Saying Goodbye to an AOA Family Member

After 20 years working as a practicing OBGYN, one of our favorite AOA Family members is opening a new chapter in her life and career path. Dr. Gina Dado of our Paradise Valley OBGYN location has taken a prestigious position with CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank. While she will be greatly missed, Dr. Dado will be venturing into the exciting world of umbilical cord blood stem cell science, an area which she has long been fascinated by, with one of the top cord blood banks in the country.


As one of Phoenix Magazine’s Top Docs, as well as Scottsdale Magazine’s Top Doc, Dr. Dado has been an integral part of our AOA Family.  The decision to move into the next chapter of her career did not come lightly. After meeting with Dr. Edward Guindi, a previous OBGYN and CEO of CORD:USE and Mike Ernst, CFO, it was readily apparent to Dr. Dado that this company was created by two amazing individuals. They had heart and had the same passion for helping people and doing what was the best, despite less profit for the company.


Unfortunately, this industry has a large spectrum of how things are done and cord blood banks vary significantly. Dr. Dado was impressed with the team that makes up and leads CORD:USE, including the top researches, pioneers and most active cord blood transplanters in the world.


“I have always had an interest in umbilical cord blood stem cell science and this allows me to do something that I will enjoy while still helping people,” Dr. Dado said. “I will miss my wonderful years as an OBGYN. It is definitely bittersweet.”


As she departs our AOA Family and joins CORD:USE, Dr. Dado will work towards making cord blood education a standard to be included in all prenatal education where she can create a much improved understanding about this complex topic, for patients and healthcare professionals.


“There is too much good it is doing to change people’s lives today. It would be devastating for any expectant couple to have a child and not know the truth about saving or donating their baby’s cord blood stem cells.”


For more information about CORD:USE visit


Pacifiers – Yay or Nay?

Pacifiers can be a controversial subject for many moms and dads. When we raised the topic on our Facebook Page, we got quite a reaction. But why are people so passionate about pacifiers? What is it about this little baby accessory that gets our AOA Family so fired up? Let’s take a deeper look into the discussion behind the decision to use, or not use, a pacifier.

Baby Pacifiers

Sucking naturally has a soothing, calming effect on babies. In fact, many little ones learn to such their thumbs in the womb, and continue to do so after birth. It’s for this reason that many parents and physicians are pro-pacifier. However, pacifiers can lead to dependency and the possibility of dental problems in the future, which is why many parents and physicians on the other side of the line are against using them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends using a pacifier when your newborn is sleeping, either at naptime or bedtime, to reduce the risk of SIDS. Pacifiers can soothe a fussy baby and can offer a wonderful distraction during shots, blood tests, or any other procedure or experience that might be uncomfortable for your baby. They can make travel easier, might help your newborn fall asleep faster, and are easy to use and dispose of.

However, pacifiers could possibly interfere with breast feeding because sucking on a pacifier is different then what is needed for breastfeeding, and thus the baby’s sucking habits might change. Your little one could become overly dependent on the pacifier in order to fall asleep or feel soothed. Pacifiers have been associated with middle ear infections as well. And there is always the risk for dental problems later in life.

At AOA, we let parents come to this pacifier decision on their own. It can be another one of those small decisions that weight heavy on a parent’s mind, and so we are here for discussion to help you work out your pros and cons.

Babies and Dehydration

Keeping yourself cool and hydrated during the summer months, especially if you’re pregnant, is crucial. The same goes for your little one. No matter how old they are, kids and babies love to be outside, by the pool, in the sprinklers, even if it is 110-degrees out there. So, it’s your responsibility to keep your kids safe by keeping them cool and hydrated.

Babies and Dehydration

Dehydration, no matter what age you are, is a lack of water in the body due to heat, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. During an Arizona summer, dehydration is quite common due to the extreme heat.

Preemies are at the greatest risk for infant dehydration simply because their little bodies are more susceptible. They might not be eating enough yet, or getting enough fluids yet to be able to stay hydrated.  Babies of all ages, however, are at a greater risk for dehydration than parents because their bodies have a limited ability to retain the extra fluids needed to avoid dehydration, and most babies sweat at a much greater rate than adults. A baby’s metabolism is higher than an adults, thus they use more water and yet their kidneys are not quite advanced enough to retain and conserve the water needed to avoid dehydration.

