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Making Pregnancy Care High-Tech and High-Touch

By Lauren Winebrenner, Martinsburg VA Medical Center staff, Navy Veteran

Headshot of Lauren Winebrenner

I have been an active user of the VA's Personal Health Record, My HealtheVet for almost four years now.

While I love being able to refill my VA prescriptions and view my medical record online, I personally think the most convenient feature of My HealtheVet is Secure Messaging. My HealtheVet is both high-tech and high-touch. As a Veteran, I value this tool and hope that many other Veterans will join the millions already logging in.

Last year, during my second pregnancy, I wrote a blog for VA Careers about my experience navigating the VA system as a pregnant female Veteran. I was amazed at the level of care and attention I received from the VA health care system, even when I was getting outside midwifery care.

What made this process easier was the convenience of My HealtheVet.

When I was having pregnancy symptoms, I immediately sent a Secure Message to my primary care provider asking if I could have a blood test done to confirm my pregnancy. When it was confirmed, my health care provider sent me a congratulatory Secure Message and outlined how the Non-VA Care Coordination program would work.

Sleeping baby

Throughout my pregnancy, I refilled my prenatal vitamins and sent appointment requests to the chiropractor, all through My HealtheVet. I was also surprised to find that the Veterans Health Library had information on pregnancy, labor and postpartum care.

Once my newborn bundle of joy arrived, everything became a blur. Needless to say, the first few weeks at home with a newborn can be very difficult and exhausting. It can be hard to even find a minute of time to take care of yourself. I am glad that My HealtheVet was also there for me postpartum. I sent several Secure Messages (sometimes in the early hours of the morning!) regarding breastfeeding questions, birth control options and follow up appointments. It was easy because it only took me a moment, didn't require any noise that would wake my baby up and I could send Secure Messages whenever it was convenient for me.

My HealtheVet is a unique feature that has been available to our nation's Veterans for more than 10 years, and it will only continue to grow to become an everyday part of Veterans' health care. Every Veteran should take advantage of this great service! Sign up today.

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