According to Schulz et al. (2006), prenatal care refers to health care that pregnant women receive from a midwife or an obstetrician. Essential services include lifestyle advice, dietary, examination for pregnancy problems such as preeclampsia and edema, weighing to ensure weight gain and infections test. In addition, a blood test is done to ascertain HIV status. If the mother is positive for this, then checking with the medical practitioner will help her avoid infecting the fetus. In such situations prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) is advised, encouraged and a follow-up is done to ensure the future of the baby and mother is safe. Avoiding teratogens are crucial for the following reasons; it reduces pregnancy risks or complications and ensures proper infant development and health. Following the doctors’ advice will also help to reduce the deformation of the unborn caused by teratogens consumption which include, street drug, chemical exposure, tobacco and alcohol. Therefore, teratogens should be avoided at all cost as they may cause death of either infant or mother.
According to Reiss et al. (2000), abnormal facial features might display as certain symptomology. However, an overall impact of development has been found to begin affecting the fetus from 10 to 14 days after conception as a result of teratogens. These developmental features highlight poor memory or coordination, intellectual disability, signs of having a small or large-sized head and further problems with kidneys, heart, or bones. Various internal organs of the baby are formed at different times. Hence, if teratogens are consumed, then it may result in poor health. Studies show that by prescribing 400 micrograms of folic acid per day help reduce neural tube defects. The reason why is because folate, as a B vitamin, is required by the fetus to properly develop. Therefore, the importance of visiting the hospital during pregnancy is crucial since it fosters the good health and development of a baby.
In addition, women should know and understand the following guidelines in regards to healthy pregnancies (Crawford, 2005). Excessive sleeping or working is discouraged, but performing some exercise like walking is healthy. When should you call the doctor? In case of an impending emergency, it may be a good idea. Counseling on healthy behavior, healthy nutrition, and screening to monitor both the baby and mother are smart behaviors. Also, good advice calls for using routine prenatal visit to ask any questions of concern, regarding the baby and mommy. All these things are necessary and imperative.
Crawford, P. (2005). Best practice guidelines for the management of women with epilepsy. Epilepsia, 46 Suppl 9117-124.
Reiss, R. E., Landon, M. B., Jayanthi, V. R., Caniano, D. A., Mutabagani, K. K., & O'Shaughnessy, R. W. (2000). Functional urinary tract obstruction developing in fetuses with isolated gastroschisis. Ultrasound In Obstetrics & Gynecology, 15(3), 194-198. doi:10.1046/j.1469-0705.2000.00003.x
Schulz, M. S., Cowan, C., & Cowan, P. A. (2006). Promoting Healthy Beginnings: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Preventive Intervention to Preserve Marital Quality During the Transition to Parenthood. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 74(1), 20-31