Why Is Prenatal Care So Important?

A healthy pregnancy ensures a safe birth and healthy babies thereafter. It is recommended that as soon as you should get an early preconception consultation with an OBGYN even before you start planning for a baby so that your health history can be discussed and proper measures taken, if necessary. Early intervention ensures that the entire pregnancy and childbirth is healthy and uncomplicated. A lot of people wonder why doctors emphasise on the need for prenatal care. Listed below are the reasons why prenatal care is so important.

What Does Prenatal Care Include?

If your home test kit or the lab urine sample comes back as positive, it’s time to schedule a prenatal visit with your health practitioner or an OBGYN if you have already chosen one. A prenatal visit will include weight checks, blood pressure check-ups, discussion of your health conditions, possible allergies, and blood work and urine samples. The doctor might choose to perform a transvaginal test or an ultrasound depending upon the stage of pregnancy you are in to check the status of foetal development.

Why Is This So Important?

Prenatal care is significant to rule out any complications in the pregnancy and if anything does get detected, it can be identified and treated on time. The parents-to-be can also be informed about possible complications so that they are always aware of what to expect from the pregnancy. What are the other benefits?

1. Keeping The Pregnancy Uncomplicated

If the mother has existing health conditions like Gestational Diabetes or high pressure, these can be detected early and measures can be taken to prevent these from creating unfavourable situations for both mother and child. Your doctor will advise you to follow the right kind of diet, recommend exercises and suggest you to maintain an active lifestyle so that your weight gain is limited and extreme conditions like pre-eclampsia, preterm birth etc can be avoided.

2. What To Avoid

Prenatal care entails suggesting the expecting mum to stay healthy and avoid exposure to harmful substances like lead, radiation etc which might affect the infant’s health and development. If you are a smoker or an alcoholic, you will be explained how smoking and drinking alcohol could cause SIDS1 and affect the baby in the womb. There could be a multitude of other problems like developmental delays, anatomical problems etc that are conveyed. Suggestions are also given to help you quit these addictions in easier ways.

The parents-to-be will also be advised the kind of medication that should be avoided in pregnancy because OTC medicines are commonly taken these days without knowing if they are safe to consume or not.

3. Folic Acid

Consuming 400 gms of folic acid is essential in the first trimester to avoid neural tube defects like spina bifida and a proper prenatal care regime will always start with this.

4. Early Detection

Imaging tests that form an essential part of prenatal care can detect fetal abnormalities early and your doctor can suggest measures to take care of the same before it is beyond treatment or cure.

Reference:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome