What is natural family planning?
As the name suggests, natural family planning, or NFP, is a form of family planning that does not use medicine or devices. Instead, NFP involves reading the body’s signs of fertility to determine the days of the month you are most likely to get pregnant.
Natural family planning is also known as fertility awareness. This method utilizes biologic markers to identify the fertile days of a woman’s reproductive cycle. Using natural family planning methods is usually the first step in trying to conceive.
Natural family planning effectiveness
The effectiveness of natural family planning heavily relies on the couple’s diligence in following the instructions. It also relies on how regular a woman’s cycle is. This family planning option may not be the best option for you if you have irregular periods or if you are currently breastfeeding.
Fertility awareness can also be used as a form of birth control. For those who are not looking to get pregnant, natural family planning isn’t as effective as other methods of birth control. According to the CDC, NFP has a failure rate of 24%.
Natural family planning methods
The rhythm method is one of the oldest methods of natural family planning. This method is based on the calendar, as a woman’s cycle typically lasts between 28 and 32 days. To figure out how long your menstrual cycle is, you will need to keep track of the length of your period for at least 6 months. While you can use a regular calendar, there are many apps designed to help you keep track of your menstrual cycle.
To track your cycle, day 1 will be the first day of your period. You will also mark the first day of your next period. From there, you will count the number of days between the first days of each period.
To find the first fertile day where you can get pregnant, you will look at the shortest cycle in your period record and subtract 18 from the total number of days in that cycle. You will then count that number from day 1 of your current cycle. That will be your first fertile day of the month. To predict the last day of fertility in your current cycle, find the longest cycle in your period record and subtract 11 from the total number of days in that cycle. Count that number from day 1 of your current cycle.
Basal Body Temperature Charting
This method of family planning utilizes the fact that your natural body temperature slightly changes throughout your menstrual cycle. In the first part of your cycle, your body temperature is slightly lower, typically around 96-98 degrees, and then it rises when you ovulate, typically around 97-99 degrees. While the rhythm method requires about 6 months of data (6 periods), using your body temperature only requires 3 months. The more data you have, though, the better you can increase your chance of pregnancy!
To use the temperature method, you must take your temperature the same way and around the same time every day. Dr. Quartell recommends taking your temperature as soon as you wake up, before talking, eating, drinking, or any other activity. The best results will be if you take your temperature before you get out of bed! You will record your temperature within a fertility awareness chart. The changes in your temperature will only be fractions of a degree, so it’s important to get as accurate of a reading as possible.
Be sure to keep in mind that there are many things that can change your internal temperature. These include sleep deprivation, smoking, drinking, alcohol, jet lag, and stress. Dr. Quartell recommends that you also keep track of these factors in your fertility log to ensure you know when the changes in your temperature aren’t part of your natural menstrual cycle.
Cervical Mucus Monitoring
This method requires you to track the changes in your cervical mucus, or vaginal discharge, throughout your menstrual cycle. The hormones that control your menstrual cycle are also responsible for making your cervix produces mucus. This mucus changes in color, texture, and amount during your menstrual cycle. This is especially true around ovulation. Cervical mucus monitoring is the basis for more modern NFP methods.
To track your cervical mucus, you are required to feel and look at your discharge every day. You will then record what you notice on a special chart or app. You can check your discharge by using one of the following methods:
- Using white toilet paper, wipe the opening of your vagina prior to urination.
- Look at the discharge on your underwear.
- Insert clean fingers into the vagina to check the color and texture.
Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, you will notice the following:
- During your period: You will not notice any, as your blood flow covers your mucus.
- After your period: Known as “dry days,” you typically do not have mucus or discharge in the first couple of days following your period.
- Before ovulation: Typically, you have the most mucus right before ovulation. It is usually clear and feels slippery. These are the days you are most likely to become pregnant.
Top OB/GYN in New Jersey
If you have followed our tips and have successfully conceived, congratulations! This is an exciting time. Anthony C. Quartell, MD. and Associates have been treating patients for over 40 years in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology, specializing in family planning. Dr. Quartell is here to guide you during every step of pregnancy. For more information about family planning, pregnancy and the various services we provide, and conditions we treat, be sure to contact us today to schedule an appointment today!
