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Breastfeeding may seem like it should come naturally to new moms once they’ve given birth, but it’s also a skill that, like many things in life, requires practice. If you’re pregnant and this is your first go at breastfeeding, don’t stress! Here are some common breastfeeding FAQs to help calm those nerves. 

The first question that probably crosses most soon-to-be-mothers’ minds is how does breastfeeding benefit the baby? Breastfeeding benefits your baby in the following ways: 

Breast milk has the right amount of sugar, fat, water, protein, and minerals necessary for a baby’s growth and development. As your baby grows, your breast milk changes to accommodate to the baby’s fluctuating nutritional needs. Breast milk is easier to digest as opposed to formula. Breast milk carries antibodies that protect infants from diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, allergies, etc. Infants who are breastfed have a lower chance of facing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Any amount of breastfeeding helps lower this risk. If your baby is born preterm, breast milk can actually help lessen the risk of many of the short-term and long-term health issues that preterm babies go through, like necrotizing enterocolitis or other infections. 

With this being said, another important question would be how does breastfeeding benefit you? Breastfeeding benefits you in the following ways: 

Breastfeeding burns about 500 calories per day, which could make it easier to lose that weight you gain during pregnancy. Women who breastfeed for longer periods of time have lower rates of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Women who breastfeed have lower rates of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin that makes the uterus contract. This helps the uterus revert back to its regular size faster and can subside the amount of bleeding you experience after giving birth. 

Now you know the benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby, but how long should a mother breastfeed? It is recommended that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the initial 6 months of life, followed by continuous breastfeeding combined with the introduction of appropriate complementary foods for a year or so. The more time an infant is breastfed, the better protection from certain illnesses and long-term diseases there is. However, any amount of breastfeeding has benefits so don’t stress if you do not reach your original duration goals. 

The longer a woman breastfeeds (combined breastfeeding of all her kids), the greater the benefits to her health as well. Children should be introduced to foods besides breast milk or infant formula when they’re about 6 months old. 

When should you start to breastfeed? Most healthy newborns are ready to breastfeed within the first hour after birth. Hold your baby directly against your bare skin right after birth. Doing so will trigger reflexes that help your baby to latch onto to your breast. As your baby latches on and starts to breastfeed intently, you may feel a tingly pins-and-needles sensation. Not all babies latch on within the first hour. Don’t worry if your baby takes a little longer. 

How will you know when your baby’s hungry? When babies are hungry, they’ll nuzzle against your breast, suck on their hands, flex their arms and fingers, and clench their fists. Crying is typically a late sign of hunger. Once they’re full, they relax their arms, legs, and hands and close their eyes. 

How will you know your baby is getting enough milk? Your baby’s tummy is very tiny, and breast milk empties from a baby’s stomach more quickly than formula. Based on those reasons alone, you’re looking at having to breastfeed at least 8 to 12 times within 24 hours throughout the first weeks of your baby’s life. If it’s been over 4 hours since the last feeding, you might have to wake up your baby to feed them. Once your breast milk transitions from colostrum to mature milk, your baby will soak at least six diapers a day with urine and have at least three bowel movements a day. After 10 days, your baby should be back up to near birth weight. Although breastfeeding works for most women, it may not work for everyone. 

What are the different stages of breast milk, and how can they be distinguished? Breast milk has three different and distinct stages: colostrum, transitional milk, and mature milk. Colostrum is the first stage of breast milk. It happens throughout pregnancy and lasts for several days after birth. It looks either yellowish or creamy in color. It’s also a lot thicker than the milk that’s produced later in breastfeeding. Colostrum is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins are antibodies that transfer from the momma to the baby and give off passive immunity for the baby, protecting them from bacterial and viral illnesses. Two to four days after birth, colostrum will be replenished by transitional milk. 

Transitional milk comes after colostrum and lasts for roughly two weeks. It is comprised of high contents of fat, lactose, and water-soluble vitamins, and has more calories than colostrum. 

Mature milk is the last of the milk that’s produced. 90% of it is water, which is imperative to keep the infant hydrated. The other 10% is made up of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that are essential for both growth and energy. 

If this is your first time with breastfeeding, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Dr. Ghea, a top female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, will happily go over all the breastfeeding concerns you may have while also providing you with other necessary women’s health tips, and can help you plan accordingly for a productive start to breastfeeding. 

Call 954-473-2011 to request an appointment with her offices at Westside OB/GYN Group or fill out an online request today! 

When you discovered that you were having a boy, you probably started to consider the option of circumcision. The choice to have your son circumcised is not an easy one to make, and can include a number of factors based on your culture, religion, and personal preferences.

Remember that boys are born with skin that covers the head of the penis, referred to as foreskin. During circumcision, that foreskin is surgically removed. Circumcision is generally done within the first one to three weeks after the baby’s born.

