Ask the Midwife Question: I am 8 weeks pregnant with my first baby and just had my new OB visit. I am confused about genetic tests that are offered. Are these required? What do you recommend? How accurate are they? What is the difference between a screening test and a diagnostic test? Will my insurance cover this type testing? Answer: Congratulations on your pregnancy! It is our goal that you feel informed about all of your options during your pregnancy and have the confidence to make the right choices for yourself and your baby. Unlike the basic blood tests that we ask you to get during pregnancy so we can take the best care of you, the genetic tests are not required. We can give you information and guidance but we do not make specific recommendations, as whether or not to have genetic testing is a very personal choice. Genetic tests come in two different categories: screening tests and diagnostic tests. Screening tests can tell you if there is a chance that your baby is affected by specific disorders but not whether it is certain. If a test comes back indicating that there is a higher chance of a problem, further testing must be done to verify whether or not there is actually a problem. Screening tests have different rates of false positive results, depending on the test. Diagnostic tests tell you for sure whether your baby is affected. Diagnostic tests are not [...]
You may have heard about the common benefits of infant massage. It helps babies with gas and colic and it helps calm them down from crying and to sleep. But before we talk about specific benefits of infant massage, there is one guiding benefit which is the foundation for everything else. Infant touch and massage helps a baby’s brain to grow. Babies are born still needing to make finishing work of their brains. At birth, they have only 25% of their ultimate finished size of their brains. Babies operate out of their primitive brain and need the help of their caregivers to regulate their emotions. As humans grow, we develop our rational thinking brain and this helps us solve problems and cope with stress. How a little human learns and develops connections in their nervous system towards this goal is through their caregivers’ responsiveness to them, through emotions. It is not always easy to be the adult in the room when our baby is crying. We have our own stresses in life. However, if we can remember that we are the one with a more developed brain, we can help our little ones. There are many nonverbal ways we communicate with our babies like cooing, picking up and moving with, and giving general loving attention. Touch, though, is a powerful communicator. It is the first sense we develop and the last sense we lose in life. Intentional and loving touch in the form of massage brings us in tune with [...]
Ask the Midwife - Benefits of a Normal Physiologic Birth Q:I am expecting my first child in October, and I am both excited and scared. What can I do to have the best outcome for myself and my baby, and decrease the chance of interventions such as c-section? A:Congratulations! Our goal is to support you in having the birth you want, with a happy and healthy outcome for mom and baby. First, let’s review normal birth. This process includes labor, childbirth and the immediate postpartum period. Normal birth begins on its own, results in vaginal birth, and the mother and baby remain together after birth, with the baby skin to skin. When labor begins spontaneously, hormones are released that help your body contract effectively and help you cope with pain. There is less of a chance that you will need a vacuum delivery or a cesarean. The hormones of labor also help your baby transition to life outside the womb, including maintaining a normal body temperature and respirations. Benefits of a normal birth process include better health for mom and baby, successful adjustment to life outside the womb, emotional satisfaction with the process and being able to cope well with the transition to motherhood. It is important to give birth in an environment that feels private and comfortable, with the right support people present. Some women hire a doula for one on one support. Others have family members present. Only you can decide who you need for emotional support [...]
All of us at Women’s Specialists send a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Beverly Pucka for her three decades of services to the women of our community. Known for her dedication to excellence in women’s care and loving patient relationships, Dr. Pucka is retiring on April 30, 2018. She has been caring for patients at WSNM for the last four years and we are grateful for her time in our practice. Dr. Pucka’s patient records will remain at WSNM and her patients are free to select any of our providers to continue your care at WSNM. Call (505) 843-6168 to schedule your appointment with your new provider. Join us in wishing Dr. Pucka a joyful and fulfilling retirement!
Ask the Midwife - Nitrous Oxide for Labor Analgesia If you are like most pregnant women, you have been putting some thought into labor and what will happen during that process. Pain management is something that many women consider ahead of time. It is very common to have concerns about it: how much will labor hurt? Will I be able to manage it? What are my options for pain relief if the pain is too much for me? Will the options really help enough? Most women are a little nervous when thinking of these questions. Many women have heard of pain relief options such as the epidural or IV pain medication. There is a new option being offered for pain relief in labor at Lovelace Women’s Hospital; one that in fact has been in use for over a hundred years but is becoming more popular currently in the United States. This option is nitrous oxide, a pain reliever in the form of gas that is inhaled by the laboring woman. Nitrous oxide has been used for many years in Europe for pain relief in labor, and in fact has been used in some U.S. hospitals for as long as 20 years. More recently, the use of nitrous in labor units in the U.S. has become more common, including in NM. You may be familiar with nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” from the dentist office. The form given for labor is a bit different from the dentist office. It [...]
