Within days of getting pregnant, your body starts changing in many meaningful ways. Organs adapt to embrace new responsibilities and new and elevated hormones surge to help your baby grow strong. With so much going on, prenatal healthcare is critical to ensure you and your baby remain healthy from early pregnancy through delivery and beyond.
Proper prenatal healthcare includes…
Supervised Medical Care
If you don’t already have an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN), it’s important to select one as soon as possible. Even without medical insurance, there are physicians, government programs and community groups to help you. A pregnancy counselor can help to connect you with the right resources.
An effective prenatal medical care plan will include regular check-ups, ultrasounds, monitoring of the baby’s heart rate and more. To develop your personalized care plan, your doctor will also evaluate your medical history, lifestyle and current health, as well as any risk factors for potentially dangerous pregnancy-related conditions.
Everything that goes into your body also goes into your baby’s body. Quitting smoking, drinking alcohol and taking any non-prescribed drugs is vital for both you and your baby’s short-term and long-term health. Even some prescription drugs can be dangerous, so it’s important to let your doctor know about anything you currently take. Depending on your condition, your doctor may also recommend taking steps to lower your blood pressure or get to a healthy weight.
Proper Diet and Vitamins
Eating a healthy diet, including appropriate amounts of fruits and vegetables, proteins, bread and grains and dairy, helps your body function well while also providing your baby the nutritional building blocks for a strong body and mind. Understanding your medical history and any current challenges will allow your doctor to make specific recommendations for what’s right for you. Among those recommendations will likely be prenatal vitamins, which provide your body important nutrients it may lack during pregnancy. Folic acid, iron, iodine and calcium are particularly important.
If you believe you may be pregnant, an important first step is confirming that pregnancy through a medical pregnancy test. At Sira in Gainesville, we offer free medical pregnancy testing for any woman. Contact us today at 352-377-4947 to schedule your confidential pregnancy appointment.