What Is Prenatal Care?
While gynecology covers women’s reproductive health over a lifetime, prenatal care and obstetrics are the specialized care and treatment of pregnant women and their developing babies. Prenatal care helps to keep you and your baby healthy. Prenatal care reduces the risk of low birth weights and complications during gestation and delivery. Prenatal care helps the doctor to recognize and diagnose any issues as early as possible and provide treatment to ensure the health of you and your baby. During your prenatal visits, you will be able to ask questions about your health, the changes you are experiencing, and the development of your baby.
What Happens During Prenatal Exams?
A prenatal evaluation includes several health checks such as blood work, monitoring weight and blood pressure, and collecting urine samples. These visits also include regular ultrasounds which allow the doctor, and the patient, to see the developing baby while in utero. Ultrasounds allow the doctor to measure the baby and make sure it is developing at the right pace. The obstetrician will also provide expectant mothers with advice on what to expect during the few weeks until the next appointment. The practitioners at Legacy OB/GYN encourage relationship building during these visits because the better the patient and doctor know each other the better able they are to make choices and decisions for the benefit of both the mother’s health and the health of the developing baby. The doctors at Legacy OB/GYN are always willing to answer questions, explain the bodily changes experienced, and to provide information about the developing baby.
How Often Do Women Need to Attend Prenatal Care Visits?
Most women are advised to see their prenatal care specialist every month for the first 28, then every other for the next 8 weeks, and then once a week until the baby is born. Women at higher risk for pregnancy complications are advised to see their obstetrician more often to monitor the health and development of the baby.