Women's Health Portal

 Your Health During Pregnancy

Last Updated: November 06, 2023
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Stay physically healthy

The CDCExternal Link provides guidance on guidance on nutrition (e.g., you may want to boost your folic acid intake), exposures to avoid (e.g., smoking, marijuana, alcohol, radon), and other health conditions of concern (e.g., diabetes) to help you keep your body at its healthiest during your pregnancy.

Mental health is as important as your physical health

Pregnancy and motherhood can be very stressful with feelings of sadness, anxiousness, or exhaustion. Depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period are common and treatable conditions. 

You are encouraged to reach out early to talk with someone and receive assistance: 

Is there any known safe amount of alcohol I can drink during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant? 

No. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) can occur in an individual who is exposed to alcohol before birth. A woman should not drink alcohol while she is pregnant, or if there is a chance she might be pregnant. Learn more in this Women and Alcohol Fact SheetExternal Link (CDC) and Women and AlcoholExternal Link webpage (NIH). 

What should I know about COVID-19 during pregnancy? 

Learn more about COVID-19 during pregnancy here. 

What do I need to know about immunization before, during, and after pregnancy?

The CDCExternal Link states that when you get vaccines, you protect yourself and give your baby early protection. Get a flu shot and whooping cough vaccine during each pregnancy to help protect yourself and your baby.

How can I get a good night's sleep during pregnancy?

Changing hormones throughout a woman’s life can impact sleep. Sleep affects your mental and physical health. Tips on getting a good night's sleep during pregnancyExternal Link and healthy sleep under high stress​External Link (WRAIR). 

What kind of exercise do obstetric care providers recommend?  

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)* encourages pregnant women to continue or to commence exercise as an important component of their health. Women who have regularly engaged in vigorous intensity aerobic activity or who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities during pregnancy and the postpartum period. 

*ACOG Committee Opinion 804, Physical Activity and Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum PeriodExternal Link(April 2020) 

An ACOG factsheet is available on Exercise During Pregnancy​External Link.

The Army’s Pregnancy/Postpartum Physical Training Program is designed for pregnant and postpartum Soldiers and provides modifications to physical training exercises de​​emed safe for pregnant and postpartum women.


Do I need to eat twice as much during pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, you need more protein, iron, calcium, and folic acid, but this doesn't mean you need to eat twice as much. Learn how to make smart food choices for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby at MyPlate during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding External Link (USDA) and Healthy Eating During Pregnancy External Link


Stress during pregnancy

In addition to physical changes, uncertainty or worry during pregnancy may also create stress. Talk with your healthcare provider about your concerns. Find more information from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: Will stress during pregnancy affect my baby?​External Link 


Pregnancy and oral health

Oral health during pregnancy influences the health of the mother and baby. Throughout your pregnancy, keep routine appointments with your dental health care provider. The CDC has additional information on Pregnancy and Oral Health.External Link 

How does smoking and secondhand smoke impact my ability to get pregnant, and have a healthy pregnancy and baby?

Smoking and secondhand smoke have negative effects on the fertility of the man and woman, your pregnancy, and baby. The CDC has information on Smoking, Pregnancy, and Babies​ and Smoking during Pregnancy.External Link It’s always a good time to quit smoking – resources are available to assist! 


For services available through the Military Health System, visit their Women's Health​External Link​ webpage.​​