Tag Archives: pregnancy

fetal alcohol syndrome

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

 

Surely, you’re aware of the advice against consuming alcohol during pregnancy, and there’s a good reason behind it. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) represent a range of conditions resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. These disorders can have profound and lifelong effects on an individual’s physical, mental, and behavioral development. 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Understanding the impact of alcohol on fetal development is crucial to raising awareness and preventing these conditions. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most severe form of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. It occurs when a pregnant person consumes alcohol, and the alcohol crosses the placenta, affecting the developing fetus. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is characterized by a distinct set of facial features, growth deficiencies, and central nervous system problems. These include:

Facial Features:

  • Small eye openings
  • Thin upper lip
  • Flat midface
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)

Growth Deficiencies:

  • Lower than average birth weight and length
  • Slower growth rate after birth

Central Nervous System Problems:

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Poor memory
  • Learning and behavioral issues
  • Attention deficits or difficulty paying attention
  • Impaired memory and judgment
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Hyperactivity

Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders encompass a broader spectrum of conditions resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. These conditions may vary in severity and can include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, partial FAS, alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). The effects can manifest differently in each affected individual.

Risks And Impact Of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Alcohol is a known teratogen, a substance that interferes with fetal development. During pregnancy, alcohol can disrupt the delicate process of cell division and organization, particularly affecting the development of the brain and other vital organs. The risks associated with prenatal alcohol exposure include:

 

Physical Abnormalities

Alcohol exposure during critical developmental stages can lead to physical deformities, particularly in facial features and organ systems.

 

Cognitive And Behavioral Issues

FASDs can result in cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and difficulties with attention and memory.

 

Emotional And Social Challenges

Individuals with FASDs may struggle with social skills, impulse control, and emotional regulation, impacting their ability to form relationships and navigate daily life.

 

Health Complications

Prenatal alcohol exposure can increase the risk of various health issues, including heart defects, kidney problems, vision or hearing difficulties, and compromised immune function.

 

Prevention And Support

The most effective way to prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is to avoid alcohol during pregnancy. Even small amounts of alcohol can pose risks to the developing fetus. For individuals planning to conceive or already pregnant, abstaining from alcohol is the safest choice. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, protective factors include:

  • Diagnosis before six years of age
  • Loving, nurturing, and stable home environment during the school years
  • Absence of violence
  • Involvement in special education and social services

Early intervention and support are crucial for individuals affected by FASDs. Diagnosis and intervention services can help manage the symptoms and provide specialized care and educational support tailored to the individual’s needs. This may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral therapy, and educational accommodations. 

 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are entirely preventable conditions, emphasizing the importance of alcohol abstinence during pregnancy. If you have more questions about FAS or FASDs, set up an appointment to talk to one of our providers. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

baby shower

5 Alternative Baby Shower Ideas For 2024

Baby showers are a wonderful tradition, celebrating the upcoming arrival of a new family member while showering the expectant parents with love and support. As we look ahead to 2024, the world of baby showers is evolving with exciting new trends and ideas. 

Best Non-Traditional Baby Shower Ideas

Although baby showers are wonderful, there are plenty of women who would rather opt for less traditional ideas. These more informal baby shower ideas can bring a refreshing and exciting twist to the celebration, making it a memorable event for both the parents-to-be and the guests. Whether you’re planning a baby shower for a friend or family member or expecting a little one yourself, Raleigh OB/GYN has put together some alternatives for your baby shower in the year 2024.

1. Baby Sprinkle Showers

For parents expecting their second, third, or so-on child, a baby sprinkle shower is a fitting idea for 2024. Unlike traditional baby showers, which typically involve larger gatherings and extensive gift-giving, baby sprinkles are more modest affairs. They focus on celebrating the upcoming addition to the family with close friends and family and often involve smaller, more personalized gifts or essentials that may be needed for the new baby.

2. Couples Shower

When it comes to celebrating the long-awaited arrival of a new member of the family, it’s really an occasion for both parents-to-be. A couples shower aims to celebrate both parents and is aimed to be more of a celebration. Of course, sentimental gifts and baby must-haves can still be expected, this type of baby shower can set the tone for an inclusive get-together that encompasses everyone who is eagerly anticipating the little ones’ arrival. 

3. Sip And See

Another alternative to a traditional baby shower is a “sip & see.” This type of celebration normally happens after the baby has already been born and is more or less a “welcome baby party.” This type of low-key party is used to introduce a newborn to friends and family in a casual manner. Those close to the parents can enjoy a refreshment in an informal manner while meeting the newly arrived baby. A sip & see can also be done in addition to a baby shower. 

4. Baby Shower Experiences

Instead of traditional baby shower gifts, some expectant parents are opting for memorable experiences in 2024. Guests can contribute to a fund that the parents can use to create lasting memories with their new baby, such as a family photo session, a weekend getaway, or tickets to a special event. This approach emphasizes the importance of experiences over material possessions and aims at making your baby shower less traditional. 

