What is Prenatal care?

Finding out that you’re pregnant can be both exciting and overwhelming. Whether you’re a first-time mom or not, getting prenatal care early on is important for a healthy pregnancy. Here’s why.

What is Prenatal care?

Prenatal care involves regular check-ups with your healthcare provider throughout your pregnancy to ensure that you and your baby are healthy. Regular prenatal care visits will help you learn everything you need to know about your pregnancy. It can also reduce the risk of pregnancy complications which can be caused by an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and being exposed to a toxic environment.

  • A full physical exam which includes measuring your height, weight, blood pressure, breathing and pulse as well as a pelvic exam.
  • Blood and urine tests where your healthcare provider will test your iron levels and check for diabetes.
  • Sexual reproductive health screening, which includes an HIV test. If you test positive for HIV, you’ll be started on treatment early to prevent mother to child transmission.
  • Pap smears

Your healthcare provider will also give you advice on maintaining your health and that of your baby. This will include instructions on taking your vitamins, healthy eating habits, staying active, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Taking prenatal medication

Prenatal medication is taken during pregnancy and after birth. This medication is important because it gives your baby the extra vitamins they need for healthy development. The vitamins you’ll be given include folic acid, Vitamin C and iron supplements. Remember to take these exactly as prescribed.

Where to start your prenatal care

You can get started with your prenatal care at your nearest clinic. It’s essential that you start as soon as you find out that you’re pregnant so that your health and your baby’s health is not compromised.

Prenatal care matters in every stage of pregnancy, even if you’re far along. Not getting prenatal care increases the chances of your child experiencing birth defects, weight issues and other health problems. So, to ensure a healthy, fulfilling pregnancy, don’t miss your prenatal care visits.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657.