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Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, or train, it is typically safe to travel while you’re pregnant; however, there are a few things to make note of that could make your trip safer and more comfortable. 

Always buckle up whenever you ride in a car and keep the airbags turned on. This is a rule of thumb to follow whether you are pregnant or not! Try to limit the time you spend cooped up in the car, bus, or train. Take frequent breaks if possible. Use rest stops to take short strolls and do stretches. This will help maintain blood circulation. 

Traveling by air is considered safe for pregnant women up until a certain point. The second trimester would probably be the best time to fly. Later, your growing belly could make airport maneuvers less comfortable. 

Most airlines have narrow aisles and smaller bathrooms, so it could be challenge to walk and may be uncomfortable when you need to use the restroom. Due to potential turbulence that could cause the plane to shake, hold on to the seat backs while navigating the aisle. Avoid gassy foods (i.e., beans, cabbage, broccoli). They could make you more uncomfortable in-flight. Stay hydrated during the flight. If you get dehydrated, it can diminish blood flow to the uterus. Pick an aisle seat so it’s easier for you to get up when you need to use the restroom, or simply to stretch your legs and back. Try to walk every half hour or so during a smooth flight. It’ll help keep blood flowing. In the seat, flex and extend your ankles to improve circulation. Schedule a check up with your ob-gyn before you leave and consider travel insurance should your plans need to change. Some international flights prohibit travel after 28 weeks. Check with your airline prior to booking Travel is not recommended for pregnant women in areas where Zika infection is ongoing. For up to date travel advisories check wwwnc,cdc,gov/travel/notices/ 

It’s recommended for women who have complicated pregnancies with risk factors for premature labor, preeclampsia, soon-to-be-momma’s carrying multiples, to avoid travel later in pregnancy. Risk factors that warrant travel considerations would include things like severe anemia, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, labile hypertension, a recent hemorrhage, or current or recent bone fractures. 

Traveling overseas is safe for the most part for pregnant women, but the motion of the boat can bring out any morning sickness or make you feel nauseous all over again. Follow these guidelines to avoid and you will be smooth sailing! 

Check with the cruise line to make sure that there’s a health care provider on board in case you experience any pregnancy complications. Look over the route and port-of-calls to see if there’s access to any medical facilities if needed. Make sure any medications for seasickness are approved for pregnant women and that there’s no risk to the developing baby. Seasickness bands use acupressure points to help prevent an upset tummy and may be a good alternative to medication. 

If you are traveling internationally, it’s important to speak with your health care provider before your trip to address safety factors for you and your baby. Go over immunizations with your health care provider and carry a copy of your health records with you. 

When it comes to international travel, you could be exposed to a disease that is rare here in the United States, but is common in the country you visit. 

Diarrhea, for example is a common concern when traveling overseas because you’re not used to the germs and organisms found in the food and water of other countries. This can lead to dehydration. To avoid this, be sure to drink lots of bottled water, or use a reusable bottle of your own to refill. You can also avoid getting sick and get the most out of your travels by: 

Making sure the milk is pasteurized. Avoiding fresh fruits and veggies unless they’ve been cooked or peeled (i.e. orange, banana) Making sure all the meat and fish has been cooked the right amount. Don’t eat it if it seems questionable. Dressing comfortably and wearing comfy shoes. Bringing your go-to pillow. Carrying healthy snacks with you. 

If you’re traveling any distance, don’t forget to carry a copy of your prenatal records. 

If your travel plans involve you and your young children high up in the air, here are some of the best tips to follow to make toddler air travel more bearable

Take advantage of an aisle seat. Your little tot might beg to see what’s out the window, but you’ll be glad you’re in the aisle seat when you start losing track of how many times your fidgety toddler wants to get out of their seat to walk, asks you for something else that’s stored in the overhead bin, or needs a trip to the bathroom. 

Plan wisely for the security line. Your best bet is to have a light, foldable stroller for when going through security. It’ll make your life easier to fold it up when it’s your turn and place it on the conveyor belt. You’ll probably want the stroller to keep your kid moving while you’re in the airport. Verify with your airline to be sure, you might be able to check it in at the curb, ticket counter, or gate, or take it right down the jet way and leave it at the plane’s door before you board. If that’s the case, it’ll be waiting for you at the door once you land. Slip-on shoes (for you and your toddler) are also a great idea at the security checkpoint. 