Avoiding Dehydration

In Arizona, it’s crucial that you help your baby get enough fluids, whether it’s water, breast milk, or foods that contain a lot of water such as watermelon. Be aware of how much your baby is sweating as a barometer of how hot or hydrated he or she might be. Be aware of how hot and uncomfortable you are, because if you’re hot and uncomfortable in the summer heat chances are your baby is too. Be aware of how hot the car can get, and perhaps consider having the air on for a while before getting baby into their car seat.

Babies love to be swaddled and cuddled, but consider lighter blankets, lighter clothes, or diaper only during any swaddling. Always be aware of how much sun your baby is getting, and if you’re outdoors do what you can to stay in the shade.

Signs of Dehydration

Dehydration in babies, just as in adults, can range from very mild to extremely severe, so be aware of the following symptoms and signs:

  • Strong-smelling Urine – If you notice this immediately began to offer more fluids into your baby’s diet.
  • Fewer Wet Diapers – This is a sign that dehydration is setting in, so be aware of how many wet diapers your baby usually has as compared to that amount during the summer months.
  • Irritability – As mentioned, if you’re hot, uncomfortable and irritable, your baby probably is too. But if you’re in a cool space and your little one is still acting irritable and uncomfortable, there could be more going on.
  • No Tears and Dry Lips
  • Gaunt-Looking Eyes – If your baby’s eyes look gaunt, call your physician.
  • Sunken Soft Spot
  • Excessive Sleepiness – You know your baby better than anyone, and if your little one is acting lethargic or more tired than normal, call your physician.


An Arizona summer is nothing to take lightly, especially if you’re pregnant or have a new baby in the home. Keep a close eye on their behavior, look for signs of dehydration, and give them plenty of water. If you’re not sure, call your physician.

Summer Getaways with Baby

It’s summer, which means if you live in Arizona it’s definitely time to get out of the heat and go on summer vacation. If you have a little one, getting away can be difficult. The long car rides, long plane rides, anxiety and restlessness can easily turn your relaxing summer vacation into a nightmare. But at the AOA Family, we’re here to help. Over the years we’ve learned a few things about vacationing with babies and have created a list of tips to help get you through summer vacation in one piece.

Road Trips with Baby

Piling the family into the car for that summer road trip is an American tradition. It might be something that you do every single summer, but if you have a new baby this summer road trip can take on an entirely new meaning. However, following these tips can help you every step of the way:

  1. Plan Ahead – The very best thing that you can do is to plan ahead. Consider picking up so new toys for baby to play with when the trip starts getting long. Plan on making more rest stops for feedings. Also, plan on taking more breaks for you and your partner to re-energize. If the trip doesn’t quite go as planned and there is a lot of crying involved, it can be draining for everyone in the car. So plan ahead to stop at a restaurant for lunch or dinner. This extra stop can mean the difference between a horrible drive and a bearable one.
  2. Sleep Schedules – Often times new parents forget how well babies sleep in cars when adhering to their normal sleep patterns. If you want a stress-free trip, try to plan on leaving when your baby would normally take a nap or sleep at night. If your little one already has a pretty set sleep schedule, this will help greatly on your trip if you can leave at nap or bedtime.
  3. Car Checklist – You might not be one for creating checklists, but for first road trip with a new family member it might be a good idea. Think about diaper changes on the road, extra clothes, toys, food, entertainment, bottles or sippy-cups, baby blankets or stuffed-animals, first aid kit, prescription or medications, camera, stroller, any music or white noise that baby usually listens to when sleeping, and anything else you can think of.

Flights with Baby

From driving to flying, there are many similarities and yet many additional aspects that you’ll want to consider. Flying for the first time with baby can be stressful, especially if you’re not a frequent flyer, so here are a few additional tips to get you through it:

  1. Scheduling the Flight – Just as with planning your road trip around nap or bedtime, it’s always best to plan your flight the same way. If you can get a flight around your baby’s normal sleep schedule, this will greatly benefit you.
  2. Planning Ahead – As with car travel, you’ll want to plan for every contingency, including delays and layovers. Pack toys, snacks, medications, distractions and entertainment, and perhaps a few movies on your tablet or phone.
  3. Breastfeeding – Your best bet is to ask the airlines before you travel what their policy on breastfeeding is. Aviation law on breastfeeding can be confusing, and if you’re unsure it’s always best to ask. If you think that you might need to breastfeed on the trip, sit next to a window and have a partner of family member sitting next to you.
  4. Take a Breath – Flying with baby can be stressful and cause a lot of anxiety for parents. There are a lot of ‘what if’s’ that come with flying that don’t necessarily come with driving simply because there are more people involved than just you and baby.
  5. Talk to your AOA Physician – If you’re pregnant and considering flying this summer, talk to your AOA physician about your options. If you’re flying with a baby for the first time, talk to your pediatrician about safety concerns.

