Positive Pregnancy Test? What To Expect In Prenatal Care Now Compared To Before The COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world in so many ways, including the prenatal care of expectant mothers and their unborn babies. If you had a baby before COVID-19 and are currently looking for prenatal care after taking a home pregnancy test that resulted in a beautiful plus sign, you may be wondering how things are different now than they were during your pre-pandemic pregnancy. Well, a lot has changed in prenatal care. Here are a few changes you may notice.
As you likely remember from your first pregnancy, there was a set frequency of office visits for prenatal care. it consisted of:
- monthly visits up through 28 weeks gestation
- bimonthly visits after 28 weeks through 36 weeks
- weekly visits after 36 weeks through until delivery
With your current pregnancy, you may not need to be seen as frequently, depending on your health and the health of your baby. Now, prenatal care is no longer a one-size-fits-all care plan for expectant mothers who are not considered high risk. With this pregnancy, some of those in-office visits will be replaced with virtual appointments.
Due to having virtual appointments and taking the individualized approach to prenatal care, you will need to learn how to measure the fundal height of your growing fetus. Your obstetrician will teach you how to take this measurement in one of your first in-office visits. Depending on you and your baby's health, you may be prescribed a medical-grade blood pressure cuff and be taught how to take your blood pressure for your virtual prenatal visits.
During your previous pregnancy, you were allowed to have people with you to support you and to share in the elation of seeing your baby in the imaging during the ultrasound(s). Now, however, COVID-19 restrictions will likely limit how many people you can have with you to share in this experience to one or none, depending on the current pandemic guidelines. Fortunately, you can do a zoom call or hit the record button on your phone to let your loved ones "join in", so to speak.
Labor & Delivery
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and not knowing what the restrictions may be at the birthing hospital, you may want to consider having a home birth instead of giving birth at the hospital. This is something to discuss with your obstetrician in great detail, particularly if you would like to have more than one person supporting you in person during labor and delivery. However, the hospital is a safe place to have your baby.
Contact a medical professional to learn more about prenatal care.