Click here to return to the LMHS Home Page

 

Back to home

Lee Physician Group - Obstetrics/Gynecology

Healthy Plan, Healthy Pregnancy

Physical Therapy for Pregnancy Preparing for a baby can be some of the most exciting and nerve-racking times of life. Moms-to-be have to take care of themselves in order to experience healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. Shelly Chvotzkin, D.O., obstetrician/ gynecologist, says preparing for a healthy pregnancy begins even before conception.

"About one month before conceiving, women should start taking a prenatal vitamin for extra iron, folic acid and B vitamins," Dr. Chvotzkin says. "Making an appointment with a doctor before conception is also important, especially for women who smoke or abuse alcohol or other substances, or take certain medications.

A woman's doctor can help her with treatment or change and/or wean her off medications. It is important to note that people should never stop taking medications without consulting the doctor."

Dr. Chvotzkin adds that planning for a pregnancy also includes vaccinations. "We recommend getting the flu shot before getting pregnant," she says. "We also check to see if there are other vaccines the woman may need, like rubella, chicken pox or Tdap for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis."

While planning for a pregnancy may not always be possible, Dr. Chvotzkin recommends seeing a doctor as soon as possible after finding out you are pregnant.

Once a woman is pregnant, she should maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Chvotzkin has some tips:

  • Eat a normal, healthy diet. A pregnancy only requires an additional 300 calories/day.
  • Gain a healthy amount of weight.
  • Women with a normal body mass index, or BMI, should gain 25-35 pounds
  • Women with a BMI of 25-29 should gain 11-20 pounds
  • Women who are obese or have a BMI greater than 30 should gain no more than 11 pounds
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, which can help reduce the risk of certain complications. Dr. Chvotzkin reminds women to listen to their bodies and cut back on exercise if pain, dizziness or cramps persist. Women who exercised before pregnancy can continue exercising at the same intensity, but should not lift more than 20 pounds. During the second and third trimester, women should avoid exercises that involve lying on their back. Also, women should not start a new vigorous or strenuous workout regimen during pregnancy.
  • Consume plenty of fluids, but limit caffeine to one to two cups per day and avoid all alcohol.
  • Avoid taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines without consulting your physician.
  • Keep up with scheduled appointments, prenatal testing and follow doctors' orders.

Dr. Chvotzkin says she generally sees momsto- be once a month until the 28th week of pregnancy, then every two to three weeks until the 35th week, and then once a week until delivery. She also notes that babies should never be delivered before 39 weeks unless there is a medical reason.

"There are specific tests we do offer at specific times during the pregnancy," Dr. Chvotzkin says.

"Women should discuss these tests with their doctor and their family. Screenings are valuable because they enable a woman to make the best decision possible for herself and her baby. If something is found in our screening, there is time to prepare, link up with support groups and ensure that we follow the pregnancy more carefully."

Again, planning for a pregnancy may not always be possible, but making good choices and living a healthy lifestyle throughout pregnancy can help provide a smoother pregnancy and a healthier baby.

“About one month before conceiving, women should start taking a prenatal vitamin for extra iron, folic acid and B vitamins,” says Dr. Chvotzkin. “Making an appointment with a doctor before conception is also important, especially for women who smoke or abuse alcohol or other substances, or take certain medications.”

Pregnancy: 39 Weeks Program

space

Visit Lee Memorial Health System on Vimeo

spacer


Shelly Chvotzkin, D.O.
Obstetrics/Gynecology
Lee Physician Group
16271 Bass Road
Fort Myers, FL 33908
239-343-7100

spacer