Prenatal care services ensure a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal care should start as soon as possible. In 2016, in about 77% of healthy births, a mom received prenatal care early on in her pregnancy, according to March of Dimes. The same study revealed that about 16% of healthy births moms did not start prenatal care until their second trimester, and only 6% of healthy births were attributed to moms that received no prenatal care or started late (after the second trimester). Prenatal care helps to reduce risks during pregnancy.
First Trimester Prenatal Care
Many experts agree that the first trimester of pregnancy is one of the most critical. As part of care services during this trimester, many diagnostic tests are done to ensure the mom’s health and baby’s development.
During the first trimester, a complete physical will be done including blood work drawn, a urine analysis, weight, internal exam, and health check history. The provider will discuss lifestyle changes, what to expect, nutrition during pregnancy, and more.
You will be seen once a month during this phase of the pregnancy unless you have complications. Your provider will address any potential concerns and ways to address those concerns.
Second Trimester Prenatal Care
A few additional checks will be added to the prenatal care services. An ultrasound will be done during the second trimester to assess the baby’s development. Measurements of your belly are taken during this phase of the pregnancy and moving forward at every appointment.
You will have a glucose intolerance test to check for diabetes. Your provider will continue to provide education and address any concerns during this trimester. Your appointments will become more frequent during this phase of pregnancy.
Third Trimester Prenatal Care Services
The last three months of your pregnancy, you will go to the doctor every week. The provider will talk to you about a birthing plan, signs of labor, and what to look for, and they will continue to monitor both mom’s and baby’s health with blood work, urine samples, and imaging when necessary.
Prenatal care is one of the best ways to give your child a healthy start in life. It is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Learn more about what prenatal care services you should be receiving during your pregnancy.