Prenatal Checklist – A Must Do Before Pregnancy

Prenatal Checklist refers to early checkups before baby is delivered. It is often offered in the form of routine checkups, usually consisting of suggestions on maintaining a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery. These prenatal visits are generally given by a midwife or doctor, and can be done in-clinic or at home. There are many important things that you can do to ensure that you get the best prenatal care possible. Prenatal check-ups are done to assess the health of the mother and to detect gestational diabetes, problems with the birthing process, and other risks to the infant. By taking advantage of prenatal care you will be able to ensure that your child has a good chance of being born healthy.

Many women take prenatal vitamins to help them get through their pregnancy. However, while some of these vitamins are vital, others can actually harm your baby if you are not careful. This is especially true if you are a smoker. Smoking makes it harder for the body to get certain nutrients and when combined with the effects of a prenatal vitamin it can result in harm to the fetus.

If you smoke during your pregnancy you should stop now. Not only can quitting have adverse effects on the health of your child, but it is the worst thing you can do during your pregnancy. Not only will your child be at risk of developing health conditions from exposure to second hand smoke, but your own safety will also be in jeopardy. It has been estimated that around 80% of premature births and most cases of low birth weight in newborn babies are due to smoking. In fact, research has shown that the two together can cause developmental delays and behavioral problems in babies.

If you are not sure which prenatal vitamin is best for you and your baby then ask your doctor what he or she recommends. While there are many options, your obstetrician or gynecologist will be able to tell you which one is best for you based on your age, weight, height and even your family history. Generally speaking, the first pregnancy test you take after getting pregnant should include a prenatal vitamin. However, your doctor may recommend another one depending on your findings from your pregnancy test. The reason why a prenatal vitamin should be taken during pregnancy is because it contains important nutrients such as folic acid and iron. Folic acid helps with brain development of the spinal cord in both children and fetuses while iron is essential in the transfer of iron to the placenta for maternal use.

Some people believe that taking a prenatal vitamin containing extra micrograms of vitamin C will interfere with the absorption of lactose in infants. However, this is not the case as consuming vitamin C in any form will not prevent your baby from being born with a deficiency in this particular vitamin. You should however, be aware that overuse of vitamin C can result in severe burn injuries to the abdomen. So, excessive use of a prenatal vitamin containing extra micrograms of vitamin C should be avoided.

Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing infections in pregnancy and it also helps increase the likelihood of the delivery of a healthy baby. It can however be deficient in some people so pregnant women who are prone to osteoporosis should take prenatal vitamins which contain sufficient amounts of this vitamin. In the first trimester, when the baby is more susceptible to infections, your doctor will likely recommend a course of folic acid and vitamin D. During the last trimester, studies have shown that babies whose mothers took extensive amounts of folic acid in their third trimester had lower risks of birth defects such as cleft palate, brain defects, spina bifida and Down syndrome. However, it is recommended to consult your doctor before taking these medications especially in cases where the mother has a history of malignant tumors.

Prenatal checkups are very important and you should schedule one even if you have not experienced any major problems so far. When you have a checkup, your obstetrician or midwife will do a physical examination of your abdomen to detect any abnormalities in size, shape and color. The checkup will also include blood tests and ultrasound to detect any possible problems in your baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys and digestive tract. A general anesthesia is often required so make sure that your doctor is fully qualified to administer this procedure. Ultrasound is used in many types of pregnancy tests to visualize developing blood vessels and to identify any congenital abnormalities. Your doctor may use either one or two procedures to confirm the positive results and then give you the results of your prenatal care.

Making sure that you have your prenatal care regularly scheduled will ensure that your baby remains healthy and that your due date does not become a missed opportunity. Remember that healthy babies do not develop fully until the first few weeks of pregnancy so there is plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of your baby. Your health care provider will give you prenatal medication and guidance so that you can prepare your body for the new arrival.