Prenatal Care and Testing

Prenatal Care and Testing is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

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The goal of prenatal care is to ensure the birth of a healthy baby with minimal risk for the mother by the following:

  • Identifying the patient who is at risk for complications
  • Estimating the gestational age (GA) as accurately as possible
  • Evaluating the health status of mother and fetus
  • Encouraging and empowering the patient to do her part to care for herself and her baby-to-be
  • Intervening when fetal abnormalities are present to prevent morbidity

General Prevention

  • A recommended prenatal care schedule consists of the following:
    • Monthly visits to a health care professional for weeks 4 to 28 of pregnancy
    • Visits twice monthly from 28 to 36 weeks
    • Weekly after week 36 (delivery at weeks 38 to 40)
  • Recommendations for use of dietary supplements in pregnancy
    • Folic acid supplementation (0.4 to 0.8 mg) prior to conception; 4 mg for secondary prevention
    • Calcium: 1,000 to 1,300 mg/day; supplement may be beneficial for women with high risk for gestational hypertension or communities with low dietary calcium intake.
    • Iron: Screen for anemia (Hgb/Hct) and treat if necessary.
    • Vitamin A: Pregnant women in industrialized countries should limit to <5,000 IU/day.
    • Vitamin D: Consider supplementation in women with limited exposure to sunlight.
  • Routine screening for thyroid and vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is not recommended.

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TY - ELEC T1 - Prenatal Care and Testing ID - 117641 ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Stephens,Mark B, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -