Prenatal Care is Good for Moms and for Babies
Even in this modern day and age, the ability to grow a little human being inside you is still magical.
Whether you’re having your first baby or your fourth, getting care early can help you have a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Start Before You’re Even Pregnant!
If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, ask your doctor about a preconception visit. The preconception visit focuses on your health history and habits, with the goal of giving you personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations so you have the best chance for an easy, carefree pregnancy.
At the preconception visit, you should tell your doctor about any prescription drugs or herbal remedies you’re taking. If you have a health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend certain foods and vitamins and getting your condition under control before you start trying to have a baby.
Before you even see a doctor, here are a few good health tips to follow:
- Most women should start taking a folic acid supplement at least one month before you start trying to get pregnant. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects of the brain stem or spinal cord.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- With your doctor’s approval, get regular exercise.
- Excessive caffeine and consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and use of illegal substances can hurt your chances of conception and are harmful to the baby during pregnancy.
- Avoid exposure to substances like lead and radiation.
Once You’re Pregnant
Even if you’re not sure you’re pregnant, visit your doctor. Prenatal care can drastically reduce your risk of complications, which is why it’s important to see your doctor on a regular basis.
Prenatal visits usually include a physical exam, weight checks, and having your urine checked. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, your doctor may also check your blood and perform imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams, to check on your baby’s health.
Prenatal visits are your time to ask questions about your pregnancy. Make notes as you think of them and bring them in – no question is too small, especially when it comes to the health of you and your baby.
AltaMed is Here for You!
AltaMed offers moms-to-be services that support their physical and mental wellbeing. Your doctor can tell you which services are appropriate for you.
- Regular and frequent checkups, the whole time you’re pregnant
- Classes and one-on-one information about pregnancy, childbirth, baby care, and breastfeeding
- How to apply for financial help and resources such as Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, and WIC
- Help with cutting down or quitting smoking, drinking, or using drugs
- Counseling on problems or family issues you may have
- Referral to community agencies that can provide additional help and services
From even before you get pregnant, all through your pregnancy, delivery, and after, AltaMed is dedicated to helping your baby grow up, healthy and strong. We want to be your first stop, and your first choice, for your entire family.