth weight. Awareness of food safety is equally important, with pregnant women advised to avoid certain fish with high mercury content and adopt proper food handling practices, such as thoroughly cleaning fruits and vegetables before they are consumed.

While pregnant, women should avoid certain foods such as raw fish (sushi, for example) or other uncooked or undercooked meat or eggs. It is essential to avoid unpasteurized dairy products or fruit juices that may carry harmful bacteria. Pregnant women should avoid alcohol and all recreational drugs, as well as many prescription and over-the-counter drugs. If you are on a necessary medication, consult with your healthcare professionals as soon as possible after discovering your pregnancy to make sure that the medication is safe to use. All X-rays, even dental X-rays, should be avoided.


Lifestyle and Environmental Considerations

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy involves more than just dietary choices. While women often try to stay slim as a general rule, weight gain during pregnancy is not only acceptable, but good, so long as it is within reasonable bounds – usually between 25 and 35 pounds throughout the entire pregnancy for women with average weight.

In addition to paying particular attention to a well-balanced and nutritious diet, it is also essential to undertake sufficient exercise with low-impact activities like walking or swimming. Getting adequate sleep is also crucial. Women should also avoid exposure to harmful chemicals, not just in workplaces but even in the home. Strong cleaning products and other household chemicals should be avoided. 


Navigating Prenatal Visits

Expectant mothers should seek out a qualified obstetrician and keep up with regular appointments with that same doctor throughout the pregnancy. An initial visit typically includes a thorough health history review, a physical exam, and various tests to assess overall health. Subsequent visits involve monitoring weight gain, checking the baby’s growth, and routine tests to ensure the well-being of both mother and child.


At Open Arms Real Choices Clinic, we understand the unique challenges that may come with an unexpected pregnancy. Our commitment to the sanctity of life is unwavering, and we invite you to visit our pregnancy resource center in North Idaho. Whether you need information, counseling, or support, our center provides no-cost services to empower you with the necessary resources to make informed decisions for you and your baby.


Choosing life is not just about the beginning but the entire journey of motherhood. By prioritizing prenatal care, we can support a healthier future for you and your child. Let us help you confidently embrace the journey, knowing that you have a dedicated support system here at Open Arms.


For more information, visit or contact Open Arms. Your journey towards a healthy pregnancy with the support and education you need can begin here. 

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