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Med-Cert

Medical Management Resources

Healthy Beginnings
Why Maternity Management?

Prenatal care has emerged as the major factor in the prevention of infant mortality and morbidity. Experts have taken a broadened view of prenatal care as part of women's health care across the life span. In this view, prenatal care begins with the contemplation of pregnancy and continues until the child's first birthday.
Prenatal care should be evaluated based on the following objectives:

Objectives for the pregnant woman:
  • Increase her well-being before, during and after pregnancy and improve her self-image and self-care
  • Reduce maternal mortality and morbidity, fetal loss and unnecessary pregnancy interventions
  • Reduce risks to health prior to future pregnancies and beyond childbearing years
  • Promote development of parenting skills
Objectives for the infant:
  • Increase well-being
  • Reduce preterm birth, intrauterine growth retardation, congenital anomalies and failure to thrive
  • Promote healthy growth and development, immunization, and health supervision
  • Reduce neurological, developmental and other morbidities
  • Reduce child abuse and neglect, injuries, preventable acute and chronic illness, and need for extended hospitalization
Objectives for the family:
  • Promote family development and positive parent-infant interaction
  • Reduce unintended pregnancies
  • Identify for treatment behavior disorders leading to child neglect and family violence

Three Components of Prenatal Care:
  • Health Promotion
  • Risk Assessment
  • Intervention

Prenatal Health Promotion Defined: "Health promotion consists of education and counseling activities to maintain and enhance health, support healthful behaviors, increase knowledge about pregnancy and parenting, and encourage the woman and her family to participate in the decisions needed during prenatal care."

Three Categories of Prenatal Health Promotion:
  • Counseling to promote and support healthful behavior
  • General knowledge of pregnancy and parenting
  • Information on proposed care

Why Health Promotion?
  • Enables the woman to positively affect her health and her infant's health through behavior and self-care, self-monitoring and initiation of timely intervention.
  • Information enables her and her family to participate actively in prenatal assessment and decision-making.
  • Information shapes her expectations of pregnancy and prenatal care and increases understanding of the scope and limitations of care.


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