Category Archives: Blog

mental health

Motherhood and Mental Health: Navigating The Challenges

Motherhood is a transformative and rewarding journey, but it can also bring significant challenges to a woman’s mental health. While the experience of becoming a mother varies from person to person, it’s important to acknowledge and address the emotional and psychological aspects of motherhood. 

Motherhood And Mental Health

Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand the challenges that mothers may face regarding mental health and want to educate our patients on the emotions of motherhood and offer strategies for navigating them.

The Emotions Of Motherhood:

Motherhood is often accompanied by a rollercoaster of emotions. While it brings joy, love, and fulfillment, it can also trigger complex and sometimes overwhelming feelings. Common emotions that mothers experience include:

1. Anxiety

Many new mothers worry about their children’s well-being, their ability to parent effectively, and the challenges that lie ahead. This anxiety can be heightened by societal pressures to be a perfect parent.

2. Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a prevalent mental health issue that affects some mothers shortly after giving birth. Symptoms include persistent sadness, low energy, changes in appetite, and difficulty bonding with the baby.

3. Guilt

Mothers often feel guilty about not being “good enough” or not meeting their own or society’s expectations. This guilt can stem from taking time for self-care, making parenting decisions, or balancing work and family life.

4. Isolation

Motherhood can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation, as the demands of caring for a newborn or young children can limit social interactions and personal time.

5. Identity Shift

The transition to motherhood can cause a shift in a woman’s identity as she navigates her roles as a parent, partner, and individual. 

Strategies for Navigating Motherhood Challenges:

While the challenges of motherhood are real and significant, there are strategies and resources available to help women navigate this journey while safeguarding their mental health.

1. Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your support network. Talk to your partner, family, and friends about your feelings and concerns. Sharing your experiences can alleviate the sense of isolation and provide emotional support.

2. Professional Help

If you experience symptoms of postpartum depression or persistent anxiety, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor. Mental health professionals can offer strategies for coping with these challenges and provide a safe space to explore your feelings.

3. Self-Care

Prioritize self-care as a vital aspect of motherhood. Taking time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes a day, can help recharge your energy and improve your mental well-being. Self-care activities may include meditation, exercise, journaling, or pursuing hobbies.

4. Manage Expectations

Challenge unrealistic expectations, both internal and external. Understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to motherhood, and it’s normal to make mistakes or need help. Accept that perfection is unattainable and that self-compassion is essential.

5. Connect with Other Mothers

Joining support groups or parenting communities can be invaluable. Sharing experiences, advice, and encouragement with other mothers who are going through similar challenges can provide a sense of camaraderie and reassurance.

6. Set Boundaries

It’s important to establish boundaries to protect your mental and emotional well-being. Communicate your needs and limitations with your partner, family members, and friends to ensure you have the support and space you need.

7. Professional Advice

Consider seeking advice from professionals who specialize in maternal mental health. They can offer tailored guidance and strategies to address the unique challenges of motherhood.

Maternal mental health is not only important for the well-being of mothers but also crucial for the healthy development of children. When mothers prioritize their mental health, they are better equipped to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for their children.

Motherhood is a journey that can bring both joy and challenges to a woman’s mental health. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey, including postpartum. If you have questions about motherhood and mental health, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

female athlete triad

The Female Athlete Triad: 5 Things To Watch For

The pursuit of excellence in sports often requires dedication, discipline, and rigorous training. Female athletes, in particular, face unique challenges that can impact their physical and mental well-being. One such challenge is the Female Athlete Triad, a complex syndrome characterized by three interrelated components: disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, and low bone density. 

The Female Athlete Triad

Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we focus on the health and well-being of all women. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the critical aspects of the Female Athlete Triad and highlighted five things to watch for to ensure the health and performance of female athletes.

