Tag Archives: antenatal visit

Prenatal Visits: Every Two to Three Weeks

A few weeks after our ultrasound, we visited the prenatal clinic.

We walked in and took a seat, genuinely interested in what the next steps were. After all, the pregnancy was all real now! The belly is growing. The baby is moving! We’ve seen the baby!

IMG_5623

 

Now what?

While we waited, our midwife popped from around the corner.

“Hey! How are you guys doing?” she said.

“Fantastic. Looking forward to the visit,” I replied without missing a beat.

“I’ll be with you in just a minute.”

Looking over at Lisa I said, “Wow! Can you believe she remembered us? And remembered that I’d prefer English?”

“Ya, she has a great memory,” Lisa replied.

#impressed

Sure as the morning star, a minute passed, and she whisked us back to her office. We could then ask any and all questions on our minds, while she had a few topics up her sleeve.

She showed us the “chart” that would be used every three weeks from here until the baby is born to measure things like the amount of iron in Lisa’s blood (via a simple blood test), measuring her blood pressure, measuring the size of her belly, and checking the baby’s heart beat.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.48.35 AM
Inquisitive as I am, I had to ask how she found the uterus–the place where they measure from. I couldn’t feel it with my hands, but clearly she felt something and the measurement took place.

 

Then we waited and listened for the heart beat. That was almost as cool as the ultrasound. Hearing your child’s heartbeat was a great and euphoric feeling, especially for Lisa.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.48.09 AM

 

Meanwhile, I started asking questions: What’s the heart rate? What’s a normal heart rate? What do we do if the baby’s heart rate is too fast?

IMG_5542
Answers: Around 142, 130-150, if it’s above 150, then they would make us wait and remeasure to see if the baby’s heart rate calms down. If it doesn’t then they would send us to the hospital to monitor the heartbeat for a longer time period to see if the baby’s stress level can go down or not.

She then took Lisa’s blood pressure and did a blood test to check for the iron levels. Her iron was right in the middle, which apparently meant that she should take one iron pill every second day from now on.

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.54.01 AM

The midwife then reminded us about the prenatal parent education classes that would be starting soon, and we started booking all of our prenatal visits between now and our baby’s due date (25th of January 2016). We will visit the midwife every three weeks (the normal routine for all parents in Sweden).

All of the midwives at the location we visit
All of the midwives at the location we visit

All in all, a great visit and great information.

Second Antenatal Visit: Equality, long office hours, and welcoming of non-Swedish speakers

After our first prenatal visit, we decided to look up online what other clinics we could go to. Not missing the irony of trying to be an involved expectant father, Lisa types into Google “MVC Uppsala.” MVC standing for mödravårdscentral (maternity center–with a name like that, why would fathers ever feel like they’re not welcome?).

The first Google hit was Barnmorskemottagningen Hjärtat (Midwifery Clinic Heart). It happened to be a private antenatal clinic (not sure if that’s relevant).

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 6.30.48 PM
We quickly noticed on their website (here) that they have longer office hours and have parenting classes in English.

“Yes, let’s go there. That sounds good,” I said to Lisa. She called and booked an appointment, since we were supposed to have a second visit anyhow, before the ultrasound (I later learned that sometimes midwives have one visit, while others have two, before the ultrasound at week 18-19).

Immediately upon entering the clinic, we were both happily stunned.

“It’s so big and nice,” Lisa said. I concurred. We walked around a little before taking a seat. They had some special extras, like lemon water and some cookies in the waiting room, along with the staples like Mama, Vi Föräldrar, and other magazines more aimed at a female audience (I can’t escape my research background when I enter a waiting room environment [see my previous blog post here about child health waiting rooms]).

The midwife greeted us, without hesitation, shaking both of our hands and making eye contact before moving on to whatever we would do next.

Oh man, I feel so appreciated! I thought. This is the place we’ll come for all of our visits.

She then took us on a brief tour, showing us where they have parenting classes, their balcony that overlooks parts of the city, bathrooms, etc.

What a wonderful welcoming and great first impression of the place and the midwife. 

And out of the six other couples there, only one person (expectant mother) was there by herself.

We came to her office and sat down. She was probably in her mid-to-late 30s and had no trouble speaking English. Bright and full of smiles, we continued our visit.

This visit was a bit shorter, since we had already gone over a lot of information in the first session. But since it was a new midwife, Lisa went over her medical history. And of course, we had to go over the usual stuff–who are you? But this time, the midwife actually asked about me immediately after finding out Lisa’s background information.

Now that we had been pregnant for a few extra weeks, we were able to experience more pregnancy-related matters, like morning sickness. So naturally, we took up that conversation with the midwife and received some good tips.

Tips included a morning sickness pill, an acupuncture-type bracelet, and a print-out of various types of food to eat and to avoid.

She then reiterated the ultrasound, and we booked a time for the ultrasound visit.

The only disappointing thing about the trip was that the English parenting classes were going to be put on hold. The woman who leads the class was on parental leave and therefore wouldn’t be available to teach the parenting classes in the fall of 2015. So we’ll see how attending the Swedish ones goes.

Side note–Apparently the English parenting classes are shorter than the Swedish ones. The midwife stated that the same important information is provided in both classes, but in the Swedish classes, outside people from the community are brought in to talk about different services (but those weren’t offered in the English speaking class).

Naturally hearing that we’d get “extra” services, Lisa preferred the Swedish classes, and I couldn’t help but feel like those attending the non-Swedish speaking classes were missing out (even if the most vital information was offered in both). Hmm, perhaps the first clinic was better–at least for me attending parenting classes. Time will tell.