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Prenatal Care

The primary goal of prenatal care is to improve pregnancy outcomes and ensure the birth of a healthy infant.

The major components of prenatal care are health promotion, education, risk assessment and therapeutic interventions.

Risk assessment includes preventing, detecting and treating any risk factors that may threaten the pregnancy including:

  • evidence of poor maternal nutrition
  • history of previous pre-term birth
  • complications with the placenta
  • malformations or growth problems of the developing baby

Education can be provided on:

  • proper nutrition and weight gain
  • the dangers of smoking and substance abuse
  • factors that may have a negative effect on the pregnancy
  • preparing for labor and birth

Ideally, you should begin your prenatal care sometime during the first trimester (weeks 0-13) of your pregnancy.

  • this is the time during which most of your baby's organs are being formed and are the most susceptible to harmful substances (drugs, alcohol, environmental toxins)
  • scheduling your first appointment during the first trimester allows for accurate dating of the pregnancy
  • following the first prenatal visit, the schedule of appointments for a low-risk pregnancy is:
    • every 4 weeks for the first 28 weeks of the pregnancy
    • every 2 to 3 weeks through the 36th week of the pregnancy
    • weekly from 37 weeks until delivery

© Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood - Invest in Children Child Fatality Review Committee

The Child Death Review Program is funded by: Cuyahoga County, and The Child and Family Health Services Block Grant provided through the Ohio Department of Health. The Child Death Review Program is administered by: The Cuyahoga County Board of Health.