A birth plan is a plan that details your preferences for labor and delivery. Birth plans are a helpful way for expecting parents to communicate their wishes and expectations with their doctor. Birth plans can look many different ways. Here is an example of what a birth plan may look like:

For more information, call Westside OB/GYN at 954-473-2011. We are happy to discuss your birth plan with you.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that usually affects women who are of reproductive age. About 1 in 10 women have PCOS during their lifetime. When a woman has PCOS, it means the natural hormone levels in her body are imbalanced. Women struggling with PCOS often experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods. Women with PCOS often have heavy, absent, infrequent, or unpredictable periods.
  • Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant 
  • Hirsutism, or increased hair growth. 1 in 7 women with PCOS report excess hair growth on their face, chest, or upper thighs.
  • Obesity. About 4 in 5 women with PCOS struggle with obesity or metabolism problems
  • Severe acne and/ or oily skin
  • Patches of thick, darkened skin
  • Multiple small cysts on the ovaries 

There is no one cause of PCOS. Instead, the disorder is believed to be a result of many different factors working together. Some factors that can contribute to PCOS are insulin resistance, imbalanced levels of specific hormones like androgen, insulin, and progesterone. High androgen levels can prevent normal ovulation, lead to infertility, cause acne and excess body hair. Women with PCOS often struggle with insulin resistance. Insulin manages blood sugar levels in the body. All of these hormone imbalances may increase the lifetime risk of other health concerns including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, endometrial cancer, and depression. 

There are several treatment options for PCOS. Treatment plans are usually tailored to a woman’s specific symptoms, medical history, and reproductive plans. If you are not currently trying to conceive, birth control pills are a popular form of treatment because they contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, which regulate the menstrual cycle, decrease acne and body hair growth. Medications often used to treat diabetes have also proven effective in treating PCOS because they help the body respond to insulin and improve menstrual regularity. Healthy eating, routine exercise and even small weight losses have also proven helpful for women struggling with irregular periods and infertility due to PCOS. With proper treatment, the symptoms of PCOS are manageable and it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

If you are experiencing irregular menstrual cycles, severe acne, or excessive hair growth, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you map out a customized treatment plan. The doctors at Westside OB/GYN are happy to address all of your health concerns and questions. Call 954-473-2011 to request an appointment.

Breastfeeding, the original food, has been gaining in popularity over the past decade with science continuing to support the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. Breast-fed infants have decreased rates of some common childhood infections and decreased rates of childhood obesity. Moms who breast-feed have decreased rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and breast and ovarian cancers. 

But for many women, it is not as easy as simply choosing to breastfeed. Breastfeeding can be a difficult journey for mothers of all backgrounds. Learning how to successfully latch your baby takes practice, and maintaining milk supply is a challenge for many mothers. Breastfeeding moms also have to deal with breastfeeding through their children’s teething, their own bodily changes and navigating family and outside work responsibilities. Breastfeeding takes patience and dedication, even at the best of times.

Breastfeeding may seem like a no-brainer for some, but the breastfeeding playing field is not a level one. It’s challenging for many women. In some communities of color, especially Black communities, breastfeeding is much less common. About 69.4% of Black women attempt breastfeeding after giving birth, compared to 83.2% of women overall. Black women also have the shortest breastfeeding duration of all women (about 6.5 weeks). At 6 months, about 44% of Black women are still breastfeeding compared to 57% of women overall. 

This week, August 25-31 marks Black Breastfeeding Week dedicated to celebrate and support moms in their nursing journey. 

So, what resources can Black women turn to?

-Talk with your doctor during your pregnancy about your desire to breastfeed. Ask what resources are provided by your hospital, insurer and employer to help you start and maintain lactation. 

-Does your hospital have lactation consultants trained to help mothers successfully breastfeed. They walk you through latching your baby correctly and how to know if your baby is getting enough to eat during feedings.

