When you become pregnant, prenatal care should begin as early as possible. Regular visits with a doctor or midwife decrease the risk of problems that could cause complications with your pregnancy or affect the health of the baby. Use this guide to understand the importance of taking care of your health during this time.
Why Is Prenatal Care Important?
Staying on top of your health and monitoring the well-being of your baby during pregnancy reduces the risk of possible complications. It has been shown that mothers who do not receive prenatal care are more likely to have babies with low birth weight or born with serious health issues.
Early prenatal intervention allows you to identify health concerns, receive effective treatments, and prevent other problems from arising.
What’s Involved in Prenatal Care?
Effective prenatal care is a combination of regular doctor or midwife visits and lifestyle changes. You’ll go over pregnancy questions and concerns, as well as discuss ways to optimize the health of you and your baby.
You’ll need to take a prenatal vitamin containing 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day. This helps prevent brain and spinal cord defects in the baby by ensuring the neural tube properly forms.
You may be prescribed other medications during this time. Do not stop taking any prescriptions or begin taking any other medicines, including over-the-counter and herbal products, without talking to a professional first. Be sure to get a flu shot as well, since pregnant women can get severely sick from this virus.
Diet & Exercise
Prenatal care also involves monitoring your weight and what you eat. Eat a healthy diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. As iron deficiency becomes an issue during pregnancy, try to increase your iron intake and inquire if a supplement is needed to avoid anemia, which can cause preterm birth or low birth weight.
Regular exercise will also make pregnancy and birth easier. Get at least two to three hours of moderately intense aerobic exercise—like walking, prenatal yoga, and stretching—each week.
If you want to take a natural approach to your pregnancy, Home Birth with Love in Suffern, NY, will ensure you receive the best prenatal care. These midwives provide home birth, family planning, and other maternity and newborn care services to those in Rockland County and surrounding areas. Call (845) 641-5058 to receive a free consultation, and visit their website to learn more about their services.