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Thyroid Diseases

4 Common Thyroid Diseases: Causes And Treatments

January marks Thyroid Awareness Month, which calls attention to medical conditions that keep your thyroid from producing the appropriate amount of hormones. The thyroid is a part of the endocrine system, which is responsible for skin integrity, menstrual cycles, calcium levels, cholesterol levels, the nervous system, and more. According to the American Thyroid Association, roughly 60% of those with thyroid diseases are unaware they suffer from any condition at all. 

January Is Thyroid Awareness Month

The thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland, is responsible for keeping the heart, brain, muscles, and organs working properly. To raise awareness for conditions of the thyroid during this month, Raleigh OB/GYN has outlined 4 common thyroid diseases, their causes, and treatments. 


The thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in your neck that makes two hormones that are secreted into the bloodstream— thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid produces too much hormone thyroxine. When this occurs, many of the body’s functions speed up. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:

  • Weight loss with or without increased appetite
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Extreme fatigue or trouble sleeping
  • Shaky hands and muscle weakness
  • Trouble tolerating warmer temperatures
  • Frequent bowel movements

Thyroid diseases, such as hyperthyroidism, are diagnosed using blood tests and imaging tests. When the diagnosis is confirmed, hyperthyroidism is usually treated using medication, radioiodine therapy, or thyroid surgery.   


On the opposite end of hyperthyroidism is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones, and your body’s functions slow down. NIH suggests roughly 5 out of 100 Americans ages 12 years or older have hypothyroidism. Common symptoms of this thyroid disorder include:

  • Weight gain without surplus caloric intake
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Trouble tolerating cooler temperatures
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression

Hypothyroidism tends to develop slowly, and some symptoms may not be noticeable for months or years. Similarly to hyperthyroidism, blood tests or imaging tests will be used to confirm the diagnosis. Thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism are treated by taking medication that is identical to the hormone normally produced by the thyroid gland.


Thyroiditis is the medical term for “inflammation of the thyroid gland” and encompasses a group of individual disorders that cause thyroid inflammation. These thyroid diseases are caused by an attack on the thyroid, which directly causes inflammation and damage to the cells. According to, there are no symptoms unique to thyroiditis, but typical symptoms may include fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, depression, and difficulty exercising. 

Because thyroiditis represents a group of conditions, treatment can vary. Some treatment options may include beta-blockers, thyroid hormone replacement medication, antibiotics, or surgical treatment. 

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is when the cells of the thyroid gland begin to grow out of control. The early stages of thyroid cancer don’t often present symptoms. Yet as it grows, you may notice neck or throat pain, a lump in your neck, difficulty swallowing, vocal changes, or a cough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, roughly 12,000 men and 33,000 women get thyroid cancer. Luckily, there are treatment options, including surgery, radioactive iodine therapy, thyroid hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy. 


With the thyroid performing some of the most essential functions for the body, it can affect nearly every aspect of your overall health. From your mood to digestion and energy, your thyroid does it all. If you need more information about common thyroid diseases, or if you’re suffering from symptoms similar to any of the listed above, consult a provider at Raleigh OB/GYN. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our practice offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services. Visit our website to make an appointment, or call us at (919) 876-8225.

new year’s resolution

5 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions For Moms

Being a mom is a challenging, full-time job. As 2022 comes to an end, you may look to 2023 to make some positive changes in your life. However, this doesn’t mean saying yes to every new wellness trend as it comes along. Being healthy and happy are two wonderful characteristics to portray for your children. The goal of these new year’s resolutions for moms is to help you establish realistic habits with measurable results so you can maintain them for years to come. 

Achievable New Year’s Resolutions For Moms

Every new year is an excellent opportunity to assess your lifestyle behaviors and make adjustments to refresh and reset. If you want to make positive changes in 2023, Raleigh OB/GYN has compiled a list of simple and achievable new year’s resolutions for moms.