-Support groups are a great resource for breastfeeding mothers, as having a supportive community is extremely beneficial to successful breastfeeding. A simple google search can supply support groups online and in your area. provides virtual information sessions, support groups, tips for increasing milk supply, and other resources for Black breastfeeding mothers.

-Most insurance companies offer low or no cost breast pumps. Some hospitals and governmental assistance programs like WIC, may rent pumps. 

-Your healthcare provider can provide breastfeeding advice and resources. We at Westside OB/GYN are always happy to answer questions about breastfeeding and lactation. Call 954-473-2011 to request an appointment.

For more information on breastfeeding, check out my Breastfeeding FAQs!

Women have quite a lot to deal with on the reproductive health playing field. Between PMS, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, it sometimes seems like we can’t get a break. All of these are normal and beautiful processes that the female body can go through, but sometimes they come with extra risk or complications. It is important to keep track of your reproductive health to lessen your risk and effectively treat any complications. Uterine fibroids are a complication that affects many women. July is fibroid awareness month, which is a great time to learn about fibroids and what we can do to treat them.

So what are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths developed from the muscle tissue of the uterus. Uterine fibroids affect over 70% of women. Fibroids come in many shapes and sizes. In fact, many women don’t realize that they have fibroids. Fibroids can be so small that they cannot be seen by the naked eye or bigger than a grapefruit. The size and placement of the fibroids determine the severity of symptoms. Fibroids can cause pelvic pain, frequent urination, heavy menstruation, and difficulty getting pregnant. Pregnant women who have fibroids have a higher risk of being unable to carry to term or deliver vaginally. 

There are three types of fibroids:

  • intramural fibroids are located within the muscle wall of the uterus
  • subserosal fibroids grow on the outer part of the uterus
  • submucosal fibroids push on the inner lining of the uterus

Submucosal fibroids often cause more bleeding than other types of fibroids, as they grow just beneath the lining of the uterus. Even small submucosal fibroids can cause excessive bleeding or elongated periods (whereas women are more likely to be unaware if they have small intramural or subserosal fibroids, as they often are asymptomatic). Submucosal fibroids are the most likely to impact pregnancy and delivery. 

There are several options for treating fibroids. Your doctor will recommend a course of treatment based on the location and size of your fibroids, as well as your health history. Your doctor may decide to simply monitor your fibroids, but medication and surgery are two options that are also used as treatment. Prescriptions like birth controls can help regulate the heavy bleeding fibroids cause, and procedures like myomectomy and hysterectomy remove the fibroids or the uterus, respectively. Before any treatment plan is determined, your doctor will discuss your reproductive plans with you. 

If you are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding or pelvic pain, you should make an appointment for a check-up right away. Dr. Ghea is a top female OBGYN in Plantation, FL with expertise in female reproductive health and symptoms. Dr. Ghea has appointments available at Westside OB/GYN group.  Call 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment.

With so many women waiting until later in life to have children, it’s hard to believe that having a baby after the age of 35 is still considered high risk or potentially problematic. Yes, there are plenty of women who successfully and safely conceive in their late 30’s, and even after, but let’s talk about how to maximize your chances for success. 

Women of all ages are building businesses, becoming powerhouse role models, and creating opportunities for themselves despite obstacles. Women over 35 are doing big things, so why shouldn’t they want to — and be able to — have a baby at this time too?

Women’s bodies are beautiful. With more health and fitness information we are learning not just how to live longer but how to live longer, better.  Yet there are some age related changes that can impact pregnancy after 35. All women should have a Reproductive Life Plan and discuss it annually with their OB-GYN. This will help achieve your family goals and hush that annoying clock ticking in your ear. There are some challenges that we face as we creep past 35-years-old, one of the most common being less frequent ovulation. Egg quality and quantity decline as a woman reaches her 30’s and 40’s. There is no way to actually increase the quantity of eggs we have in our ovaries, but you should try to be as heathy as possible while trying to conceive. Start a folic acid supplement, stop tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use. This also a good time to start regular exercise if you don’t already have routine. 

