This entry is brought to you by Pamela Lorenzo MSW, Program Manager and Clinical Supervisor with the Nurturing Families Network. www.VNASCC.org
Thinking about having a baby? If you are then it is important to begin preparing your body (and yourself) now!
Preconception care is equally as important as prenatal care. Many heath care providers recommend if you are thinking about getting pregnant that you schedule an appointment to discuss preconception health. There are many steps woman can take before becoming pregnant to reduce the risk of nay prenatal problems. Taking Folic Acid, for example, is recommended for any woman of childbearing age. The right amount of folic acid can help to prevent certain types of birth defects. A thorough preconception physical is also important as well as assuring you have had the appropriate vaccinations such as rubella. Blood work will also be done to test for immunity to chicken pox.
Prenatal care begins at conception. Things such as diet, physical activity, medications, smoking, and environmental factors cam all affect your pregnancy. That it why it is important to maintain a consistent prenatal care schedule with your medical provider. Prenatal care is more than just health care. It also includes education and counseling about how to handle various aspects of your pregnancy, what to expect from the birth itself and basic skills about caring for your baby. Remember that prenatal care doesn’t just monitor your health but also the health of your baby. The baby’s heartbeat is monitored as well as his/her growth. Women who see their medical provider regularly during pregnancy end up having healthier babies in general.
A pregnancy calendar can aid in monitoring you and your baby’s growth as well as give you nutritional and diet information during each week of your pregnancy. You can download a calendar from www. pregnancy-calendars.net.
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