Prenatal care is essential to ensure the healthy growth and development of a baby. Regular visits to a health care provider will allow for the baby's progress to be monitored. Prenatal care will identify any potential problems before they become serious. Women who receive prenatal care have healthier babies, are less likely to deliver prematurely or have pregnancy-related problems.
Prenatal care should begin as soon as possible and, in the early stages of pregnancy, include monthly doctor's visits. These visits will become more frequent as the pregnancy progresses. The visits include a complete physical exam, blood and urine samples and answers to any questions. The doctor will measure the uterus, take ultrasounds and perform several other tests to keep the mother and baby as healthy as possible.
Breastfeeding is a natural and healthy process that provides advantages to both baby and mother. Many new mothers have difficulty adjusting to breastfeeding, however, and may benefit from a lactation consultation. A lactation consultation can help the mother fully understand the breastfeeding process and troubleshoot any problems, pain or confusion she may have.
Even mothers who have successfully breastfed their other children, may need assistance with a new baby. A breastfeeding plan will be developed that will take into consideration the mother's medical history and concerns.