Prenatal care is the health care you receive from a doctor or a midwife while you are pregnant.
These prenatal visits are essential to learn about how your pregnancy is progressing. Schedule regular prenatal care appointments with a provider at Glacial Ridge Health Care in Glenwood, Starbuck, and Brooten, MN.
What Is Prenatal or Antenatal Testing?
Your health care provider may perform certain tests during your pregnancy to make sure that you and your baby are doing well. These tests can alert you and your doctor of possible complications or birth defects.
Some common prenatal tests include:
- Biophysical profile (BPP) uses ultrasound combined with a fetal monitor to observe fetal heartbeat and movement
- Fetal non-stress test to monitor how your baby’s heart rate responds to your baby’s movements
- Evaluation of mother’s risk for gestational diabetes
- Multiple-marker screenings for Down syndrome and spina bifida
- Obstetric panel to evaluate mother’s health during pregnancy, e.g., blood type, complete blood count, antibody screening, etc.
- Quad screen, usually done during the second trimester, to evaluate risk of chromosomal abnormalities, abdominal wall defects, or neural tube defects
- Ultrasound to confirm gestational age and check your baby’s health, growth, and development
Studies show that babies of mothers who skip prenatal care are three times more likely to have low birth weight and five times more likely to die than mothers who receive recommended care.
Most experts suggest that you visit your doctor about once a month for weeks 4 through 28, twice a month for weeks 28 through 36, and weekly for weeks 36 to birth.
- Ask your doctor about the right amount and intensity of workouts.
- Ask your doctor before starting or stopping any prescription or over-the-counter medicines or herbal products.
- Download this list of Medications You Can and Can't Take When Pregnant
- Eat a variety of healthy foods and drink plenty of fluids.
- Get a flu shot.
- Get a pertussis vaccine.
- Get early and regular prenatal care.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- If you have a cat, ask your doctor about toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite sometimes found in cat feces.
- Protect yourself and your baby from food-borne illnesses, including toxoplasmosis and listeria.
- Talk to your health care provider about an exercise regimen.
- Take a multivitamin with 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day.
- Wash hands frequently.
- Avoid x-rays.
- Don't eat fish with lots of mercury, e.g., swordfish, king mackerel etc.
- Don't smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs. These can cause long-term harm or death to your baby.
- Don't take very hot baths or use hot tubs or saunas.
- Stay away from chemicals like insecticides, solvents (like some cleaners or paint thinners), lead, mercury, and paint (including paint fumes).
- Avoid second-hand smoke.
- Don't eat uncooked or undercooked meats or fish.
Heartfelt Care Starts Here
The birth of your baby is one of the most memorable, life-changing, and exciting experiences of your life. Schedule an appointment today to learn about the heartfelt care we provide during your journey.