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Recent News

10 Ways Being Stuck Inside Parenting in Winter is like Being at the Olympics

1. A few people get all the attention, and there’s a whole team of other people dragging their stuff around for them and telling them they’re awesome.


2. There’s a lot of people in a small space, and it seems like everyone is speaking different languages.


3.  Some people wear onesies.


4. Going pants-less and wearing all the jewelry you own is fine for now, but you’re going to have to get dressed when we go to Target.

5. There’s always someone sliding around as fast as they can, crashing into walls and other competitors.

6. People are always lunging themselves off things and hoping for the best.

7. People fall a lot. Everyone holds their breath to find out if they broke themselves. Sometimes they cry.


8. There is a lot of chanting and yelling all the time. Boy, is it loud.


9.Somewhere, in the background, you hear “Despacito” playing.


10. Whole place runs on hot chocolate. If you get the chocolate: marshmallow ration wrong, woe unto you.


Let’s Talk About The Flu (Influenza)

Winter is a hard time to stay healthy, with so many nasty germs going around. This year, influenza, has been especially miserable. We call it the “flu,” and it’s a respiratory illness that effects the sinuses, nose, throat, and lungs, and sometimes causes vomiting and diarrhea. We go to the CDC website for all the latest information and recommendations, and here, specifically for pregnant patients.


IF I’M EXPOSED, WHEN WILL I GET SICK? The average onset of symptoms is 1 to 4 days


  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, most common in young children

WHO GETS THE FLU: Anyone. Even young, extremely healthy adults.

How Bad Can It Be? Serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

People especially likely to get severely ill from the flu are: 

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • People aged 65+
  • Anyone with chronic medical conditions (like asthma, diabetes, heart disease)

HOW TO PREVENT THE FLU:  We recommend, in accordance with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, that our patients get the flu vaccine each fall, to attempt to prevent experiencing the worst of it. This is especially important in our pregnant patients- to protect themselves, and the babies.

We also recommend, trying to avoid the spread of the flu, which travels by tiny droplets through coughing, sneezing, and talking, passing from person to person through the air. Stay away from people who are sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands frequently. We are limiting visitors to the hospital right now (no one under 13 years old) to try to reduce the spread of the flu to especially vulnerable patients.


WHEN ARE YOU CONTAGIOUS? People with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins,  some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time.

DIAGNOSING THE FLU: At the first sign of symptoms, call your provider. They may recommend you get a nasal swab to confirm. They may also recommend you be treated with an anti-viral medication to try to reduce the severity of your symptoms and the time you are suffering.

More information is available: “Seasonal Influenza, More Information.”


If you have any suspicion that you have the flu, please call your primary care physician or your Oakland Macomb OBGYn provider right away. The sooner we address it, the safer you (and baby) are. We recommend not going to the emergency room, unless you have severely high fevers, are having any difficulty breathing, or are unable to keep down water.


Be well!


sz, pa-c

Welcome Dr. Kerry Lee!


We are so happy to welcome Dr. Kerry Lee to our Oakland Macomb OBGYN family!

We’ve been waiting for her to become part of this great group for a long time! She grew up with our practice, working in the office off and on since she was in high school!

Since then, she completed her undergraduate degree at the College of Wooster in Ohio, where she also played soccer. Then she went to Michigan State University for her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree, and completed her residency at McLaren Greater Lansing.

She is passionate about providing care for women throughout all phases of life, and being their advocate for health and well-being. She is married, with two daughters, and enjoys running, hiking, reading, and spending time with family.

Be sure to say hello to her if you run into her in the office or hospital!

Welcome, Dr. Lee! We’re glad to have you!

Being a Mom of a Newborn in the Summertime is Like…

You had your summer baby! Congratulations! Now you’re free and clear to enjoy all the summertime luxuries you had to abstain from during pregnancy, right? (Insert cartoon villain laugh here) Not quite. Sit down, honey.

While you’re not pregnant anymore, now you are summering with a newborn. Here’s what that’s like:

1. You’re so exhausted, you tend to fall asleep propped up in corners, so you’re probably dangerous near water.

2. Your postpartum hormones are making you somewhat fragile, so there’s no guarantee what you might say or do in social settings, with other people. (‘I don’t know why I’m sobbing while brushing my teeth! Why AREN’T YOU CRYING ABOUT MOUTH HYGIENE?’)