Despite the potential benefits and risks, note that circumcision is neither crucial nor detrimental to your son’s health.

Usually the decision to circumcise has to do with religious beliefs, concerns regarding hygiene, preventive health care, or various other cultural or social determinants. Circumcision is common among the United States, Canada, and the Middle East. More specifically, for centuries it has been a religious or cultural ritual for many Jewish and Islamic families. Circumcision is less common in Asia, South America, Central America, and most of Europe.

Circumcision reduces the bacteria that can live beneath the foreskin. With that being said, it may decrease urinary tract infections in infants, penile cancer in adult men, and may also lower the threat of sexually transmitted infections. Some people feel that it eases hygiene by making it simpler to clean the penis. Even so, boys with uncircumcised penises can still be taught to wash regularly under the foreskin.

In most cases, the skin should heal in roughly 7–10 days. You may notice that the tip of the penis is slightly red and there might be a small amount of yellow fluid. Don’t worry — this typically is a normal sign of healing. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding post-procedure care and signs when you should call.

There are rare occasions where circumcision can result in problems with the foreskin, such as it being cut too short or too long, failing to heal properly, or the leftover foreskin reattaching to the end of the penis, which would require minor surgical repair. Some risks  include bleeding, infection, or scarring.

Circumcision should only be performed when the newborn is stable and healthy. A few reasons to temporarily delay the procedure would be if the baby is born very early, has certain issues with his blood or a family history of bleeding disorders, or if the baby has congenital abnormalities.

At the end of the day, it is your call whether or not to have your son circumcised. Because circumcision is an elective procedure, it might not be covered by your health insurance policy. Make sure to call your health insurance provider to find out if your policy covers the procedure.
If you have any questions or concerns about circumcision or other women’s health tips, contact Dr. Ghea, a female OBGYN in Plantation, and set up an appointment in her office at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or filling out an online request. She will give you all the information you need about circumcision and answer any of your questions and concerns.

Before freaking out if you miss your pill and trying to self-diagnose on Google, read this to have a better understanding of what you should do after you’ve missed the pill. Giving yourself anxiety about it will only make you feel worse!

Even though the pill is reported as being 99 percent effective, the reality is that the pill has to be taken properly in order for that to be the case. This means taking it at the same time every single day.

The effectiveness of your birth control pill tends to crash if you accidentally miss a dose. This raises the likelihood of pregnancy, but it’s all dependent on where exactly you are in your cycle and what type of pill you’re on. 

If you’re on the pill that has progestin and estrogen, you’re at highest risk of unwanted pregnancy if you missed one pill during the first week of a new pack and had sex within the last 5 days. 

If you happen to miss a placebo or sugar pill, don’t lose your cool. Since they don’t include hormones, they shouldn’t affect your chances of preventing pregnancy. 

If you’re on progestin-only birth control and you happen to be more than three hours late taking it, it’s more likely for you to get pregnant. 

Generally speaking, progestin-only pill packs don’t include sugar pills, so be sure to follow precautions accordingly if you do forget to take any of your pills.

If you’re taking combined contraceptive pills, technically you don’t actually need backup birth control or emergency contraception unless you already missed more than one pill since combined oral contraceptives prevent ovulation. 

If you missed another pill during your last cycle or earlier in your current cycle and you’ve had unprotected sex, you might want to save yourself with emergency contraception like the Plan B.

If you haven’t had sex but missed more than one pill throughout this cycle or in between this cycle and the last one, use a condom the next time you have sex. 

Continue using extra protection until you’ve finally taken seven hormonal pills in a row. Or just play it safe and don’t have sex until you’ve reached this point.  

If you take progestin-only birth control and you missed your time to take it by more than three hours, you need to use backup birth control until you’ve taken the pill on time for two consecutive days.

If you’ve had sex after forgetting to take your pill, you may want to consider going for that emergency contraception option.

Once you realize you missed your regularly scheduled pill, take it right away. Then, take your next pill when you normally would.

Be aware that there are side effects to doubling up. The most common side effect of doubling up if you missed your birth control pill is nausea because of the high level of hormones in your body. Some women find that taking their pill with a snack or a meal decreases those chances.

If you’re still worried about whether or not you can remember to take the pill on a regular basis, try taking the pill after doing something you would normally do at the end of the day, like brushing your teeth. That first habit will be your cue to remember to take it. You can also set a reminder on your phone, or find an app that reminds you every day at the same time to take it. 

If you find yourself forgetting your pill (and are nervous about an unwanted pregnancy) on more than one occasion, you might want to think about getting on another method of birth control that is more low-maintenance, such as an IUD or the ring. It can lead to hormonal imbalance if you’re on the pill and don’t take it on the daily. That’s why it’s good to have a trustworthy OBGYN to help figure out what’s best for you based on your habits and preferences.

