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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!

 

PrenatalYogaFlyer2017

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

Welcome Certified Nurse Midwives: Heather Anderson, Laura Hazely and Jamie Sternberg!

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Heather Anderson, M.S.N, C.N.M is technically new to us, but she’s really been part of our Oakland Macomb OBGYN family for a while now. Heather finished her degree from Frontier Nursing University this past year, finishing her training here at Troy Beaumont, with us. She has wanted to practice obstetrics since she was 18 years old and observed a community OB/GYN in practice. She attended Washburn University in Kansas and St. Clair Community College in Port Huron, MI. As a nurse, she practiced in emergency medicine, Labor & Delivery, and OB/GYN. She is thrilled to be a Nurse Midwife, supporting women through the natural physiologic process of birth and helping them make informed decisions enabling them safe, healthy birth experiences. In her spare time (her what?) she loves spending time with her husband and 5 (five) children, who are all involved in sports.

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Laura Hazely, M.S.N, C.N.M, joins us from Illinois, where she has practiced since graduating in 2014 from the midwifery program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has an undergraduate degree in Biopsychology. She is originally from the Port Huron area and is thrilled to be back closer to home and closer to her family. She and her 1 year-old niece are good buddies and the long-distance thing simply wasn’t working for them. She has always had a passion for Women’s Health, especially Obstetrics. Her favorite part of being a midwife is providing her patients education and support. She recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary. She and her husband love trying new restaurants and are excited to explore all that this area has to offer. She also enjoys crocheting and reading.

 

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Jamie Sternberg, M.S.N, C.N.M has been a midwife since 2014, graduating with a dual Nurse Practitioner and Midwifery degree from Georgetown University. She has a collection of college degrees and her wall(s) of diplomas at home had better be load-bearing! In addition to her Master’s of Science from Georgetown, she also has a BSN from Michigan State University, two associate degrees from Macomb in Nursing and Arts, a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from Wayne State University, and an MBA in Industrial Management from Baker College. She has most recently been practicing in Detroit. She has always loved Women’s Health and is passionate about providing excellent care. She grew up in Michigan and is the oldest of 6 kids. She now shares her home with her diplomas, 3 dogs, 4 cats, tropical fish, and her husband, who is a retired school teacher and now a horror/sci-fi writer. Jamie’s hobbies include knitting, mountain biking, photography, gardening, fishing, and gaming (PS4, XBOX).

We’re so thrilled to have them join the amazing midwife team at Oakland Macomb OBGYN!

Welcome, Dr. Young Yoon

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We are thrilled to introduce the newest addition to Oakland Macomb OBGYN, Dr. Young Yoon.

Dr. Yoon has been in practice for 5 years, primarily in Southwest Michigan. He grew up in Florida, attended medical school in Iowa at Des Moines University, and has been in Michigan for the past 10 years. He completed his OB/GYN residency in the St. John Hospital system. He enjoys all aspects of Women’s Health, most especially the wonderful relationships he builds with his patients over the years and the opportunity to care for them through all phases of life.

He and his wife, Jessie, have 3 daughters, ages 5, 2, and 8 months. They also have a dog and cat. He and the cat have a ‘friendly nemesis’ relationship, as they are the only males in the family (but many articles of clothing have been shredded to get them to this relative peace). For fun, he loves attending local sports and getting outdoors, but free time is scarce in their busy family. He says,  “I used to be pretty fun, now we have children.”

We can definitely relate to that. 🙂

Please help us welcome Dr. Yoon to the Oakland Macomb family!

Part 4- Advice from the Lactation Consultant: Latching and Feeding Positions, Practice Makes Perfect

Breast feeding  is a wonderful way to provide nutrition and immunity, comfort, and attachment to your baby. There are many benefits to breastfeeding, as we’ve discussed before.  It is considered a “lifetime gift” from mom to baby.

