The Importance of Prenatal Care

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Prenatal Care

Getting prenatal care is one of the most important things a mom to be can do for herself and her baby. Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to end up with a healthy birth and a healthy baby. Mom can start her prenatal care even before she gets pregnant. Imagine, being able to help your baby before it’s even born!  That is the power of prenatal care and it’s so easy to do.

Prenatal Visits

Women who do not receive prenatal care are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and during birth. They also have a higher incidence of losing their babies to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) after they are born. Prenatal visits help reduce the incidences of any of these occurrences.  The visits help the doctor detect any issues or complications that may arise during the pregnancy and help treat them thus increasing the chances of the viability of the baby.

You can start taking vitamin and mineral supplements. When you speak to your doctor, ask him what kinds to take and at what dose. Usually your doctor will prescribe a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins generally consist of Zinc, Vitamin B6, Coenzyme Q10, Calcium, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Iron, Selenium, Vitamin C and E and most importantly Folic acid. These supplements are super important before and during conception and after the first couple of weeks of pregnancy as they have  been shown to help prevent neural tube defects.

If you are planning on becoming pregnant, visit your doctor and let him or her know of your plans. These seemingly routine visits are oh so important!

Follow your doctor’s advice and keep your appointments.

You should be visiting with your doctor once a month for the first 28 weeks (7 months) then twice a month for the weeks 28 through 36 and then once a week for the remainder of the pregnancy. During the visits, your doctor will conduct a series of exams that will include blood and urine tests, a pelvic exam, checking your blood pressure, checking your weight gain, listening for the baby’s heartbeat and some sonograms. If you are over 35 years of age or have other health issues, additional testing will be done as well.

My Own Experience

It was during one of these routine prenatal visits that I discovered that I was anemic. Me..anemic? Who would have thought? I am not a picky eater and ate everything in creation before and during my pregnancy. Yet, blood testing revealed my deficiency in iron. All it took to correct it were some iron supplements and  – presto – the deficiency was reversed. I was able to preempt any issues that could have arisen from the low iron levels in my body thanks to my doctor (and the testing).

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