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Frequency of self-prenatal care, if at all?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm almost 23 weeks along and newly unassisted, I'm trying to decide how often to self assess my prenatal health, if to even formally do it at all. I'm probably gonna get some urine dip sticks, and will try to get to a blood pressure/pulse check and fundal height and palpation. Is there anything else that people do that I'm not thinking of? I've been trying to figure out where to get my blood pressure taken, as I've realized I'm not at the store around me that has them.

Part of me wants to not do anything, but I also feel it may be good to have the record if needed. What should I take the record down on too, just a folder, is that enough? : Looking for other peoples set-ups.
post #2 of 18
I never wrote anything down my last UC and haven't with this one either. I do check in with myself and baby every day just to see how I feel and connect with baby. I check my BP (have a cuff at home) ever so occasionally or if I feel yucky. I don't do dipsticks. I do feel my fundal height but don't measure it. I just poke around at my belly and make sure that my uterus is moving on up on a regular basis. I mainly try to focus on eating well and being really positive.
post #3 of 18
On the weekends, either Sat. or Sun. (or sometimes Monday if I forgot) I will record my weight, blood pressure, fetal heart rate, and whatever my dipstick says about glucose and protien. I can't always remember all that stuff from week to week, much less month to month -- so that's one reason.

But mainly it's for my husband. He wants a record of it so that *if* anything weird starts and in particular if I needed to transfer, we can look back and say, "Oh, it started on this week..." or whatever.

I don't measure fundal height because I know I can't find the same reference points everytime.
post #4 of 18
I'm recording glucose/protien, weight, bp, and fundal height every Friday.... like AuntG said, mostly just for reference if anything does happen (or if we have to transfer so we "look responsible."
post #5 of 18
I have considered writing it all down, just in case but I have heard so many stories that it doesn't matter how detailed the records are because docs won't consider them if you have done the prenatal care yourself. I would have to consider the circumstances but if I need to transfer I may just lie and say I got midwifery care to avoid the whole hassle.
post #6 of 18
I haven't kept any sort of record.. other than blood sugars (I'm diabetic) because my meter stores those for me

I do weigh myself every few weeks, and make a mental note, and I have been measuring my fundal height just for fun, and I check my b/p at the pharmacy thing, but I'm not keeping any record of that. I woudn't really, unless something didn't seem right, and even then it would be primarily as a reminder for me, so I wouldn't forget something, than to be used as "proof" of anything to anyone else.

I mean in a true emergency, even if you'd been seeing an OB and they had all of your records, none of it would matter anyways if you went to a hospital where your OB didn't have rights... it's not like they can fax over a copy of everything at 2am on a Saturday, KWIM? They might try to call, but odds are you'd just see the OB on call and no one would care about your OB and their records.
post #7 of 18
My last pg I filled out my prenatal forms and did a prenatal on myself monthly AND kept notes on a pregnancy calander. This time I dug out the prenatal forms and haven't filled out a thing. I just don't feel it is necessary.
I have been keeping a private journal just for myself to look back on later so I have an idea of what happened this pg. If I feel "off" I might check my bp, do a dipstick or check sugar, but only if something were to feel unusual. I am basically just trusting. I will say I have weighed myself a couple of times (one to get a base weight and recently just out of curiosity ~smiling~), but I try to totally avoid the scales and just go by how my clothes are fitting and how my belly is looking. I note in my journal when baby first moved and things like that because I will want to know that in later pregnancies and to see how different this pg is from the last ones. I'm just not doing anything formal or regular, nor do I feel the need.

I am glad this question came up too. I had wondered how other families did this. I knew there had to be a huge variation on it.

post #8 of 18
I have a little spread sheet that I record everything in - once a month. I'm being lazy this time though...
post #9 of 18
I'm not recording much at all... when baby moved, base weight at the beginning and a few bp checks just to 'know' what my normal is. I have a good friend who has done a few hands on checks, one fetal heart check and to check where placenta is ( up real high) oh and a few dips but nothing has come up for me. Other than that I've just been checking in with babe and my body. I feel so wonderful that I am relying on my body to tell me if I need anything.
post #10 of 18

Not Doing Much

When you consider collecting data ask yourself why do you want this info and how will you use it.

If you feel you baby moving using a doppler to take the Fetal Heart Tones is probably pointless and potentially expensive if you decide to buy the machine.

I concentrate on diet and exercise.

Checking BP occasionally and doing a dipstick from time to time.

I am really into trying to listen to my body and not rely on outside data to determine how I am doing.
post #11 of 18
I didn't keep records. I listened to the baby's heart, paid attention to the baby's and placenta's positions, took my blood pressure a few times. I felt other types of monitoring were superfluous, given that I was taking care of myself in general and paying attention to how I felt.
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by AugustLia23 View Post
Is there anything else that people do that I'm not thinking of?
That's what I've done in the past.

