Hey guys! I’m so excited to share about a project I’ve been working on. One of my frustrations about maternal-child health care is when women are rushed through their visit with their provider. I’ve seen it time and time again and it never fails to make me sad or disappointed. I’ve seen providers be lazy about looking at a patient’s chart and lazy about charting in the chart (which makes it twice as difficult for the next provider). I see patients walk out of the exam room with a look of confusion and uncertainty…and then wander down the hall trying to remember what they were just told in their 7 minute visit with the provider.
It’s something that has bothered me for my 7 years as a midwife.
I wonder this: If providers gave care with a visit guide or a checklist – would we give better care? Would a checklist simultaneously keep providers accountable for reviewing the information that’s important to the woman’s visit while covering all the information the woman is interested in? Would women appreciate having a guide about what was talked about and what they need to do next (not just a check out sheet about their appointment)? Would an opportunity to make sure all questions and concerns are addressed in the visit benefit women?
I think it would. So I’m going to walk through each visit and try to do just that. Why do we do at each visit? What’s supported by evidence and what isn’t? What education is given at each visit and what isn’t – but should be! You get the idea.
I’m going to walk through each prenatal visit – from the preconception visit to your postpartum visit – and review all the things that SHOULD be covered at your visits. Now, the caveat is that not every visit is a cookie cutter visit – that’s really important to know about prenatal care. Sometimes mamas have a lot of questions about things that don’t have anything to do with their pregnancy visit (they’re moving in 2 months, a grandparent is coming into town and they don’t know what vaccines they should get, breastfeeding was really hard with their second babe – can they see a lactation consultant prior to birth, what classes do you recommend they attend…). A visit should always have time a woman’s questions or concerns! It’s a must.
But we also need to make sure a mama leaves her visit knowing her blood pressure, weight gain, baby’s heart rate, common discomforts for her gestational age and what to do about them, upcoming labs and ultrasounds (and why they are recommended), labs or ultrasound results (and what they mean)…it’s a long list but it’s such an important list.
Sometimes I feel like I go over so much information as the provider that it’s a disservice to the mama to send her out of the clinic without a list. So why not have a list to start with? In my mind, a checklist can only be a win-win.
Before the series launches next week, these are my questions for you guys!
What do you wish your provider would have talked about during your prenatal and postpartum care?
What parts of your care did you not understand and why?
What did you love about your prenatal or postpartum care?
What did you dislike about your prenatal or postpartum care?
What did your provider do that you loved? And what did you dislike?
What did your provider teach you about that helped you best prepare for pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding or the postpartum periods?
What books or classes did your provider recommend? What book would you recommend to a friend?
What do you think could be improved in current OB care?
What information would make you a stronger mama, parent or woman?
I’m expecting that the guides will change over the course of the series, especially with new resources and evidence, but I hope it becomes something wonderful and useful in OB care! And, of course, I’ll share everything!
Can’t wait until next week!