Image via Pexels
Exploring Endometriosis and Fertility
Infertility is a serious condition that sadly affects both women and men, defined as the inability to conceive after a year or longer of having unprotected sex. Although fertility issues can be brought on by a variety of factors, some of which are unpreventable, women with an endometriosis diagnosis are even more likely to experience infertility problems in life.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. When a woman has endometriosis, the endometrium is located outside of the uterus. In various cases of endometriosis, the endometrium has been found on the abdomen, ovaries, pelvic cavity and even inside the fallopian tubes. Since the endometrium is misplaced, the tissue actually builds up more so than usual, breaks down and ultimately sheds. While this is a very normal and routine occurrence for the endometrium tissue properly located within the uterus, the misplaced tissue has no other way to leave the body—which leads to tell-tale signs of endometriosis, like internal bleeding and inflammation.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease that doesn’t always show symptoms or signs to the women who have it. For those women who do experience the signs of endometriosis, symptoms could range from mild to severe. Symptoms of endometriosis include painful cramping throughout a menstrual cycle, extreme pelvic pain that gradually worsens, lower back pain, painful intercourse, excessive bleeding, painful bowel movements, painful urination, constipation and nausea. And although it might not be a physically felt sign, infertility is also a symptom of endometriosis.
Endometriosis and Fertility
Endometriosis can affect different parts of a woman’s reproductive system, depending on where the endometrium tissue is located outside of the uterus. Due to the fact that endometriosis causes severe inflammation and irritation to multiple parts of a woman’s body, it can significantly affect fertility—and decrease the chances of a woman becoming pregnant. In some cases, the fimbria may be tampered with, leading to infertility. The fimbria allows the egg to be transported into the fallopian tube; when endometriosis cause swelling and brings about damage to the egg, it makes it more difficult for the egg to travel to its end location successfully. The inflammation brought on by endometriosis can also heavily influence the sperm and eggs as well, since they are existing in a damaged environment that makes it almost impossible for successful fertility circumstances to occur. In rarer occasions, endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes or lead to adhesions in a woman’s body, causing the pelvic organs to stick together; this makes the pelvic organs function at a much lower rate.
Becoming Pregnant with Endometriosis
For those women with diagnosed endometriosis and ongoing infertility issues as a result, an experienced obstetrician or gynecologist can perform a laparoscopy to treat the endometriosis and increase the chances of her becoming pregnant. Laparoscopy is a minor outpatient surgery that inserts a scope through a woman’s umbilicus, into her abdomen. Throughout the procedure, the medical doctor can remove lesions caused by endometriosis with scissors, a laser or some other type of approved, medical removal process. Once the laparoscopy is finished, women have the best chance of conceiving within the first few months. In the event that a woman does become pregnant and can successfully carry a baby to term while living with endometriosis, pregnancy has the ability to improve symptoms greatly; the pregnancy hormones naturally counteract the endometriosis.
Get Tested for Endometriosis at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates
Getting diagnosed with endometriosis and increasing the chances of becoming pregnant all start with proper general obstetric care. At Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates, Dr. Quartell and his dedicated staff specialize in minimally invasive gynecological surgery and treat conditions like endometriosis on a daily basis, helping women decrease their infertility rate and become the healthiest they can possibly be. Women who think they might have endometriosis can become tested, diagnosed and possibly even treated at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates’ convenient location at 316 Eisenhower Parkway in Livingston, New Jersey. Please contact the office by calling 973-716-9600 to schedule an appointment today.
Summer heat combined with pregnancy hormones? That’s a recipe for one hot mama! Sometimes it may seem that the heat and humidity is unbearable during your pregnancy, but fortunately there are ways to beat the heat.
Having a full summer maternity wardrobe will keep you not only stylish but also cool and comfy. It is absolutely essential for pregnant women to have these items on hand:
- Comfy capris and shorts
- Lightweight, loose tops
- Flowing, breezy summer dresses
- A tote bag to carry all your summer necessities to keep your cool and safe
Water is Your Best Friend:
It is important to stay hydrated in the summer for anyone, but more importantly for pregnant women. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of cold water each day. Not drinking enough water can worsen pregnancy aches, swelling and even trigger contractions. A creative and tasty way to make drinking water easier is to put a fresh lemon, lime or orange wedge in your glass.
Water isn’t just for drinking! Carry a spray bottle filled with cold water. A few sprays can help to cool you down when the heat just won’t quit! You can also lay a cool washcloth on the back of your neck or a soft freezer pack. If none of these options are doing the trick, go for a swim to cool down!