1. Disordered Eating Patterns

The Female Athlete Triad often begins with disordered eating patterns, which may manifest as restrictive diets, excessive exercise, or an obsession with body weight and composition. These behaviors can lead to inadequate calorie intake, depriving the body of essential nutrients needed for optimal functioning. Coaches, parents, and teammates should be vigilant for signs such as sudden weight loss, preoccupation with food and weight, skipping meals, or avoiding certain food groups. Intervening early can help prevent the progression of disordered eating behaviors.

2. Menstrual Dysfunction

Irregular or absent menstrual periods, known as amenorrhea, are a hallmark of the Female Athlete Triad. Intense training and insufficient calorie intake can disrupt hormonal balance, impacting the menstrual cycle. Female athletes may experience amenorrhea or irregular periods, which not only affect reproductive health but also indicate potential underlying health concerns. Monitoring menstrual patterns and seeking medical advice when irregularities occur is crucial. Addressing menstrual dysfunction promptly can help prevent long-term complications such as fertility issues, weakened bones, or osteoporosis.

3. Bone Health

Low bone density, a consequence of the Female Athlete Triad, poses a serious threat to the overall well-being of female athletes. Insufficient calorie intake and hormonal imbalances can compromise bone health, increasing the risk of stress fractures and osteoporosis. Young athletes in their formative years are especially vulnerable, as their bones are still developing. To decrease this risk, coaches and healthcare professionals should focus on implementing strategies that promote bone health, including adequate calcium and vitamin D intake, weight-bearing exercise, and appropriate rest periods.

4. Psychological Well-being

The psychological aspect of the Female Athlete Triad is equally important to monitor. The pressure to excel, maintain a certain physique, and meet performance expectations can contribute to anxiety, depression, and a negative body image. Female athletes may struggle with self-esteem issues or experience feelings of guilt around eating. Creating a supportive and open environment where athletes feel comfortable discussing their mental health is crucial. Coaches, teammates, and support staff should be aware of changes in mood, behavior, and attitude, offering resources and guidance when needed.

5. Multidisciplinary Approach

Addressing the Female Athlete Triad requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Coaches, parents, medical professionals, and athletes themselves must work together to recognize and manage the various components of the syndrome. Regular medical check-ups, nutritional guidance, and mental health support should be integrated into the athlete’s training regimen. Education about the Female Athlete Triad and its potential risks can empower athletes to make informed choices about their health and well-being.

The Female Athlete Triad demands careful attention and proactive measures. Female athletes contribute immensely to the world of sports, showcasing strength, determination, and resilience. To ensure their success and longevity in their chosen fields, it is imperative to prioritize their health and well-being. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at Raleigh OB/GYN offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women of the Raleigh, NC area. If you have questions or concerns about a health issue, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.

thanksgiving

8 Thanksgiving Foods That Make Great Baby Meals

As Thanksgiving approaches, families eagerly anticipate a feast filled with traditional dishes and time together. While parents and older siblings eat, it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce your littlest family member to the joy of Thanksgiving flavors.

Thanksgiving Foods For Babies

As you gather to give thanks, consider incorporating baby-friendly versions of classic dishes that are not only nutritious but also introduce your baby to a world of different tastes. Raleigh OB/GYN has put together a list of Thanksgiving foods that double as great meals for babies. 

1. Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins and minerals. For your baby’s meal, prepare a smooth and creamy mashed sweet potato dish. Simply boil or bake sweet potato pieces until tender, then mash or puree them to the desired consistency. You can add a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg to enhance the flavor. Mashed sweet potatoes introduce your baby to a naturally sweet and colorful food, making it an ideal Thanksgiving option.

2. Turkey and Vegetable Puree

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without turkey. For your baby, create a turkey and vegetable puree by cooking turkey meat until tender and blending it with steamed or roasted vegetables like carrots, peas, and green beans. This balanced puree provides protein, essential nutrients, and a range of flavors, helping your little one develop a diverse palate.

