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Regular prenatal care reduces health risks to infants and mothers. If you are an expectant mother, you are likely aware of how critical a time period the womb is for children. Read on to learn more about prenatal checkups and their potential impact on your growing child.

Pre-Pregnancy Checkups Reduce Risks Before They Develop

Planning a healthy baby begins before conception. A preconception examination by someone who has completed a diagnostic medical sonography program is a great way to discover health issues that put a pregnancy and the unborn at risk. Many times conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure are undiscovered in women of childbearing age, because they are young and these disorders are considered part of aging.

Immunizations can be brought up to date at this time, as well as consultation on a healthy weight if that is necessary. Expectant mothers should avoid using drugs and alcohol, and if necessary they should plan for smoking cessation during gestation. A psychologist may provide counseling for anxiety or depression. Women planning to become pregnant are asked to add folic acid supplements of 400+ micrograms to their diet. Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida by 70 percent.

Prenatal Checkups Reduce the Risk for Infant Complications

Sometimes women are not aware that certain medications and recreational drugs can harm babies. Prescription drugs like acne treatments and herbal remedies for diet are not safe for pregnancy. In a prenatal examination, your physician will record a list of your current medications and advise you to discontinue ones that could have a negative impact on your child’s health.

If you have a history of tobacco or alcohol use, certain courses could be helpful. Tobacco smoke during pregnancy causes babies to grow slowly, and may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Alcohol abuse has a well-known connection with fetal alcohol syndrome. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome have abnormal facial features and learning disabilities, so avoiding drinking while pregnant is a no-brainer.

Prenatal Checkups Discover Maternal Health Conditions

Many times chronic conditions like asthma, depression or obesity are disregarded by mothers-to-be, because these conditions have been part of their lives for a long time. Poorly controlled asthma raises the chance of preeclampsia, preterm birth and cesarean birth. A history of depression presents the risk of a mother not caring for herself properly during a pregnancy, or becoming severely disabled by postpartum depression. Eating disorders are strongly linked to premature birth. Mothers with eating disorders may suffer severely from postpartum depression. Obesity presents a risk of pregnancy complications such as preterm deliveries or preeclampsia.

Prenatal Checkups May Indicate Multiple Births

A possibility of twins or even triplets is very exciting. Even so, carrying multiple fetuses is considered a high-risk pregnancy. Twins tend to have a higher risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, and they may require a cesarean delivery. Prenatal examinations alert mother and doctor to possible complications and countermeasures early in the process.

Screening tests and medical checkups keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy. They provide counselling and education about the stages and health aspects of a pregnancy and delivery.

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