If you want to explore other options of birth control besides the pill, reach out to Dr. Ghea, a female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale who aims to make you feel at peace, not just with your body – but also with your mind. Based on your needs, she will list the pros and cons to each method you consider, and suggest which would fit best into your lifestyle. 

You can either call 954-473-2011 to make an appointment with her at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation OBGYN office, or fill out a request online.

Now that you just had your baby, you’ve got a lot to think about: when to feed them, what to do when they cry… 

And how to lose that stubborn baby fat you packed on during your pregnancy. 

Every new mom is eager to get back her pre-baby body, but one of the most important things to keep in mind is to be patient with yourself. 

Here are some tips to help you lose those extra pounds after pregnancy and feel confident in your body again.

Getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight can realistically happen in about 6 to 12 months following delivery. Most women lose half of their baby weight by 6 weeks after childbirth (postpartum). The rest typically comes off over the next set of months. 

A healthy diet with regular exercise will help you drop the pounds. Breastfeeding can also help with postpartum weight loss.

As a new mom, your body needs maximum nutrition, especially if you’re nursing. 

You need to give your body the time to fully recover from childbirth. If you lose weight too quickly after childbirth, it may make your recovery time take longer. Give yourself until your 6-week checkup before making an attempt to slim down. If you’re breastfeeding, wait until your baby is at least 2 months old and your milk supply has normalized before drastically cutting calories.

Set attainable goals, like losing about a pound and a half a week. You can accomplish this by eating healthy foods and incorporating exercise once you’re approved by your OBGYN for regular physical activity.

Women who exclusively breastfeed need about 500 more calories per day than they did before pregnancy. Get these calories from healthy choices like fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t drop below the minimum number of calories you’re required to have. 

If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to lose weight at a slow pace. Weight loss that happens too quickly can make you produce less milk. Losing about a pound and a half (670 grams) a week shouldn’t affect your milk supply or your health. 

Breastfeeding causes your body to burn calories, and that will definitely help with losing weight. If you’re patient, you might be in for a pleasant surprise at how much weight you lose naturally while breastfeeding.

There are a few strategies where you can eat to lose weight. These healthy eating tips will help you lose weight safely.

Don’t skip meals! With a new baby, many new moms forget to make time for a meal. If you don’t eat, you’ll have less energy, and it definitely won’t help you lose weight. Aim to eat at least 5 to 6 small meals throughout your day with healthy snacks in between (instead of 3 bigger meals).

Eat breakfast. Even if you aren’t used to having breakfast, get into the habit of eating every morning. Not only will it give you the energy you need to start your day, but it’ll also keep you from feeling drowsy later on.

Slow down. When you take your time eating, you’ll notice that it’s easier to tell that you’re full. As tempting as it may be for you to multitask, try to focus on your meal one bite at a time since you’ll be less prone to overeat.

Pick nonfat or low-fat dairy products

When you’re craving a snack, try to go for foods that include fiber and protein to help keep you full (i.e. raw bell pepper or carrot with bean dip, apple slices with peanut butter, or a slice of whole-wheat toast with a hard-boiled egg). 

Stay hydrated and drink at least 12 cups a day. Keep a water bottle close to where you normally feed the baby. That way you’ll remember to quench your thirst when they do.

Limit drinks like sodas, juices, and other beverages with added sugar and calories. They can add up and make it harder for you to lose weight.

Choose broiled or baked over fried foods.

Limit sweets, sugar, saturated fat and trans fats.

Don’t crash and burn. Avoid going on a crash diet (not eating enough) or a fad diet (popular diets that restrict certain kinds of foods and nutrients). They’ll probably make you drop pounds in the beginning, but those first few pounds you lose are fluids that will come right back. 

Other pounds you lose on a crash diet may be muscle instead of fat. You’ll gain back any fat you lose on a crash diet the moment you get back to your old eating habits. 

Be Realistic. You might not be able to return to your exact pre-pregnancy shape. For many women, pregnancy causes lasting changes in the body. You might have a softer belly, wider hips, and a larger waistline. Make your goals regarding your new body realistic

Exercise will also help you lose fat rather than muscle. 

Once you’re prepared to start losing weight, eat a bit less and move a little more day by day. Although you may feel the urge to push yourself into a hard routine for fast weight loss, rapid weight loss isn’t healthy and takes a toll on your body. 

You don’t want to overdo it. Just a quick walk around the block with your baby in the stroller is a great way to start adding exercise to your daily routine.

If you want more women’s health tips like these or are still struggling to lose that stubborn baby fat, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea, a top female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale, by calling 954-473-2011, visiting her office at Westside OB/GYN Group, or filling out an online request. 

