Prenatal care is the health care you receive and precautions you take when you are pregnant.
Early prenatal care is vital in order to have a healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Many women choose to take folic acid, check their immunity to rubella and blood type, as well as go to preconception counseling where they may be advised about smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating a healthy diet.
Once you are pregnant, your prenatal care will mostly consist of examinations and ultrasounds in order to monitor the health of your fetus, as well as your personal health.
If you are pregnant, Dignity Health can provide personalized prenatal care in the Sacramento region. Find an OB today to learn more about all we offer to take care of your and your baby, from your first few weeks of pregnancy to delivery and beyond.
Why Prenatal Care is Important for a Healthy Pregnancy
At Dignity Health, the primary goal of our prenatal care program is to deliver healthy babies to healthy mothers. The babies of mothers who don’t receive prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth rate, and sadly they are five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who did participate in a prenatal care regime.
One of the reasons prenatal care leads to healthier babies is that it allows our experienced doctors to catch, diagnose, and treat health problems early, as they see the mother on a regular basis. These treatments have the ability to cure many problems, while preventing others.
The other reason it’s important to get prenatal care is it enables your doctor to help you care for your baby. Seeing your doctor regularly during pregnancy will help prepare you to safely bring your child into the world and then home.
What to Expect at Your Prenatal Visits in the Sacramento Region
At your first prenatal visit, your doctor at Dignity Health will likely:
- Take a blood and urine sample for lab work
- Ask about your family’s health history
- Perform a physical exam, including a pelvic exam and pap smear if it’s been awhile since your last test
- Take your blood pressure, height, and weight
- Calculate your due date based on factors like the first day of your last period
- Answer questions you may have
- Learn more about your personal health history like diseases, operations, and if you’ve had prior pregnancies
Your follow-up prenatal appointments are generally shorter than the first. At each visit, your doctor will check on your health and make sure the baby is growing at the right rate. That may include:
- Taking your blood pressure
- Measuring your weight and calculating weight gain
- Once you begin showing, your doctor may measure your belly to check the baby's growth
- Checking the baby's heart rate with a doppler
Our Family Birth Centers use advanced technologies so that both you and your baby receive the latest care. Talk to your OB today.
Dignity Health provides complete prenatal care in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas.