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Prenatal care globally is a continuous improvement process. Standards and recommendations are constantly being revised and updated. Generally accepted recommendations followed worldwide regarding optimal prenatal care include (1) the strong emphasis to attain the best health of the mother throughout gestation (proper nutrition including oral iron supplements, folate and vitamins; exercise; ideal body weight gain) (2) managing any antenatal comorbid conditions of the mother carefully to not endanger, injure or compromise the developing fetus, (3) maternal avoidance of any substances potentially harmful to the developing fetus (alcohol, tobacco use, including seconday smoke; illicit drugs, prescription drugs, teratogens, etc.) and (4) surveillance and therapeutic intervention for conditions or diseases associated with poor maternal or infant (or both) outcomes such as gestational diabetes, ABO or Rh incompatibility, pre-eclampsia, prematurity, low infant birth weight, congenital infections, cephalo-pelvic disproportion, abruptio placenta, placenta previa, etc.
Copyright, 1983-2016. Byron L. Barksdale, M.D. All rights reserved worldwide.