Pregnancy and you blog

Prenatal visits: Do you bring support?

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. March 12, 2013

A couple came to see me last week for a prenatal visit. They were so happy. They'd been to every prenatal appointment and ultrasound together. They both asked questions and we had a good talk about dads. Afterward, I thought about my own prenatal care nearly 30 years ago.

My husband didn't attend any prenatal visits or ultrasounds. To be fair, my midwife was my best friend and colleague. We tended to snatch time in the clinic whenever we could, rather than schedule formal appointments. Still, I wondered if missing those visits had bothered my husband.

When I asked him about it, he looked surprised — and slightly suspicious. Was this a trick question? At the time, employers weren't likely to give dads time off to attend prenatal visits. Sharing the experience certainly wasn't universal, and he said he didn't think he'd missed much. After all, he was there for the labors and births.

How the world does change!

Today, a support person is often an integral part of the prenatal experience. It's almost expected that partners or other friends and family will come to at least the milestone appointments — the first visit, the first time you hear the baby's heartbeat, the first ultrasound.

Do you usually go to prenatal visits by yourself or does someone accompany you? If you've had more than one pregnancy, did you take a different approach with the first pregnancy compared to subsequent pregnancies? Please share your stories.

March 12, 2013