Katy, TX, obstetrics expert explains need for proper prenatal care
Most people think that a healthy pregnancy ends with a healthy baby. However, a healthy pregnancy is also important for the mom-to-be as well. During pregnancy, a woman goes through many physical, hormonal, and emotional changes, taking care of her body through proper exercise and nutrition, pre-natal vitamins, and regular checkups with her obstetrician.
Dr. Taryll Jenkins of Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine helps moms-to-be in Katy, TX, manage their pregnancies. As an expert in the field, Dr. Jenkins understands the importance of balancing top medical care with a healthy diet, plenty of low intensity activity, and time to relax. Women who receive good prenatal care and who are an active participant in their well-being are more likely to deliver a healthy baby, are less likely to deliver prematurely, and are less likely to encounter serious problems during their pregnancy.
What some patients don’t understand is that prenatal care starts before conception. When you’re ready to begin a family, it’s important to make sure that any unhealthy habits are stopped. For example, patients who drink heavily or smoke should curb that behavior even before they receive a positive pregnancy test. Additionally, patients should make sure that they are at a healthy weight and have no underlying health conditions that could negatively impact their pregnancy.
Once a patient has a positive pregnancy test, she should call her obstetrician for an appointment. Most patients have their first appointment around eight weeks of pregnancy to hear the baby’s heartbeat, take measurements, and undergo blood work. Throughout the next several months patients will visit their obstetrician every four weeks so that he can monitor their weight and the health of the baby. The expectant mother will undergo several tests as well including more blood work, an ultrasound, and a test for gestational diabetes. These tests are all critical in ensuring that the baby and the mother are healthy.
Throughout the pregnancy many women wonder what activities or foods they need to avoid. Things like alcohol, sushi, caffeine, lunchmeat, sex, and extreme activities or exercise are often questioned as to whether they are safe or not. While most doctors agree that alcohol and tobacco should be avoided, it’s best to ask your doctor about other foods or activities. Some physicans feel that some foods and beverages are acceptable in moderation while others encourage patients to avoid them. Further, activity level is almost always determined by the unique health level of the woman.