This is not the only way that women over 35 can help increase their chances of motherhood after the age of 35. As a top female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea makes it her mission to keep women educated and informed about their health, especially when it comes to having a safe and healthy pregnancy after 35. She will always give her best women’s health tips and advice. For her patients and readers who may be trying to conceive after turning 35, here are some ways to increase your chances.

  • Schedule a preconception appointment so you can go over your past and current medical history and general lifestyle to ensure that you and your body are in a healthy state, and ready to take on pregnancy. Include your partner in this appointment too if you are planning on conceiving together, so they are just as informed as you are. 
  • Let go of any unhealthy habits you have, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, and consuming excess caffeine. If you are over or underweight, consider talking with a personal trainer and/or nutritionist to get your health back on track. If you are not at a healthy weight, it can interfere with hormone function and thus affect fertility.
  • Pay very close attention to your body and keep a journal and record various signs of fertility. It will be helpful to know when you are ovulating, so you know when it’s the best time for purposeful intercourse.

Be proactive about your fertility goals!

If you are looking for a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician to discuss these kinds of matters with, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea at her Plantation OBGYN office by calling 954-473-2011. She is here to answer all of your questions and concerns during this important time in your life.

Having a hysterectomy can be a scary thought, especially if you aren’t sure what the recovery will be like. As with any kind of surgical procedure, the recovery varies depending on the person. No two women’s bodies are the same. This particular surgical operation is done to remove the uterus, also known as the womb, the organ crucial to the act of reproduction. 

After you’ve gone through a hysterectomy, you will no longer menstruate, nor have the ability to become pregnant.

There are many reasons why a doctor may suggest a woman undergoes a hysterectomy, including things like chronic pelvic pain, uncontrollable vaginal bleeding, fibroids or cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries. 

Recovery time can vary depending on the person, the reason, and even the method of surgery. There are three kinds of hysterectomies, all of which require a general or regional anesthetic. An abdominal hysterectomy is when the doctor removes your uterus through a  cut made in the abdomen. Your doctor may suggest this method if your uterus is very large or you have many adhesions from several prior surgeries. In general it requires a longer recovery time. 

A vaginal hysterectomy is when your uterus is removed through an incision made inside the vagina. You will not have any incisions on the abdomen. Usually your hospital stay will be shorter and your return to normal activities will be quicker with this approach than with an abdominal hysterectomy. Not all women  are able to have a vaginal hysterectomy but it is the first choice if your circumstances allow. 

A laparoscopic or robot-assisted laparoscopic hysterectomy is when the doctor uses a laparoscope, which is a long, thin tube with a light and a camera at the front of it. It’s inserted through a small incision made in the abdomen. Then a few small ( about a half an inch long) incisions are made in the lower belly for additional surgical instruments. Using the camera to find the uterus, the doctor will then remove the uterus.

If you have had an abdominal hysterectomy, you may need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. While you are in the hospital, your doctor will ask you to walk around the hospital as soon as you can — this helps to prevent blood clots from forming in the legs.  The recovery period does not end once you’ve returned home though. For this type of surgery, recovery typically lasts 6 weeks. Worried about a visible scar? Don’t be. Incisions made during this surgery are usually made low in the belly along the natural skin folds to minimize the appearance.

If the procedure was less invasive, i.e., vaginal or laparoscopic-assisted  an overnight hospital stay may not be necessary. Women who have had these kinds of surgeries can go home sooner after the procedure, and the recovery time is much quicker, sometimes only about two weeks. 

During your recovery period, it is recommended that you do not do any kind of heavy lifting or pushing/pulling of any items (i.e., a vacuum cleaning), do not have sexual intercourse for at least 6 weeks, do not put anything (including tampons) into your vagina, and continue to walk as much as possible. Take walks outside or around the house to keep the blood circulating in your legs.

Are you are thinking about having a hysterectomy or have one scheduled, and have questions or concerns? Dr. Ghea is the top female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale, for you to meet with. She can speak with you at length about the procedure, risks, benefits, and of course, give you her best women’s health tips to follow during recovery period following the surgery.

