Taking prenatal multivitamins which are rich in folic acid supplements before the pregnancy starts and during the pregnancy prevents the child from certain birth defects and also reduces the risk of miscarriage. 500 mcg/day is the most likely recommendation in the initial stages.
Today, prenatal testing can help pinpoint your unborn child’s risk to a number of genetic conditions. NIPT or non-invasive prenatal testing is a modern form of prenatal testing that does not harm the mother or child. NIPT involves a simple blood test that can be performed as an outpatient procedure in any doctor’s office. Blood for this test is collected from a vein in the mother’s arm. The DNA from this blood sample is then studied in a laboratory to look for signs of abnormalities. These results are them compared to your first-trimester ultrasound results to determine if further testing is required.
There are a number of advantages to this form of testing
However, you should remember that NIPT cannot be used to replace diagnostic tests such as amniocentesis. Also, it does not detect all chromosomal abnormalities.
What is Prenatal care?
It is crucial for a woman who is on her way to becoming a mother to pay special attention to her health. Health care offered to a pregnant woman is also known as prenatal care or antenatal care. It is a very important phase in a woman's life, so go for regular prenatal checkups as they go a long way in reducing risks of complications during pregnancy and child birth. This, in turn, increases the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.
Contrary to popular belief, prenatal care does not begin when a woman is told that she is pregnant. Prenatal care should ideally be started at least three months before you try to conceive a child. This prepares your body and mind for the changes that pregnancy will bring. Some healthy habits to follow during this period include:
Once your pregnancy is confirmed, you will need to visit the doctor regularly for checkups.
Prenatal checkups are meant to keep an eye on your health and the health of your baby. In most cases, you will be asked to come in every month for the first two trimesters and every two weeks during the seventh and eighth month of your pregnancy. During the ninth month, your doctor may want to see you once a week until the delivery. In cases where a pregnancy is considered high risk because of existing medical conditions, the age of the mother or any other factors, the doctor may ask a for more frequent checkups.
A prenatal checkup involves a physical examination, tests, screenings and dietary consultations. Some of the common tests include blood tests to check for HIV, the mother’s blood type and anemia. Your blood pressure will also be monitored. When it comes to the baby’s health, determining the rate at which the baby is growing and heart rate are most important. In the later stages of your pregnancy, the position of the baby will also be noted. It is important to not skip these checkups even if you are feeling fine.
Keep your doctor informed about any changes you may notice in your health. Do not take any medication without consulting your doctor even if it is for something as simple as a cold. Do not feel shy about talking to your doctor and ask him or her anything you would like to about your pregnancy and childbirth.
There are three stages of caring for an expecting mother: prenatal, intranatal, postnatal care. This is essential to ensure smooth pregnancy and labour and to keep the mother healthy after giving birth. This care is a combined effort between the doctor and the expectant couple. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are expecting an addition to your family.
Prenatal care from the moment you realize that you are pregnant, a woman must start taking extra care of her body. This reduces the risks in your pregnancy and at the time of labour. But even before planning a pregnancy, it is important that couples should consult with the doctor, in order to avoid any complications in future. Thus you should ensure that regular checkup not just during the pregnancy, but also before the pregnancy is equally important so that your doctor can rule out complications arising due to factors, such as Thalassemia, Thyroid, Blood Sugar and PCOS, etc.
The main objectives of prenatal care are:
Thus, an important part of prenatal care is to visit your gynaecologist regularly. These visits will be scheduled according to your age and stage of pregnancy. A few other points to keep in mind are:
Intranatal care refers to care given to the mother and baby at the time of delivery. The main objectives here are:
There are a number of ways to deliver a baby and whatever you choose, you must ensure the presence of a doctor at your side, while delivering a baby. Your doctor will determine the position of the fetus and help you through your delivery.
Postnatal care is essential for 6-8 weeks after the baby is born. During this period, the mother goes through a number of physical and emotional changes and thus requires rest, nutrition and vaginal care. The main objectives here are:
Sharing responsibility is essential for the health of the mother, after delivery. Get as much sleep as possible and pay attention to what you eat. Do not try and lose your pregnancy weight instantly. Schedule a checkup with your doctor six weeks after delivery to ensure your vagina has healed properly. Additionally, abstain from intercourse at this time. With proper care, every stage of your pregnancy can be a beautiful experience.