1. Limit Screen Time Around Kids

Screens have become an integral part of today’s generation. Technology is used to distract and occupy children where time outside and face-to-face communication have been placed on the back burner. Children are sponges and, in most instances, mirror their parent’s behaviors. This said, if you’re spending hours upon hours in front of screens, it increases the likelihood of your child wanting to engage in similar behaviors. A great new year’s resolution for moms is to limit screen time— as it will make for a happy, healthier, and more social mom and child!

2. Opt For One Family Meal A Week

We get it— between school, homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities, getting the whole family to sit down to have dinner can be challenging. A great new year’s resolution for 2023 is to opt into at least one family meal a week. According to, family meals can improve parent-child relationships and give kids a sense of connectedness and stability. Not only do family meals boost development, but it’s also a great way to ensure your child is eating healthy and nutritious meals!

3. Prioritize Exercise

You may be tired of hearing how good exercise is for your overall well-being. However, as overstated as it is, there is truth behind the talk! The CDC suggests that regular exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. A great new year’s resolution in 2023 is to try and engage in some sort of physical exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.

4. Quit The Negative Self-Talk

Negative self-talk can directly impact your mental well-being. A great new year’s resolution in 2023 is to change the way we talk to ourselves. Some ways to quit negative self-talk include:

  • Catch yourself when the negative thoughts creep in
  • Address negativity and turn it into neutrality 
  • Repeat positive affirmations
  • Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to someone else

By doing these few small steps, you can begin to heal your relationship with your inner self and learn to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. 

5. Enjoy The Little Things

Sometimes it can be easy to get swept up in all the to-dos and daily hassles. Don’t forget your child won’t stay young forever. Remember to celebrate the milestones, and make time to slow down and enjoy these early years. 

2023 is the year to set achievable new year’s resolutions that will help you be the best version of yourself. When you prioritize yourself and your needs, you are able to give more to your family.  The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our practice offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to help you better understand your health and well-being as a woman. For more information, give us a call at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment.

new moms

A 2023 Gift Guide For New Moms

Finding the perfect gift for new moms can challenge even the most seasoned shopper. At first glance, it may seem like all of her needs have been met with the baby shower gifts that were given to her or that she already has everything she needs to be successful as a mother. When in doubt, focus on finding something to help ease some of the burdens of being a new mom. This gift guide for new moms will help you pick something to make life easier for mommy, baby, and everyone else around them.

Gift Guide For New Moms

Being a new mom can be one of the most challenging jobs in the world. Raleigh OB/GYN understands that getting a gift she’ll actually use in this season of life is more important than ever. Are you struggling to find the perfect holiday offering? Look no further— we’ve put together a 2023 gift guide for new moms.

1. Mama Must-Haves Kit—Hatch

This Mama Must-Haves Kit from Hatch combines three of their best-selling essentials for new moms or moms-to-be. This gift set gives her foundational pieces, including belly oil, nipple and lip balm, and soothing leg and foot rub relief. An added benefit, HATCH Mama Beauty Products are made with all-natural ingredients!  

2. Care for Birth Box— Bodily Care

A new mom has many challenges ahead of her, and being able to ease her burden in some way should be your first priority when purchasing gifts. What better way to help ease those burdens than a complete care package for new mamas? This kit includes birth recovery, postpartum, and breastfeeding essentials. This award-winning kit contains 11 research-backed products including, but not limited to, nipple gel pads, cozy socks, peri wash bottle, mesh undies, giant maxi pads, guidebooks, and more. 

3.  Multifunction Baby Bag—Dikaslon

Looking for a useful gift that won’t break the bank? This multifunction baby bag will do the trick. Not only is this diaper tote spacious and sturdy, but it has the ability to be carried messenger style and easily converts from a shoulder bag to a cross-body bag for grab-and-go convenience. This bag comes in black, dark gray, and gray, all with 3 insulated pouches, 5 easy-access pockets inside for bottles, diapers, or wipes, and two sides pocket with magnetic closures.

4.  Baby Wrap Carrier—Pottery Barn

Baby wraps have a plethora of benefits for new moms and babies! Not only are they great for moms on the go, but they also help to soothe your baby by making skin-to-skin contact easier. This baby wrap carrier by Pottery Barn is easy to wrap on, and its breathable and lightweight construction is designed to keep your little one comfy and cozy.