She’ll be more than happy to get you closer to achieving your goal – to be a happy, healthy, and positive role model for your little one!

Hurricane season is here. For those of you who are expecting, you should take extra precautions for the sake of you and your little one’s health and safety during a storm. 

Here are some simple safety tips for pregnant women in the case of a Hurricane.

  • Make a list of all hospitals that provide obstetric care along your evacuation route, as well as in your final destination location should you choose to evacuate. 
  • If it’s close to your delivery date or you’re considered high-risk, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider’s office to make your whereabouts known to them. Discuss whether it is safe for you to leave prior to the storm. Have phone numbers and locations of local obstetricians in case you can’t reach your usual health care provider.
  • If you decide to evacuate, have a copy of your medical documents, such as prenatal care, immunizations and medications. Don’t forget your hospital bag! Should you evacuate or go to a shelter, notify necessary personnel right away that you’re pregnant. Make sure to have all information regarding local hospitals in the area handy.
  • Create a family communication strategy so everyone knows what has to be done before, during, and after the storm.

Though all these tips are important, remember that hurricanes don’t directly cause labor to occur. Labor is anticipated any time between 37 to 42 weeks and is something that should be planned for properly. With that being said, here are some more tips to make sure things run smoothly in the event that there is a Hurricane. 

  • If you have to relocate, bring any medications, like prenatal vitamins and prescriptions. You should bring enough to last up to around two weeks.
  • Learn the signs of preterm labor.Contact help as soon as possible if you experience any feeling of your baby pushing down, abdominal cramps, low, subtle backaches, leaking vaginal fluid or bleeding, or contractions every 10 minutes or more.

Planning for the birth of a child, especially during hurricane season, is not easy. Having a female OBGYN to guide you along the way while also providing you with more women’s health tips like these can come in handy for times like these. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea, an OBGYN in Plantation, contact Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 to discuss your options, ease the process, and make this occasion free from stress. 

It’s summer time, and you know what that means! It’s hot, it’s humid, and if you’re pregnant, you’re feeling heavy with child. Heat and humidity is already unpleasant for most people, but it takes an even greater toll on pregnant women. Don’t let this discourage you, there are tons of ways for you to cope with the heat without losing your cool!

Sunscreen and the shade are your best friends — always apply sunscreen with a high SPF and stay in the shade whenever possible. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can make your skin more susceptible to chloasma, which are those unwanted dark splotches on the face or arms that sometimes appear throughout pregnancy. 

Being pregnant is no excuse to deprive yourself of outdoor activities, but you just have to make sure to take extra precautions in order to protect yourself and your baby. During pregnancy, women should be especially careful when it comes to sun exposure because it may lead to overheating and dehydration.

While you’re pregnant, your body temperature is slightly higher than usual, so it’s inevitable that the added heat from the outside temperature can make you feel uncomfortable.

Since pregnant women already have a certain degree of heat intolerance, it gives all the more reason for moms-to-be to be consistent with keeping a close eye on the heat warnings. 

If the heat index (how hot the temperature feels due to the combination of humidity and heat) is up in the 90s, that’s the kind of day to stay indoors as much as possible with plenty of air conditioning. Applying a cool, damp washcloth to the back of your neck, your forehead, or the top of your head is also another great way to keep your body temperature down.

If you perspire heavily as a result of the heat, make sure you drink a great deal of fluids. Water is always good, but so are orange juice and sports drinks, which substitute for electrolytes that are sweating away with the heat.

Too much water can be as much of an issue as too little, causing a condition referred to as water intoxication. Over hydrating with water is actually a thing, and it can water down your electrolytes, which can result in fatigued muscles, cramps, and in extreme scenarios, unconsciousness.

If you’re thirsty, then chances are you’re already dehydrated, so make sure you have something to drink with you at all times. Here are some more tips to get you through the heat of the summer!

  • As Dory says, just keep swimming! Not only does it cool you off, but it also helps by taking some of the pressure off your sciatic nerve. Swimming in the ocean is fine, just as long as the waves aren’t strong enough to knock you down.
  • Wear breathable fabrics to avoid sweating. This will keep you cooler while also helping to prevent heat rash that can surface under your breasts and abdomen, which is a common predicament for pregnant women.
  • Bring a water-filled squirt bottle with you so that you can spray yourself whenever you start to feel hot.
  • Exercise at cooler times of the day and avoid engaging in physical activity to the point of overheating.

When it comes to working out, always get the okay from your OBGYN before you decide to start or continue an exercise routine.

Breathing is also a very essential component in keeping cool. Breathing releases heat, so make sure to maintain a healthy breathing pattern (some people either breathe too quickly or too slowly), and if you’re having a hard time breathing because of things you can’t do much about like allergies or asthma, then stay indoors. 

