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Prenatal care

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Prenatal care is the care given to pregnant moms to ensure that they are healthy and so do their child. It begins as soon as you get to know about your pregnancy and continues till childbirth.

You shall learn the details about prenatal care in the next content: 

Importance of prenatal care

1. Prenatal care primary ensures that your diet and nutrition is absolutely perfect, supporting your health and nourishment of your baby. Overall, this kind of care regimen is crucial for healthy pregnancy

2. It helps to manage obesity or insufficient weight gain, both of which are not conducive for the baby. Your doctor advises on prenatal exercises which is vital for you and your baby.

3. Through proper prenatal care you can eliminate high risk pregnancy – like high blood pressure, diabetes, pre eclampsia, etc. The probability of any health complication gets detected early with those prenatal check-ups scheduled by your doctor.

4. It ensures that your baby is growing adequately, has normal breathing and heart rate, is free from congenital defects etc. Risks and complications associated with the infant are reduced with regular prenatal care.

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Attributes of prenatal care

There are several attributes of prenatal care which include periodic medical check-ups and tests and prenatal nutrition, diet and exercise. 

Prenatal test and medical check up

Remember the medical tests are meant to better your health and each test will be scheduled at specific intervals. The first tests are indeed very exciting as you get to see your baby over the computer screen while undergoing an ultrasound. You also get to know your due date.

You will be screened for several medical conditions for which you need to undergo the following diagnostic tests viz. routine blood tests for detecting Rh compatibility, gestational diabetes, HIV, hepatitis, Strep infections, etc., urine test for UTI, and pap smear for ruling out cervical cancer.

Other prenatal tests that would be scheduled to rule out congenital defects or health risks in your baby are Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), Alphafetoprotein (AFP) screening and amniocentesis in special cases.

Prenatal diet, nutrition and exercise

Your doctor will plan your diet and nutrition after assessing your health. However, generally prenatal vitamins are advised to all pregnant women to correct nutritional deficiency and essentially suffice for the requirement of the baby.

In this regard folic acid supplements play a major role in prenatal care because it supports neural tube formation of the baby and eliminates risks of congenital birth defects.

Iron is another supplement vital utmost for pregnant women. It increases blood supply, protects you against anemia and boosts your energy during this crucial time.

Vitamin B supplements would also be a part of your prenatal nutrition. Generally, you have to take multivitamin supplements daily. Usually this is initiated once you start planning your pregnancy.

Your health care provider would insist you to consume plenty of proteins through natural resources like lean chicken, soy, pulses, eggs and lentils. Some vegetables that you must consume are: spinach, broccoli, carrots, beans, beet root, etc. Increase your consumption of calcium by incorporating cheese, yogurt and milk sufficiently in your diet. Furthermore, you also need to consume plenty of fruits essentially to boost your immunity and lower your chances of having infections while carrying your baby.

Prenatal exercise is vital for holistic wellness of your body. You need to remain active during pregnancy. Thus the best option is to get a personal trainer for learning prenatal exercises.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: September 02, 2014