If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you may already know the most basic advice – do not drink alcohol or smoke. Toxins such as alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and solvents such as nail polish remover and paint thinners affect your baby’s development. They may lead to complications such as miscarriage and congenital disabilities. Healthcare professionals recommend pregnancy care Houston for expectant mothers to ensure a healthy pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and labor and delivery for mother and baby.
Pregnancy care involves care before birth (prenatal) and after delivery (postpartum).
Prenatal care is critical for all pregnant women and those planning to conceive. It helps decrease risks during pregnancy and increases the chance of a healthy and safe delivery. During regular prenatal visits, your healthcare provider can identify problems or complications when they are easier to manage. Without prenatal care, your baby is three times more likely to be born at low birth weight. In newborns with low birth weight, the risk of death is five times higher than for those who received prenatal care. Ideally, prenatal care starts at least three months before you try to conceive; during this time, some healthy habits to follow include:
- Take prenatal vitamins.
It is wise to take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy or as soon as you learn about your pregnancy. The above is important because the baby’s neural cord, which eventually becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops within the early months of pregnancy. Therefore, getting essential nutrients like iron, folic acid, and calcium from the very start is vital. Your doctor can prescribe prenatal vitamins, or you can get them over-the-counter at most pharmacies. Sometimes taking vitamins may make you feel queasy; if that is the case, try taking them with a light snack or at night. You can also try chewing gum or sucking on hard candy afterward to relieve the feeling.
- Check your medications
Always check with your doctor before taking any medication, prescribed or otherwise; that includes herbal medicines, supplements, and over-the-counter medications. You should also avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen; they increase your risk of miscarriage and damage to fetal blood vessels. For this reason, do not take any medication before discussing it with your physician.
When you are pregnant, you will require regular healthcare appointments throughout pregnancy. During the first six months, you may need monthly visits to your healthcare provider. You will see your physician every two weeks in the seventh and eighth months. During the ninth month, you will require weekly visits.
During these visits, your physician assesses you and your baby’s health. These visits usually comprise routine tests and screenings like a blood test to check for your blood type, HIV, and anemia. Your doctor also checks your blood pressure, measures your weight gain, and monitor’s the baby’s growth and heart rate. Usually, healthcare providers educate expectant mothers on exercise and eating healthy foods. As the month progresses, you will still require visits to check the baby’s position and identify any body changes as you prepare for delivery.
If you are planning to get pregnant or you just learned about your pregnancy, visit your healthcare provider at Body Balance Chiropractic & Wellness Center for prenatal care to ensure safe and healthy pregnancy and birth.