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Posts for category: Pregnancy Care

By James A. Scales, MD
July 16, 2018
Category: Pregnancy Care
Tags: OBGYN   Pregnancy  

Congratulations! You just found out you are going to have a baby. Now what? First and foremost, it is important that you and your unborn child get the proper care you both need over the next 9 months.

Your OBGYN will be an invaluable part of your medical team, as they will be able to not only provide you with a host of good advice for a healthy pregnancy, but also they can check for health issues in both you and your unborn child that could potentially cause further and more serious complications. Turning to an OBGYN regularly is vitally important for a healthy, complication-free pregnancy.

Of course, there are also some wonderful milestones to enjoy throughout the course of your pregnancy. Here are some things to look forward to before getting to meet the new addition to your family,

Baby’s First Ultrasound

Once you find out you’re pregnant, it’s important that you visit your OBGYN to confirm the pregnancy, determine your due date and to schedule your very first ultrasound. This first ultrasound can occur as early as between 6 weeks and 9 weeks and it allows your obstetrician to check your baby’s size and heart rate, while also checking the health of the placenta and umbilical cord. This is an exciting moment for parents, as they often get to hear their baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

The End of the First Trimester

We know that saying goodbye to the first trimester is high on most pregnant women’s lists. This is because most miscarriages occur during the first trimester. This is usually around the time that expectant mothers want to announce their pregnancy to family members and friends. Plus, if you were fighting terrible morning sickness during your first trimester you may be relieved to hear that a lot of these symptoms may lessen or go away completely once you reach the second trimester.

Feeling Your Baby Kick

Most expectant mothers can’t even describe how incredible it is to experience their baby kicking for the first time. Your baby’s kick may feel more like a flutter or tickle while other women may feel a nudging sensation. At some point, you may even see an indent of an arm or leg as your stomach expands and the baby grows.

Your Child’s Gender Reveal

While some parents don’t want to know whether they are having a boy or girl until that moment in the delivery room, some couples can’t wait to find out and share the news. In fact, gender reveal parties have become a popular trend today and once you find out whether you are having a little boy or girl you may just feel that exciting urge to start decorating the baby room.

Your Due Date

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for: your baby’s expected birth date. While most babies won’t show up right on schedule, you may be experiencing some warning signs that labor is soon on the way and you’ll soon get to welcome your baby into the world.

By James A. Scales, MD
June 05, 2018
Category: Pregnancy Care
Tags: obstetrician   Pregnant   Prenatal  

Whether you think you might be pregnant or you already took a home pregnancy test that came back positive, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN as soon as possible. Regular prenatal visits are the best way to monitor the health of both you and your baby while also tracking the development of the fetus. These visits are important for every pregnant woman, not just women who are dealing with health issues or a high-risk pregnancy.

During your first prenatal visit, which usually occurs after your eighth week of pregnancy, we will check your vitals (height, weight, blood pressure, etc.), and run blood and urine tests to test for current infections (including STDs) and to confirm your blood type (your blood type and the father’s blood type are important for the health of your child).

An ultrasound may also be performed to determine how far along you are in the pregnancy as well as your expected due date. A physical exam, including a pelvic exam, will be conducted. Your obstetrician will also take time to talk with you about your family history and your own detailed medical history.

It’s important to provide as much information as possible about any preexisting health conditions, surgeries and previous pregnancies you’ve had. This is also a great time to ask any questions you might have regarding diet, exercise, lifestyle or managing your pregnancy symptoms (e.g. morning sickness).

If all test results come back normal and you have a healthy pregnancy then you’ll only need to see your OBGYN every month for the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy. Once you reach 28 weeks you’ll come in twice a week until you are 36 weeks into your pregnancy. From 36 weeks until the birth of your baby you’ll have weekly checkups.

During these visits, your OBGYN may also run special tests to check for gestational diabetes and other conditions, depending on your family history and age. Genetic testing can also be performed to check the health of your child and to determine if there are any genetic disorders present.

It’s important that you find an obstetrician that you can trust to provide you with compassionate and thorough care and support throughout your pregnancy.

By James A. Scales, MD
May 01, 2018
Category: Pregnancy Care
Tags: Postpartum Care  

OBGYNS recommend that women come in for a postpartum visit approximately 6 weeks after giving birth. Unfortunately, medical reports state thatPostpartum Care the percentage of women that actually go to these appointments is staggeringly low. Of course, while a woman’s primary focus might be to care for their little one, it’s also important that women are getting the proper care they need to tackle their new role as a mother.

Any woman who has just given birth can tell you just how much pregnancy changes your body. Perhaps it changed it in ways you didn’t even imagine. So it goes without saying that those nine months of changes means that it’s going to take time for your body to bounce back to the way it was pre-baby. If you had a vaginal delivery it’s normal to experience vaginal discharge, urination problems, hemorrhoids, mood swings, hair loss, contractions, and vaginal soreness.

It’s important that you have an OBGYN that you trust to answer your questions and provide you with advice and help when you need it. An OBGYN can also be a wonderful source of emotional and mental support, which can be invaluable for a new mother.

