Knowing what is happening during your prenatal care is so important. So often patients let their doctor control that information, so knowing what you need to know about yourself puts the power back in your seat.
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — I’ll engage you as I lead you towards your confident delivery where you can be an expert in your own care!
Things to know about your prenatal care
In this episode:
Things to know about your prenatal labs:
- Your blood type
- If you got RhoGAM
- Beta strep results (GBS status)
- Average blood pressure in the office lately
- Medications & dosages
Things to know about your health history
- Major family health history
- Immunization record
- Past problems with general anesthesia in your family
I recommend putting these things in your Google Keep or Evernote file.
Other things that might interest you:
Picking Your Provider Podcast Episode
Waiting on Delivery Day Podcast Episode
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
Check out all my podcasts:
[00:00:00.265] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on Episode 82, we’re talking about what you should know about you. I mean, you should be the expert in you, right? Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:21.115] – Hilary Erickson
Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast, I’m Hilary, your curly headed host on the podcast where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting and home routines. I want you to know that there are no right answers for every family. And I find that simplifying my priorities is almost always the answer. It’s tangled, just like my hair.
[00:00:46.105] – Hilary Erickson
OK guys, before we get started, I’d love it if you’d leave a review. No, seriously, I would. If you’re on Apple podcast right now, I really don’t see any reason why you can just click and leave some words. Some positive words would be nice. And like five stars, please leave a review. OK, so when I worked in California, we had a physician there who sent all of his patients in with this card that had all of their important information.
[00:01:09.355] – Hilary Erickson
It was just like a little almost like a gift note. And he had him print it up and it just said, like the basic labs that they had. And that way, no matter where they were, they could go to any hospital and have that basic information with them. And I always thought that that was so smart and giving to his patients. And the other thing was that those women knew what was on that card because they looked at it.
[00:01:28.645] – Hilary Erickson
And so often we have women coming in that I’m like, do you know your baby’s strep status? And they’re like, no. You know, when we do stuff like that, we are giving a lot of our power to our provider. So today, I want to talk about some of the things you should know about yourself, especially with prenatal care. But we’re also going to talk about a few other things so that when you go to the hospital, you know, you should go to the hospital where your doctor has privileges, but sometimes you can.
[00:01:50.425] – Hilary Erickson
Sometimes you’re on vacation and your water breaks up. And my friend Jamie, she was in Hawaii, but you would have that information with you no matter where you were. So I know you really go to the hospital where your provider has privileges. That’s really the best thing to do. A lot of people are just like, oh, I can deliver wherever, but go to the place where your doctor has privileges or your midwife or whoever.
[00:02:10.935] – Hilary Erickson
Do you feel prepared for your delivery in just three short hours? You can be prepared for the competent collaborative delivery you want, you’ll know what to expect and how to talk with your health care team. And there are no boring lessons in this class. I’ll use humor, stories from my 20 years in the delivery room to engage both of you. I love how Alyssa told me that she found herself laughing at things that used to sound scary. Most of all, you guys are going to be on the same page from Bump to Bassinette.
[00:02:35.745] – Hilary Erickson
Join the online prenatal class for couples. Today, you can save 15 percent with coupon code untangled. You can find the link in the show notes. OK, one of the first things you should know about yourself and everyone should know about this, about themselves, you know, no matter if you’re having a baby or what is your blood type, if you don’t know it and you’re going to and you’re not pregnant or whatever, ask your provider just to order.
[00:02:57.155] – Hilary Erickson
It is a super quick, simple test. Just so you know, I noticed during covid when we were hearing that, oh, people people with the blood type were less susceptible. A lot of people were like, I have no idea what my blood type is. We most often blood type the babies in the hospital. So you should know your kids and just know your blood type. I think it’s just handy also when you come into the hospital, it’s just nice to know, especially if you’re positive or negative, because then of course we have Rogan.
[00:03:21.545] – Hilary Erickson
That’s something else you should know. Rogan is a shot that they give you if you and your baby daddy, your blood types don’t match antibody wise. So my husband’s a positive i’m o negative. I have to get rogallo. So usually if your partner is positive and you’re negative, you have to get Rogow. It is so that on your next baby, your body doesn’t decide that your baby’s an intruder and try and kill us. So that sounds pretty important, right?
[00:03:44.625] – Hilary Erickson
Anyway, if you’ve gotten real game, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t know your partner’s blood type and that happens very frequently, they will probably just give it to you if your blood type is negative. And then when the baby is born, they’ll check the baby’s blood type. And if it’s positive, then they again will give you the real game shot. It is a shot. It is in your bum. So, yeah, very important, though, even if you’re not planning on other children, I would 100 percent still recommend getting the program shot.
