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The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health care provider regarding any health questions you may have.
 

Fact for black pregnant women

To take care of your unborn child you must first take care of yourself.

 

Seeing Your Doctor

Black Pregnant Woman Seeing Doctor

During pregnancy, regular checkups are very important. This consistent care can help keep you and your baby healthy, spot problems if they occur, and prevent problems during delivery.

Typically, routine checkups occur:

  • Week 4-28: Once a month

  • Week 28-36: Twice a month

  • Week 36 to Birth: Weekly

Women with high-risk pregnancies need to see their doctors more often.

Read more
 
 
Black Doctors Ohio
 

 

Taking Care of You

There is so much information out there to understand how you should take care of yourself while pregnant. Below we have listed some highlighted topics to help you quickly check out what you should know. As always, you need to discuss any questions or concerns you have with your doctor.
 
 
Healthy Pregnancy Do's and Don'ts
A simple guideline to follow to help you stay focused on what you should and shouldn't do during your pregnancy.
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Food Don'ts
A go-to list to understand what type of foods to avoid while you're pregnant.
Read more
 
 
Top 10 Tips for Reducing Stress During Pregnancy and After:
  1. Figure out what’s making you stressed and talk to your partner, a friend or your health care provider about it.

  2. Know that the discomforts of pregnancy are only temporary. Ask your provider how to handle these discomforts.

  3. Stay healthy and fit. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise (with your provider’s OK). Exercise can help reduce stress and also helps prevent common pregnancy discomforts.

  4. Cut back on activities you don’t need to do.

  5. Have a good support network, including your partner, family and friends. Ask your provider about resources in the community that may be able to help.

  6. Ask for help from people you trust. Accept help when they offer. For example, you may need help cleaning the house, or you may want someone to go with you to your prenatal visits.

  7. Try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation.

  8. Take a childbirth education class so you know what to expect during pregnancy and when your baby arrives. Practice the breathing and relaxation techniques you learn in your class.

  9. If you’re working, plan ahead to help you and your employer get ready for your time away from work.

  10. If you think you may be depressed, talk to your provider right away. There are many ways to deal with depression. Getting treatment and counseling early may help.

Read more

Source: March of Dimes
 
 

 
 

You can never ask too many questions or receive too much help. "It takes a village..." is accurate and you need all the help you can get.

 

Taking Baby to the Doctor

Black Baby Seeing Doctor

The first well-baby visit is 2 to 3 days after coming home from the hospital, when the baby is about 3 to 5 days old. After that first visit, babies need to see the doctor or nurse when they are:

  • 1 month old
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old
  • 9 months old

If you are worried about your baby’s health, don’t wait until the next scheduled visit – call the doctor or nurse right away.

Read more
 
 
Black Doctors Ohio
 
 
When to Call the Baby’s Doctor
View this print-and-go guide about warning signs to be aware of to understand when you should call your doctor.
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Guide for Babies 1st Year
This easy-to-use guide is for parents with babies under 1 year old to help them prepare for their babies’ visits with the doctor.
Read more
 

 

Safe Sleep

Safe sleeping guidelines are one of the most important aspects of your baby's well-being to pay attention to.

 

Learn about the ABC's of Safe Sleep to protect your baby from accidents:

 
 
 
Safe Sleep Demo
Watch a detailed 3.5 minute video demonstrating safe sleep guidelines.
Watch now
 
 
Other Safe Sleep Tips
Follow these other safety-approved tips to keep your baby safe while sleeping:
View information
 
 

 

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding your baby can be an overwhelming choice to make, but the facts show the undeniable benefits for you and your baby.

 
 

Breastfeeding Guide

Breastfeeding offers so many benefits for families, including:
  • The joyful bonding with your baby

  • The perfect nutrition only you can provide

  • The cost savings

  • The health benefits for both mother and baby

If you would like to find out more, the full publication, "Your Guide to Breastfeeding for African-American Women" provides many helpful tips and information that could answer your questions.

 
Read more
 
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health, Your Guide to Breastfeeding for African-American Women
 
 
Incredible facts about babies, breast milk, and breastfeeding
  • Breastfed babies typically get sick less.

  • Children who are breastfed have a lower rate of certain illnesses as they grow up.

  • Breastfeeding allows your body to recover from pregnancy and childbirth more quickly.

  • Breastfeeding may help you to lose weight.

  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in moms.

Read more

 
 
Breastfeeding myths in the African-American community

Discover some facts about breastfeeding that you may not know.

Read more

 
 
Video Highlighting Black Women and Breastfeeding:
 
 
 

 

Safe Living Environment

Having a safe living environment is important for your baby's well-being. Eliminating possibilities of accidents or possible harm is worth the effort to keep your baby safe.
 
 
No Smoking in Baby's Environment
What is Secondhand Smoke? Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke that comes from a cigarette and smoke breathed out by a smoker. When a non-smoker is around someone smoking, they breathe in secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke is especially dangerous for children, babies, and women who are pregnant. Some of the more serious health effects include:

  • SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)

  • Weak lungs

  • Severe asthma

  • Breathing problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia

  • Ear infections

The only way to fully protect non-smokers from the dangers of secondhand smoke is to not allow smoking indoors.

 
More information
 
SOURCE: Smokefree.gov
 
 
Making Home Safe for Baby

The following tips outlines some items to check in your home to keep baby safe:

  • Check the safety of your baby's crib and other baby items.

  • Remove pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals from the crib to prevent your baby from suffocation.

  • Check to see that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are working.

  • Put emergency numbers, including poison control, near each phone.

  • Make sure your home or apartment number is easy to see so fire or rescue can locate you quickly in an emergency.

  • Make sure handrails are installed and secure in stairways.
 
