I'm pregnant for the first time and everyone has an opinion on what I should be doing. I wish I had someone who could help guide me so I'm not so overwhelmed.
Family, friends and other relatives often mean well when they tell you stories about their pregnancies, but those anecdotes and bits of advice can be too much, too soon, and can even make you feel confused. The truth is that every woman experiences pregnancy differently—and what worked for your mom, sister or BFF isn't necessarily the right thing for you.
It is, however, worth it to have someone by your side who both understands what you're going through, and can help cut through the confusion and guide you as you get closer to delivery. That's where a Maternity Navigator, also called an OB Nurse Navigator, comes in.
What is a Maternity Navigator?
Think of a Maternity Navigator as your personal coach, advocate and friend through pregnancy to parenthood. Your navigator will collaborate with you and your partner during every stage, and will help you set expectations so that you may have the best pregnancy, labor and delivery experience possible. Plus, our Maternity Navigators are labor and delivery nurses so the information you’ll discuss will be based on medically-sound recommendations.
At Overland Park Regional Medical Center and Centerpoint Medical Center, you'll be matched with a Maternity Navigator somewhere between 10 and 20 weeks gestation. During your first meeting, you'll visit one-on-one. You’ll be asked lots of questions during this meeting so that your Maternity Navigator may learn more about you, your health and your desires for both pregnancy and delivery. During your first meeting, you’ll also:
- Discuss in detail the services your Maternity Navigator will provide
- Determine any risks or health factors that may impact your pregnancy
- Become educated on the different options for childbirth
- Go on a tour of the maternity unit so that you can feel comfortable with your surroundings when the time arrives
- Go over available hospital amenities—from wireless monitors, to spa tubs, to the Spotify playlist you want playing during labor
- Discuss the offered Healthy Arrivals prenatal classes, ranging from Baby Basics 101 to prenatal fitness, among many others. Your navigator can also help you register for the classes that interest you
- Download the Childbirth 101 app for your Apple or Android devices—this app is designed to help you transition from pregnancy to motherhood with features that include an appointment tracker, kick counter, and a contraction timer, among others
Support Throughout and Beyond
Your second meeting with a Maternity Navigator—between 20 and 30 weeks gestation—gets down into the nitty gritty details of your birth plan. All of your pregnancy-related questions will get answered (and we mean all), for example:
- How to cope with pregnancy discomforts and when to seek medical attention should a pain you’re experiencing feel concerning
- How to manage, and become educated on, the changes happening in your body
- Creation of your personalized birth plan to include details such as pain management or natural birth, your partner's role in labor and delivery, etc.
- Breastfeeding education
And any other questions or concerns you have.
The third meeting with your Maternity Navigator is the last before you give birth—somewhere between 30 and 40 weeks—where you'll go over all the important documents and instructions one last time. During this meeting, your navigator will go over your pre-admission documents, sign consent forms and tie up any lose ends or questions before the big day.
Once you have the baby, you may meet with your Maternity Navigator for the final time over the phone to go over your post-birth questions and concerns, such as:
- The baby blues and signs of postpartum depression
- Frustrations with breastfeeding, she'll be able to point you to the appropriate classes or lactation consultants for further assistance
- Parental support groups and resources
Get Started on Your Journey
Enlisting the help of a Maternity Navigator can help clear some of the confusion and stress that comes with pregnancy so you can focus on the important things, like staying healthy (and decorating the nursery, of course!). They're only a phone call away, too. Schedule your childbirth planning session today online or call them directly.
Centerpoint Medical Center – Call (816) 698-8515 to schedule your appointment.
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