A Healthy Pregnancy

Section 2
A Healthy
Section 2
Identify four behaviors
that are essential for a
healthy pregnancy.
Explain the importance
of prenatal care
throughout pregnancy.
Before class begins, write the objectives
on the board. Have students copy the
objectives into their notebooks at the
start of class.
1. Focus
Warm-Up Myth/Fact
Ask students to share their do’s and
don’ts for pregnant women. List
them on the board. Refer back to
this list throughout the section,
correcting any misconceptions that
students might have had.
prenatal care
chorionic villus sampling
ectopic pregnancy
gestational diabetes
Chapter 19
need to visit the doctor until she
begins to show, or look pregnant.
Fact Regular doctor visits from the
beginning of pregnancy until the birth
are recommended to ensure health.
s Appt
Doctor’ AM
List some other do’s and
don’ts for pregnant women. Review and
update your list when you complete this
Amanda starts her day with a bowl of oatmeal. Later, she and her husband go out for a brisk walk. At night, she skips a party where people will
be smoking.
Amanda and her husband are thinking about having a baby. Even
before she becomes pregnant, Amanda started taking extra care to have a
healthy pregnancy. Getting proper nutrition and exercise and avoiding
drugs and environmental hazards are especially important both before
and throughout pregnancy.
Proper Nutrition “Now you’re eating for two,” people sometimes
say to pregnant women. This is because a pregnant woman needs to eat
more calories to support the growth of her own body and the developing
embryo or fetus. During pregnancy, a woman needs to consume about
300 more calories than usual. The best way to obtain these extra calories
is to eat a well-balanced diet rich in the key nutrients listed in Figure 4.
One vitamin that is especially important during pregnancy is folic
acid, or folate. Folic acid is essential for proper development of an
embryo’s neural tube, which later develops into the spinal cord and brain.
The neural tube forms early in an embryo’s development, often before a
woman knows she is pregnant. Therefore, a woman should not wait until
she knows she is pregnant to get enough folic acid. Doctors recommend
that all women of childbearing age consume at least 0.4 mg (400 micrograms) of folic acid every day.
Sensitive Issues
Myth A pregnant woman doesn’t
Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
Teaching Transparency W66
Discussing prenatal care may be distressing to girls in your class who are
pregnant, have been pregnant, or
think they could be pregnant. Boys
who are fathers, or think they could
be fathers, might also be concerned.
Be aware of any student who is more
self-conscious than usual. Take care
not to draw attention to this student.
Focus only on prenatal care from the
perspective of a married couple, but
do make yourself discreetly available
to answer questions.
A Healthy Pregnancy
Chapter 19
Changes During Pregnancy
Almost every organ and system in a woman’s
body is affected by pregnancy. The most
important changes occur in the reproductive system. Ovulation and menstruation
cease. The muscular walls of the uterus get
stronger and more elastic. The cervix produces a mucus plug that prevents bacteria
from entering the uterus.
A pregnant woman also experiences
physiological changes that allow sufficient
blood and oxygen to reach the growing
embryo. Her heart beats slightly faster, and
the volume of blood circulating in her body
increases. The amount of oxygen her body
uses increases by 15 to 20 percent.
2. Teach
Exercise Regular physical activity is also important for a healthy pregnancy. A fit woman will better meet the extra energy demands of carrying
the fetus. She also reduces her risk for diabetes and other health problems
during pregnancy. A woman should get her doctor’s approval for her exercise program. Some forms of exercise should be avoided—for example,
horseback riding, where there is a high risk of falling.
Avoiding Alcohol and Other Drugs As soon as she plans to
become pregnant, a woman should abstain from all alcohol, tobacco, and
any other drugs not prescribed or approved by her doctor. These substances, even in small amounts, can harm or kill the developing baby,
decrease the newborn’s chance to live, or cause lifelong problems. For
example, women who drink alcohol during pregnancy risk having a baby
with fetal alcohol syndrome. As you read in Chapter 15, symptoms of fetal
alcohol syndrome may include mental retardation, minor to severe heart
defects, and delayed growth.
Some drugs that are typically safe outside of pregnancy can cause
harm to a fetus. A pregnant woman should talk to her doctor before using
any prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs, such as pain medications; creams and lotions; and vitamins. Likewise, a woman should get
her doctor’s approval before using herbal teas or herbal supplements.
Connect to
Which recommendations for pregnant women are
also good everyday advice for yourself?
