Pregnancy and Birth

A Life-Changing Experience

Pregnancy can be one of the most special times in a woman’s life. ThedaCare is devoted to making the entire experience, from pre-pregnancy to post-delivery, happy, relaxed, and healthy for you and your baby.

Staying Healthy Before and During Pregnancy

Even if you’re not pregnant yet, there’s still plenty you can do to improve your chances of conceiving and help your body prepare for pregnancy. Start by talking with your primary care doctor, family practice doctor, or obstetrician/gynecologist to find out what steps you can take.

In the meantime, here are some important things you can start doing now, before your appointment:

  • Take 400 to 800 micrograms (400 to 800 mcg or 0.4 to 0.8 mg) of folic acid every day, to lower the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine, like spina bifida.
  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Make sure you have any medical conditions that can affect or be affected by pregnancy, such as asthma, diabetes, dental health, obesity, and epilepsy, under control.
  • Make a list of any over-the-counter or prescription medicines you’re using, including dietary or herbal supplements, to discuss with your doctor at your appointment. You should also check that your vaccinations are up to date.
  • Avoid contact with toxic substances or materials that can cause infection, and stay away from chemicals and cat or rodent feces.

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Your Pregnancy Journey

Pregnancy is a unique, wonderful time. However, there can be a lot of appointments, planning, and milestones to keep track of. ThedaCare will help you through every step of the process.

          Prenatal Check-ups and Screenings

Once you become pregnant, you’ll start having regular doctor visits to monitor the health of both you and your baby. Your doctor will continually check your blood pressure and weight, and your baby’s heart rate and growth.

You’ll be screened for conditions like anemia, gestational diabetes, and infections, such as toxoplasmosis (which can invade tissues and damage the brain and is commonly contracted through raw meat or cat litter/feces). Other tests may also be suggested, based on your age, personal or family health history, ethnicity, or screening results.


You’ll feel much more prepared for the birth of your baby once you know what to expect. ThedaCare offers a variety of classes, held at our hospitals and online, to help you before, during, and after delivery. Topics include breathing and relaxation techniques, pain management during labor, and mother and baby care.

          Learn more about classes        

          Birth Plan

When the time comes to bring your little one into the world, the experience should be as personal as possible. Creating a birth plan ensures that you can go through labor and delivery comfortably, confidently, and in a way that fulfills your wishes.

Your birth plan outlines who you want in the room during labor and delivery, how you’d like to manage pain, what you’d like the environment to be like, how you’d like help caring for the baby after he or she is born, and other preferences.

          Learn more about creating a birth plan

Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor will always let you know what the next steps are. He or she, or a nurse, will help you schedule appointments, find classes, and provide you with the information you need to have a happy, healthy pregnancy.

Learn more about pregnancy care