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Ask the Doctors: Christina Lee, M.D., and Jennifer Lee, M.D.

Q: What is your philosophy for prenatal care?

A: Every mother desires a healthy outcome for herself and her baby. Prenatal care is an important vessel to achieve this goal.

All new moms have their own unique set of concerns and risks that require individualized medical guidance; but below is a list of guidelines that can apply to every woman who is pregnant or thinking about conceiving:

Recommended:

  • Seek early and regular prenatal care.
  • Mention all concerns to your medical provider throughout your pregnancy.
  • Start prenatal vitamins (with at least 800 micrograms of folic acid) and DHA prior to conceiving, if possible, and throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding period. Folic acid and DHA decreases the risk of fetal neural tube defects and improves fetal eye and brain development, respectively.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and foods low in saturated fats.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during pregnancy. Being well hydrated can prevent various negative symptoms and complications such as headaches, preterm contractions, bladder infection and low fetal amniotic fluid level.
  • Minimize the risk of food-borne illnesses. Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating, and avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or fish. Avoid foods high in mercury such as swordfish, ahi tuna, shark, king mackerel and tile fish.
  • Moderate intensity exercise is encouraged during pregnancy if there are no activity restrictions due to medical conditions.

Avoid:

  • Drinking alcohol, smoking and illicit drugs.
  • Hot baths, hot tubs and saunas during pregnancy.
  • Beauty products derived from vitamin A such as Retin-A and Retinol during pregnancy.
  • Laser hair removal, Botox, fillers and tanning booths during pregnancy.
  • Traveling to areas at risk of Zika virus for about 2 months prior to trying for pregnancy. Women should use condoms or avoid intercourse for 6 months with their male partners if he has traveled to areas at risk of Zika virus. Check the CDC website for current areas with risk of Zika.

Additional, individualized guidance will be given by your medical provider as they partner with you to achieve a happy and healthy pregnancy.

Dr. Christina Lee and Dr. Jennifer Lee are sisters providing complete obstetrical and gynecological care to patients in their Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Irvine offices.