5. Instant Photo Printer—HP Sprocket

It’s not a secret that babies grow fast. New moms often want to document most, if not every, milestone from their bundle of joy. This instant photo printer is a great gift for those who want to capture all the memories! This portable photo printer is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.  

6. RoboVac—Eufy by Anker

Let’s face it, no one wants to spend their free time vacuuming— especially new moms. Not only is it time-consuming and tedious, but loud enough to irritate or wake up your sleeping baby! This RoboVac is quiet, self-charging, and cleans hard floors to medium-pile carpets.

Now that you have some great gift ideas for new moms, it’s time to start your holiday shopping! Raleigh OB/GYN has over 45 years of experience serving the women in our communities and is here to help. If you have questions about family planning or any obstetrical and gynecological care, 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.

planning for pregnancy

Planning For Pregnancy: Your Preconception Checklist

Are you ready to bring your own little miracle into the world? Many women believe that modifying their lifestyle only begins once they fall pregnant. Even though there is some truth behind this, there are a number of steps you can take before trying to conceive that can help better prepare you for the lifestyle, financial, and bodily changes you are about to undergo. Planning for pregnancy can be equally important as the steps you take to promote a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy.  

Your Preconception Checklist

Planning for pregnancy means spending time making healthy lifestyle changes that can have a lifetime of impact on you, your baby, and your family. Raleigh OB/GYN has outlined a few boxes to tick off before trying to conceive. 

Schedule A Checkup

One of the most critical steps to take when planning for pregnancy is to schedule a preconception appointment with your OB/GYN. During this appointment, your doctor may review your health history, pre-existing medical conditions, current lifestyle behaviors, medications/ vaccinations, and perform a physical exam. Usually, the physical exams include a pelvis exam or pap smear.  

Alter Lifestyle Choices

When planning for pregnancy, it is crucial to consider your lifestyle choices, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, nutrition, and body weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests people who are overweight or obese have a higher risk for complications during pregnancy, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Additionally, smoking and drinking alcohol can also cause complications, including premature birth, congenital disabilities, and stillbirth. In planning for pregnancy, ensure you reach and maintain a healthy weight, avoid toxic substances, and eat a nutritious diet. 

Make A Budget

It is important to keep in mind that you will need to have several doctor visits throughout your pregnancy. This may leave you wondering, how much will this cost? A great way to ease the angst and get a better idea of the number going into pregnancy is to make a budget. We suggest calling your insurance company to find out what they will cover, such as OB/GYN appointments, ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, prenatal screenings, genetic testing, and labor and delivery. Other pregnancy costs include, but are not limited to, maternity clothing, medications, nursery costs, baby clothes, stroller, car seat, etc.  

Start Prenatal Supplements 

Prenatal supplements contain essential vitamins for both mom and baby. The American College for Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests the most important vitamins and minerals during pregnancy include:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Choline
  • Vitamin A, C, D, B6, and B12
  • Folic acid

Eating well and ensuring you are getting an adequate dose of the nutrients listed above is one of the best things you can do while planning for pregnancy and during your pregnancy.  

Learn Family History

Your family health history is vital to your child’s health. History that includes birth defects, developmental disabilities, or other genetic conditions is all crucial to know and relay to your doctor while planning for pregnancy. Depending on your family history, your doctor may suggest genetic testing or counseling to maximize your chances of a healthy and successful pregnancy and baby. Learning about your and your partner’s health history before getting pregnant is a highly recommended precautionary measure.


Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand the importance of planning for pregnancy— and we’re here to guide you the whole way! From making a plan to execution, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey. If you have questions about preconception 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.


Dos and Donts For Women With Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea

Amenorrhea is the medical term for the absence of monthly menstrual periods. There are two types of amenorrhea— primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea is when a girl doesn’t get her period by the time she is 15 years of age. Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation for three months or more by a woman who has had periods in the past. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on exercise-induced amenorrhea, which falls under the category of secondary amenorrhea. 