Check the Weather
When the forecast calls for a hot and humid day, plan to stay indoors where you have access to air conditioning or fans. If you absolutely need to step outside, do so either early in the day or late in the evening when the heat is less extreme. If neither of these options will work for you, be sure to take hydration breaks and cool yourself off if you feel like you are starting to sweat. If you start to feel dizzy or light headed, get indoors immediately and grab a cold glass of water. Once you are refreshed, lie down on your left side. If you don’t feel better soon, be sure call your midwife or doctor right away.
Also be sure to avoid the afternoon sun. Pregnant women are more prone to sunburn, so whenever you are outside in the sun, be sure to apply and reapply sunscreen often to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays.
Plan Vacations Wisely
During the first and third trimester, you may need to rest and take frequent bathroom stops. If you are driving, be sure to stop every hour or two (depending on the length of your trip) to stretch your legs and walk around. If you are flying, take a walk up and down the aisle, or even just to the bathroom. Also be sure to extend your ankles while seated to reduce swelling. Before booking a flight, check their policies. Some airlines restrict travel after 36 weeks into a pregnancy, and others require verification from your doctor that you are fit for travel.
By using these tips, you will be able to keep your cool all summer long! Have any other questions about your prenatal care? Give our specialists a call at 973-968-4611.
Image via Pixabay
Once the end of March nears and the first day of spring rolls around, it’s no secret that life outdoors gradually starts to change. Birds are suddenly chirping again, the sun is up and shining before you can even hit snooze and both flowers and plants begin to make their grand reappearance. Aside from spring allergies, it seems as if almost everything about the season is refreshing and new – especially when compared to the winter months prior. If a woman is drawing near to the end of her pregnancy during this seasonal change, she clearly has a lot to be excited about:
- The weather becomes nicer.
Unlike winter, or the chillier months of fall, there is an often welcomed change of weather during the months of spring. The light rainfall and rising temperatures – a “not too hot, not too cold” type of climate – are ideal for a new mother and her baby to spend time in. And the nicer the weather, the more time you get to spend outside, reaping all the physical and mental benefits that fresh air has to offer. One of the biggest perks? Spring weather makes outdoor exercise possible, allowing you to change up your workout routine – and prevent yourself from going a little stir crazy.
- You have more hours in a day.
Okay, so one day still consists of 24 hours no matter what season it is – but once the spring equinox hits, the Earth’s horizon becomes aligned with the sun. Once this alignment is set in place, the sun is out for an extended period of time, creating longer daylight hours and an overall shorter nightfall. This leaves you with more hours in the actual day to get things done – something that will not go unappreciated or unnoticed by a new mom juggling to get hourly feedings, play time, house work, meal prep, an occasional nap, her career duties and everything else in between done.
- There are cute baby clothes…everywhere.
Even if you’re not a fashionista (or into shopping period), it’s pretty hard to deny the adorableness that is spring baby clothes. Soft and pastel hues, playful patterns, shorts, dresses, tank tops, light sweaters, ballet flats, sneakers – whether you’re shopping for a baby boy or girl, the cute combination of clothes and accessories available in the spring season are virtually endless, and exceptionally cheery. A bonus? The weather is actually nice enough to debut their little outfits, as opposed to the winter months when they would have to be bundled up instead.
- Energy and happiness levels increase.
There are plenty of common sense reasons a new mom can be happy in the spring – the weather is finally warmer and your favorite flowers are blooming again. Aside from these simple factors, though, there are actually scientific components behind a person’s increased levels of happiness and energy in the spring. More exposure to the increased hours of sunlight, for example, produces more serotonin hormones, creating feelings of joy. Similarly, more exposure to sunlight will decrease the chemical melatonin in a new mom’s body during the day, and increases it at night, allowing for a much more manageable sleep cycle – something moms will be dying to achieve.
Every season arguably has its perks for bringing a child into the world, but it does seem like there is an extremely strong case to be made for spring as a top contender. Either way, new mothers are bound to thrive in mommy-hood, so long as they have a positive attitude, support system and an unmatched, maternal love for their child. If you’re looking to receive the top prenatal and obstetrical care, contact Dr. Quartell & Associates today. Maybe you’ll be enjoying the birth of your baby by the time next spring comes!
