Prenatal care is healthcare provided during pregnancy. Care involves health screenings for possible problems, guidance on self-care, support for the physical and mental changes that occur as well as education to prepare for childbirth, postpartum, newborn care, infant feeding and parenthood.
Having the right team of healthcare providers is an essential part of receiving the care that you need, so it is important that you have a good relationship with healthcare providers. This relationship needs to be be build on trust and respect. They need to understand your needs and provide nonjudgmental support throughout your pregnancy. If you do not feel comfortable with your provider, you have the right to change providers. Any interaction with healthcare professionals during prenatal visits, you should leave feeling listened to, safe, cared for, and that all your questions and concerns have been addressed. If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, seek guidance from someone that you trust.
Type of Prenatal Providers:
Members of the Healthcare Team can include (but not limited to):
Community health workers
Some Recommendations to get the most out of your prenatal care
Keep a journal. Document your feelings, emotions, pregnancy milestones, write love letters to your baby, anything you feel is important to you.
Ask questions, questions, and more questions. Get information from your family, friends, healthcare providers, and doulas. Knowledge is power. Get as much information as you can so that you can make informed decisions about your care.
It is important to have support throughout your pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Doulas can be that support.
Your mental health and wellbeing is an essential part of pregnancy. Protect your peace!
Monitor your electronic medical records. Check lab results, blood pressure, weight, everything!
Know the urgent warning signs of pregnancy and what to do if you experience signs and symptoms of a possible problem.
Trust your body! No one knows your body better than you. If something doesn't feel right, notify your healthcare provider.
Websites for additional information related to Prenatal Care:
Do not have any lab tests/procedure done without someone explaining what the test are for and what the results mean for you and your pregnancy.
NIH - What is pregnant care and why it is important
ACOG Routine tests during pregnancy
March of Dimes: Ultrasound during pregnancy
Genetic Testing - Sanford Medicine Common Tests During Pregnancy
Screening for depression, anxiety, substance use, and intimate partner violence.
Support is an essential part of prenatal care. Protect your peace is my anthem. Take care of your mental health and wellbeing during pregnancy.
Doula care can provide education, support, and access to resources. Do you need a doula?
Online Resources that Educate and Empower
National Association to Advance Black Birth: BLACK BIRTHING BILL OF RIGHTS
CDC Hear Her Campaign
Dr. Shalon's Maternal Action Project
Every Mother Counts
Centering Humanity: The Black Birth Experience
Natural Pregnancy Guide: Empowering Moms To Make Healthy Choices by Laurena White MD L.Ac
Learn how to create the healthiest environment for your baby by eliminating potentially harmful habits and substances from your body and your surroundings wherever possible. This book is your safe, science-backed guide to deciding what your individual pregnancy and birth plan will look like―whether you want to give birth in a hospital, at home, or in a birthing center.
Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood―and Trusting Yourself and Your Body Paperback – by Erica Chidi
A comprehensive and judgement-free pregnancy companion, Nurture is the only all-in-one pregnancy and birthing book for modern mothers-to-be and their partners who want a more integrative approach. Author Erica Chidi Cohen has assisted countless births and helped hundreds of families ease into their new roles through her work as a doula. Nurture covers everything from the beginning months of pregnancy to the baby's first weeks.
Oh Sis, You’re Pregnant!: The Ultimate Guide to Black Pregnancy & Motherhood by Shanicia Boswell
Interviews, stories, and advice for pregnant women. Written by Black Moms Blog founder, the book tackles hard topics in a way that truly resonate with modern Black moms. With stories from her experiences through pregnancy, labor, and motherhood, and lessons learned as a mother at twenty-two, Oh Sis, You’re Pregnant! focuses on the common knowledge Black pregnant mothers should consider when having their first baby. It also shares topics beneficial to pregnant Black women on their second, third, or fourth born.
Within the Pregnant Pause by Amali Lokugamage
This book blossoms from the author's perspective of looking after pregnancy as an obstetrician & during the time of the pandemic restrictions. When stillness is enforced, be curious, do not fear, look within. It is a pregnant pause that can be full of creative potential. The message of this book is important for all of us.
The Heart in the Womb: An Exploration into the Roots of Human Love and Social Cohesion by Amali Lokugamage
Modern-day life and our highly stressed, risk-averse society has led to a medicalised, fearful model of childbirth, one that has stripped the process of its wondrous magic. In this groundbreaking book, consultant obstetrician Dr Amali Lokugamage discusses ways in which every woman can aim to give birth in the most natural, supportive way possible, and looks at the wider implications for society at large. This is an exploration into the roots of human love and social cohesion.
What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff
Your pregnancy explained and your pregnant body demystified, head (what to do about those headaches) to feet (why they’re so swollen), back (how to stop it from aching) to front (why you can’t tell a baby by mom’s bump). Filled with must-have information, practical advice, realistic insight, easy-to-use tips, and lots of reassurance, you’ll also find the very latest on prenatal screenings, which medications are safe, and the most current birthing options—from water birth to gentle c-sections.