According to a recent study in the medical journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, the rate of maternal mortality in Texas has increased significantly, from 18.6 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010 to over 30 per 100,000 in 2014. In the U.S., maternal deaths have jumped 27 percent from 2000 to 2014. Full Entry
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning for a baby’s arrival. But, often, we do not think about planning for the actual pregnancy. This is where your OB/Gyn should come in. If you are ready to start a family, consider scheduling a preconception counseling visit with your doctor. The purpose of this visit is to perform a risk assessment and work on optimizing your health before conception. Some of the critical the development of your baby’s organs, or organogenesis, occurs before a woman is seen for her first prenatal visit, and approximately 30 percent of women do not initiate prenatal care until the second trimester. Additionally, despite a multitude of contraceptive options, nearly 50 percent of pregnancies are unintentional. Preconception counseling can help identify and modify risk factors to help achieve a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby. Full Entry
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
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
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