3. Pumpkin and Apple Blend

Combine the seasonal goodness of pumpkin and apples to craft a delightful baby meal. Steam or bake pumpkin and apples until soft, then puree them together for a blend of flavors. Pumpkin offers fiber and vitamins, while apples introduce a touch of natural sweetness. This combination also introduces your baby to the autumnal spirit of Thanksgiving.

4. Cranberry Pear Puree

Infuse a touch of tangy sweetness into your baby’s meal with cranberry pear puree. Cook cranberries until they burst and become soft, then blend them with ripe pears. The result is a vibrant and flavorful puree that your baby will love.

5. Butternut Squash Soup

A velvety butternut squash soup can be transformed into a baby-friendly meal by adjusting the texture and seasoning. Boil or roast butternut squash until tender, then blend it into a smooth and thin soup. You can thin it further with breast milk, formula, or water to achieve the desired consistency. A dash of mild spices like cinnamon or nutmeg can enhance the taste.

6. Green Bean and Potato Mash

Green beans and potatoes can create a nutritious blend for your baby’s Thanksgiving meal. Steam or boil green beans and potatoes until soft, then mash or puree them together. This dish introduces your baby to different textures.

7. Homemade Applesauce

Applesauce is a versatile and easily digestible option for your baby’s Thanksgiving meal. Steam or cook apples until they are soft, then blend them into a smooth applesauce. You can introduce different apple varieties for a variety of flavors. Applesauce provides a gentle introduction to fruit flavors and can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other purees.

8. Simple Cranberry Sauce

Craft a mild cranberry sauce by cooking cranberries with a touch of water and a natural sweetener like apple juice. Blend the mixture until smooth or leave it slightly chunky. This sauce introduces your baby to the tangy taste of cranberries and complements other purees.

 

As you celebrate Thanksgiving and gather with your loved ones, don’t forget to share the joy of flavorful and nutritious meals with your littlest family member. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff is committed to providing a nurturing, supportive environment. We are thankful for having had the privilege of caring for mothers, daughters, and now granddaughters during our time in the community. If you have any questions or concerns, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.

pregnant in the winter

5 Best Things About Being Pregnant in the Winter

When it comes to deciding on the perfect time of year to have a baby, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer— the right time to have a baby is whenever you’re ready. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that every season carries its own unique set of advantages and challenges. Being pregnant in the winter, however, can indeed bring with it a multitude of benefits that are worth exploring.

Being Pregnant In The Winter

Being pregnant is a remarkable and transformative journey, and experiencing it during the winter season has its unique advantages. From cozy comforts to festive cheer, many have coined wintertime as the best time to be pregnant. Raleigh OB/GYN has put together a list of some of the best things about being pregnant in the winter. 

1. Temperature

Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that when you’re pregnant in the winter, you don’t have to worry about carrying around an extra 25 to 35 pounds in the sweltering heat and humidity. And thanks to the extra insulation and blood pumping through your body, you’ll likely stay warm throughout the season without having to bundle up in excessive layers. 

2. Clothes

Winter clothing can be cozy and snug, making it easier to dress comfortably with a growing baby bump. Layering with sweaters and scarves allows pregnant women to adjust their clothing to stay warm without feeling restricted. Not to mention, it is easier to hide your bump if you aren’t ready to announce your pregnancy. 

3. Celebrate The Season 

Being pregnant in the winter adds an extra reason to celebrate and be thankful during the holiday season. Not to mention the endless ideas for holiday-themed pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, and bump photos. This is also a great time to make your Christmas wishlist of baby must-haves to prepare for your little miracle. 

4. Free Pass 

It can be hard to find room to breathe on your calendar from Halloween through New Year’s. But, when you’re pregnant, you have the perfect reason to hit the pause button and relax without having to worry about the guilt trip. Preparing for the baby’s arrival involves nesting and getting the home ready. In winter, expectant parents can enjoy staying indoors, setting up the nursery, and creating a warm and inviting space for the baby.

5. Less Swelling

Because the winter months offer a break from the sweltering heat, many women experience a reduction in swelling in the extremities, such as hands and feet. Swelling is a common pregnancy symptom, especially in the later stages. However, in the presence of cooler temperatures, the blood vessels constrict in response to these lower temperatures.