3. Yay! You can finally wear a regular bathing suit! Except no, you can’t, because you still look 6 months pregnant and nothing fits right, and you have a wedgie in all the directions.

4. You’re bleeding unpredictably. Just when you think you can officially retire the pillow-sized pads you’ve been riding since delivery, it starts up again. And come on, you thought you could go near a pool without bleeding? You’ve been a woman long enough, you know the rules.

5. By the way, what will you do with the baby while you’re out enjoying the pool? Lord knows babies aren’t allowed outside for the first 200-300 months of their lives. The Great Aunts and Grandmas Squad (G.A.G.S) will question your mothering if any inch of the baby is uncovered in the outdoors. Everyone knows of that baby who once caught a cold on a crisp 80 degree day. For shame.

6. Well, if not a swimsuit, at least you still can wear those cute rompers that are so big this year, right? You can try (if you’re so inclined to try to relive 1st grade in the ‘80s) but remember your waist doesn’t taper in right now, and your breasts are like watermelons racing to hit the floor. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll have to shimmy out of the entire top part, and since you’re still using the facilities frequently to attend to #4, you’ll have to drop the whole thing to the ground every 15 minutes. Honestly, who has time for that? Plus, your baby wears one-piece outfits right now and it seems altogether too matchy-matchy.

7. You missed out on summer cocktails during pregnancy, but if you’re breastfeeding, you’re doing constant, paranoid math about whether it’s a safe time to take a sip. You resort to mocktails, but they make you even more annoyed after all these months. Really? Non-Alcoholic Sangria?!? It’s basically liquid jello salad. Go away.

8. You’re still sweating all the time. If you do dare to leave the house with a baby in the summertime, and, especially if you are breast feeding, that little heater that was inside of you, is still there, just on top of you now. You might have worried that after delivering your miracle you would have a sense of separation from her, but on a 90 degree day, if you’re wearing that baby, she is basically melding her way back into your system.

9. No, seriously. It’s hooooot. Especially under the sweat lodge nursing cover. Obviously, if you get tired of the whole cover thing and attempt to feed your baby in the open air with a breeze upon you both, you may face judgement from passers-by. Somehow it’s been decided that breasts in the summertime are meant to be dangled precariously inside tiny triangles of lycra and polyester blend, not sitting inert on your lap feeding a child in the mammaly way you’re using them, thank you very much! (Please note that even if your baby is dutifully hidden under the nursing cover, she still runs the risk of catching the consumption if her toes/ankles are exposed, according the the G.A.G.S by-laws).

10. So, fine, you might sit out of a few pool parties, mostly for your own convenience. It’s OK. Your baby is awesome, and worth it. Also, when you were pregnant, you made your spouse purchase, inflate, and maintain a baby pool in your back yard, so you can still loll about in that now, in the 9 minute intervals when the baby is sleeping.

Keep your head up and your eyes on the prize. Next summer, you’ll be throwing your baby a 1st birthday party in this heat! You’ll find ways to keep things cool. Maybe try an ice cream smash cake! It’ll be like a Gallagher show for your in-laws in the front row.

Congratulations and enjoy!

(As always, if you have specific postpartum questions or concerns, please contact your provider. If you are experiencing lingering feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiety, please contact your provider today. If you have any concerns about your newborn in the summertime, please contact your pediatrician. Be well!)

sz, pa-c (This is sequel of previous post, “Third Trimester in the Summertime is Like…” which was then revised and published by the author on Pregnant Chicken, the humorous parenting site)

The List of Approved Items Allowed in the Vagina Is Very Short. Be Wise.

Have you all been reading about the bizarre and ill-advised things women are buying to rejuvenate and clean their vaginas? It started with inserting special $60 stones for extended periods of time, as recommended by a certain celebrity, and now the new fad is inserting the powdered contents of wasp nests. Yes, wasp nests.

Our advise is, you know…don’t. This June 2nd article in Popular Science, entitled “Please Don’t Put Ground-up Wasp Nests in Your Vagina” does a really nice job of spelling out the risks of using unapproved substances internally and also gives the recommendations for proper care of this delicate organ.

