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Guide to Healthy Pregnancy and Prenatal Care

by | Pregnancy

Are you ready to be a mother and bring a new life into this world? Deciding on getting pregnant and bearing a child are worlds apart as it is not just a full responsibility to take care of two lives but the changes you go through. Your weight gain will be quite noticeable, you will have mood swings, and you must take care of yourself and the baby’s health. Are you ready to face these challenges?

If the answer is yes, then pregnant women must know a lot of information to birth a healthy baby, such as:

  • What aspects of prenatal care should you know?

  • How much weight will you gain?

  • How to approach health care providers?

  • What happens during prenatal visits?

  • What things to avoid and so on

Healthy Pregnancy and Prenatal Care

Therefore, to get all this health care information, please continue reading this article to get the best information.

What is Prenatal Care?

Prenatal care is the health care you get from health care providers for you and your baby during pregnancy. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Early treatment for your prenatal care is a must as soon as you know you are pregnant and visit your doctor.

  • Take regular prenatal visits to learn more.

  • Follow the regimen your doctor provides you.

WHat is prenatal care

Why Do Pregnant Women Need Prenatal Health Care?

Do you want to risk the health of your baby’s growth which may cause birth defects? Didn’t think so. You should regularly visit the doctor as he can guide you about your health, spot issues when they arise, and help in treatment for cure. It is paramount for your unborn baby to have the best diet and medical advice, so don’t shy away from sharing your medical history with your doctor.

How Should Pregnant Women Do Before Prenatal Care for Their Health?

Taking health care starts before conceiving, commonly known as preconception health care, which involves eating well for a healthy pregnancy and preparing your body for the nine months before becoming sexually active to conceive. Following are some essential tips for preparing at least three months in advance.

  • Start taking folic acid medicine of about 400 micrograms to avoid birth defects which you can also get from certain foods.

  • No smoking and minimal alcohol

  • Update vaccinations for illnesses. Your doctor can help you through your medical history. Some conditions to look for are depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, thyroid, etc. Your doctor can help with diagnostic tests with essential blood tests to confirm

  • Taking dietary and herbal supplements

  • Avoid toxic substances

antenatal

What are some Dos and Dont’s of Prenatal Care for Pregnant Women’s Health?

Following these dos and don’ts are critical for your health, and your unborn baby, explained in different sections. Let’s begin.

Dos and Donts for Health care

  • Start going early to prenatal care checkups and regularly go as health care is extremely crucial. Each visit helps your doctor to confirm both of your health. The doctor can take timely action in case of an issue.

  • Start taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid as your health care providers prescribe. Folic acid is most beneficial during early pregnancy but can be taken until the end of your pregnancy.

  • Always consult your doctor when starting a new medicine or stopping one because a simple miscalculation in medicines can cause high-risk issues.

  • Avoid X-rays even if you are taking a dental appointment; mention early to your doctors.

  • You should take a flu shot as early as possible as it makes pregnant women very sick.

Dos and Donts for Food

  • Eating healthy is a must for a healthy pregnancy by choosing whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low saturated fat, and calcium-rich foods with a healthy amount of water intake.

  • Following a nutrient chart during pregnancy, even iron as getting enough iron reduces the chances of getting anemia. Anemia can cause low birth weight and preterm birth in some cases. Consult your family physician for instructions on the amount.

  • You should take care of foodborne illnesses by avoiding undercooked or raw foods like fish and meats.

  • Stay away from fish having high chances of mercury.

Dos and Dont’s for Your Lifestyle

  • Gain a healthy amount of weight gain on the instructions of your health care provider.

  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and stay away from drugs. These are not just for pregnancy but can harm you long-term. Get help from your doctor to quit.

  • Most women don’t consider regular exercise, especially in their first pregnancy. You should ask your doctor on the first visit. Typically moderate-intensity aerobic exercise is recommended.

  • Reduce hot tubs, saunas, or taking hot baths. Ask your doctor or medical research information regarding these.

  • Get plenty of sleep and learn how to control stress, especially if the baby’s heartbeat is unstable. It is quite a common aspect of high-risk pregnancies.

