You Are Unique. Your Pregnancy Care Should Be, Too.
By Janet Perkins and Kristin Yates
If you have just learned that you are pregnant — congratulations! Your journey ahead is full of excitement and awe, and at times will be overwhelming. Let’s consider the many decisions you will have to make before your baby is born. You will decide whether working with an OB/GYN or certified nurse-midwife is best for you. You will contemplate giving birth in the comfort of your home or in the hospital. You will imagine what your baby’s nursery will look like, and what name you will give your precious bundle of joy. You likely will not wonder which model of pregnancy care will best align with your lifestyle. But you should.
At Garrison Women’s Health, an OB/GYN practice located in Dover, New Hampshire, we have been dedicated to supporting women with excellence and compassion since 1962. We believe it’s important to educate mothers-to-be on their prenatal care options. You already know you have options when it comes to giving birth, but what about the rest of the pregnancy? You should be empowered to guide your own care and to develop a birth plan that is on your terms.
Your pregnancy care should not be one-size-fits-all
Just as women should feel encouraged to take control of their pregnancies, healthcare providers should be flexible in their model of care to accommodate these personalized birth plans. If every pregnancy truly is different, then the model of care should adapt to reflect that. For example, at Garrison we created the Essential Eight Program as part of a continuous effort to provide care that fits with our patients’ daily lives. This model of care gives patients the option of fewer, more focused in-office visits throughout their pregnancies. With eight visits that focus on major milestones, it is an ideal option for low-risk mothers-to-be who may want (or require) a more flexible approach—those who have busy lives and schedules, travel long distances to make each appointment, or have been through a pregnancy before.
You also have the choice of the traditional prenatal care model offered by most healthcare providers, which includes approximately 14 prenatal visits. This is often a great option for any mom-to-be, including first-time mothers and patients who want to speak with a provider more frequently.
Whichever path you choose, you should know that you have options. You are your own best healthcare advocate, so use that power! Develop a path that fits your individual wants and needs.
Your pregnancy care is more than your prenatal visits
While prenatal visits are important, it is what you supplement them with that really makes the biggest difference and creates a well-rounded pregnancy. Whether this is your first pregnancy or your fourth, focusing on the wellbeing of both you and the baby in your own time is of the utmost importance. Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and proteins; stay hydrated; and indulge in your cravings once in a while. Participate in activities like yoga, meditation, support groups for expectant mothers, and prenatal massages on a regular basis. These can make a world of difference in your mental health. It is normal to make adjustments to your daily routines to accommodate for any symptoms you might endure while pregnant. You are creating a human being — one that will love you, look up to you, and depend on you. You’re incredible!
Your pregnancy care is your choice
Every woman’s pregnancy experience is different. Ultimately, the healthiest prenatal schedule is one that fits best into your life and keeps you and your baby happy and healthy. As women, we all have different needs, worries, and preferences. It is impossible to treat every woman the same way because of these distinctions.
No one knows their body better — or their pregnancy better — than you. Just listen to what your body and mind are telling you, and they will guide you in the right direction.
At Garrison, we are women caring for women. We want mothers to live in the moment, enjoy life’s pleasures, and recognize that they have options. A healthy pregnancy is always the number one goal. You are in control of your pregnancy journey. Enjoy it!
About the Doctors
Janet Perkins, M.D.
Janet earned her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, her master’s degree in public health from Chicago Medical School, and her medical degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Kristin Yates, D.O.
Kristin was magna cum laude from State University of New York at Buffalo. She received her two bachelor’s degrees in biomedical sciences and psychology. She was a Renaissance scholar and a Phi Beta Kappa honor society member. Kristin obtained her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri.