Essay The Importance of Prenatal Care

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The Importance of Prenatal Care Prenatal care is widely accepted as an important element in improving pregnancy outcome. (Gorrie, McKinney, Murray, 1998). Prenatal care is defined as care of a pregnant woman during the time in the maternity cycle that begins with conception and ends with the onset of labor. A medical, surgical, gynecologic, obstretic, social and family history is taken (Mosby's Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Dictionary, 1998). It is important for a pregnant woman as well as our society to know that everything that you do has an effect on your baby. Because so many women opt not to receive the benefits of prenatal care, our society sees the ramification, which include a variety of complications primarily…show more content…
8oz. and were thus considered low birth weight births. Preterm births increased from 9.4% in 1984 to 11% in 1993(as cited in MCN, 1998). African Americans had low birth weights that more than doubled those of whites and very low birth weights were three times higher. Many of the low birth weight births resulted in death. According to the National Vital Statistics Report, the figures for the United States from 1998 are as follows: 82.8% of mothers received first trimester care 3.9% received late or no care 63.2% of teen mothers age 15-19 received first trimester care 8.8% of teen mothers received late or no care 12.6% was the median number of care visits Literature Review While some women who received no prenatal care had normal, uncomplicated births, others did not. Most of the women who did not receive adequate prenatal care gave birth to an underweight and underdeveloped infant. Among the benefits of early, comprehensive prenatal care are decreased risk of preterm deliveries and low birth weight (LBW)-both major predictors of infant morbidity and mortality. (Dixon, Cobb, Clarke, 2000). Preterm deliveries, deliveries prior to 37 weeks of gestation, have risen. Since the studies in 1987, which showed the rate of preterm deliveries as 6.9% of births, the 1997 rate shows an increase to 7.5%. Low birth weight, defined as an infant weighing less than 2500 grams (5lbs. 5oz) is often preceded by preterm delivery. Low
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