If you also happen to experience the first sign of weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, or excessive thirst, get indoors.

Another common dilemma among summer pregnancies is leg swelling, or physiologic edema. If the second half of pregnancy goes on during the summer months, the degree of leg swelling can increase drastically.

If you experience any leg swelling while pregnant, there are definitely ways to go about this. Simply lying down for 30 to 60 minutes a day and keeping your legs elevated while sleeping will help. To do so, make sure to roll up a towel or blanket under your mattress at the foot of the bed. It’d also be wise to wear comfy shoes. You could also try wearing a pair that’s half a size bigger than your typical size. 

Try to set time aside to walk at least two to three times a week at cooler times of the day. 

Whatever you do, don’t wear constrictive clothes, particularly around the waistline, and definitely avoid standing in one place for too long. Try your best to reduce your intake of salt without completely taking it out of your diet, since the iodide contained in the salt is good for the fetus. Don’t take any diuretic substances either, because the loss of electrolytes could potentially endanger the fetus as well.

Now that you know the dos and don’ts, don’t be a summer bummer! 

If you follow all these tips, you should be able to beat the heat and get back to savoring the anticipation of awaiting your baby’s arrival. If you’re looking for other women’s health care tips like these or simply want more guidelines to get you through your summer pregnancy, Dr. Ghea is the female OBGYN to ask. With Dr. Ghea, there is no such thing as a silly question, so ask away! 

She’ll make sure you are completely comfortable throughout the entire process. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment, you can either fill out an online application or call 954-473-2011 to visit her Plantation OBGYN office at Westside OB/GYN Group.

If you’re trying to have a baby, being healthy before, during and after pregnancy encompasses so many different aspects of your life. A healthy momma-to-be and a healthy pregnancy go hand-in-hand. Here are some tips for having a healthy pregnancy that can come in handy when you’re expecting.

Early Prenatal Care

Make sure to find a good OBGYN and determine a place where you plan to deliver. during the early stages of your pregnancy so that you get the prenatal care that you need. It’s always best to plan the necessary ultrasound scans and tests ahead of time, so that you’re not only aware of them, but also well-prepared.

Eat Wholesome and Nutritious Food

Your body feeds off of energy. Eating whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, organic meats and dairy products will give you and your baby the right amount of nutrients. These foods are made up of minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids and other essential nutrients. Although you need food to keep you going, you also need to watch what you eat. By all means, avoid junk food!

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated helps with regulating your amniotic fluid levels. Try and make it your daily goal to drink at least 10 glasses of water. Dehydration can lead to morning sickness, drowsiness, and cramps, as well as contractions during the second and third trimesters. Drinking water also helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, UTIs, fatigue, headaches, swelling, and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

During the time when you are trying to conceive, it’s wise to start taking prenatal vitamins. Your baby’s neural cord, which becomes the brain and spinal cord, develops during the first month of pregnancy It’s important you get nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, and iron from the very beginning.

Exercise Regularly

Your body is going to go through many changes. One of the most prominent changes is your shape and weight. Fitting regular exercise into your schedule will help you stay healthy and flexible. Exercise helps to cope with stress and goes a long way in helping you in terms of labor and motherhood.

Staying active is important for your overall well-being and can help you control your weight, improve circulation, enhance your mood, and get better sleep.

Pilates, yoga, swimming, and walking are also great activities for most pregnant women, but be sure to check with your OBGYN beforehand. Try and devote 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Listen to your body, though, and don’t push your limit.

Get Some Rest

Getting enough sleep is important during pregnancy. Try and get as much sleep as you can, and rest your feet as much as possible. Some yoga and deep breathing can also help you relax and stay calm. You may feel like you’re busy now, but the moment the baby comes, you’ll have even less time for yourself. 

Avoid Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking

Avoid alcohol because it reaches your baby through the blood and can cause birth defects. Drugs and smoking are also equally as dangerous because of their effect on the baby’s growth and health. Smoking cigarettes decreases oxygen flow to your baby and is associated with preterm birth and other complications. 

Reduce Caffeine and Recharge with Fruits

It’s much healthier for you to recharge yourself with fruit instead of caffeine. Caffeine has been known to increase the chances of miscarriage. Pregnant women are low on iron, and caffeine makes it more challenging for your body to absorb iron. Most doctors advise limiting caffeine throughout pregnancy. If you’re used to your morning java, replace that urge with a quick pick-me-up by nibbling on some fruit. 

Be environmentally aware

If you’re exposed to toxic chemicals, pesticides, radioactive elements, lead, or mercury at your workplace or home on the regular, you should reach out to your OBGYN for advice since these are hazardous to you and your baby.

