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    new_pregnant_mom.pngIf you are pregnant...

    Your Pregnancy and WIC
    WIC can support your pregnancy in so many ways. When you pick up your WIC checks, you may go to group sessions or work with WIC staff one-on-one. At these visits, you get health tips, share ideas, ask questions, and get information to help your pregnancy go smoothly.
    Your Important Numbers for a Healthy Pregnancy
    Having a baby is the most natural thing in the world. But check in regularly with your health care provider to be sure things are goin​g well. A doctor or nurse who is specially trained to take care of you while you are pregnant will check that you and your baby are okay. They can answer your questions about how your baby is growing and how your body is changing. They will also catch any problems early, and work with you to manage them so all goes well.
    Your Baby Grows Best When You Eat Well
    Each of the 5 food groups offers different things you and your baby need. Try to eat from all of these food groups each day. It’s okay to eat more than one serving of a food at some meals and none at another meal.
    4 Ways to Choose Healthy Foods
    • Eat three meals and three snacks throughout the day.
    • Snack smart.
    • Get good food on the go.
    • Try mini meals.
    What Can’t I Eat?
    When you are pregnant, your immune system does not fight germs like it did before. It is best not to eat certain foods, see the list to the right. These can hurt you and your baby.
    How Much Weight Should I Gain?
    While pregnant, many women are hungry most of the time. But forget the old wives’ tale. You are not “eating for two” adults. Your baby is small, so you only need to eat a little more than before you were pregnant. Your doctor will tell you how much weight gain is right for you.
    3 Habits to Kick to Keep Your Baby Safe
    • Smoking
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Using drugs
    Getting Comfortable
    Being pregnant is hard work. As your baby grows and your body changes, you may be uncomfortable. You might feel sick to your stomach the first 3 or 4 months. This can happen almost any time of the day. Some smells and foods might make you throw up. You might have an upset stomach after you eat. It might be hard to move your bowels. Talk to your doctor about these problems before you take any medicine.
    Give Your Baby The Right Start—Breastfeed!
    Mother’s milk is the normal way to feed your baby. Mother’s milk has the right ingredients in the right amounts to give your baby a healthy start. It is all your baby needs for the first 6 months. Mother’s milk is easy to digest. Bowel movements are softer and easier to pass.
    8 Breastfeeding Basics
    1. Nursing should not hurt. Your breasts might be tender for a few days, but this should pass. Learning the right way to put the baby to breast helps prevent problems. If you have discomfort, ask for help.
    2. A mom can make all the milk her baby needs. How much milk you make depends on how often your baby nurses, not on the size of your breasts. The more your baby nurses, the more milk you make.
    3. Nursing will not make your breasts sag. Breasts change due to pregnancy, not breastfeeding. Wearing a supportive bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding may help.
    4. Nursing involves the whole family. Family members and friends can help with the baby at bath time, diaper change, and playtime. They can help with household chores. Babies need lots of love and cuddling other than at feeding time.
    5. Moms who nurse can eat their favorite foods! You don’t need to avoid any foods or follow a special diet. It is important to drink enough liquids so you are not thirsty.
    6. Babies can be nursed in public. Maryland law allows you to breastfeed anywhere that you have the right to be. If you would like to nurse without anyone knowing, place a blanket over your shoulder to cover your baby. WIC breastfeeding staff can give you other suggestions.
    7. You can nurse if you go back to work or school. You can have the baby brought to you for feeding. Or, nurse when you and baby are together, and leave mother’s milk or formula for caregiver when apart.
    8. Moms can nurse if the baby is born by a C-section. The surgery and pain medicine do not affect the amount of milk you make.
    Take Care of You
    Make time for yourself. Having a baby is hard work. During your pregnancy you may feel tired and grumpy. Try to relax and get some rest. If you’re feeling overwhelmed ask your family and friends for help. You might even feel sad. Talk to your doctor about these feelings. And remember, always talk to your doctor before you start or stop medications.