Prenatal care (also referred to as antenatal care) refers to health care provided to expecting mothers during pregnancy. Recommendations suggest regularly scheduled visits with a health care provider throughout pregnancy to monitor for potential problems or risk factors that might adversely affect women and their unborn children. That is, prenatal care can help promote a healthy pregnancy, which, in turn, can promote a healthy birth and positive developmental outcomes. Prenatal care can help prevent or identify birth defects as well as prevent premature birth and low birth weight, which are all associated with developmental difficulties. The type of provider who provides prenatal care can vary and might include a physician specializing in pregnancy and childbirth, called an obstetrician, a family physician, or a midwife. This ...

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