Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is Prenatal Care Important?

You are going to be a mom! Happiness and fear are your normal feelings right now, right?
And, you have a new responiblity, a kid that you will be your responibility for the time of pregnancy and years after it.

So, as a responsible mother you should know the first important thing to have a healthy baby is what is called prenatal/antenatal care. It helps you to provide your baby and yourself with what you both need at this stage. Also, prenatal care helps to detect and manage (high risk pregnancies). So let's try to summarize prenatal care up for you :

-Hospital visits are obviously important. Your doctor will answer all questions you have in mind and will give the right instruction about what youhave to do and what to avoid. The first visit is very important to collect information about your pregnancy and perform some tests.

The first visit is adviced to be in the first 3 months. The frequency of visits will increase with time until it becomes weekly in the ninth month.

-Joining classes is very helpful specially when attending them with your partner. It teaches you alot and helps you to relax.

-Obviously, smoking is dangerous both to you and specially to your baby. The list of thing to avoid also includes alcohol, drugs and remedies, violent physical work and tight clothes.

Make sure not to take any types of drugs before consulting your doctor. Alot of drugs are directly responsible for foetal abnormalities or even abortion. Alcohol, specifically causes what is called FAS (Foeatal Alcohol syndrome) and have a role in Folic acid deficiency (megaloblastic anaemia).

-Your life style will need some modifications. Having enough rest and sleep becomes so important during pregnancy. Personal hygiene and healthy food are a must. Try to avoid excessive physical work and smoking as mentioned above.

-Nutrition becomes of great value during pregnancy. Care of both amount and quality of food is important as you will have to eat enough food for you AND for your baby. Vitamins and minerals are very important and deficiency of a single element can cause abnormalities and serious complications for your baby.

Iron, folic acid and calcium should be supplied regularly. Vegetables and fruits are the best sources of vitamins and minerals. Milk, milk products, eggs, meat and fish are of high nutritive value. Excessive salt should be avoided.

-Prenatal test : important tests are performed during this period and are included in prenatal care. The commonest are blood and urine tests, Rh tests, general examination and ultrasonography.

Ultrasonography uses high-frequency sound waves to create a picture of the baby and the mother's abdomen thus giving more information about the baby, his gender and health state.

Rh test is important to perform, if an Rh negative mother got pregnant with an Rh positive child her body may act as if it's sensitive to the baby and produce antibodies that may reach the babies blood through the placenta.
The good news is these problems can be easily prevented if known early, thus the answer of the question (Is prenatal care important?) is DEFINITLY, YES!

-Make sure to seek immediate help in case you notice any of the alarming signs that your doctor tells you about, such as persistant stomachache, bleeding or water leakage.

Finally, be relaxed and try to understand the changes in your body during pregnancy and share your experiences with other mothers.