If you’re by yourself, don’t be timid about asking the flight crew for assistance. It can be almost impossible to lift a bag and put it in the overhead bin while holding a child. So ask a flight attendant (or fellow passenger) for a hand, they should be happy to help. And while you’re at it, consider asking for extra pillows, blankets, or water if necessary. 

Remember that there’s no such thing as over packing supplies. Bring as many snacks and toys as you can fit into your carry-on luggage. Snack ideas include mini sandwiches, cut-up vegetables, and string cheese. Bring twice as many diapers as you could possibly need (if your toddler is still wearing them), endless wipes and hand sanitizer, and at least one change of clothes for your child. 

Regulate ear pain by bringing lollipops for takeoff and landing. The sucking will help prevent your child’s little ears from feeling the pain of the air-pressure changes in the cabin during those times. Another method to keep ears clear is to munch on crunchy snacks that require a lot of chewing. Last but not least, try encouraging your toddler to yawn by yawning yourself, as yawns are contagious! This should help pop his or her ears if they get clogged on the plane’s way up or down. 

Childproof your suitcases and carry-ons. Hide anything potentially hazardous or eye-grabbing from your kid. Have your medications stored separately in Ziploc bags for the security line or one-a-day pill containers. Make sure the pills in the baggies stay in their original childproofed bottles and those bags are sealed shut. Pack them in your zipped carry-on luggage if you can’t put them in your checked suitcase. 

If you need more tips on how to handle traveling during pregnancy and/or with your little one, sit down and chat with Dr. Ghea, a top female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale that would be more than happy to assist you and provide you with other related women’s health tips. You can set up an appointment with her at Westside OB/GYN Group, a Plantation OBGYN office, by calling 954-473-2011 or filling out an online request. 

“Kangaroo care” and “skin-to-skin” are common phrases expectant and new parents eventually have to learn, but while it may be easy to guess what they mean, why do they matter? Let’s go over the benefits of kangaroo care and skin-to-skin contact for both babies and parents. 

So what exactly is Kangaroo Care anyway? 

The phrase “kangaroo care” gets its term for its similarities to how marsupials carry their young. Skin-to-skin care imitates the protective and nurturing setting of a kangaroo pouch. By definition, kangaroo care is developmental care by holding an infant skin-to-skin against the mom or dad’s bare chest. The more you do it, the better — especially in the first two hours after birth, as it will ease your baby into the world. 

Kangaroo care initially emerged in the 1970s as a way to promote bonding and early breastfeeding for full-term infants. In the late 70s, this practice was drawn out to preterm infants because of the over-crowded nurseries, high mortality rates, high infection rates and a lack of resources, like warming devices, or isolettes. Fast forward to almost 50 years, and the practice of kangaroo care is continually practiced in NICUs around the world, based on its profound benefits to both momma and infant. 

The idea of skin-to-skin is a lot like kangaroo care, and in most cases, the terms are used interchangeably. Today, skin-to-skin is generally a term directed to full-term infants, describing how much of the first hours and days of the infant’s life are spent against their mother’s chest, promoting both bonding and the production of breast milk. Kangaroo care is more typically used when someone’s talking about the care a preterm baby in the NICU gets. 

Kangaroo care gives physiological and psychological advantages, both to infants and parents. It can take place any time of day, as frequently as the infant tolerates. It’s recommended daily, for a minimum of one hour, but any amount of kangaroo care can be good for you and your little one. 

There are plenty of benefits of kangaroo care when it comes to infants. It helps the baby adapt through physiologic stability (temperature and blood pressure regulation), it encourages a healthy heart rate and respiratory stability, it boosts their brain cognitive and motor development, improves immunity, promotes a healthy weight gain, helps the baby get better, deep sleep, and minimizes their stress and pain. 

As for the parents, it promotes a better sense of attachment and bonding, increases the milk supply, makes breastfeeding less of a hassle, promotes bonding with dad. 

