Prenatal care was not as well-known among Indian women as it is in other countries.
When I conceived my baby, I consulted my gynecologist, and she gave me a detailed run down about the treatment covered in prenatal care throughout my pregnancy.
She answered all my queries and recommended that I opt for prenatal care to ensure my own health and well-being as well as that of my baby.
Generally, most prenatal care sessions cover medical checkups with doctors, midwives, or nurses, and certain screening tests every once in a while to identity potential problems and ensure proper growth and development of the fetus.
The doctors also inform you about your health issues, if any, and give you instructions on how to keep yourself, and your baby healthy. This includes chalking out a diet and exercise regime that works for you and your requirements.
The doctors will also explain how to follow a healthy lifestyle for moms-to-be and give them instructions on how to gain weight naturally and not overeat.
It’s a common myth among Indian women that during pregnancy, you have to eat for two. But this is not true and I learned about it only after attending my prenatal care sessions.
Just imagine all the excess food our moms used to eat under the misconception that it is beneficial for the child!
One of the most amazing things that my prenatal care sessions did for me was to help me find out that I had low hemoglobin and was prone to anemia, which could have had harmful effects.
The laboratory tests that the doctors conducted during my prenatal sessions thus prevented a lot of health issues during and after pregnancy.
My pregnancy diet included iron-rich food like, whole grains, cereals, lots of fish and red meat, which was recommended by my prenatal care doctors.
One of the most important benefits of prenatal care for pregnant women is in determining the date of delivery. This depends on your health during pregnancy, as well as the growth of the baby, which is regularly monitored.
For Large-for-Gestational-Age (LGA) babies, an early delivery date may be recommended to avoid complications.
The prenatal care sessions are not limited to physical tests, diet and exercise. I learned that some doctors may include psychotherapy sessions to prevent post-natal depression in women who are prone to it.
Every woman should opt for prenatal care as it will help you learn a lot of things that you do not understand about pregnancy. Regular prenatal care checkups can catch potential health issues before they become more serious.
It is wise not to ignore the importance of prenatal care if you want a complication-free delivery and happy, healthy motherhood.