[00:04:06.155] – Hilary Erickson
You just never know what future holds. Second thing we’ve already kind of talked about well, kind of third thing after a game is your status. So beta strep. I should do a whole podcast on beta coming up, coming soon. It’s something that they swab in your who and your your poop hole, your rectum for this bacteria that’s normally found in women’s vaginas. A lot of people think it’s an STD anyway. They found that it can be problematic in babies that have been in the Nichue.
[00:04:30.305] – Hilary Erickson
They just don’t have as good of outcomes. If the moms tested positive for this normally occurring bacteria, no idea how they decided to check for that. But they did. And if you are positive, then they just give you antibiotics in labor. But if you are done at thirty six weeks, so if you’re not thirty six weeks yet, you wouldn’t know what your GBS status is. But if you are thirty six weeks and it’s gotten back, ask your doctor, because it’s important for you to know that’s something that you would definitely want to know if you were coming in and you ended up at a hospital that wasn’t your hospital.
[00:04:57.485] – Hilary Erickson
That happened to me. Once I went, I got in a car crash and so I was taken to the closest hospital. But know your GBS status, because it just makes it so much easier if we know that you’re positive or your negative. If you’re in labor, we can quickly start antibiotics, stuff like that. So gbs status, that’s something else you should know. And if it’s taken, definitely follow up. Put a note in your phone to follow up with that at your next appointment.
[00:05:17.405] – Hilary Erickson
So if it’s taken at thirty six weeks, you probably have another appointment the next week. Later it should be back by then. It doesn’t come back like right away. And it’s not something that they would call you for at home. It’s just something that they note on your record. But definitely follow up with that. And hopefully if you have a good provider, they’re following up with you on these kind of things anyway, especially bad. Ostrer, I would say probably half my patients know it was positive or negative.
[00:05:37.265] – Hilary Erickson
And a lot of them, I think, just don’t know because it was negative and their doctor doesn’t bring it up. Most of them know if they’re positive, but some don’t. OK, another thing you should know is your blood pressure in the office. Like what your average blood pressure has been in…. In the weeks. Coming up to this, just ask. I am always so frustrated when the text doesn’t tell me at all what the blood pressure is or the temperature like.
[00:05:56.165] – Hilary Erickson
I don’t know. I always I mean, I don’t tell you every thirty minutes as I’m taking your blood pressure in the hospital, but I tell people frequently, oh, it’s normal, it’s good, or it’s a little high. A lot of times when you come in to labor and delivery, your first blood pressure is going to be high because you’ve huffed in off the street and you know you’re tired. My blood pressure in the office was always high initially because usually I was dragging another kid in with me and I was tired and it was stairs and, you know, all the things.
[00:06:17.825] – Hilary Erickson
So but you should know what your blood pressure normally runs. That’s an important thing for all of us to know. So just ask them when they take your blood pressure, OK? The other thing is the medications that you’re taking and the dosages now, it’s probably not something that you’re going to have on the top of your head, but it would be something that’s important to have in your phone. If you’re on thyroid medication, if you’re on like metformin or Glucophage or whatever, just have it in your phone.
[00:06:38.465] – Hilary Erickson
And if you’re not pregnant, you’re listening to this. This is something everybody should know. I take a Zyrtec every day. There you go. This is my only medication and sometimes I don’t take it, but it’s what I take every day. So everyone should really know the medications that they’re on and the dosages. I would just keep Google keep note on your phone so that you can quickly bring it up, you know, when you’re in a situation like that, because it’s so frustrating when you ask them and I don’t mind when you go grab your phone and look it up or you have the bottle in your purse, a lot of people have that.
[00:07:02.855] – Hilary Erickson
But it’s like, oh, man, I don’t know. I don’t it’s like a pink pill and but I don’t know, you know, I’m like, come on, let’s take a little little care of ourselves. That’s not up to me to know your medication. So, yeah. There you go, rant. OK, here’s just a few other things to have in mind, because a lot of times when you go in to have a baby, that’s your first, like, medical thing that you’ve done without parents.
[00:07:22.175] – Hilary Erickson
Some people it’s not some people have gotten had surgeries and all these kind of things without their parents. But a lot of people I see coming in who kind of have a glassy eyed look and are like, I should ask my mom that, and I know that feeling. I knew that like my grandma had cancer, but I wasn’t really sure what kind that kind of thing. Nurse here just, you know, sometimes some families just aren’t real open about that kind of stuff.
