January: It’s a good time to set goals for the new year. While you might give yourself a break from resolutions this year because you’re pregnant, maybe that’s not such a great idea.
I’ve talked with nurses and physicians in our office and come up with a list of five simple actions that will make your life (or at least the remainder of your pregnancy) easier.
- Look at the material your doctor gave you. Chances are your OB office gave you some printed materials, maybe even a book. Take them out and look at them. There’s a lot of information about over-the-counter medication use and travel during pregnancy. These are topics we frequently get calls about. Going to those sources first will save you time — and the frustration of waiting for a callback.
- Sign up for electronic communication with your doctor’s office. The days of playing phone tag can be over. Secure, electronic communication may allow you access to lab results, the ability to reschedule appointments and, most importantly, a platform to ask questions about your care without a phone call to the office.
- Check out the options for breastfeeding and prenatal classes at your local hospital. Do it now. Time will go by faster than you think and classes fill up. Sign up early, so you get the classes and dates that work best for you and your partner.
- Choose a pediatrician. Get the list of pediatricians that are on your insurance plan and review names with friends and family. Many of them offer meet-and-greet appointments during your pregnancy. Don’t wait until the last minute. We’ve actually had patients call while in labor asking for help finding a pediatrician!
- Encourage family and caregivers to get flu and pertussis vaccinations now. Anyone who is coming in contact with the baby immediately after birth needs to have these shots. It takes a few weeks for them to work, so doing it in the months before the baby comes is ideal.
If you have already done these things, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve started 2015 off in great shape. If not, start checking items off the list. They are not difficult and will make the remainder of your pregnancy easier.