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Prenatal Care and Planning, and Prenatal visits with a health care provider

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Prenatal Care and Planning, and Prenatal visits with a health care provider

Prenatal Care and Planning

Prenatal care is the comprehensive care that women receive and provide for themselves throughout their pregnancy. Women who begin prenatal care early in their pregnancies have better pregnancy outcomes than women who receive little or no care during their pregnancies. Prenatal care includes:

What are some things to plan for before the baby arrives?

In addition to good prenatal care, during pregnancy it is also important to investigate and make plans for a variety of important postpartum decisions, such as:

What are the unhealthy substances to avoid during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it is important to avoid certain substances that could harm the developing fetus. Women should consult with their health care provider before taking any prescription or non-prescription medications. The following substances should be avoided:

  • Alcohol
  • Other Drug Use
  • Cigarette smoking and other tobacco use
  • X-rays
  • Lead
  • Common over-the-counter medications
  • Other medications (such as those for seizures, cancer, acne)

Return to the Pregnancy and Related Care page.

Prenatal visits with a health care provider

Studies have shown that women who begin regular prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy have better birth outcomes. Although good prenatal care depends on self-care, it is also important to have periodic and regular visits with a health care provider (usually a midwife or physician). Such visits can help women to monitor their pregnancies and seek advice along the way. Health care providers can also help to detect and manage any warning signs that might occur during pregnancy.

Health care providers can be important partners with women and their families before, during, and after pregnancy. In many countries, there are various alternatives for maternity care. Depending on where you live, you may be able to choose your health care provider and birthplace. Different types of providers have unique characteristics, and you should feel comfortable with the philosophy and background of the provider that you choose. Midwives are trained to provide care for women with low-risk pregnancies, whereas physicians (usually obstetricians) care for patients with both low and high-risk pregnancies.

Return to the Pregnancy and Related Care page.


[ || Pregnancy || Informed Choice || Infections and Diseases || Quality of Care || Emerging Issues ]
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