Prenatal Care Questions and Answers
At Women’s Health Consulting in Chicago, IL, we provide prenatal care for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Contact us today or schedule an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 200 S. Michigan Ave, Suite 1550, Chicago, IL 60604.
Carrying a child is one of the most beautiful things a woman can experience; feeling the kicks, turns, and shoves is surreal and exciting. Caring for a baby starts before they are even born, and it is this prenatal care that has increased the amount of healthy pregnancies across the world. A growing and developing fetus has many important needs, and these needs can be addressed during prenatal care visits with an OBGYN.
When should prenatal care start?
Prenatal care should start as early as possible. Pregnancy is a complicated medical condition and should not be taken lightly as it has the potential to come with many risks and complications. Ideally, women who intend to carry their pregnancy to term should start receiving prenatal care as soon as they find out that they are pregnant. This is important because it allows women to receive the full benefits of a routine prenatal care schedule in order to keep themselves and their baby healthy.
What does prenatal care include?
Prenatal visits to a health care provider usually include weight checks, a physical exam, and a fetal examination. Healthcare providers may also perform blood tests and imaging tests such as ultrasound exams, depending on the stage of the pregnancy. These visits also include discussions about the mother’s health, the fetus’s health, and any questions the expectant mother may have about the pregnancy. Prenatal care can help prevent complications and inform women about critical steps they can take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. With regular prenatal care women can:
- Reduce the risk of pregnancy complications
- Reduce the fetus’s/infant’s risk for complications
- Help ensure the medications taken are safe
How many prenatal visits are needed?
For a routine pregnancy, prenatal care schedules are typically the same; however some high-risk pregnancies require additional visits or tests. These include:
Initial obstetric (OB) visit — At the initial OB visit, the provider will review medical history and perform a physical examination. This includes a Pap test (if necessary), as well as prenatal lab tests to screen for blood type, Rh factor, anemia, antibodies, hepatitis B, rubella immunity, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Routine visits typically follow this schedule:
- Appointments are scheduled every four weeks up to 26 weeks pregnant
- Appointments are scheduled every three weeks from 26 to 32 weeks pregnant
- Appointments are scheduled every two weeks from 32 to 36 weeks pregnant
- Appointments are scheduled every week from the 36th week of pregnancy until delivery
At each routine visit, weight is measured, blood pressure and urine is checked, and uterine size (sometimes called fundal height) is measured.
Why is prenatal care so important?
Prenatal care is fundamental to a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Early and regular prenatal care is very important to the health of the baby and the mother for a number of reasons. If a woman does experience a problem with their pregnancy, regular prenatal care visits can allow them to identify and treat complications as soon as possible. Studies have shown that babies whose mothers get prenatal care have a lower risk of low birth weight and stillbirth than those who do not. Prenatal care provides dietary advice to expectant mothers, so their fetuses can receive all of the nutrients they need to grow and develop into a healthy baby. Because there are many risks and complications that come with pregnancy, it is imperative to be proactive and take preventative measures, which prenatal care provides. Women’s Health Consulting IL provides prenatal care so you and your baby can be as healthy as possible. Call us today to book an appointment for prenatal care, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 200 S. Michigan Ave, Suite 1550, Chicago, IL 60604. We serve patients from Chicago IL, Cicero IL, Oak Park IL, Forest Park IL, Berwyn IL, Maywood IL and Logan Square Chicago IL. We look forward to serving you!