More information
 
SOURCE: Womenshealth.gov
 
 

 
 

Post-Care for Mom

To safely take care of your precious baby, you need to be sure to take care of yourself. Your body has been through a very challenging transition, and after having baby, you need time and care to recover.

 

Getting Rest

African American mom getting rest

 

The first few days at home after having your baby are a time for rest and recovery — physically and emotionally.

  • Focus your energy on yourself and on getting to know your new baby.

  • Try to limit visitors and get as much rest as possible.

  • Don't expect to keep your house perfect.

  • Learn to pace yourself from the first day that you arrive back home.

  • Try to lie down or nap while the baby naps.

  • Don't try to do too much around the house.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help with cleaning, laundry, meals, or with caring for the baby.
 
More information
 
SOURCE: Womenshealth.gov
 
 

 
 

Depression

Black Woman Post Partum Depression

Depression is a common problem during and after pregnancy. About 13% of pregnant women and new mothers have depression.
 

Difference between "baby blues" and postpartum depression:

Baby blues: Happens days after childbirth - you may:

  • Have mood swings

  • Feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed

  • Have crying spells

  • Lose your appetite

  • Have trouble sleeping

The baby blues most often go away within a few days or a week. The symptoms are not severe and do not need treatment.

 

Postpartum depression: Lasts longer and is more severe, anytime within the first year after childbirth. If you have postpartum depression, you may have any of the symptoms of depression listed above. Symptoms may also include:

  • Thoughts of hurting the baby

  • Thoughts of hurting yourself

  • Not having any interest in the baby

Postpartum depression needs to be treated by a doctor.

 

Call 911 or your doctor if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby!
 
More information
 
SOURCE: Womenshealth.gov
 
 

 
 

Physical Changes

Black Woman Physical Changes

After the birth of your baby, your doctor will talk with you about things you will experience as your body starts to recover.

  • You will have vaginal discharge called lochia (LOH-kee-uh). It is the tissue and blood that lined your uterus during pregnancy. It is heavy and bright red at first, becoming lighter in flow and color until it goes aware after a few weeks.

  • You might also have swelling in your legs and feet. You can reduce swelling by keeping your feet elevated when possible.

  • You might feel constipated. Try to drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • Menstrual-like cramping is common, especially if you are breastfeeding. Your breast milk will come in within three to six days after your delivery. Even if you are not breastfeeding, you can have milk leaking from your nipples, and your breasts might feel full, tender, or uncomfortable.

  • Follow your doctor's instructions on how much activity, like climbing stairs or walking, you can do for the next few weeks
 
More information
 
SOURCE: Womenshealth.gov
 
 

 
 

Managing Your Weight

Black Woman Weight Loss After Pregnancy

After birth, we are all anxious to get back in our favorite jeans. Give yourself time--it took 9 months to get through your pregnancy and you have to give your body a chance to transition. The following are some helpful tips to get you started.
 
 
Healthy Eating

When you were pregnant, you might have adjusted your eating habits to support your baby's growth and development. After pregnancy, proper nutrition is still important — especially if you're breast-feeding. Making wise choices can promote healthy weight loss after pregnancy.

  • Focus on fruits, vegetables, monounsaturated fats, and whole grains. Foods high in fiber — such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains — provide you with many important nutrients while helping you feel full longer.

  • Eat smaller portions. Eating smaller portions is linked with weight loss and weight maintenance over time. Don't skip meals or limit the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet, though — you'll miss vital nutrients.

  • Avoid temptation. Surround yourself with healthy foods. If junk food poses too much temptation, keep it out of the house.

  • Don't try quick fixes. There's no magic bullet for losing weight.
 
 
Get Movin'

Generally, you might be able to start light exercises about 4 to 6 weeks after your delivery. When your health care provider gives you the OK:

  • Get comfortable. If you're breast-feeding, feed your baby right before you exercise to avoid discomfort caused by engorged breasts. Wear a supportive bra and comfortable clothing. •

  • Start slowly. Begin with simple exercises that strengthen major muscle groups, including your abdominal and back muscles. Gradually add exercises of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking or bike riding on a level surface.

  • Include your baby. If you have trouble finding time to exercise, include your baby in your routine. Take your baby for a daily walk in a stroller or baby carrier. Lay your baby next to you while you stretch on the floor, or include your baby in strength training activities — such as lifting the baby above you while you lie on your back.

  • Don't go it alone. Invite other moms to join you for a daily walk, or try a postpartum exercise class. Working out with others might help motivate you. Remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after each workout. Stop exercising if you experience pain. This might be a sign that you're overdoing it.
 
More information
 

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic

 
 

 

6 Week Check-Up

Your doctor will check your recovery at your postpartum visit, about six weeks after birth. Ask about resuming normal activities, as well as eating and fitness plans to help you return to a healthy weight. Also ask your doctor about having sex and birth control. Your period could return in six to eight weeks, or sooner if you do not breastfeed. If you breastfeed, your period might not resume for many months. Still, using reliable birth control is the best way to prevent pregnancy until you want to have another baby.
 
 
Birth Control and Chance of Another Pregnancy After Birth

Having another baby might be the last thing on your mind right now. But getting pregnant too soon after giving birth can be risky for both you and your baby.

Becoming pregnant again within a year of giving birth increases the chance that your new baby will be born too soon. Babies that are born too soon can have health problems.

Planning your next pregnancy if you want more children — or preventing a pregnancy if you don't — is important. Spacing pregnancies at least 12 months apart will give your body time to fully recover.

In the meantime, using reliable birth control is the best way to prevent pregnancy until you decide if and when to have another baby.

 
More information
 
SOURCE: Womenshealth.gov
 
 

 
 
 

 

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