The Dos And Donts Of Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea

Exercise-induced amenorrhea is a condition that occurs in female athletes due to environmental, nutritional, and metabolic stressors. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism states that the reproductive system’s sensitivity to these stressors causes the suppression of menstruation in athletes. In many cases, women with exercise-induced amenorrhea are thought to have low body fat levels and nutritional deficiencies.

Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea Do’s

  1. Do Focus On Adequate Nutrition

Many women believe they have stopped menstruating specifically due to over-exercising or too little body fat. According to the Female and Male Athlete Triad, a group of women with similar exercise programs and low percent body fat will not all experience menstrual problems, and those that do usually have inadequate nutrition. When a body goes through famine-like conditions, it halts menstruation due to insufficient fuel to support a fetus. Ensure when you are eating, it is balanced with nutritious foods that contain necessary fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. 

  1. Do Toss The Scale

While stepping on the scale may feel like a necessity for women with disordered eating, it actually causes more harm than good. Instead of starving your body for a number on the scale, try eating intuitively. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. By doing this, your body will achieve a natural weight that matches your energy exertion and genetics. If tossing the scale altogether seems daunting and overwhelming, some women start by hiding the scale, so it is at least out of sight. 

  1. Do Understand The Long-Term Health Consequences

It is important to understand the long-term health consequences for those struggling with amenorrhea due to over-exercising and disordered eating. NEDA outlines a few possible results including:

  • The risk for heart failure rises as heart rate, and blood pressure levels sink lower.
  • Slowed-down digestion, known as gastroparesis, can lead to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, blood sugar fluctuations, bacterial infections, and more.
  • Neurological implications affecting sleep, balance, and breathing.
  • Other consequences such as hair growth, dry skin, dehydration, hair loss, and anemia. 

Additionally, many women with amenorrhea also pose a risk for early onset osteoporosis, which is when the bones become less dense, weak, and brittle and are much more likely to fracture. 

Exercise-Induced Amenorrhea Dont’s

  1. Don’t Omit Certain Food Groups

Many women with amenorrhea due to disordered eating have “safe foods,” which are foods that are “safe” to eat. These foods don’t feel threatening to the overarching goal of weight loss. Eating outside of one’s “safe foods” can be anxiety-provoking and leave them feeling a loss of control. Try challenging the anxiety by not omitting certain food groups. This can also lead to a healthier relationship with food.   

  1. Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping meals is something that is often talked about when trying to lose weight. Women with exercise-induced amenorrhea should not be going too long without meals or intentionally doing without breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When you skip a meal, not only does your blood sugar drop, but you may experience anxiety, decreases in your energy, digestion irregularities, nutrient deficiencies, and even begin to lose touch with your hunger and fullness cues. Trust your body, listen to your body, be intuitive, and enjoy everything in moderation!

  1. Don’t Neglect Getting Help

When your behaviors start to get in the way of normal bodily functions, such as your menstrual cycle, but also affect your mental health, it is time to seek help. To contact the National Eating Disorder hotline, visit To find a sports dietitian in your area, use the American Dietetic Association’s referral networks: or

If you need more information about amenorrhea, or if you’re suffering from symptoms similar to amenorrhea, consult a provider at Raleigh OB/GYN. The physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our practice offer a comprehensive list of gynecological and obstetric services to help you better understand your menstruation. Visit our website to make an appointment, or call us at (919) 876-8225.

sexually transmitted diseases

4 Of The Most Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (And What To Do About Them)

Sexual health screenings are recommended regularly in order to maintain your sexual and overall health. Usually, your doctors will make recommendations on when you need to get certain screenings based on your age, history, and current lifestyle. If you are sexually active, your doctor will often suggest getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 million sexually transmitted diseases are acquired daily worldwide.  

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Specifically for women, sexually transmitted diseases can pose a serious risk to reproductive health if left untreated. Many STDs don’t have alarming symptoms— sometimes, you may experience no symptoms at all! Here at Raleigh OBGYN, we urge all women who are sexually active to be tested regularly. To learn more about the most common sexually transmitted diseases and what to do about them, continue reading.   

