If you’re young, healthy, and feeling fine, regular visits to the doctor during your pregnancy might seem unnecessary. But the opposite is true: Prenatal care is the most essential part of your pregnancy.
And it’s the most essential part of our obstetrics services at LUNA MED SPA & WASHINGTON OB-GYN, P.A., in San Antonio, Texas. Board-certified pregnancy specialist Dr. Jerome Washington and our team of experts help mothers-to-be make their dream of having a healthy baby come true. Here’s what you need to know about prenatal care.
The term “prenatal care” describes the health care you get during your pregnancy, and it begins even before you conceive.
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, you can prepare your body for the journey by:
Dr. Washington can help you get ready for pregnancy and give your baby a healthy head start even before you conceive.
Regular prenatal care gives you and your baby the best chance of a problem-free pregnancy and delivery, but it’s not a guarantee that you won’t experience any medical issues. Pregnancy-related conditions can crop up at any time, and that’s when prenatal care really pays off.
When you see Dr. Washington regularly, he gets to know you and your baby well, which means he can spot problems early — sometimes even before you know there’s anything wrong. If caught in the early stages, most conditions can be addressed and resolved before they become serious.
Most pregnancies proceed without a hitch, and Dr. Washington simply monitors your vital signs, tracks your baby’s growth and position, and answers your questions along the way.
It’s easy to put off prenatal care or skip your appointments because you’re too busy, but if you do, you’d be in the minority.
More and more women are realizing how critical this specialized care is: More than 77% of women get prenatal care starting in their first trimester, and almost all of them seek care during the second and third trimesters. Less than 2% blow off prenatal altogether.
Babies whose mothers choose not to get prenatal care are three times more likely to be born underweight and five times more likely to die.
If your pregnancy is considered low-risk, your prenatal appointment schedule might look something like this:
Because every pregnancy is different, consider this as a guideline. The purpose of prenatal care is to keep an eye on you and your baby and to detect issues that may need closer observation or intervention, which means we may need to see you more frequently.
Anything that increases your — or your baby’s — chances of experiencing a medical problem can land you in the high-risk pregnancy category. Here are a few of the qualifications for this designation:
If any of these apply to you, your pregnancy may be more complicated than others, and Dr. Washington might recommend more frequent prenatal visits and more detailed tests and measurements.
If you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, give your baby the best chance at a healthy environment before they enter the world. Schedule your first prenatal visit with Dr. Washington by calling our friendly staff or requesting an appointment online today.