Don’t let this list fool you. While all of these perks are great, there are also some notable downsides to being pregnant in the winter. Some of your otherwise favorite holiday foods may now make you nauseous, you have to be extra careful walking around when there’s snow or ice, and the heightened anxiety of being pregnant or giving birth during peak cold and flu season. The bottom line is that growing a human being inside your body will impact your daily life. There is no right time to get pregnant, only the right time for you.

At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we offer a full range of obstetrical care from preconception to delivery. We have offered state-of-the-art care for mothers, daughters, and now granddaughters since 1974 and have since grown to three locations to best serve our patients, including Raleigh, Wake Forest and Clayton, North Carolina. To learn more about being pregnant in the winter or to schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers, call 919-875-8225.

fourth trimester

The Fourth Trimester: Life After Birth

It’s common knowledge that “tri” signifies three, yet when it comes to pregnancy, it is sometimes considered to actually have four “tri”mesters, including one following childbirth. However, the term “quadmesters” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. 

The “Fourth” Trimester

The fourth trimester is usually referred to as the three months of a baby’s life after birth. During this period, both you and your baby experience significant physical and emotional transformations. Your new one is adapting to life outside the womb while you begin navigating all of the joys and challenges of motherhood. At Raleigh OB/GYN, our aim is to equip you with essential knowledge so that you can confidently nurture your newborn’s well-being while also taking care of your own.

What Does The “Fourth” Trimester Mean?

The fourth trimester is essentially the weeks following birth. It normally extends from the day of birth to around three months postpartum. During this time, you’re going through just about the same amount of changes, if not more, than when you were pregnant. Your body is recovering all while you are learning to care for your newborn. Although the fourth trimester is not actually considered one of the phases of pregnancy, understanding and acknowledging the importance of this time can lead to better care for both the baby and parents. 

What Can You Expect During The Fourth Trimester?

In the fourth trimester, moms are recovering from childbirth and may be experiencing soreness, cramping, healing of wounds, and will experience several weeks of postpartum bleeding. Not to mention that mothers must go through immense emotional adjustment. Many women report feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, and self-doubt. Although these are all valid emotions to have, they are common due to hormonal fluctuations, sleep deprivation, and the trials and tribulations of becoming a mother. 

How Can You Care For Yourself During The Fourth Trimester? 

Postnatal care, also known as postpartum care, is crucial during the fourth trimester for both the baby and the mother. As a new mother, you need to be getting sufficient rest along with a nutritious diet to recover from childbirth and support breastfeeding if you choose to breastfeed. Healthcare professionals such as your OB/GYN play a significant role in monitoring the mother’s physical and emotional health during this period. Additionally, during this time, it is important to create a supportive environment and ask for help if you need it. 

How To Soothe A Baby In The Fourth Trimester

Some of the most important information you can possess during the fourth trimester is how to soothe your newborn. Some of our favorite techniques to do so include

  • Swaddling, which can mimic the feeling of being in the womb
  • Gently rocking or swaying to help them feel relaxed and comforted
  • White noise, which can mimic the sounds they heard in the womb
  • Holding or cuddling to satisfy their need for physical contact
  • Checking for discomfort, such as a soiled diaper
  • Feeding, as hunger can be the number one cause of a fussy baby
  • Burping to release trapped air that may be causing discomfort
  • Pacifier to satisfy your baby’s need to suck 

It is important to remember that every baby is unique, and what may work for one baby and mother may not work for another. Pay attention to different techniques and how your baby reacts to each. If you are having trouble soothing your newborn, reach out to your healthcare provider. 

Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey—including postpartum. If you have questions about the fourth trimester, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

high-risk pregnancy

High-Risk Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

Pregnancy is one of the world’s most amazing gifts. Yet, learning that your pregnancy is considered high-risk can illicit feelings of anxiety and stress. A high-risk pregnancy refers to a pregnancy in which there are increased chances of complications for the mother and/or the baby. 

