When you become pregnant, you’ll suddenly find yourself with many OBGYN visits as part of your prenatal care plan. These regular appointments check your progress throughout the pregnancy to keep you and your baby healthy.
But planning around all the appointments can be a challenge. To find the time in your day, you might have to get away from work, find childcare and travel to the doctor’s office.
That’s why, in addition to in-person prenatal appointments, Emory Gynecology & Obstetrics offers virtual telemedicine visits for some of your check-ups.
“When we’re not doing tests, most prenatal care is about education and talking with the patient,” said Dawn Russell, MD. “I ask my patients: How do you want to do your prenatal visits? Because the more choices, the more power patients have. When you start to have power and understanding over your care, that is a healthy step in the right direction.”
Prenatal Telemedicine vs. In-Person Visits
Some OBGYN visits do need to be in person. For example, you’ll need to go into the office for immunizations, blood tests, glucose tests, screenings and ultrasounds.
You can request a telehealth visit for appointments that don’t require in-person imaging or tests. Consultations and check-ins are perfect examples of virtual telehealth visits.
This schedule shows which prenatal appointments can work as telehealth visits. While this is a guide, your OBGYN may change your schedule based on your care plan.
Tips for a Successful Prenatal Telemedicine Visit
Having done many prenatal telehealth appointments, Dr. Russell offers some tried-and-true advice for a successful virtual visit.
- Get connected. Make sure your internet connection is strong enough to stream video.
- Pick the place. Choose a private area where you’ll feel comfortable discussing personal medical information. Make sure it’s quiet and without distractions.
- Come prepared. You’ll get the most out of your visit if you come prepared with questions, concerns or things you want to share with your OBGYN.
Virtual Pregnancy 101 Webinar
Another way you can get support and education is through our free Pregnancy 101 webinars. Started by Dr. Russell in 2020, these educational webinars have grown and are now led by eight Emory providers. You will get the same evidence-based information the providers share with the patients in their care. And a significant other, friend or family member can easily join you.
The live webinars cover first, second and third trimesters and postpartum. During the informal, interactive sessions, you can:
- Receive pregnancy and postpartum education from a qualified provider
- Ask questions relevant to your pregnancy stage
- Hear from others going through a similar experience as you
- Improve your understanding of the pregnancy, birth and postpartum processes
Dr. Russell finds that the postpartum sessions help bridge the gap after people deliver their babies.
“Postpartum is never what people expect it to be.” But the webinars create a space where patients can check in about breastfeeding, mental health, physical health and more.
The webinars are held through Zoom. Please view the schedule to register for upcoming sessions.
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