Healthy Pregnancy Counseling – Shame in a Phone Call!

Perhaps I’m being unkind characterizing it as such. But here’s the deal. My insurance has a healthy pregnancy program which involves a few 15-30 minute phone calls from a nurse during my pregnancy, with the intention of reducing ER visits and unncessary C-sections. More importantly, if I sign up to do it through my work, they’ll pay me $200. $200 buys a lot of diapers / pays for 4 midwife copays, so I signed up early on.

And… it’s… fine. They sent me the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy for free, which, hey, free pregnancy guide! Which I’m glad I read, because I found that my 5,000iu Vitamin D supplement is actually too high for right now and so I reduced to 4,000. They also suggested adding DHA supplements, which is especially important because I hate fish and am not getting it that way. They also nagged me about going to the dentist (which I’d already had set up because I believe in getting regular six month dental checkups unlike my wife some people).

But… but… ugh. First, they identify risk factors and told me that my fatty fat fatness was a risk factor, as was the fact that we’d conceived using a fertility center. And proceeded to talk to me about the importance of exercise and proper nutrition. To which I responded my basic “I’m not eating ho hos dipped in fudge lying on the couch. I eat properly and am calorie counting, am at the gym 3-5x per week and walk 10,000 steps a day.” At the time, I was in the throes of heartburn, nausea and insomnia, so I wasn’t eating as much as I should and didn’t really want to go to Zumba because I thought I might throw up. So, you know, that. But, as often happens when I talk to insurance companies, they don’t seem to understand Health at Every Size and continue to talk to me like I’m a 5 year old. So, that’s fun.

They also didn’t understand home birth and midwives. They clearly have questions they have to answer on a form, but couldn’t comprehend that a) I would not be working with a doctor and that there was no doctor supervising the midwives and b) I would not be going to a hospital unless absolutely necessary. So that was fun.

The final, ‘wait, what the hell are you talking about?’ was about exercise and breathing. They told me the standard, heart rate stays at 145 or below (which I’m trying to follow, but don’t wear a heart rate monitor. I just try not to get too out of breath in classes). They also told me that I should call my doctor / midwife every time I get out of breath. Every time. Whether exercising or not. Which is ridiculous because one of the fatigue issues I have with this kid is that I get winded more easily. I revisited them about this on the second call and they reiterated, even if you’re at the gym, exercising or whatever, if you’re even slightly out of breath, call your doctor. I mean, clearly this is a CYA on their part, but if I followed this instruction to the letter, I would be calling my midwife daily. Which I’m sure they’d love as much as I would. How does that even go? “Hello, midwife? I just carried my laundry basket up two flights of stairs and now I’m slightly out of breath. Do you think the two might be related?”

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