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Category Archives: Birth

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.

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!

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.

Staying active during pregnancy is always a good move for you and your baby. Most women can typically get back into the groove of their usual pre-pregnancy exercise routine, and some even incorporate additional exercises like walking or swimming to stay fit during their pregnancy.

Exercise is essential throughout pregnancy to help prepare the body for labor. Studies have shown that women who are active throughout their pregnancy, including things like walking, swimming, and other light forms of movement into their daily routine, may have smoother deliveries, healthier babies, and take less time to recover.

It is also crucial that you nourish your body with a diet that is rich in nutrients along with your daily dose of vitamins and minerals that have been recommended by your doctor. If you work out on a regular basis, more nutrients may be needed during your pregnancy. The main goal should be to nourish your own body as well as your growing baby’s body. 

Exercising while pregnant provides loads of fantastic benefits for both mom (less duration in labor and quicker weight loss) and the baby (less colic and greater physical resilience). Not only that, but exercising is also prone to making most moms happier, less anxious, and ultimately more in touch with their bodies. It only makes sense for gestating mamas to want to commit to be fit as much as possible.

Exercise is proven to increase your mood, and can also amp up your energy levels. Focus that energy on exercises you enjoy (especially walking, swimming, stretching, pilates, or other mild activities). For an extra boost, try working out outside when possible. Spending time outside during pregnancy is good for you, so don’t be afraid to expose yourself to natural light and get that good old Vitamin D.

Here we’ll list some of the most commonly recommended workouts during pregnancy.

Walking helps to increase circulation and aligns the pelvis while also giving you a good way to be active at a level you can handle. Make an attempt to walk for a half hour to an hour a day.

Another great exercise for pregnant women is swimming. Besides the fact that it can help soothe the discomfort of baby aches, swimming also toughens stomach muscles, may help with the alignment of the pelvis, and is generally recommended to ensure the baby’s correct position for delivery. If you’re not the greatest swimmer, take it easy in the beginning. Make sure to warm up before starting your swim. Swimming is also great in the way that it leaves you feeling weightless, taking the burden of the baby’s weight off of you for a little bit.

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, are advised to help extend the muscles between your legs that go from the pubic bone to your back. These are the muscles used to control the flow of urine.Your best bet is to squeeze these muscles 10-15 times in a row to build them up. Kegels can also relieve the sensitivity during sex and incontinence.

Lots of women are capable of squatting, lunging, and weightlifting during pregnancy, but it still wouldn’t hurt to get the okay from your obgyn before getting engaging in intense physical activities like these. These types of exercises can help with keeping your core strong during pregnancy while also improving muscle tone throughout delivery. Certain women should not partake in these workouts, especially those who have placenta problems, a history of muscle tightness, or other concerns, so it’s important to get your doctor’s approval first.

During your pregnancy, avoid all contact sports or any activity that includes the risk of falling. Make sure to stay away from just about anything that will put pressure on the joints and hips, hard yoga positions, or going for a jog without speaking with a doctor beforehand.

Although most exercises are deemed fine for pregnancy, countless women find themselves feeling limited by how they feel at different points in pregnancy and make an attempt to adjust regular workout routines to fit their fluctuating hormones and growing bellies.

Note that different forms of exercise are okay at different points of pregnancy. Lifting weights, laying on your back, and cardio are fine within the first trimester. Recognize what feels good for your body, and what does not. Cut yourself some slack if you need to take a break at any point. Lifting weights and doing cardio are still okay during the second trimester, but at that point you should hold off on any back work for the rest of your pregnancy.

Once you’ve reached the third trimester, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourages continuing with any well-tolerated forms of pregnancy exercises, perhaps just modifying the duration or intensity of the exercises. Walking can actually help get labor going! Staying active will help your physical and mental state, especially as the time of delivery is approaching. Once your baby is born, workouts are going to be difficult to fit in, and you want to try and take it easy as you spend time with your little miracle.

I do, however, encourage you to continue walking after delivery if you are able to (this will depend on the mode of delivery and if there were any complications). Remember, monitoring hydration and environmental temperature during any kind of exercise is very important to both your and your baby’s health.

