Bringing Up Baby: the Importance of Prenatal Care

Prenatal CareWhether this is your first pregnancy or your tenth, prenatal care is so important to your baby’s development. You want your baby to be happy and healthy, and although your body is a miracle worker (you are, after all, growing a human being inside of you), it does need a little bit of help.

Ultrasounds

While not directly affecting baby’s health, ultrasounds are very important. Actually seeing your baby in utero can help you strengthen your bond with your baby. More importantly, however, ultrasounds can provide health information about your baby before he or she is born, such as potential birth defects or disorders. Ultrasounds can also be helpful in providing you with a safe delivery. The doctors will monitor the size and position of your baby to make sure that there will be no complications.

Watch What You Eat

While it is always a good idea to eat a healthy and balanced diet, it is especially important when you are pregnant. People often use the phrase “You’re eating for two,” and while that is true, the important part isn’t necessarily that you are feeding another person. What is important to remember is that you need to ensure that your baby is getting all the nutrients it needs to properly develop.

Think of your baby like a plant. You have planted the seed, but now it needs good soil, sunlight, nutrients, and water in order to grow properly. You already have a sprouting baby, but you need to give it all the nutrients it needs to grow big and strong.

Make sure you are consuming plenty of folic acid, iron, iodine, and calcium. These help prevent birth defects, especially those involving the brain and spinal cord. They help strengthen both mother’s and baby’s bones and carry oxygen to the fetus. This means you especially need to eat leafy greens, nuts, citrus, and other healthy foods.

If your diet has holes in it, talk to your doctor about taking prenatal vitamins to balance out what you’re missing.

Working with your doctor to stay healthy during pregnancy is very important for both you and baby, so work hard on your prenatal care.

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