5. Book Drive

For those who feel they have just about everything they need for their newborn, a book drive might be the right choice for you. This includes an informal celebration where you ask guests to bring their favorite baby book. To make this an even more special occasion, you can ask each guest to write a short note to the mom-to-be or wishes for the baby. This idea can also be used in other capacities, and instead of books, guests can bring diapers— because, well, no mom ever has enough diapers. 

Baby showers in 2024 are likely to be a blend of tradition and current events. While the core purpose of celebrating the arrival of a new baby remains the same, the way we celebrate is individual. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.

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.

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.

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.

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.

obstetrician’s role

Your Obstetrician’s Role During Pregnancy and Birth

An obstetrician’s role during pregnancy and birth is to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby. From the moment a woman discovers she is pregnant to the time of delivery and beyond, obstetricians are there to offer guidance, care, and support. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important to choose an obstetrician who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to provide you with the best possible care throughout your pregnancy and childbirth journey.

Obstetrician’s Role During Pregnancy

From prenatal care to delivery and beyond, obstetricians provide critical medical care and support to help women navigate the complex and often challenging journey of pregnancy and motherhood. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, our expertise and guidance can make all the difference in ensuring a healthy pregnancy, a safe delivery, and a positive postnatal experience for both you and your baby.

Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is important as it can help prevent pregnancy complications along with informing women about steps they can take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Your obstetrician will typically schedule appointments every four weeks during the first and second trimesters and then every two weeks during the third trimester. During a women’s prenatal visit, your doctor will likely perform physical assessments such as checking your blood pressure, weight, and height. 

In addition to these physical assessments, the obstetrician will also provide guidance and education on a range of topics, including proper nutrition, exercise, and common pregnancy discomforts such as morning sickness and back pain. They will also advise on the importance of avoiding certain substances such as tobacco and alcohol, and offer support for mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.

Labor And Birth

When the time comes for labor and delivery, the obstetrician’s role becomes even more critical. They will work with the mother and her support team to manage the stages of labor, ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby and provide any necessary medical interventions. Common complications during labor and birth include 

  • Labor that does not progress: Also called failure to progress, this is when any of the stages of labor are prolonged.
  • Preeclampsia: A condition that can increase the risk of placental abruption
  • Problems with the umbilical cord: The umbilical cord may sometimes get caught on an arm or leg and, in severe cases, can wrap around the baby’s neck.
  • Abnormal heart rate of the baby: Abnormal heart rate does not always lead to serious complications. However, close attention to this is required.
  • Perineal tears: A vaginal tear occurs during birth and is an injury to the tissue surrounding your vagina and anus. 
  • Perinatal asphyxia: A lack of blood flow to or from the fetus before, during, or after the birth process. 

Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we have five delivering physicians. You should meet all of the physicians over the course of your prenatal care. Our providers share daytime call daily amongst our own group, so there is always someone available at the hospital for emergencies of urgent medical needs.

Postpartum Care

Once the baby is born, the obstetrician’s responsibilities do not end. They will continue to provide care to the mother and the baby during the postnatal period. This involves monitoring the mother for any complications, such as infections or postpartum depression, and providing support for breastfeeding, infant care, and contraception options. Keep in mind that the recovery process can take several weeks to months. 

 

Overall, obstetricians play a vital role in ensuring the health and safety of both the mother and the baby during pregnancy and childbirth. If you have more questions about an obstetrician’s role during pregnancy and birth, contact us at 919-876-8225 or request an appointment online.

Doctor vaccinating pregnant woman in clinic; blog: Preventing Infections During Pregnancy

Preventing Infections During Pregnancy

For nearly forty years, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has recognized the importance of reducing prenatal infections in the US. They first focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV, but their efforts have expanded to other harmful infections during pregnancy. 

Prenatal Infections to Be Aware Of

Our goal at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre is to take care of our prenatal patients like our own family. When you choose to partner with us for your obstetrical care, you will be in wonderful hands at every step of your journey. Some of these infections during pregnancy are rare in the US but can be dangerous and have serious effects on both mother and baby.

Listeriosis

Listeriosis is one of the rare but potentially serious infections during pregnancy caused by bacteria called Listeria. Listeria is spread through contaminated food. The symptoms of listeriosis are similar to the flu and may include fever, muscle aches, and unusual fatigue. However, listeria infections in pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery, and even stillbirth. The infection can be passed on to the baby, which can be life-threatening.

The following foods have been linked to listeriosis and should be avoided during pregnancy:

  • Unpasteurized/raw milk and dairy products (cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc)
  • Undercooked meat
  • Luncheon meats and deli meat
  • Any type of sprouts that are raw or not completely cooked
  • Cut melon that has been left at room temperature for more than 4 hours

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women are 10 times more likely than other people to get listeriosis. Other groups at elevated risk include newborns, people with weakened immune systems, and older adults.

Zika Virus

Zika virus is primarily spread by infected mosquitoes, but you can become infected by having unprotected sex with someone who already has the virus. Zika infection during pregnancy may cause serious birth defects like microcephaly and brain defects. To prevent Zika infections during pregnancy, you exercise caution when traveling to areas with a high incidence of Zika infection. The CDC has a Zika Travel Recommendation Map for individuals to consult. Women who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant should avoid regions where the virus is prevalent. Other ways to protect yourself against Zika if you might be at risk include following recommendations on preventing mosquito bites and using a condom to prevent sexual transmission.

