What to Expect During Prenatal Care Appointments

Video Transcript: Prenatal Care Appointments

Prenatal Appointments

The most important part of the prenatal course is that serial evaluation from a provider. It’s a series of appointments, and they happen at a certain period of time, and as you get closer to delivery, those appointments get closer and closer in occurrence. The most important part of that process is for the provider to ask mom questions and to assess whether or not there are any developing complications. Anything that’s going to put mom in that high-risk category.

Appropriate Prenatal Care for High-Risk Pregnancy

When I’m looking at the records, I’m looking to see if there were missed opportunities to recognize a high-risk pregnancy. High-risk pregnancies do require a totally different plan of care in that last trimester. Moms are typically going to have more frequent visits. They’re also going to be having some antenatal testing. They’re going to be doing a closer surveillance on how that baby is tolerating the pregnancy. Mom’s maybe going to the doctor twice a week to get an NST You’ll hear that term—it’s a fetal nonstress test, and really they’re putting the mom and the baby on a monitor to see if mom’s having any contractions, but more importantly, how the baby’s heart rate is responding to that pregnancy. So they’re going to keep mom on the monitor at least twenty minutes or thirty minutes typically, and they’re going to be assessing and evaluating whether the baby is tolerating the pregnancy.

The Importance of Prenatal Urine Tests

When I’m looking at the urine samples that everyone leaves at the visit, we don’t always know the importance of it, but that is an important part of the record. If the mom is having positive results in her last trimester, and she is having protein or glucose in her urine recurrently, and it’s not further evaluated, that could be a sign that something’s happening.

Communication During Prenatal Appointments

When I’m reading the records, I’m reading that whole story. It’s important that we educate and we empower people. We [nurses] want people to know what to expect, but also to ask questions.

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