Adequate prenatal care for expecting mothers is important for not just the mother and fetus but also society as a whole and the educational system. Lack of prenatal care often has a deleterious effect on the brain of the unborn infant. Most of the time lack of care occurs because of poverty, homelessness or alcohol and chemical abuse. Women who fail to get adequate care also may not seek care for their own chronic health problems.
Examples of potential problems that affect the baby’s brain may be as simple to avoid as treating the woman for any iron-deficiency anemia that she has. Since the iron deficiency creates anemia and lowers the amount of red blood cells. There are fewer cells to carry oxygen rich blood to the baby. The lack of adequate oxygenation can cause problems to the fetus that range from infant mortality to brain damage.
Some of the tests taken during prenatal visits include urine tests for signs of diabetes, bladder infection or kidney problems. If the tests detect any problem then doctors can take immediate action to help the mother and therefore protect the infant from such central nervous system disorders as hydrocephalus, meningomyelocele and ancephaly.
Blood tests during the pregnancy indicate whether the mother has anemia but also to identify the Rh factor in the blood. If there is a difference in the Rh factor of the mother and child, a course of transfusions to the fetus can help prevent brain damage and permanent disability in the infants.
Doctors also test for Group B streptococcus (GBS) during prenatal checkups. The presence of the infection in the mother can pass to the infant at delivery and cause infection. Of course, as with all infections, this too affects the baby’s brain if not kept under control.
If the mother has HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, a sample blood test in regular prenatal care can identify it. There are ways to prevent the passing of the HIV virus to the child during not only pregnancy but also labor and delivery if the doctor’s identify the potential.
Prenatal care also includes the identification of mother’s with chemical and alcohol abuse problems. If the mother continues usage during her pregnancy, the baby suffers. Chemical addiction at birth just one problem but brain damage, particularly form those that consume alcohol is a major problem to the unborn infant.
Supplying information on adequate nutrition during the time of gestations and supplemental vitamins and mineral is also another important part of prenatal care. Without the adequate building blocks the fetus, fails to develop properly and premature birth, lower birth weight, mental and physical deficiencies are the results.
The results on the capabilities of the unborn child when adequate prenatal care is not part of the mother’s regimen are at best negative and at worst disastrous. It may mean children with brain damage, lower learning abilities, shorter attention spans, chemical imbalances and other handicaps. All of these require the schools to provide special facilities and teachers for these children.
In order to avoid future costs and the dramatic effects inadequate prenatal care have on the future school population, programs to promote the awareness of the importance of this care should be available to all students. Showing students and potential some-day mothers how to prevent birth defects is one method of helping to eliminate them.
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