Being pregnant is exciting and overwhelming all at once. If you’re expecting, the best way to take care of yourself and your baby is to get preventive healthcare and prenatal care. In fact, women who get regular prenatal care are more likely to have a healthy baby and less likely to go into premature labor.
Visit Your Healthcare Provider Regularly
During your pregnancy, you may choose a doctor (like an obstetrician) or a midwife (who is specially trained to provide prenatal care and help during childbirth) to meet your healthcare needs. No matter who you choose, you should plan on visiting your healthcare provider at least once a month for the first seven months and more frequently the last two months.
Getting regular care can detect problems early or even prevent issues. During each visit, make the most of your time with your healthcare provider. Ask questions, review your medical history (like medicines you’re taking or your family’s health history) and discuss any concerns you may have. You may also talk about your birth plan: where you plan to give birth, who you want with you and how you plan to manage the discomfort of labor.
Routine medical tests give your healthcare provider information about your health and the health of your baby. Your healthcare provider may test your blood and urine for a variety of conditions. Your healthcare provider will also perform a physical examination to check on the progress of your pregnancy and determine if there are any issues.
You’ll also get tested for gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes some women get during pregnancy) between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Making healthy lifestyle choices, like eating healthy and staying active, can help to reduce your risk for gestational diabetes.
Talk to your healthcare provider about vaccines you may need.
If you’re pregnant, our Maternity Program offers additional support to make your pregnancy as happy and healthy as possible. Our trained Health Coaches help you better understand your pregnancy by providing education and assistance at no out-of-pocket cost.
Learn more about preventive healthcare during your pregnancy by visiting Healthfinder.gov. Preventive healthcare is important for your newborn, too. Learn more by visiting our Preventive Healthcare section.
Please note: The information presented here is based on averages, so if you have a family history of a specific disease, or there are other factors that put you at higher risk, you should see your doctor more frequently to check for these conditions.
The recommendations in this article are not a replacement for your doctor’s advice. They are intended only as general guidelines for preventive care. Please consider the information presented here, but make sure to talk to your doctor about screenings and exams you may need now and on a regular basis, depending on your current health, family history and other individual factors.