New prenatal program cuts number of visits to the doctor in half

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- When having a baby, expectant mothers can expect more than a dozen doctors visits before their bundle of joy arrives, so a local hospital’s new program is looking to help them save a little time.

The Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire is now enrolling patients in its new OB Nest program, a new alternative for prenatal care that will help reduce the number of trips to the doctor’s office.

The program, which has already been launched in La Crosse, will combine traditional prenatal care office visits with Connected Care visits and in-home monitoring.

The Connected Care visits are over the phone and via online messaging with experienced OB nurses.

The mothers will be able to share data, like blood pressure and heart rate with the nurse using an in-home blood pressure cuff and fetal doppler.

Doctors at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire say the program is a great way to save time for busy moms, and even become more engaged in their pregnancy.

“They're totally engaging more in their pregnancy, and I think that's kind of exciting actually,” says Dr. Jennifer Bantz, an OB/GYN at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. “And perhaps they’re more in tuned each trimester and perhaps learning more because they are more involved in gathering that data.”

The program is only for low-risk pregnancies, and can be used by both OB and midwife patients.

The hospital looks to enroll 100-150 patients in the OB-Nest program within the next year.

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