As an expectant mother, it’s natural to focus on your delivery date and establishing your birth plan. When meeting with a midwife to review your preferred process, they’ll likely start the conversation with an emphasis on prenatal care. Here is a beginner’s guide to prenatal care so you know what steps you can take to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both mother and child.
Understanding Prenatal Care
What Does Prenatal Care Entail?
Prenatal care refers to routine checkups with your doctor and midwife throughout your pregnancy. These examinations will monitor your well-being as well as the baby’s development. During your first appointment, you’ll provide an in-depth medical history and you’ll undergo a series of tests, from measuring your height and weight to blood and urine samples. Depending on your results, your health care team may recommend lifestyle changes, an exercise regimen, a diet plan, or prenatal vitamins to ensure both mother and baby are healthy.
Why Is it Important?
Prenatal care is the best way to monitor the development of both baby and mother through each trimester. It can minimize the risk of low birth weight and identify and prevent potential health issues early on so you can seek treatment. It’s also an opportunity to ask questions while establishing your birth plan. Many women hoping to get pregnant begin prenatal care in advance in hopes of preparing their body for conception.
What Steps Can Mothers Take to Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy?
Women who are planning to get pregnant or who have just learned of their pregnancy should schedule an appointment with their doctor right away. After this initial appointment, you’ll have a better understanding of whether you’re considered a high-risk pregnancy based on your health, age, or medical history. Should your medical team deem you a low-risk pregnancy, prenatal visits should be scheduled every four to six weeks for the first 32 weeks of pregnancy, every two to three weeks for the 32 to 37-week range, and weekly from the 37th week of pregnancy until your due date.
If you’re looking for guidance during your pregnancy, from prenatal care to establishing your natural birth plan, Home Birth with Love is the ideal resource. With over 18 years of experience and a reputation for helping families welcome healthy babies using holistic birthing practices, you can depend on this team of dedicated midwives to provide true support. Based in Suffern, NY, they help residents in Rockland, Westchester, and Orange counties, as well as New Jersey’s Bergen County. Call (845) 641-5058 to discuss your pregnancy and visit their website for more information on their services.