Prenatal care refers to the healthcare services that an expectant mother receives from
an obstetrics specialist, midwife, or other healthcare professional. Prenatal
care is essential for every expectant mother. Ideally, these services
begin before pregnancy. At a preconception visit with a provider at Palms
West Hospital, women will discuss medical conditions, medications, and
testing to promote a healthy pregnancy.
Manage Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions may place your health or your baby’s health
at risk. Sometimes,
medical conditions arise during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Other women may already
have existing medical conditions when they become pregnant. With proper
prenatal care, expectant mothers can manage these conditions to reduce
the risk of problems. An obstetrics provider can help expectant mothers
manage thyroid disease, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, depression, obesity,
and other conditions that may affect pregnancy.
Detect Potential Problems
Routine testing is an integral component of prenatal care. At each prenatal
care appointment, the healthcare provider evaluates weight gain and blood
pressure. At some visits, women may have a pelvic exam, Pap smear, blood
tests, urine tests, and ultrasounds. These exams allow for the early detection
of problems that may affect the health of the mother or baby.
Provide Dietary Advice
Another reason why prenatal care is essential is that women receive personalized
dietary guidance. Based on an expectant mother’s current weight
and whether she is pregnant with multiples, the doctor can recommend a
safe rate of weight gain. The physician can provide advice on how to choose
foods and prenatal vitamins to get all the nutrients the baby needs. Expectant
mothers also learn about foods they must avoid.
Provide Lifestyle Guidance
Prenatal care encompasses lifestyle guidance. Expectant mothers who smoke,
consume alcohol, or have a substance abuse problem can receive the counseling
they need to reduce the risk of harm to the baby. The doctor can also
provide recommendations for safe exercise during each trimester of pregnancy.
The New Life Center at
Palms West Hospital features dedicated specialists in obstetrics in Loxahatchee, FL. Our obstetrics
services include comprehensive childbirth and parenting classes to meet
the unique needs of every family. Expectant parents can speak with a registered
nurse by calling (561) 345-7009 or visit our website to learn more about
our medical services, including imaging services such as ultrasounds.