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Definition of Prenatal

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Prenatal: Occurring or existing before birth.

Prenatal care is the regular health care women should receive from an obstetrician or midwife during pregnancy.

Prenatal development is the growth of a single-celled zygote formed by the combination of a sperm and an egg into a baby.

Prenatal diagnosis is diagnosis before birth by techniques such as ultrasound, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), and amniocente+D13sis.

The word "prenatal" comes from the Latin "pre-," before + "(g)natus," birth = before birth. "Antenatal" is often used in lieu of "prenatal" in the UK, Australia, etc.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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