Sunday, March 1, 2009

Prenatal Care

I have been trying to get to writing this post for the last week, but time has just slipped through my hands it seems. Can you believe it is March? I am hoping spring is here and here to stay. I have had enough of winter. Now, on to my thoughts...

I recently attended a first birthday party for client's baby. While there, I met a woman who works in a local OBs office. The OB happens to be one of my preferred OBs for women who birth in the hospital. She was telling me that this doctor schedules 4 patients every 15 minutes. That is 16 patients an hour! Broken down - he will spend approximately 3.75 minutes with you for your prenatal.

I used an OB for a couple of my pregnancies and remember the long waits to see them in the waiting room, then more waiting in the exam room, only to have them come in and out in one swoop. Most of the time, I forgot any questions or concerns I may have had because it happened all so fast.

I am so sad that for many women this is normal and okay for them and their care. Why are we okay with this? When will women decide that they deserve more than a mere couple minutes with their care providers?

Prenatal care for my clients is much different. I see my clients every 4 weeks until 32 weeks, every 2 weeks until 36 weeks and then weekly until baby is born (which is sometimes 42+ weeks). During the postpartum period, I see my clients in their home at 1 day postpartum, 3 days postpartum and 1 week postpartum. 3 and 6 week postpartum appointments are in my office.

During a prenatal, we do the normal clinical stuff. Blood pressure, urinalysis, pulse, fetal heart tones, fundal height, palpation (checking baby's position) and weight are all checked. We also go over nutrition and any other concerns that may pop up. I have the ability to order labs and ultrasounds as well. After the clinical stuff is done - we talk...about everything. It is a time to get to know one another, discuss birth dreams and hopes and build a strong relationship. A typical prenatal lasts one hour.

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