Prenatal Care and Its Importance to Expectant Mothers

Prenatal Care and Its Importance to Expectant Mothers

Why is prenatal care crucial for expectant mothers and their developing babies?

What is prenatal care?

Generally, prenatal care refers to the healthcare and guidance for pregnant women before childbirth. It involves closely monitoring the mother's and developing baby's health and progress.

Ideally, prenatal care begins as soon as a woman suspects she is pregnant and continues throughout the pregnancy until delivery. Such care includes regular check-ups, tests, and visits with healthcare professionals.

Why is prenatal care important?

Every woman, baby, and pregnancy is unique. However, all women and unborn infants benefit from a healthy pregnancy.

Therefore, it is imperative that all expectant mothers obtain prenatal care as soon as possible and continue it throughout their pregnancy. Here are some ways prenatal care can assist in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Managing maternal health:
Early prenatal care allows the expectant mother to review her overall health and discuss any concerns with her healthcare provider. Proactively addressing potential issues can help reduce the likelihood of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.

Monitoring fetal development:
Prenatal care may also include various screenings and diagnostic tests. These tests can help support a healthy pregnancy by monitoring the infant’s growth and development.

If abnormalities are noted, the healthcare provider may recommend additional testing. Early identification of potential concerns can assist parents in making the best decisions for their baby’s health and well-being.

Nutritional guidance:
Proper nutrition is essential to support the well-being of the baby and mother throughout the pregnancy. Prenatal care includes guidance on maintaining a balanced diet, taking prenatal vitamins, and managing weight gain.

Emotional support:
Pregnancy can be an emotional rollercoaster, with hormonal changes and the anticipation of parenthood.

Prenatal care can assist pregnant mothers and their support persons to address the heightened emotions that often accompany pregnancy. Prenatal care providers can also offer referrals to other resources for assistance with mental and emotional stress.

Preparation for labor and delivery:
Finally, prenatal care also includes education about labor and delivery. This information typically addresses pain management options, childbirth classes, what to expect during the final months of pregnancy, and the changes leading to childbirth.

Such information empowers expectant mothers to manage their pregnancy timelines and make informed decisions about their birthing plans.

Postpartum and reproductive health planning:
Prenatal care also involves discussions about postpartum care and planning for the time between pregnancies. This includes guidance on breastfeeding, contraception, postpartum physical and hormonal changes, and potential emotional health concerns.

Are you currently or planning to become pregnant?

Prenatal care is a significant step toward a healthy pregnancy and positive childbirth experience. Prenatal care helps ensure the well-being of the expectant mother and the developing baby by providing regular check-ups, monitoring, and support.

If you are currently or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare professional to ensure your prenatal care is on the right track.

Additionally, the Moultrie County Health Department (MCHD) offers a variety of services for pregnant and postpartum women. These include WIC, Family Case Management, immunizations, lab services, and more.

Our staff of registered nurses can assist expectant mothers with locating providers, managing nutritional and other health needs, and planning for care after the baby arrives. As with prenatal care, accessing these programs early in pregnancy is recommended.

For additional information or to make an appointment, please contact the MCHD. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, with special appointments by request.

This institution is required to post the USDA Nondiscrimination Statement. HTML version. PDF version.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. Mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Adult Health Topics