With pregnancy, the trick is to work out in moderation. So make it your goal to exercise the right amount without pushing your limits.  If you are still unsure about what workout is best for your pregnancy, chat with Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, and she will provide you with all the information and women’s health tips you need so that those nine months can be a fun, healthy, and comfortable experience for you. Appointments can be set up with her at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, by calling 954-473-2011.

Having a baby is one of life’s greatest treasures, and being able to create, nurture, and eventually bring a brand new human being into the world is a miracle in itself. Yet the first thing that comes to mind for many women about the actual process of giving birth is the undeniable fear of pain (and how to avoid it at all costs). Healthcare providers typically provide drugs to help alleviate the pain or take the edge off, but for those soon-to-be mothers who’d rather take the natural route, there is another method — and it goes without saying that the pain involved may be less than what they expected.

Through the art of rehearsed deep breathing, visualization, encouragements from their partners, and labor comfort measures, mothers learn to train their brain to draw out a deep relaxation response whenever it’s necessary.

Instead of enduring pain, Hypnobirthing moms normally describe what they experience as nothing more than some slight pressure and use words such as “surges” or “waves” to describe contractions. In a nutshell, it’s all about putting mind over matter, and plenty of women have proven it effective.

Through hypnosis, a woman gains the power of bringing her body into this state of deep relaxation where the body’s muscles can function the way they’re supposed to during childbirth. It should feel similar to daydreaming, or the sensation you get when you find yourself lost in a book or movie. People who have taken advantage of this technique mention feeling calm, collected, aware, and in control.

The process of Hypnobirthing has to do with the power of suggestion. The laboring woman utilizes positive affirmations, suggestions, and visualizations to loosen up her body, oversee her thoughts, and control her breathing. She can either do this on her own with a self-hypnosis or receive guidance from a hypnotherapist. In order to perform self-hypnosis, the women would have to meet with a certified hypnotherapist and be taught the ways. Usually, they put on a tape of verbal affirmations that helps achieve this calm state of self-hypnosis. As an alternative, the hypnotherapist might encourage the use of visual stimulation, such as a flower opening its petals, in order to picture what’s happening to them and allow themselves to fully relax.

A hypnotherapist may or may not be with you during the birth, based on the laboring woman’s wishes. For some individuals, self-hypnosis is easy to accomplish, while others may have a better response with the support of a therapist.

Note that there are several benefits as there are myths in regard to hypnobirthing and hypnosis.

Many people are convinced that hypnosis is a type of mind control or brainwashing, or that it puts you in a deep sleep. Other common myths say that those who’ve been hypnotized no longer have free will, are unable to function even with simple tasks, and are completely unaware of their surroundings.

As for the benefits, hypnobirthing is meant to be a natural approach to manage the pain without the use of medications that have potential side effects for you and your baby. It also allows you to feel comfortable, calm, and relieved throughout the process of labor. It can lower your levels of stress and fear during childbirth while also letting you stay sharp and cognizant.

Hypnobirthing is a good option if you’re looking to have a better postpartum experience. If a woman feels comfortable in her choices fitted for her specific situation, regardless of how the birth plays out, she has a much easier postpartum period. If her baby is more relaxed and nurses better due to hypnobirthing, it makes it easier for both mom and dad. It’s when a mother is submerged in the euphoric birthing hormones that nature laid out, that it appears easier on everyone, and mothers end up feeling transformed and empowered. If a woman experiences labor and childbirth where her voice is heard and she receives the proper support, she is less likely to go through postpartum depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you’re interested in Hypnobirthing or want to learn more about how it works, ask Dr. Ghea, a top female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, to explain what you should expect during this process. She will gladly recommend what’s best for you based on your particular needs and help you plan for the most natural childbirth upon request. To make an appointment, call 954-473-2011 or visit her Plantation obgyn office at Westside OB/GYN Group.

Getting the proper amount of sleep while you’re pregnant can be a bit of a struggle. You’ll find yourself exhausted from practically waddling around all day. When you finally have a moment to yourself to get some rest, you start to dread those all-night interruptions of your sleep. But don’t fret – here are some tips for sleeping better during pregnancy!

Within the first trimester, you’re going to be facing things like nausea, and late night potty breaks. Morning sickness tends to occur around 4 a.m. or just before hitting the sack. Try raising your upper body to keep blood pumping and circulating. It will give you a better chance of avoiding that unwanted nausea. Place a wedge pillow underneath your standard pillow to give yourself a gradual incline. 15 degrees should do the trick. It will also help with heartburn. Also, avoid eating a large meal before drifting off to catch some z’s. We also often recommend carbonated beverages, such as sparkling water or ginger ale, as these seem to help many women with nausea during pregnancy.

