Have a Safe and Fun Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend is a wonderful excuse to spend time with close friends and family. To jump in the pool with the kids, teach your teenagers the skill of the BBQ, drop the boat in the water and share the importance of remembering what this holiday is all about. Memorial Day Weekend is not just another long weekend to enjoy a few extra days off of work, it’s a weekend full of opportunity, endless possibilities to connect with your kids and establish some lasting memories.

What To Do In Arizona

We popped over to AZCentral.com to see what family friendly events are happening over this Memorial Day Weekend, and wanted to share those with our AOA Family:

  • Veterans in Free at Wet ‘n’ Wild – According to AZCentral.com, veterans and first responders will get into the part for free over Memorial Day Weekend, from May 24th through May 28th. Family members of military, veterans and first responders can get in for only $19.99. They will have awesome BBQ and fireworks in the evening.
  • Cemetery Memorial – For the 29th years, the Pioneers’ Cemetery Association will celebrate Memorial Day with Civil Way re-enactments, Buffalo Soldiers and celebrity appearances.

Of course, you can always throw your own backyard BBQ over this long weekend and celebrate Memorial Day in your own way!

Water Safety

With so many pool parties and backyard BBQ’s happening this weekend, we wanted to remind you to watch your kids around water. Follow these simple steps to have a safe and fun holiday weekend:

  • Watch Your Kids At All Times – Don’t assume that someone near the pool or at the party is watching the kids for you. You must be responsible not only for your own kids, but for every child at that party. If you’re hosting the party, it’s your responsibility to have someone on watch at all times.
  • Do Not OverIndulge With Alcohol – If you are at a pool party with the family and kids, it’s best not to over-indulge with alcohol and to be acutely aware of everything that is happening in and around the pool.
  • Maintain Control – Just as there would be rules at any community pool, there needs to be a strict set of guidelines at your pool party. There should be no running around the pool, no rough housing underwater and no diving in the shallow end.
  • Have Safety Gear Available – You should have floatation devices for the younger children such as life jackets, padded swimsuits or water wings. You should also have a  pool safety line to let the younger swimmers know where the deep end begins.
  • Fencing – You must have a fence around your pool!

The AOA Family wishes everyone a safe and fun Memorial Day Weekend!

Six-Week OBGYN Appointment

At Arizona OBGYN Affiliates, we do more than you think! From birth control and breastfeeding services, to labor and delivery services, to Well Woman Care, we take care of all of your needs, including post-delivery services. While every appointment leading up to the labor and delivery is crucial, so are the post-delivery appointments. Let’s take a look at why you need postpartum checkups.

6 Week Visit

Six weeks after you give birth, we’ll want to see you back for the ‘6 Week Checkup.’ This postpartum checkup is extremely important to determine how well you’re recovering after delivery or surgery. Labor and delivery can take both an emotional toll and a physical toll on the body, so it’s important to come in and see us so that we see how the physical recovery is coming along, as well as the emotional recovery.

If you’ve had a C-Section, we’ll want to see you a week or two after delivery just to make sure things are healing up nicely at the incision site. If you had a vaginal birth, we’ll see you six weeks after delivery.

At this exam, you will receive a pelvic exam, breast exam, and might possibly run some blood work to check for anemia. This is the perfect time to talk to us about any pain or discomfort you are feeling, all of which are more than likely perfectly normal. We’ll also discuss any questions that you might have regarding your labor and delivery, as well as postpartum issues such as breastfeeding, birth control and activity restrictions.

Labor and Delivery Questions

This is the perfect time to ask any of those burning questions that still remain after your baby is born. Maybe there are some techniques that you didn’t quite understand at the time and would like clarification on. Perhaps you’re interested in the possibilities of having a vaginal birth after a C-Section. There are a myriad of questions that might be swirling around in your head after everything has calmed down, so don’t be afraid to write them down and come in with a list. We’re always happy to set your mind at ease.

Mental Health

We also want to make absolutely sure that you’re feeling at ease with your emotional health. This includes discussion how well you’re sleeping, eating and taking care of yourself. Are you getting help with the new addition? Are you able to take naps? We want to make sure that postpartum depression is not an issue, and if it is we will deal with it together.

Physical Activities

At your 6 week appointment, many times you’ll be keenly interested in what you’re allowed and not allowed to do. We will discuss this in great detail, including how much weight you are able to lift now, how much work you can take on, and if you are ready for sex or not. Based on your recovery, we will make these determinations together.

Your 6 week appointment is the next step in the process of labor and delivery recovery. Don’t stress about getting to your appointment directly on the 6 week mark, but we’ll try to make it around that time. If you haven’t made your 6 week appointment yet, or need to reschedule, please contact us today.