The vagina is self-cleaning and efficient. We don’t recommend douching or any other method of internal cleansing. Daily showering with a neutral cleanser to the external pelvic organs is sufficient. Otherwise, you risk irritation and altering your normal flora, making you more prone to infection. Some vaginal discharge is natural, and will vary with your cycle and pregnancy. If you are having symptoms of unusual discharge or odor, or itching/burning/redness, please see your provider, as it may be a sign of infection that needs to be treated. Otherwise, just leave it alone.

As far as trying to tighten the vaginal tissue, the best method is using Kegel exercises (attached is link to Mayo Clinic’s how-to guide) which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.  If you are concerned that you may be experiencing weakness in your pelvic muscles or change in the structure of your vagina, see your provider for an assessment. In addition to Kegels, there are other ways you can safely and effectively improve vaginal tone without causing yourself harm. Never leave anything inside your vagina for extended periods of time.

In general, we recommend caution and care regarding the vagina. Keep the area clean naturally, by doing things like emptying your bladder after intercourse and showering daily. Always follow instructions carefully for any feminine hygiene or prescribed medical products you are using. Make sure that tampons not stay in for more than 4-6 hours at a time, of you can run the risk of serious infection, or even Toxic Shock Syndrome.

As always, if you have any specific questions about your health, please contact your provider. Be well!


sz, pa-c

Prenatal Yoga Classes Starting at Our Troy Campus!

We have a wonderful new opportunity for our patients at our Troy campus- sign up today, classes will fill up fast!



Why We Compare Babies to Produce: Literal “Fruit of Your Womb”

One of our nurse midwives, Laura Hazely, is ‘in the family way’ right now. If you haven’t noticed, next time you see her, feel free to pet her belly and ask her if it’s twins. She loves that.

She was musing about how the app she’s using to give her gestational milestones (like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” something similar) told her the other day that her baby was the size of a scallion. And a while back, it told her the little one was the size of an endive.

So, she’s learning a lot about vegetables during this pregnancy, if nothing else.

What is an endive? Does it like to cuddle?  

We have to assume they use produce as size comparisons because they’re common, well-known, universal items that we can all easily visualize. But…are they? Maybe they are in some cultures or parts of the world and we’re just kind of endive-naive around here?

Also, a scallion?? Like just the one lone skinny onion bulb with green flimsy stems coming off of it, or a bunch of scallions?

She reassured herself that they’re just trying to give her an idea of the length of the baby at this phase and that it’s not a reflection of the baby’s zestiness or a prediction that the baby will come out with green hair or anything.

Although, we agreed, adding a baby to a family surely does add flavor to the baked potato of life.

If we used something other than fresh fruits and vegetables to envision babies during pregnancy, what would it be? Maybe sports balls? Like, was a ping-pong, is now a baseball and soon will be a softball? Or, maybe, Starbucks drink sizes? Baby was Tall a few weeks ago and is working his way toward Venti? I suppose, we could always just use inches/centimeters, as in she is currently “yay big,” but where’s the fun in that?

Secretly, we suspect that they started using fruits and vegetables to remind pregnant women that they should be eating more fruits and vegetables during pregnancy. Notice, it’s not, “Mrs. Smith, your baby is now the size of a tater tot and is quickly on her way to being a Whopper Jr.”

Good, then. I think we’ve solved that mystery. Congratulate Laura on her gourd the next time you see her.

Be well!

sz, pa-c

Do You Deal with Pelvic pain and/or Pain with Intercourse? Read More.

Pain in the pelvis and/or pain with intercourse are problems many women experience at some point over their lifetimes. There are MANY different causes, and solutions. This article, from NYMag Dec 8, 2016 issue, “Why Does It Hurt Every Time I Have Sex” and this information from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, provide a good intro to potential problems and their treatments.
The list of potential causes is vast. They range from pelvic issues (like adenomyosis, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, pelvic adhesions, pelvic congestion, some cervical conditions) to gastrointestinal concerns (irritable/inflamed bowel syndromes, and more) to urological (problems with bladder, ureters, urethra) to external genitalia issues involving the vulva or vagina, to issues with the pelvic ligaments and musculature, to psychological, historical, and relationship concerns, and more.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain and/or pain with intercourse, the place to start is your Oakland Macomb OBGYN provider. Make an appointment to address the pelvic pain, and expect a full interview and exam, and likely some further testing to identify the source of the pain and begin to make a plan to address it.
There are entire specialties devoted to female pelvic health- obviously gynecology, but also urology, pelvic floor physical therapy, some interventional radiology, psychotherapists who specialize in sexual health, and more. Help is out there. We can help you find it. 
Also, Beaumont offers a “Women Coping Pelvic Pain Support Group” through the urology department. Check out their upcoming meetings.
Call today to start your evaluation and be on your way to better wellness!
(We are working on developing some support groups within Oakland Macomb. One may end up being a pelvic floor support group. Stay tuned in the new year if you are interested).

