Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is essential to prepare for the birth of your child. There is a lot to keep track of during pregnancy to protect mothers and babies, which can confuse new parents. Prenatal care helps simplify the process by providing you with guidance throughout the entirety of your pregnancy.

Below, you’ll learn more about the importance of prenatal care, what to expect from your visits and prenatal advice to help improve the health of yourself and your baby throughout your pregnancy.

What Is Prenatal Care?

Prenatal care refers to getting routine checkups from nurses, doctors or midwives throughout pregnancy. Prenatal care is important for your baby’s health and your well-being as a mother. Care can start during pre-pregnancy planning, but if this isn’t possible, it’s best to start prenatal care as soon as you know you’re pregnant.

During your prenatal visits, your doctor, nurse or midwife will observe your baby’s development while focusing on improving your health and well-being, which influences your baby’s health. You should speak with your doctor about prenatal care as soon as you become pregnant.

Prenatal Care vs. Perinatal Care

Prenatal care refers to the regular checkups women undergo while pregnant. Perinatal care refers to the health care women receive during and directly after the birth of their child. Many women who receive perinatal care have high-risk pregnancies, or the mother or child has a severe medical condition. Perinatal care can include:

Many reasons exist that a child or mother might need perinatal care during or after birth. Prenatal care can help reduce the risk of complications during childbirth, so it’s always best to consult your doctor as soon as you become pregnant.

Benefits of Prenatal Care

Prenatal care helps improve the health of the mother and fetus, increasing the chance of a successful birth and a healthy child. There are many benefits of prenatal care, including the following:

Different Types of Prenatal Care

Prenatal care includes more than just a couple of ultrasounds and a few doctor’s visits. You’ll go through different tests and exams to measure your and your baby’s health. Some of the different types of care you can expect during your visits include:

You may undergo additional testing based on age, medical history, test results and ethnic background. Talk with your doctor about the tests you may experience during prenatal visits.

What to Expect at Your Prenatal Care Visit

What to Expect at Your Prenatal Care Visit

During your first visit, your doctor will ask about any previous pregnancies, operations or diseases. Your doctor will ask about your complete health history to ensure you receive the best care possible during your pregnancy. You’ll also undergo a physical exam, take urine and blood tests and have your vitals checked. You might also receive other tests, such as a cervical exam, mammogram or pap smear.

As your pregnancy develops, you’ll go in for additional visits to check your vitals, your baby’s growth and your baby’s heartbeat and activity. Your doctor will check for potential complications or conditions, such as preeclampsia, anemia or gestational diabetes. The prenatal care timeline for pregnant women looks like this:

After these appointments, you’ll give birth and switch from prenatal care to neonatal care.

How to Choose the Right OB-GYN

When looking for an OB-GYN and prenatal care options in PA, you want to ensure that they offer the right services to ensure your and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy. Look for the following prenatal care services from your OB-GYN:

You should choose an OB-GYN that can monitor your and your baby’s health effectively throughout your pregnancy, testing for abnormalities and providing preventative care. You can ensure you pick the right OB-GYN by looking for an experienced clinic, doctor or midwife in your area.

You can also check reviews once you’ve found a few options, looking for the best reviews from other mothers and expecting families. If you have friends or family who recently gave birth, you can always ask them for referrals if they had a good experience with their OB-GYN.

Want to learn more about the importance of visiting an OB/GYN?

Trust Hamilton Health Center as Your OB-GYN

Trust Hamilton Health Center as Your OB-GYN

Pregnancy is an exciting time for many women and their families. However, it can also be stressful without the proper guidance. At Hamilton Health Center, we offer prenatal care services to ensure that you and your baby are taken care of during pregnancy. Our team aims to provide you with high-quality care and comprehensive services in one place, reducing the need to visit multiple offices or clinics during your pregnancy. 

We provide regular testing and exams through each trimester of your pregnancy and educational resources to help you prepare. We can help you make decisions about your care in confidence. Learn how we can make a difference in your pregnancy care, and contact us today to get started!

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