Skip to main content

Why Prenatal Care Is So Important

Why Prenatal Care Is So Important

Until your baby is born, it’s entirely dependent on you to survive, develop, and thrive. That’s why prenatal care, the medical care you get while you’re pregnant, is so important. Every time you come into the office, your doctor checks both your health and the health of your fetus. 

With early and regular prenatal care, you’re more likely to have a low-risk pregnancy and carry your baby full term — the time the fetus needs to grow and develop fully so it can survive in the outside world.

Board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Hany H Ahmed provides comprehensive prenatal care at his office in Houston, Texas. He specializes in normal and high-risk pregnancies and can provide you and your baby with the resources and attention you need during your pregnancy journey.

Why you need prenatal care

The primary function of prenatal care is to ensure that both mother and child remain healthy during and after the pregnancy.

When he sees you regularly during pregnancy, Dr. Ahmed can identify health problems early on, allowing him to treat and cure many issues and prevent others from occurring. He also talks with you about what you can do to give your baby a healthy start to life.

At each prenatal visit, Dr. Ahmed checks on your health and makes sure the baby is growing as expected by:

He also runs routine tests (e.g., bloodwork, urinalysis, ultrasound) based on your medical history and risk factors.

Babies born to mothers who don’t get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than babies born to mothers who do get prenatal care.

Prenatal care timeline

Comprehensive prenatal care starts with your own health, because if you’re not healthy, you won’t be able to provide well for your child’s development. 

You need to discuss any underlying medical conditions and risk factors with Dr. Ahmed so he can determine how they might affect your pregnancy, your delivery, and your baby’s health. From that, he can draw up a detailed plan of how to accommodate every developmental stage.

You need to see Dr. Ahmed many times during pregnancy for prenatal care:

If your pregnancy is classified as high-risk, Dr. Ahmed may want to see you more often. High-risk conditions include:

Dr. Ahmed advises you of the modified schedule, as well as what you can expect each step of the way. The more he knows, the better he can help you through the nine months and beyond.

Prenatal care begins at home

To get the full benefits of prenatal care, you need to understand the lifestyle requirements that benefit you and the baby the most. Common recommendations include:

Diet

Eating a variety of healthy foods ensures you and your baby have enough nutrition. Make sure to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods, and foods low in saturated fat. Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating to eliminate any toxins.

Be careful, though, not to eat uncooked or undercooked meat (parasite risk) and don't eat fish that contains high levels of mercury (e.g., swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel). Drink plenty of fluids, particularly plain water.

Dr. Ahmed might also suggest you gain a healthy amount of weight.

Vitamins and minerals

To get all the nutrients you need, especially enough folic acid, you may need a prenatal vitamin to replace your generic multivitamin. Iron is especially important because it prevents anemia, a condition linked to preterm birth and low birth weight.

Other lifestyle factors

It’s important to get plenty of sleep, find ways to control stress, and try to get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week.

Of course, smoking, drinking, and doing illicit drugs are no-gos. You also need to alert Dr. Ahmed to any prescription medications you’re taking, as they can affect the fetus.

The more you learn about having a healthy, full-term pregnancy, the better, so think about incorporating childbirth education classes for you and your partner.

If you’re pregnant or want to get pregnant, comprehensive prenatal care is the best thing you can do for your and your baby’s health. Give Dr. Ahmed’s office a call at 713-489-3348 to schedule a prenatal care consultation, or book online with us today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Your Guide to Tubal Reversal

Your Guide to Tubal Reversal

Many women get their tubes “tied” to prevent getting pregnant. But what happens if you have a change of heart? A tubal reversal may be possible, but there are some caveats.

Will Fibroids Resolve on Their Own?

Uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths in or on the uterine lining, may produce no symptoms or a lot of uncomfortable ones. Will they resolve on their own? Here’s what our expert says.
How Do I Know if I'm in Menopause?

How Do I Know if I'm in Menopause?

Menopause is a turning point in a woman’s life, where she’s no longer able to have children. Unfortunately, the period leading up to it is filled with uncomfortable symptoms. Learn how to recognize those symptoms and find relief here.
 Is an IUD Safe?

Is an IUD Safe?

An intrauterine device (IUD) is an effective means of contraception, but is it safe? We have the answer for you here.