Katy, TX area obstetrician explains the importance of prenatal care for a baby’s health
Are you pregnant? Congratulations! Having a baby is an exciting and wonderful time in many women’s lives. Not every woman is able to conceive and carry a child, so this experience should be enjoyed to its fullest. At the same time, a pregnant woman should also focus on the health of her baby by obtaining prenatal care every step of the way. Our obstetricians in Katy, TX explain the importance of prenatal care to women who have recently received this happy news and want to give their child a great start!
What is prenatal care?
Drs. Jenkins and Falae of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine in Katy, TX describe prenatal care as services received by the mother and baby throughout pregnancy. Some women choose to seek prenatal care before they conceive a child to ensure the conditions are right. Others will seek early and regular prenatal care from a provider to follow up throughout the pregnancy and monitor the baby’s growth and health.
Why is prenatal care important?
The primary purpose of prenatal care is to ensure a healthy, safe pregnancy. The baby growing inside of a woman needs monitoring to check for early signs of health problems. The doctors can often address health issues of the baby early on and can prevent future issues with proper monitoring and visits to the OBGYN. Our doctors are trained to spot common developmental issues with ultrasounds on routine appointments throughout the pregnancy. Prenatal care is incredibly essential because it allows the mother to rest easy knowing all is well. Babies of mothers who do not seek prenatal care have an increased risk of low birth weight and death. This makes it essential that pregnant women consider care throughout their pregnancy. Overall, prenatal care is important because it:
- Ensures a safe and healthy pregnancy
- Monitors the baby’s growth and development
- Allows for early interventions if issues exist
- Ensures proper birth weights
- Reduces the chances of prenatal death
- Monitors the health of both baby and mother
- Provides education on how to care for one’s self throughout pregnancy
- Offers an opportunity for pregnant mothers to ask questions about their conditions
- Gives doctors a chance to spot problems early enough for effective intervention
- Gives babies a healthy start to life!
How often should I see my OBGYN throughout my pregnancy?
First and foremost, many women seek care before they are even pregnant. They can ensure they are healthy enough to get pregnant and that the conditions are correct in terms of ovulation to conceive. Women who want to get pregnant can also ask about prenatal vitamins that they can take to assist. After a woman finds out she is pregnant with a positive test, they should visit their doctor once a month until around 28 weeks gestation. At this time, visits to the doctor may become more regular, approximately twice a month through 36 weeks gestation. At this point in time, weekly visits are recommended until birth.
Women who have been diagnosed with certain conditions or complications that make their pregnancy more high risk, including women over the age of 35, may be advised to visit the doctor on a more regular basis to monitor their health and to keep a close eye on the development of the baby. Obstetricians will educate women on when extra visits are required for improved prenatal care in high-risk pregnancies.
What if I cannot get pregnant?
There are many factors that can be related to the inability to conceive. If you and your partner are interested in getting pregnant, an appointment for a full evaluation can be done to check a woman’s ability to conceive. Men can seek assistance through another doctor that can ensure sperm is healthy for conception. Following ovulation can also help, but couples who struggle with conceiving a child may want to see an infertility specialist to learn more about the steps they can take to start or expand their family.
Are you pregnant and ready to take the steps necessary to ensure your baby’s health?
Contact the team at Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Medicine in the community of Katy, TX to learn more about the benefits and importance of prenatal care with our staff. Call the office, located at 23535 Kingsland Boulevard, at 855 346 8610 and get your pregnancy off to a safe and healthy start!