Importance of Prenatal Care - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/30/02

Importance of Prenatal Care

Unfortunately, it's a story we've heard before. This time, a 19 year-old student at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire told friends she didn't feel well, then gave birth to a baby in her dorm restroom, and nobody knew she was pregnant.

The saddest part of this situation is that her roommate found her in the bathroom not breathing along side a nearly full term baby Tuesday night. Freshman Karen Hubbard later died at a hospital near there. The baby is still in critical condition.

"Her roommate kept checking on her to see if she was okay, if there was anything she could do to help. Karen kept saying, 'No, I'm okay'. She was just feeling upset, that type of thing. The roommate that was very close with her, they came from the same hometown, knew her very well, said she felt that in her own mind, Karen didn't know she was pregnant either," says Chuck Major, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Housing Director.

How could this happen that a young girl wouldn't know she was pregnant in the final months? Dr. Carol Felton, an Ob-Gyn at UMC, says it is hard to believe, but not uncommon to hear.

"I would say 99% of the time it's denial. They just don't want to admit it. Maybe they don't have the funds for prenatal care and they're not aware of the available funds for pre-natal care," says Felton.

Dr. Felton says some women, young girls in particular, may be confused by a pregnancy at first because they don't always have regular periods. She says anyone who is sexually active and misses two periods should take a pregnancy test to be sure, because pre-natal care is so important for the health of the baby and for the mother.

Karen Hubbard, the young girl who died Tuesday night, was co-valedictorian of her high school, and a pre-pharmacy major at the University of Wisconsin.

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