The Importance of Early Prenatal Care

For expectant mothers, starting prenatal care early can have positive implications for both mom and baby. Learn ways you can promote a healthy pregnancy!

Health experts agree that not only getting prenatal care, but getting early prenatal care can significantly increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy for expectant mothers. If you are thinking about becoming pregnant or just found out you are pregnant, it’s best to start prenatal care today!

The first step is to schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will likely conduct a comprehensive physical exam to determine your health and your baby’s health, if you are already pregnant. Your doctor is available to discuss your health as well as your baby’s health, and answer any questions you might have.

During your initial appointment with your doctor, you should disclose any medications you are on or conditions you are currently being treated for. Certain medications and even certain consumer products can create health risks for your baby, so be sure to discuss this with your doctor.

Your doctor will also likely recommend certain vitamins and things like folic acid, depending on your current health. Prenatal vitamins like folic acid can reduce the risk of neural tube defects, for example, so discuss a prenatal vitamin program with your doctor.

Not only is early prenatal care important, but regular care is just as vital. Regular visits to your healthcare provider, regular exercise, and regular treatment (if needed) can work together to mitigate the risk of complications with your pregnancy.

Mothers who do not get prenatal care or wait to get prenatal care until late in their pregnancy are almost three times more likely to deliver babies with low birth weights and other health issues. Seeing your doctor early on in your pregnancy can result in early diagnosis of any conditions for better outcomes. Early prenatal care can not only treat conditions, but prevent certain conditions from developing.

For more information on the Maternity Services that Whittier Hospital Medical Center offers, please click here

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