Prenatal care is not more that the care given to the mother and the fetus during pregnancy. Here we include mother’s education and advice in different areas. Want to know more? Read on to find out…
It’s amazing the importance of prenatal care from the beginning of pregnancy. This is a vital decision for the health and safety of the mother and baby. For this reason, it is important that as soon as you know you are pregnant make an appointment with your obstetrician.
What is the role of prenatal care?
The primary goal of prenatal care is to monitor the development, health and nutrition of the mother and baby during pregnancy. Among the most important are:
- Prenatal vitamins and folic acid; this will prevent malformations of brain and spinal cord.
- Mother’s education regarding medications allowed during pregnancy, avoid alcohol, snuff and X-rays.
- Instruction to the mother about the type of food, weight control, exercise and rest allowed depending on situation.
How long is prenatal care?
Prenatal care should be carried out from the first few weeks, until the birth of the baby. The physician shall establish a schedule with consultations, which usually follows the following pattern:
- A monthly visit from week 4 of pregnancy until the 28th week.
- Two monthly visits from week 28 to 36.
- Weekly visits from 36 weeks until the birth of the baby.
For high-risk patients, such as women over 35, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions, visits can be scheduled more frequently than in normal patients.
What effect does prenatal care?
Prenatal care is the smartest decision the mother makes for her and her baby. If the mother is under prenatal care, reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and decreases the chances of premature birth. Prenatal care also plays an important role in preparing future parents in caring for her baby, as well as a support tool in the future. Keep in mind that a healthy mother and well prepared, have more chance of giving birth to a healthy baby.
Lately the tendency is not to wait until the mother is pregnant, to begin the prenatal care. What is new is that the mother prior to conception care, i.e. improving the health of women before pregnancy. Here is included, taking folic acid at least three months before a pregnancy, have current vaccinations, avoid alcohol, snuff and make sure to eat healthy and take exercise.