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Getting Ready for Your Virtual Prenatal Appointment

24–48 Hours Before Your Appointment

Before every appointment, you will need to measure and record:

  • Your blood pressure,
  • your weight,
  • and your baby’s heart beat.

Using MyChart, you will then upload your measurements to your patient chart no more than 48 hours before your virtual or in-clinic appointment. Then, your provider will be able to review your measurements before your appointments.

Recording Your Weight

Recording your weight during pregnancy can tell your doctor if your baby is getting the nutrition it needs. You will need to measure and record your weight in pounds (lbs) using a bathroom scale. Before you record your weight, be sure to:

  • use your scale on a solid and flat surface,
  • make sure your scale is zeroed before weighing yourself (the scale should say 0 when there is no weight on it),
  • always remove your shoes before measuring your weight.

The type of clothing you wear or time of day doesn’t matter.

Recording Your Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure will help your doctor make sure your pregnancy is developing normally. To get an accurate blood pressure measurement, be sure to:

  • relax for five minutes before taking your blood pressure,
  • sit in a relaxed position (sitting in a chair is best),
  • keep your legs uncrossed,
  • remove any thick clothing from your arm,
  • and rest your arm on a flat surface, keeping it level with your heart.

Don’t forget to read the instructions that come with your blood pressure machine.

How To Enter Your Blood Pressure Numbers Into MyChart

Record these two numbers into MyChart:

  1. Your systolic (SYS) blood pressure (the top large number on your blood pressure machine). This is your maximum blood pressure when your heart beats.
  2. Your diastolic (DIA) blood pressure (the lower large number on your blood pressure machine). This is your minimum blood pressure when your heart is relaxed and between beats.

Recording Your Baby's Heart Rate with a Fetal Doppler Monitor

A fetal doppler monitor is a handheld ultrasound device that helps detect your baby’s heart beats.

  1. To measure your fetal heart beat, lie down on your back and remove your clothing to expose your stomach. Turn on the device. Then put ultrasound gel on the top of the Doppler wand.
  2. Place the probe to the area halfway between your belly button and your pubic bone. (Paper towels might come in handy.) Use firm pressure and move the probe around slowly to find the heart beat. Try changing the angle of the probe.
  3. Since your baby will move around and change positions, it may take several minutes to find your baby’s heart beat. Most fetal doppler monitors will have a volume setting so you can turn the volume up.

A doppler measures your baby’s heart rate in beats per minute. By 16 weeks of gestational age, normal fetal heart beats range from 110 to 180 beats per minute.

We don’t expect you to be able to hear a heart beat before your baby is 16 weeks old, so don’t be concerned. Feel free to bring your Doppler to your regular in-clinic appointments and ask your provider for help and reassurance on how to use it.

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