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You just found out you're pregnant and you couldn't be more excited. Like all mommies-to-be, you want to give birth to a healthy, happy infant. But did you know your little one's future health depends on the choices you make today?

Your job during pregnancy is to create the healthiest, most nurturing environment possible for your baby while he or she is still in the womb.

At Siloam Springs Regional Hospital Women and Children's Unit, we recognize having a baby is a momentous time in your life. Our goal is to provide safe, quality health care for newborns and their mothers. We offer labor and delivery services that balance technology with a family-oriented environment. SSRH would like to share three simple steps to give your baby a head start on health.

Check in

Receiving regular medical care should be a main priority while you're pregnant. If you don't already have an OB/GYN, find one with whom you feel comfortable and whose approach to prenatal care and birth aligns with your own. Your prenatal care provider can monitor the healthy development of your baby, schedule any necessary exams or tests and answer any questions you may have.

Eat well

When it comes to prenatal nutrition, the rules are simple: eat healthy foods and plenty of them. Most pregnant women should consume an additional 300 calories per day. The majority of those calories should come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Here are a few vitamins and nutrients that are essential for expectant moms and their babies:

• Calcium -- 1,000 milligrams daily. Calcium-rich foods include yogurt, cheese, broccoli, dark leafy greens, salmon and black beans.

• Folic acid -- 400 micrograms daily. The best way to up your folic acid intake when you're pregnant is through a supplement.

• Iron -- 30 milligrams daily. Try adding iron-packed foods such as spinach, peas, sweet potatoes, tuna and prunes to your diet.

Move it

Physical activity improves sleep, increases blood flow, helps you maintain a healthy weight and prepares your body to face the challenge of labor -- all of which affects the health of your newborn. Choose low-impact, moderate-intensity activities such as walking, swimming and prenatal yoga. Stop activity if you experience unnatural pain or discomfort, shortness of breath or faintness. If you're pregnant during the summer months, avoid outdoor activities that can cause your body to overheat.

Need help finding a provider? Visit the "Find A Doctor" page at NorthwestHealth.com today.

About Siloam Springs Regional Hospital

Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a 73 licensed bed facility with 42 private patient rooms. It is accredited by the State of Arkansas Department of Health Services and The Joint Commission. Some services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, emergency medicine, medical, surgical and intensive care units, obstetrics, outpatient diagnostic services and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. With more than 40 physicians on the medical staff, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital provides compassionate, customer-focused care. SSRH is an affiliate of Northwest Health, one of the largest health networks in northwest Arkansas. The facility is located at 603 N. Progress Ave. in Siloam Springs. For more information, visit NorthwestHealth.com.

Editorial on 02/28/2018

Print Headline: Pregnancy pointers for a healthy newborn

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