Pregnant women are testing positive for the mosquito borne illness known as Zika Virus. To be extra safe, expectant mothers are urged to seek out accurate and up-to-date information before traveling. The Zika Virus is dangerous to mothers and their unborn children because the virus can be passed on from the mother to her baby during pregnancy. The Zika Virus belongs to a genus of viruses in the Flaviviridae family. Therefore, the Zika Virus is related to a class of viruses which could cause a potentially life threatening condition called encephalitis. Besides the Zika Virus, the Flaviviridae family class of viruses includes viruses like the West Nile virus,
There are currently no antivirals available for viruses like the Zika Virus. There are also no vaccines or known cures for the Zika Virus. There are a few precautions pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant should take in light of the Zika Virus outbreak. Women should avoid travelling to areas that are heavily affected by the Zika Virus such as Latin America. In the case that they already live there or need to travel- women should wear EPA approved mosquito repellent, keep skin completely covered, and avoid mosquito bites by staying indoors.
The Zika Virus is a probably this year’s scariest virus, particularly for expectant mothers, due to its detrimental effects on unborn babies. To illustrate, researchers have found alarming evidence linking the virus to a startling rise in babies born with abnormally small heads and brain defects.
Microcephaly is a congenital condition associated with abnormal brain development. This up rise in birth defects and abnormally small heads, a condition known as microcephaly, has mainly been spreading throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Zika Virus spreads through zika-carrying mosquitoes. However, there have been recent cases where the virus may have been sexually transmitted.
The Zika Virus originated in parts of Africa and South East Asia. Haphazardly, this past year more than 1.5 million have been infected as the virus spread to Latin America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. By the end of 2015, there have even been incidents of Zika Virus spreading to American soil. In response, the World Health Organization has declared this virus a public health emergency and outbreak in an effort to reduce the risk of further international spread.
Due to this public health emergency, if you are an expectant mother your primary concern should be to avoid this mosquito-borne illness at all costs. For this reason, unnecessary travel to any region currently under outbreak of the Zika Virus is not recommended for pregnant women. It’s also not recommended for couples actively trying to conceive. All in all, travel to any area where the Zika Virus is actively spreading should be postponed.
Zika Virus is currently active in 25 countries. If you are pregnant and travel is unavoidable, then you should continually refer to the Center for Disease Control’s Zika Travel Information webpage for the most up to date travel recommendations. You should also strictly follow all proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites throughout your travels.
On another note, pregnant women who have already traveled to any region inflicted with Zika Virus should immediately consult with their healthcare providers, even if they aren’t showing symptoms. The symptoms of Zika Virus generally includes fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes. However, symptoms can be mild thereby going completely unnoticed. To play it safe, be sure to visit your doctor within 2 weeks after returning from any area with Zika Virus.
To learn more about the risks of Zika Virus during pregnancy or to receive a check-up please schedule your appointment at Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates by calling 973.716.9600.
We all know that everything isn’t going to go perfectly according to plan during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Anything can happen on the big day, which is why it is so important to be prepared for anything.
Having a clear plan for the birth allows you to go over a lot of decisions that will have to be made on delivery day. Knowing exactly what you want, ahead of time, is guaranteed to make the process easier for you and your medical team. They will have everything printed in front of them so that your wishes are clear and in writing. It will also ensure you have researched all the available options and procedures that may pop up during delivery, so that you are confident in what you do and do not want.
So what things need to go on the birth plan? The most common things on the birth plan include how you want to manage pain while in labor. This is especially important if you plan on having an un-medicated birth. You may want to have other tools available for pain management such as a bathtub, birthing ball, stool, etc. You will want to check your hospital’s policy on these items or see if they have them available. If you do want to use an epidural, you will have the chance to discuss with your doctor ahead of time. Your birth plan can be changed at any time if you decide in the moment that you do or do not want an epidural, so do not feel bound to the plan!
Complications During Labor
Complications are something no one wants to think about. However, being prepared for complications that commonly arise during labor will help you prepare. Writing down what you want to do in the case of complications will ensure you don’t have to make any quick decisions without giving them the thought you deserve.
You should also include your wishes for intervention within your birth plan. This means if labor is not progressing normally, medical personnel may ask how you wish to proceed. Medical staff may insist on augmenting the labor, or breaking your amniotic sac to progress the labor. Determine what you wish to do in the case of something going wrong so that you are confident in your decision should the occasion arise.
