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Pregnant or Thinking About it?

January 1, 1981

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, you need to follow certain steps to ensure you'll have a healthy baby. One important step often overlooked by pregnant women is getting tested for HIV. Even if you don't suspect that you have HIV, it is important to get an HIV test and find out for sure. Often, HIV is passed on to your baby during pregnancy or through breast feeding.

In addition to getting tested for HIV, the following are some other steps you can take while you are pregnant to help both you and your baby:

  • Get prenatal care early in your pregnancy
  • Exercise regularly if your health care provider says it's okay
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get enough rest
  • Practice safe sex by using condoms -- even during pregnancy
  • Do not use alcohol or other drugs not prescribed by your doctor
  • Do not smoke
  • Tell your health care provider about any medicine you are already taking
  • Check with your health care provider before taking any new medicine.

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This article was provided by U.S. Health Care Financing Administration. It is a part of the publication Pregnancy and HIV -- What Women and Doctors Need to Know.