     1. Chlamydia

According to the CDC, chlamydia often presents with no symptoms. However, if it goes untreated, it has the potential to cause serious health problems and even permanently damage a woman’s reproductive system. Because of this, it is imperative to get tested regularly if you are sexually active. When chlamydia does present symptoms, they may include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Penis discharge
  • A burning sensation while peeing
  • Pain or swelling in one or both testicles
  • Rectal pain 
  • Abnormal bleeding 

Luckily, chlamydia is curable and can be detected with a simple laboratory test. The treatment for chlamydia is usually antibiotics, and when taken correctly, it has a success rate of 95%. It is important to note that repeat infection with chlamydia is common, and just because you got it once doesn’t mean you’re immune. Always using protection during sex and getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases at least once a year is highly recommended. 

     2. Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is considered one of the more common sexually transmitted diseases, with more than 3 million US cases yearly. This specific STD tends to target areas of the body that are warm and moist. Gonorrhea, like chlamydia, may present with no symptoms. However, those who do show symptoms may experience:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis, testicle(s), or vagina
  • Pain during urination or intercourse
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • A pus-like discharge from the penis
  • Fever
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Rectal bleeding or discharge

Although gonorrhea is highly treatable, it will not go away by itself. It is also important to note that babies of infected mothers can be infected during childbirth. Getting tested for STDs before trying to conceive is always a good idea. 

     3. Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an STD that can be spread through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and saliva. Only about half of people who are infected with Hepatitis B experience symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Bloated or tender belly
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain in joints

Luckily, there is a vaccine against this STD, and most adults in the United States can fully recover if they do contract it. Keep in mind that the vaccine for Hepatitis B does not protect you against Hepatitis A or Hepatitis C. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information regarding the different strains of Hepatitis. 

     4. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 

The National Cancer Institute states that HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses. These viruses can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex and fall into two categories: low-risk HPV and high-risk HPV.

  • Low-risk HPV: Often causes warts on or around a person’s genitals, mouth, throat, or anus. This type of HPV often causes no disease.
  • High-risk HPV: This type of HPV can lead to cell changes that, if left untreated, can lead to several types of cancers. Some of these cancers include cervical cancer, anal cancer, penile cancer, vaginal cancer, vulvar cancer, and more.

Similar to Hepatitis B, there is an HPV vaccine. This vaccine protects you against infection from two low-risk HPV types and seven high-risk HPV types. The CDC suggests that in most cases— 9 out of 10 times— HPV goes away on its own within roughly two years. However, it is always recommended to see your doctor should you show signs of HPV. 

If you have any questions about getting screened for STDs, talk to your women’s healthcare provider. They can help you determine which screenings you need to get and when. Raleigh OB/GYN has over 45 years of experience serving the women in our communities and is here to help. If you have questions about sexually transmitted diseases or STD testing, 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.

postpartum depression

5 Tips For Coping With Postpartum Depression

Pregnancy and motherhood are filled with an abundance of emotions, both positive and negative. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious medical illness accompanied by distressing symptoms that can make it increasingly challenging to care for your newborn baby. Although PPD can make you feel alone, you are not— in fact, 1 in 9 women in the United States develop PPD. 

Coping With Postpartum Depression

Many women go through the “baby blues” after giving birth, which is characterized by a sad and empty feeling. Usually, these symptoms tend to clear within 3 to 5 days. When a woman has persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness for more than two weeks post birth, this often is a sign of postpartum depression. Raleigh OBGYN understands the emotional toll this mental illness can take on your overall health. That’s why we have compiled five tips for coping with postpartum depression. 

  1. Make Time For Mindfulness

This one can be difficult with a newborn but is of great importance when dealing with postpartum depression. Some ways you can practice mindfulness throughout your day include:

  • Giving attention to your breathing, mood, and feelings
  • Identifying triggers that make you feel angry, sad, or anxious
  • Slowing down and taking one day at a time
  • Being kind to yourself and freeing yourself from negative thoughts

Although these tips can be easier said than done, trying to engage in at least one every day can ultimately add up and help with your symptoms of postpartum depression. Even for mothers who aren’t struggling postpartum, mindfulness can help center you back to your core and burden the stressors of parenting.

