Giving Babies a Healthier Start
Doctors are learning more about what's essential for
healthy pregnancies and the importance of conveying that to even
very young women.
Doctors are focusing more on girls' health well before the
child-bearing years to make sure that when the time arrives,
they'll have the best chance for a healthy pregnancy. In May, the
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
recommended that girls start seeing an OB/GYN around age 13 to
discuss menstruation, sexuality issues, and sexually transmitted
diseases, and to head off any weight, mental health, or eating
problems that may affect child-bearing health down the road.
Meanwhile, researchers are learning that the factors affecting a
newborn's health reach back at least two generations. Also, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published
guidelines for preconception care, stressing that tending to
women's physical and emotional health before conception can
lessen the likelihood of high-risk pregnancies, premature births
(the leading cause of infant death), and birth defects. And
moms-to-be are now urged to start maternity care before the fetus
is most vulnerable.
What to Watch:
Women of child-bearing age are likely to get more counseling
from doctors on the mental and physical health measures that will
build a foundation of good health when they're ready to have
kids. Parents of teen girls may get counseling earlier to make sure
that their daughters get healthy starts, with good nutrition and
preventive gynecological care. This new wave of prenatal care
promises to foster a generation of healthier newborns with fewer
medical needs throughout their lives. And that could help reduce
the emotional and financial toll these preemies take on scores of
families â€• and the entire health care system.
Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Vaccine Against Genital Warts and Cancer
Your Daughter's First Gynecological Visit
When Your Teen Is Having a Baby
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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