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What does prenatal care mean?

Prenatal care is comprehensive health care from an obstetrician or nurse-midwife for a woman during pregnancy. The focus of medical care is prevention and early identification and treatment of potential complications during the pregnancy. However prenatal care is more than just medical care.  Prenatal care includes teaching and counseling about different aspects of pregnancy, emotional and role changes, healthy life-style including nutrition and physical activity as well as anticipatory guidance about labor, birth and parenting. 

Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics
Prenatal care involves both caring for yourself and seeing your obstetrician for regular visits. It begins with taking a pregnancy test when you think you may be pregnant and starting a prenatal vitamin if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. While pregnancy may seem like it involves endless tests and ultrasounds, it should also be a time that you learn to be good to your body and eat healthy. It is a time for giving up bad habits and starting good ones. If you are good to your body, your body is more likely to be good to you and your growing baby.

Prenatal care is not only about visiting your health care provider. It is also about taking care of you. As a pregnant woman, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of advice and precautions you may hear. While it is wise to make healthy choices when you are able, it is important to maintain a sense of perspective.

As a pregnant woman, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of advice and precautions you may hear. While it is wise to make healthy choices when you are able, it is important to maintain a sense of perspective.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH" Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.