What You Need To Know About A High-Risk Pregnancy

It is important for expectant mothers to understand the causes of a high-risk pregnancy and implement appropriate management strategies to ensure the best possible outcome for both mother and baby. At Raleigh OB/GYN, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to provide you with the essential information you need regarding a high-risk pregnancy.

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Pre-existing medical conditions can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Some of the most common pre-existing medical conditions that can lead to a high-risk pregnancy include

  • Diabetes: For women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar around the time of conception increases babies’ risk of birth defects, stillbirth and preterm birth.
  • Kidney disease: Women with kidney disease may experience hypertension and anemia, which affect blood flow to the fetus.
  • Heart disease: Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of pregnancy complications in women, including an increased risk of inherited cardiac genetic disorders, fetal growth restriction, and premature delivery.

In order to decrease your risk of a high-risk pregnancy, it is essential to schedule pre-pregnancy checkups. Here, your doctor will check your overall health to make sure your body is ready to take on pregnancy. 

Maternal Age

Advanced maternal age refers to the term used when a woman becomes pregnant at the age of 35 or older. This term is used because as women age, there is an increased likelihood of certain pregnancy-related complications. Advanced maternal age is often associated with higher risks, including 

  • Chromosomal abnormalities: Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome, or Patau syndrome.
  • Gestational diabetes: This condition, characterized by elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy, can lead to macrosomia (large birth weight), preeclampsia, and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Hypertension: Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension during pregnancy can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs.

Although there are special considerations for women over 35 and looking to conceive, a majority of them will go on to have safe and healthy pregnancies. If you are worried about maternal age and high-risk pregnancy, contact your OB/GYN or healthcare provider.

Pregnancy Complications

Aside from pre-existing medical conditions and maternal age, which are both present before pregnancy, there are also complications that can happen as a result of pregnancy. These complications can range from mild to severe and can include:

  • Preterm Birth: High-risk pregnancies are more prone to preterm labor, which increases the risk of respiratory and developmental issues in the baby.
  • Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure and organ damage. It can lead to complications such as restricted fetal growth, premature birth, and maternal complications.
  • Placental Problems: Placental abruption (premature detachment) or placenta previa (placenta covering the cervix) can result in bleeding, increased risk of infection, and potential harm to the baby.

Your OB/GYN is equipped to handle the complications that are present during a high-risk pregnancy. For more questions regarding possible pregnancy complications, contact your provider. 

Fetal Complications

There are several reasons why women may experience fetal complications. Some of the most common risk factors include obesity, drugs and alcohol, advanced maternal age, or other genetic, infectious, nutritional, or environmental factors. Fetal complications can include

  • Birth defects: Down syndrome, cleft lip or cleft palate, club foot, congenital heart defects (CHDs), neural tube defects (NTDs), and more.
  • Infections: Certain infections, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, or sexually transmitted infections, can impact the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy.
  • Restricted Fetal Growth: In some high-risk pregnancies, the baby may experience restricted growth due to placental issues or maternal health conditions.

A high-risk pregnancy requires careful management to ensure the best possible outcome for both the mother and the baby. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey. If you have questions about a high-risk pregnancy, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

Traveling While Pregnant

6 Tips For Traveling While Pregnant

Traveling elicits different emotions in people; some love it, while others lack those fond emotions. It’s not uncommon for travel to generate feelings of stress, and when you factor in pregnancy, you might feel inclined to avoid venturing beyond the comfort of your home altogether. However, it’s important to recognize that traveling while pregnant doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

Traveling While Pregnant 

Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, certain preparations can reduce discomfort while you are on the way to your destination. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we recommend the following tips to help make traveling while pregnant a pleasant experience.

