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Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > My Health > Infant and Children > Newborns and Infants > Infant and Children's Health
Infant & Children's Health 
Women, Infants & Children 

The importance of prenatal care.
Contacting your doctor, as soon as you think you are pregnant, is the best thing to do for you and your baby. The earlier you see your doctor, the better your chances are of having a rewarding pregnancy experience and a healthy baby. The medical care you receive while you are pregnant is called “prenatal care.” If you don’t have a doctor or feel you can’t afford to pay for appointments, call the Love ’em with a Checkup Program at 1-800-986-BABY. Specialists can connect you with a doctor in your area and discuss available healthcare coverage programs. Your conversation will be kept strictly confidential. Following your first appointment, you should continue to see your doctor on a regular basis until your baby is born.Your doctor will determine how often you should be seen. During these appointments, your doctor will monitor your weight and blood pressure. Your doctor also will listen to your baby’s heartbeat and conduct various examinations and tests. Getting prenatal care is the best way to be sure that your pregnancy is proceeding in the usual fashion and that your baby is developing normally.
Illustration showing Healthy Baby Line toll free phone number 1-800-986-BABY 
Take this one-to-one time with your doctor to ask all of those questions you have. Your doctor will want to discuss how you are feeling, if you are experiencing any pain or physical discomforts, what Picture of a woman holding a small pink dresstypes of food you may have been craving and anything else you may have noticed or been concerned about. Sometimes just hearing your doctor say that everything is okay, will give you peace of mind. Your doctor also will arrange for you to have several tests during your pregnancy. If you have questions about these tests, ask. As you approach your delivery date, you will see your doctor more frequently to make sure you have an active, healthy baby and to make sure you are healthy, too.
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