There are various prenatal services available for expectant mothers and their partners. Whether the services are provided by one's health insurance provider, local hospital, or prenatal clinic, expectant parents usually can find courses that will prepare them for childbirth and caring for a newborn. Also, parents with special circumstances usually can find prenatal services to help with high-risk pregnancies, single parenthood, and smoking cessation, among other issues.
Many services are available at a local prenatal clinic. Some clinics are sponsored by local charities and organizations, and offer services at a low cost to eligible patients. Some of these services include pregnancy tests and basic prenatal care, which may include examinations and testing. Short-term counseling for those in need is also provided in many cases.
Some of the prenatal services available to all women include childbirth classes. This may include instruction for natural childbirth. A trained professional will provide information and instruction, as well as offer counseling, to both parents-to-be, and answer any questions.
A birthing class can be organized by a chapter of a local hospital or taught by a private instructor. The expectant mother will be taught the process of birth. Ways to deal with pain of labor will be discussed. The woman's partner is often encouraged to participate and shown how he may help with her discomfort.
Nutritional guidance may also be part of typical prenatal services offered to expectant parents. Here, the expectant mother will receive counseling and advice on what essential vitamins and nutrients are needed to ensure optimal health for herself and for her unborn child.
Other prenatal services include lectures and classes in newborn care. This may involve guidance on what to expect during the first few months of a newborn's life and basic baby care. This class may also include breastfeeding education, which discusses instruction and benefits.
Also available among services for prenatal care are special courses for smoking cessation. As smoking may be detrimental to the health of the mother and unborn child, she may be offered guidance for quitting her habit. This typically takes place in a group setting where support is beneficial.
Counseling for unwed mothers is another type of prenatal service. This may include counseling for those who are contemplating placing their children up for adoption. An expectant mother will be shown various options she may consider.
High-risk pregnancies may require special prenatal services. This may include counseling and medical care. Depending on the diagnosis and situation, a specialist may conduct tests and provide necessary medication or treatment options. Every precaution will be taken to ensure delivery of a healthy newborn.