Infants are often comforted by the sound of their mom or dad’s heartbeat. If your baby starts to get fussy, try covering them with a warm blanket while against your chest and reduce external stimuli. Remember to practice safe skin-to-skin time while staying awake throughout kangaroo care. It’ll promote safe practices at home due to the risk of infant falls and sudden infant death 

syndrome (SIDS). Parents are encouraged to continue skin-to-skin as long as both parents and baby benefit from the experience. 

Don’t get discouraged if a kangaroo attempt doesn’t go how you hoped it would. Give your little one a few days to recuperate, and try again! 

If you need to get started with kangaroo care, you and your partner don’t have to approach it by yourselves. Dr. Ghea, a top female OBGYN in Fort Lauderdale, is the OBGYN to turn to for your journey as a parent and your journey as a woman, with all the beneficial women’s health tips you could ask for. You can set up an appointment with her offices at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or simply filling out an online request. 

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.

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.

As there are several treatment options for fibroids, it’s hard to pick out the best course of action.

There are plenty of women with uterine fibroids that don’t come across any signs or symptoms, or experience moderately irritating but bearable signs and symptoms. Treatment for fibroids may vary between no treatment whatsoever to surgery. Unless fibroids are causing excessive bleeding, discomfort, or bladder issues, treatment for the most part isn’t necessary.

The good news is that not all fibroids expand. Even those bigger in size may not lead to any symptoms, and most become smaller after menopause.

You should still keep track of its size if you happen to face any pain or bleeding. Try to make a habit of receiving pelvic exams every year just to be safe.

Although you can’t get rid of fibroids on your own, there are still things to help with the pain or discomfort you may be feeling. Once fibroids develop on the outside of the uterus, you may notice a lump on your tummy. You can lie down and place a hot pack or water bottle on your lower midsection to alleviate the pain. You’d have to be consistent with it numerous times a day. You can also take pain relievers, like ibuprofen.

Other options include:

Hormone Therapy

To keep the fibroid from growing, your obgyn may advise that you stop taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. In other cases, however, they may prescribe birth control pills to help limit the bleeding and anemia from fibroids, even though the hormones can make fibroids grow.

GnRH Agonists

GnRH is a hormone your body naturally produces. An agonist medicine counteracts that hormone, and your obstetrician may prescribe one to shrink fibroids and reduce anemia. These drugs don’t come cheap. You shouldn’t take them for more than 6 months because they can increase the likelihood of you getting osteoporosis, which weakens your bones. Your doctor may also prescribe a small dose of progestin, another hormone, to make osteoporosis less possible. When you stop taking a GnRH agonist, the likeliness of your fibroids growing back exists.

There are a few alternatives that you might want to think about.

Fibroid embolization can shrink a fibroid. Your doctor would be injecting polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) into the arteries, which ends up feeding the fibroid. The PVA cuts off the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink. It’s not surgery, but you might have to spend a couple of nights in the hospital because you could face nausea, vomiting, and pain within the first set of days afterward.

Endometrial ablation is a procedure where doctors break apart the lining of the uterus to reduce the flow of the bleeding connected to tiny fibroids.

Myomectomy is a surgery to weed out fibroids. If you plan to become pregnant, your obgyn may highly suggest this option overs. Keep in mind that scarring can happen, when the last thing you want is to end up infertile. You’d have to be patient and wait 4-6 months after surgery before you attempt to conceive. In the vast majority of women, symptoms tend to go away following a myomectomy. But in others, the fibroids return. Whether it works has to do with how many fibroids you have and whether the surgeon is able to clear them all out. A myomectomy may be abdominal surgery, or your surgeon may use a hysteroscope or laparoscope to take out the fibroids without having to make a large cut on your stomach. There is also an experimental system that uses MRI-guided ultrasound energy to find the fibroids and diminish or destroy them.

Hysterectomy is surgery that removes the uterus. Many women don’t require such drastic treatment. Note that you won’t be able to get pregnant after this operation.

As a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Ghea is able to offer assistance along with treatment to her patients who experience uterine fibroids. She always looks to ensure her patients’ comfort whenever they visit her office. For those looking for a Plantation obgyn group, feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Ghea at Westside OB/GYN Group by calling 954-473-2011 or filling out an online request.