Your birth plan should also include specifics on what to do in the case that you need a C-section. Some women prefer to view the c- section through a clear, plastic drape, while others prefer to have the drape lowered so that the baby can be placed immediately on the mother’s chest.
Typically, the baby will be wrapped in a warm blanket and placed on the mother’s chest. Some mothers prefer skin-to-skin contact with baby directly after delivery, while others may want the baby washed and dried as a first priority. Making this decision ahead of time for your birth plan makes it easier on you and the medical staff because everyone will know the immediate next steps you prefer after a whirlwind delivery. You will also want to specify whom you want to cut the umbilical cord following delivery.
Unless the baby requires immediate medical attention, most procedures and tests can be done in the room with you and your partner. You can state in the birth plan that you prefer to be present during these procedures.
Another consideration to make for your birth plan is whether you want to breastfeed or use formula. If you plan on breastfeeding, include it in your birth plan so that the hospital can set you up with a lactation consultant before leaving the hospital. Consider if you want the baby to use a pacifier, if you want to stay with baby through the night, and write down any other concerns or decisions you have made regarding your time at the hospital.
A birth plan is so important because it allows you to write down exactly what you want for your baby’s first day in the world. It is important to be flexible with the plan and understand that your medical team has you and your baby’s best interests at heart. Discuss your plan with your obstetrician and partner prior to delivery day, so that everyone is on the same page.
So you have decided you are ready to expand your family, congratulations! The first important step to conceiving is scheduling a pre-conception appointment with an OB/GYN for a check up of you and your partner’s health. It is also important that you understand the ovulation process for success in conceiving a happy, healthy baby. Here are our top tips for timely conception!
Know when you are ovulating
There are a ton of misconceptions about the ovulation cycle. Many women wrongly assume that they should have sex 14 days after their period, which is the assumed ovulation time. However, this time period is based off a 28-day cycle, which not everyone has. Each woman has a different cycle; so going off the standard 28-day cycle could be hindering your ability to get pregnant.
It is important to pay attention to your body so that you know when you are ovulating. Some women report different discharge or changes in breast tenderness when they are ovulating, however an ovulation prediction kit is the best method for knowing when you are ovulating. These kits detect the luteinizing hormone in urine, which is at a higher-level 24-48 hours prior to ovulation.
It is also a common misconception that couples should try to conceive on the day of ovulation. In reality, it is actually best to have sex three, two, and one day before ovulation to allow for the most time for the egg to be fertilized. Timing is everything when it comes to conception.
An important part of being able to carry a baby is being in healthy enough shape to do so. You should have all of your bases covered at your preconception check-up. It is ideal to be at a healthy weight, exercise moderately, and maintain a healthy diet. If there are any health concerns, your doctor can advise you on the next steps to take, rather than wasting time trying to conceive when a health issue needs to first be addressed.
Have Sex- lots of it
Having lots of sex will increase the odds that you are able to get pregnant. It doesn’t matter what position, and no you don’t have to put your legs above your head after. Keep it relaxed and fun, this is an exciting time in your life! A common misconception is that men should “save” up their semen for days at a time before intercourse. This is a myth, and it is best to have intercourse every other day around ovulation for the best chances of conceiving. Try not to make sex a chore; it is okay to take a break if you start treating it as such.
Seek help when you need it
If you are healthy and have been trying to conceive naturally for a year with no luck, it is important to see a doctor. Your doctor will be able to advise you on next steps in order to grow your family. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Quartell for more advise on conception, and be sure to confirm your pregnancy with us so we can get you started on prenatal vitamins. Call our Livingston office at 973.716.9600 to speak with a professional today.
It takes one simple Google search on the Internet about pregnancy to be inundated with way more information than anyone could ever digest. With all the myths, old wives tales, and murky information out there, it can be hard to differentiate between fact and fiction. It is important to trust in medical professionals, not bloggers on the Internet when it comes to what is safe for your pregnancy. Here are the top 5 pregnancy myths we here from patients, with the facts you need to know.
