Prenatal Care Health
Prenatal Care Begins Before Pregnancy
If you're thinking about having a baby, then you should begin to think about prenatal care long before you even conceive. Preconception care is a vital part of prenatal care, particularly if there are some habits you've picked up through life that could prove unhealthy for the baby you plan to have. A preconception care visit with your physician will help everyone concerned - and especially help you to have a healthy pregnancy.
During the preconception visit your health history and that of the baby's father are taken as well as family history on both sides in order for the doctor to ensure any kind of genetic issues can be addressed. It's also a time to begin lifestyle changes (six months prior to conception at least) as well as to begin taking a prenatal vitamin.
Prenatal vitamins are important to build up certain vitamins and minerals in your body in preparation for the baby. Folic acid is one of the top concerns because a lack of folic acid can lead to neural tube defects - something that happens in the very early stages of pregnancy. If you're taking a good prenatal vitamin, and folic acid before you conceive, chances of avoiding this condition are very good.
Prenatal Testing Ferrets Out Problems
The importance of prenatal care cannot be overstated. You and your baby will have a healthy pregnancy and delivery when you have proper prenatal testing and screenings for diseases or conditions that could harm your baby. During prenatal care, your health is carefully monitored by the doctor who keeps an eye on your blood pressure and on the baby as well. An ultrasound is usually done at around 16 to 20 weeks to determine how the baby is doing. If there are any concerns, they can be addressed, helping to ensure the baby's health is good.
What You Eat Does Count During Pregnancy
Your diet will come under some scrutiny as well. The idea that you can eat whatever you want whenever you want it just because you're pregnant is finally being replaced with sensible eating and an exercise regimen. Throwing caution to the wind, overeating, eating foods that really have no benefit for health, and laying dormant during pregnancy are all contributors to health issues for you and for your baby. Often, it is exactly these things that set the stage for gestational diabetes and other pregnancy related problems. By taking good care of yourself during your pregnancy, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking prenatal vitamins, you are doing everything you can to take care of the environment your baby is developing in.
There are many excellent pregnancy books available with lots of prenatal care articles covering every aspect of pregnancy. These books, as well as videos, and the internet, provide a wealth of information to help you make your pregnancy a wonderful, healthy experience.
Insurance - The Cost of Prenatal Care
Taking care of your body and health is vitally important. It is also important that you have taken the time to assess your prenatal care costs and have a plan to cover them. In many countries there are national health plans and citizens are covered for medical insurance through a payment to the government agency. In the US every pregnant woman can be insured with health insurance for pregnant women. However, there are many women in the US who are under insured and some 13 percent of pregnant women have no insurance at all.
The average prenatal care costs go up to about $8,000, as long as both mother and baby are healthy. If there are risks or complications, then it escalates - the more complications, the more money it will cost. If you have to have a c-section, then the cost can go through the roof.
Costs vary from state to state and doctor to doctor. Check your insurance and coverage for such things as prenatal testing, ultrasounds, and ob-gyn visits. If you haven't conceived yet, it's a good idea to make sure your insurance is capable of handling the prenatal care costs as well as hospital, delivery, and additional costs that come along with having a baby. It's better to take care of this before you conceive then have to deal with the stress of it all after you become pregnant.