1. Take Timing Into Consideration

Since pregnant women are more likely to face medical emergencies during the first and third trimesters, the ideal time to travel is during the second trimester. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) suggests anytime between 14 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.  During this phase, your morning sickness has probably subsided, and you can still move around fairly comfortably. After 28 weeks, it often becomes more difficult to move or to sit for long periods of time. 

2. Fill Your Carry-On with Essentials

They say preparation is the key to success, and this certainly holds true when it comes to traveling during pregnancy. There are a variety of essential items you should pack in your carry-on bag. Be sure to include items such as 

  • A refillable water bottle
  • An extra pair of underwear
  • Snacks like nuts or dried fruit
  • Medication such as Tylenol in case you experience any headaches, backaches, or pain in general.
  • A supportive pillow or cushion
  • Wet wipes or hand sanitizer

Although there is no one list that fits all for traveling while pregnant, making sure you have some of the essentials can help you to feel more at ease throughout the trip.

3. Dress Appropriately

Comfort should be your top priority when you are trying to figure out what to wear before your trip. A belly support band can help take pressure off your lower back while you’re standing in security lines, walking across airports, and carrying luggage. In addition to a belly support band, wear comfortable shoes that easily slip on and off and a light cardigan to keep yourself warm in cold airports but comfortable if a hot flash arises.

4. Pack Light

Although it is easier said than done, packing extra light is important. By packing light, you won’t have to lift heavy suitcases and bags and put them onto an airport scale or overhead bin. Try to pack multi-functional items and consider purchasing beauty products and other items once you arrive at your destination. By packing light when traveling while pregnant, you can reduce the amount of stress put on your body. 

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you are traveling alone, ask for help whenever you need it. Ask the flight attendant for a snack and water bottle if you are feeling faint. If you are unable to lift your bag, find another passenger around you to help you out. Even if you are traveling alone, it is important to ask for help when you need it when traveling while pregnant. 

6. Speak With Your OB/GYN

Before planning or going on your trip, it is important to talk about your travel plans with your OB/GYN or other health care professional. You can discuss whether it is safe for you to travel. ACOG suggests travel is not recommended for women with certain complications, including preeclampsia, prelabor rupture of membranes (PROM), or preterm labor. Your healthcare provider may also want to ensure that your vaccinations are up to date before you embark on your travels. 

 

Although being in a plane or a car, or any form of public transportation isn’t always favorable during pregnancy, there are certain measures you can take to make it more bearable. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey. If you have questions about traveling while pregnant, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

first gynecology visit

5 Tips For Your Teen’s First Gynecology Visit

Undoubtedly, your teen’s first gynecology visit can be a daunting and anxiety-provoking experience. Nonetheless, it is a critical aspect of adolescent development and a significant stride towards taking charge of their reproductive well-being. As a parent, you can facilitate your teen’s readiness for their first gynecological visit by educating yourself on its significance.

Your Teen’s First Gynecology Visit

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends teens start seeing an OB/GYN between the ages of 13 and 15. In most cases, your teen’s first gynecology visit will be a conversation with your doctor about staying healthy and what to expect for future visits. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together a list of 5 tips for your teen’s first gynecology appointment. 

1. Start The Conversation Sooner Rather Than Later

The birds and the bees. A talk you must inevitably have with your children as they grow up and their bodies develop. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses comprehensive sexuality education that includes both abstinence promotion and accurate information about contraception, human sexuality, and STIs. Although it can be uncomfortable, starting this conversation sooner rather than later can help provide them with accurate information, guidance, and support that can shape their understanding and decisions about their sexual health.

2. Help Her Understand What To Expect 

One of the best ways to ease a teenager’s mind when it comes to their first gynecology visit is to help them understand what to expect. In most cases, your daughter’s first gynecology visit will be a physical exam, which includes height, weight, and blood pressure. Other than that, the appointment usually remains more conversational. According to ACOG, a teenager will learn what to expect at future visits and get information about how to stay healthy. This is also a time for your teen to ask questions about their body, growing up, and sex.

