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Preconception Care and Prenatal Care: Overview

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Preconception care is the care a woman gets before she becomes pregnant. Prenatal care is the care a woman gets during pregnancy. Early and regular prenatal visits with a health care provider are important for the health of both the mother and the fetus. Preconception care from a health care provider is also important to prepare a woman for pregnancy.

The NICHD supports research to promote a healthy pregnancy and improve the lives of the mother and her infant. This research seeks to better understand the health complications that sometimes occur during pregnancy, such as premature labor and birth, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. In addition, NICHD-supported research is increasing understanding and raising awareness of factors before pregnancy that increase risk of congenital abnormalities and other complications of pregnancy.

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Last Reviewed: 04/03/2013
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