Young Patients and STD’s

Your first visit to the OBGYN can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have certain concerns about STD’s. We were all teenager’s once, and your AOA physicians are sensitive that the fact that these discussions might not be the most comfortable. However, being able to talk about STD’s with your AOA provider is extremely important. Whether you are or are not sexually active, it is best to know the signs of certain STD’s and how to avoid them.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, or STD’s, spread from person to person through intimate contact, can affect anyone, and need to be dealt with immediately. Many teenagers cringe just at the word ‘STD,’ but while it might not be fun to talk about and more fun to gawk about, the reality is that STD’s are a serious health threat. Throughout the years in conversations with our younger patients, we’ve put together a list of some important aspects to remember about STD’s.

STD’s include just some of the following:

  • Chlamydia – One of the most common STD’s, Chlamydia is hard to detect without testing. Chlamydia can cause an infection of the urethra in both guys and girls, and can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in girls.
  • Genital Herpes – There are many versions of genital herpes, some as harmless as HSV-1 that creates cold sores around the mouth, others more dangerous such as HSV-2 which creates sores in uncomfortable areas.
  • Genital Warts – Caused by the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, Genital Warts can be extremely uncomfortable.
  • Gonorrhea – Symptoms of Gonorrhea include burning during urination in both men and women, and discharge. This STD can be dangerous if left untreated, so talk to your AOA provider for more information.

Sexual Activity

Even if you’re not sexually active, you can still obtain a sexually transmitted disease. This seems to be a major sticking point for many young patients. Skin-to-skin contact with someone who has herpes or genital warts can transfer the disease. And while sexual activity might never take place, though it is rare, some STD’s can be transferred.

Signs of an STD

Many of our younger patients believe that the signs of an STD are obvious. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. You cannot always tell whether someone has an STD. Many times the person with the STD doesn’t even realize they are infected.

The only way to be sure that you, or anyone else, does not have an STD is to get tested.

Birth Control

Birth control cannot protect you from STD’s.

Stay Safe

When you come in to talk to your AOA provider about sexually transmitted diseases, do not be ashamed or embarrassed. It’s important that you are comfortable talking about these issues with your provider, so that if a situation does arise you can handle it together.

What’s in a Name?

The ultimate list of the most popular baby names of 2011 was released yesterday, proving how much influence TV and religion have over our ideas. At AOA, we deliver babies from every background and ethnicity, seeing hundreds upon hundreds of unique baby names, but we have to admit that these ones do seem to come up quite often.

Most Popular Baby Names

The most popular baby names of 2011 look like this:

Boys

  1. Jacob
  2. Mason
  3. William
  4. Jayden
  5. Noah
  6. Michael
  7. Ethan
  8. Alexander
  9. Aiden
  10. Daniel

Girls

  1. Sophia
  2. Isabella
  3. Emma
  4. Olivia
  5. Ava
  6. Emily
  7. Abigail
  8. Madison
  9. Mia
  10. Chloe

 

Choosing a Baby Name

For a parent, choosing the name that your child will be known by for the rest of their lives can be daunting. Of course, every parent has their secret list of baby names that they’ve always held close to their hearts, waiting for the day when they’d choose a name. But it can still be an overwhelming decision.

Many times we’ll ask you at OBYGN visits, or even on the day of delivery, if you’ve picked a name for your little on yet. But don’t worry; it’s not uncommon for parents to be ‘undecided’ on the name until the very day your child is born.

Here are some helpful tips to choosing your baby’s name:

  1. Be Aware of How Much of an Impact Society Has on Your Decision – You might have a baby name ready and waiting, something you’ve been holding on to since childhood. You’ve always pictured having a little “Jacob” or “Sophia,” but now that the list of names is out you are afraid the name will be too common. Or maybe you recently heard a name on a TV show that sounded interesting. Naming your new baby is not an instant decision, it’s a joint one and one that should take time and a great deal of thought. If you’ve held on to the same baby name since you were a kid, perhaps it was meant to be.
  2. Don’t Worry About What Others Say – This is your baby and your decision. As with everything in pregnancy, everyone will have an opinion but yours and your partners are the only ones that count.
  3. Tradition vs Uniqueness – Some parents have families steeped in tradition, and so their sons are named after great-grandfathers and their daughters carry their grandmother’s names. Other parents want to split from tradition and forge a new path for their son or daughter with a unique name. The choice is completely yours.
  4. The Story – Many parents want their child’s name to have a story behind it. For example, if you met and married in Santa Monica, California, why not Monica for your baby girl’s name?
  5. Work Together – Above all, work together to choose a name. It should not be a stressful process, it should be fun and exciting. This is one of those things that absolutely needs to be decided and agreed upon as a team.

Here at the AOA Family, we hear all kinds of baby names, so if you’re struggling don’t hesitate to toss some names our way in your next OBGYN appointment!

