Pre-Natal care involves caring for a woman through the three trimesters of a pregnancy. As soon as a woman discovers she is pregnant, she should visit the doctor to determine how far along she is into the pregnancy. Regular visits to the doctor during the pregnancy ensures the fetus is developing appropriately and that both the mother and child are in good health. While most pregnancies progress smoothly and have no problems whatsoever, there are times when the mother or child may experience difficulties. Gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and premature labor may place the mother in a high-risk category and call for increased visits to the doctor.
A woman should visit her OB/GYN practitioner as soon as she realizes she may be pregnant. The sooner she has her first visit, the sooner the doctor can evaluate her health and make sure she has everything she needs to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Most women are healthy enough to support the growth of a child without any additional support. Doctors may, however, recommend dietary changes and the use of a pre-natal, multi-vitamin/mineral complex to help provide nutrients they may be lacking. Early observation is especially important if the woman has had high-risk pregnancies in the past or they run in the family.
Pregnancies often go along smoothly with no problems at all. Women who have a history of difficult pregnancies may fall into the high-risk category. Women who have had pregnancies that involve gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or other health conditions that put both the mother and child at risk are considered to be high risk. One of the main concerns that will cause a doctor to label a pregnancy high risk is previous miscarriages. If a woman has a history of reproductive problems that have resulted in infertility or miscarriages, the doctor may limit their activity and possibly put them on bed rest until the baby is full term.
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