[00:07:40.145] – Hilary Erickson
So you’re going to want to know your major family history. Cancer. Diabetes. Those kind of big things, big problems in your family, high blood pressure, possibly, you’re going to want to know those types of things, cancer, especially like when I went in to do my mammogram, I had to fill out like everyone I knew was like cancer history. I mean, they were going back with, like, uncles. And I was like, I don’t know what’s up with my uncles or aunts or anyway.
[00:08:03.075] – Hilary Erickson
But I think it’s just a good thing to talk with your parents about in general. And in fact, sometimes some of that stuff, especially way back, was hid it from us so we wouldn’t know. So it’s a good thing to have a conversation with with your parents. You’re going to want to know your vaccine history. That’s probably because TDAP has become in vogue lately. That’s probably something that your provider is going to talk to you about in the office.
[00:08:22.665] – Hilary Erickson
It’s really important that we try and have a cocoon of safety for the baby. So we encourage parents, mom and dad, to get the tdap during pregnancy so that because pertussis has become more frequent, we have a cocoon of safety where mom and dad are not getting pertussis. So that protects the baby a little bit more because the baby can’t get the pertussis immunisation for a few months. So if baby were to get pertussis, it is really bad.
[00:08:44.025] – Hilary Erickson
So that’s why we recommend having the tdap. But that’s something that you’re going to want to know. And if your mom still has your shop records, get them right. Just get them. I have mine somewhere. I don’t know how helpful they are. And honestly, some of them like the MMR, we actually do titers on you, which means we take your blood and we see if you have antibodies for it while you’re pregnant. Because if you were to get I think it’s Rossella during pregnancy, it’s really problematic.
[00:09:05.475] – Hilary Erickson
And so we would encourage you to get the MMR after you have your baby. If the titers or the things in your blood showing that you have antibodies. covid is helping all of us learn a little bit more about all this. Right. Anyway, if your antibodies aren’t there, we’ll just encourage you to get it, because we definitely don’t want you to have the ROSIO low while you’re pregnant. It can be really problematic for the baby. OK, vaccine history, OK, any surgeries that you’ve had and any issues that you’ve had with anesthesia.
[00:09:26.865] – Hilary Erickson
So this is talking about you right now. Some of you might have gotten ear tubes or tonsils when you were little. So definitely just talk with your parents about how that went. If there were any problems with you and anesthesia or pain pills after that. It’s just things that maybe your parents know that have never really passed on to you because they really haven’t had a reason. But check with them while you’re pregnant so you can know those kind of things.
[00:09:44.655] – Hilary Erickson
And then finally, one of the big questions that we ask is if anyone in your family, mom, dad, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, grandparents have ever had a big problem with general anesthesia. There’s a thing called malignant hypothermia, which is something that you have in your DNA that doesn’t react well with medications that we normally give for anesthesia can be extremely problematic and it is run through families. So if you and someone in your closest mom, dad, brother, sister and uncle network of family have had that, that’s something that we’re going to want to know ahead of time because I think they switch what anesthesia they give you.
[00:10:15.975] – Hilary Erickson
It’s just something great for us to know ahead of time. So there you go. Those are the things that I think it’s super helpful to know during pregnancy. Again, keeping an app on your phone, Google Keep is awesome for stuff like this because it travels with you. It will be on your laptop. It will be on your phone. It will be on your next phone, most likely if you install Google Keep or Evernote or something like that.
[00:10:34.365] – Hilary Erickson
Just handy to have that going along with you. So I think a lot of people are like, well, I want to have a say in my care, but then they don’t know stuff like this. And by being on top of your things, it just helps the medical staff know that you want to be involved in your care rather than just like just do whatever to me. So I think it helps you have a more confident birth when you know stuff like this.
[00:10:52.935] – Hilary Erickson
So that’s why I wanted to come up with this podcast today. These are simple things, good things to know in advance. If you are not currently pregnant and are considering it, ask your mom about this family history stuff, because I think it’s really important as you go be adopting around the world and honestly know that I’m thinking about it.
[00:11:08.475] – Hilary Erickson
I don’t know that my twenty year old knows a lot of this kind of stuff. So that’s something that I should have a conversation with him about. So if you’re a mom and your kids are teenage age, talk to them about this kind of stuff, too.
[00:11:18.045] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we help smooth out a few of the snarls in your life. We drop an episode every Monday and we always appreciate it when you guys share and review until next time. We hope you have a tangle free day.