Breast Feeding FAQ’s

Breast feeding is always a hot point of discussion for the moms in our Facebook community. Whether it’s your first baby, or your fourth little one, just as the experience of pregnancy is never the same, neither is the experience of breast feeding. While one child may take to it instantly, the next might just not be interested. And while one experience might be smooth sailing, the next might be painful. We’ve talked to some moms over the years about all of these things, including issues with milk coming in, C-sections, and pain.

Why am I Having a Tough Time?

This is one of the most common questions that we get when a mother begins breast feeding for the first time. Everyone experiences breast feeding differently, and while many moms will tell you that it was smooth sailing, there are quite a few who struggle with it during the first week or so. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about.

If you do find that you’re struggling with breast feeding, but you have your mind set on sticking to it, take advantage of the experts around you. The nurses, OBGYN’s, and the lactation consultants are there for you, to answer all of your questions and make sure you have everything that you need before you head home. Our AOA providers will do everything that we can to make sure you are prepared and confident in everything that you do, including breast feeding, before you head home.

Patience, a positive outlook, and a little bit of resilience is sometimes needed to find a comfortable schedule for both you and your new baby and breast feeding. Don’t worry, you two will get it figured out.

When Does the Milk Come In?

In the first few days after your baby is born you will produce colostrum. Colostrum is also called ‘pre-milk’ because it contains essential properties that protect babies from their new world. Colostrum contains antibacterial and immune-system-boosting substances that are important for your new baby. If you have decided not to breast feed, your new baby can be supplemented with many essential nutrients as well through formula.

After a few days of producing colostrums, your amazing body will automatically began to create the milk that your baby will need until they’re done breast feeding. Many moms find the experience of the milk coming in rather uncomfortable, as the transition can last up to 10 days.

Relieving Pain During Breast Feeding

During the transition phase when your milk is coming in, it can help to massage the breast to help release the milk. Many mothers also use cold packs specially created for this area of the body. Simply breast feeding your newborn can be painful on the nipple, so come talk to us about what creams and/or ointments that you can use to ease this pain. If you’re not sure whether or not your little one is latched on correctly, let us know and we’ll discuss proper breast feeding techniques. If your baby is not latched on correctly it can cause some pain.

Breast feeding is a wonderful thing, and though it might not be for everyone, we are here for any question that you might have regarding both breast feeding and formula feeding.

Your First OBGYN Visit

Part of growing up is learning to take care of yourself, your health, and thinking about making healthy decisions. One of the aspects of growing up is that first visit to see us at Arizona OBGYN Affiliates. From choosing an OBGYN that you’re comfortable with, to seeing that physician yearly to learning healthy habits, your AOA provider can help you through it all.

How to Choose an OBGYN

Many times a young girl will simply go where her mother goes, which is many times the same place that her grandmother goes as well. Here at AOA, we have many generations of women who have been with us for years. It’s extremely important to find a provider whom you are comfortable with, because this will be the person that you speak to about some very personal issues. You’ll need to feel like you can talk openly to your provider without fear of being judged.

Your first visit to an OBGYN can be a bit scary simply because you might not know what to expect, but our providers are here to walk you through the process with patience, understanding and knowledge.

What to Expect at Your First Visit

One of the major fears associated with your first OBGYN visit is not knowing what to expect. On your first visit, there will be a lot of talking. We want to begin building a relationship with you on that first visit, so that each time you come it will be less and less uncomfortable. We’ll talk about you and your family, your activities, and your personal life. Our providers want to get a good understanding of how you care for yourself, what healthy or unhealthy choices you are making, and how your family stays healthy.

During your first visit you might also have certain exams. This greatly depends upon your age and if you have been sexually active. It also depends on your comfort level. These exams might include simply taking your height, weight and blood pressure, as any physician would do. There might also be a breast exam, pelvic exam, and/or Pap test. These are nothing to fear or worry about, as they are common tests that every woman receives.

Confidentiality

Another great fear that many first-time visitors to our offices have is whether their OBGYN will tell their parents. We have a confidentiality agreement with every patient, however those patients that are under 18 do not necessarily fall under certain confidentiality rules. If there is an issues that we feel is extremely important and should be shared with parents, we will do so in the most compassionate and respectful way possible to ensure that both the young patient and the parents are comfortable.

Building a Relationship

Trust your OBYGN. Talk to us about any concerns you have, any questions you might have, or something you might not understand. We are here for you and would like to be here for you throughout your life, from your first visit to your first baby. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to make your first appointment today.

Testing for Birth Defects – Part II

Second Trimester Continued…

This is also the stage of pregnancy at which an amniocentesis may be offered  if necessary. It cannot be performed until a woman is at least 16 weeks along and is only  offered to those that are at high risk for birth defects. The cells collected are analyzed and doctors can provide a diagnosis of possible defects. Women are offered the option of this test depending on their risk of a genetic/chromosomal problem as per the results of the first and second trimester tests.

