Victor & Melissa
I wish we had gone on Parent Profiles earlier! (Well, if we had, we wouldn't have the exact baby that we have now, and I love THIS one!) Our homestudy was approved in April of 2009. We had a profile on our adoption agency's site (LDS Family Services) but we had no contacts at all. It wasn't a high-traffic site. So, we ordered and passed out 600 pass-along cards with our profile information and more ...
Top notch prenatal care, from both you and your medical practitioner, is one of the best things you can do to ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to life.
True prenatal care begins before conception. In the ideal world, you would know exactly when to attain your ideal weight, avoid alcohol, cut back on caffeine, and start taking vitamins. If you are trying to get pregnant, following these steps while attempting to conceive will give your baby a healthy start.
But not all pregnancies are planned. Select and start visiting your family care physician, obstetrician-gynecologist, or midwife as soon as possible in your pregnancy. Your first prenatal care visit will likely be the most detailed, when your practitioner will take your medical history and probably do a pelvic exam and Pap smear. Weight, blood pressure, and urine are usually checked at every visit, as they can be the first indicator of potential problems. Blood work is done at the first visit. If you're not already taking vitamins, your practitioner will probably recommend or prescribe some. And at your first visit, that all-important due date will be calculated.
Later prenatal care visits are usually much shorter. Your uterus will be measured for proper growth, you'll be checked for swelling, and after about 12 weeks, your baby's heartbeat will checked. If your pregnancy is progressing normally, you can expect one visit per month in the first 28 weeks, 2 visits per month from weeks 28 to 36, and weekly checks for the remainder of the time.
But prenatal care is more than just the practitioner checking you over - it's also the steps you take every day to look after your baby. Take vitamins. Stop smoking. Cut down or eliminate caffeine. Eat the healthiest diet possible. Exercise as allowed. Avoid alcohol, any drug (legal or recreational) not prescribed by your practitioner, poorly cooked meats (including fish and poultry), unpasteurized dairy products and soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert. Skip the hot tub and sauna. Make someone else clean the cat's litter box. Drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep, and know that you are giving your baby the best prenatal care possible.