At Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital, we deliver more. Since 1990, we have delivered more than 50,000 children to Central Louisiana families. But healthy babies really begin with you.

So before you decide to become a parent, let us help. We can help you find a local obstetrician for your prenatal care. We offer a variety of childbirth and parenting classes each month, access to fertility specialists and genetic counseling through the Rapides Specialty Clinic. Plus, we have a great group of experienced and educated nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians who can answer all of your baby questions.

Pregnancy True or False?

From old wives' tales to mommy blogs, advice for moms-to-be can seem overwhelming. Click on the questions below to uncover the truth about common pregnancy myths.

False. Although morning sickness is common, doctors don't fully understand what causes it or the biological purpose behind it.

True. They carry a serious risk of Listeria infection. One foodborne pathogen is Listeria which, if contracted while pregnant, may lead to premature birth or miscarriage. Research suggests that pregnant women may be up to 20 times more likely to suffer from Listeria.

False. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage pregnant and nursing women to eat fish because of the potential health benefits for both mother and baby. Vary the type of fish, and aim for 8 to 12 ounces a week. Due to possible mercury content, avoid swordfish, king mackerel and albacore tuna.

True. Women who are 5 feet tall or under have a 50 percent chance of C-section due to a small or inadequate pelvis. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about C-sections.

False. Most medicines are safe for pregnant women; only 2 percent to 3 percent of birth defects do seem to be linked to medications. Avoid taking non-essential medications and talk with your doctor about natural alternatives, such as a hot shower for a stuffy nose.

True. Exercising during pregnancy can also increase your energy levels, improve body circulation and help return your body to its pre-pregnant state after you have delivered and recovered.

True. Raising your core temperature above 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the first month of pregnancy can increase the risk of neural tube defects. Steer clear of saunas, long hot baths and hot tubs, and make sure you are well hydrated before and during exercise.

False. Breastfeeding can help you lose weight, since you're supplying your baby with 500 to 800 calories a day from your body's own calorie reserves.

True. An approximate due date is 40 weeks after the first day of your last menstrual period. Pregnancies usually range from 37 weeks to 43 weeks, with most women giving birth between 39 weeks and 41 weeks.

False. Women with an average BMI usually gain between 25 and 35 pounds during pregnancy. Remember that pregnancy is a time to gain weight, not a time to diet. Your weight takes care of itself when you eat a well-balanced diet of healthy foods.

Information courtesy of Sharecare, Inc. Learn more about common pregnancy myths and take the full quiz.

Find an ObGyn

Prenatal Healthcare Visit

Before trying to get pregnant, schedule a preconception visit with your doctor. During this visit, you can discuss your health and get advice on how to prepare your body for pregnancy. If you have health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor can prescribe medicines or lifestyle changes to help get these problems under control before pregnancy. Also, you will want to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. He can determine whether they are safe to take while trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy. Do not stop taking prescription medicines without talking to your doctor.

During the preconception visit, your doctor may do tests to determine whether you have had rubella or a rubella vaccination, any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and/or hepatitis, or have other health problems, such as anemia. If you have not had all of your immunizations, especially rubella, you should have that done at least three months before getting pregnant.

Finally, if serious genetic diseases run in your family, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, talk to your doctor about whether you or your partner should have genetic testing before becoming pregnant.

Explore the Health Topics below for helpful information regarding pregnancy.