Prenatal care, sometimes known as antenatal care, is a type of preventive healthcare. Its purpose is to provide regular check-ups and tests that allow doctors to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy. Additionally, it also includes elements that promote healthy lifestyles that benefit both the mother and child.
Most of the time having a baby is a natural process. After a full-term pregnancy, a woman goes into labor on or near her due date and gives birth to a healthy baby. A day or two later she leaves the hospital to begin day-to-day life with her growing family. But not all pregnancies go smoothly. Some women experience what doctors refer to as a high-risk pregnancy. A pregnancy is considered high-risk when there are potential complications that could affect the mother, the baby, or both. High-risk pregnancies require management by a specialist to help ensure the best outcome for the mother and baby.