Updates on Zika Virus

It is essential to avoid contact with a mosquitos infected with Zika during pregnancy and in the months leading up to pregnancy, as it known to cause birth defects. The virus can be transmitted between sexual partners. There are travel advisories in Mexico, South And Central America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, parts of Asia, and parts of Miami, Florida.

Follow this CDC link for the latest updates and information, alone with ‘Zika Travel Information’ for an up-to-date service the CDC offers which allows you to text your travel destination and find out if there are Zika warnings. Information is changing rapidly, so stay abreast to the new CDC recommendations.

If you have any questions/concerns about travel during or in anticipation of pregnancy, or if you think you may have been exposed, please don’t hesitate to talk to your Oakland Macomb provider.

Third Trimester in the Summer Time is Like…

A good friend of ours is a 41 years old mother of two little guys, currently 34 weeks pregnant with her third. She is a hero, obviously. She was describing what it is like to be pregnant in the third trimester in the hottest season of the year. Today in Michigan it is 84 degrees and sunny, which sounds perfectly lovely….unless you’re incubating an entire human person inside of you.

Being pregnant in the third trimester in the summer time is like…

1. Being in a sandstorm wearing a heavy wool poncho over your entire body, with only an opening big enough for a straw to fit through so you can breathe. Kind of, sort of.
2. You know those microwavable veggie packets that steam while they cook? You’re the vegetable.
3. Or, if your cravings are leading you in less healthy pursuits- you know at 7-11 how those plump red hotdogs are just sitting in that case, spinning and sweating all day? You’re the hotdog.
4. You’re sharing a sleeping bag with someone in 90-degree heat but you can’t unzip it and get out, because you’re the sleeping bag.
5. You’re sweating and don’t want to get dehydrated, so you drink a lot of water, so you have to hoist yourself up to pee every 5 minutes, so you’re sweating.
6. Everyone else looks so cute in their sundresses! You feel like your maternity dress could probably fit the actual sun.
7. Your cute summer sandals might technically fit your swollen feet, but it’s kind of a Cinderella’s step-sister situation and the straps look like they’re crying and want to give up. Your toes sticking out the top remind you again of the sausages at 7-11. Oh, great. And now you’re hungry again.
8. You’re hungry but can only fit in a few bites at a time because the baby is squished right up against your stomach. Which seems impossible because he/she is also squished right up against your bladder. You start to wonder if there are 9 or 10 babies up in there. You look suspiciously at your doctor or midwife at your next appointment. Perhaps they are hiding the fact that you’re actually having a litter. Perhaps they just didn’t want to alarm you. Perha- you have to pee again and by the time you get back to your exam room you forgot what you were saying.
9. You find yourself forgetful and unfocused. You’re sure you came into the kitchen for something but now can’t for the life of you figure out what it was. Oh, well. You’re here. You may as well fan yourself with the open fridge door for the next 90 minutes.
10. All you want is to completely submerge yourself in a cold pool for the rest of your pregnancy. You’d be so pruney and happy just floating around there, weightless and cool. Somehow your job and family have not agreed to these terms and keep insisting that you do terrible things like “stand up” and “function like a grown up.” They obviously just don’t get it.

cartoon swim

c/o toonpool.com

Obviously this is meant in good fun. We hear your summer plight and we’re with you in solidarity. If you have any specific concerns about symptoms that you are experiencing, do please contact your provider. Also, DO stay hydrated, DO stay in the shade and air conditioning when you can, DO get your feet up whenever possible, and DO call us if you need anything. Be well!

sz, pa-c