As we’ve talked about in other posts about feeding, it is certainly not the only way to nourish a newborn, but if it is at all possible, we recommend you try to breastfeed.

A lot of new moms find it challenging initially and sometimes feel worried, frustrated, or defeated. We strive to give you every possible chance for success. To this end, we are doing a series of posts on advice from the lactation consultant here at Troy Beaumont:  Beth Meeker BSN, RNC, IBCLC. Please review her previous posts on Skin-to-Skin Contact, Preparing for Breastfeeding During Pregnancy, and General Recommendations and Resources on Breastfeeding.

One of the principle concerns in successful breastfeeding is the baby latching well on the mother’s nipple.

Here are Beth’s recommendations on successful latching.

Know that infants are born to breastfeed. Unless there are health/anatomy concerns that makes it difficult for your baby to latch/suck, most can do it with some encouragement and teaching.

It is important to allow the baby time, on average 70 minutes after delivery, to seek out a nipple and latch for the first time. Nurses will encourage skin-to-skin contact between the mom and baby immediately or shortly after delivery, which will allow the baby to start to search for the nipple and latch for him/herself.  Those babies who are able to latch on initially after delivery, are more likely to continue to feed often (“on demand” feedings).

Most infants have natural ‘rooting reflexes’ that are stimulated by touching the cheeks, which help infants locate the nipple. Infants have instinct to suckle when the palate on the roof of their mouth is touched, either by a nipple tip or fingertip. Sometimes fussy infants who are not latching on the nipple well will suckle on the mom’s fingertip for practice.

bf

Most infants need help during the first few days/weeks as they learn the task of breastfeeding. After some time, it will become routine and natural and they will not require as much assistance establishing latch.

In those first days/weeks, here is how you can best help baby succeed in establishing a strong latch (not superficial- more productive for baby and easier on mom’s nipples).

breastfeeding%20position

 

Steps for a successful latch:

  • Place infant on a pillow, with belly facing mom’s chest
  • Mom’s hand will scoop behind infant’s neck
  • Mom’s other hand will scoop or “c-hold” the breast
  • Mom should move infant’s head forward touching the nipple
  • Mom can move the nipple up and down tickling the infant’s lips
  • Pull baby back some, watching for baby to start sticking out his tongue
  • Once the infant’s mouth opens wide, swiftly move infant onto the nipple

Don’t be discouraged if it takes 4-6 times going through all these steps before the baby latches on well. Practice, practice, practice!

While the baby is learning how best to form a latch, the mom is also learning how to make feeding easiest and most comfortable for her. Find positions and pillows that support your back. Moms have different body types, breast size, and personal comforts. You might find you are more successful in getting a strong latch in certain positions. Try them all and see what works best for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding holds/position options most recommended by lactation consultants:

  1. Laid Back (mom reclining)- baby lies across your chest. This is best for just after delivery.
  2. Cross-Cradle (mom sitting up, baby lies across mom’s abdomen, arm supporting baby)- most common position practiced in hospital
  3. Football/clutch (mom sitting, baby is to the side of mom with feet toward mom’s back)- preferred by this lactation consultant for newborns as they liked to be in that flexed position, the weight of the baby is off the tender belly of the mom, and it is easier to observe the baby’s mouth position to evaluate suck
  4. Cradle Hold (mom sitting, infant head in crook of mother’s elbow)- works best when baby several weeks old, with better head/neck control
  5. Side-lying (mom on her side with baby lying on bed next to her)- safety is a priority, so mom must be awake and alert and able to support baby’s head in this hold

bf holds

 

We hope these ideas help you establish a good breastfeeding routine with your baby. As most breastfeeding moms will tell you, once you get through the first few weeks, you both have the hang of it and it becomes routine.

Please direct any questions about your health, your baby, or your breastfeeding efforts toward your provider. You can always call Troy Beaumont’s Lactation Consultant line at 248-964-6455 with questions they can answer over the phone, too.

 

Be well!