Why it’s important to start prenatal care early
4/28/2016 12:56 PM
Data shows early prenatal care improves outcomes. When possible, starting prenatal care before you’re pregnant is the best scenario. You’ll get the most benefit if you start taking vitamins, particularly folic acid, before conception. The reason is that many women do not realize they are pregnant very early on, so starting prenatal vitamins before conception helps ensure the baby develops properly.
Because having an ultrasound early in pregnancy is the most accurate way to date a pregnancy, seeking medical care early will help determine your due date and allow you to start bonding with your baby through sonogram pictures.
Early prenatal care is also beneficial for establishing a low-risk pregnancy. Additionally, advanced genetic testing is available to detect problems with the baby in the first trimester, so getting plugged in with your obstetrician early can be very beneficial.
Another reason it’s important not to delay prenatal care is for insurance purposes. Medicaid can take 30-45 days to take effect if you’re not already on it.
For more useful health tips, visit CTMC’s YouTube channel.
About the Author
Stephen Richardson, MD, is a family doctor and obstetrician at the Live Oak Health Partners Community Clinic in San Marcos, Texas.