National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month I love seeing women for annuals throughout the year, but I get a particular kick out of the women who come for their annuals in January. What a great way to start the year out with a commitment to self-care! Here we are at the end of January already, but you still have lots of time to get your annual done this year. Did you know that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month? We all know we should have our annuals and get Pap smears regularly but sometimes there is confusion about why we do Pap smears and what the results tell us. A Pap smear is a highly reliable way to screen for cervical cancer, or cancer of the cervix. The cervix is the opening to the uterus. It acts as a doorway between your vagina and uterus (and therefore other internal organs as well!). Your cervix has to deal with quite a bit of germs, viruses and bacteria—and sperm! Human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the myriad of microorganisms that your cervix faces off against. HPV is transmitted skin-to-skin, so we usually blame penises and fingers for transferring HPV to the cervix, although sex toys can also harbor HPV for many hours. Certain strains of HPV really settle into cervical cells. Most women’s immune systems clear HPV over time but occasionally worrisome types of HPV decide to hang around for years and can ultimately cause cervical cancer for some women. [...]
New Location Will Improve Patient Experience On November 1, WSNM officially moved our home office from 201 Cedar St SE to 1001 Coal Ave SE. The new location is one block south and the change is being made to increase convenience for patients. The new location on Coal offers more parking spaces, shorter walking distances and easier access to appointments. According to WSNM Executive Director Kathy Teston, “This move is about creating more convenience for our patients. The complaint we hear most often from patients and family members who see us at the downtown office is about parking. Our current location at the Presbyterian Hospital campus on Central Avenue is inside a multi-story building on the fifth floor. Patients often walk long distances across crowed outdoor parking lots or navigate a large, hectic parking structure. Our new office is a two-story building with plenty of on-site surface parking. We have been communicating about the move with our patients for a few months now and we are getting very positive feedback.” “Our downtown office tends to be our busiest”, said Teston, “we have 12 full-time providers seeing 35,000 patient visits a year. We are investing in the new space at 1001 Coal for our patients’ convenience and we’re also taking the opportunity to provide patients with a fresh and up-to-date medical office.”
At Oasis we can help you cleanse, tone, correct and protect your skin. We have a full spectrum of skin care facials ranging from our signature Calming Facial to our Pumpkin Retexturizing Facial for both men and women. We also carry leading skin care lines to include Skin Ceuticals, ELTA, BioPelle and more. For the month of August, we are offering special discounts on facials ranging from 10% - 20%, depending on how much you spend with us. Spend $50 to $150 and receive 10%off Spend $151 to $350 and receive 15%off Spend $351 or more and receive 20% off Our Esthetician, Nicole Ortega, is incredibly well-trained and personable. Nicole graduated from the New Mexico Aveda Institute in December of 2001 in Esthiology and has a wide range of knowledge in the field. At Oasis we provide clinically proven cosmetic services and take the time to understand patient goals and health concerns as we recommend treatment plans and products. I think this makes us different from other cosmetic spas and invite you to visit us at the Oasis Med Spa. Call (505) 344-1444 to schedule your appointment today.
I AM A RUNNER I AM A CFO I AM A TRIATHLETE I AM A WOMAN Women's Specialists of New Mexico is dedicated to the health of all women, from teens and pregnancy, to gynecology and beyond.
Ask the Midwife - Zika Virus Q:I planned a trip to a beachside resort in Mexico a few months ago and just now found out that I am pregnant. My mom said it isn’t safe for me to go because of Zika virus, but I already paid for the trip. What should I do? A:Congratulations on your pregnancy! Our primary goal is for you to have a healthy pregnancy as well as a safe and happy outcome for you and your baby. Zika virus is a serious concern in pregnancy. This disease is spread by the bite of 2 types infected mosquitoes, as well as through sexual contact. The virus can cause severe birth defects of the brain in the developing fetus, as well as miscarriage, stillbirth and a disease of the nervous system called Guillain-Barre syndrome. Unfortunately at this time, there is no vaccination against Zika. The CDC recommends that all pregnant women avoid travel to areas of the world where Zika is being transmitted. If travel is unavoidable, steps must be taken to minimize the risk of being infected with the virus. If you travel to an area that is known for Zika transmission, your provider will arrange for testing for the virus one or more times during your pregnancy, and will advise you to refrain from sexual intercourse during your pregnancy. Areas of the world that are known to present a risk of Zika virus transmission include: Mexico; the Caribbean (including but not limited to [...]