Pregnancy Programs

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First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester

L.A. Care is happy to support our members during their pregnancy! We offer educational support for our pregnant members such as the Healthy Pregnancy and Healthy Mom programs. Learn more below about your pregnancy journey by trimester. You can also visit our Healthy Mom web page to discover what programs, services, and incentives that may be available to you. 

Being pregnant is a special time in your life. It is important to see your doctor as soon as you know you are pregnant and start prenatal care. Prenatal care is the care you get while you are pregnant. Going to all your prenatal visits helps to ensure you and your baby are healthy.

It is also important to get help while you are pregnant. L.A. Care's Healthy Pregnancy Program helps new parents learn about the importance of getting care before and after your baby is born.

Learn more about:

  • Planning a healthy pregnancy
  • Nutrition
  • Caring for yourself after giving birth
  • Breastfeeding

L.A. Care's Healthy Pregnancy Program can help give your baby the best start in life. If you need help scheduling a prenatal visit or would like more information, please contact us

Prenatal materials are available in English and Spanish. For materials in your language or in another format, please contact us.

If you receive a text message from L.A. Care, please opt-in to our text messaging campaign to get help scheduling visits, helpful resources, and learn more about the doula benefit and the postpartum incentive!

Below you will find some helpful information that might help you during your three trimesters of pregnancy. 

First Trimester (Weeks 1-12)

You may have one or more of the early symptoms below. Some people do not experience any of the early signs.

Symptoms/signs of pregnancy can include: 

  • Missing your monthly period
  • Sore breasts
  • Feeling sick to your stomach and throwing up
  • Wanting or craving certain foods
  • Needing to pee often
  • Feeling tired

By the end of the first trimester, your baby will be the size of a small lime and weigh almost 1 ounce.

Schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you find out you are pregnant. You will need to see your doctor or midwife once a month but some people may need to be seen more often. If you miss an appointment, call your doctor’s office right away to schedule a new appointment.

Take the prenatal vitamins daily as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. If they make you feel sick take the vitamin with food. 
Get enough folic acid (a vitamin which helps your baby’s brain and spine). Also called folate, it is found in cereals, fruits, and vegetables or as a pill.

Morning sickness can be hard to deal with. It can happen at any time not just in the morning.

What can make you feel better? 

  • Getting out of bed slowly
  • Brushing your teeth after you throw up
  • Drinking fluids between meals not with meals
  • Eating 5 or 6 small meals a day 

What foods can make you feel better?

  • Crackers
  • Rice cakes
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Plain popcorn (no butter)
  • Plain baked potatoes
  • Dry cereal 
  • Dry toast

Talk to your doctor if you continue to feel sick. Your doctor may recommend medication.

Protecting you and your baby from Covid-19 and the flu is important. Talk to your doctor about the right shots for you! For more info, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pregnancy and vaccine web page

Your doctor will screen you for prenatal depression during one of your visits. Prenatal depression can affect people during and after pregnancy. This exam is very important. Be sure to answer questions open and honestly so your needs can be met. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist but you don’t have to wait. If you need to talk to someone, call Carelon Behavioral Health at 1.877.344.2858 to get a referral. For additional support, please click the following link to visit National Maternal Mental Health Hotline or call 1.833.852.6262 to speak to a counselor (TTY users dial 711 and then 1.833.852.6262). 

Remember to eat fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water daily. To learn more, follow the guidelines found on MyPlate.

Second Trimester (Weeks 13-27)

During the second trimester, your baby will grow in size from about the size of a small lime to the size of an eggplant! Your baby will now weigh about 1 ½ pounds. 

You will need to continue seeing your doctor or midwife once a month even if you feel well.

If your gums start to bleed use a soft toothbrush and floss. You may need to go see a dentist for a check-up but it is very important to inform the dental staff that you are pregnant. 

You will start to feel your baby move during the second trimester. It will be amazing! Your doctor will talk to you about kick counts and when to contact them if the frequency changes.  

Eat balanced meals including fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water, and avoid sugary drinks. 

Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swelling of the veins inside or outside of your rectum. This can be a normal symptom during pregnancy.

What can you do at home to make you feel better? 

  • Lie down on your side 
  • Sleep on your side at night
  • Try not to sit or stand for too long
  • Clean your rectal area with water and soap after bowel movement 
  • Sit in a tub of warm shallow water for 20 minutes followed by ice packs on the hemorrhoids 2-3 times a day.  
  • Ask your doctor or midwife about over-the-counter medications 

Third Trimester (Weeks 28-40)

During the third trimester, your baby will grow from the size of an eggplant to the size of a watermelon. By the end of this trimester, the baby may weigh between 6 and 9 pounds.

