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The Importance of Prenatal Care

May 10, 2019
Prenatal Care

Every woman wants to have a healthy pregnancy. Putting as little stress on the baby while it’s in the womb is important, and it starts with excellent prenatal care. Learn more about the importance of prenatal care from Peconic Bay Medical Center.

Reduce the Risk of Complications

Prenatal care reduces complications during pregnancy and prevents problems during delivery. Regular medical care during pregnancy provides you with vital information about changes in your body that could put the pregnancy or your health at risk. Ideally, you want to get prenatal care early in the pregnancy and regular care throughout.

Prenatal care is especially crucial for women with high-risk pregnancies. Pregnancies with a greater chance of complications are called high-risk. These factors may increase the risk of problems during pregnancy:

  • Very young age or over age 35.
  • Overweight or underweight.
  • Problems in previous pregnancies.
  • Pregnancies with twins, triplets, etc.
  • Current or past health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, and autoimmune disorders.

If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you’ll need to see your doctor more often to prevent further complications during pregnancy and labor. Even though you’re meeting with your doctor weekly, if you suspect there’s something wrong with your baby, go to the nearest medical health center immediately.

What Happens during Prenatal Visits

At your first visit, your doctor will ask you questions about prior pregnancies, previous operations, and any diseases. Providing your doctor with a complete health history during early prenatal visits gives him or her the information needed to make sure you get the best care possible during your pregnancy. Your doctor will perform a physical exam, take your blood and urine for lab tests, and check your weight, height, and blood pressure. Your doctor might also do a breast exam, pelvic exam to check your uterus, and a cervical exam, including a Pap test. Subsequent visits will include checking your blood pressure and weight and checking your baby’s heart rate and growth. You will also get to hear your baby’s heartbeat and ask questions about your pregnancy during your prenatal appointments.

Regular prenatal care is important because during your routine visits, your doctor will check for anemia, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and other harmful infections that may affect your pregnancy, health, and baby’s health. During your prenatal care, your baby will be monitored for problems that may affect his/her health.

Woman with OBGYN

When Is the Right Time to Schedule a Prenatal Visit?

You want to schedule prenatal visits as soon as possible. Most ob-gyns recommend scheduling your first prenatal appointment 8 weeks from your last menstrual cycle. Most women don’t know they’re pregnant until between 4-6 weeks after conception. Before your prenatal visit, it’s normal for your doctor to order blood work. So, be prepared to schedule this appointment as part of your first prenatal visit.

It can be overwhelming searching for a doctor or medical center to deliver your baby. Get started early in your pregnancy to find the right facility for you, so you’re not stressed about your baby’s care or delivery. To learn more about prenatal care and to find a physician, contact Peconic Bay Medical Center for a list of family medical centers in Suffolk County, NY.