The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations to help people stay healthy and prevent disease. They are based on the best medical evidence we have. The USPSTF's recommendations are highly respected because groups of professionals with many different areas of expertise created them.
For pregnant women, the USPSTF advises:
Quit smoking immediately. If you need help, ask your doctor, nurse or midwife for advice.
At your first visit for pregnancy-related care:
- Get information about breastfeeding. When possible, this is the optimal way to provide nutrition for your newborn.
- Expect to have blood tests for:
- Hepatitis B
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Blood type, including Rh (D) and Rh (D) antibody. Women that are Rh (D)-negative may have an antibody that could attack the baby’s red blood cells.
You may have these tests at later prenatal visits:
- Urine culture preferably done between 12 and 16 weeks of pregnancy
- Repeat blood test for Rh (D) antibodies if you are Rh (D)-negative, preferably between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy
These recommendations are for women at average risk of pregnancy problems. Women at higher than average risk will need additional advice and testing.