Importance Of Prenatal Care
Prenatal care is the health care that a woman gets while she is pregnant. Prenatal care helps prevent complications to ensure a healthy pregnancy. During these visits, your OB/GYN will discuss the health of the mother and the fetus, and any answer all your questions about the pregnancy.
During prenatal care visits your OB/GYN performs a physical exam, checks weight, and takes a urine sample. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, your OB/GYN will also do blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams.
It is important to call your OB/GYN and schedule a prenatal care visit immediately after knowing that you are pregnant.
With regular prenatal care you can get the following benefits:
- Your OB/GYN will give appropriate health care and advice to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications.
- Your OB/GYN will treat and control existing conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and others. This is important to prevent serious complications and their effects on your pregnancy.
- You get guidance regarding a healthy diet and safe diet, and exercise
- You get guidance on what and how to avoid exposure to potentially harmful substances such as lead, chemicals, and radiation to help reduce the risk for problems to you and your baby during pregnancy.
- Your OB/GYN will monitor your pregnancy with various tests to reduce the fetus’s and infant’s risk for complications.
- You will get professional guidance and help about how to stop smoking and stop drinking alcohol, stop using street drugs. Maternal smoking during pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Alcohol use during pregnancy increases the risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which can cause a variety of problems such as abnormal facial features, having a small head, poor coordination, poor memory, intellectual disability, and problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones.
- You will get professional guidance about taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to reduce the risk for neural tube defects to your baby.
- Your OB/GYN will review all medicines and supplements you are taking currently and ensure that you take safe medications and stop unsafe medicine that can affect your pregnancy and baby. Certain medications, including some acne treatments and dietary and herbal supplements, can harm the fetus during pregnancy.