Getting out of the heat this summer is on everyone’s minds, so don’t be afraid to take that flight or road trip with the little one. Just remember to breathe, take your time, and cherish these moments.

Dr. Frederick D. Fingerhut, Arizona OBGYN Affiliates Physician, Awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’ by St. Joseph’s Medical Center

For Immediate Release

Dr. Frederick D. Fingerhut, Arizona OBGYN Affiliates Physician, Awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’ by St. Joseph’s Medical Center


 Wednesday, JUNE 8th, 2012 – Arizona OBGYN Affiliates (AOA) proudly announces Frederick D. Fingerhut, MD as Teacher of the Year by St. Joseph’s Medical Center. Dr. Fingerhut is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist at AOA, in the Estrella Women’s Center branch and has been in private practice for over 34 years. He attended Miami University and finished medical school at TAE Ohio State University. His internship and residency led him to St. Joe’s Hospital in central Phoenix. He has been a principle investigator for various clinical studies for the past 26 years and continues to teach family medicine residents throughout the valley.


Dr. Fingerhut’s colleagues recognize him as a family man, brilliant doctor and dedicated educator. During the award ceremony on June 8th, Drs. Stephanie Augustine and Greg Heller spoke of his successes and their personal experiences working with him. “His patient rapport is second to none. His patients LOVE him and were constantly begging him not to retire during my rotation with him. Thankfully for his patients, he obliged and will continue to work part-time,” stated Dr. Augustine. His most celebrated attribute among his students is his attention to the individual patient. Dr. Fingerhut acknowledges the usefulness of guidelines but emphasizes the needs and desires of the patient. “Dr. Fingerhut has always stood out as one of the best, and we would like to thank him for his many years of dedicated teaching to our program,” said Dr. Greg Heller of St. Joseph’s Medical Center.


About AOA

Blending advanced health care with compassion and trust, Arizona OBGYN Affiliates (AOA) is a family of OBGYN physicians who are elevating women’s care to a new level. As one of the largest OBGYN practices in the state of Arizona, AOA is dedicated to providing exceptional women’s healthcare by providing state-of-the-art examinations and treatments across the valley.  With a staff of more than forty-five physicians and mid-level practitioners and 9 branch offices throughout Arizona, women have better access to quality care; providers have the ability to receive fair compensation; and insurance providers have peace of mind in knowing that the physicians within AOA meet the highest level of clinical, technical and ethical standards in healthcare. For more information, please visit


For all media inquiries, please contact:
Sarah Swygert | | 602-679-5332

What To Do During an Arizona Summer

Arizona in the summertime can be a bit taxing. What with the extremely warm weather and the kids home from school, what do you do? Whether you’re pregnant with your first or fifth, sometimes getting out of the heat and outdoors can relax the mind, relax the body, and give everyone a much needed break from the 100-degree temps. But where do you go? What do you do? Let the AOA Family help you out…


What To Do in Arizona This Summer

There are hundreds of things to do in Arizona during the summer, especially if you still want to enjoy the great outdoors. Breathing in that fresh air is not only great for you through your pregnancy, it’s great for the whole family. Of course, it can be difficult to breathe in that fresh summer air when you’re stuck in the valley heat, where the summer air can be nearly stifling. So, consider heading up north this month!

  • Stay in a Cabin – While ‘roughing it’ might not be your cup of tea, especially if you’re pregnant, there are many cabin rentals that offer wonderful deals during the summer months. From small and cute to enormous and classy, places like Pinetop, Greer, Flagstaff, Payson and Prescott have great cabin rentals for the entire family. Keep your eye on Groupon and Deal Chicken specials, as many times throughout the year these wonderful cabins have great discounts.
  • Sunrise and Snowbowl – During the winter, these ski resorts are packed full of avid skiers and novices, and prices can be steep for a family. However, in the summer months these ski resorts turn into beautiful Arizona attractions, where the cool breezes and green vegetation can really set your mind at ease. Both ski resorts offer scenic lift rides, outdoor activities like hiking and biking, and lodging.
  • Summer Camps – From Flagstaff to Pinetop to Prescott, there are summer camps for kids of all ages in Arizona. If the summer heat is getting to the kids, consider a summer camp up north where cooler temperatures and fun rule. Visit for more information on what camps your kids might be interested in.
  • While the Kids are Away – While the kids are away at camp, you can take advantage of an empty house with some much needed pregnancy pampering. Many local resorts right here in the valley offer amazing summertime pampering packages at a discounted rate. Consider a night and spa package at a Scottsdale resort. Maybe a weekend at the casino with amazing brunch, massage and some time by the pool.

