What is prenatal care & why is it important?
Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth. Getting early and regular prenatal care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy. This care can begin even before pregnancy with a preconception care visit to a health care provider.
Prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant. It includes your checkups and prenatal testing. Prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. It lets your health care provider spot health problems early. Early treatment can cure many problems and prevent others.
When you learn that you're pregnant, you might begin planning your pregnancy week by week. Every day you might have more questions about healthy pregnancy. What should you eat? Can you exercise? What type of prenatal tests should you consider?
If you're carrying twins or other multiples, you might have even more questions about your pregnancy week by week. How much weight should you gain? How can you prevent preterm labor? Will you need bed rest?
Whatever your questions, understanding your pregnancy week by week can help you make good decisions throughout your pregnancy. Learn nutrition do's and don'ts, and get the basics on other healthy pregnancy issues — from exercise to back pain. The more you know about your pregnancy week by week, the more prepared you'll be to face what lies ahead.
A preconception care visit can help women take steps for a safe and healthy pregnancy before they get pregnant.
Women can help to promote a healthy pregnancy and birth of a healthy infant by taking the following steps before they become pregnant1:
- Develop a plan for their reproductive life.
- Increase their daily intake of folic acid (one of the B vitamins) to at least 400 micrograms.
- Make sure their immunizations are up to date.
- Control diabetes and other medical conditions.
- Attain a healthy weight.
- Learn about their family health history and that of their partner.
- Seek help for depression or anxiety.
Prenatal vitamins different from other vitamins.
Prenatal vitamins typically contain more folic acid and iron than do standard adult multivitamins. Here's why:
- Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. These defects are serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
- Iron supports the baby's growth and development. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells.
In addition, some research suggests that prenatal vitamins decrease the risk of low birth weight.
Women who suspect they may be pregnant should schedule a visit to their health care provider to begin prenatal care. Prenatal visits to a health care provider include a physical exam, weight checks, and providing a urine sample. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, health care providers may also do blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams. These visits also include discussions about the mother's health, the infant's health, and any questions about the pregnancy.
The process of prenatal development occurs in three main stages. The first two weeks after conception are known as the germinal stage; the third through the eighth week are known as the embryonic period; and the time from the ninth week until birth is known as the fetal period.
Take care of your unborn baby.
The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.
Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)