One issue that’s often discussed during the postpartum phase is mood swings. Some women experience the “postpartum blues”, which only lasts a few weeks; however, postpartum depression is characterized by intense feelings of sadness and anxiety that can last up to one year. As you might imagine, postpartum depression can have a profound impact on a woman’s outlook and mood, making it particularly challenging when she has a new baby to take care of. An OBGYN can help provide you with the care you need and, if necessary, offer a referral for a mental health professional that can truly listen to your needs and help you on the road to healing.

Furthermore, if a mother has been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disorders, or mood disorders prior to pregnancy it’s also important that she has a follow-up visit with her gynecologist after the baby is born to ensure that she is still receiving ongoing maintenance and care for these long-term health problems to keep them in check.

It’s important that all women take postpartum care seriously to ensure that they continue to maintain good physical and mental health. Taking the time to care for yourself is important, even though you have a new baby to take care of. Ensuring that your health is in tip-top shape will allow you to spend more time with your beautiful family.

By James A. Scales, MD
February 16, 2018
Category: Pregnancy Care

Safe Foods While PregnantOnce you find out you are pregnant there are so many things to think about to keep both you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy. One of the most popular questions OBGYNs hear pertains to foods that are safe to eat and which foods should be avoided during pregnancy. This is an important question, as your diet now affects not just your health but also the health of your unborn baby.

While there are a lot of foods that are safe for you to eat and even vital to eat to provide your growing baby with the nutrients and vitamins it needs, there are certain foods that should be avoided at all cost.

Uncooked Seafood and Raw Meats

Rare meats (e.g. beef; pork) or uncooked seafood (e.g. sushi) should not be consumed at all during your pregnancy. Why? There are a variety of different bacteria such as salmonella and toxoplasmosis that could be particularly harmful to a fetus. While meat certainly isn’t a no-no, just make sure it is cooked completely before consuming.

Deli Meats

While the idea of biting into a big Italian sub might sound like heaven, you might just want to put that sandwich down if you are pregnant. Deli meats often contain listeria, which can increase your chances of a miscarriage. This infection has the ability to cross the placenta. If you do want to consume deli meat, make sure to fully cook it before consuming.

Certain Fish

Besides raw shellfish (e.g. oysters; clams) and uncooked seafood, it’s also important to avoid certain fish that contain high levels of mercury because this element could cause brain damage or developmental defects. Fish to avoid include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, Ahi tuna and orange roughy. Canned tuna should be eaten in moderation since it still contains some mercury.

Raw Eggs

While pregnancy can lead to weird cravings we know you probably aren’t going to crave eating raw eggs; however, raw eggs can be in certain sauces and dressings such as Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, certain ice creams and Hollandaise sauce. Make sure to always read the labels on these products to ensure that raw eggs aren’t one of the ingredients.

Soft Cheese

We know that this is terrible news for cheese lovers, but a lot of imported soft cheeses such as feta, Brie and Camembert often contain listeria. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to nix cheese completely. Most non-imported soft cheeses that use pasteurized milk are often safe for pregnant women to consume. If in doubt, doesn’t hesitate to ask your obstetrician first.

Whether you have questions about diet, exercise or other lifestyle factors while pregnant, it’s important that you have a knowledgeable obstetrician on your side who can address all of your questions and concerns when you need it.

By James A. Scales, MD
November 13, 2017
Category: Pregnancy Care

Learning that you're pregnant often brings with it a mixture of excitement and concern. Hearing from your obstetrician that your pregnancy high risk pregnancyis considered "high-risk" can add even more emotions! Dr. James Scales, your obstetrician in Texarkana, TX, reminds his patients that often this diagnosis means that you need to make some alterations to your lifestyle or visit his office more frequently throughout your pregnancy for tests such as ultrasounds and urinalyses. To discover what might determine your high-risk status, read on.


Women at any age can experience challenges in their pregnancies, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, but the likelihood of a difficult pregnancy increases as you age. The chances of your developing baby having genetic issues such as Down syndrome are also slightly increased. Women who are pregnant at the age of 35 or older are labeled as "advanced maternal age," or AMA. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't have a baby once you turn 35 years old, but it's important to work with your obstetrician to make sure you're healthy before, during, and after pregnancy.

Health conditions

If you've been diagnosed prior to your pregnancy with a condition like diabetes, epilepsy, or cancer, your Texarkana obstetrician will likely consider you to be high-risk. This is due to a number of factors; the way pregnancy alters your body's systems and the medication you are taking can have serious effects without close monitoring.


There are several habits that can put you and your developing baby at risk for health problems. The negative effects of smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, and poor diet are all well-documented. However, finding out that you're expecting can be a great motivator to help you stop, but being upfront with your obstetrician is key to improving your odds for a healthy pregnancy.

Certain medications, prior pregnancy issues, and carrying multiples (twins, triplets, or more) can also put you in the high-risk category. As soon as you think you might be pregnant, or if you're planning to become pregnancy, contact the office of Dr. Scales, your obstetrician in Texarkana, TX, as soon as possible!