Group B Streptococcus

Group B strep (GBS) is a common bacteria that approximately 1 in 4 women carry. Most women do not feel sick when they carry these bacteria. GBS can be passed to a baby during childbirth, which can be life-threatening to newborns and infants. Complications can include fever, meningitis, breathing difficulties, pneumonia, and blood infection (sepsis). However, GBS infection in babies can be prevented. Doctors recommend getting tested for GBS near the end of pregnancy. If the test is positive for a group B strep infection, the mother will be given antibiotics during childbirth to protect the baby.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Like GBS, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the more common infections during pregnancy that many people have. According to the CDC, more than half of adults have had a CMV infection by the time they reach 40. Most people do not know they have it. Pregnant women can pass CMV to their babies. Babies with congenital CMV infections are often healthy and show no signs of infection. However, some babies will have long-term health problems like hearing loss, vision loss, developmental delays, and seizures.

Since CMV spreads through bodily fluids, women can reduce their risks by avoiding contact with the urine and saliva of babies and young children (who are more likely to spread CMV than older kids and adults). Food or utensils shouldn’t be shared with babies and young children, and good hand hygiene should be practiced, especially after changing diapers.

General Tips for Preventing Infections During Pregnancy

Along with following specific guidelines for the above prenatal infections, there are some other things you can do to prevent infections during pregnancy, including

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Avoid people with infections
  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Ask your doctor about getting vaccinated
  • Only take vitamins and supplements approved by your doctor.
  • Do not touch dirty cat litter.
  • Avoid contact with rodents, lizards, and turtles. This includes both wild animals and those kept as pets.

Raleigh OB/GYN Centre has been serving the women of the Raleigh, NC, area for more than 40 years. Our team of healthcare providers offers personalized and comprehensive care for women in all stages of life, including during pregnancy. If you have concerns or questions about having a safe and healthy pregnancy, or for more questions about infections during pregnancy, call our office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.

Pre-Pregnancy Considerations

5 Pre-Pregnancy Considerations

When it comes to women’s health, preparing for pregnancy is as important as the lifestyle and dietary changes you make during pregnancy. We strongly believe that if you prepare yourself both physically and financially before conceiving a child, you will be able to give birth to a happy, healthy baby. Pre-pregnancy considerations take into account a number of steps you can take to ensure that when you’re ready to get pregnant, everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Pre-Pregnancy Considerations

Ready to welcome a new little miracle into the world? Planning for pregnancy is an important step in your journey to motherhood. We’ve outlined some of the key steps you can take before becoming pregnant to help ensure that you are as ready as possible for all the changes that are about to take place in your life. Continue reading to learn more about pre-pregnancy considerations.

1. Limit Your Intake Of Alcohol And Caffeine

One of the best things you can do for your body when planning for pregnancy is to limit your intake of caffeine and stop your consumption of alcohol altogether. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no known safe amount of alcohol use during your pregnancy or when you are trying to get pregnant. Additionally, experts recommend limiting your caffeine intake while trying to get pregnant and during pregnancy.

2. Find Your Healthiest Weight

Another one of our key pre-pregnancy considerations is to find and maintain your healthiest 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, having a high BMI can interrupt regular ovulation, sometimes leading to difficulty falling pregnant. To assess your weight, visit your healthcare provider, or check out this resource.

3. Hit The Hay

Sleep is incredibly important for anyone, but especially for those getting ready to host a baby for the next nine months. Sleep affects fertility and hormone production, and a lack of it can result in producing less of certain hormones and too much of others. The same part of the brain that is responsible for regulating sleep-wake hormones like melatonin and cortisol also regulates reproductive hormones. Sleep deprivation will signal the body to produce more stress hormones, which is bad for overall health and can throw off levels of estrogen, testosterone, and other reproductive hormones. For more on how lack of sleep can affect your fertility, reference one of our earlier blogs: Can Lack Of Sleep Affect Your Fertility?

4. Get Moving

Exercising is one of the best pre-pregnancy considerations, as it not only can help balance hormones, improve insulin, and ward off levels of stress but can also help you get a better night’s rest. Some of the best ways to get moving before trying to conceive are running or walking, resistance training, yoga, pilates, pelvic floor exercises, and more. 

5. Visit Your OB/GYN

Visiting your OB/GYN for a preconception appointment is an important step for pre-pregnancy considerations. At this appointment, your doctor will review your medical history, medications and vaccinations, lifestyle behaviors, and complete a physical exam. If you are at risk of a medical condition that can make pregnancy dangerous or difficult, such as diabetes, heart disease, or certain birth defects/disorders, then your doctor may recommend additional tests or treatment in preparation for pregnancy.

 

Pre-pregnancy considerations have the ability to set you up for a happy and healthy pregnancy. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we are dedicated to helping you understand every step of your unique pregnancy journey— from making a plan to execution. If you have questions about pre-pregnancy considerations, 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.