Prenatal and Postpartum Care
Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in your life. As your baby grows and changes each trimester, so do you. Making healthy decisions is critical for a healthy pregnancy, a healthy delivery and a healthy baby.
Prenatal care is all about decreasing risks before and during pregnancy. Ideally, prenatal care starts before you even conceive. Some healthy habits you can adopt during this time are:
- Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol
- Taking a folic acid supplement
- Talking to your doctor about your medical conditions and history
- Avoiding contact with toxic substances and chemicals that could be harmful
After conception, regular prenatal checkups with your doctor can help them monitor your pregnancy. You should begin to see a doctor in the first three months of your pregnancy. They can identify problems or complications before they become dangerous or just reassure you of the normal progression of pregnancy. Some of these checkups may include:
- Routine blood tests and screenings
- Monitoring your blood pressure
- Measuring your weight gain
- Monitoring your baby’s growth and heart rate
- Talking about special diet and exercise
If your pregnancy becomes high-risk because of health conditions or age, you may need special care. This can include more frequent visits or seeing a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies.
The postpartum period is eight weeks immediately following birth. You may experience physical and emotional changes while learning to care for your new baby. Proper rest, nutrition and vaginal care are all important parts of postpartum care.
Rest is critical for new moms. You need to rebuild strength to care for your baby. You can try sleeping when your baby sleeps. You can also keep your baby’s crib near your bed to make night feedings easier.
Eating right is crucial as well. Doctors may recommend that breast-feeding mothers eat when they feel hungry. Try to eat mindfully and not just when you are bored or tired. Avoid high-fat snacks and drink plenty of fluids.
If you experience vaginal issues, like soreness, discharge or urination problems, schedule a checkup with your doctor. Your vagina needs the proper time to heal post-delivery.
Don’t forget to take care of your mental health in addition to your physical health. Postpartum depression is very common, so remember to make time for yourself and talk to your doctor if you’re feeling down. Our telehealth services can also connect you with a licensed mental health specialist if you need additional support.
From prenatal to postpartum, your benefits are designed to support your needs. Check out our resources for expecting mothers.