Ask any doctor and they’ll tell you… One of the most important parts of their job is to answer patients’ questions accurately and thoroughly. By providing this education, we can develop a stronger patient-provider relationship and empower women to make the most informed health decisions possible. Answering reproductive questions daily in our Connecticut office, we think it’s helpful to share the most common questions about women’s health, specifically those concerning female reproduction, as well as our answers.
Annual flu shots are an easily-accessible and preventative measure for almost everyone. The flu is much more than simply a bad cold. Although both the common cold and the flu may cause upper respiratory symptoms, influenza can be serious and even fatal. As reported by CBS News, around 80,000 Americans died from the flu and related complications during the winter of 2017/2018. The flu leaves patients open to other life-threatening infections like pneumonia. It is especially crucial that high-risk groups be vaccinated against the flu every year. These groups include the elderly, young children, and pregnant women.
Choosing any healthcare provider is an important decision and one that requires some basic research. When searching for an OB-GYN in Connecticut, there are several factors to consider during your exploration that can impact your final selection, and ultimately, help you find the right fit for your long-term women’s healthcare needs. While you may also have priorities of your own in mind, these six considerations can help get you started on your search.
Many women are concerned about health risks during pregnancy that may affect both themselves and their child. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a high-risk pregnancy is “one that threatens the health or life of the mother or her fetus.” But what are these risk factors, and how do you know if your pregnancy is high-risk? And if your pregnancy is high-risk, how will your prenatal course differ from a “normal” pregnancy? We will answer these questions below and provide some general advice for women during a high-risk pregnancy.
What Makes a Pregnancy High-Risk?
There are hundreds of factors that could raise the risk of any pregnancy. These factors can be broadly separated into controllable and uncontrollable categories. Controllable risk factors include problems like smoking or other substance abuse, obesity and poor diet. Examples of uncontrollable risk factors are maternal age, family medical history, preexisting diseases like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and infections such as HIV. Read More
Anything that a pregnant woman puts into her body has the potential to affect her baby. Diet, illicit substances, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications can all have a profound impact on the health and development of a baby. While your medical team should be aware of your pregnancy so that they do not prescribe potentially harmful medications, what about over the counter medications during pregnancy?
Pregnant women are susceptible to the same common medical issues as anyone else – colds, allergies, diarrhea, etc. Additionally, it is not uncommon for expectant mothers to encounter problems with a variety of minor complaints like heartburn, constipation and body aches. You need to know which non-prescription medications are safe for you and your baby.
You should always consult your prenatal care provider starting any medication or vitamins and supplements during pregnancy. In fact, many OB-GYN offices will provide you with a list of safe medications – just ask. That said, here are some general guidelines for over the counter medications during pregnancy. Read More
Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes mellitus, a disease where blood sugar levels rise higher than normal. Blood sugar is usually regulated by the hormone called insulin. However, in gestational diabetes, a woman’s body does not produce sufficient insulin to control blood sugar levels, and with high amounts of blood sugar can come short and long-term problems in both expectant mothers and their babies.
Unfortunately, cases of gestational diabetes are becoming more frequent, with approximately 2-5% of pregnant women developing it, which increases to 7-9% if there are additional risk factors. This increase is mainly due to the obesity epidemic in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about half of all women with gestational diabetes continue to suffer from diabetes mellitus after their pregnancy. Read More
Whether you are expecting your first baby or your fifth, it is natural to have questions about your pregnancy, as no two pregnancies seem to be alike. We field some general queries, while others have more specific questions, but below are some of the most common questions asked by pregnant women in our Connecticut office. Read More
Pregnancy is a big change—a major life change which will prompt you to investigate what to eat, how to exercise, whether to avoid your usual medications, and all of the other things you need to know now that you are living as two persons. The good news is that you were designed to do this. There are things in our evolution that have helped guide the way. For example, craving certain foods is thought to be related to seeking out what your pregnancy needs. But at certain stages of your life your nutritional requirements cannot be met through nutrition alone, which is why specific vitamins and minerals during pregnancy are necessary to supplement.
Your baby will take what he/she needs and then leave the rest for you. This is certainly true of energy and the same goes for nutritional requirements. However, as part of your prenatal care, your doctor will want to insure that you’re getting enough of the following vitamins and minerals to support best possible pregnancy for and your baby. Read More
Think back to any first visit with a new doctor and you will probably remember pages upon pages of questions to answer. Of course, these days you may be filling out such a questionnaire online or on a computer tablet in the office. And when it comes to your first prenatal care appointment, you’re also going to be answering a lot of questions. It’s a necessary evil – your medical history, family history, and social history are invaluable to your OB-GYN and are used in practically every aspect of care for you and your baby.
But you need to remember that YOU should ask questions too! It is easy to forget to bring up a query when you’re trying to recall if your paternal uncle had diabetes or lupus, so write down questions before your appointment as a reminder. Also, when it comes to your obstetrician, there really is no such thing as a dumb question. We’ll cover a few common first pregnancy appointment interrogatives below, and you’ll probably come up with plenty of your own as well. Read More
February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention month which provides an important opportunity to increase awareness about viral infections that can be contracted by pregnant women and transmitted to their baby during pregnancy or birth.
During pregnancy your body can be more susceptible to infection because your immune system is weaker and not producing as many antibodies. There are many common infections that occur during pregnancy that are low risk, such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV), but it is important to be vigilant to several infections that if left untreated could put your baby at risk. Read More