Once a woman discovers that she is pregnant, there tends to be an information overload. There are so many appointments, so many changes and so many preparations to make. Pregnancy can be a wild and exciting ride, from morning sickness to weird cravings to gender reveals and feeling those first fetal movements. But part of being a parent is keeping your children safe, and that’s why prenatal care and prenatal testing are so important.
1. Birth Defects
Being alerted to birth defects is one of the main reasons why women shouldn’t shy away from prenatal tests. When parents know that their child has some sort of birth defect, they are empowered to get ahead of the ball, as much as possible. You can learn about the defect or abnormality, make arrangements for the handling or correction of them and take the time to accept the situation. If your child has Down syndrome, microcephaly or a heart defect, knowing ahead of time can give you a little extra time to make difficult decisions and educate yourself.
2. Maternal Health
Prenatal testing is also beneficial to mom. Being aware of something like gestational diabetes or sickle cell trait can help you make decisions about your food choices, health care, weight gain and birthing procedures. Knowing if you have a weak cervix empowers you to make wise choices about your activity levels and types. It’s not so easy for an unhealthy mom to nurture a baby.
3. Track Fetal Development and Health
There are some prenatal tests that help to track your baby’s development. When fetal development is off track, there may be something wrong and sometimes not. An ultrasound can detect increased fluid in spinal or cerebral fluid, abnormalities with the heart and more. Blood tests can reveal a healthy placenta, the presence of more than one fetus and more.
4. Plan Ahead
Should your prenatal testing reveal any issues, you can start planning ahead. Some things can be corrected while your baby is still in your womb, and other issues may be able to be corrected or amended right after birth. If this is the case, you can plan to have your baby at a hospital that is equipped to handle your particular situation or high risk pregnancies.
5. Peace of Mind
If for no other reason, knowing what is going on makes everything okay to some degree. Even if there is a problem, at least it is known and you can make preparations for that. There is a lot to be said for having peace of mind when it comes to your baby. It allows you to relax and to put more energy into giving your baby the best possible gestational experience.
Part of parenting is worrying about your children and preparing yourself for dealing with unpleasant events like tantrums, bad breakups, getting an ear infection, etc. It also involves being proactive where you can to make sure that you are giving your offspring the best starting point that you can. There’s a lot to be said for preparation.
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