Not many women can state with pure honesty that they enjoy a routine (or not-so-routine) visit to the OBGYN office. The long and short of it is that these appointments are downright uncomfortable and most women avoid these doctors like the plague.
Sometimes, for example, when we become pregnant, we have to make these visits more routine. Then for those of us lucky enough to have health insurance, we end up paying exorbitant co-pays each time. We are sure that every time we become pregnant we are bringing our OBGYN a step closer to his dream car or her child’s Harvard Law degree. What better practical way to entertain ourselves than to think about how we can make these visits worthwhile?
One thing many of us moms have found helpful during these visits is creating a mini mental shopping list of things we may need at the OBGYN office. Before some of us get all freaked out, let’s just remember that this is all stuff that we can acquire with or without the knowledge of office staff and most will unlikely be missed. We may as well make the best of our visits, right? I mean, doesn’t every woman realize how much they need a speculum?
16 Spotlight On The Speculum
Who remembers to purchase a speculum when they are out and about or on Amazon shopping for diapers? Not many of us! Who suddenly remembers how much they need one when they are getting ready for their dreaded OBGYN appointment? Many of us!
As the focus on women’s health increases and the importance of self-examining ourselves also climbs up toward the tops of most modern women’s to-do lists, women are thinking about the speculum for cervix self-examination. It is a world of mystery down there and this can help women to become more self-aware of their bodies and also aid in understanding what our normal down there really looks like. The more we get to know our bodies, the more empowered we ultimately are as women.
15 Hand Sanitizer Insanity
This is a no-brainer for any mom. Now that we have had at least one baby, we have quickly taken on the identity of Queen Germaphobe Mom. The three-second rule no longer applies, and we have taken stocks out in Purell. We bulk up on sanitizer and put one in every room insisting upon consistent and ongoing use by anyone brave enough to cross through our front doors.
As a result, this becomes a pricey namesake to undertake.
This stuff gets pretty expensive, especially when we are replacing it in such vast quantities, particularly during the winter months and cold and flu season teasing our mental health status. If we can get even one free bottle of hand sanitizer, it is one less trip to the store for us. This is a one-stop shop mom win.
14 Specimen Swabs: Pinterest DIY Waiting To Happen
Of course, many of us reading this may wonder what in the world can we do with these giant specimen swabs. So much! Haven’t you ever seen Pinterest? The ideas are endless! Ok, so maybe Pinterest has not cornered the market yet on specimen swab crafting and DIY projects, but these little guys come in quite handy for many things.
They can be used for painting and applying glue when kiddos are crafting it up. These swabs can also be used in place of latex gloves for applying diaper ointment to our little ones.
They can be used for makeup application and nail polish mishaps.
We can clean out small wounds by dipping the tip in peroxide and gliding it over a cut or dipping in rubbing alcohol and cleaning out our piercings.
13 Alcohol Wipes Do Wonders
The tiny alcohol swabs that are used to clean areas before we are administered a shot or vaccine can be used for so many everyday household things. Taking these little packets from the OBGYN’s office will not cause any concern as they are ordered in such bulk. Grab a handful and keep them in your purse for a quick sanitizer if you happen to *gasp* forget your travel sanitizer.
We can use them for sanitizing a table at a restaurant or for a quick keyboard wipe or wiping down your phone or mouse quickly. They can also be used for wiping and cleaning piercings and also as tiny spot stain removers. Got a little drip of sauce on your blouse at lunch? Take the swab and gently dab on stain until it begins to disappear.
12 Go Gaga For Gloves
Besides blowing up hand-shaped balloons to entertain little ones at random times while waiting in line at the grocery store, latex gloves are a staple for cleaning and messy diaper changes. While raising a family in a crazy, germy world, latex gloves are a definite must.
These are another one of those items that are ordered in such bulk that our co-pays more than cover the cost of a missing handful.
We are much more inclined to tackle that bathroom with a pair of these on. Don’t forget about the messy diaper blowout situation. There are times when even gloves don’t seem like enough to take care of this diaper disaster, but you will be happy to have them on hand when this situation inevitably arises as you whisper a silent thank you to your doctor!
11 Exam Paper Ecstasy
Exam paper is another one of those Pinterest board pins waiting to happen! Most of us do not even consider the wealth of a roll of exam paper. Your diaper bag is giant for a reason. Slide a roll into your bag and use at home for art projects with the kiddos. Kids love large areas to color, destroy, paint and project their psyche onto! Tape a giant piece to the floor and let them create to their heart’s content.
We can also use exam paper for our own changing table or to cover an area where we are about to start a home improvement project. We can use strips as makeshift placemats during camping trips and then as kindle during our evening campfire. The options for this material are endless.
10 Master The Mags
We convince ourselves we are recycling and honestly, that is the truth. Doctor’s offices likely toss out old magazines without even a second thought to the gold mine opportunities that they contain.
Not only is stashing a couple of magazines a great idea for passing time when you have to wait somewhere unexpectedly, but they are great to have on-hand for quick, rainy day collaging projects, clipping extra coupons or for searching for a new recipe idea.
The best part of magazines is that they really are meant to be shared.
Offices usually get such a wide array of subscription deals and so frequently, that they will unlikely be missed on the corner tables and will be one less thing for staff to tidy up at the end of the day.
