Prenatal care refers to the medical treatment and health care given to a woman while she is pregnant. By receiving prompt and attentive prenatal care, mothers can increase their chances of an easier pregnancy and healthy baby. This care is considered vital by many doctors, as it can help identify any potential health issues with the growing fetus and mother.
Many doctors recommend beginning prenatal health care as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed. Early steps may include diet planning and vitamins to ensure that the baby and mother are receiving proper nutrition, as well as general exams and tests to check on overall health and identify any potential risk factors. These tests will need to be completed quickly to identify any issues or potential problems, and often include blood work, a pelvic exam, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and a complete physical.
The first prenatal visit is a great time to ask any questions about the pregnancy process. A knowledgeable doctor will be able to explain likely symptoms, give advice about diet and foods to avoid, and caution the patient about any current behaviors that could lead to complications, such as smoking or drug use. When choosing a doctor for pre-birth care, be certain to look for someone that is attentive and available for any questions and concerns. This is an important process, so don't be afraid to be choosy when it comes to choosing a prenatal physician.
After determining the likely due date, the doctor may set up a series of future visits at carefully scheduled times to monitor the progress of the pregnancy. Attending these visits is extremely important to the health of both mother and child. Certain conditions may be apparent at specific stages of development, and may be treated or better managed if caught immediately. These future visits can also be quite exciting, as family members can monitor the growth of the baby through heart-monitoring and sonogram pictures.
During a prenatal appointment, doctors may recommend vitamin supplements, nutrition options, and healthy exercise. While weight gain is a natural part of any pregnancy, maintaining a healthy weight can be vital to the health of both mother and child. Following diet recommendations and undertaking safe levels of light exercise is frequently recommended during the pregnancy as a means of ensuring proper nutrition and preventing complications.
Many experts believe the most important benefit of prenatal care is the ability to identify emerging complications through careful monitoring. Many fetal problems can be treated and even corrected during pregnancy if a mother is receiving proper care. Even if a complication cannot be handled until birth, good health care can ensure that the doctors are prepared and ready to take necessary action as soon as the baby is born. By receiving prenatal health care, a mother can boost the chances of having a healthy baby, even if problems do occur.