Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
Start Prenatal Care
Whether you opt for an obstetrician/gynecologist or a midwife practitioner, choose a healthcare professional for regular checkups and guidance. Search our Provider Directory to locate a doctor and hospital within our network. Consider enrolling in our Pregnancy Care Incentive Program. You can earn rewards including a free Pregnancy Care Box packed with samples, coupons, and suggestions—and $75 on your MyBlue® Wellness Card*. You can also take advantage of the My Pregnancy Assistant tool, which offers you tips and resources to support a healthy pregnancy from prenatal to postpartum. It will walk you through your pregnancy day by day.
Women who smoke during pregnancy put themselves and their unborn babies at risk for serious health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the dangers of smoking during pregnancy include premature birth, certain birth defects, and infant death. If you become pregnant and want to stop smoking, consult your primary care physician. You may also want to try our Tobacco Cessation Incentive Program, which is designed to help support you and keep you motivated as you quit.
Consider Prenatal Vitamins
In addition to eating a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins during pregnancy provide important vitamins and minerals including folic acid, iron, and calcium. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube birth defects, which affect the baby’s brain and spinal cord. The CDC recommends that you start taking folic acid every day for at least a month before you become pregnant, and every day while you are pregnant. If you weren’t aware of this recommendation, talk about it with your doctor. Learn about our pharmacy benefits for prenatal vitamins.
Proper nutrition during pregnancy helps your baby grow and develop. It is recommended that your daily diet include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Incorporate high fiber foods. And remember, eating for two doesn’t mean doubling up on dessert. Take advantage of online coaching to create a customized plan to keep mom and baby on the right track.
Cut the Caffeine
You don’t have to give up your morning cup of “joe”, but it is recommended to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should have no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day - the amount in about one 12-ounce cup of coffee. And remember, caffeine can also be found in tea, soft drinks and chocolate. Questions? Call the Nurse Line at 1-888-258-3432 for more information on healthy pregnancy habits.
Whether you find relaxation in prenatal yoga or prefer to break a sweat with your workout, talk to your physician about safe ways to stay active while you’re pregnant. You can also sync your fitness device to your Health Tools account to automatically track progress against the goals you set with the Online Health Coach. Remember to hydrate thoroughly before, during and after exercising.
Visit Your Dentist
During pregnancy, rising hormone levels can irritate gums, causing tenderness, swelling and bleeding. Be sure to properly brush and floss daily. It’s especially important to visit your dentist regularly to prevent oral infections such as gum disease. If you haven’t had a visit in the last six months, see your dentist for a checkup and cleaning. To find out more about your dental benefits, please reference the side-by-side comparison of all of the benefits that are available to you here.
Find a Pediatrician
Finding a pediatrician should be at the top of your pre-baby to-do list. Use our Provider Directory to locate a doctor for your little one and schedule an appointment to interview them before your due date.
Prenatal visits give you an opportunity to talk to your doctor about any pregnancy concerns. It’s your chance to ask questions, discuss your medical history, weight, diet, lifestyle and more. To stay organized, use the Personal Health Record (PHR) to consolidate your health data in one place. It is easy to use and automatically updated with claims information submitted by you, your healthcare providers and pharmacists. You will also receive a Continuity of Care Record that summarizes all of the health information found in your PHR to share with your healthcare providers. The PHR is also a great tool for tracking the care your newborn receives.
Rest and Relax!
Remember to be kind to your body, especially in the home stretch! The last few weeks of pregnancy are an especially important phase of your baby’s development. Did you know that your baby’s brain at 35 weeks weighs two-thirds of what it will at 39-40 weeks? Major organs, like the brain, lungs and liver, are still growing. Eyes and ears are developing. At any point in your pregnancy, take the Blue Health Assessment for a snapshot of your overall health and get a customized action plan to help you live healthier and ease those pregnancy milestones. From stress management to nutrition guidance, use the free coaching sessions for extra encouragement.
*You must be the contract holder or spouse, 18 or older, on your Plan to earn incentive rewards.