Yes, it can get extremely hot and uncomfortable during the summer months here in Arizona, especially if you’re pregnant. So take a break from the heat and head up north, where the cool air will help to relax your body, perhaps help to release some of that swelling from the heat, and give you and your family a much needed vacation.

If you are worried about how the Arizona heat is affecting your pregnancy, talk to your AOA provider. We have been through many summers here in the valley with many expectant moms, and can help you get through it safely and as comfortably as possible.

Pregnancy – Staying Safe During an Arizona Summer

Surviving the summer while pregnant in Arizona is a feat all on its own. With temperatures rising well above 100-degrees, we are often discussing ways to stay cool and hydrated during the warm summer months. It’s rough for anyone who lives here during the summer, but to go through it pregnant is a whole different story. However, we’ve been through it year-after-year, helping expectant moms beat the heat with these tips and advice:

How to Stay Safe and Beat the Heat

  • Stay Hydrated – We really can’t stress this one enough. In the summer months, we all sweat out a great portion of the liquids that we take in. However, when you’re pregnant you have an even greater possibility of sweating more liquids than you take in, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Also, be sure to apply sun block frequently. It doesn’t just prevent burns but also blocks certain days that helps with hydration.  Consider Gatorade along with water to stay hydrated. It ambassadors salts that are good for replacement.
  • Stay Cool – While every summer mom will tell you that it is no fun to be pregnant during an Arizona summer, there are some perks. Relaxing by the pool is just one of those perks that you can take advantage of during the summer. In the morning or evening, when the heat is not unbearable, kick back in the pool. The water will lower your body temperature and the buoyancy will ease some of the stress on your body. The pool can also help with swelling.
  • Summer Swelling – Unfortunately, your odds of increased swelling during the summer months are much higher than any other time of the year. But there are things that you can do to help avoid too much swelling. Lie down for an hour a day. Kick your feet up and use a cold rag to keep your body temperature low. You absolutely must wear comfortable and supportive shows that are a half-size larger than your normal size. If you want to wear flip-flops, consider supportive sandals or shoes that breathe. Keep moving as well. Take walks, go for a swim, and keep the blood flowing to help reduce swelling. Don’t worry if you experience minor swelling while pregnant in the summer months, it’s completely normal. If you’re concerned, talk to your AOA provider about what can be done.
  • Errands in the Morning or Evening – Do what you can in the early morning hours or in the evening. Avoiding direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day can greatly increase your pregnancy experience in the summer months.
  • Light Clothing – Keep your clothing light and comfortable. Avoid tight-fitting clothes, as these can not only increase your body temperature but can increase swelling. To avoid chaffing, which is perfectly normal during pregnancy especially during the summer, choose maternity clothes that are made specifically for the summer months.

If you feel light-headed, dizzy, or overheated at any point during your pregnancy call us immediately. In most cases we’ll just want to make sure you’re getting enough water and staying cool. Don’t overdo it in the summer months. Take it easy, take your time, and talk to your AOA provider about any health or heat concerns you might have.

To Baby-Proof or Not?

To baby-proof, or not to baby-proof? It’s a question that a lot of parents run into when their little one reaches a certain age, usually about eight months. Once they figure out how to crawl, every single thing in our home becomes a toy, something to check out or put in their mouths. If you have the time to keep a close eye on them every moment of the day, you might not have to baby-proof your home. However, if, like many parents in Arizona, you can’t be hovering over them at every moment, there are some baby-proofing products that you might be interested in.

Should I Baby-Proof My Home?

Every mom needs to make this decision on their own because every child is unique. Some children do not have the strength to get into too many sticky situations, many aren’t interested, and then there are those little-ones who just can’t stop themselves from exploring everything, pulling down everything and opening every single cupboard and drawer. If this is a question that you are still pondering, wait to see what your child will be like when the reach crawling age.