  1. Set Realistic Expectations For Yourself 

Before having a baby, you may have had an idea in your head about what it was going to look like. However, reality doesn’t always match with the version we have in our minds. Not only are you recovering from giving birth, but you also may have to be a mother, wife, friend, and employee, too. Recognize your limits, and prioritize you and your baby’s well-being above all else. And remember, there is no such thing as a “perfect” mom.

  1. Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Although making healthy lifestyle choices most likely isn’t going to get rid of your symptoms altogether, it can help combat external stressors and boost your mood. Some great, low-impact, low-intensity exercises you can incorporate into your routine include:

  • Belly breathing
  • Pelvic tilt exercises
  • Kegel exercises
  • Happy baby pose
  • Light yoga
  • Brisk walking

On top of light exercise, try to ensure you are eating a healthy diet and engaging in mindful exercises such as meditation.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Postpartum depression can leave you feeling culpable and bring on feelings of insurmountable guilt. But remember, you are not going through this alone. Plenty of women have gotten through to the other side. Don’t mistake asking for help as being weak— in fact, it’s quite the opposite! Seeking help is the most courageous thing you could ever do for yourself and your baby. If you are struggling to find help, check out this resource from Postpartum Support International.

  1. Consider Treatment Options

Once you’ve taken the step to ask for help, it is time to explore your treatment options. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from that are sure to help each woman in her own specific journey. Postpartum depression treatment can include psychotherapy, antidepressants, hormone therapy, or in severe cases, electroconvulsive therapy. Listed below are other helpful resources for managing postpartum depression:


Postpartum depression can make you feel lonely and guilty. But remember, you are not alone, and PPD is treatable! Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we offer a full range of obstetrical care from preconception to delivery. We have provided state-of-the-art care for mothers, daughters, and now granddaughters since 1974. If you have questions or want to learn more about postpartum depression, visit our website to schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers or call us at 919-875-8225.

Pregnancy and nutrition

Pregnancy And Nutrition: The Basics

The rush of emotions after finding out you are pregnant can leave you feeling on top of the world. Suddenly, you want to do everything in your power to help protect and grow your little one. That may leave you questioning the best ways to balance pregnancy and nutrition. Ideally, a healthy diet before pregnancy is best, but it is never too late to start! 

The Benefits Of Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, a healthy and balanced diet becomes more important than ever. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand that nutrients are what help your baby grow and develop. Don’t know where to start when it comes to pregnancy and nutrition? Continue reading to learn the basics!

Ensure A Balanced Diet

During your pregnancy, you need more of certain vitamins and nutrients such as protein, folic acid, iron, iodine, and calcium. Eating a balanced diet full of variety is a great way to ensure you are meeting you and your baby’s nutrient needs. Some foods that are sure to help you meet your dietary needs include:


  • Fortified cereals: High in folate or folic acid, calcium, and iron
  • Milk: High in calcium, vitamin D, and protein
  • Fish: High in calcium and vitamin D
  • Spinach: High in iron, calcium, and folic acid
  • Beans: High in vitamin B, iron, folic acid, and protein


The specific nutrients listed above are among some of the ones that deserve special attention throughout your pregnancy. However, if you aren’t getting a sufficient amount from food, there are ways to make up for it— like prenatal vitamins. 

Appropriate Vitamin Supplements

Generally speaking, pregnant women should be taking a prenatal vitamin every day. This, along with a healthy and balanced diet, should supply all the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. A prenatal vitamin, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, should contain these 11 nutrients: folate, iron, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D. 


These vitamins may help to prevent major congenital disabilities, support the development of the placenta and fetus, develop healthy skin, gums, and eyesight, and helps to build your fetus’s bones and teeth. At a very minimum, mothers-to-be should be ensuring they are taking the suggested intake of roughly 600mcg of folic acid and 27 mg of iron daily. 

Dietary and Caloric Recommendations

ACOG suggests that women pregnant with one baby should be consuming an extra 340 calories per day starting in the second trimester and a bit more in the third trimester. Women carrying twins should consume roughly 600 extra calories daily, and women with triples should consume an extra 900 calories daily. 


