Prenatal Care Steps You Should Take When You Are Expecting

If you are expecting your first child, it can be an exciting and even overwhelming time for you. Becoming a parent is a big step in life and you might be consumed with planning for your new baby's arrival. However, there are certain steps that you should take to promote pregnancy and prenatal care. Prenatal care is extremely important for every pregnancy but can be especially helpful in your first pregnancy when you do not know what to expect from the process. Get to know some of the prenatal care steps you should take when you are expecting. Then, you can be sure you are doing everything you can to have a healthy pregnancy. 

Take Prenatal Vitamins

One of the first steps you can be sure to take to promote pregnancy health is to take a prenatal vitamin. Prenatal vitamins are specially formulated multivitamins to promote health and well-being during pregnancy. 

These vitamins contain higher levels of nutrients like folic acid than some other general multivitamins might as folic acid is especially important during pregnancy. If you are not sure which prenatal vitamin to get or take, consult with your doctor or their nurse. They will be able to tell you what vitamins are best for your specific pregnancy needs. 

Be sure, once you choose your prenatal vitamin, that you take them every day throughout your pregnancy. It may be a good idea to take your vitamin with food to avoid stomach upset as well. 

See Your Doctor Regularly

The biggest part of prenatal care that you need to stick to is your doctor's appointment schedule. If you do not see your doctor regularly during your first pregnancy, you might feel lost and unsure about whether you and your baby are healthy (and that your baby is developing as they should). 

For women who are considered healthy and are between 18 and 35 years old, they should see their doctor about once a month during the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. The doctor will do ultrasounds and exams to make sure the mom and the baby are healthy. They may do blood work on the mother to ensure that they do not have gestational diabetes or other complications and to make sure their hormones are at appropriate levels. 

Between 32 and 37 weeks, an expectant mother will see the doctor about twice as often (about every two weeks). And then at 37 weeks and beyond, the appointments are weekly. Again, this is to monitor health and development and to address any complications that might occur early so that they are manageable. 

Seeing your doctor regularly can help to ensure that you and your baby make it through the pregnancy as well as possible. Do not skip appointments if you can help it. And do not hesitate to schedule appointments even earlier if something comes up or you are worried something isn't quite right. 

Now that you know some of the prenatal care steps you should take when you are expecting, you can be sure you are taking the best care of yourself and your baby going forward.

For more tips on prenatal care, reach out to a local medical health professional.