Prenatal pediatric visit recommended for expectant families
Michael Yogman, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues from the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health discussed the recommendation for a pediatric prenatal visit for all expectant families during the third trimester as a first step toward establishing a child's medical home.
The authors note that the visit provides a unique opportunity to address the relationship between the family and the practice and to encourage the bidirectional sharing of information between parents and pediatric providers. Prenatal visits should be incorporated into the routine of pediatric practices, and services can be designed to meet the needs of expectant parents; if feasible, a full prenatal visit is preferred. Evidence supports payment for full prenatal visits; the short- and long-term benefits of prenatal visits on health outcomes should be advocated to payers. The content and importance of prenatal visits should be taught to residents. In order to optimize postpartum family care, increased partnerships with colleagues in obstetrics and gynecology are encouraged.
"Prenatal visits allow general pediatricians to establish a supportive and trusting relationship with both parents, gather basic information from expectant parents, offer information and advice regarding the infant, and may identify psychosocial risks early and high-risk conditions that may require special care," the authors write.
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