Creating a relationship 10 minutes at a time
It has occurred to me through my time with doula clients and students, that many care providers serving hospital birthing mothers do not ask any questions of their pregnant patients during the 7-10 minute prenatal visits that lead to a substantive working relationship.
I have also learned that too often the pregnant “patient” does not know to tell her provider anything about what is going on in her life or pregnancy since she is not queried first.
Thinking there must be a way to better bridge this very real separation to solid patient-provider relationship building, I am drawing from my work as a midwife assistant in the making of this tip list.
Pregnant mothers your provider needs to know so much more about you and your pregnancy than blood pressure, weight, fundal height and fetal heart tones. I encourage you to freely offer the below information at every appointment to grow personalized care, advisement and support.
1) Appetite/Diet/Supplements – tell your provider if your appetite has increased or decreased between visits. Do you have food aversions? Are you taking any supplements or want to take supplements?
2) Sleep habits – tell your provider how you are or are not sleeping. For example, are you having trouble falling asleep, falling back to sleep or staying asleep.
3) Nausea – Do you continue to have nausea? When? How often? Does it correlate with anything in particular?
4) Hemorrhoids – if you have them or not. What you are doing for them.
5) Varicose veins – Are there veins sticking out or causing issue anywhere in your body?
6) Bowel habits – Are you experiencing normal or abnormal bowel habits?
7) Exercise – What have you been doing? Do changes need to be made?
8) Stress – Is there anything in your life that is really stressing you? Stress can impact pregnancy health. Important to discuss.
9) Related Providers – Are you going to any pregnancy related providers (such as chiropractor, acupuncturist, yoga, etc.)?
10) General – Are you feeling well or not. Do you need more information or referrals?
There is so much more to you than a pregnant uterus. You are a holistic person who needs to be treated as such. I would venture that something much more individualized can come out of your care with simple sharing!
Here’s to whole care!