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Posts for tag: obstetrician

By James A. Scales, MD
September 14, 2018
Category: OBGYN Care
Tags: OBGYN   obstetrician  

You noticed those two pink strips very distinctly this time. You are pregnant! This can be an exciting and emotional moment in a couple’s life. Finding out you are going to be parents is a thrilling experience and it’s important that the moment you find out you are pregnant that you have the proper medical care and support you and your growing baby need to stay healthy. This is why you should turn to an obstetrician.

An obstetrician, often referred to as an OBGYN (obstetrician and gynecologist), is a doctor who specializes in providing care for women during pregnancy and childbirth. Choosing an obstetrician is just as important as choosing any other medical professional. You want someone who is by your side not just providing you with comprehensive medical care but also really understands your personal needs and expectations. Choosing an obstetrician is a very personal choice and one to take seriously.

It’s important that you start visiting your obstetrician as early as possible in your pregnancy. The first appointment will confirm the pregnancy and determine your due date. Blood and urine tests, a pelvic exam, and a physical will be performed during your first visit to check your health and to detect any health problems.

The visit is also a great moment for the parents-to-be to ask any questions they might have regarding diet, exercise, supplements, traveling, etc. Bring your questions along with you so you don’t forget.

After your first visit, you’ll come back about once a month for the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy. Of course, if we determine that you are a high-risk pregnancy, we may need you to come in more regularly. These monthly appointments will allow us to monitor your health and baby’s progress, check for any genetic disorders early on and make sure everything is going smoothly. We will also perform ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy to check the baby’s health and development.

Once you reach the 28-week marker, you’ll come in about every two weeks for visits until you reach 36 weeks. At 36 weeks, you’ll come in weekly until your baby is born.

An obstetrician is here for your growing family every step of the way and can provide comprehensive care, answer your questions, and also offer support whenever you need it. We can also talk with you about your labor and delivery options.

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
January 15, 2018
Category: OBGYN Care

Mammogram AppointmentWith breast cancer being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women it’s now more important than ever to educate women on the importance of getting regular mammograms. While most women won’t need to get them during their early adult years, it’s important to understand why mammograms are necessary, who should be getting them and how often you should get one.

No matter your age, it is important to note that if a lump is detected during a physical breast exam a mammogram should be performed. According to the American Cancer Society, women should get a mammogram once a year starting around the age of 40. This doesn’t include the self-exams you should be performing on yourself once a month to check for lumps. Women 55 years old or older should get a mammogram every two years.

Of course, if breast cancer runs in your family then you may need to get a mammogram earlier. It’s important that you talk to your gynecologist right away about your family history in order to determine whether or not you should start getting regular mammograms sooner. After all, a mammogram is the best diagnostic tool to be able to detect breast cancer earlier. This simple tool could just end up saving your life.

A mammogram only takes about 20 minutes to complete. A machine will be used to compress the breast for a couple seconds in order to capture the necessary images. While the compression may be uncomfortable it shouldn’t be painful. If you do feel pain it’s important that you let us know. It can take up to 10 days to get results.

A radiologist will look at the images captured during your mammogram and explain findings on a scale from 0 to 6, with 0 meaning that there were no abnormalities and 6 being malignant breast cancer that has already been detected with a biopsy. If there are any suspicious findings, a biopsy may be recommended to test the breast tissue for the presence of cancer cells.

If it’s believed that the findings are benign then a biopsy will not be necessary; however, we may recommend that you come in more regularly for routine mammograms.

Whether you have questions about getting a mammogram or you want to find out if you could benefit from this diagnostic test, call your OBGYN today to learn more. Taking precautions now could protect you in the future.

By James A. Scales, MD
August 08, 2017
Category: Pregnancy Care
Tags: obstetrician  

If you're thinking about getting pregnant or have recently found out you’re pregnant, it’s not uncommon to have many questions. You will obstetricianhave the opportunity to have these answers at your first appointment with your Texarkana, TX obstetrician, Dr. James Scales. Before this appointment arrives, make a list of questions you have so that you’re prepared for this important appointment.

Questions to Ask Your Obstetrician

Some of the most common questions that women have for their Texarkana obstetrician include:

  1. How much will I gain?
  2. Do I have an increased risk of any medical conditions?
  3. What screenings do I need to have done?
  4. What kind of diet should I follow?
  5. Are there any foods or drinks I shouldn’t consume?
  6. Can I exercise?
  7. Are there any restrictions with sex?
  8. Can I dye my hair or paint my nails?
  9. What over the counter medications can I use?
  10. Can I still take the prescription medications I’m taking?
  11. Which prenatal vitamin is best?
  12. What prenatal classes do you recommend?
  13. When labor begins, when should I call you?
  14. What should I do if I have cramping or spotting?
  15. When is a good time to call you with questions?

As your pregnancy continues, you will have more specific questions regarding induction, c-sections, the pregnancy experience, and epidurals. That’s perfectly normal. Dr. Scales is experienced and has helped countless women through successful pregnancies.

Ultimately the questions that a woman has for her Texarkana, TX obstetrician will vary depending on her age, medical history and other circumstances. Just know that that is completely normal. By keeping the communication route open between you and your obstetrician, you can expect to experience a stress-free pregnancy. To schedule this important first appointment with Dr. Scales today, call 903-614-3003.