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Pre-natal care has become a common requirement today, and every gynaecologist suggests that the pregnant women should opt for regular prenatal checkups to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

However, even two decades ago this was not the case. People were not aware of the fact that prenatal care is a necessity, and not an option.

When my mother conceived me in 1998, prenatal care was just another luxury most parents-to-be could not afford, but my mother made it possible.

I have heard from her how she pleaded with my father to opt for an extensive prenatal care, which was also quite expensive, especially because she had diabetes and other heath complications, and she feared that those could harm me.

A number of pregnancy risks can be averted with prenatal care. Women with health issues like diabetes, thyroid, and asthma, pose a greater threat to their unborn babies than those who don’t have these complications.

In fact, gestational diabetes can cause several harmful effects to the growing foetus like, respiratory diseases, nutrient deficiency, hypoglycaemia and others.

One of the many benefits of pregnancy prenatal care is that you have to undergo certain tests from time to time to identify potential health risks to the mother, as well as her child.

It was during one such test that the doctors found out about my extra large size. Yes! I was LGA (Large for Gestational Age).

As the doctors cautioned that my size could create problems for my mother, as well as, me, a caesarean delivery was recommended, and I was brought into this world a little early.

But what size has to do with it all? Well, LGA babies are more likely to suffer from respiratory distress syndrome.

Further, babies, who grow larger than their normal size, also tend to have higher RBCs in the blood, which produce an excessive amount of bilirubin when these cells break down, making these babies more prone to jaundice. So I’m thankful that my mother opted for prenatal care.

My mother was always prone to gaining weights, no matter what she ate. Today, prenatal care helps us not only to identity potential health risks but also maintain a proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle.

When my mother opted for prenatal care from a reputed paediatric centre in her time, she was given a complete diet chart to follow during her pregnancy as well as asked to exercise regularly.

She was also shown which exercises to do and which ones to avoid during the later stages of pregnancy. Today, she often tells me that it was indeed a boon to have made that choice, and my father agrees with her.

Sometimes, the long-term advantages of prenatal care can extend to your children’s lives later on. I’m 21, and thankfully, I live a pretty healthy life, with few complications.

Thanks to my mother’s exemplary prenatal care, neither have I suffered from any breathing issues nor do I have any organ-related problems. In fact, I love swimming, cycling and running long distances.

If you’re still wondering why opt for prenatal care, remember my example and ask yourselves whether you want your child to grow up happy and healthy. Prenatal care is the answer.

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