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How Telehealth Can Help You Through Your Pregnancy

How Telehealth Can Help You Through Your Pregnancy

Our article ‘Postpartum Recovery Starts with a Health Pregnancy’ emphasizes that a woman’s maternal health must be prioritized as early as the prenatal period. And with the acceleration of technology, the medical world has been making transformative solutions to some of its biggest accessibility issues by broadening it's telehealth services, including maternal health services in the US. In recent years, healthcare providers like Inova have been offering telehealth services to monitor high-risk patients—such as pregnant women—and offer accessible and personalized care.

Here’s how telehealth can help you through your pregnancy.

Mental health services

Pregnancy is a time of immense change and can affect a woman’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. This means that the risk of anxiety and depression is heightened in pregnant women. With telehealth, women are given greater access to therapy through remote sessions.

It’s important to note that although remote therapists are widely available across the country, women need to look for therapists within the state that they live in. This is because different states have different licensing requirements so, for instance, a therapist from Arizona can only accommodate patients from within the state. In the same way, practicing LCSWs and LMFTs in Massachusetts can only accept online therapy clients from that state due to state compliance. They also require more than 3,300 hours of supervised clinical experience before they can apply for a license, ensuring they are able to treat patients to a very high level.

Having remote telehealth services eliminates a pregnant woman’s need to worry about mobility or transportation. This allows them to attend sessions more consistently, thus maximizing the effectiveness of treatment.

Remote patient monitoring

Women with high-risk pregnancies can be better looked after with consistent observation through telehealth. This is important as research shows that around 22% of pregnancies are considered high risk due to chronic health problems, infections, complications from previous pregnancies, and other issues. Fortunately, the same study from the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare found that telehealth services have been effective in managing high-risk pregnancies due to remote patient monitoring (RPM).

RPM can add efficiency to blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring to achieving glucose control in pregnancy, and may also contribute to hypertension management. It also contributes to ascertaining whether women have breached the high-risk threshold and would need to access in-person care. Telehealth also allows women needing specialized services to connect with practitioners that they otherwise would not be able to visit frequently in person.

Health equity

Telehealth can be valuable in addressing some of the most pressing issues pregnant women in the country are vulnerable to. Among women that are of reproductive age in high-income countries, women in the US have the highest rate of deaths from avoidable causes, including pregnancy-related complications. American women also more frequently encounter issues in paying for their medical bills and are more likely to postpone or skip needed care because of high costs. And although high costs are a nationwide issue, it affects different demographics disproportionately as Black women are nearly three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.

Telehealth services can contribute greatly to addressing these health inequities by reducing the need for spending on transport and hospital bills, and offering immediate assistance to prevent pregnancy-related emergencies. It also heightens access for pregnant women who live in remote areas or are part of underserved communities that have limited access to health facilities.

Although medical care may be difficult to access for many women in the prenatal stage, the growing adoption of telehealth in medicine provides an optimistic outlook. By bridging health inequities and heightening the accessibility and efficiency of medical care, women are provided with greater opportunities for safe pregnancies.

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Rosetta J

Rosetta James is a part-time writer and full-time mom to two teenagers. Parenting is never an easy task, which is why Rosetta aims to share her tips and tricks with every mother in the community.

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