See Your Dentist

See your dentist before you get pregnant and brush your teeth daily. Hormonal changes during pregnancy causes weaker gums. An increase in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause bleeding and tender gums. So, oral care is especially crucial throughout pregnancy.

Watch Your Emotional Health

Due to hormonal shifts during pregnancy, you’ll probably go through occasional mood swings and emotional ups and downs. If you think you’re depressed and it’s affecting you, don’t be afraid to ask for help to try and bounce back to normalcy.

Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles

Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support your bladder, bowels, and uterus. If done properly, these simple exercises can help promise a smoother delivery and prevent future problems with incontinence. The best part about it is that nobody can tell you’re doing them, so if you wanted to, you could practice kegels whether you’re sitting in the car or standing in line at the grocery store. All you have to do is practice squeezing as if you’re stopping the flow of urine when you use the bathroom, hold it for three seconds, then relax for three, and then repeat this 10 times.

Track Your Weight Gain

A steady increase in your weight indicates your baby’s growth. Keeping track of your weight is important to ensure that you’re on the right track. Normal weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds, if you are at a normal weight at the beginning of your pregnancy. Your doctor’s recommendations will vary if you are above or below a normal BMI.

Dress comfy

Go ahead and get yourself comfortable clothes. As your weight and shape will be changing rapidly, putting on tight clothing could be very uncomfortable and in some cases, even dangerous for you and your baby..

Wear Appropriate Footwear

As your pregnancy progresses, your weight gain shifts the center of gravity and applies a painful pressure on your feet. So, it’s beneficial to wear comfy, nonrestrictive shoes when you’re pregnant. Many expectant moms find they need a bigger shoe size even after they’ve given birth, so go a step up if you have to.

Take Care of Your Skin

Pregnancy makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so you’re more prone to sunburn and chloasma, those dark, blotchy spots that sometimes show up on the face. Remember to apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and put on your favorite pair of shades before heading outdoors!

Pamper Yourself

Although you have to watch what you eat, listen to your body and give in to the cravings that pop up sometimes. Treat yourself with a lunch out, a manicure, a much-needed day out with your friends, or by going out for a quiet stroll. These activities relieve both you and the baby.

Educate Yourself

Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, going to a childbirth class will make you feel more prepared for delivery. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn more about childbirth and infant care, but you can ask questions and voice any concerns.

Now is also the time to review your family’s medical history. Go over things with your obgyn including issues with past pregnancies, and inform them about any family tendencies of birth defects. 

Stress Management

Pregnancy-related lifestyle changes and hormonal changes can be stressful. Life during pregnancy is a rollercoaster ride and may be overwhelming. So, finding ways to control stress is important. You can manage stress by changing the way you respond to situations at home or at work. Meditation, yoga, and doing arts and crafts can help to de-stress.

Talk to Your Baby

Talking to your baby can be a remarkable and soul-soothing exercise. It helps you establish the bond and communicate with your little one. You can tell your baby how you feel about your family, the food you eat and activities that you enjoy. You could also sing and read to your baby!
If you’re looking to speak with an obstetrician in Fort Lauderdale for more pregnancy care tips or general women’s health tips, give Dr. Ghea, a top female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, a call at 954-473-2011 to set up an appointment at Westside OB/GYN Group.

If you’ve ever gotten a Pap smear, it’s equally important to get familiar with the lowdown on Colposcopy. But to do so, you must first understand what it actually means.

So, what exactly is a Colposcopy anyway?

Well, for starters, a colposcopy is a procedure to closely examine your cervix, vagina and vulva. The doctor may at this time also perform a biopsy, which is used in attempts to help diagnose cervical cancer.

While a Pap smear helps your OBGYN look out for any cell changes on the cervix, a colposcopy inspects those abnormal cells with the use of a microscope and bright light. The colposcope, which is a decently-sized microscope, does not get inserted into the vagina, but magnifies the cervix to have a better view of any sort of changes. It’s essentially a slightly more intricate version of a Pap smear.

Though this information may seem a bit on the scary side, there’s no need to freak out or be on the fence about it. The procedure isn’t something to be afraid of – in fact, it is very similar to the process of a pelvic exam. You’ll lay down with your legs in stirrups while your OBGYN inserts the speculum. The colposcope is positioned 8 to 10 inches from the vagina with a bright light. Your provider will use a vinegar solution or something of that nature to help highlight any abnormal areas and tissues.

Colposcopies are usually suggested by your OBGYN if your Pap smear shows any abnormal cervical cells. There are 2 types of biopsies: the one that removes tissue from outside your cervix, and the other that takes tissue from inside the opening of your cervix. Sometimes you are required to have more than one biopsy.

