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Prenatal care refers to the healthcare provided to pregnant women to ensure the health and well-being of both mother and baby.
Mothers who do not receive prenatal care are significantly more at risk of having a baby with low birth weight or even death. In fact, studies show that the chances of such outcomes are three and five times higher, respectively, than those who do receive adequate care during pregnancy.
Prenatal care is essential for both mother and child. Early and consistent care can significantly increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Get Regular Prenatal Care
For uncomplicated pregnancies, prenatal exams are typically scheduled as follows:
- Every month from the 4th week through the 28th week
- Every 2 weeks from the 29th week through the 36th week
- Weekly from the 37th week until delivery
It is important to note that the schedule may differ depending on a woman’s health condition and the healthcare provider's recommendation.
If a woman has a preexisting health condition, such as diabetes, she may require extra prenatal care. Similarly, if she experiences any complications during pregnancy, additional care may be necessary.
Take Healthy Steps
To increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth, it’s important that women:
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
- Eat healthy and get enough folic acid
- Stay physically active
Prenatal Care Providers
Obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN). An OB/GYN is a healthcare provider specializing in the care of pregnant women, particularly during labor and delivery. Additionally, an OB/GYN is knowledgeable in all aspects of gynecological health.
Certified nurse midwife (CNM). This type of nurse specializes in providing care for low-risk or moderate-risk pregnancies, from labor to delivery to postpartum care. Some midwives work with other healthcare providers while some work on an independent basis. CNMs are certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
Family physician. This is a healthcare provider with specialized training in primary care, including obstetrics.
Nurse practitioner. Nurse practitioners emphasize the health and wellness of both mother and child, as well as addressing any complications during pregnancy and postpartum.
Maternal-fetal Medicine Specialists. MFM specialists, also known as perinatologists, are healthcare providers who specialize in high-risk pregnancies.
How We Help
The USFHP Primary Healthcare Plan provides routine doctor's visits, hospitalization, prescription coverage, preventative health care coverage, and specialty care. We’ve also developed incentive programs that reward our members for meeting certain health goals.
Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider about your pregnancy or if you have any health-related concerns.
Visit usfhp.net or call 1-800-241-4848 for more information or assistance with the Comprehensive Care benefits.