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A new service from MountainStar Healthcare is making pregnancy appointments much easier and more convenient for mothers-to-be. The new remote OBGYN visits feature at St. Mark's Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates is a wonderful way for pregnant women to get prenatal care without leaving home. It's especially important for women who must travel longer distances to their doctor's office. This is how it works.
Whether you live far from your doctor’s office, have a robust work schedule or other children to care for, making the time for prenatal visits can be challenging, especially when you factor in the time it takes to drive to and from the office and wait for your appointment.
Of course, proper prenatal care often requires in-person exams, but when it does not, you can “meet” with your physician via a secure video chat. Dr. Sean Edmunds, MD of St. Mark’s Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates says, "The service allows patients to have a full appointment from the comfort of their own home or office. It’s especially helpful for patients who have to travel long distances to get to the office."
And if your significant other, a friend or family member would also like to attend the visit, he or she still can. This “group chat” feature allows anyone you wish to join in the conference from their home, work or other location. This is particularly beneficial for military members who may not currently be local.
An easy option for most women
Your first few prenatal visits set the course for a healthy pregnancy, answering your questions and determining your overall health and the health of your developing baby. During this time, you and your doctor can discuss whether remote prenatal visits are a viable option. Typically, if yours is not considered a high-risk pregnancy, you’ll be able to take advantage of remote prenatal visits.
While it is a new service in the medicine world, these virtual visits are absolutely safe. "This service is perfect for moms who have already been through a pregnancy and who are considered low risk. It’s also perfect for moms who are looking for a more convenient way to access their OBGYN, whether to save drive time, stay at home with other children or who are looking to take less time off work for their appointments," says Edmunds.
While it is safe for women to opt for virtual visits, there are better candidates than others for this service. Edmunds recommends, "This service is perfect for moms on their second, third or more pregnancies. Moms who are not considered high risk and who are looking for a more convenient way to access their OBGYN, whether to save drive time, be at home with your other kids or not have to take off as much work for appointments."
Tools and resources
Precise measurements of your weight, blood pressure, urine and fetal heartbeats are vital components in determining your health and that of your baby. To make sure your doctor has complete, accurate information, St. Mark’s uses at-home test kits for use in remote prenatal appointments. Your doctor will show you how to use everything in the kit so you can feel confident in your at-home visit care.
In touch if not in-person
The health of your pregnancy is your biggest priority — and should be your healthcare provider’s as well. St. Mark’s allows eligible patients to rotate in-person and remote prenatal visits in weeks 16 through 39 of your pregnancy. Your doctor will request in-person appointments only if he or she ever feels your or your baby’s health is at risk. Of course, you can also opt to discontinue remote appointments at any time.
Pregnancy is a wondrous, miraculous time — but it’s not always comfortable or convenient. Fortunately, your prenatal care visits can be a little more so. Make your initial appointment today to find out if you're eligible for remote OB visits. Visit the St. Mark's Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates website for more information.