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Off to a Good Start: Prenatal Care

Off to a Good Start: Prenatal Care

  • Finding out you are pregnant can bring up a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions!
  • One of the first things to do is set up your prenatal care with a trusted provider.
  • These prenatal visits keep you updated on both you and your baby's health up until the birth!
Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is the health care that you get during pregnancy from providers like OB/GYNs, midwives, nurses, and other health professionals. It’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as you think you may be pregnant to start receiving this care early on.

Even without health insurance, you can start receiving care right away. Start by applying for presumptive Medicaid at the local health department. This program provides quick Medicaid coverage before formal eligibility is determined. Find the nearest health department. Already applied but don’t have the card yet? The good news is you don’t need to wait for a Medicaid card to arrive in the mail to receive care. Providers who accept Medicaid can provide care as long as you know your Medicaid ID number.

Regularly scheduled appointments help to establish a relationship with your medical provider– giving you plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Regular appointments also allow the medical provider to catch any health concerns early.

While it is best to been seen by a medical provider throughout pregnancy, it is never too late to start receiving prenatal care!


How Do I Find Prenatal Care?

Let’s makes it a little bit easier for you! You can use the Health Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia Resource House to find a provider, other health professionals, and much more near you.


What Should I Expect at Prenatal Visits?

The first prenatal visit is all about answering any questions that you have, calculating the baby’s due date, and talking about your health & your family’s medical history. There may be a physical exam along with blood and urine samples for lab work like STI testing. Every visit will also include blood pressure and weight checks.

During the first trimester, or first 12 weeks of pregnancy, prenatal visits only occur about once a month. By week 12 or 14 of pregnancy you may even be able to hear baby’s heartbeat!

Appointments during the second trimester will also be about every 4 weeks. Your blood pressure and weight will be checked, & then it’s all about baby’s growth! Check-ups using ultrasounds and completing blood tests are available to learn more about how baby is growing & how your body is adapting to pregnancy. There are lots of changes during pregnancy & no question is too small or too weird to ask your provider. That’s what they are there for!

During the end of the last trimester, appointments may be every week. In addition to tracking your health & your baby’s health, the provider will talk through your plans for delivering the baby & answer any questions about labor, delivery & caring for your body after giving birth whether it be vaginally or through C-section!


Action Steps

There is so much to think about at the start of a pregnancy; it can be a really exciting & overwhelming time. The Pickles & Ice Cream Team is here with you along the way!

Start your pregnancy off right by doing the following:

  1. Find a provider to give great prenatal care and sign up for pregnancy Medicaid if needed.
  2. Start taking a daily prenatal vitamin approved by your provider with folate or folic acid in the ingredient list for your baby’s development.
  3. Take care of yourself! Eat some nutritious food, get active, and make sure you have support throughout your pregnancy.
  4. Visit your dentist. Oral care is very important during pregnancy, and you’ll need to set an appointment soon!
  5. Make sure you get your immunizations at some point during your prenatal visits like Tdap & flu.
  6. Enjoy it! All pregnancies are different, but before you know it your baby will be here, so live for today, mama.


Looking for more in-depth information? P&I would love for you to attend one of our free educational workshops! Click HERE to register and see our classes!


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