Prenatal care is healthcare for you and your baby during a pregnancy. Prenatal care consists of regular visits where the weight, blood pressure and urine are monitored for any danger signs. There are several tests that have to be performed at the certain times in the pregnancy and it is vital to keep all appointments to insure that all screening tests are done on time. Amniocentesis is performed between 16 and 20 weeks. New early detection Down's Syndrome blood test is highly recommended and can be performed at 11 weeks gestation.
On your first prenatal visit you will have your full medical history taken, vital signs, urinalysis, a Pap Smear, STD screening, vaginal culture and an Ultrasound. If your pregnancy is too early you will be advised to come back in a week or so to check for a heart beat to confirm a viable pregnancy. The estimated date of delivery will be established and a blood test will be performed to check for your general health, blood type, etc.
It is advisable to start taking special care of yourself when the decision to try having a baby is made. You may need supplements of Folic Acid along with other vitamins daily, quit smoking, drugs and alcohol consumption. Avoid contact with toxic materials or harmful fumes. Cat lovers must avoid handling clean up of feces. Avoid X-rays. You must implement regular exercise program and a well balanced, calcium rich diet with low saturated fat, healthy protein, fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Drinking plenty of fluids (water) and getting enough sleep is essential to a healthy pregnancy.
We recommend childbirth education classes to help you to prepare for your baby arrival.