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Preconception Care and Prenatal Care: Condition Information

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What is preconception care?

Preconception care is the care a woman receives before she gets pregnant to help promote a healthy pregnancy.

Taking steps to make sure you are healthy and avoiding exposure to harmful behaviors and toxins before you conceive can decrease the chance of problems during pregnancy and improve the health of your child.

What is prenatal care?

Prenatal care is the care a woman gets during pregnancy. Prenatal care should begin as soon as a woman knows or suspects she is pregnant. Early and regular prenatal visits with a health care provider are important for the health of both the mother and the fetus.

Prenatal care is important to help promote a healthy pregnancy. Women who do not seek prenatal care are three times as likely to deliver a low birth weight infant. Lack of prenatal care can also increase the risk of infant death.1


  1. Womenshealth.gov. (2009, March 6). Publications: Prenatal care fact sheet. Retrieved April 12, 2012, from http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.html [top]

Last Updated Date: 10/22/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 07/15/2013
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