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A pregnant woman and a man looking at an ultrasound.

About Preconception Care and Prenatal Care

What is preconception care?

Preconception care is the health 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 get pregnant can decrease the chance of problems during pregnancy and improve the health of your child.

What is prenatal care?

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

Research shows that prenatal care makes a difference for 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

Citations

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  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]

Can you promote a healthy pregnancy before getting pregnant?

What preconception tests might I need?

What can I do to promote a healthy pregnancy?

What happens during prenatal visits?

What tests might I need during pregnancy?

What health problems can develop during pregnancy?

Who is at increased risk of health problems during pregnancy?

Will stress during pregnancy affect my baby?