You can expect to feel the urge to pee around 2:30 in the morning, due to your growing uterus. Keep in mind how important it is to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially throughout pregnancy. Make sure to cut out any carbonated beverages as well as anything that has aspartame (or NutraSweet), which can be found in low-calorie and sugar-free juices and sodas. They tend to perform as diuretics, which is the last thing you want or need. If you need to get out of bed, whatever you do, do not look at your blinding phone screen to see what time it is. It may end up keeping you up. See if you can buy a night-light for your bathroom to avoid being woken up by bright bulbs as they can strain your eyes and make it harder for you to go back to sleep.

During the second trimester, you’ll start feeling your baby’s movements. Most mommas say they start feeling the baby move its arms and legs for the first time at about 20 weeks. When you experience the case of the wiggles late at night, create a calming method you can initiate an hour before bed in an attempt to slow down the baby’s mo. Taking a brief stroll, for example, helps. Resist sweet or spicy foods past 4 p.m. to keep the potential kicking to a minimum.

If you happen to experience restless legs and your limbs feel fidgety, there could be a slight chance that you’re anemic or have an iron deficiency. Consult your obgyn to see if additional supplements are necessary to take along with your prenatal, whether it’s with extra iron or folate, and add vitamin C to help your body absorb it. Leg cramps are no fun, so if they start disturbing your slumber, see if you can include extra magnesium into your daily vitamin plan to help relieve the pain.

Once you’re in the third trimester, you’ve got a couple other things that could get in the way of your sleep. Worry, anxiety, aches, and pains, oh my! You may encounter some dreams that are a product of this worry and crippling anxiety. Books filled with baby advice can be overwhelming and make you think of every worst-case scenario, causing you unnecessary stress. If you have any concerns about the state of your pregnancy, take a class that demonstrates prenatal relaxation exercises or join a group with other soon-to-be mothers like yourself.

If that doesn’t keep your mind from racing, there’s no point in fighting it and getting flustered. Read a book that isn’t about pregnancy or heat up some tea to help give your body and mind a breather.

If your back, feet, and everything else aches and becomes too painful for you to be able to get enough sleep, try to lay on the left side of your body and place a pillow between your knees so that your hips align neutrally. This will reduce the weight applied on the vena cava, which is a blood vessel that can be crushed from your uterus pressing against it. If at that point you still can’t get comfortable, try applying some heat wherever you feel pain. Just remember to keep your tummy away from the warmth. With these steps, you should be “cruising for a snoozing!”

If you still have a hard time getting sufficient sleep for you and your baby, Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is happy to help. Her goal is to make women feel comfortable when talking about their bodies and expressing their health concerns. To schedule an appointment, call Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 or come by the office in Plantation to meet with Dr. Ghea so she can answer all of your questions and recommend what’s best for you so that you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy!

Most women are aware of the strange cravings that occur once you’re pregnant. You know, things like pickles dipped in peanut butter or meat-cravings when you’ve been a vegetarian for years. It is extra important to pay attention to what you put in your body as the appropriate amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will be good for the baby’s development. Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is imperative to you and your baby’s health. Doing so will also benefit you in the long run since it will be  much easier for you to lose the unwanted pregnancy weight that shows after giving birth.

It can be a struggle to figure out what exactly to eat when it’s for two, so we’ll narrow it down to the top 10 foods for pregnant moms to clear up any confusion or concerns you may have. Note that exposing your baby to healthy foods in the womb will raise the likelihood of them not only recognizing, but also embracing those flavors later on.

  1. Eggs

First and foremost, eggs are an excellent source of protein for your

pregnancy diet. The amino acids in the protein help the cells in both your body and

your baby’s. Eggs also have a good portion of vitamins and minerals that you need, one

of them being choline. Choline is great for the development of your baby’s brain and

spinal cord while also helping you avoid neural tube disadvantages. Add veggies and cheese to your eggs and you’re on your way to having yourself a yummy frittata. This is the perfect breakfast to start out your day in a healthy way!