The last thing that you want is for your child to injure themselves or eat something toxic, so it is crucial that you keep all chemicals and cleaning products locked up, no matter what kind of personality your baby has. You do not want to leave even the slightest chance for an accident with toxic chemicals.

If you do decide to child-proof your home, here are a few items that might come in handy:

  • Bath Spout Cover – This is essential for those babies who just can’t sit still in the bath. As they crawl from one side of the tub to the other, pulling themselves up on everything, this is a great way to keep their little heads from getting bruised on the bath spout. They come in all sorts of colors, characters and animals, from whales and dolphin covers to rubber ducks. They not only keep the kids safe, they offer a great distraction and play toy.
  • Coffee Table Liners – If you’ve ever noticed on Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith and Derek have this table guards around their entire coffee table. Many parents choose to get simply the corner guards to protect little-crawlers from taking a spill on the corner of a table. It really is one of a parent’s greatest fears when your child begins pulling themselves up onto tables.
  • Outlet Covers – This is another element of baby proofing that keeps parents up at night. Electrical outlets, for some reason, seem to call to babies. Whether you baby-proof or not, consider at least getting some cover outlets for those electrical outlets that are in baby’s play areas.
  • Cabinet and Drawer Latches – These are a ‘might want’ product to have in your baby-proofing arsenal. Many parents simply move many breakable items to upper shelves and leave this one alone. Cabinet and drawer latches usually involve drilling holes in your wood, which many parents would like to avoid. However, it is highly suggested that you use these latches on any doors that are hiding cleaning products.
  • Baby Gates – If you have stairs, these are essential to keeping your baby safe. Something about stairs, just like electrical outlets, call to a baby, especially when they first figure out to manage them. The problem is that going up the stairs is a lot easier than going down, and it usually takes much longer for your little-one to the ‘going down safely’ part.  So, don’t skimp on these gates. Get something with a retractable door, one heavy duty, and one that will fit snuggly between your walls. Place one at the top and the bottom of your stairs. As your child grows, watch closely for any movement in the gate when your child stands against it. Do not solely depend on these gates to keep them safe, but they are a must in terms of child-proofing.

Child-proofing your home can be one of those questions that keeps parents up at night. Should you or shouldn’t you? To answer that question, talk to your partner and keep a keen eye on the type of personality your baby will have. As mentioned, every child is unique and will need different elements around the home to keep them safe. If you have questions or need help deciding, join us on Facebook where our Moms Helping Moms can offer great advice!!

Watch Your Kids Around Water

If you live in Arizona, it’s inevitable that you and your kids will be around a pool, lake, or river at some point. In this summer heat, every kid wants to jump right in, no matter how old or young they are. So, as we mentioned in our Memorial Day post, it’s imperative that you understand pool rules, pool safety, and are keenly aware of where your child is at all times. Swim lessons are a great idea as well. Here are some pool safety tips for a safe and fun summer here in Arizona!

Arizona Summer Pool Safety Tips

Pool safety doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, it really only involves a watchful eye an almost obsessive dedication to knowing where your child is at every second of the day, especially if you have a backyard pool or spa.

However, most parents cannot hold their child’s hands, literally, at every moment of the day, which is why these pool safety tips provided by can make your life a lot easier.

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

The above are the simple tips, the ones that won’t cost you a dime and could save lives. Of course, one of the best things that you can do for your child is to get them into swim lessons. If you are not a swimmer, it might be a good idea for you to enroll in swim lessons as well. Swim lessons are a great way to teach your child not only how to swim, but to respect water. This respect for water that a child will learn in swim lessons might just be the thing that keeps them out of the pool when there are no adults around.

Do you know CPR? As parent in Arizona, even if you don’t have a pool the odds are pretty good that one of your neighbors does. It’s imperative that every parent learn CPR and understand the basics of life-saving. We hope that you never have to use these skills, but they are crucial to know.

Do you have the right pool equipment? If you have a pool in Arizona and have ‘one or more children under six years of age’ living at your home, you are required to have a pool fence.  A.R.S. § 36-1681 requires that a swimming pool be protected by an enclosure (wall, fence, or barrier) that surrounds the pool area.

You also should have pool alarms to alert you should a child fall into the pool when you are not around. Pool and spa covers are a wonderful addition to your pool safety, as well as door alarms. Consider slider-glass-door locks as well.

We want everyone in our AOA Family to have a safe, fun and ‘cool’ summer. So get those kids into swim lessons, get that pool fence fixed, and watch your kids around water.