Try not to schedule your examination while you are menstruating. For at least 24 hours before the examination, you shouldn’t do any form of douching, or use tampons along with any other products that enter the vagina, have sex, or use any vaginal medications.

Some might suggest taking a pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen just before your colposcopy appointment. You want to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible, while avoiding any chances of slight pain or discomfort.

If abnormal tissue is found, small pieces of tissue can be removed from your vagina and/or cervix thanks to the use of biopsy instruments. 

Your OBGYN might apply a solution to the area of the biopsy to decrease bleeding.

A colposcopy normally doesn’t cause any more discomfort than an average Pap smear. Some women, however, tend to feel a sting from the acetic acid solution used for the procedure.

Cervical biopsies can cause some issues like a slight pinch from when each tissue gets removed, discomfort, cramping, and pain, that can last for up to 1 to 2 days, or even slight vaginal bleeding and a coffee-colored vaginal discharge that could last up to a week.

There’s no recovery time unless you go through a biopsy. You can go about your daily activities once it’s over with.

In the case that you do end up having a biopsy during your colposcopy, you might need to limit your activity to allow your cervix to heal.

Reach out to your OBGYN if you feel any heavy vaginal bleeding, severe pain in the lower abdomen, or a fever or chills following after your examination.

Remember how important it is to get regular Pap smears as it’s always better to be safe than sorry! If you are looking for a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale who you can feel comfortable with,, Dr. Ghea is the one for you to call! She is more than happy to take care of you while also providing you with all the women’s health tips you may need. Book an appointment with her today at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, by calling 954-473-2011.

Endometriosis, sometimes referred to as “endo,” is a common health issue among women. Its name comes from the word endometrium, the tissue that usually lines the uterus or womb. Endometriosis occurs when tissue matching the uterine lining (the lining of the womb) spreads outside of your uterus and on other parts in your body where it doesn’t belong. Endometriosis is typically found in the lower abdomen or pelvis, but can develop anywhere in the body. 

In many instances, endometriosis can turn up on your ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissues that keep the uterus in position, and the outermost surface of the uterus. Other areas for growths may include the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. It is rare for endometriosis to show up in other sections of the body, such as the lungs, brain, and skin.

Women with endometriosis more often than not experience lower abdominal pain, pain with periods,pain during or after sex, digestive problems, pain with urination, and may even struggle with infertility. However, some women with endometriosis may not face any symptoms whatsoever.

It’s important that you speak with your obgyn if you start to notice or feel any of these symptoms.

No one knows the exact cause of this disease, but there are several theories. A few possible explanations would be:

  • Issues with menstrual period flow. Retrograde menstrual flow is the most probable cause of endometriosis. Some of the tissue dispersed throughout your period flows through the fallopian tube into other areas of the body, like the pelvis.
  • Genetics. Because endometriosis can sometimes be hereditary, it may be passed down in your genes.
  • Immune system. A bad immune system may fail to detect and wipe out endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus. Immune system disorders and ovarian cancer are more common in women with endometriosis.
  • Hormones. The hormone estrogen seems to boost endometriosis.
  • Surgery. When you undergo a surgery in the abdominal area, such as a C-section or hysterectomy, endometrial tissue could be picked up and moved. For example, endometrial tissue has been spotted in abdominal scars.

The major drawback of endometriosis is impaired fertility. About one-third to one-half of women with endometriosis have a hard time getting pregnant.

Infertility can happen from endometriosis creating adherences that entrap the egg close to the ovary, making it challenging for it to properly travel down the fallopian tube to be fertilized by sperm.

But don’t let this scare you! According to the Mayo Clinic, plenty of women with mild to moderate endometriosis are still able to get pregnant – it just might take more time, so be patient with your body!

There are a couple of factors that determine a woman’s treatment, including age, the severity of her symptoms, and whether the patient wants to become pregnant. Be sure to discuss your treatment options with your OB/GYN.

If you’re not looking to get pregnant, hormonal birth control is normally the first step in treatment. This may consist of:

  • Extended-cycle (you only get a few periods a year) or continuous cycle (you don’t get periods) birth control. These types of hormonal contraceptives are offered in the form of a pill or a shot and help stop bleeding and diminish or get rid of pain.
  • IUD to help minimize pain and bleeding. The hormonal IUD prevents pregnancy for up to seven years (how many years may vary based on which brand you choose). But the hormonal IUD might not take care of your pain and bleeding due to endometriosis for that long.

Hormonal treatment functions only as long as it’s taken and is suited for women who don’t experience severe pain or symptoms.

If you are attempting to get pregnant, your obgyn might prescribe a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist. This medicine keeps the body from developing the hormones responsible for ovulation and the growth of endometriosis. This treatment triggers a temporary menopause, but it also helps regulate the spread of endometriosis. Once you stop taking the medicine, you’ll start getting your period again, but you may have a better shot at getting pregnant.

