Victoriya Brener, M.D.
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Victorya Brener MD  
Prenatal Care at a Glance
Prenatal care is vital in ensuring the healthy growth and development of your baby. Regular visits to your health care provider aim to monitor your baby’s progress and identify any potential problems before they become serious. Women who receive prenatal care have healthier babies and are less likely to deliver prematurely or have pregnancy-related problems.

Prenatal care should begin as soon as possible and usually includes monthly doctor’s visits. These visits should become more frequent as the pregnancy progresses, and include a complete physical exam, blood and urine samples and answers to your questions. Your doctor may measure your uterus, take ultrasounds and perform several other routine tests to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.

  • Medical care especially for pregnant woman
  • Important for a healthy pregnancy
  • Includes regular checkups and prenatal testing
  • Best to begin as soon as you know you are pregnant

The key to having a healthy baby is taking good care of your own health. The healthier you are, the stronger you and your baby are likely to be.

We all want to be healthy, but sometimes it is hard to know what we should do. If you are pregnant, or thinking about becoming pregnant, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most commons questions we hear women ask about prenatal care.

What Is Prenatal Care?

Prenatal care is the care you receive from a health care provider, such as a doctor or midwife, during pregnancy. During prenatal care visits, your health care provider will make sure you and the developing fetus are healthy and strong. These regular checkups are your chance to learn how to manage the discomforts of pregnancy, have any testing you may need, learn warning signs, and ask any questions you may have.

It's best to begin before you are pregnant — this is sometimes called pre-pregnancy health or preconception planning. But if that is not possible, begin prenatal care as soon as you know you're pregnant.

What Will Happen During My First Prenatal Care Visit?

The first prenatal care visit is usually the longest. The examination is very thorough. You will be asked questions about your medical history. You will also be asked about your partner's medical history and your family's medical history. You will have a complete physical exam. Your health care provider will measure your height, weight, blood pressure, breathing, and pulse.

Usually, you will be given a gynecological exam that will include

  • a breast exam
  • a Pap test
  • tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea

You may be offered blood or skin tests to check for

  • anemia — including sickle cell anemia
  • blood type
  • certain inherited diseases, such as Gaucher's and Tay-Sachs
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hepatitis
  • rubella
  • syphilis
  • thalassemia
  • tuberculosis

You may also be given urine tests to check for diabetes or other infections.

Your health care provider may take this opportunity to discuss your lifestyle and habits and to suggest certain changes that may help make the pregnancy healthy. One of the most important things a woman can do is to take folic acid — a B vitamin — every day to prevent serious birth defects.

  Dr. Frenkel is an obstetrician-gynecologist at Bay OB/GYN, P.C. in Brooklyn. He has been affiliated with New York Methodist Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital. Dr. Brener is a physiatrist. She has been affiliated with Beth Israel Medical Center.
She earned her M.D. from Vinnica Medical Institute of N.I. Pirogova and completed her residency in physical medicine & rehabilitation at Downstate & Kings County Hospital Center.
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