Keeping You & Your Baby Healthy

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Pregnancy Care & Deliveries

What Is Prenatal Care?

The word “natal” means birth, so “prenatal” means something that comes before birth. In order to lower the risk of complications and ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy, expectant mothers need expert health care throughout their pregnancy. This type of medical care during pregnancy is called prenatal care.

For comprehensive prenatal care, you have to visit your chosen healthcare provider for regular checkups throughout your pregnancy. At your first prenatal visit, the doctor or nurse practitioner will conduct a physical exam, check your weight, and take urine samples to make sure everything is on track.

In the later stages of your pregnancy, they may conduct additional services, including blood tests and ultrasound scans, to check the mother’s and baby’s health. The doctor will ask about your medical history, give advice about your diet and exercise habits, and go over other precautions you need to take. They will also be able to answer any questions you may have.

Why Is Prenatal Care Important?

With proper access to prenatal care from professional healthcare providers, you enjoy the following critical advantages:

  • Learn About Safe Pregnancy Habits – An OB-GYN, nurse practitioner, or midwife can advise pregnant women on eating a healthy diet, doing appropriate exercises, and taking preventative measures during their first pregnancy. They can also explain why smoking and drinking alcohol while pregnant can severely affect a baby’s development.
  • Keep Existing Conditions Under Control – Pregnancy puts your body under immense stress. If you are already suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, or other chronic conditions, you need extra care and medical attention as these conditions lead to high-risk pregnancies.
  • Learn About Safe and Unsafe Medicines – Even common household medication and supplements that we take for headaches, allergies, colds, acne, and so forth can be dangerous for an expectant mother and her unborn baby.

If you have any doubts related to supplements, medications, or specific foods, you can ask your doctor during routine pregnancy care visits. VNA Health Care offers high-quality prenatal care and midwife services in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Elgin, Joliet, and other suburbs of Chicago, IL.

When Should I Look for Prenatal Care Near Me?

There is no such thing as “too early” when it comes to pregnancy care for women. In fact, you should consider consulting a doctor even before actually attempting to get pregnant. This is called pre-pregnancy care.

During a pre-pregnancy visit, a doctor will be able to assess your general health and tell you if it is safe for you to consider having a baby. There are many things that you can do to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy:

  • Stop smoking, drinking, and using drugs
  • Improve your body weight
  • Treat any existing stress, depression, or other mental health issues
  • Take all recommended vaccines
  • Check the blood type and Rh factor of both potential parents to avoid future complications
  • Take measures to keep diabetes, blood pressure, and other conditions under control

If you are already pregnant, you can visit a nearby health center for prenatal care at any time, but the earlier the better. Usually, the first of the prenatal visits happens between 6 to 12 weeks into the pregnancy.

How Many Prenatal Care Visits Are There?

In a healthy pregnancy, the schedule for pregnancy care visits looks something like this:

  • Until week 26 – visit once every 4 weeks
  • Between 26–32 weeks – visit once every 3 weeks
  • Between 32–36 weeks – visit once every 2 weeks
  • Between week 36 and delivery – visit once every week

Visit VNA for All Your Prenatal Care Needs

VNA now offers pregnancy ultrasounds in Aurora and Elgin. VNA also provides ultrasounds in partnership with local hospitals in Joliet and Bolingbrook. Ultrasounds can be used for a variety of reasons during pregnancy including confirming pregnancy, checking the fetal heartbeat, estimating the due date, determining the baby’s sex, checking for multiple pregnancies, and checking for birth defects. We serve patients living in communities around Chicago, IL.

When it is time to deliver your baby, you will go to either Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Bolingbrook, or Ascension Saint Joseph – Joliet. When you come to VNA for your prenatal care you will have a multi-disciplinary care team on hand to ensure that you get the best care possible and your baby will be delivered by your VNA provider. VNA also now offers Doula Services.

VNA hospital liaisons will visit you during your stay in the hospital to assist in coordinating your follow-up care at your nearest VNA Health Center. VNA offers TOLAC (Trial of Labor after Cesarean) and VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) services which you may consider after consultation with your obstetrician.

Visit your nearest VNA location today – Make an appointment online here or by calling (630) 892-4355.

We have the resources you need for your pregnancy at VNA Health Care.