Originally Posted by AugustLia23 View Post
Part of me wants to not do anything, but I also feel it may be good to have the record if needed. What should I take the record down on too, just a folder, is that enough? : Looking for other peoples set-ups.
What is your purpose? Is their a condition in your personal or family history that you want to spot and treat as early as possible? Do you believe monitor health is therapeutic? (I'm not being weird.... some folks really believe well checkups keep folks well.) Do you want to mimic standard prenatal care because you think the medicos got it right? Do you want to have a clear record of prenatal care to show friends and family to prove doing your own prenatals is just as good as going to the doctor? Do you want a record of prenatal care to defend yourself against charges of medical neglect? Your answers to these questions will indicate what sort of record keeping is right for you.

FWIW with my first UC I started out recording all the information a midwife would at every prenatal visit. I was pouring all this energy into meticulous record keeping because I wanted to prove to any potential detractors that DIY prenatal care was more thorough than what one would get from an ob-gyn. The truth is anyone vehemently against UC would not be persuaded of it's rightness by the most impressive prenatal self-care in the world. Not only was it a foolish enterprise, for me it was an unhealthy outward diversion of energy and focus. As I believed my conception and continued pregnancy was evidence of my strong vital force, I stopped all routine prenatal care and just listened to my body and followed its cues.

Later in that pregnancy I did a urine stick test after I puffed up but didn't feel it was a fear-based action. My dh was out of town for two weeks, I'd run out of RO water and was drinking water from our relatively shallow well surrounded by farmers' fields, taking care of a 13 and 26mo by myself, and eating the organic but processed convenience food my dh had stocked me up with. When I tested negative for protein in my urine, I felt justified in my belief my symptoms were nothing but a reaction to my dietary shift. I drove to town to stock up on RO water and *real* food and ate half a watermelon all by myself as a diuretic. (Natural medicine is SO tasty! ) The swelling disappeared and didn't return. That was the only imbalance I noted and treated during that pregnancy. I ate instinctively and went on to birth a 10 lb 15.5 oz, 23 1/2" son with a 16 3/4" head ten days early.

BV, who's not puffy but wants to eat half a ripe watermelon anyway
post #13 of 18
I do it once a week for the fun of it. I write down weight, BP, fundal height, fetal heart tones (where I heard them), urine check, and other. Other is like my journaling where I write down how I felt for the week, concerns, if my milk supply was dwindling, funny things that happened. Almost more of a pregnancy journal.
post #14 of 18
Well, I started out doing it monthly intending to up the frequency as things progress.

My excell spreadsheet is complete up until about 20something weeks.
Then I'd just check things as I'd feel like it.

BP at the grocery (or if I was feeling off at home)
Weight check here or there.
Pee stick randomly.
Fundal height approx monthly.
FHTs when I didnt' feel the baby move recently.

Because I wasn't doing a bunch of things at once and nothing ever came up "abnormal" (except for leucocytes on the pee stick--but they don't matter) I stopped writing things down so my pretty little record is pretty random. I'll probably make up normal looking data and fill it in as if I was doing things regularly--just in case of transfer or whatever. I know things are and were normal so it doesn't feel like lying. I want the CYA aspect of it.
post #15 of 18
Bryonyvaughn ~ well said I agree with you 100% When I'm feeling off I check in and correct what is going on! Usually it is diet related! or listen to my body and slow down!
post #16 of 18
I like to keep records for my scrapbook - it is of therapeutic value for me to keep record of my life. Scrapbooking is helps me find meaning and purpose in the events of my life - guess that's the creative writer in me. Always after the story. I also like having my records to compare one pregnancy to the next.
post #17 of 18
I had regular prenatal up till week 28, had ultrasounds, gest. diabetes test and the whole bit. Then some stuff happened and i decided no more doctors :
I didn't do anything... my blood pressure had always been low, my weight gain up till then was pretty much 1 lb per week, fundus measured on track.
I paid attention to the baby, it moved the same as always, I ate well, got exercise and rest, drank lots of water, took regular prenatal vitamins....
i did go back to the doctor at 1 day past my EDD and had an internal and swab for GBS.... i don't know why i broke down and did it.
post #18 of 18
I don't have any real records.. I check my weight and fundal height once a week - two weeks... monitor baby's movements.. That's it. Some people like to keep more *formal* records, just incase someone tried to pin you with medical neglect. It's pretty sad we have to be afraid of that =(
I know when I went to get Sky's birth certificate after she was born, they wanted to have a dr sign saying I was seen while pregnant. Luckily I'd had an ultra sound so I had that dr sign. Not sure what they would have done if I didn't have that; wether or not they'd of given me the BC.
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