L3 EL Reading/Note Taking 19-2
L2 Adapted Reading/Note Taking 19-2
Staying Healthy
During Pregnancy
L3 Active Learning
FIGURE 4 Proper nutrition
contributes to the healthy
development of a baby.
Reading Tables Name three
nutrients that play a role
in the development of the
nervous system.
Important Nutrients During Pregnancy
Needed For
Folic acid
Formation of neural
tube; brain and spinal
cord development
Muscle formation
and growth
Bone and tooth
formation; nerve and
muscle development
Oxygen delivery by
blood cells
Vitamin A
Cell and bone growth;
eye development
Vitamin B
Nervous system
Explain that pregnant women can participate in many forms of exercise, but
are cautioned against participating in
others. Have students work in small
groups to prepare an informational
brochure about exercise for pregnant
women. The brochure should help the
women distinguish forms of exercise
that are not appropriate from forms
that are highly recommended. Students
should divide up the task of collecting
data. Some can search reliable Web
sites. Others can interview an obstetrician and a fitness instructor who works
with pregnant women.
L2 Visual Learning: Figure 4
Review the nutrients listed in Figure 4.
Discuss food sources of these vitamins
and minerals. If necessary, refer students
to the charts in Chapter 8, Section 2.
Explain that pregnant women are
routinely given vitamin supplements as
part of their prenatal care. Ask: Why
should women who are considering
pregnancy get adequate amounts of
these nutrients? (Critical embryonic
development has already occurred
before a woman realizes that she is
Caption Answer folic acid, calcium,
vitamin B complex
Connect to Sample answer: proper nutriYOUR LIFE tion, exercise, and avoiding
Pregnancy, Birth, and Childhood 493
alcohol and other drugs
L2 Less Proficient Readers
After students read about the four behaviors that are essential for a healthy pregnancy, have them create a word web that
summarizes the reading. Suggest that students use the title of the subsection,
Staying Healthy During Pregnancy, in the
center circle of the web. Students can use
the run-in headings to name the behaviors
that branch from the center circle. Finally,
students should add details in circles that
are attached to each behavior.
Pregnancy, Birth, and Childhood
Chapter 19, Section 2
Avoiding Environmental Hazards Some common substances
found in the environment, including many chemicals and diseasecausing organisms, can seriously harm a fetus. Pregnant women should
take care to avoid exposure to these substances.
L3 Building Health Skills
Advocacy Have students write an e-mail
to an imaginary older cousin or sister
who is newly pregnant. In their e-mails,
students should describe one environmental hazard their cousin or sister
might inadvertently come into contact
with. Students should explain how this
substance or organism can harm the
growing embryo and advocate for
avoiding it.
X-rays The radiation from X-rays can harm a developing embryo or
fetus. This is why doctors and dentists ask women if they could possibly be pregnant before taking an X-ray.
Lead The main source of exposure to lead is from lead-based paint
present in older homes. If a pregnant woman lives in a home built
before 1978, she should contact her state health department for information on getting her home tested for lead.
Mercury Most exposure to this dangerous metal comes from eating
contaminated fish. Pregnant women should eat commercially caught
fish only once a week, and should not eat swordfish or shark.
Cat litter Cat feces can contain a parasite that is especially dangerous
to a developing fetus. Pregnant women should avoid contacting soiled
cat litter or garden soil.
Prenatal Care
L2 Building Vocabulary
Point out the meanings of the Latin
roots of the word trimester. Tri- means
“three;” mensis means “month.” Ask
students to list and define other words
beginning with the prefix tri-. (Triangle,
a figure with three angles; trilogy, a
story with three parts; triplets, three
babies born at the same time.) Then
ask students to think of words that use
the Latin root word mensis. (Semester,
originally a school term of six months;
menstruation, bleeding that occurs each
month in fertile women)
FIGURE 5 A doctor monitors the
health of the mother-to-be and her
fetus during regular prenatal visits.
Prenatal Care
Besides taking care of herself at home, a woman also needs to plan for
prenatal care, or medical care during her pregnancy. Her doctor visits
should be under the supervision of an obstetrician, a doctor specialized
in pregnancy and childbirth. The chances of having a healthy baby
greatly increase if the mother visits her doctor or clinic for regular
checkups throughout pregnancy.
The Three Trimesters A pregnancy is divided into three periods
of time— trimesters —each of which is approximately three months long.
Figure 5 lists things the parents-to-be can expect at routine visits.
