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Home testing results in healthier newborn

Women who think they may be pregnant are advised to take home pregnancy tests to allow for better prenatal care.
Regular home pregnancy testing has been recommended to couples trying to conceive in order to improve prenatal care.

Research carried out at Michigan State University suggests that women who frequently take home pregnancy tests have a greater chance to make a positive impact on the health of their unborn baby.

Commenting on the study, author Mary Nettleman explained: "The top reason women do not seek prenatal care is they do not realise they are pregnant.

"In addition, women who do not realise they are pregnant will not change harmful behaviours such as drinking and smoking, which can lead to developmental problems in newborns.

"Many women do not recognise they are pregnant for several weeks, which is all it takes for the heart and brain to form."

Prenatal care offers mums-to-be advice and guidance on issues such as nutrition and exercise. On average, women start off by visiting their doctor or midwife once a month for the first six months of pregnancy, with visits becoming more frequent in the final trimester.

Experts advise that expectant mothers give up smoking before trying to fall pregnant to further reduce risk of complications.

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