3. Assist In Coming Up With A List Of Questions

Teenagers are full of questions as they learn more about themselves and the world around them. It’s very common for them to also have questions about their developing bodies. Some questions that may be beneficial for your teen during their first gynecology visit include topics such as birth control, contraception, hygiene, their menstrual cycle, healthy lifestyle tips, and managing PMS. 

4. Talk About Privacy 

We get it— talking about becoming a woman can feel like a very intimate subject. Not to mention the nerves that come along with your teen’s first gynecology visit. One important factor that can help to ease their mind is the subject of privacy. Relay to your teen that doctors have to follow rules that keep their health records private, and what they tell their doctor is considered sensitive information that is not to be shared. During this time, it is important to respect boundaries. However, make sure they know that your support is always available when they’re ready to open up.

5. Maintain An Open Dialogue 

Navigating the complexities of a growing and developing teenager can be nothing short of a rollercoaster. As hormones surge and bodies transform, it becomes increasingly important to maintain an open dialogue with your teen. Creating a safe space for discussion allows them to have a comfortable environment when it comes to topics such as bodily changes, sexuality, and personal hygiene. Especially for young teenagers, during their first gynecology visit, birth control is often a topic of discussion. Although this can be scary to hear as a parent, it is essential that you maintain a trusting relationship.

 

At Raleigh OB/GYN, we believe that patient education is an invaluable tool. For that reason, our doctors and staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment. We want to ensure you understand everything about your body as a woman and have the resources to get all your questions answered. If you have any questions about your teen’s first gynecology visit, visit our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

obstetrics

Similarities And Differences Between Obstetrics And Gynecology

While both OB/GYN specialties provide care to women’s reproductive systems and assume the same acronym, they actually differ significantly in focus and clinical practice. Both obstetrics (OB) and gynecology (GYN) doctors are trained to handle most gynecologic conditions, but there are distinctions between the two fields that may leave you wondering: what are the similarities and differences between obstetrics and gynecology?

Obstetrics And Gynecology

The terms obstetrics and gynecology are often used interchangeably. However, there are a number of key differences between the two. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we want to ensure you are equipped with the education to know when to see the providers in each of these fields. 

Similarities & Differences Between Obstetrics And Gynecology

When asking the question, “What is the difference between obstetrics and gynecology?” One of the first things you may consider is the definition of each term. Curiously, though, both terms are defined in a very similar way— according to the American Pregnancy Association, obstetrics is the medical specialty that focuses on care during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Gynecology is defined as the field of medicine that deals with women’s reproductive health. As you can see, these two specialties can overlap in focus, but they also have distinct differences.

1. A Focus On Women’s Health

Although there are differences between the exact practices when it comes to obstetrics and gynecology, both specifically focus on women’s health and the well-being of women. They address a wide range of health concerns related to the female reproductive system, including menstruation, fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and gynecological conditions.

2. The Use Of Diagnostic Tools & Surgeries

Diagnostic tools and surgical procedures are commonly used in the field of women’s health. Obstetricians perform cesarean sections and other surgical interventions related to childbirth, while gynecologists specialize in various gynecological surgeries such as hysterectomy, ovarian cyst removal, and treatment of endometriosis. Other obstetric services include

  • Fetal ultrasounds
  • Fetal Non-Stress Testing (NST)
  • Labor induction
  • C-sections
  • Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

Other gynecology services include

  • Pelvic Ultrasonography
  • Laparoscopy & Robotic Surgery
  • Ovarian Mass Evaluation
  • Hysteroscopy
  • PMS management

Additionally, at Raleigh OB/GYN, we recommend that our patients visit us yearly for their annual exam. Although the annual exam process may vary based on each patient, the annual exam is a time for pap smear screening, breast examinations, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease screenings, and counseling women on a variety of health issues and topics. 

3. Management Of Pregnancy

Both obstetrics and gynecology play crucial roles in women’s reproductive healthcare, with each specialty emphasizing different aspects of pregnancy management. Gynecological services primarily concentrate on contraceptive methods, promoting safe sex practices, and addressing various gynecological concerns. On the other hand, obstetrics places its focus on prenatal care, ensuring the well-being of pregnant women and their developing babies.