L3 Cooperative Learning
Explain to students that during visits to
her doctor, a pregnant woman has an
opportunity to ask questions about her
pregnancy, as well as how to care for
her baby after it is born. Have student
groups produce a list of questions that
a woman might ask her doctor during a
prenatal visit. Then ask groups to share
their questions with the class.
First Trimester
Second Trimester
• Record medical history
and weight
• Note conditions that
could affect the pregnancy
• Monitor heartbeat of fetus
• Measure growth of uterus
• Prescribe prenatal
vitamins as needed
• Monitor for complications
using ultrasound and
other tools
Chapter 19
and Health
L2 Summary
Have students write a summary about how
to stay healthy during pregnancy. Students
should base their summaries on the four
behaviors that are essential for a healthy
pregnancy described in the section.
Chapter 19
Summaries should clearly differentiate
between behaviors that should be practiced
and behaviors that should be avoided.
Challenge students to limit their summaries
to one or two paragraphs.
Monitoring Tools Prenatal care gives a pregnant woman access to
the latest medical tests and technologies.
Ultrasound Did you know that your first pictures may have been
taken months before you were born? High-frequency sound waves,
or ultrasound, are used in most pregnancies to create an image of
the developing fetus. Ultrasound may be used at any point during
pregnancy, although it is typically used in the sixteenth to twentieth
week. Using ultrasound, a doctor can tell the age of the fetus, whether
it is a boy or girl, and if the heart, muscles, and bones are developing
normally. Ultrasound may also detect the presence of more than one
fetus or confirm the position of the fetus in the uterus.
Chorionic Villus Sampling Around the eighth week of pregnancy,
some women will undergo a test called chorionic villus sampling,
or CVS. To perform the test, the doctor removes and tests a small
piece of the developing placenta. CVS can detect inherited disorders
in the embryo such as hemophilia or extra chromosomes. The test is
only done when risk factors are present, such as a family history of
genetic disorders or when the mother is over the age of 35. An older
mother has an increased risk of having a baby with Down syndrome
or other chromosomal abnormalities.
Amniocentesis Another test that may be done around the fourteenth
to sixteenth week of pregnancy is amniocentesis (am nee oh sen TEE
sis). The procedure involves inserting a needle into the woman’s
abdomen and uterus to remove a small amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus. The doctor then tests fetal cells naturally found in
this fluid for abnormalities. Like CVS, amniocentesis is only performed
when the fetus is at higher risk for a genetic disorder. CVS and amniocentesis are not routine tests because they slightly increase the risk of
miscarriage, or death of the fetus.
Connect to
L2 Visual Learning: Figure 5
Use the charts in Figure 5 showing typical
events during prenatal checkups to
begin a discussion on the importance of
prenatal care. Ask: What kinds of issues
are addressed by the doctor during the
first trimester? (preparing for future
changes during the pregnancy, helping
the mother change her behaviors to
ensure a healthy baby) What is the
focus of prenatal care during the second
trimester? (the health of the mother
and the developing fetus and the
presence of complications) The third
trimester? (getting ready for delivery
and monitoring the fetus and mother
for any health issues) Explain that
fathers are encouraged to accompany
the mother during prenatal visits to give
support, share in the joy of monitoring
the growth of the fetus, and help make
decisions about complications that
might arise.
L1 Active Learning
Share pictures of ultrasound images of
your own children or those of fellow
teachers, friends, or family. Pass around
the photos, or alternatively, make them
into slides to project, and have students
name any structures they can identify.
Point out that internal structures, such
as the brain, heart, stomach, and skeleton, are also imaged by ultrasound and
may be visible in your pictures. Help
students locate any internal parts that
show up in your pictures. Remind students that ultrasound is a very useful,
low-risk tool for doctors to check on the
health of a fetus.
Have you ever seen an ultrasound
picture of a fetus? What features
could you recognize?
Third Trimester
• Check position and size
of fetus
• Check for warning signs of
premature, or early, birth
• Continue to monitor for
• Discuss birth process
L3 Building Health Skills
Pregnancy, Birth, and Childhood 495
EL English Language Learners
The terms that describe the monitoring tools
used during pregnancy and the possible
complications of pregnancy might be difficult for students to say and comprehend.
Work with students to create a notebook
or bulletin board display of these terms.
Include pictures or diagrams for terms that
lend themselves to visuals (such as ultrasound and amniocentesis). Also include
phonetic spellings and simple definitions.
Have students practice saying the terms by
pairing them with students who can pronounce the terms correctly.
