Importance Of Prenatal Care
22 August 2022
Gestation, the 38-40 weeks that an unborn baby spends in the womb during pregnancy, is extremely crucial. A lot of nurturing and care is needed during this time, to ensure that the mother has a comfortable pregnancy and birth, and that the baby is healthy and hearty when born. Care is also needed to reduce the risk of complications throughout the course of the pregnancy.
We’ve covered everything one ought to know about taking care of a pregnant woman and the importance of prenatal care in this article.
What Is Prenatal Care?
Prenatal care is a form of preventative healthcare, also known as antenatal care. It includes all the necessary healthcare and lifestyle habits that help to decrease risks and complications throughout the pregnancy. It also improves the chances of a healthy and safe delivery.
Ideally, prenatal care begins three months before a mother begins to start trying to conceive, to prepare the body for the pregnancy. A lot of these habits continue throughout the pregnancy.
Some prenatal care habits include:
- Taking folic acid supplements
- Quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol consumption
- Avoiding contact with harsh chemicals or toxic substances that can be harmful
- Increasing physical activity to improve stamina and strength
- Eating a healthy diet
- Limiting caffeine intake
- Maintaining a healthy nutritional status
- Regular dental checkups and dental hygiene
Prenatal care essentially includes all kinds of checkups with healthcare providers, including physical exams, weight checks, blood pressure monitoring and urine samples. As the pregnancy progresses, expecting mothers may also require blood tests, ultrasounds and sonographies, pelvic exams, and other checkups.
Each of these tests are meant to determine the mother’s and fetus’ health, and diagnose and prevent any complications that may arise.
For example, some mothers may have excessive amniotic fluid that can significantly impact the baby’s growth. Regular health checkups can help a gynecologist diagnose the issue before it becomes severe, and take necessary measures to reduce any serious risks.
From a non-medical or healthcare point of view, prenatal care also includes proper rest, diets, and exercise. Often, expecting mothers go to special pilate classes that help prepare the body for labor by opening and strengthening the hips and pelvis regions.
Some individuals may also be considered to be “high-risk” pregnancies, in which case their prenatal care may differ slightly from others. However, the different types of prenatal care often just include rest, exercise, proper diets, health checkups and visits to the gynaecologist, sonograms, and supplements.
Importance Of Prenatal and Postnatal Care
Taking care of your health during pregnancy is incredibly important, as are regular checkups or visits to the doctor, nurse, or midwife. Those who do not get the right amount of prenatal care are said to be three times more likely to give birth to an underweight child or face the risk of infant death.
Here are the most important ways in which prenatal care can benefit both a mother and child:
- It helps to reduce the risk of any complications during the pregnancy as a healthy diet ensures ample nutrition for the mother and child, thereby promoting fetal health and development
- Reduces the risk of abnormalities such as underweight infants, having a small head, heart or kidney disorders, weakness, or disfigured facial features, in newborns
- Vitamins and folic acid supplements provide the necessary nutrition required by the mother and the developing fetus to remain healthy and strong, also reducing the risk of defects in the neural tubes
- It enables timely diagnosis or assessment of potential risks, offering enough time for taking necessary steps to reduce any problems that may arise
- Checks for the existence of fetal malformation and also help determine an approximate due date
- Tracks the development of the fetus and determines if there is an intrauterine growth retardation condition
- Help the mother understand what is to be expected, and enable them to prepare for the birth], and also encourage basic childcare skills
Early prenatal care during the first trimester is especially crucial because this period is a fairly sensitive time for the developing fetus, and the risk of miscarriages is often higher as compared to the later trimesters.
The importance of prenatal care is, simply put, crucial to the overall well-being of the baby and the mother.
Conclusion: How IMANA Helps
Pregnancy and birth are highly sensitive periods for both the mother and child. The importance of prenatal care and postnatal care cannot be underestimated during this time. IMANA is a leading network with trustworthy resources for all kinds of healthcare professionals across all North America. Reach out to us right away to find the perfect prenatal care for you.
If you are a health professional, IMANA has different education programs so you can hone your skills. Accompany pregnant women to transit their pregnancy with the best care!