Early prenatal care improves outcomes for moms and babies

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Categories: Healthy Living

Early prenatal care improves outcomes for moms and babies

BISMARCK, ND – According to the North Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (ND PRAMS), about 1 in 10 pregnant women in North Dakota do not start prenatal care until after the first three months of pregnancy and for women from ethnic minority groups, it’s about one in four. Women who have unintended pregnancies, who account for about half of the pregnancies in North Dakota, are also less likely to seek timely prenatal care. The North Dakota Department of Health is reminding all pregnant women in North Dakota to seek early prenatal care, ideally in the first trimester.

“Pregnancy presents an exciting time for women and families, but it can also come with challenges. Ideally, women should start a conversation with their doctor well before they are pregnant. And once they become pregnant, they should seek prenatal care as soon as possible in order to increase their likelihood of having a healthy pregnancy and baby,” said Grace Njau, director of ND PRAMS.

“When it comes to prenatal care, the earlier that we see a mom if she has medical problems, the sooner we can manage her conditions and make recommendations or referrals to other specialists, as needed,” said Dr. Ana Tobiasz, Maternal and Fetal Medicine Specialist at Sanford Health. “If a woman has uncontrolled diabetes, for example, they have a 25-30% increased risk of having a baby with a congenital birth defect. Therefore, it is important for women with chronic conditions to see their providers to manage these conditions which may put them at a higher risk.”

All women should seek prenatal care within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is especially important for women who are at greater risk of pregnancy complications, such as those with hypertension, diabetes or those who have experienced a previous poor outcome in pregnancy, to seek medical advice from their providers before they are pregnant.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/during.html.

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For More Information Contact:

Grace Njau
Office of the State Epidemiologist

600 E Blvd., Dept. 301   |     Bismarck, ND 58505-5520

PHONE: (701) 328-3209     |     EMAIL: gnjau@nd.gov


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