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Prenatal care: Patient education, health promotion, and safety of commonly used drugs

Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Urania Magriples, MD
Section Editor
Vincenzo Berghella, MD
Deputy Editor
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG


Prenatal care in the first few prenatal visits involves a substantial amount of patient education and health promotion. This topic will discuss routine patient education and health promotion in early pregnancy and use of common medications across pregnancy. Other important aspects of prenatal care are reviewed separately. (See "Prenatal care: Initial assessment" and "Prenatal care: Second and third trimesters".)


Practice issues — Women should be informed about the following:

When to call the provider (eg, vaginal bleeding or change in vaginal discharge, leakage of fluid from the vagina, fever, pain, vomiting, acute shortness of breath, calf or leg pain, headache, visual changes, dysuria, pruritus, uterine contractions, crampy abdominal pain, decreased fetal activity [after perception of fetal activity has become established], fainting or dizziness, or personal concern about a change in health status).

How to reach the provider after business hours, coverage arrangements, and the role of various office personnel.

The hospital where delivery will occur.

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 29, 2017.
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