Friday, September 22, 2006

I miss my maternity neuvola card

When I was expecting Peanut in Helsinki, I was given a "Maternity Health Clinic" card. Really a small booklet where at each midwife and doctor's visit my vital stats were recorded. The midwife and doctor also made the same notes into their own file. All by hand. I remember being surprised that the Katiloopisto hospital where Peanut would be born had no access to the information electronically - they, too, would have to decipher the hand-written notes from my maternity card.

I was told I should keep my Finnish Maternity card with me at all times so in essence I'd have my pregnancy health record on hand if I ever had to go to a different clinic or hospital. But, I liked it so I could keep track of how things were developing: my weight, blood pressure, blood test results, protein, glucose and iron tests, height of the uterus, Peanut's heart rate and position. It was fun to pull it out every once in a while at home to see how far we had progressed.

Here in the US, the notes are made by the nurse and my doctor into the folder kept at his office. A few times, I've even had to ask if I gained weight or how my blood pressure was as the nurse silently made her notes. I try to recall the details and write them down for myself in my own notebook. I suppose the idea is that if I need care, I will go only to his office and my selected hospital where my doctor will be available and aware of my condition.

1 comment:

Peanut's Mom said...

An emailed comment from a Finnish mama friend living here in Texas:

Yes, I missed my neuvola card here as well. I always had a notebook with me filled with questions. The doctor's office always looked a little surprised.

Usually, I guess people here don't ask so many questions. I always had to request copies of lab results and they wondered what I was doing with them. As a matter of fact, they can charge you for copies, sometimes even $30 a copy.

I suppose here you are supposed to trust your doctor when they tell you everything is OK. Last time I was told everything was OK, but when I looked at the results myself they looked to be very borderline. They must suppose that most people don't know what result is a good result. Several nurses have also not known.

I had very good luck with my doctor and nurse here.