If you are looking for an OBGYN in Plantation, make an appointment with Dr. Ghea at Westside OBGYN Group, a Plantation OBGYN office, by calling 954-473-2011.

Nausea. One of the most notoriously dreaded pregnancy symptoms. 

Why does one of life’s biggest joys make us feel sick? The actual cause of nausea during pregnancy isn’t 100% clear, but according to the American Pregnancy Association, this nausea peaks around the same time as the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone is produced. This is a specific hormone the body produces once the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining, and is usually referred to as a “pregnancy hormone.” 

There are many other theories out there that speculate about the factors that could contribute to this common pregnancy symptom, including things like the production of estrogen during early pregnancy, a sensitive stomach, stress and fatigue. 

This common morning sickness tends to start before you’ve reached the 9 week mark, and can last as long as several weeks or months, or your entire pregnancy — but that’s not always the case. Some women only experience it until the second trimester begins.

While normal nausea and vomiting is completely normal, there is a very small amount of severe cases referred to as hyperemesis gravidarum. This only occurs in up to 3% of pregnancies and is diagnosed if the women has lost 5% of her prepregnancy weight and has problems related to dehydration. In these cases, the woman needs treatment in order to stop the vomiting and restore her body fluids.

If you’re worried about the length of time you feel nauseous or the amount you are vomiting, it’s important to see your doctor or OBGYN right away in case treatment is needed. 

As a female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale who has had a child, Dr. Ghea is an excellent resource to use when you need women’s health tips about how to manage your nausea and any other symptoms you might be experiencing during your pregnancy. 

If the nausea is really getting to you, making a few necessary diet and lifestyle changes will help you feel much better. Take a multivitamin and drink lots of fluids, avoid any smells that bother you, and consume real, fresh ginger (i.e., ginger ale with real ginger, ginger tea, ginger candies and capsules). You can also try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day instead of three larger meals, and follow the “BRATT” diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and tea — bland foods that are low in fat and easy to digest. 

As long as you are staying hydrated and can keep food down, mild to moderate nausea and vomiting will not harm you or your baby. If you are unable to eat a balanced diet due to this nausea, make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin to get the necessary nutrients for you and your baby.

Dr. Ghea, a top female OBGYN in Plantation, is always happy to answer any of your questions about morning sickness, or any questions or concerns you have about your pregnancy in general. If you are looking for a Plantation OBGYN office, Dr. Ghea has appointments available at Westside OBGYN Group. Call 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment.

We are all familiar with the first, second and third trimester during pregnancy, as these time periods are talked about quite often among pregnant women and read about in articles about women’s health tips during pregnancy.

But what about those three months after the baby is born? 

This time frame, which is often referred to as the fourth trimester, are very important to the baby’s development, as well as the relationship that is formed between mother and baby. This time period sets the stage for long-term health and well-being. There are a lot of physical, mental and social changes that occur during the weeks after childbirth, and it’s important for all moms to take care of themselves so they don’t fall too deep into the challenges that can arise during postpartum. 

Almost 70% of women have experienced at least one physical problem within the first year of postpartum. These physical ailments can include fatigue, lack of sleep, pain, difficulty breastfeeding, lack of sexual desire and urinary incontinence. 

New mothers may also experience physical changes to the body after giving birth, such as bleeding or vaginal discharge, sore and/or leaking breasts as she gets used to breastfeeding, and mood swings due to hormonal changes. These mood swings may be barely noticeable for some, but for others there is risk of postpartum depression, where intense feelings of sadness and anxiety may take over and affect her ability to properly take care of herself, and her baby.

These feelings are normal and happen to many mothers, so don’t be ashamed to talk about it. If you are experiencing this, please do reach out to your friends, family, or even a female OBGYN who understands what you are going through. Having that support system is crucial to this recovery period. 

