While in pregnancy, women are undergoing a very delicate period of their lives. Basically, they are carrying a life inside of their body, while, at the same time, experiencing various hormonal changes.
Therefore, while in this period, women need to receive adequate care, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Care is very Important
During the first 3 months of a woman's pregnancy, she needs to undergo various tests and exams, including the physical exam, blood tests, lifestyle-related counseling and conversations etc.
Most of the care necessary during this period can be provided by the woman's health practitioner such as the family physician. However, nurses or midwives or obstetricians can also provide this form of support, helping women greatly.
Basically, during the prenatal examination and care, women are likely to be asked about their medical history. This encompasses their frequency of menstrual cycles, presence or absence of contraceptive use, previous pregnancies or presence of health issues such as illnesses or allergies.
If you are taking any kind of medications, you will be asked to provide a list of these and report any forms of illnesses which are known to run in your family. Do not hide any facts about previous abortions or drug abusing. All these pieces of information can be valuable for protecting both yourself and your child during your pregnancy.
Next, you will talk about your due date since the health provider will monitor the progress of your pregnancy and the growth of your baby. Also, during prenatal care, your physician will weigh you and check your height as well as your blood pressure. Furthermore, he/she will listen to your heartbeats and check for any anomalies. Finally, he/she will examine your vagina and other adjacent parts of the body, searching for any signs of infections or other health problems which might jeopardize the growth and development of your child, potentially leading to birth complications.
As far as laboratory tests are concerned, the doctor may do blood tests in order to establish your blood type and check your blood for the presence of any illnesses such as syphilis, hepatitis B, measles etc. Even HIV tests can be done during the blood testing procedure, along with tests for toxoplasmosis or chickenpox. Moreover, if your blood has abnormally high levels of proteins or sugars, you might be suffering from a kidney diseases so this factor must be ruled out or diagnosed too.
The doctor may ask you some questions related to your lifestyle, focusing on your diet, usage of prenatal vitamins, daily physical activity and some other habits. If you are working, he/she may ask for information about your working environment. Speaking of your bad habits, if you are a smoker, you are highly advised to quit this nasty lifestyle routine. If you are not capable of doing this on your own, ask your health provider to help you.
Finally, the health provider will check the health of the fetus inside your body. He/she will perform scans which can tell whether the baby is healthy or not. These include ultrasound, blood tests or some other types of screening.
Guidelines on Prenatal Care
Apart from receiving help and support from your doctor, you can improve your own lifestyle in order to promote health both for you and the child you are with.
Keep in mind that many of the lifestyle changes you are advised to apply need to be introduced even before you conceive. Thus, 3 months before you actually get pregnant, start taking folic acid regularly, 400 to 800 micrograms a day.
Also, give up smoking or never start. Alcohol is forbidden during pregnancy too, so you might want to stop drinking completely even before you conceive.
If you happen to suffer from some sort of health problems, deal with them timely or learn how to maintain them adequately before the pregnancy takes place. This is obligatory for conditions such as diabetes, depression, hypertension, obesity, epilepsy or thyroid diseases. However, other such health problems should be dealt with timely too.
Additionally, report any supplements and drugs you are taking on a regular basis once you pay your doctor a visit and stay away from toxins and potentially harmful substances during your pregnancy, especially at work and at home.
Ultimately, do not eat fish which contain a lot of mercury, do not use drugs, have plenty of sleep and rest and avoid getting exposed to excessive cold, heat, cigarette smoke, chemicals and other harmful factors of these types.
All in all, prenatal care is very important for all future mothers and they are advised to practice this form of care on a regular basis, throughout the pregnancy. Prenatal care can both be practiced by you yourself being cautious of your own lifestyle and by your doctor performing the necessary tests on you and monitoring the health of you and your child.
Thus, do not neglect prenatal care during your pregnancy or even before the conception. Rather, stay well-informed and rest assured that you are giving birth to a healthy, happy child.