  1. Salmon

If you’re a fan of seafood, the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are essential for healthy development of your baby, and may even improve your mood. For the 8-12 ounces of seafood pregnant ladies are recommended to take in every week, cooked salmon is your best bet, especially because it is low in mercury.

  1. Beans

Beans are also another example of an ideal food to eat during pregnancy because they contain protein, iron, folic acid, potassium, magnesium and the fatty acids that are essential for pregnancy. They’re also rich in fiber and can help with preventing and alleviating pregnancy discomforts like constipation and hemorrhoids.

  1. Sweet Potatoes

Believe it or not, but the orange color on sweet potatoes comes from carotenoids and its plant pigments become vitamin A in our bodies. They also contain vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber.

  1. Walnuts

This may sound “nuts,” but walnuts are your best friend as they are rich in plant-based omega-3s.

They make a great quick snack and can also be tossed into a salad.

  1. Whole Grains

For fiber and nutrients with antioxidant vitamin E and mineral selenium, it’s ideal to include whole grains in your diet. They also are made up of phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that preserve cells. Depending on your taste buds, you can try different kinds from barley and oats to buckwheat and spelt. Whole grains can fit in with many meals, so don’t be afraid to be creative!

  1. Greek Yogurt

Dairy products are beneficial to your diet as well, especially Greek yogurt. It contains regular yogurt beat with twice the protein, and has plenty of probiotics and calcium. The calcium helps with the growth of your baby’s skeleton while also keeping your own bones strong. It can be included in breakfast or as a side to a wholesome meal.

  1. Fruits and Vegetables

You want your diet to be colorful, and fruits and veggies will do just the trick. You and your baby will get plenty of nutrients when you eat the rainbow — green, yellow, orange, purple, and red fruits and veggies offer lots of essential vitamins and minerals. An easy way to incorporate these would be with a salad. It could also go with just about any meal of your choice. The more colorful your plate is, the better.

  1. Lean meats

If you aren’t ready to sacrifice meat in your diet, don’t you worry! Meat can be a great source of protein just as long as you find cuts that are around 95-98% fat free. Beef and pork are the best options since they have choline. It should be noted, however, to avoid hot dogs and deli meats unless they are heated properly. There is a slight risk of infection from these foods if there is bacteria and parasites present, such as toxoplasma, listeria, and salmonella, which could be a potential hazard during pregnancy for you and your baby.

  1. Dark leafy greens

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to eat your greens — specifically spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and other dark leafy greens. These are prenatal superfoods with more than enough vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, on top of folic acid. They go well in practically anything, like smoothies, omelets, soups, and stir-fries.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea does everything in her power to help empower women and educate them about their bodies, whether it’s by simply giving crucial health care tips, or presenting them with healthy diet options when pregnant to prevent any issues. If you want to learn more about what foods are good for you and your baby, and would like to speak with a female obstetrician you can confide in, come by Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation obgyn office, or call 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment.

If you’re pregnant or have been pregnant, it’s likely you’ve heard about cord blood banking. Those who haven’t experienced pregnancy might not be so familiar with this term. The act of “cord blood banking” means that a parent has opted to save the blood from their child’s umbilical cord and placenta to store for future medical use. This cord blood contains stem cells that essentially build up the body’s blood and immune systems, and have the potential to grow and develop into other kinds of cells that can repair tissues, organs and blood vessels.

These particular stem cells from the umbilical cord could potentially save someone’s life if they are stricken with a life-threatening situation, or suffer from various diseases.

There are two options when it comes to cord blood banking: donating it to a public cord blood bank to be used by others who need it, or paying a private cord blood bank to store your own baby’s cord blood for your family to use if need be. These stem cells can help treat diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, and essentially any disease in which the transplant of blood-forming stem cells are the standard treatment. This also includes inherited metabolic disorders or disorders of the immune syndrome, and solid tumors not originating in the blood or immune system.

The decision about what to do with your baby’s cord blood is an important one — one that you can certainly discuss with your healthcare provider. Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is always open to speaking with her patients about this area of concern, and provide her best women’s health tips on the matter. Storing the cord blood for your own use is somewhat of a medical insurance; it can provide you and your family peace of mind knowing that if perchance something happened that was a threat to the life of your child, yourself, or one of your other family members, you would have these important stem cells to use at your own will.

