Prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant, its an important part of a healthy pregnancy. If you know you’re pregnant, or think you might be, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Consistent pregnancy care requires prenatal care providers which helps in your pregnancy to keep you and your baby healthy, and identify any problems or complications before they become serious, and also prevent problems during delivery.
When should you begin your prenatal care during pregnancy?
If you are trying to conceive, Pregnancy care should ideally start at least three months before you begin, or as soon as you know that you are pregnant. During this time there are some healthy habits that should follow like quit smoking and drinking alcohol, start taking your Folic acid supplements, talk to your doctor about the prescription drugs that you already might be taking ,any dietary supplements that you might require. Also avoid contact with all sorts of toxic substances and chemicals at home or at work.
Types of prenatal care :
Now that we have discussed Prenatal care benefits and importance, you must make sure that you receive regular pregnancy care in pregnancy. However choosing a prenatal care provider can often be a confusing and frustrating process. There are so many different types of pregnancy care providers, each offering different types of services. Here is some information on the basic services provided as a part of pregnancy care in India by different types of practitioners.
Types of Prenatal Care Providers :
There are three main types of pregnancy care providers. All have completed some type of training in the field of labor, and delivery.
Many women like to go to their family physician as they are already comfortable with them.They are well versed in obstetric and gynaecological health, and will be able to offer you solid advice during pregnancy. However, family physicians may not have had as much training as other types of prenatal care practitioners, this can make it difficult for them to treat women with high risk or complicated pregnancies.
Many women decide to see an obstetrician/gynaecologist during pregnancy simply because of the expertise and knowledge that these practitioners have. Obstetrician/Gynaecologists are professionally trained in the areas of female reproductive health, pregnancy, labor, and postpartum care. Because they are so well-trained in pregnancy and birth, they can often deal with any complications that may arise. OB/GYNs typically work out of a hospital setting, which provides many pregnant women with some much-needed security, particularly during labor.
A doula can not provide you with all that you need as prenatal care during pregnancy because doulas are trained to assist with labor and delivery. A doula can be a wonderful caregiver during the labor and delivery process. Doulas provide emotional support and are focused on providing you with the best labor experience possible. Many women choose doulas in order to help them through natural childbirth, waterbirths, or homebirths. She will also help to ease you into parenthood after birth, providing you with tips on breastfeeding and other important aspects of baby care. Although Doulas are not trained to provide care for high risk pregnancies.
What to expect during prenatal care
Whether you choose a family physician, obstetrician/gynaecologist, you should always opt prenatal care plan. During the first few pregnancy care appointments, your doctor will ask you about your health history including diseases, prior operations, your family’s health history. He/she will run a couple of blood and urine tests, check your Blood pressure, weight , do a pelvic exam and a complete physical exam. They will also calculate your due date.
Its important that you ask questions and discuss any issues related to your pregnancy. Find out all you can about how to stay healthy, and any precautions that you might need to imply. As you go further in the journey your doctor will check on your health like measuring your weight , blood pressure, sugar etc and will also do an ultrasound to make sure you and your baby are healthy. They will also be checking the baby’s heart rate and will make sure that the baby is growing as expected.
Your doctor will schedule all your visits while you are pregnant. Typically its once a month till about second trimester (24 weeks), post that twice a month till 36 weeks mark and weekly post that till birth, ofcourse all this changes if you are older than 35 or if you have a high risk Pregnancy.