- Occurring or existing before birth. Prenatal care is the regular health care women should receive during pregnancy from an obstetrician or midwife. Prenatal development is the growth and development 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 amniocentesis. 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.
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* * *pre·na·tal -'nāt-əl adj1) occurring, existing, performed, or used before birth <\prenatal care> <the \prenatal period> <\prenatal testing> <\prenatal vitamins>2) providing or receiving prenatal medical care <a \prenatal clinic> <a \prenatal patient> compare INTRANATAL, NEONATAL, POSTNATALpre·na·tal·ly -ē adv
* * *pre·na·tal (pre-naґtəl) [pre- + natal] existing or occurring before birth, with reference to the fetus. Cf. antepartal.
Medical dictionary. 2011.