There is a fee to privately bank the cord blood for your own use — an initial fee to cover enrollment, collection and storage for at least the first year, and then moving forward, there is an annual storage fee.

Not everyone feels the need to store their baby’s cord blood. If this is the case for you, it is highly recommended to donate it. There are many options for cord blood donation. such as foundations, non-profit blood banks, medical facilities, and other places that will collect, process and use the stem cells to help others. You can also find out if your hospital is affiliated with a public cord blood bank. By donating your child’s cord blood, you could help save someone’s life.

You might be wondering if there are any risks involved with cord blood banking, and the answer is no. There is no harm nor any health risks during the collection process. It’s taken from the umbilical cord after it’s already be cut away from the mother, so there is no pain or discomfort involved.

Cord blood collection can be done with both vaginal and C-section deliveries, and it only takes about five minutes. That’s it — five minutes to retrieve fluids that could save a person’s life in the future. . You don’t even have to worry about bringing it to the cord blood bank, as a representative from your preferred company will pick it up from the hospital upon delivery of your child.

If you would like to speak with a Fort Lauderdale obstetrician about cord blood banking, you can meet with Dr. Ghea at her Plantation obgyn office. Call 954-473-2011 to schedule an appointment today.

The moment has arrived… The contractions have started, the sweating has begun, the little human that has been growing inside of you for the past nine months is ready to come out into the world. You scramble to get to the car, breathing in and out just as your lamaze instructor taught you, and stash that oh-so-important hospital bag in the back seat. Then you start panicking to yourself…

Am I prepared for this? Did I pack everything I need? Did I bring too much?

Don’t worry! As long as you listen to these important women’s health tips, straight from a leading Fort Lauderdale obstetrician regarding everything you need for your hospital stay, you’ll be all set.

Creating a checklist can help ease any anxiety about the process of packing. Make the list early on in your pregnancy so there is no last-minute rush to do so. Keep it handy so you can check things off, add, and subtract anything from the list when necessary. Important documents to have with you include photo ID, all insurance information and hospital paperwork, as well as your birth plan if you have made one. Don’t forget essentials like your cell phone and charger, glasses or contacts if you wear them, and toiletries such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, bath towels, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, face wash, and moisturizer. You may be rolling your eyes, but you can never be too sure — pregnancy brain is really a thing!

Packing the correct clothing will help keep you comfortable. You’ll feel much better wearing your own things than those provided by the hospital.

  • A couple pairs of warm, non-skid socks or slippers for those times you’ll be walking around the hospital halls,
  • Nightgown and/or robe.
  • Maternity bras and underwear
  • Nursing pads, even if you don’t plan to nurse, as they provide good support and leak protection.
  • Unless you plan to wear the same clothes you came into the hospital upon leaving, make sure to also pack something comfortable to go home in.
  • Flat shoes.
  • Whatever clothing you do bring, make sure it’s not something brand new or important to you, as it’s likely it could get stained or ruined.

Being in the hospital can sometimes be stressful and boring, so it’s also a good idea to bring things that will help you relax and stay occupied.

  • Essential oils
  • Pillow from home with a pillowcase to help differentiate it from other hospital pillows
  • iPad for watching movies, listening to music or playing games
  • Books or magazines

If you have long hair, don’t forget a hair tie to keep it out of your eyes while you are in labor, and also lip balm, as hospitals can be very dry, and labor can sometimes cause chapped lips. Snacks are crucial to have on hand for your significant other, and for after you’ve given birth. Pack sugarless candy to help keep your mouth moist without causing you to become thirsty, sports drinks with electrolytes to keep you hydrated, and plain crackers or other things to munch on that are easy on the digestive system  

These are the main things to remember when packing your hospital bag. Don’t go crazy — this isn’t a vacation where you need to bring a whole suitcase. Local mom of two (one two-year-old and one newborn), Anika Ginzler, shares her best advice: don’t overpack. “The hospital pretty much provides everything you need for the baby and postpartum care for mom. You’ll be happy not to lug home tons of luggage that you didn’t need!”

Planning for the birth of a child, especially if it’s your first, is not always easy. Having a female obgyn to guide you along the way can be extra helpful. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ghea, an obgyn in Plantation, contact Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 to meet with a Plantation obgyn that will assist in easing the process, making this memorable occasion one you are sure to never forget.