Surgery is mainly an option for severe symptoms, when hormones aren’t doing the trick or if you’re dealing with fertility complications. During the operation, the surgeon can track down any areas of endometriosis and can take out the endometriosis patches. Following surgery, hormone treatment is commonly restarted unless you’re trying to get pregnant.

Alternative treatments you can try, by yourself or with any of the treatments previously mentioned, involve:

  • Pain medicine. For mild symptoms, your OB/GYN may recommend taking over-the-counter medicines for pain, such as ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve).
  • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Some women find alleviation from pain thanks to therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbs like cinnamon twig or licorice root, or supplements, such as thiamine (vitamin B1), magnesium, or omega-3 fatty acids.

If you come across symptoms of endometriosis, you’re more than welcome to sit down and chat with Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale. Once you speak with her, she’ll figure out the best method to diagnose and treat it based on what you’re going through and happily walk you through the process, whether it’s to help you get pregnant, or just to feel better. To schedule an appointment, give her a call at 954-473-2011, or stop by her Plantation obgyn office at Westside OB/GYN Group.

Let’s face it — talking about certain topics can sometimes make us feel uncomfortable. As kids, many of us were taught that discussing bathroom habits and sexual issues was not acceptable or taboo. It only makes sense then, as grown women, that we generally shy away from bringing up topics related to bladder and bowel control, sexual discomfort, and pain “down there”, which all happen to be symptoms of pelvic floor disorders.

More often than not, women experience symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, such as pelvic pain, bladder pain, urinary leaks, constipation and pain during sex for six years before pursuing medical help. At times, the muscular pelvic system isn’t quite necessarily the source of the pain, but the muscles are almost always involved in some sort of way.

There are very distinct causes for pelvic pain that lead to very different treatment plans, and these are plans that only a professional can help guide.

Luckily, more healthcare providers are endorsing pelvic floor physical therapy before, or as an alternative to, surgery.

Women who are experiencing any type of pain during sex or pelvic pain in general are encouraged to look into physical therapy as a treatment option. If you’re thinking about seeking pelvic floor therapy, here are some things you should know to be prepared.

For starters, despite popular belief, it’s not solely for new moms. Sturdier, more synchronized pelvic floor muscles are an advantage to everyone, so new mothers aren’t the only ones who benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy.

Another thing to know is how it’s not as invasive as one might believe.

Anything mentioning the term “pelvic” sounds clinical and can make some people automatically picture hospital gowns and feet-in stirrups. The visit will begin by asking questions about your symptoms focusing on those that are most bothersome to you. Your physical therapist should ask for a good amount of information There are certain important factors to address like water intake, how frequently you pee, bowel habits, sexual pain, and taking a look at your back and range of motion. That gives patients a chance to get comfortable with their PT.

Note that pelvic floor rehabilitation is not all about Kegels. Kegels involve contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles, which keeps your uterus and bladder in place above your vagina. The idea is to identify the right muscles to contract and relax. One method is to attempt to stop your stream of pee while you’re peeing. If you are able to do this, you’ve got the basic move figured out. (But don’t start and pause your stream on a regular basis, as that may do harm.)

You also might have to re-learn how to do pelvic floor contractions, or if not at the very least learn how to loosen up overly tight pelvic muscles. More contractions aren’t always the best for you, though. Constantly putting tension on your pelvic floor muscles is almost like perpetually having your shoulders stuck in a shrug. It truly has to do with learning to work your pelvic floor muscles the proper way.

“Urine” trouble” if you can’t figure out what else pelvic floor therapy helps with. Believe it or not, it can help you poop!

It can help with toilet troubles; as bowel dysfunction and constipation are progressively prevalent and a cause of sexual pain and urinary leaks. This is because of toilets being created on higher levels to favor an aging population when we’re supposed to be able to perform “when nature calls” in a squatting position.

It has all to do with strength, and nothing to do with weakness. PT is about understanding how to coordinate pelvic floor muscles so they can stimulate at the right time and relax at other times.

Pelvic pain has become the norm for too many people, but that doesn’t mean you should let it be yours. Fixing your floor is worthwhile, and also helps with menopause symptoms. Because it’s such an intimate relationship, it’s critical that you feel secure with your PT since you’re physically and mentally putting yourself in an extremely vulnerable position. The best way to get over that initial discomfort is to find someone who makes you feel relaxed the moment you step into their room.

If you are looking for treatment advice for pelvic floor rehabilitation as well as other women’s health tips, go ahead and book an appointment with Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, by calling 954-473-2011, or visiting Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office. She is more than willing to help assist you while making sure you are at ease!