First time Pregnant always have confusion about, What is prenatal care? How it is important during pregnancy? Read out full article to get detail about prenatal care in pregnancy.
Prenatal care is a program of care for the mother to prepare herself both physically and psychologically. The nursing and medical care recommended for pregnant women before and during their pregnancy periods as a part of prenatal care. For a healthy baby and safe pregnancy, prenatal care is very critical as it finds any potential or existing problems in their early stages, to remove or even prevent them. It is a program of care for a pregnant woman before she gives birth to her baby.
Prenatal care is the best way to make sure that the health of both the expectant mother and her infant is through early and attentive prenatal care. Prenatal care includes medical tests as well as a healthy lifestyle, which includes healthy, and balanced diet, adequate nutrition, vitamin and calcium intake and exercise. Close supervision of pregnant women will permit health care professionals to recognize and possibly treat motherly disorders during the pregnancy. Most women start their prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Prenatal care or Antepartal care refers to the medical and nursing supervision. Prenatal care monitors the health of the both mother and fetus. Prenatal care is given to the pregnant patient during the period between conception and the onset of labor. Prenatal care gives doctors the ability to determine any health issues that may arise during pregnancy. Also, some special treatments are given to pregnant women if any serious problems are there.
Objectives of Prenatal Care:
- Education of the mother-to-be and her family for the parenting role
- Prevention of complication
- Modification of those complications that may develop
- Support of the patient's goal to carry the infant to term and deliver a healthy baby
- Inclusion of the family as a whole in the concept of "family-centered maternity care"
Prenatal care includes:
- Monthly visits or as suggested by your physician during the first two trimesters, that is from 1-28 weeks of pregnancy
- Biweekly visits to the physician for check ups in the third trimester, that is from 28-36 weeks of pregnancy
- Weekly visits in 38-40weeks or after 36th week
- Postpartum or post delivery care
- Evaluation of parental requirements and family dynamic
The Importance of Prenatal Care:
Nearly 4 million American women give birth every year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and 1/3rd of them will have some kind of pregnancy-related complication. Those pregnant women, who don’t get adequate prenatal care during their pregnancy, run the danger or pregnancy complication and such complication will go hidden or won’t be dealt with soon enough. At last, such complication can lead to potentially serious consequences for both the mother and her baby.
Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, a prominent obstetrician/gynecologist said in her book ‘Having Your Baby’ (A Guide for African American Women), "The single most important thing you can do to increase the chance that you will have a healthy baby is to get early and regular prenatal care”.
Exercise during Pregnancy:
- During Pregnancy, a normal regular exercise can help you stay healthy and feel your best. Also, it helps to get better your carriage and decrease some common discomforts such as backache and fatigue.
- Physical activity may prevent gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy), alleviate stress, and build more staying power required for work and delivery, as shown by some evident.
- You should be capable to take up again your activity in moderation if you were physically active before your pregnancy.
- Low impact exercises are promoted versus high impact and also take care of your heart beat, do not let your heart rate exceed 140 beats per minute.
In prenatal visits,
During the first few prenatal visits or in the first trimester:
- Doctor will ask you about your health and family history including diseases, infections, operations, medical treatments, prior pregnancies, etc
- Collect your blood and urine sample for medical tests
- Calculate your due date
- Give instructions about a healthy diet and lifestyle
- Measure your heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight
- Also, do a complete physical check up, which may include pelvic exam and Pap test
- Reply all your inquiries and clear all your doubts
During prenatal visits in second or third trimesters:
- To check the baby’s growth, doctor will check and measure abdomen
- Measure baby’s heart rate
- Carry out some medical or prenatal tests
- Measure your blood pressure, heart rate and weight gain
Prenatal Care in Pregnancy:
Prenatal care is required if you are trying to become pregnant. To prepare your body for pregnancy, consult a doctor and start this preparation at least before three months from conceiving.
Some tips for pregnant women who try to conceive:
- Decrease the intake of caffeine
- Stop drinking alcohol and quit smoking
- Consume 400mcg of folic acid daily
- Control ailments like diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, obesity, thyroid, depression, etc under the supervision of physician.
- Evade direct contact with toxic substances and X-rays.
- Discuss all the over-the-counter medications to your doctor that you are consuming or any other medical treatments you are undergoing
It is better to get prenatal care as early as possible if you have conceived. For every pregnant woman, prenatal care is extremely important and it does not depends on her first or second pregnancy. Prenatal care is important to ensure good health of the mother-to-be and the child and also it may be helpful to avoid or prevent any possible complications at the earliest best.
Tips for pregnant women:
- Consult your doctor before starting any medicine or before stopping any course
- Avoid exposure to x-rays. If very necessary then let the doctor or dentist know about your pregnancy status
- Consume multi vitamins (in dose as recommended by your physician) and 400 mcg of folic acid daily
- Consume lots of liquids, like water and juices
- Wash properly and then consume fruits and vegetables. Avoid consuming uncooked food. This will prevent you from acquiring any food-borne-diseases
- Avoid eating fishes like shark, swordfish, etc which are high in mercury content
- Have a balanced diet and include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, vitamins and calcium rich foods, etc
- Eat food rich in iron. A good intake of iron prevents you and your baby from getting anaemia
- Stop consuming alcohol, smoking or any other type of drug abuse
- Stay away from smokers
- Get plenty of rest and sound sleep
- Under the supervision of your physician, try and exercise for a considerable time everyday
- Stay away from hazardous chemicals in insecticides, cleaners, etc
- Avoid direct or much contact with pets, rodents, and their droppings
- Wash hand frequently to maintain hygiene and to avoid infections
- Do not use hot tubs or take very hot baths. Avoid sauna and steams
- Take childbirth and parental classes for you and your partner
- Gain a good and healthy amount of weight. Consult your doctor for the same
Prenatal Care During Pregnancy - Care Plans Pregnancy from Youtube:
The Importance of Prenatal Care from Youtube:
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