Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February is Prenatal Infection Prevention Month


Preventive measures to help ensure a healthy baby...


By Sreedevi Sreenarasimhaiah, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist

The joys of pregnancy are often accompanied by many concerns. For example, you may begin to worry about infections, and soon everything may look like a germ or virus infested place. With the right information available to you, you can enjoy your pregnancy without becoming a nervous wreck. The following information touches upon some of the more common infection precautions you should be aware of during your pregnancy.

Influenza
Flu season runs from Fall through Spring, and during that time your doctor will most likely offer you the flu vaccine. It is highly encouraged unless you have an allergy to the components of the vaccine. Getting the flu in pregnancy places you more at risk for flu related complications, like pneumonia (an infection of the lungs), than those who are not pregnant. If you think you have the flu or you have been exposed to someone with the flu, contact your doctor right away to discuss if you need to start medications that shorten the course of the flu or reduce your risks.

Chicken Pox
If you had this illness in childhood or received the vaccine, you need not worry. If you have not, you are not immune and exposure during pregnancy can place you and your unborn child at risk. This respiratory transmitted illness, characterized by high fever and skin eruptions can be very serious to your health depending on which trimester of your pregnancy chicken pox is contracted. Contracting chicken pox during your first trimester may result in problems with the fetus’s development before birth. While contracting chicken pox in the third trimester may result in spreading of the illness to the fetus/newborn as well as pneumonia in the mother and requiring hospitalization. If you are unsure if you are immune to chicken pox, your doctor can do a simple blood test to determine this. Teachers, daycare workers and those with small children are at greatest risk for exposure to chicken pox.

Listeria
Listeria is a food borne illness and can contribute to amniotic or placental infection. This infection has been associated with spontaneous abortions and neonatal sepsis. Avoiding unpasteurized dairy products such as raw milk or certain cheeses is important. Deli meats and hot dogs unless properly prepared, heated or irradiated, can also pose a risk.

Parvovirus
This self-limited illness is often seen in children, but can be seen in adults. It is classically described as “slapped cheek” appearance. Red cheeks and a high fever with joint and muscle aches are characteristic. Like chicken pox, you may already be immune to this from previous exposure; a simple blood test by your doctor will determine this. If a person is exposed to or gets this infection during pregnancy, your doctor will need to discuss monitoring the unborn baby for signs of hydrops (a swelling of the tissues due to severe anemia and organ dysfunction) in the baby. Although this is a risk of parvovirus, it does not occur in the majority of cases. It is important to report if you have another child at home who might be diagnosed with this.

Other infection
  • Urinary tract infections can be very common in pregnancy and your doctor will typically screen you for this on your first visit.  Urine frequency is a normal symptom of pregnancy, but burning and pain are not. Be sure to discuss these symptoms right away, should they occur. 
  • The common cold and sinus infections may occur as well, these do not pose a risk to your baby, but over the counter medications approved by your doctor may help with symptom management as well as in some cases, antibiotics may be necessary. 
  • Toxoplasmosis is the infection that we try to avoid by advising against cleaning cat’s litter boxes during pregnancy.
  • The tetanus immunization combined with pertussis (for whooping cough) is now routinely offered during pregnancy as well. 

Remember: common sense, good hand washing, avoiding sick contacts and reporting anything unusual are going to get you far. The providers at Women’s Care of Wisconsin would love the privilege to take care of you and answer any questions you might have about infection precautions during this stage of your life. Enjoy your pregnancy!

About Women's Care of Wisconsin: The physicians at Women's Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, on that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery services, infertility, procedures and surgery,incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause management and more at www.womenscareofwi.com


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Breastfeeding 101: Myths vs. Facts



Have a successful breastfeeding journey with the help of our Certified Lactation Counselors...

Chances are you have heard at least one breastfeeding myth. Unfortunately, these myths can make expecting mothers question their ability to successfully breastfeed. When a mother is armed with accurate knowledge, support and reasonable expectations about breastfeeding, she is more likely to have confidence in her breastfeeding abilities and enjoy her breastfeeding journey with her baby. Some of the most common breastfeeding myths are explained below…





Myth:  Breast size maters…the bigger they are, the more milk they will produce.
  • Fact:  Size does NOT matter for producing adequate milk supply. Supply is based on demand, so if you are feeding your baby on cue, your body will react by producing enough for your baby.

Myth:  If I eat any junk food, spicy food, chocolate, etc., my baby will be fussy.
  • Fact:  Babies are exposed to all the food styles you ate while you were pregnant through the amniotic fluid, so there is no need to change your diet after giving birth. This is one way to teach your baby the food of your culture. Studies have actually shown that babies will feed longer at the breast after mom has eaten garlic!

Myth:  If I’ve had breast implants, a reduction, or other breast surgery, I can’t breastfeed.
  • Fact:  Having a breast surgery does not necessarily mean you can’t breastfeed. Depending on the type of surgery and where incisions were made, the ducts in the breast may have been affected…but, this should not stop you from even attempting to breastfeed. Your baby will likely need to be monitored closely to ensure adequate growth.

Myth:  If I drink any alcohol at all, I need to “pump and dump”.
  • Fact:  Alcohol does pass through breast milk, and babies often do not like the taste. Alcohol does not stay “trapped” in breast milk, it passes back and forth as your alcohol level changes, so there is no need to “pump and dump”. Daily alcohol intake should be no more than 0.5g/kg of your weight. So a woman that weights 60kg (132 lbs.), this would be 2-2.5oz of liquor, 8oz of wine or 2 cans of beer. Drinking alcohol does NOT increase your milk supply.

MORE FACTS ABOUT BREASTFEEDING
  • Compared with breastfed babies, formula fed babies are at greater risk for:
    • Acute ear infections
    • Intestinal issues
    • Lower respiratory tract infections
    • Atopic dermatitis
    • Asthma
    • Obesity
    • Type 1 and 2 diabetes 

  • Women who chose to breastfeed are at less risk for:
    • Breast caner
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Heart attack
    • Postpartum depression

Women’s Care of Wisconsin has four Certified Lactation Counselors—all whom are please to support mothers during their pregnancy and after the birth of their child. Breastfeeding can be one of the most natural and intimate of all human interactions…but please remember, just because it’s natural does not mean it’s easy—especially in those first few weeks with your newborn. Breastfeeding takes knowledge, patients and lots of practice.

Women’s Care offers physical appointments as well as phone conversations about breastfeeding concerns. Our lactation counselors are here to support you and any problems that may arise. If your baby is having a hard time latching or even if you just need reassurance, no issue is too small. Babies are all individual and sometimes it takes a little longer for you and your baby to get comfortable with breastfeeding. To discuss your breastfeeding questions or concerns with one of our counselors, please call our office at 920.729.7105. 

Photo: Certified Lactation Counselors at Women's Care of Wisconsin. From left to right-- Stephanie, Tanya, Heather and Kristy.

About Women’s Care of Wisconsin: The physicians at Women’s Care of Wisconsin are devoted to you and your health. That means having the most advanced techniques, up-to-date educational information and a compassionate, caring staff. Our providers offer a well-rounded approach to your OB/GYN care, one that meets both your physical and emotional needs throughout every phase of your life. We call it our Circle of Care. From adolescence through menopause and beyond, you can depend on us. Meet our providers and learn more about gynecology, pregnancy care, midwifery services, infertility, procedures and surgery, incontinence, osteoporosis, menopause management and more at www.womenscareofwi.com.