Keep in mind the saying “eat for two” is not true, and eating an excess amount of calories can lead to serious health implications. Some reasons to avoid unrestricted calorie intake while pregnant are:


  • Excess weight gain
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Emergency C-section
  • Heartburn
  • Pre-eclampsia


In order to limit overeating, try exercising daily, keeping yourself hydrated, and sticking to a healthy and well-rounded diet. 

Eating Safely During Pregnancy

Did you know that some foods contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can affect the health of your unborn baby? The Mayo Clinic suggests steering clear of certain foods during these nine months: 


  • Raw, undercooked, or contaminated seafood, poultry, and eggs
  • Unpasteurized foods
  • Unwashed fruits and vegetables
  • Excess caffeine, herbal tea, and alcohol


Have no fear, once your baby makes its grand entrance, you can return to eating sushi and drinking all the coffee your heart desires.

There are often a lot of questions revolving around pregnancy and nutrition, including what and how much you should be eating. Raleigh OB/GYN has over 45 years of experience serving the women in our communities. If you have questions about how to best fuel your body, especially during 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.


C-Sections: What Are They And Why Are They Needed?

For many, the act of giving birth remains a mysterious and somewhat taboo topic. Yet, this magical bodily function is what brings our children into existence and fills our world with more joy than one thought imaginable. All types of birth should be celebrated, not shrouded. In fact, information on pregnancy, labor, and c-sections should be accessible to all, as it is vital to the health and well-being of all expecting mothers.    

What Are C-Sections?

C-sections are used to deliver a baby through surgical incisions made in a woman’s abdomen and uterus. It’s estimated that nearly 30% of births in the United States are by c-sections. That number is much higher in older women and women who have multiple children. While there is no single reason why c-sections may be necessary, a few factors can tip the scales to this option being most suitable. Raleigh OB/GYN would like to take this opportunity to help address some of these questions and concerns.

Prolonged Labor

Prolonged labor, commonly referred to as “failure to progress,” is when labor stalls or occurs too slowly. Labor that continues for an extended period of time is dangerous and may cause conditions in the baby, such as low oxygen levels or an abnormal heart rhythm. According to WebMD, if your baby is not born approximately 20 hours after regular contractions, you are thought to be in prolonged labor. If the baby has not progressed far enough down the birth canal and medication does not help to speed up and strengthen the contractions, the doctor may suggest a c-section. 

Abnormal Positioning In The Womb

The ideal position for a baby to be in for labor is head down while facing the mother’s back with its chin tucked to its chest. Most babies end up positioned here within the 32nd to the 36th week of pregnancy. Unfortunately, not all babies are ideally positioned like this when it comes time to give birth. Other positions a baby can be in before childbirth include:


  • Occiput or cephalic posterior position
  • Frank breech
  • Complete breech
  • Transverse lie
  • Footling breech


In many cases, if your baby is in a breech position or transverse lie, your doctor may recommend a c-section instead of a vaginal birth. 

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

Cephalopelvic disproportion is rare, yet another reason c-sections may be necessary. CPD occurs when a baby’s body or head is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis or birth canal. According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), CPD occurs in 1 out of 250 pregnancies. When an accurate diagnosis of CPD is made, the safest option for delivery is a c-section.      

Chronic Health Conditions

Sometimes, a vaginal birth may not be suitable due to pre-existing medical conditions that could harm the mother, baby, or both. Some chronic health conditions that may warrant a cesarean delivery include conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, or gestational diabetes. Additionally, a c-section may be suggested if the mother has infections that could be transferred to the baby through vaginal delivery, such as HIV or genital herpes. 

Twins Or Carrying Multiples

What’s better than one baby? Two or more! It’s been estimated that roughly 60% of twins are born via cesarean delivery. Many women expecting twins will often choose to have a planned c-section delivery. Other reasons your doctor may recommend a non-vaginal birth with twins or multiples include:


  • The first baby is breeched
  • One baby is lying transverse 
  • Low-lying placenta
  • Your twins share a placenta
  • Troubles with previous births


It is important to keep in mind that a cesarean delivery is not the only way to welcome your twins or multiples. In many circumstances, a vaginal delivery is just as safe.


