Prenatal care

Physicians for Women works closely with our patients to provide guidance on nutrition, healthy eating, and weight management during pregnancy.

Prenatal classes

We recommend childbirth classes through the Inova Alexandria Hospital to help our patients prepare for labor and delivery. The classes can be beneficial in the following ways:

Online registration

We recommend that couples who would like to attend the classes register by week 20. Click here to register online. We also recommend sending your pre-admission form to the Inova Alexandria Hospital by week 31. The form is available online here.

Exercising while you're pregnant

Women who are normally active and exercise regularly can continue their current routine as long as they are not experiencing any pregnancy complications. For those wishing to start exercising, we recommend beginning with gentle activities and keeping your heart rate below 140 beats per minute.

Be careful not to over-exert yourself - your joints and ligaments are more lax during pregnancy, which makes the joints more mobile and more prone to injury. Try to avoid activities that may increase the risk of abdominal trauma, such as high-impact aerobics or diving into swimming pools. Finally, drink plenty of water or fluids when exercising to avoid dehydration.

Nutrition recommendations during pregnancy

It's important to eat well-balanced meals throughout your pregnancy. Good sources of nutrients during pregnancy include:

Protein: Meats, cheese, eggs, poultry, meat substitutes, fish, legumes, milk, nuts, seeds, and yogurt.

Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, cabbage, greens, calcium fortified juices.

Iron: Lean red meats, poultry, eggs, whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, dried prunes, apricots, raisins, nuts, and seeds.

Folate: Leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, orange juice, whole grain breads and cereals, eggs, nuts, beans and peas.

Vitamin C: Orange juice, oranges, tangerines, berries, grapefruit, tomatoes, green peppers, greens, white potatoes.

Fiber: Fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, popcorn (with minimal butter and salt) or bran.

If you have special dietary requirements, we can recommend individual plans and give you more tailored advice.

Pregnancy weight management program

Our weight management program is open to all of our patients during their pregnancies - talk to your OB/GYN about whether our program is right for you.

Your recommended weight gain will depend on a number of factors, including your overall health as well as your pre-pregnancy weight and body mass index (BMI).

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can increase the risk of your child developing health problems at birth. It also increases the risk of childhood obesity. Conversely, babies of underweight women may be born earlier or smaller than expected.

These general guidelines indicate ideal weight gain during pregnancy, according to your BMI.

Pre-pregnancy weightRecommended weight gain
Underweight (BMI < 18.5)28-40lbs
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 - 24.9)25-35 lbs
Overweight (BMI 25 - 25.9)15-25lbs
Obese (BMI 30 or more)11-20lbs
1500 N. Beauregard Street, Suite 100,
Alexandria, VA 22311
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Appointment Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 3:45PM
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.
Phone Hours
(703) 370-0400
Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 12:00PM
1:00PM - 4:30PM

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