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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Women’s Specialists had the distinction of celebrating one of our employees recently. Tammy was honored at the Go Red for Women luncheon sponsored by the American Heart Association. Her story is important because many women ignore the symptoms. See Tammy’s story below. “I had my heart attack on the evening of July 31, 2016 at 47 years old. In hindsight, I started having symptoms 48 hours prior. I left work on a Friday evening with shoulder blade pain. I figured it was a knot and had my husband rub it that night. It continued intermittently through Saturday and was starting to make my fingers tingle. I took Tylenol and Advil and that relieved a little of the discomfort but I had a dull ache that felt like it was in the bone. I woke up on Sunday feeling so much better. I relaxed most of the day and decided early evening I was going to vacuum the pool. That was all it took. I went inside, sat on the couch and had the most excruciating chest pain, down my arm, up my neck into my jaw. I fell to the floor. I knew exactly what it had to be. I realized with my first grandbaby just 6 weeks away and my family witnessing this that I had to go to the Emergency Room. I did not want to be a statistic. The EKG was normal but my labs were not. I went to the cath lab with a 90% [...]
Powerful woman! You should be having sex whenever you feel safe and sexy and your partner desires the same! Having an orgasm is such a personal experience. Some women experience orgasm as a rush of heat and pleasure. Others find the experience explosive. While others burst into laughter. Orgasms are best reached when we feel safe and at ease with our partners. Women are dynamic when it comes to finding pleasure. Our erogenous zones are elusive and often become more exposed as we feel more relaxed and aroused. Most women require clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. What is important to remember is that the clitoris is actually a very large section of tissue. Generally, we think of the clit (that tiny little nub beneath the front of our labia), but actually, clitoral tissue is like a glacier. The clitoris is just the top. Clitoral tissue actually extends like a wishbone shape along the labia minora and inside of the vaginal. As we become aroused, this tissue becomes swollen with blood and thus more sensitive to touch. For some women, this swelling happens quite easily (lucky!), but for most women, this takes safe and sexy foreplay. Many people have heard of the "G" spot. This is actually tissue along the front of the vagina. Just as the clitoral tissue becomes flush and swollen as we become aroused, so does this long, tube-like tissue along the front (anterior) wall of the vagina. Having an orgasm requires (for most) a sense of [...]
These two lovely ladies are Rebecca Leeman, CNM, and Stephanie Philippides, MD. They are located at our Jefferson office and attend births at Lovelace Women's Hospital and I recently asked for their thoughts about how WSNM approaches pregnancy and birth. Rebecca: Pregnancy is a time of big change for women and families. Getting to see the same person on the health care team throughout the pregnancy can help moms feel a little more grounded throughout the changes that are happening. A trust develops. Stories are shared. A woman can start to feel a little more known to her provider and pregnancy care goes beyond just what it takes to measure and listen to baby. Personalized pregnancy care happens when your care provider acknowledges and is curious about the setting into which this new baby is coming. It takes time to build relationships. Dr. Philippides: Personal pregnancy care means individualized care. No two people experience pregnancy in the same way. We all have our own experiences, unique medical history, fears and worries, and our own hopes and dreams. To treat each person as an individual means that I want to make a connection to that person and really understand their needs. Rebecca: Women's Specialists practice allows me to give personalized pregnancy care and build relationships. I also have the confidence that when the women I see go into labor, there will be midwives and doctors who I trust there, who will carry that same respect for these women. [...]
HEART HEALTH […]
Aging is inevitable. For women, it can be unforgiving: wrinkles, gray hair, weight gain, sagging breasts, bone loss, and vaginal dryness. Regular exercise, dietary modification with calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help some of these conditions. Some of us will dye our hair and/or have cosmetic surgery. Until recently, our only option to really “treat” vaginal dryness was topical estrogen – either as a cream, tablet or ring. But not all of us can or want to use estrogen. Fortunately, there is now something available that will treat vaginal dryness (known as vaginal atrophy in medical terms) and the other symptoms often associated with it such as vaginal burning, vaginal discharge, painful sex, urinary incontinence, and painful urination. It’s called the MonaLisa Touch.