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Prenatal Care

by Jessica B. July 30th, 2015 | Women's Health
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babyStudies show that having quality prenatal care increases the chances that a woman will have a healthy baby and a birth with fewer interventions. Yet, more and more Americans are opting out of prenatal care. There are many reasons for this dangerous shift, so it is important to increase awareness of the need for quality care and the availability of inexpensive options.

Having access to good prenatal care is not just about infant health, it is also about keeping women healthy during pregnancy and after.

1) Health insurance – While being fully covered for pregnancy is the best option, many women find that their health insurance does not cover all of their pregnancy needs. While some of these issues are currently being resolved with many of the ‘Obamacare’ changes, it is difficult to know how many will be permanent, and some insurance companies have not yet fallen in line, because many of the rules remain unclear.

You want to make sure that your provider will cover all doctors/midwife visits, all ultrasounds, and bloodwork recommended by your doctor/midwife. This may sound like a standard that should be met, but there are a great deal of battles being fought between doctors that overprescribe treatments and insurance companies that refuse to cover even basic costs. Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy, you do not need an ultrasound every doctor’s visit, but at more and more practices they are becoming routine, and insurance companies are balking at the cost.

This means, like in most health care issues, be your own best advocate.

2) Planned Parenthood – Although many paint a picture of Planned Parenthood being an abortion mill, Planned Parenthood, first and foremost, is a place that helps assist women with a variety of reproductive health care needs. This means they also support them during pregnancy when they cannot afford it, or direct them to a local health care provider who can provide care at a low cost.

You can make an appointment at your local Planned Parenthood to find out what services are available in your area and how much of a co-pay you will have to make. If you are conflicted due to the abortion issue, you can also look on line to see if your Planned Parenthood even conducts abortions, because many centers do not.

3) Pregnancy center – There are many church funded pregnancy centers that also offer a safe place for women who need help covering prenatal care costs. They can help you with doctors’ appointments, help introduce you to women in similar situations, and counsel you through the process. If you are looking for prenatal care, this might be a good support group to join.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.