Placing a child up for adoption is not an easy decision, but it is one that is made out of love. You want your baby to have two loving parents, a stable home, and financial security–things you are currently unable to provide. The one thing that you can give your little one, however, is a healthy start. And this means seeking regular prenatal care.
Yes, regular checkups and adhering to professional medical advice can safeguard your infant’s health and ensure that you give birth to a lively, bouncing baby boy or girl.
Why is Prenatal Care Important?
All pregnant women should seek prenatal care whether they choose to raise the child, themselves or place them up for adoption. As the U.S. Office on Women’s Health warns, babies of mothers who do not get prenatal care are “three times more likely to have a low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those born to mothers who do get care.”
When placing a child up for adoption, there are other factors to consider as well. The most obvious is that prenatal care providers will be able to provide you with valuable information regarding your baby’s health–information that you can later pass on to their adoptive parents. And, as “Prenatal Care In Adoption” points out, if your child suffers from a medical condition, you will be better equipped to select adoptive parents that have the financial resources and background required to meet these medical needs.
What Will My First Prenatal Visit be Like?
The most important initial step you can take when you discover you are pregnant is to book an appointment with a trusted medical professional. This first meeting will be the longest as the doctor will check your weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and examine your cervix. According to the Mayo Clinic, they will also run a series of tests to identify your blood type, measure your hemoglobin, check for immunity and exposure to certain infections, and offer screen tests for fetal abnormalities.
What Else is Involved in Prenatal Care?
Safeguarding your unborn child’s health is an ongoing activity that may require you to make lifestyle changes. If you are a smoker, it is in your baby’s best interests for you to quit. You will also want to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. You will also have to forego alcohol and recreational drugs while you are pregnant. And do not take any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal remedies without, first, discussing them with your doctor.
It is also important that you take a prenatal vitamin, particularly one with folic acid, as this B vitamin is known to prevent birth defects. You should avoid x-rays, cleaning kitty litter boxes, and consuming certain high-risk foods. It is also recommended that you get your annual flu shot.
There are also a number of reputable organizations that can provide you with up-to-date information on how you can best protect your baby’s health. Some possible sites include: Planned Parenthood, March of Dimes, National Institute of Child and Health Development, and the National Library of Medicine.
Your baby deserves the best start in life that they can get. They are relying on you to keep them safe and healthy throughout your pregnancy. And, the only way that you can do that is by partaking in the prescribed prenatal care.
What advice can you offer someone who is contemplating prenatal care?