Preconception And Prenatal Care: Why They Are So Important
The best way to ensure you have a healthy birth is by maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Getting the proper prenatal care early and having regular checkups can be key to the success of having a healthy baby. Your prenatal care can even begin before you actually get pregnant. Before becoming pregnant, it is important to understand what preconception and prenatal care means and how they can keep you and your baby healthy.
If you are planning to get pregnant and want to take steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy, a preconception care visit is a good place to start. There are several things you can do to facilitate a healthy birth. First, talk to your health care provider and develop a reproductive life plan. Make sure your immunizations are up to date and that you are at a healthy weight for pregnancy. Research your family’s health history and the family history of your partner. This can help prepare you for any potential hereditary problems that might arise during or after pregnancy.
Another important step you can take is to increase the amount of folic acid you consume by at least 400 micrograms every day. Folic acid is a B vitamin that can be vital during pregnancy in helping to prevent birth defects. Of course, you should always avoid drinking alcohol, smoking or, using any unnecessary or illegal drugs.
If you suspect you might already be pregnant, immediately schedule a visit with an experienced healthcare provider so you can begin prenatal care. A typical prenatal visit will include an initial physical exam, much like any trip to the doctor, including blood pressure and weight checks. You will also be asked to provide a urine sample. Your healthcare provider may decide to take blood or do some imaging tests depending on how far along your pregnancy is. Never be afraid to ask questions during these prenatal care visits, whether they concern your health or the health of your infant.
The main goal of preconception and prenatal care is to prevent complications before they occur. These types of healthcare help you follow a healthy diet that is free of any potentially harmful ingredients. They also keep you accountable for getting regular exercise, which is another important way to reduce pregnancy complications. Proper healthcare is beneficial in helping you stay on top of existing conditions, so that you can control their effects on your pregnancy. Controlling conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes can be extremely important in preventing serious complications like preeclampsia.
Good preconception and prenatal care also helps to reduce the infant’s risk of serious complications. For example, too much alcohol use can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Such disorders can spawn a variety of problems, from abnormal facial features and poor coordination to intellectual disabilities and heart problems. Alcohol use, as well as the use of tobacco products, can also increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Some studies suggest that even low levels of prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause these and a host of other long-term problems.
Proper prenatal care can help you ensure you are receiving the right amount of vitamins and nutrients. Consuming 400 micrograms of folic acid every day can reduce the risk of neural tube defects by 70%. You can find the necessary amount of folic acid needed in most prenatal vitamins, which also have many other important nutrients. Folic acid has been added to grain based foods like pasta, breads, and cereals, which makes taking it easier.
Finally, preconception and prenatal care can help ensure that the medications you are taking are safe for pregnancy. You may be surprised to find that some dietary and herbal supplements contain ingredients that are unsafe. Even some acne treatments can be detrimental. It is important to discuss your entire health history with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for you.
If you would like to experience the best preconception and prenatal care in Amarillo, Texas, contact the experts at Women’s Healthcare Associates today. Our professional Staff offers personal care that focuses on the health and well-being of each individual patient. Our Services include digital mammography, prenatal and pregnancy care, bone density screening, and contraception. To learn more about how our comprehensive women's healthcare can help you, call us at 806-355-6330 or Contact Us today.
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