Importance of prenatal care during pregnancy
Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to a woman’s body. Women who have been healthy before pregnancy might also experience certain issues during the pregnancy phase. Thus, a woman needs to take proper care, nutrition, supplements after conceiving a baby. Women should focus on proper prenatal care to minimize the risk of complications during and after their pregnancy. Prenatal care is also called antenatal care, and it helps in improving both fetal and maternal outcomes. It helps the doctor properly diagnose, treat, and manage the women’s health conditions before getting serious. Women should always start their prenatal care at the early stage of pregnancy (first trimester) for better health.
Knowing prenatal care in details
Prenatal care is the medical healthcare that a pregnant woman receives. Regularly going for prenatal check-ups helps know any potential concerns or issues at an early stage of pregnancy and reduces birth complications. It would be best if you visit your physician/gynecologist/obstetrician for screening, diagnostic tests, ultrasounds, counseling, education, emotional and social support, and fetal monitoring. With the help of prenatal check-ups, you can monitor your baby’s growth, heart rate, any signs of premature labor, maternal blood pressure, etc. Doctors will generally schedule your first prenatal appointment when you are at least 8 weeks pregnant. Moreover, the doctor also checks the pre-existing conditions for the mother-to-be, such as diabetes or high blood pressure before pregnancy.
Women having no complications during pregnancy can visit for their scheduled prenatal appointments as follows –
- Up to week 28 – 1 prenatal visit per month
- Weeks 28 to 36 – 1 prenatal care visit in every 2 weeks
- Weeks 36 to 40 – 1 prenatal visit every week
What should you expect from your first prenatal visit?
Prenatal care visit includes tests and general information about what a pregnant woman should and shouldn’t eat or do to stay healthy during their crucial time. The first prenatal visit is often the longest one because the doctor needs to review the entire medical history of the mother and the father. During your first, the doctor would do the following –
- Takes blood and urine samples
- Records your weight
- Checks your blood pressure
- Performs a pelvic exam
- Review your ultrasound
What will you get from your prenatal appointments?
- 6-12 weeks – As mentioned above, the obstetrician or gynecologist takes your detailed information during the traditional first prenatal visit, including a family history of genetic disorders. They also conduct ultrasound, pelvic exam, blood work, blood pressure, weight, and urine screening for proteins and sugar.12-16 weeks – The second visit is generally suggested after a month of your first appointment. During this visit, the doctor checks the blood pressure, urine screening, and weight recording of the mother and recommends any additional tests.
- 18-22 weeks – During the 18th to 22nd week, ultrasounds are done, and the doctor measures the fundal height (FH) and fetal heart tones (FHTs). Fundal height is the distance in centimeters (cm) from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. Fetal heart tones include listening and measuring the fetal heart rate with the help of fetal doppler.
- 22-26 weeks – This prenatal visit is almost similar to the last visit, but the only difference is that the doctor also screens the gestational diabetes level of the mother-to-be. The doctor may also check for the swelling in your hands and feet.
- 26-30 weeks – Again, the doctor repeats the measuring of fundal height and fetal heart tones along with the screening for diabetes if not already done.
- 28-32 weeks – At this level of pregnancy, you should visit for prenatal tests frequently as you are getting close to your delivery. FH and FHTs are conducted at every visit to check the growth of your baby.
- 32-36 weeks – At the 36th week of pregnancy, the doctor starts the cervical checks to locate the baby’s position in the womb.
- 36-40 weeks – By now, you must frequently be visiting your doctor, and you’ll be asked to visit every week until the 41st week of your pregnancy. These visits are done to check the mother’s and baby’s health, growth, position of the baby with few additional tests.
What is the need for getting regular prenatal check-ups during pregnancy?
Prenatal is essential during pregnancy due to following reasons –
- With the help of regular prenatal check-ups, doctors can easily spot pregnancy complications (if any) that may lead to poor fetal growth. Doctors can spot if the baby has any weight issues, neurological problems, etc. So, proper care and attention during pregnancy can reduce the risk of complications for the fetus or baby.
- After noting all the factors such as the mother’s age, medical history, etc., the doctor can set up proper tests as per the conditions. It helps control and monitors the mother’s pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes, anemia, and blood pressure. Thus, this helps to prevent future complications.
- Prenatal care is also helpful in estimating the delivery date. It puts mothers at ease and helps them to decide on the best plan for her baby.
- Antenatal or prenatal care during pregnancy gives a lot of support to the mother-to-be. Proper education and counseling are also part of prenatal care treatment and gives the expecting mother the aid she needs.
- Moreover, proper nutritional advice is also given to the mothers during this crucial stage. A properly balanced diet is essential to prevent several health problems and gives the baby complete nourishment for better growth. Mothers are generally given prenatal vitamins that consist right amount of folic acid and other essential vitamins for baby’s growth.
Get your regular prenatal visit with Digibaby 3D/4D Ultrasound for a healthy pregnancy
It is not always too late to seek a doctor’s help during pregnancy. Women who do not go for timely prenatal visit delivers baby with low weight and several birth complications. Every woman needs to stay healthy immediately before, during, and after pregnancy. Thus, it is important to stay updated on all the healthcare appointments as instructed by a doctor.
You can consult them for 2D ultrasounds, gender determination, and 3D/4D HD live ultrasound as well. All the prenatal care services at Digibaby 3D/4D Ultrasound will be given to you at a genuinely affordable price.
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