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Prenatal Care Is Important For Mothers, Babies

Prenatal care is the word used to define the healthcare a woman receives while pregnant. Early prenatal care is important for the healthiest pregnancy for mom and baby. The U.S Office of Women’s Health says, “ Babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are … five times more likely to die than those babies who are born to mothers who do get consistent care.”

The earlier prenatal care is started, the better. A missed period or a change in periods, such as lighter/shorter, for two months is the time for a pregnancy test. A positive pregnancy test indicates the time to make an appointment for your first prenatal visit.

The first visit includes plenty of time to get to know your nurse midwife/doctor and for us to know you and your family. Prenatal care is teamwork that includes information sharing, close monitoring of you and your baby and medical treatment as needed. A dating ultrasound, essential lab tests and vitamins/ meds will be ordered at the first visit and the results will guide your individualized care.

Some women in our community enter pregnancy with health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, Hepatitis C, hypothyroidism and depression. Early and regular prenatal visits are extremely important and the best path for a healthy mom, baby and birth for these moms. We work closely with the excellent maternal fetal medicine team in Billings to provide the best care for our moms with serious health issues.

The goals of prenatal care are: 1) healthy pregnancy for mom and baby, 2) recognizing pre-pregnancy health issues and addressing them 3) lowering the risks of developing complications for mothers and babies and 4) developing a trusting partnership between providers and families.

The above goals can be best met by open and honest discussions, early and regular prenatal visits and a mutually agreed upon plan of care. Some things you can work on before seeing us are: start prenatal vitamins; stop alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; and start healthy eating and exercise. We are able to help with transportation issues that prevent early and regular visits.

We are happy to be a part of NEMHS team and enjoy providing prenatal care and birth with the families of our communities.

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