The Importance of Prenatal Care

I’m pregnant! Now what?

A change of diet? Buying out the diaper aisle at Walmart? Three new Pinterest boards for nursery inspo?

Don’t worry, none of those things are urgently necessary right now. Take a deep breath and read on.

One of the most important steps to take when you find out you are pregnant, is to seek out prenatal medical care from a licensed OB/GYN.


1) To ensure the health of you and your unborn baby.

Pregnancy, while it is in fact a natural process a woman’s body undergoes after conception, brings about the need for more focused medical care. Even if you have no known health conditions or pre-determined health risks prior to getting pregnant, there are still certain pregnancy-related conditions to watch out for as your body changes to accommodate a growing baby.

Some things your doctor will evaluate you for are high blood pressure, diabetes, blood clotting or bleeding disorders, preeclampsia, or eclampsia (1).

The good news is, most pregnancy-related complications are treatable if caught early, and often they are caught early through the means of prenatal visits to an OB/GYN, who has the tools needed to diagnose these things.

2) To get to know your healthcare/delivery team.

Pregnancy and childbirth are pivotal things in a woman’s life. Childbirth can seem like a huge task ahead of you, but this large task can seem more manageable when you know you will have support. This is why it is important to get prenatal care, so that you can meet with your medical support team of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers who will be assisting you in bringing your baby into this world. You won’t have to do it alone.

Prenatal visits also give your medical team a chance to get to you know you, your preferences for a birth plan, and any medical history or risks that are specific to you or your baby.

Having a team and a plan in place before birth can ease your mind and ensure you have access to the type of medical care you desire. This team can also be your go-to source for pregnancy-related medical questions. You’ll have the experts to reach out to!

3) To find out the important things.

OB/GYNs have both the tools and training to help you figure out pertinent information about your pregnancy. For example, your doctor can determine things such as baby’s heart rate, baby’s gender, baby’s position/location, and baby’s overall size at different points during your pregnancy using ultrasound and other methods (2). OB/GYNs can also run tests screening for certain infections or diseases that might affect you or your baby, and they can implement treatments and procedures when necessary.

Where do I start if I don’t currently have an OB/GYN?

One of the first things to obtain in order to see an OB/GYN is insurance. Insurance can come from a private plan through an employer, can be purchased through Marketplace, or can be provided through programs such as Pregnancy Medicaid. Other programs may be available to you to get free or reduced prenatal care if you do not qualify for insurance coverage based on citizenship status or other factors. Once you are insured you may look for an OB/GYN practice that is close to your residence and that accepts your specific insurance plan.

If you do not currently see an OB/GYN or don’t know where to start, pregnancy resource centers such as Paulding Pregnancy Services can help you with next steps. Whether you need assistance finding or setting up insurance coverage or need a referral to a local OB/GYN practice, our nurses have you covered. Call us at 770-222-6911 or click HERE to schedule an initial pregnancy test appointment with us.

*Note: Paulding Pregnancy Services does not provide comprehensive prenatal medical care, but rather refers clients to licensed OB/GYNs in order for them to get the medical care they need. PPS does offer initial medical grade urine pregnancy tests, limited obstetric ultrasounds, prenatal/parenting classes, community resource referrals, and material assistance. We exist to serve you and your family alongside an OB/GYN, not in place of one.


(2) pregnancy monitoring, obstetrical ultrasound,placenta and amniotic fluid10.