This toolkit, along with help from your OBGYN and healthcare providers, will certainly help you through this transition period, and allow you to recover from birth, nurture your infant, and be the best mother you can be. 

The fourth trimester is a beautiful time in both you and your baby’s life, and it is very important that you take proper care of yourself during this time. If you would like to speak with a female Fort Lauderdale obstetrician about how to care for yourself, mentally and physically, Dr. Ghea is the top OBGYN in Plantation to call. Call Westside OBGYN Group at 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment, or submit a request online.


Once a month is enough, wouldn’t you agree? Sometimes, however, we are surprised by random spotting, or vaginal bleeding occurring between your regular monthly periods. The spotting could be as light as a few drops of blood on your underwear, or you could bleed as much as you would when you start your period. 

Spotting is common. The reasons for this irregular bleeding can vary depending on each individual woman’s health situation, but there are some very common causes, such as pregnancy, birth control and infection. 

Let’s look at these top three reasons for spotting in between periods more closely. 

If you have just become pregnant, you may experience spotting between periods at the time when the fertilized egg has been implanted into the uterus and is starting to grow. This is referred to as implantation bleeding. 

Implantation bleeding may seem like your actual period, but it is different. One of the main ways it differs is in appearance — implantation bleeding may be lighter in color and amount than what you are used to seeing during your period. You won’t experience any aching, pain or cramping like you may during your regular period either. 

Approximately 25-30% of pregnant women will experience some amount of spotting early on in their normal pregnancy. It could also be the sign of a miscarriage. Spotting may also occur during an ectopic pregnancy, which means that a fertilized egg has been implanted on the outside of the uterus. 

Spotting is normal for those who have just started or just stopped taking birth control or estrogen pills. It can also occur if you’ve accidentally missed taking one of those pills. A contraceptive patch, implant, injection or the IUD can also be a cause.

Certain vaginal, cervical and uterine infections and inflammation conditions can cause spotting, as can sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia, gonorrhea and genital warts.

There are other factors that can cause irregular bleeding in between periods, such as your thyroid levels being too high or too low, having pelvic inflammatory disease or polycystic ovary syndrome (PSOS), and vaginal dryness or atrophy after menopause. 

Spotting may also occur because of certain medications, such as blood thinning medications, antidepressants and corticosteroids. It can even happen because of something as simple as stress.

If you notice that your vaginal bleeding has become heavier than normal, you’ve noticed a change in the bleeding pattern or you’ve passed blood clots, it’s time to investigate. This is the time to make sure and visit your OBGYN.

If you experience spotting or irregular bleeding between periods, you may feel confused or worried about what is happening to your body. If you feel any concern, you should reach out to your OBGYN. As a female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea can discuss this matter with you and go over the possibilities of what could be causing the spotting to occur.

If you are looking for a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician to discuss your menstrual cycle with, Dr. Ghea is here to help. You can schedule an appointment with her at her Plantation OBGYN office, Westside OBGYN Group by calling 954-473-2011.

The process of giving birth is a natural and beautiful phenomenon, but labor isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. Whether you decide to perform a natural delivery or not, there are some breathing techniques that may help you through that discomfort. 

Here are some methods to make labor easier on you and your baby. Patterned breathing involves the act of breathing at any range of feasible rates and depths. Some women prefer to breathe deeply through the use of their diaphragm to fill their abdomen with air. Other women favor light breathing, inhaling as much as necessary to fill their chest. Your intention should be to find breathing patterns that leave you feeling calm and relaxed. Your breathing should be at a rate in which you feel comfortable and shouldn’t make you feel winded or light-headed.

As you learn more about labor and birth, you’ll find that different patterns of breathing are used at different stages. You’ll figure out how to use breathing as a way to focus on making every contraction a productive part of the birthing process. 

There are several benefits to mastering patterned breathing. It evolves into an automatic reaction to pain while also making you feel calm, collected, and in control. The steady pace of breathing is comforting throughout labor, and will allow you to be in a more relaxed state and respond in a more positive way to the first sign of pain. The increased oxygen will give you the strength and energy you need. It’ll bring focus to every contraction, making them more productive. You can also apply these techniques whenever you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious.

