Although pregnancy is an exciting time for families, it can also be a challenging one. If your pregnancy is at risk for complications or your baby requires extra care, you may feel nervous or confused. Our home care nurses are here to help. They can guide you through your pregnancy and support you in keeping your newborn safe and healthy.
Is Home Care Right for You?
You may benefit from home care during pregnancy if:
- you have a high-risk pregnancy (a pregnancy at risk for complications)
- you have circumstances that put your health or your baby’s health at risk, such as depression or homelessness
Home care may be recommended for your baby if he or she:
- Has jaundice that requires treatment
- Is discharged from an intensive care unit
- Is experiencing withdrawal from narcotics or prescription drugs
To schedule a home care visit, please request a referral from your doctor, or talk to your nurses before your discharge from the hospital.
What Happens During a Home Care Visit?
A registered nurse will visit your home to provide healthcare services at a time that is convenient for you.
The number of visits that you receive depends on your condition and insurance coverage. Most moms need only one visit, while others may be seen more frequently.
Your home care nurse will keep your doctor informed about your health and your baby’s.
Care During Pregnancy
How you care for your body during pregnancy has an enormous impact on the health of your baby. Your nurse will act as your advisor, providing expert advice to keep you and your baby healthy during this critical time.
Overall Health: Your nurse will monitor your health by taking your vital signs, including your blood pressure, pulse and temperature. Your nurse may take an outward measurement to see how big your baby is getting. You will also receive guidance on how and why to take your prescriptions safely.
Diet: Do you know that some foods provide essential nutrients during pregnancy while others can cause harm? With your nurses’ help, you will learn how to optimize your diet for your baby’s health.
Gestational Diabetes & High Blood Pressure: If you have gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, you will learn how to modify your diet to prevent further complications. Your nurse will also recommend lifestyle changes, such as an exercise program, that can manage these conditions. Your blood sugar logs and blood pressure readings will be sent to your doctor.
Lovenox Injections: Lovenox may be prescribed to prevent or treat blood clots during pregnancy. Your nurse will teach you when and how to inject Lovenox. You will also learn how to recognize its side effects.
Substance Abuse: If you are taking medications for opiate dependence, such as Subutex and Suboxone, your nurse will advise you on how to take your medications properly.
Progesterone and Betamethasone Shots: Your doctor may prescribe progesterone or betamethasone shots if you are likely to go into labor early. Progesterone delays pre-term labor and betamethasone can reduce the risk of lung problems in premature babies. These shots can be administered by your home care nurse.
Home: To make your home safe for the newest member of your family, your nurse will suggest ways to correct safety or health hazards, such as secondhand smoke.
Postpartum and Newborn Care
Wound Care: Following the birth of your baby, your nurse will examine your c-section scar or episiotomy and advise how to care for your wound. If wound care is needed, (for instance, if your wound has an infection or has opened), your nurse will provide the treatment ordered by your doctor.
Newborn Assessment: Your baby’s health will be monitored by checking his or her weight, skin color, temperature, heart and lungs.
Blood Work: If your doctor orders blood work, your nurse will perform the blood draw and send it to your provider’s office. Blood work is usually ordered to check for or monitor jaundice.
Breastfeeding Support: Your home care nurse can teach you about the benefits of breastfeeding and help you to feel comfortable in feeding your baby. Learn about breastfeeding support at home.
Substance Abuse: Babies who were exposed to narcotics during pregnancy may be born physically dependent and experience symptoms of withdrawal. Your nurse will monitor your baby for problems related to this dependency, called neonatal abstinence syndrome. She can help you to recognize these symptoms and teach you how to comfort your baby.
Most insurance plans cover home care services for moms who have high-risk pregnancies or who have a medical or social need that would jeopardize their health or their baby’s.
The number of visits that your insurance company will allow depends on your insurance plan. Please contact your insurance company to find out if home care is covered for your particular situation.
If you will be responsible for a co-pay, you will be notified prior to your home care visit.