Pregnancy : Prenatal Checkups Key to Healthy Pregnancy

Insurance Weekly News

Buckeye Community Health Plan

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Weekly News -- Nurturing a healthy baby starts with a complete program of prenatal care, according to Brad Lucas, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Buckeye Community Health Plan.

"In order to monitor the health of both mother and baby, regularly scheduled checkups and essential. The doctor will monitor the baby's growth as well as the mother's health and will be able to treat any problems as soon as they arise," Dr. Lucas said.

He explained that the expectant mother and her caregiver will become close partners over the next nine months, so it's critical that the mother chooses someone she can trust.

Ob-gyns specialize in the reproductive care of women and are the first choice of the majority of women in America. Still, doctors have different personalities and varying opinions about some procedures. Feeling comfortable with your ob-gyn's manner and philosophy will help ensure a good experience. Ask friends or relatives for the names of doctors they like.

Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are registered nurses who are trained to care for women and their babies through pregnancy and the weeks following delivery. These professionals can treat healthy women with normal pregnancies but must have an arrangement with a doctor to provide backup in the event of medical problems.

As soon as a woman suspects she may be pregnant, she should see a medical professional, Dr. Lucas said.

What to expect on the first visit

The doctor will take an extensive medical history of the mother and the baby's father, including menstrual history, any previous pregnancies, and diseases or genetic disorders that might run in either family. The doctor also will discuss any habits the parents may have that could pose a danger to the baby, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs. All information will be kept confidential.

In addition, the doctor will perform an examination, conduct lab tests, determine the due date, and begin to chart the mother's weight gain. The doctor may also prescribe a prenatal vitamin and provide nutrition and exercise advice.

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