Tag Archives: pregnant

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

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. Whattoexpect.com 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.

Pregnant this Summer? Here are 8 Ways to Beat the Heat

Pregnant this Summer? Here are 8 Ways to Beat the Heat

Summertime is officially here, and while this season brings tons of fun in the sun for many, it can create some discomfort for those who are pregnant this summer. Taking care of yourself while pregnant can be a challenge in and of itself, but powerful UV rays and hot temperatures can create an even higher risk of health issues, like dehydration, heatstroke, and more. To help keep you comfortable and safe while pregnant this summer, we’re sharing our top tips to help you beat the heat. 

Sip on something cold 

While alcoholic beverages are out of the question this summer, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all of the fun drinks of summer. Get crafty with some summer mocktails, enjoy some freshly squeezed lemonade, or cool down with a smoothie or slushie. Lowering your internal temperature is a great way to find relief on sweltering days. Even finding time to enjoy a popsicle can provide a quick moment of reprieve.

Relax in the pool

Spending time in the pool is a staple activity that you don’t have to miss out on just because you’re pregnant this summer. In fact, you may find that pool time is even more relaxing, as being weightless in the water helps take pressure off of your feet and lower back. 

Don’t forget the sunscreen

While time spent at the pool is a great way to beat the heat when you’re pregnant this summer, be sure not to skip the SPF! In many women, pregnancy increases sun sensitivity, making pregnant women more susceptible to sunburns and sunspots. While spending time and tanning outdoors is generally considered safe during pregnancy, it’s essential that you take the proper sun care precautions.

Wear lightweight clothing

Summertime is the perfect season to wear loose-fitting, breathable clothes like flowing dresses, skirts, and tops. Not only do these styles align with the summer trends, but they’re also readily available in the maternity section. 

Hydrate 

Increased water consumption is recommended for just about everyone during the hot summer months, and this includes pregnant women. Staying hydrated helps regulate your body temperature, keep your systems functioning properly and flush out any toxins. During pregnancy, drinking enough water helps ​​form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood, build new tissue, and carry nutrients to your growing baby. Stay cool and healthy by prioritizing your hydration.

Rest 

The sun can drain you of your energy, and if you’re pregnant this summer, you have probably already noticed a decrease in your normal energy levels. Take time to rest this summer, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Elevating your feet can help reduce swelling and restore some of your energy. 

Enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables

Eating well is essential to a healthy pregnancy, and one of the best parts of the summer season is the abundance of fruits and vegetables. Create a refreshing salad with seasonal produce, enjoy a newly harvested watermelon, or create a juicy (and hydrating) fruit salad and indulge in all of the summer flavors.

Plan your physical activities 

Getting regular exercise throughout your pregnancy is recommended, but hot summertime temperatures can have an impact on your routine. Take advantage of the longer days by waking up early and getting some exercise in the morning while the temperatures are still mild. Staying physically active can have numerous benefits, including better sleep and improved mood.

Contact Raleigh OB/GYN Centre

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 in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information about how to stay cool while pregnant this summer or to schedule an appointment with our team of dedicated providers, call 919-875-8225.