Not all NICUs are created equal


Most babies are born healthy. However, when babies have a condition diagnosed in utero, or born early, or experience complications during or immediately after delivery, they may need the specialized care offered in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In fact, the March of Dimes estimates about one in 10 babies born in the U.S. require resuscitation and possibly neonatal care. Full Entry »

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Pregnancy and rheumatoid arthritis 101

What can women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) expect if they want to have a baby?
A majority of women with RA can have successful pregnancies and healthy babies, especially if their RA is well controlled. It is important for women with RA to plan ahead and have an appointment with their rheumatologist and high-risk obstetrician prior to conception. There are also certain medications that should be stopped prior to pregnancy and your RA should be controlled before contemplating pregnancy. It is also important for all women to start on folic acid supplementation before you get pregnant. Full Entry »

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From New York to Houston: My placenta accreta story


Unlike many women with placenta accreta who hear the term for the first time when they are diagnosed, I had been warned by my OB that my history of three prior C-sections put me at risk for this condition. Placenta accreta is a serious pregnancy complication where the placenta abnormally attaches to the uterine lining. There are three gradations of abnormal attachment, ranging from accreta (placenta attaches to the uterine lining), increta (placenta invades at least halfway through the uterine wall) to percreta (placenta grows through the uterine wall and often into nearby tissues, like the bladder). Women with placenta accreta are at risk for massive, life-threatening hemorrhage during delivery. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, maternal death occurs in 7 percent of accreta cases (with higher rates for increta and percreta), and may occur despite optimal management and surgical care. Full Entry »

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Creating a birth plan: What you need to know

Going into labor and giving birth can be a high-stress experience, especially for a first-time mother. To help ease any anxiety, it’s a great idea to have a birth plan in place before going into labor. A birth plan is a document that outlines your preferences for labor, delivery and your postpartum experience. It also gives you the chance to be an active participant in your health care and offers you some control of your delivery experience. Full Entry »

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National breastfeeding awareness month: The importance of support


Breastfeeding support in the early weeks is crucial to the success of a breastfeeding relationship. Merging together the expertise of a board certified lactation consultant and the important role that other new mothers play in supporting and encouraging one another during this time, the Pavilion for Women started a special program just for these mothers. Full Entry »

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