Pregnancy is an amazing time that fills the couple with immense joy and happiness. They are very excited to welcome their new family member.
However, it is also a time of significant change in a woman’s body due to an increase in the hormone levels and the development of the baby.
Pregnant women need to take extra care of themselves during this special moment to ensure that they have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
What Is Prenatal Care?
Prenatal care is the keystone of a healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Why so? Because prenatal care helps ensure that you and your baby are progressing as you should.
It offers the opportunity for you to obtain answers to your questions, and the relationship you establish with your OB/GYN and/or midwife will make you more at ease with the transformations going on in your body.
Excellent prenatal care will also make you more comfortable and confident when you go into labor.
Considering the following tips to take care of yourself and your baby:
- Get early prenatal care: If you know you are pregnant or believe you might get it, contact your doctor to schedule a visit.
- Get regular prenatal care: Your doctor will schedule you for multiple check-ups over the course of your pregnancy. Don’t miss out on any because they are quite essential.
- Follow your doctor’s advice.
How Often You Will Have Prenatal Care Visits?
How often you will have prenatal care relies on how far along your pregnancy is and how high your risk is for complications.
The standard prenatal care schedule for someone who is 18-35 years old and healthy is:
- Every 4 or 6 weeks – for the first 32 weeks
- Every 2 or 3 weeks – for the 32nd-37th weeks
- Every week – from the 37th week until delivery
Your doctor may ask you to come in for check-ups more frequently if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
Benefits Of Prenatal Care
Following are the benefits of prenatal care:
- Your health relies on it: And by health, it means the health of both you and your developing baby.
While most pregnancies progress perfectly normally – after all, women’s bodies were created to be pregnant and give birth – and your prenatal visits will cause any potential health issues, including anemia, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes – which can be treated when detected early.
- Get precise nutritional information: Your diet may have to undergo some changes to achieve your baby’s nutritional requirements.
Your doctor will give very specific information about your suggested dietary intake for the next nine months, including what you should avoid eating. In contrast to popular belief, pregnancy doesn’t signify that you get to eat for two.
For a single baby, you only require about 350 extra calories per day. All of this information – and much more – will be provided at your prenatal appointments.
- Keep a record of your baby’s development: Your baby’s development is a key indicator of how good he or she is doing in there. During your appointments, your doctor will assess your belly from the sternum to the top of your pubic bone.
These measurements will help her to see how your baby is developing. Ultrasounds will be strategically scheduled to confirm your baby’s gender and development.
- Schedule appropriate testing: Based on your age, medical history, and family history; your OB/GYN can order certain tests. For instance, amniocentesis is a test that is done during the second trimester.
It is used primarily to inspect genetic abnormalities, like Down Syndrome, to test the baby’s health if you have Rh sensitization (when your baby has a different blood type than you), or check the baby’s maturity lungs. Other tests can be recommended, as well.
- Explore labor and delivery: It depends on you and your partner to make your labor and delivery plan. However, how that plan is will depend on the information you have about labor and delivery procedures.
Your prenatal visits give you a chance to discuss these procedures, questions, potential scenarios, and issues with your doctor. This incorporates learning about the benefits and risks of every intervention or treatment available to you.
Women in any state can get help to pay for medical assistance during their pregnancies. This prenatal care can assist you to have a healthy baby.
Each state in the United States has a program to provide assistance. Programs give medical assistance, information, advice, and other services important for a healthy pregnancy.
To learn about the program in your state:
- Call 800-311-2229. This toll-free number will connect you to the Health Department in your area code.
- For information in Spanish, call 800-504-7081.
- Consult your local Health Department.
Tags: What Is Prenatal Care And Why Is It Important, When Should Prenatal Care Begin, Types Of Prenatal Care, Medical Care During Pregnancy