When you're pregnant, seeing a doctor is important for your and your baby's health. You'll need to attend many prenatal visits throughout your pregnancy. And each one is crucial.
Routine prenatal care allows your doctor to monitor you and your baby throughout the pregnancy. This is how they can diagnose and address issues early and prevent serious complications, says Allison A. Urrutia, MD, FACOG, Obstetrics/Gynecology at ARC Seton Northwest. "It also allows patients to discuss plans for delivery and receive education on breastfeeding and care for newborn and self after delivery."
In this recent article on TwillCare.com, Dr. Urrutia, along with several other physicians, offered up some tips to make getting to your doctor's appointment easier:
Schedule your appointments wisely
Save your time by using some smart scheduling ideas. Look for a practice that has flexible hours, like early mornings or Saturdays. Also, consider scheduling your appointments very early in the morning.
Get a note from your provider
Frequent appointments can become challenging with some people's work schedules. Your employer may be more understanding about the time you miss if you have a doctor's note.
Bring the kids
If you have children, finding childcare for your appointments may be another challenge. Before you see the doctor, ask the receptionist if it's okay for the kids to come with you. "Since the pandemic, many offices are now allowing patients to bring children, if necessary," says Dr. Urrutia.
Have a transportation plan
Know exactly how you'll get to each appointment. If you don't have transportation, there are some things you can do:
- Ask a friend or family member to drive you.
- Review the public transit system in your area.
- Use a rideshare service like Lyft or Uber or take a taxi.
- Get transportation assistance. "If you qualify for Medicaid, there is assistance for transportation to appointments and to the pharmacy," says Dr. Urrutia. Contact your Medicaid insurance provider for more information.
- Get a ride from a nonprofit. Some churches and local organizations provide rides for people with medical needs. Ask around or try searching FindHelp.org to find one near you.
Ask about virtual visits
If you have a healthy pregnancy, you may be able to do some of your visits virtually. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you.
Prepare for each visit
Your prenatal checkups will go much more smoothly if you're prepared. Be ready to discuss anything that's on your mind. This includes questions or concerns, or ideas about your birth plan. It's a good idea to make a list of things you want to talk about and questions you have.
Make an appointment today
If you have not yet selected an ob/gyn, visit ARC Obstetrics/Gynecology to see all the services we offer, locations we serve, and to easily make an appointment today.