4. Patient Counseling and Education

Both obstetrics and gynecology involve patient counseling and education. Obstetricians guide women through pregnancy and parenting. Some topics often covered in prenatal care include genetic screening, high-risk obstetrics, and deliveries. Gynecologists educate patients about various gynecological conditions, treatment options, and preventive measures such as screenings, vaccinations, and contraception options. 

Regardless of if you need gynecology or obstetric services, Raleigh OB/GYN is here. We have been providing comprehensive women’s healthcare for over 40 years. Our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment.

Although closely related, obstetrics and gynecology have distinct differences. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at Raleigh OB/GYN offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to the women of the Raleigh, NC area. If you have questions or concerns about any area of women’s healthcare, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.

being pregnant

4 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Pregnant

Pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing experience, but it is also a time of immense physical, emotional, and mental changes. While many people are aware of some of the common symptoms and experiences of pregnancy, such as morning sickness and fatigue, there are many aspects of being pregnant that are not commonly discussed.

Things They Don’t Tell You About Being Pregnant

While pregnancy can be a time of immense joy and excitement, it can also be challenging and overwhelming. By understanding some of the things that nobody tells you about being pregnant, you can be better prepared for the journey ahead and take steps to ensure a healthy and happy pregnancy. In order to help you navigate pregnancy as an individual and unique experience, Raleigh OB/GYN has put together a list of some of the things that often go undiscussed about being pregnant.

1. Your Body Will Change In Unexpected Ways

Some changes that your body will undergo while being pregnant are well-known, such as a growing belly and swollen ankles. Others may come as a surprise. Some unexpected ways your body can change during pregnancy include:

  • Hair growth: Women may experience an increase in hair growth during pregnancy, while others may notice hair loss after giving birth.
  • Skin changes: Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in your skin, such as acne, darkening of the skin, and stretch marks.
  • Foot size: As the ligaments in your feet relax during pregnancy, some women may notice their shoe size increases.
  • Nosebleeds: Increased blood volume and blood flow to the nasal passages can cause nosebleeds during pregnancy.
  • Varicose veins: Hormonal changes and increased pressure on the veins can cause varicose veins, especially in the legs.
  • Vision changes: Fluid retention and hormonal changes can affect the shape of your cornea, causing changes in your vision.

Just about every system in your body can undergo some sort of change, whether it is a subtle change, such as a slight increase in shoe size, or a more noticeable change, like nosebleeds. 

2. You May Crave Non-Food Items

This one may leave you a little perplexed. Pica is when a woman craves substances with little or no nutritional value and may also involve non-food substances. The exact reason for pica while pregnant is unknown. However, according to the Journal of American Dietetic Association, there may be a connection to an iron deficiency. Some common pica cravings during pregnancy may include burnt matches, dirt, stones, ice, toothpaste, soap, sand, or coffee grounds. If you are pregnant and experiencing pica cravings, it is important to inform your healthcare provider.

3. Your Heart Can Actually Grow

One of the not-so-noticeable changes to your body while being pregnant is that your heart can grow. The American Heart Association suggests that cardiac output increases throughout pregnancy. In fact, a woman’s blood volume can increase between 30 and 50 percent in order to nourish her growing baby. 

4. Your Sex Drive Can Change

It’s no secret that a woman’s body is undergoing many changes during pregnancy. With all of these changes, it is normal to notice an increase or decrease in your sex drive. Factors such as hormonal changes, mood, and energy levels all play a role in your libido and desire for intercourse. Some women experience an increased sex drive during their second trimester as their estrogen and progesterone levels continue rising.

Pregnancy is a unique and transformative experience that comes with its own set of challenges and surprises. At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we offer a full range of obstetrical care from preconception to delivery. For more information about being pregnant and what to expect, schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers.