Who is eligible?

All pregnant women under 36 weeks gestational age will be encouraged to enroll. However, not everyone may qualify. You will not qualify if you:

  • Are younger than 18 or older than 36 years old
  • Have a chronic medical condition
  • Are having twins

Also, you may not qualify if you have had a previous pregnancy complication such as preterm (early) delivery. Your doctor will help determine if this program is a good fit for you.

What can I expect?

Through a combination of in-person office visits, video calls, and online access to your provider through the MyChart system, we will work together to provide excellent prenatal care. Combining in-person checkups with telemedicine has been clinically proven to result in excellent outcomes and high patient satisfaction.

The Frequently Asked Questions section below will help explain details about our program.

Telemedicine for OB Patients: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Between 8 and 12 weeks of pregnancy, you will have your first visit in the office to confirm the pregnancy with an ultrasound and to carefully review your medical history. You will then receive a schedule of your office and telemedicine appointments.
  • You will have scheduled contact with your provider every one to four weeks.
  • You will come to the office at 12, 20, 28, 36 and 39 weeks of pregnancy. At these in-person office visits, you may have scheduled lab testing, vaccinations and fetal heart monitoring, as well as time to discuss your progress with your provider.
  • When you are at home, you will monitor fetal movement and check your blood pressure. You will also have contact with your doctor at scheduled telemedicine visits and through MyChart messaging. In addition to in-person visits with your doctor, you will be scheduled for ultrasounds in our Antenatal Testing Center.
  • To participate in telemedicine visits, you will need a phone or a computer with an internet connection.
  • You should weigh yourself regularly on a home scale.
  • We also recommend you purchase a digital upper-arm blood pressure cuff, which can be bought at a pharmacy or online. Most blood pressure cuffs cost between $40 and $70. Your insurance company may cover this cost, or you can use health savings or flex spending dollars for the purchase. It is important to choose a cuff that fits your arm. Your doctor can help you measure, if needed, and the cuff will have instructions about fit.
  • You may also want to purchase a fetal Doppler (a home device to check the baby’s heartbeat) for monitoring at home. These typically cost $30 to $100 and would need to be ordered online. Home Doppler monitoring is optional in this program.

First, purchase a digital blood pressure cuff that fits your upper arm.

For each blood pressure reading, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare to take your blood pressure reading by finding a quiet space without distraction.
  2. Sit in a chair with your back supported, with your legs uncrossed and your feet on the floor.
  3. Place the cuff on your bare arm above your elbow.
  4. Position your arm so it is supported at heart level. This may be easiest if sitting at a table.
  5. Once sitting this way, rest for a few minutes and then begin the measurement.
  6. Sit quietly without distraction until complete.
  7. Record the value to discuss at your visit.

In our program, your fetus will be monitored in the office with a Doppler or an ultrasound. While you are at home, we ask you to monitor fetal movement. After 24 weeks, most women feel regular fetal movement.

During your visit in the office at 28 weeks, your doctor will discuss how to measure fetal kick counts. You will be instructed to sit or lie on your side in a quiet place and count distinct fetal movements. Once you feel 10 distinct movements, you can stop. It can take up to two hours to feel these movements, but often it will take less than 30 minutes. You should call your doctor’s office immediately if you are not feeling regular fetal movement or if the movement seems less than usual.

Your obstetric team at Inova is happy to answer your questions at any time.

For urgent matters, you should call the office to speak with the nursing staff or the doctor on call (if your problem arises when the office is closed).

For pregnancy related emergencies, patients planning childbirth at Inova Women’s Hospital and Inova Loudoun Hospital should go to the OB-Emergency Room (OB-ER). For emergencies that are not pregnancy related, please go to the main ER at any Inova hospital. At Inova Alexandria Hospital and Inova Fair Oaks Hosptial, patients with pregnancy-related or medical-related issues should go to the main ER.

If you have a non-urgent matter, we recommend that you call the office during business hours or send your provider a message via the MyChart system.