It’s important to inhale deeply at the start and end of every contraction. This not only helps hone you focus, but also gives off more oxygen for your baby, your muscles and your uterus.

For the first stage of labor, start breathing slowly once your contractions are too intense for you to be able to walk or talk through them without stopping. Breath slowly for as long as you find it useful. Transition to another pattern of breathing if you grow tense and can no longer relax through the contractions.

The key is to take a solid breath and release a big sigh as soon as the contraction starts. Let go of all tension (go limp from head to toe) as you exhale. Focus all your attention on your breath. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth, as you allow all that air to flow out with a sigh. Through each exhale, focus on calming a different part of your body.

Most women feel the need to shift to light accelerated breathing at some point during the active phase of labor. Let the intensity of your contractions help you decide if and when to use light breathing. Breathe in and out quickly through your mouth at about one breath per second. Keep your breathing light. Your inhalations should make no sound, but your exhalation should be detectable.

Accelerate and lighten the breaths you take as the contraction gets more intense. If the contraction peaks earlier than you expected, then you’ll just have to accelerate early within the contraction. If it peaks more progressively, just build up to peak speed at a slower rate. Keep your mouth and shoulders relaxed.

Follow your light breath along with the peak of your contraction by advancing your breath rate. Breathe in and out through your mouth. Once your contractions start to decrease in intensity, you can slow down your breathing rate and return back to breathing through your nose and out your mouth.

Take your final breath and exhale with a sigh when the contraction ends.

There’s also a variation of light breathing referred to as variable (transition) breathing. It’s sometimes called “pant-pant-blow” or “hee-hee-who” breathing. Variable breathing integrates light breathing with a periodic longer or more prominent exhalation. Variable breathing is practiced in the first stage if you feel overwhelmed, unable to relax, in despair, or exhausted.

For this type of breathing, focus your attention on your partner or a focal point (i.e. a photo). Make sure to breathe through your mouth taking light breaths at a rate of 5-20 breaths in 10 seconds during the contraction.

After every second, third, fourth, or fifth breath, let out a longer breath. You may attempt expressing this longer exhale with a “who.”

When the contraction finishes, take one or two deep breaths with a sigh.

There will be times throughout both stages of labor when you’ll want to push or bear down, but it’s not the right time. Most women try to hold their breath during these especially challenging moments. Avoid holding your breath by breathing in and out consistently or by raising your chin and blowing or panting. This will keep you from adding to the pushing that your body is already doing.

For the second stage of labor, you’ll want to practice expulsion breathing. It’s helpful for when the cervix is completely dilated.

As you take a deep breath and allow your body to loosen up, focus on the baby moving down and out, or on another positive image.

Breathe slowly and let the contraction assist you. Speed up or lighten your breathing if necessary for comfort. When you can’t resist the urge to push, take a large breath, tuck your chin to your chest, curl your body and lean forward. Then bear down, while holding your breath or slowly letting out air by grunting or moaning. Remember to lax the pelvic floor. Help the baby come down by freeing any tension in the perineum.

After 5-6 seconds, let go of your breath, and breathe in and out. How hard you push is determined by your sensation. You will continue the process until the contraction dies down. The urge to push will come and go like waves throughout the contraction. Use these breaks as a chance to breathe deeply and sustain oxygen to your blood and baby.

When the contraction ends, allow your body to relax and take one or two calming breaths.

Learning breathing techniques such as these can help you feel less intimidated and more prepared for when the due date comes knocking. For more important women’s health tips like these, you can talk to Dr. Ghea, a female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale who devotes herself to making sure you’re comfortable, answering all of your questions, and easing you through those intense months of pregnancy. 

If you’re in need of a female obstetrician who you can feel open with speaking to about your pregnancy and well-being, make an appointment to visit her office at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or by filling out a request online!

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