9 Birth Control Bonanza
Before we get ourselves into a dither and panic over this suggestion, let us clarify. We do not mean to steal birth control prescriptions or pills, although some offices may start you out with some samples if requested. We simply mean that this is a great opportunity to stock up on condoms or other birth control options that may be readily available to us such as female condoms or spermicidal lubricant.
These are things that are usually available upon request, but often are available for the taking in the exam rooms or lobbies, especially at OBGYN offices. Take as many of these as possible because you can never have too many. After all, that is why we are visiting this office so frequently in the first place!
8 Free-For-All Facial Tissues
These are another one of those staples that never go out of style. We can never have too many boxes of facial tissues. Think of guest bathrooms, bedrooms, diaper tables, garages, living rooms, diaper bags, glove compartments, and trunks. We can use these virtually anywhere and everywhere!
All of these are potential areas that facial tissues come in handy and these little gems are compact enough to stash right in your diaper bag.
Facial tissues will not be missed and many people forget that they add up in price when purchasing at the store on a regular basis. The fact and bottom line here is that you will always need them. If you grab a few boxes at each visit, you will always have enough for any moment.
7 Hospital Gown Get-up
Those geometrically patterned hospital gowns are often overlooked treasures in the OBGYN office. If you are able to grab an extra hospital gown or two, especially if you have just given birth, then definitely do so! Hospital gowns are perfect for quick, on-demand nursing moments.
Sure we have those special nursing shirts, nursing covers, etc., but in the privacy of our own homes, how convenient is it to be able to prance around in our granny panties with a hospital gown and at the beck and call of our brand spanking new tiny arrival who wants to eat all the time! Right after we give birth, most modesty is gone and aren’t we trying to save money anyway! No need to go out and buy a new wardrobe just for nursing.
6 Cornering The Cotton Balls
There are always draws of these soft cloud balls in doctors’ offices. Who needs extra cotton balls, we wonder? Everyone does! These are another one of those multi-use items that we can never have enough of. We can use these little puffs for arts and crafts, to fill craft jars, for makeup application and removal, and to cushion packages that we would like to ship.
They are the poor man’s bubble wrap and can come in handy for cleaning as well.
We can dip them in vinegar to touch up small or hard-to-reach areas. We can dip them in alcohol or peroxide and apply to our skin where needed. We can also utilize them to apply diaper ointment or concentrated cream to dry areas of our bodies without getting sticky and messy.
5 Gauze Pad Paradise
These little white squares are easy to stash in our diaper bags and purses and also contain many uses. The mesh texture of gauze pads are often helpful for scrubbing trouble areas during cleaning sprees. We can always use some extra gauze pads in the medicine cabinets in case of small injuries or makeshift bandages in a pinch.
These are wonderful little tools for nail polish removing and makeup application and removal. They are as versatile as cotton balls, yet textured slightly differently so the uses are just as endless. Not to mention, have you ever scoped out the cost of a roll of gauze at the store? Feel free to stock your home first aid kit annually while at that pediatric work-up.
4 Nab The Nursing Pads
These little soft cotton numbers are prizes in and of themselves. One can never have too many of these and grabbing a few extra during your routine visit to the OBGYN might not be a bad idea. Even if we are not nursing at this particular time in our lives,
nursing pads can double a quick burp cloth and wipe up spit-up, small spills and even sweat on a really hot and humid July afternoon!
Since nursing pads are quite absorbent and easily transportable, they can absolutely help a mom-on-the-go in a pinch. If you do happen to be nursing, well, these bad babies are relatively pricey, and it may be worth it to grab a few spares.
3 Petroleum Jelly For Your Belly
This wonderful little versatile skin protectant is a gem and a true lifesaver for so many women! Petroleum jelly has been around for many years and is an age-old product that can help protect skin from the elements, help heal diaper rash, moisturize even the driest lips, apply to stretch marks and soothe chapped chubby cheeks.
There are a plethora of uses for this little medicine cabinet must-have. Getting our hands on some small tubes at our doctor’s office is helpful as we can toss it right into our purse or diaper bag and a little goes a long way. In addition to helping our skin, we can use it to help take off makeup with our trusty cotton balls! Even if you aren't keen on using potentially toxic petroleum on yourself or baby, this stuff will grease a squeaky door hinge and come in handy often around the house.
2 Personal Lubrication Hustle
As savvy women, we know how vitally important personal lubrication can be and having it on hand at the right time is indispensable! We all know just how expensive it can really be at the pharmacy. Personal lubricant is another one of those staples that your OBGYN stocks in bulk so why not take advantage, save a bit of money and a lot of hassle trying to navigate the family planning aisle for the perfect type.
It is often distracting trying to sort out all of the different kinds on the shelves.
By grabbing some at the next doctor’s appointment, you can not only save the stress of trying to sort through all of them, but you will always have some on-hand in an emergency, especially if you are thinking of doing a self-cervix examination!
1 Nab Your Doc’s Digits
Single moms...this one’s for you! If your OBGYN is single, why wouldn’t you work hard to get his (or even her!) number? Maybe we would not exactly categorize this as “stealing” per se, but it would definitely be a bonus if we snagged your doc’s digits! At least we know our prospect is well educated and likely makes bank.
We’ve already crossed the intimacy line in a strange sort of way. It only makes sense that our next step should be to venture a bit further into this territory. And hey, even if things do not work out and you don’t wind up married, at least you possibly made a friend who you can hit up for gauze pads, hospital gowns, and a shiny, new speculum.