PHILADELPHA (CBS) – Are you considering getting pregnant? If you are, you should see an obstetrician as soon as you can.

Now you might be thinking why see the doctor before I become pregnant? This may be the most important time.

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Prenatal care is critical for the health of your baby. You can talk to your doctor about questions you might have. You can also start taking appropriate vitamins that can help the unborn baby. In addition to that, you can be routinely monitored for conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Both of these can harm the unborn baby.

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According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, children born prematurely face more developmental risks than those born at full-term. In fact, premature babies are at 78 times greater risk for cerebral palsy and 10 times greater risk of mental retardation.

The bottom line — get in and see the physician.

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Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor