Prenatal care is an important way to ensure the health of both you and your baby throughout pregnancy and beyond. It involves a series of checkups and tests at various stages of pregnancy which help to detect and treat problems promptly and to prevent complications.
Regular prenatal care visits are also a valuable opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you may have surrounding your pregnancy and the birthing process. Let’s talk about what exactly is involved in prenatal care, how it can help you have a healthy baby, and where you can go in Decatur, Stonecrest, and Stone Mountain for world-class pregnancy care.
What Is Prenatal Care?
Prenatal care encompasses the medical care you receive from healthcare providers during pregnancy, as well as how you take care of yourself and your baby-to-be. It includes a number of important services and maintenance factors, including:
- Regular checkups
- Screening tests (such as ultrasound)
- Pregnancy nutrition
- Treatment for common pregnancy-related ailments
- Incorporating ways to promote a healthy pregnancy
- Counseling and support regarding labor and delivery (such as Lamaze classes)
Prenatal care isn’t just for first-time mothers – it is important for all pregnancies, whether it is your first baby or your third. Any woman who has given birth to more than one baby will tell you that every pregnancy is different. Incorporating prenatal care into your pregnant lifestyle plays an essential role in reducing your chances of maternal death, miscarriage, and birth defects.
Preventing Complications in Pregnancy
Quality prenatal care gives your baby the best start in life. Regular OB/GYN visits and screening tests will help to ensure that your baby is developing as expected and that any problems are detected and addressed in their earliest stages.
Certain tests may be recommended during your pregnancy, and these can include:
- Urine tests to check for signs of gestational diabetes, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and preeclampsia (high blood pressure and organ damage)
- Ultrasound scans to check for any problems with the developing fetus and to determine the baby’s sex
- Screening for defects, such as chromosomal defects or neural tube defects
- Glucose challenge test to assess whether you have gestational diabetes
- Group B streptococcus screening to check for bacteria that can cause serious infections in your child
- Nonstress test to monitor the health of the fetus via the heartbeat
- Biophysical profile (BPP) to monitor the fetus’ breathing, heart rate, movement, and muscle tone
Although it is not always possible to prevent fetal conditions or birth defects, high-quality prenatal care can help to minimize risks and ensure that appropriate interventions are put in place, if required. If your baby is found to have a birth defect or fetal condition, there are now many advanced treatments available that have revolutionized a baby’s ability to survive and thrive after birth and into the future.
How Do I Know if I Have a High-Risk Pregnancy?
Depending on your circumstances, you may be referred for specialist care if you have a high-risk pregnancy. This includes:
- Pregnant females who are under the age of 17 or over 35
- Mothers with existing health problems
- Multiple pregnancies (pregnant with twins, triplets, etc.)
- A history of pregnancy-related problems
- Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol use, or drug use
Prenatal Care in Decatur, Stonecrest, and Stone Mountain, GA
If you are looking for expert prenatal care, visit Dekalb Women’s Specialists Gynecological & Obstetrical Care. We offer comprehensive obstetrics and midwife services to ensure you receive the prenatal support, screenings, and education necessary to guide you through a successful pregnancy and beyond.
To find out more about prenatal care or about any of our other OB/GYN women’s healthcare services, call us today at (404) 508-2000 or request an appointment via our online form. We have three convenient offices located in Decatur, Stonecrest, and Stone Mountain, and we look forward to seeing you!