The Basics of Prenatal Care

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As explained by the Office on Women’s Health, “prenatal care is the health care you get while you are pregnant.” It is important because it helps keep an expecting mother and her baby healthy during the pregnancy and beyond. A study cited by the National Library of Medicine is clear: “Inadequate or absent prenatal care is often cited as a risk factor for low birthweight and other poor pregnancy outcomes.” In this article, you will find an overview of the basics of prenatal care. 

Your Guide to Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is a form of routine and preventive medical care for pregnant mothers. The primary goal of prenatal care is to help ensure that the mother and her child are as safe and healthy as possible. Here are six important elements of proper prenatal care: 

  • Planning and Scheduling: Proper prenatal care starts with planning and scheduling. Among other things, this includes developing a basic schedule for appointments and a plan for what types of tests and assessments should be performed during the course of the pregnancy. 
  • Administering Tests: Certain tests are generally performed in the early stages of a pregnancy. More specifically, early stage prenatal tests often include things such as abdominal and vaginal ultrasound/sonography. 
  • Pregnancy Education: Education is a very important part of modern prenatal care. Doctors and other medical professionals put a considerable amount of time and attention into ensuring that expecting mothers have the knowledge and resources that they need. 
  • Proactive Assessment: Prenatal care involves the proactive assessment of the mother and the fetus. By ensuring that assessment is proactive, any issues or areas of concern can be identified as early as possible. 
  • Ongoing Screening: Prenatal care involves screening throughout the course of the pregnancy. Ongoing screening and assessment help to ensure that the infant is developing properly. Any issues, such as a lower than expected birth weight, should be addressed. 
  • Address Risk Factors and Other Issues: If there are any issues that arise during the pregnancy, those risk factors can be identified and addressed at the earliest possible time. 

Proper Prenatal Care Can Risk Reduce Risk of Complications—But Birth Injuries Still Occur

While the research is clear that proper prenatal care can reduce the risk of low birthweight and other pregnancy complications, unfortunately, the reality is that an expecting mother and her family can do everything right and can still run into medical problems. A negligent obstetrician, doctor, hospital, or other medical provider could contribute to a birth injury. A term for an injury sustained during childbirth, a birth injury could affect an infant, a mother, or both. 

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If you or your infant suffered a birth injury, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention and the proper legal representation. A birth injury is a type of medical malpractice claim. The at-fault doctor or health provider can be held accountable. A skilled legal advocate, such as the birth injury attorneys at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, PC., can review your case, explain your options, and take action to get your family justice and the financial support that it needs. 

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