Pregnant mother


About Pregnancy

Take extra care of yourself when you are pregnant. See a doctor as soon as you can. And accept help from family and friends. The more you are cared for during pregnancy, the better you can care for your newborn.

Where to Find Help

California Employment Development Department
Information on State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave: These provide time off to care for a new baby or other family members.

Find a Pediatrician
Search tool to find children’s doctors.

National Alcohol & Drug Information
Information and referrals for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Office of Women’s Health
Information on women’s health, including a national health line.

More Resources

Things You Can Do

Plan Ahead

  • Plan your pregnancy leave. By law, you can have time off from your job to care for a new child. In California, you may be able to get partial pay for some of that time. Ask your employer about California Paid Family Leave and federal Family Medical Leave. Or contact the California Employment Development Department.

  • Find a doctor for your baby. Babies need regular checkups starting in their first month. To find a doctor for your baby (a pediatrician), ask your prenatal doctor or other parents.

When Your Partner Is Pregnant

If your partner is an expecting mother, you may not be sure of your role. You can do a lot to get ready for your baby’s arrival. You can help by giving your partner emotional support. Ask her what else she needs. Here are some ideas.

  • Help around the house. Household chores are tiring, and some, such as cooking, may make your pregnant partner nauseated. Try to do the heavy lifting, such as laundry baskets and grocery bags. If you have a cat, take over cleaning the litter box. The litter can carry a disease that harms developing babies.

  • Go to appointments. You will learn how the baby is developing and how you can help.

Take Childbirth Classes

Classes can help you and your partner get ready for labor and delivery.

Physical Activity

Your body changes a lot during pregnancy, but you still need exercise to stay healthy. Gentle exercise can help relieve back pain, and it may make your delivery easier. Here are some tips for staying active:

  • Ask your doctor which exercises are right for you.

  • Try walking and swimming. These are great exercises for pregnant women.

  • Avoid activities with jumping or sudden jarring movements.

  • Ride a stationary bike. It is safer than a regular bicycle when you are pregnant.

  • Try a prenatal yoga class.

Get Enough Rest

You may feel tired, especially during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. Try to get enough sleep. Rest during the day if you need to. If being very tired worries you, talk to your doctor.

Emotional Pressures

Pregnancy often brings joy, but it can also bring mood swings, sadness, and worries. It may cause strain in a relationship. If you want help with problems at home or depression that doesn’t go away, ask your doctor for a referral.

Smoking, Drinking, and Street Drugs

Everything that you put into your body also goes into your baby’s body. Some things can cause serious health problems for your developing baby, even in very small amounts. Talk to your doctor about everything you take. The things listed below may cause harm:

  • Anything you smoke, including e-cigarettes, vape pens, and marijuana

  • Any kind of tobacco, including chewing tobacco

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Street drugs

  • Some medicines, both prescribed and over-the-counter

  • Some vitamins and herbal supplements


While you are pregnant, you can plan for things you’ll need when your baby arrives.