At Raleigh OB/GYN Centre, we offer a full range of obstetrical care from preconception to delivery. We have provided 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 in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information about c-sections or to schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers, call 919-875-8225.

Exercise and Pregnancy

5 Myths About Exercise and Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, especially for the first time, you naturally start to worry about the health of yourself and your growing baby. So when it comes to exercising during pregnancy, you may wonder, is it safe? When should you start? How much is too much? Unfortunately, the internet is flooded with contradictory and misleading information. The good news is that exercise and pregnancy are perfectly safe and even beneficial! 

Myths About Exercise During Pregnancy

Because the fitness industry is so crowded, it is understandable why there are so many myths revolving around women, exercise, pregnancy, and weight loss. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we want to ensure you are provided with reliable information regarding your pregnancy journey. We’re here to bust 5 myths about exercise and pregnancy:

Myth #1: Lifting Weights During Pregnancy Is Dangerous

Lifting weights has been shown to increase your overall health while decreasing your risk for a heart attack, stroke, and osteoporosis. In fact, studies have found that lifting weights may reduce your risk for a heart attack by 40 to 70 percent. The benefits of lifting weights don’t reverse when you fall pregnant. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology lists resistance exercises, which includes lifting weights, as safe during pregnancy. Light to moderate weight lifting three to four times a week has great benefits such as strengthening your muscles, protecting your core and lower back, and building or maintaining endurance. 

Myth #2: Only Low-Impact, Gentle Workouts Are OK

As long as your doctor clears it and your pregnancy is not high risk, by no means does exercise during pregnancy have to be limited to walking or gentle yoga. Running, indoor cycling, interval training, cross-training, and similar activities are all encouraged. And between those types of exercise, low-impact and gentle workouts are great for keeping your body moving too! Keep in mind that pregnant women are not encouraged to participate in contact sports such as kickboxing, karate, soccer, or softball.

Myth #3: If I Didn’t Workout Before Pregnancy, I Shouldn’t Start Now

You can run a half marathon or practice gentle yoga– there is never a “right” way to move your body. Even if you were sedentary before falling pregnant, working out during pregnancy is almost always recommended. The only reason it is not recommended is if your doctor does not clear it or if there is a possibility of a high-risk pregnancy. Studies show many benefits, as exercise reduces: 


  • The risk of excessive weight gain
  • Preterm birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Risk of C-section and developing diabetes
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy.


Additionally, physical activity may help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy and even reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Remember that because every woman and pregnancy is different, it is essential to listen to your body during exercise and not push it too far past its limits. 

Myth #4: It’s Not Safe To Do Abdominal Workouts

A strong core helps with everyday activities, from tying your shoes to walking upstairs. Abdominal muscles promote a healthy back, good posture, balance, and stability. These reasons alone may be enough to get you doing sit-ups. suggests strengthening your abs when you’re expecting supports your pelvic organs as your baby bump gets bigger. Some pregnancy-safe abdominal exercises include:


  • Forearm planks and side planks
  • Bird-dogs
  • Glue bridge
  • Squat with rotation 
  • Knee lift
  • Cat-cows
  • Incline mountain climbers


With clearance from your doctor, adding abdominal exercises into your workout routine has many benefits and can even be done from the comfort of your own home!

Myth #5: By Working Out Too Much, I Will Pull Nutrients From My Baby

Although it may make sense on paper, working out will not pull nutrients from your baby. In fact, according to WebMD, if your body is going to draw nutrients from somewhere, it will be your own nutrient store and not the babies. To ensure you and your baby are getting adequate nourishment, try eating small, frequent, and nutritious meals. This will also help you keep your blood sugar levels balanced which is essential for optimum health and functionality, pregnant or not!

Do you have more questions about exercise and pregnancy? Our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are committed to answering all your questions regarding your unique pregnancy journey. For more information, give us a call at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment.