Brand Feature, Heart, Heart Failure, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics, Women’s Heart Program

Alexis’ heart was giving out after her 3rd pregnancy — a long-term solution would have to wait for baby No. 4

At age 25, Alexis Helm had been pregnant three times, and her heart was failing. The increased blood volume from her pregnancies and strain on her heart muscle had taken a toll, as it does with many women. With her fourth pregnancy, she knew she risked damaging her heart further but wanted to do all…

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Brand Feature, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics

Mother’s triumph over addiction gives her new purpose in life

Teri Johnson works a full-time job, is a football and wrestling mom and works hard to be present for her children. While that may not seem out of the ordinary, it’s a complete 180-degree change from where she was just two years ago. In her early 20s, Teri found herself without a job and in…

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Brand Feature, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics, Womens Health

She went into preterm labor at 20 weeks, but a risky procedure saved the baby’s life

What started as an exciting moment turned into panic for first-time parents Faith and Jake Pugh. The couple couldn’t wait for their baby’s gender reveal at their 20-week ultrasound, but once their appointment started, they quickly learned that something was very wrong. “We found out I was in preterm labor,” Faith said. The OB/GYN “gave…

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Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics

Gestational diabetes rates are rapidly increasing

The rate of gestational diabetes has risen significantly in recent years, according to a recent study. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It occurs in patients who do not have diabetes prior to becoming pregnant. The study shows the rate of gestational diabetes rose from 47.6 to 63.6 per 1,000…

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Labor and Delivery, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics

Unnecessary C-sections pose health risks for mother and baby

A cesarean section (C-section) can be an essential, lifesaving surgery during labor and delivery, with more health risks for a mother compared to a vaginal birth. “Even though all C-sections have some health risks, I believe C-sections should be done in cases when it is medically necessary, when a vaginal birth would have more risk…

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During Your Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics

What is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a condition unique to pregnancy. Every May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month. What is preeclampsia and how can we prevent and treat it? What is preeclampsia? Preeclampsia is a disorder which affects between 5% to 8% of pregnancies in the United States. It is becoming more common; there has been a 25% increase in…

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During Your Pregnancy, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics, Weight Management

Don’t try to lose weight while pregnant — go for healthy weight gain with good nutrition and exercise

Losing weight while pregnant, other than in the early weeks, is not healthy for you or your baby. Dieting, trying to stay the same weight or losing weight in the second or third trimester of your pregnancy can deprive your baby of nutrients needed to grow and develop. Obesity or being overweight during pregnancy can…

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Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics, Planning Your Pregnancy

Sickle cell pregnancy: Early prenatal care and careful monitoring can make the difference

A person who’s expecting and who has sickle cell disease (SCD) requires early prenatal care and careful monitoring, but a healthy pregnancy is certainly possible. Sickle cell disease increases the risks for mother and the unborn baby, so plan on scheduling regular visits with your obstetrician, hematologist or primary care provider. Risks associated with pregnancy…

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Expecting, Labor and Delivery, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics, Planning Your Pregnancy

Can you have vaginal birth after a C-section?

If you are pregnant again and delivered your last baby via cesarean delivery (C-section), it still might be possible to have a vaginal birth. While patients who attempt to have a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) have about a 60% to 80% success rate, your safety and the safety of your baby are the most…

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Expecting, Labor and Delivery, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics

Vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC) risks and benefits

While it is possible to deliver vaginally after cesarean section — vaginal birth after cesarian, or VBAC — there are VBAC risks and benefits you and your OB/GYN should discuss. “A successful VBAC can help avoid bowel or bladder issues, hysterectomy or even issues with the placenta in other pregnancies,” said Christopher Watkins, M.D., OB/GYN with…

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Maternal-Fetal Medicine, New Parent, Obstetrics, Postpartum Care

Unexpected health issues after pregnancy can have long-term consequences

The “fourth trimester” of pregnancy — those months after childbirth — is a time to adjust to being a mom and an opportunity to check on your recovery from what had been an intense and challenging nine months for your body. Monitoring your health during this period is important because pregnancy can increase your risk…

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Heart, Heart Failure, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Women’s Heart Program, Womens Health

Some pregnancy complications can signal risk for heart disease after delivery

Pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension are two common forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Once baby is born and blood pressure falls, many women move on with their busy lives. But these pregnancy complications are indicators for an increased chance of heart disease later in life. Pre-eclampsia occurs in about 5% to 8% of pregnant…

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