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Posts for tag: Pregnancy

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
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
January 02, 2018
Category: OBGYN Care

Woman with Hyperemesis GravidarumIt’s normal for a lot of pregnant women to experience morning sickness, particularly during the early months of pregnancy. Of course, there are some women who deal with such severe morning sickness that it affects not only their daily lives but also their health. This severe form of morning sickness is known as hyperemesis gravidarum.

While normal bouts of morning sickness can cause nausea and even occasional vomiting during the day (or even at night), if you have hyperemesis gravidarum you will experience severe nausea and vomiting that is so persistent and invasive that it can lead to weight loss, dehydration and even fainting episodes. Women who experience true hyperemesis gravidarum are usually unable to keep food down.

This condition often manifests itself between four and six weeks, but may continue to occur up until the 13-week mark; however, there are some women who still experience symptoms throughout the course of their pregnancy.

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this from happening to you. The best thing you can do is visit your obstetrician right away if you suspect that you might have hyperemesis gravidarum. In more severe cases, you may need to be hospitalized. This is often the case if you are severely dehydrated or have low electrolyte levels and are unable to keep food down. When this happens, an IV is administered so that you can get the nutrients and vitamins your body needs.

It’s also important to discuss any medications that you may want to take prior to taking them as they could have some negative effects on you or your baby. Fortunately, there are other non-medicinal ways to reduce hyperemesis gravidarum symptoms. We will provide you with a variety of different options for how to keep your nausea and vomiting under control.

If you are dealing with severe nausea and vomiting during your pregnancy it’s important that you turn to your obstetrician for the care you need. Pregnancy should be an exciting time but we know that you will have questions and concerns along the way. Turn to an OBGYN you can trust to help guide you through this exciting journey.

By James A. Scales, MD
October 02, 2017
Category: Pregnancy Care
Tags: Pregnancy   HIV  

Finding out that you’re pregnant can be exciting news; however, if you’ve also been diagnosed with HIV then you may be feeling more concerned about whatHIV, Pregnancy this means for your pregnancy, the health of your child and your health. Of course, it will provide some relief to know that HIV-positive women can give birth to an HIV-negative baby. The most important thing you can do for you and your child is to visit your OBGYN right away for care as well as turn to other doctors who are providing you with your HIV treatments.

In most cases, the medications used to treat your HIV should be safe to use throughout the course of your pregnancy. Of course, there are some instances in which women may need to change the antiretroviral medications they take. This is why it’s important to talk to your medical team as soon as possible after finding out you are pregnant.

It’s imperative that you continue taking your HIV medication throughout the course of your pregnancy just as you had been prior to your pregnancy. Taking your medication at the same time everyday is also important to your health and the health of your child to make sure that they do not contract the virus.

If you haven’t already started taking HIV medication it’s necessary to get on a medication schedule right away. Women with HIV who start taking their antiretroviral drugs right away during their pregnancy will have a lesser amount of the virus in their blood when it comes time for their delivery.

You will want to work with your HIV doctor and your obstetrician to discuss the best ways to manage your HIV while pregnant to reduce the likelihood of passing HIV onto your child. This first consultation should be scheduled right away. From there, your obstetrician will decide how often you should come in for routine monitoring and care. During these routine visits, an ultrasound will often be used to see how the fetus is developing.

When it comes to your birth plan, this is something you should discuss as soon as possible with your OBGYN. It is possible for women with HIV to deliver their baby vaginally, but the safest and best method for delivery will depend on how low or high the viral count is at time of delivery. Based on the viral load at around 34 to 36 weeks, your OBGYN will be able to determine if a vaginal delivery is possible or whether you will need to undergo a cesarean section prior to going into labor.

Along the way, you may have questions or concerns about your pregnancy and managing your HIV. When you do, make sure that you have an OBGYN that you trust to provide you with the caring and compassionate care that you need to have a smooth and stress-free pregnancy.

By James A. Scales, MD
July 17, 2017
Tags: Pregnancy   Postpartum Care  

Giving birth is one of the most exciting, beautiful, and difficult things many women will ever do. Taking care of yourself afterward may seem trivial in comparison with the demands of your new baby. However, postpartum care is a crucial part of recovering properly and getting yourself back into top physical health to provide the care your newborn requires.

What to Expect

  • Vaginal Birth: You will experience soreness in your vaginal area, especially if you had a tear or episiotomy during the birth. You may feel afterpains, or mild contractions after giving birth. These will accompany several weeks of vaginal discharge called lochia, which presents itself as bright red and flows heavily during the first days after delivery, tapering off over the next few weeks. Bowel movements may be difficult and cause hemorrhoids.
  • Caesarean Section: Caesarean sections require a longer hospital stay than a vaginal birth, usually around three to four days. After receiving pain medication, your doctors and nurses will encourage walking short distances to help with the buildup of gas within the abdomen. Many women find walking to be very difficult at first, but gets easier with time. You will also experience some vaginal bleeding in the days or weeks after delivery.

Postpartum Care 
Postpartum care after a vaginal birth is different than caesarean section aftercare. After a vaginal delivery, sitting on a pillow or donut may help avoid pain from a tear or episiotomy. Drinking plenty of water and eating foods that are high in fiber can help keep stools soft if you have problems passing bowel movements. Your doctor can also prescribe stool softeners if necessary. Using an icepack or a frozen sanitary pad coated with witch hazel can help relieve discomfort and pain along with over-the-counter pain relievers.

 

Aftercare for a caesarean section begins during your hospital stay. Your doctor may administer narcotics like morphine to help with pain relief for the first day or two. After leaving the hospital, you will require as much help as possible. You may receive a prescription for pain relievers. Your incision will remain tender and sore for several weeks after delivery though it will heal gradually and feel better every day. Be sure to get plenty of rest and avoid lifting heavy items for at least eight weeks. Your scar will start out very obvious but shrink as you heal.