Via ABC Health
FICTION: You are eating for two
Fact: It is common to hear people telling pregnant women that they are eating for two. While this is technically true, this doesn’t mean that you are eating double your usual caloric intake. You don’t have a human your size inside of you, therefore you actually only need an extra 300 calories per day to get proper nutrition. In fact, overeating may put you and your baby in harm. Weight gain may lead to an increased chance of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and possibly the need for cesarean section delivery due to the baby being too large.
FICTION: You shouldn’t exercise
Fact: Actually, maintaining a regular exercise routine is good for both you and your baby’s health. The most important thing is to do what is comfortable for you. If you exercised regularly prior to getting pregnant, do not increase the amount you exercise while pregnant. Keep it low impact, and don’t do anything that causes you discomfort. If you did not exercise prior to becoming pregnant, don’t start anything intense; you do not want to put your body in shock. Again, stick to low impact exercises to get your blood pumping.
FICTION: Have sex 14 days after your period to get pregnant
Fact: This is an extremely common myth among couples trying to conceive. In a perfect world, having sexual intercourse 14 days after your period would be the perfect way to get pregnant. However, this calculation is based off a woman having exactly a 28-day cycle. We know all too well that not every woman has a 28 day cycle, so it is important to pay attention to your ovulation, and amp up the intercourse during that period of time.
FICTION: Don’t eat sweets
Fact: Chocolate is okay. You shouldn’t load up on sugars throughout the pregnancy, as it is not good for baby and goes back to the point about “eating for two”. However, studies show that eating chocolate in moderation throughout the pregnancy is good for the baby. Chocolate is a stress reliever, so babies born to a mother who ate chocolate tend to be happier and under less stress throughout infancy. Dark chocolate is also an excellent antioxidant, which is good for both mom and baby. Remember, moderation is key!
Via Mom Junction
FICTION: Certain foods and sex induce labor
Fact: When that time is coming, there is certainly nothing wrong with eating spicy food or getting intimate with your partner, however there is no proof that this speeds up the labor process. Do whatever feels good and takes your mind off the contractions, but don’t expect any wacky tricks to actually speed up the process!
If you have any other questions about any tips or tricks you read on the Internet, be sure to reach out to a medical professional. Schedule an appointment with us in Livingston, NJ to get all of your questions answered so that you have a safe and educated pregnancy!
If you’re pregnant or are planning on getting pregnant, there are many decisions you’ll need to make during this exciting time in your life. Your pregnancy is a very special thing, and it’s important that your physical health and emotional well-being are monitored and supported to ensure that you and your baby are healthy and comfortable. One of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you prefer to seek an obstetrician or midwife. There is no right or wrong here, and your decision should be based on your preferences and needs. Here’s what you need to know and what you can expect if you choose a midwife during your 9 month journey.
Midwives Are Qualified Health-Care Professionals
While obstetricians or OB-GYNs are currently the number one choice for healthcare during pregnancy, midwifery has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. A common misconception that some women have is that midwives are less qualified than OB-GYNs, but this is far from the truth.
OB-GYNs complete four years of medical school, followed by four years in a residency program, along with three years in a fellowship to specialize in gynecology. Most midwives earn a bachelor’s degree and go on to work as registered nurses. They then go back to school to complete a Master’s Degree program in Midwifery. These types of midwives are known as Certified-Nurse Midwives or CNMs. Like OB-GYNs, CNMs can prescribe drugs and pain medications.
It’s All About Your Approach
When it comes to choosing between an OB-GYN or a midwife, there really is no right or wrong choice. Most women who choose a midwife do so because they prefer a more natural approach to childbirth. This could include not being medically induced, not using medication during labor, and giving birth at home or a birthing center, rather than a hospital. Keep in mind, however, that midwives can prescribe and use medication if needed by the patient.
It’s important to also know that midwives only work with patients whose pregnancies are considered “low-risk”. This means that if complications are anticipated during your pregnancy, it’s considered “high-risk,” or you plan on having a c-section, it’s recommended that you choose an OB-GYN instead.
The Benefits Of Having A Midwife
Choosing to have a midwife is more like having another partner through your pregnancy. Because of the intimate bond that is formed between patient and midwife, most women report high levels of satisfaction with their decision. Here are some other benefits to choosing a midwife during your pregnancy:
- Individualized attention, longer prenatal visits and 24/7 care.
- Emotional support before, during and after labor and delivery.
- Immediate and round-the-clock medical attention.
- Reduction of anxiety for patient, partner and family members.
