What occurs during the prenatal care visits?
The goal of prenatal care is not only to provide the best care for the pregnant woman and the unborn child, but also to prepare the mother-to-be for the delivery of a healthy baby. During prenatal visits, tests are performed on both the mother and the baby to assess any potential risks, to treat any maternal or fetal complications, and to monitor the growth and development of the fetus. In addition, counseling and guidance are provided regarding various aspects of pregnancy, including weight gain, exercise, nutrition, and overall health. A typical prenatal visit may include any/all of the following: • weight measurement • blood pressure measurement • measurement of the uterus to check for proper growth of the fetus • physical examination of the mother to identify problems or discomforts (i.e., swelling of the hands and feet) • urine test to measure sugar and protein levels, which can indicate diabetes or preeclampsia (a condition characterized by pregnancy-induced high blood pressure,