Environmental Dos and Dont’s

  • Avoid chemicals and conditions that might cause high blood pressure, such as warm or hot weather.

  • Consult your health care provider irregularly to check your red blood cells if you live in a region where disease control is needed. It is hazardous for a pregnant woman to stay away from these areas keeping in mind their medical conditions.

  • You must be extra careful about disease control if you have a cat or other pets. Talk about toxoplasmosis for infections for the best medical care, especially near the due date. Rodents can cause issues with your health and cause you to get rh positive test results. It is not a big issue if you get the RH negative result.

  • Don’t live in a noisy area, as loud noise can produce sound waves causing difficulties in prenatal care.

What Do I Need to Know About Prenatal Visits and How Often Should I Take Them?

Prenatal care is only completed by visiting your family doctor. During your first prenatal care checkup, the doctor will provide a schedule you need to follow for the best physical exam and health diagnosis. Experts recommend following these guidelines:

  • Once a month after your 4th week of pregnancy until the 28th.

  • Increase the pregnancy visits to twice a month after the 28th week.

  • After the 36th week, your prenatal care checkup becomes more and more critical during pregnancy, and you should visit your doctor weekly until your birth.

  • You should increase your pregnancy visits if you are 35 years old and above as you have higher chances of high-risk complications and take prenatal care.

What Happens at the First prenatal Care Checkup?

The first prenatal care checkup is the longest, as your doctor will ask in detail about your medical history. At the first prenatal visit, your health care provider can ask you about the following:

Physical Exam – The doctor will check your overall health and the state of your pregnancy. Weight and blood pressure are on the menu, and how much weight gain you can expect during pregnancy.

Blood tests and Urine Sample – You can find out if you have any diseases like HIV, syphilis, Hep B, etc., and diagnose health conditions that you should be aware of. Anemia is the most crucial target of all the risk factors during pregnancy.

Pelvic Exam Plus Pap Smear – Perlvis and womb are the target of this exam to ensure you stay healthy during your pregnancy. Samples are collected from your cervix to see cancer and other infections.

Flu Shot and other Vaccinations – While it is ok to get the flu shots any time during the pregnancy, taking them early in your pregnancy is highly recommended.

Due Date Knowledge – Your LMP can help your doctor to know the exact due date reasonably, but you may get an ultrasound from time to time to reduce error.

Prenatal Vitamins Prescription – Prenatal vitamins are specific for pregnant women. They are mainly 600 micrograms of folic acid as it is required by every cell of your body to function correctly and for healthy baby growth.

What Activities are Performed in Later Prenatal Care Checkups?

After the first prenatal visit, the subsequent visits are typically short and quick, where incremental changes occur. Your health care provider discusses your mood and feelings and explains what changes are occurring inside your body. Most of the time, your health care provider will follow guidelines for prenatal tests provided by the world health organization. Following are typical actions your health care provider will perform.

  • Weight and Blood Pressure Levels – The health care provider will check the blood tests for positive results.

  • Baby’s Heartbeat – After 10-12th week, the doctor will check the baby’s health to confirm healthy pregnancy and ensure a healthy baby born

  • Baby’s Growth by Checking Belly Size – You should start checking the baby healthy after the 20th week of pregnancy, and the baby’s position is vital for antenatal care.

  • Prenatal Tests – According to the American College of Science, the doctor must have enough medical information during pregnancy to make informed decisions based on prenatal test results. Is the blood carry oxygen in sufficient amounts? What is the level of the RH factor and situation of hepatitis b?

  • Pelvic Exam – Certified nurse midwife can be assigned to you during pregnancy to bond with the baby, as in some cultures where nurse-midwives hold value. The doctor checks the cervix for due date confirmation.

Ending Note

You have gained a lot of helpful information about many things, such as maternal fetal medicine, good prenatal vitamin, and what pregnancy complications can occur if you are careful and careless about your red blood cells. You have enough knowledge to keep your prenatal appointments and don’t miss them and learn how to deal with medical care and when to trust your nurse practitioners. We wish you a great pregnancy as many women aren’t aware and get sick due to certain infections, whooping cough, and don’t reduce daily intake of harmful intakes for baby’s sake.

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