- Care for you and your baby for up to 6 weeks after birth.
- Availability in hospitals, birthing centers and private settings like home.
- Lower risk for complications, lower maternity costs and lower interventions.
- Increased chance for successful breastfeeding.
Utilizing Your Midwife To Your Advantage
During your pregnancy, your midwife will be there for you to rely on for advice, medical care and emotional support. Because midwives are likely to have less patients than OB-GYNs, they can devote a lot more time to their individual patients. It’s important that you take advantage of this and utilize your midwife to their utmost potential. You can count on your midwife to educate and assist you throughout your pregnancy, and answer any questions you may have. Your midwife will also advise and assist you when it comes to your lifestyle, like appropriately adjusting your diet and helping with overall nutrition. Your midwife will be regularly there to care for you and provide you with antenatal care, detect any problems and report them to a doctor if necessary and deal with any emergencies that may arise. An underutilized benefit of having a midwife is the support they can provide not just for mom and baby, but for partners and family members as well. Your midwife will guide you in choosing the setting for your delivery and support your decision. Because they are thought of as “natural birth experts,” you can rest assured that you’ll be fully prepared if you choose to have no medical intervention. Finally, your midwife is available to you for up to 6 weeks after you give birth. During this time, they will be there to assist you and teach you how to care for you baby, so that the transition into motherhood is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
At Dr. Anthony C. Quartell, M.D., & Associates, we offer our patients the option of choosing a midwife or an OB-GYN. You can learn more about midwives here.
Being a new parent can be scary and overwhelming, and as your due date gets closer and closer the list of things to do just keeps getting longer and longer. Getting ahead on your to-do list will help you keep stress levels down as you prepare to bring your little one into the world. To help you stay on track, here’s a list of reminders before your anticipated D-Day!
Take a Tour of the Delivery Room
Choosing the right hospital is one of the most important steps in preparing for your due date. Doing a walk-through of the check-in desk, delivery room/operating room, recovery room, and nursery is important, so all parties involved are well informed and familiar with the hospital amenities. Along with selecting a hospital, it is important to find an obstetrician who is aware of your questions, concerns, and specifications that are listed in your birth plan. Establishing a rapport with your obstetrician during monthly check-ups is important and will ease unnecessary stress in the delivery room. Taking a tour of the hospital will help you become familiar with the hospital’s policies and allows you to modify your birth plan accordingly before your special day!
Pack a Bag or Two
Knowing what the hospital provides helps you decide on what you can and cannot pack into your hospital bag. Along with your most comfortable blanket and pillow, you also have to consider some logistical items that you’ll need at the hospital.
Things to Bring for Mom:
- Insurance info and/or hospital forms
- Multiple pairs of warm non-skid socks
- Maternity clothes (bras and underwear)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, hair brush, deodorant, face wash, shampoo.conditioner, feminine products)
- Ponytail holders
- Cell phone and charger
- Comfortable clothes to go home in
Things to Bring for Baby:
- Warm blankets
- Going home outfit (appropriate for season, i.e snowsuit for winter)
Read the full list at The Bump
Along with your own hospital bag, don’t forget to pack a bag for your partner, as they’ll be in the hospital right by your side.
Know What to Expect
So you have your obstetrician on speed-dial and your bags are packed and stored in the front closet. You’re weeks away from your due date, and every little movement inside your tummy convinces you that “it’s time”. So to reduce your anxiety levels, here’s a list of things to look out for as your big day approaches:
- There is leakage of clear (amniotic) fluid.
- You experience contractions that are progressively getting stronger and more frequent. (Less than 5 minutes apart.)
- A feeling of decreased fetal movement.
For more information on labor symptoms the professionals at Anthony C. Quartell M.D. & Associates
Preparing for the delivery room doesn’t stop at the hospital. Arranging your home for your new bundle of joy is an important step. These preparations range from setting up the nursery in your home, to safely installing a car seat, and everything in between. Here are additional steps to consider before bringing baby home.
- Thinking about painting the nursery? Make sure to have that done a few days in advance so the nursery has time to air-out the smell of paint.
- Childproof your home. (i.e. outlets, using gates around the house, door knob covers/locks etc.)
- Double check that you have the proper bedding for your baby’s crib.
- Buy a car seat that properly fits your specific car, and install it before going to the hospital.