This is also the time for an ultrasound which can also pick up some defects.   Most women will choose this test as it is a great chance to see their child and assess the sex of the baby if desired!

 Third Trimester

In the third trimester of pregnancy, mothers-to-be may receive a glucose tolerance test, to show if they have gestational diabetes. This test is more for the health of the moms, and can lead your physician to provide many healthy options to maintain a perfectly healthy pregnancy.

Group B Streptococcus is another third trimester test that may be performed. While it does occur in 10 to 30 percent of all pregnant women, it is generally harmless. You physician will only need to give you a few extra pointers when it comes to labor and delivery, but in most cases it is not life threatening for you or the baby.

General

The process of testing for birth defects in moms-to-be can be scary and unnerving, but there is no path to the reassurance the tests provide without some anxiety. It is  useful to know what to prepare for when the time to give birth draws nearer in cases with defects. Conversations with a pediatrician and mental preparation is key to solid medical care decisions that can make a difference in the life of a newborn baby facing uphill medical challenges.

At AOA, we are here with you every step of the way, from the first test to the last, and everything in between. While many of these tests are routine, it can still be a stressful time for moms and dads, so take care in knowing that our highly trained physicians have the experience and compassion to get everyone through it together.

Testing For Birth Defects – Part I

Pregnancy can be quite the scary venture; however the payoff of a beautiful baby at the end is well worth the journey. During pregnancy, there may be times you will be offered  certain tests to check the welfare of your baby. From the outset there are a number of tests that can be run to give you an idea of how the pregnancy is progressing, and of any possible deficiencies your baby might be at risk for.  These tests are performed at various stages in the pregnancy, in most cases are completely normal, and are used to assess the baby’s risk of specific defects.

 

Early indications of certain defects during pregnancy is many times nothing to fret about. Your AOA physician is extremely skilled in reading the results from these tests, and while it might be a scary proposition to run the tests and hear the outcomes, the choice is yours whether you want to conduct the tests to get the reassurance associated with a normal result.

First Trimester

During the first trimester, an ultrasound may be performed to test for fetal nuchal translucency, which tells you if there is fluid around certain areas of the baby. A maternal serum test may also be performed to check for chromosomal abnormalities as well as human chorionic gonadotropin, which is another hormone test that will give the same information in terms of issues with the child’s chromosomes. These first trimester tests are used to look for Down syndrome, and other chromosomal conditions.

Second Trimester

In the second trimester, the alpha-fetoprotein screening is offered. Abnormal levels of the protein may indicate the presence of Down syndrome, spina bifida, the presence of twins, or an inaccurate due date. While these tests might be stress inducing for new moms, they are a great resource to prepare yourself by assessing your risk of some defect.

Jump to Part II

Pregnancy and Emotional Health

Pregnancy brings with it a range of emotions, from elation to apprehension about taking care of a new little life. Your emotional state may also be all over the place because your hormones are almost in a constant state of fluctuation, as your body is taken over by the baby.  Your Arizona OBYN Affiliates provider is available for medical needs but also for emotional support to help you make this a great experience in your life.

 

Yes, it’s a stressful time, but it is the greatest moments of your life, and we are here to guide you through it. Staying positive and removing stress from your life as much as possible is just one aspect of a happy pregnancy. When you come in to meet with your physician, emotional health, your thoughts, fears and questions are always something we openly discuss. In fact, it’s part of the pregnancy process that we encourage; communication on all levels with your physician.

 

Depending on the level of lifestyle changes you are going to be making during your pregnancy, you will find that the more you are able to relax, kick your feet up, and remove stress, the happier your pregnancy will be.  (Yes, feel free to use this reason for not cooking dinner, having your partner do the dishes, and even getting a nice massage every once in a while).

 

Communicate with your family and friends about reducing your stress, spending more time doing fun things. Try to do something every day, at least one thing, to take care of your own emotional health. Whether that is some breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, or simply kicking your feet up, do something for you and let your partner know that it’s your time.

Avoid drama when possible. If your friends are high drama, perhaps consider scaling back the time you spend with them. Talk to your physician about ways to enhance your overall state of emotional health during these next 9 months. If you spend time focusing on ways to make yourself feel more calm and relaxed, you will be a better place mentally to sail through your pregnancy and all its related physical changes and experiences.

 

If you feel down, anxious, scared or have questions about your emotional health, which is completely normal, talk to us. We are here not just for medical purposes, but for the emotional ones that inevitably come along with pregnancy. It’s all normal and quite common, but it can feel overwhelming when pregnant, so talk to us ahead of time so that we can address anything that may sneak up.