Be sure to eat foods from all the food groups every day (grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein).

You will need to see your doctor or midwife every 2 weeks in month 8 and every week in month 9.

It’s time for your Tdap vaccine (shot)! It is recommended to get your Tdap shot between weeks 27-36. The sooner the better! Remember that it takes two weeks for you to pass antibodies to your baby. This will lower your baby’s risk for pertussis (whooping cough). Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pregnancy and vaccine web page for more information. 

As you’re approaching your due date, talk to your doctor or midwife about your birth plan (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). This will inform the doctors, nurses, and staff of your wishes during your labor and delivery.  

As you get closer to the end of your third trimester, talk to your doctor about scheduling your postpartum visit (7-84 days after your delivery date). It may be easier for you to schedule your postpartum visit before the baby arrives. 

You may feel pain that feels like contractions before labor. These are called Braxton Hicks Contractions. They are contractions that tone the muscles in your uterus and prepare the cervix for birth. 

Contact your doctor right away if your water breaks.  

Remember to have your hospital bag ready.

What should you pack? 

  • A copy of your birth plan
  • Clothes for you to wear home
  • Toothbrush and other personal care items 
  • Clothes for the baby to wear home
  • Baby blanket

Make sure to install the car seat rear-facing until the baby is 2 years old or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of the seat. For help contact your local California Highway Patrol Area Office and ask to speak with a child passenger safety technician to schedule an appointment. Visit the California Highway Patrol child safety seat web page to search for an office near you.

Skin to skin contact after delivery is important for the parents and the baby.

Skin to skin contact helps: 

  • Breastfeeding for mom and baby
  • Baby feel safe and secure
  • Bonding between parent and baby

If possible, room-in with your baby and have skin to skin contact during the hospital stay and when you are home. 

Caesarean Section (C-Section)

Caesarean section, or C-Section, is when the baby is delivered through an incision (cut) in the mother’s abdomen. This procedure is performed when vaginal delivery would put the baby at risk.

C-sections are medically necessary and can be an option when vaginal delivery is unsafe for the baby. C-sections do have additional risks and tend to have an extended recovery time. Vaginal deliveries tend to be the safest way to deliver healthy babies and most deliveries do not require C-section. It is very important to talk to your doctor about your birth plan and delivery goals.

View this brochure for more information:

Avoiding an Unnecessary C-Section (English)
Avoiding an Unnecessary C-Section (Spanish)


Your body can benefit from exercise during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor to see how much exercise is right for YOU.

Exercise during pregnancy can help you:

  • relax
  • reduce back pain and constipation
  • lower the swelling in your feet

Walking and swimming are good choices. Aim for 30 minutes, five days a week if possible. 

Things to Avoid

Some things may be harmful to your unborn baby.


  • Smoking or breathing other's smoke
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Taking any drug until you talk with your doctor
  • Eating raw fish and fish high in mercury (shark, swordfish, King Mackerel, tilefish)
  • Getting x-rays (check with your doctor or midwife)
  • Changing cat litter
  • Eating or drinking too many things with caffeine
  • Skipping meals

Avoid activities that:

  • require good balance such as bike riding and skating
  • require you start a new sport
  • require you go in to a hot tub or a steam bath
Substance Use

Substance use during pregnancy can have effects on the pregnant person and baby. Using the following substances during pregnancy may increase risks to you and your baby:

  • Alcohol use may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, and certain developmental disabilities
  • Opioid use is linked to poor growth, preterm birth, and certain birth defects
  • Cigarette smoking increases the risk of health problems such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and certain birth defects
  • Marijuana use may be linked to low birth weight and developmental problems. Further research is needed to understand how marijuana may affect pregnant people and babies
  • Non-medical use of prescription medication can lead to poor health outcomes and overdose 

For help with substance use please contact the following providers based on your L.A. Care plan:

Medicare Plus and Medi-Cal members may contact the Department of Public Health Substance Abuse Service Helpline (SASH) at 1.844.804.7500.

L.A. Care Covered, L.A. Care Covered Direct, and Homecare Workers Health Care Plan (PASC-SEIU) members may contact Carelon Behavioral Services at 1.877.344.2858.