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What does proper prenatal care entail?

If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you have probably been told by your Indiana doctor how important it is to get proper prenatal care. This is the care you receive during your pregnancy to ensure your health and the health of your baby. However, what exactly is proper prenatal care and what does it entail?

According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the prenatal care you receive will depend on how far along in your pregnancy you are when you first visit your doctor. Pregnancy is broken into three trimesters, each with its own important care guidelines.

During the first trimester, which is from the beginning of the pregnancy to the three-month mark, you will have your pregnancy confirmed. You will get a physical exam to ensure everything looks good. You will give your doctor background information on your health history and have your vital statistics checked. You may have urine and blood tests as well. You won't see your doctor often in the first trimester unless you have a high-risk pregnancy.

The second semester, which is from four to six months, has fairly easy visits. You will have your uterus measured to track your progress and adjust your due date based on the growth of your baby. You will usually get an ultrasound during this time as well where the baby's health is checked and you can also find out the gender. You will usually see your doctor every two weeks at this point.

During the third trimester, you will see your doctor every week. Your blood pressure will be more closely monitored and you will be checked for signs of labor. Your baby's heart rate will also be monitored. You will also get a test for gestational diabetes. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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