Women have been giving birth for, well, forever, and throughout much of history, there were not OBGYNs and specialized doctors who provided care and services for these women. But that does not mean you do not need to see an OBGYN for prenatal visits. Modern medicine is a wonderful thing, and there are a few reasons why prenatal visits are very important.
To identify any issues with your own health.
Even if you have been healthy up until this point, pregnancy can bring on certain health issues that need to be managed. Diabetes is a good example. Some women, after having normal blood sugar levels their whole lives, become diabetic when pregnant — which can be dangerous for their own health and for the health of their babies if they are not closely monitored and cared for. Your OBGYN will keep an eye on your overall health during your prenatal visits to ensure any underlying conditions are identified and dealt with.
To identify, early on, any issues with your baby's health.
Of course everyone hopes that their baby will be born healthy and free from any health problems. But this does not always happen. If your baby does have any underlying health problems or abnormalities, it is best to learn about them early on so that you can start taking steps to manage them, or to provide the proper care after birth. Prenatal visits include ultrasounds and blood tests to help assess your baby's health and identify any problems as soon as possible.
To prepare you for giving birth and help you develop a birth plan.
Giving birth is quite a demanding endeavor. During your prenatal visits, your OBGYN will help give you more of an idea of what to expect, which will help ensure the birth goes smoothly. They will also work with you to create a birth plan to ensure your wishes are met when it comes to things like pain relief and hormone assistance.
To guide you though healthy living during pregnancy.
Of course you want to take good care of yourself during pregnancy, but what does that involve? At your prenatal visits, your doctor will give you advice in terms of diet, sleep habits, and exercise to ensure you're doing what is best for your little one (and for yourself) at this time.
Prenatal care is not a luxury — it's a service that every woman deserves. Talk to your OBGYN if you have any additional concerns about these appointments.