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FAQ119, July 2017

Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy? If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to continue or start most types of exercise, but you may need to make a few changes. Physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery. However, it is important to discuss exercise with your obstetrician or other member of your health care team during your early prenatal visits. If your health care professional gives you the OK to exercise, you can decide together on an exercise routine that fits your needs and is safe during pregnancy.

FAQ103, April 2015

What is prenatal care? Prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant. It includes medical care, education, and counseling. The earlier you get prenatal care, the better your chances are for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

FAQ165, April 2014

What is a birth defect? A birth defect is a problem that is present at birth, although it may not be noticed until the child is older. Birth defects may affect any part of the body, including major organs such as the heart, lungs, or brain. The defect may affect the baby’s appearance, a body function, or both.

April 2017

FAQ094, April 2017

What are genes? A gene is a small piece of hereditary material called DNA that controls some aspect of a person’s physical makeup or a process in the body. Genes come in pairs.

FAQ027, September 2013

What is the Rh factor? Just as there are different major blood groups, such as type A and type B, there also is an Rh factor. The Rh factor is a protein that can be present on the surface of red blood cells. Most people have the Rh factor—they are Rh positive. Others do not have the Rh factor—they are Rh negative.

PFSI010 ››› Weeks 1–4 Weeks 5–8 Weeks 9–12 Weeks 13–16 Weeks 17–20 Weeks 21–24 • Timing: 10–13 weeks • Blood test plus NT ultrasound exam • Screens for Down • syndrome and trisomy 18 First-trimester screening Second-trimester screening (“quad screen”) • Timing: 15–22 weeks • Blood test • Screens for Down syndrome, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and NTDs Standard ultrasound exam • Timing: 18–22 weeks • Screens for some physical defects Integrated screening and sequential screening • Timing: 10–22 weeks • Combines first-trimester and second-trimester screening test results in vari...

January 2016

FAQ115, January 2016

What causes back pain during pregnancy? The following changes during pregnancy can lead to back pain: Strain on your back muscles Abdominal muscle weakness Pregnancy hormones

June 2017

FAQ025, June 2017

What is ultrasound? Ultrasound is energy in the form of sound waves. During an ultrasound exam, a transducer sends sound waves through the body. The sound waves come into contact with tissues, body fluids, and bones. The waves then bounce back, like echoes. The transducer receives these echoes, which are turned into images. The images can be viewed as pictures on a video screen.

September 2017

FAQ105, September 2017

What is group B streptococcus (GBS)? Group B streptococcus is one of the many types of bacteria that live in the body and usually do not cause serious illness. It is found in the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tracts of men and women. In women, it can be found in the vagina and rectum. GBS is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Also, although the names are similar, GBS is different from group A streptococcus, the bacteria that causes “strep throat.”

July 2015

FAQ188, July 2015

How does multiple pregnancy occur? A twin, triplet, or higher-order pregnancy (four or more babies) is called multiple pregnancy. If more than one egg is released during the menstrual cycle and each is fertilized by a sperm, more than one embryo may implant and grow in your uterus. This type of pregnancy results in fraternal twins (or more). When a single fertilized egg splits, it results in multiple identical embryos. This type of pregnancy results in identical twins (or more). Identical twins are less common than fraternal twins.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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