Making Decisions Explain that it is
possible for parents to learn the sex of
their baby during pregnancy. Discuss
the advantages and disadvantages of
learning this information. Then ask
students to write a paragraph explaining
whether or not they would want to
know the baby’s sex if they had to
make this decision.
Connect to Recognizable features include
YOUR LIFE arms, legs, head, eyes, fingers, and toes.
Pregnancy, Birth, and Childhood
Chapter 19, Section 2
L3 Content Update
Use the Web Code to
access up-to-date information about
pregnancy care. Have students complete
the Web activity.
For: Updates on pregnancy
Visit: www.SciLinks.org/health
Web Code: ctn-6192
3. Assess
Complications Problems can occur at any time during pregnancy.
For some of these complications, timely treatment can reduce negative
consequences or even save the life of the woman or fetus.
䊳 Ectopic pregnancy In the very rare case of an ectopic pregnancy,
the blastocyst implants in the fallopian tube or elsewhere in the
abdomen, instead of in the uterus. It cannot develop normally and
may put the mother’s life at risk. Surgery is necessary to remove the
embryo and repair the damaged fallopian tube.
Miscarriage The death of an embryo or fetus in the first 20 weeks of
pregnancy is called a miscarriage. Almost all miscarriages take place
during the first trimester. They can occur before or after a woman knows
she is pregnant. At least 15 percent of recognized pregnancies end in
miscarriages. Miscarriage is usually caused by a serious genetic defect,
but it is sometimes due to illness or a drug the mother has taken. In
other cases, there is no apparent reason for a miscarriage.
Preeclampsia Preeclampsia (pree ih KLAMP see uh), which is also
called toxemia, is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling of
the wrists and ankles, and high levels of protein in the urine. Its onset
is usually in the second or third trimester. Preeclampsia prevents the
fetus from getting enough oxygen. This serious condition is treated
with bed rest or medication.
Gestational Diabetes Diabetes that develops in pregnant women is
called gestational diabetes and is marked by high blood sugar levels.
It usually develops later in pregnancy. If untreated, excess blood sugar
can pass through the placenta to the fetus. The fetus may grow too large,
which increases the risk of a difficult birth. The birth may also occur
early, resulting in breathing problems for the newborn.
These assignments can help you assess
students’ mastery of the section content.
Section 2 Review
Answers appear below.
Teaching Resources
• Practice 19-2
• Section 19-2 Quiz
L2 Reteach
Have students work in groups to create a
poster that describes the four behaviors
that are essential to a healthy pregnancy. Students should also add prenatal
doctor visits and their importance.
L4 Enrich
Teaching Resources
• Enrich 19-2
Health at
Health at Home
Section 2 Review
Key Ideas and Vocabulary
Ultrasound Pictures Students’
paragraphs should describe their
impressions of the ultrasound pictures
and the parts of the fetus they were
able to discern. Students should also
describe how the parents were feeling
and how the ultrasound pictures
affected those feelings.
1. List four healthy habits that a pregnant woman
should adopt before and during pregnancy.
2. Why is prenatal care so important throughout
3. About how long is each trimester of a pregnancy?
4. What is chorionic villus sampling? Under what
conditions is it sometimes recommended?
5. Describe three symptoms of preeclampsia. How is
it treated?
Ultrasound Pictures Ask your mother or other
relative with children if she saved any ultrasound
pictures from her pregnancy. Ask permission to see
the pictures. Ask about her emotions during the
ultrasound—were she and the father scared, happy,
excited? Write a paragraph about the pictures and
the parents’ experience.
Critical Thinking
6. Evaluating From the following list, which food
choice is generally recommended for pregnant
women: swordfish, spinach, wine, herbal tea?
7. Comparing and Contrasting How are chorionic
villus sampling and amniocentesis alike? How are
they different?
Chapter 19
Section 2 Review
1. get proper nutrition, exercise, avoid
alcohol and other drugs, avoid environmental hazards
2. Prenatal care greatly increases the
chances of having a healthy baby.
3. three months
Chapter 19
4. A small piece of the placenta is removed and
tested; when there is a family history of a
genetic disorder or when the mother is over
the age of 35.
5. high blood pressure, swelling of the wrists
and ankles, high levels of protein in the
urine; bed rest or medication
6. spinach
7. Similarity: Both are tests performed when the
fetus is at risk for a genetic disorder.
Difference: Fetal cells in the amniotic fluid
are tested in amniocentesis. A piece of the
placenta is tested in chorionic villus sampling.