It is of utmost importance that moms-to-be get good care during their pregnancy, but before and after it as well. This is as important for the mother as it is for the baby since prenatal care is the best way to be sure both are healthy and happy. Regular check-ups will allow doctors to spot any potential issues and react in time so there are no severe consequences. Here are some of the vital medical care points to address while having a bun in the oven.
Choosing your healthcare provider
Prenatal care is usually executed by doctors who specialize in pregnancy and childbirth (obstetricians), ones who specialize in women’s health care besides being pregnancy and childbirth professionals (obstetricians/gynecologists), general practitioners or certified nurse-midwives.
If there are no signs of potential hazards or complications for either the mother or the baby, any of the aforementioned is an excellent choice. However, should you be categorized as high-risk, you will be forwarded to a doctor specializing in such specific pregnancies.
This is something many future parents opt for, since prenatal tests can help detect birth defects or chromosomal problems in the fetus. Usually, they are done in the first, second and third trimester. Screening tests, for instance, can only reveal the possibility of a problem. Diagnostic tests, on the other hand, can accurately detect a potential specific problem with the fetus. They can be performed after screening tests, and include ultrasound exams, CVS, amniocentesis and blood tests. Some doctors also prefer 3D and 4D ultrasounds because they can show certain birth defects that might not be visible on standard ultrasound.
Many future mothers are worried about weight gain but it is not recommended to start a diet while you’re expecting. However, pregnancy is the perfect time to start enjoying healthier foods and a diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Experts also recommend drinking plenty of water. Your meals should reflect the variety and your portions should be adequate for the stage of pregnancy you’re in. Women of normal weight gain about 25 to 35 pounds in pregnancy. As the baby progresses, it gets harder to control putting on some extra pounds, so try not to gain too much in the first trimester. On the other hand, being underweight is dangerous as well and might cause poor fetal growth and premature labor.
Your first medical visit
Once you find out about the good news, it’s time for your first medical visit. It is designed to determine your general health with the help of a physical test. You should be able to determine your due date and find out if you have any pregnancy risk factors based on age, health and personal or family history. It is extremely important to be very open with your doctor as he or she will have to ask you important questions about possible previous pregnancies and surgeries, medical conditions, medications and exposure to any contagious diseases. Your family medical history is no less important, so ask your family members about all you need without hesitation. No question should be taboo when your health and the health of your little one is in question.
Questions you might want to ask your healthcare provider
It is quite normal to be overwhelmed by the good news of a baby, even a bit anxious. That being said, here’s a list of helpful questions to remember once you sit down with your doctor for your first prenatal visit:
- What is my due date?
- Are the symptoms I am experiencing normal at this stage?
- Is it normal not to experience some symptoms?
- What is the size of my uterus?
- What are your recommendations concerning exercise, weight gain and nutrition in general?
- Which activities and foods should I avoid?
- Which are the safe exercises?
- Are there any prenatal classes you would recommend?
- When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- Is mine a high-risk pregnancy?
Take care of your health especially during pregnancy. Do some research on the topic and be sure to double-check everything with your doctor before you make any decisions regarding your diet, medications or exercise. Avoid stress, get regular check-ups and do everything in your power to ensure good health of your little one and yourself.