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pregnant African American woman

Prenatal Care

Keeping you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

In an effort to minimize exposure for you and your family as well as our healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are making every effort to provide care from a distance when it is safe. This includes care both in the clinic office as well as our Birth Center, where strict visitor restrictions have been put in place.

In-person prenatal care visits have been spaced out with some visits going to telephone or video. Even when you come to our clinic, the majority of the visit may be performed by telephone or video to limit your exposure.

  • A medical assistant will obtain your vital signs and inform your provider (doctor, midwife, or nurse practitioner) that you are ready. We will ask if you are okay performing the rest of the visit virtually by telephone or video (recommended to avoid exposures).
  • If you agree to have the rest of the visit virtually with your provider, he/she/they will contact you either by phone or video while you are in the clinic and discuss all of the information that would be covered at your visit had it been done face to face.
  • A medical assistant will draw any blood that may be needed. You may also be asked to self-collect some vaginal swabs for routine testing done in pregnancy.
  • Your next visit will be scheduled either as an in-person visit or an e-visit as decided by you and your provider.
  • If you desire a face-to-face visit with your provider (doctor, midwife, or nurse practitioner) for the prenatal visit, notify the medical assistant when you are asked and your provider will come in to see you in person.
  • In order to safely perform these visits, we need to know your blood pressure and temperature. Your weight would be helpful but is not necessary.
  • If you can, we recommend that you get a thermometer and blood pressure cuff and learn how to use them. Please notify the clinic if you have these so we know you are ready for this type of visit.
  • In the near future, we will be distributing blood pressure cuffs and thermometers to our patients who do not have them and cannot afford them. We will notify you when this will occur.
  • You will be scheduled with a specific appointment time for your phone or video visit, just like an in person visit.
  • At the time of your appointment, a provider (doctor, midwife, or nurse practitioner) will call you on your phone (or contact you via video when we have that capability) and will discuss all of the information that would be covered at your visit had it been done in person.
  • Video visits will be available in the near future (we are working on the details now).
  • When you are seen for an ultrasound or non-stress test in the OBTU, we will ask if you are okay performing your prenatal visit virtually by telephone or video (recommended to avoid exposures).
  • If you agree to have a virtual prenatal visit with your provider, after your OBTU testing, the medical assistant will obtain your vital signs and draw any blood that may be needed. You may also be asked to self-collect some vaginal swabs for routine testing done in pregnancy.
  • You will then leave the clinic.
  • Your provider will contact you either by phone or video for your prenatal visit. You will discuss all of the information that would be covered at your visit had it been done in person.
  • Your next visit will be scheduled either as an in-person, phone or video visit as decided by you and your provider.
  • If you desire a face-to-face visit with your provider (doctor, midwife, or nurse practitioner) for the prenatal visit, notify the medical assistant when you are asked. You will then be moved into the Women’s Health and Wellness Clinic to complete your prenatal visit with your provider.

Getting ready for your visit

Equipment help

We will need to know your blood pressure and temperature. Watch the following videos for instruction on how to use the equipment.

  1. How to take your blood pressure
  2. How to take your temperature
Prenatal education materials

A nurse will review these items with you:

Nutrition and mental health support

There a lot of things to prepare before the arrival of your baby. This can be both an exciting and anxious time. We've prepared nutrition and mental health resources here to keep you healthy, mind and body.

Nutrition

  1. Minnesota Department of Health
    Nutrition during pregnancy in English, Spanish, and Somali
  2. United States Department of Agriculture 
    Tips for pregnant moms
  3. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
    Nutrition during pregnancy
  4. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    Nutrition and coronavirus
  5. Budget Bytes
    Delicious recipes for small budgets and emergency preparedness

Tips for managing anxiety, worry, and stress

Three things to help your anxiety

  1. Limit your sugar, alcohol and caffeine intake. Because anxiety is physiological, stimulants may have a significant impact.
  2. Check in with your toes. How do they feel? Wiggle them. This kind of refocusing can calm you and break the anxiety loop.
  3. When you're in the middle of an anxiety episode, talking or thinking about it will not help you. Try to distract yourself with your senses: Listen to music, jump rope for five minutes, or rub a piece of Velcro or velvet.

Remember: Anxiety happens in your mind and your body so trying to think your way out of it won't help.

Three things to help your worries:

  1. Give yourself a worry budget,” an amount of time in which you allow yourself to worry about a problem. When that time is up (start with 20 minutes), consciously redirect your thoughts.
  2. When you notice that you're worried about something, push yourself to come up with a next step or to take action.
  3. Write your worries down. Research has shown that just eight to 10 minutes of writing can help calm obsessive thoughts.

Remember: Worry is helpful only if it leads to change, not if it turns into obsessive thoughts.

Three things to help your stress

  1. Get exercise. This is a way for your body to recover from the increase of adrenaline and cortisol.
  2. Get clear on what you can and can't control. Then focus your energy on what you can control and accept what you can't.
  3. Don't compare your stress with anyone else's stress. Different people respond differently to stressful situations.

Remember: Stress is a biological response that is a normal part of our lives.

(Source here)

Pregnancy and COVID-19 FAQ

Answers to your questions

Social services

Help with food, shelter and other services

Staying connected

We encourage all of our patients to be on MyChart. MyChart allows us to communicate with you and helps you keep track of your appointments. You can even see lab results in your MyChart account. If you do not currently have a MyChart account, set one up here or call 612-873-5600.

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