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Working Moms-to-Be: Prenatal Checkups

One of your challenges as an expectant career woman is to schedule doctor visits around your job. You can be sure that (a) your time is spent productively, (b) waiting time is shortened, and (c) examination time is limited by following these simple steps:

  1. Plan appointments around your work agenda—Schedule your appointment the first thing in the morning (so you re not kept waiting), during your lunch break, or make it the last appointment of the day so that you won't miss much, if any, time from work. You may even be able to schedule an appointment on the weekend.
  2. Call ahead to see if the doctor is running late—Call one half to one hour in advance and ask if the doctor is running on time. If the answer is no, get a little extra work done before you leave the office. Ask a friendly receptionist to call you when she knows the doctor is running behind time.
  3. If the doctor is regularly late for your appointments, talk about your frustration—Explain that as a working woman, your time is money too. Consider asking for a reduction in the fee for every fifteen minutes you re kept waiting. Or, if worse comes to worse, threaten to switch doctors if an effort is not made to see you on time.
  4. Use waiting time for information-gathering—Instead of letting the delay upset you, talk to the other waiting expectant mothers about their experiences and the wisdom they've gained. Somehow, knowing that almost all women go through the same experiences is reassuring.
  5. Bring work along—Use the time for office work, a home project, or bill paying.
  6. List your questions—Write them in order of priority because you may not have time for all of them. Make them specific and scientifically current to be sure the doctor appreciates your concerns.
  7. Call with some questions—Your concern may be easier to answer than you think, saving everybody's time.
Six Tips for Calling Your Doctor from Work
  1. Keep numbers handy—All your records, the doctor's phone number, and the pharmacist's phone number should be within reach at work. By the time you get home, they may have closed or you may have forgotten the question.
  2. Make the call yourself—Messages relayed through a coworker have the potential for error.
  3. Call when you're free—Avoid calling just before a meeting or when a presentation is scheduled. By the time the doctor calls back, you may be unavailable, wasting everybody's time.
  4. Identify yourself—Always give the receptionist your full name, date of your last appointment, and your current week of pregnancy.
  5. Give details—For example, say how much bleeding occurred (how many pads you bled through), what it looked like, and so forth. The nurse may be able to set your mind at ease or may be able to connect you directly with the doctor.
  6. Keep paper and pencil handy—You may get complicated instructions. (As an added reminder, call home and leave your doctors medical instructions on your voicemail.)
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© 2005 by Marla Schram Schwartz. Excerpted from The Working Woman's Baby Planner with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


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