If you’ve got a bun in the oven, get prepared to make more frequent visits to your doctor: the World Health Organization is recommending that pregnant women have eight prenatal visits with their health care provider. Although many pregnant women in the United States see their doctors that many times or more during their pregnancy, that number is actually double the WHO’s old recommendation. Only 64% of women worldwide received prenatal care four or more times during their pregnancy. The WHO hopes that these recommendations will lead to better maternal and infant health and a better care experience for expecting mothers. More prenatal visits have been linked with a reduction in stillborn birth rates. They also allow additional opportunities for doctors and health professionals to monitor growth, to check for abnormalities, risks, and complications, and to address issues such as diet and activity level that could have long-term effects on both mother and baby. Included in the WHO’s new recommendations are an outline of what health care providers and patients should be addressing at each contact visit, with topics ranging from management of¬†nausea and back pain to prevention of malaria and HIV to¬†supplementation of iron and folic acid during pregnancy. Last year,¬† an estimated 303,000 women died from pregnancy-related causes, 2.7 million babies died during the first 28 days of life and 2.6 million babies were stillborn.

+ WHO Report

via Yahoo!

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