Through pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum North Texas Medical Center offers you and your growing family the care and attention you need. Our doctors and staff work are committed to providing you the right tools for a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Our physicians understand the importance of prenatal care, and have extensive training and experience in the following areas:
- Pre-pregnancy health counseling
- Routine prenatal care & delivery
- High risk prenatal care & delivery
- Multiple gestation antenatal care
- Management of medical complications during pregnancy
- Management of post-pregnancy related health issues
During pregnancy, antenatal treatment is vital for ensuring the health of both mother and child. If you’re curious about the topic, just keep reading to learn about what prenatal care entails and why it is so important.
What Is Prenatal Care?
Physician Molly Isola, MD, OB/Gyn at North Texas Medical Center, provides a definition of antenatal treatment: It is the “healthcare you receive while pregnant.” Dr. Isola recommends making an appointment with your OB/Gyn as soon as you believe you are pregnant.
If you don’t have an OB/Gyn yet, a call to your health insurance company can help you find one that is within your coverage. Barring insurance, your local hospital or health department may be able to provide assistance.
What is included in prenatal care? Usually, the first antenatal appointment occurs eight weeks into a pregnancy. According to Dr. Isola, a typical pattern is one visit per month for the first 28 weeks, then a visit every two weeks from the 28th to 36th week of pregnancy. Following that, typically from weeks 36 to 40, visits will increase in frequency, often occurring on a weekly basis. Pre-existing medical conditions or problems that arise during the pregnancy may call for more frequent visits.
That covers the schedule of antenatal visits, but what actually occurs during them? As this examination from the National Institutes of Health reveals, antenatal visits typically involve a “physical exam, weight checks, and providing a urine sample.” Blood tests and ultrasound exams may occur as well. Additionally, the healthcare provider will discuss the mother and fetus’s health as well as answer questions the mother has.
These visits to prenatal care clinics provide an opportunity for the doctor to dispense advice, like providing input on a diet that will keep both the mother and fetus healthy. Other topics that may be discussed include exercise and proper weight gain, per Dr. Isola.
Why Is Prenatal Care Important?
This is important for myriad reasons, including the following:
- During prenatal visits, doctors can spot problems that may lead to poor fetal growth. This is important because, as the March of Dimes points out low birth weights can cause a number of problems for the child, including learning and neurological problems. Low birth weight can also contribute to language delays and attention disorders.
- Taking into account factors such as your age and medical history, your Ob/Gyn can set up the proper testing for you and your baby.
- Prenatal care allows doctors to spot problems like anemia or gestational diabetes. Then, treatment can ensue.
- Prenatal care is an opportunity for the mother to learn more about labor and delivery. Knowing what to expect can put a mother’s mind at ease and help her decide on the best plan for her and her baby.
- Mothers-to-be need a lot of support, and, according to WebMD, antenatal medicine is one source of that support. Education and counseling—which are part of the prenatal treatment process, too—go a long way toward giving an expecting mother the aid she needs.
- The nutrition advice given during antenatal attention can be invaluable. A proper diet helps prevent health problems and gives the baby the fuel he or she needs to grow.
Begin Your Antenatal Care Journey
Are you in need of an Ob/Gyn for antenatal services? Pregnant women in the Gainesville area can make use of the North Texas Medical Center’s obstetric services, which include pre-birth treatment. To learn more, contact the center by calling 940-665-1761 or completing this form. We look forward to helping you and your baby through the journey of pregnancy!