Chicago OBGYN physicians offer obstetrics care and explain common health issues related to pregnancy
Quality prenatal care is crucial for the health of the mother and baby. Studies have shown that mothers who receive prenatal care are more likely to deliver a healthy baby. With our office located in Chicago’s Near North Side, the team at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates offers complete obstetrics care to patients in and around Chicago and Northwest Indiana.
Obstetricians are trained and experienced in identifying potential problems allowing the mother and baby to receive treatment sooner, easing any discomfort or issues. Obstetrics care is tailored to the individual patient’s needs. The prenatal team can offer tips for a smooth, healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery. This includes addressing your concerns or questions throughout pregnancy
Common health issues related to pregnancy
Pregnancy is a wonderful time for you and your family, but it brings about many changes to your body. Sometimes the changes can cause irritation or discomfort. Often, the discomfort is a normal part of pregnancy, but if you are ever concerned, do not hesitate to ask your Northwestern OBGYN team.
Common pregnancy issues include:
- High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia affect some women during pregnancy. Although many cases are mild, the condition can worsen and cause serious complications for the mother and baby if it is not detected and monitored.
- Morning sickness affects more than 50 percent of women. Nausea and vomiting can strike at any point during the day. Thankfully, morning sickness usually subsides by the second trimester. We have dietary strategies and medicines that can help.
- Constipation due to hormonal changes is common. It can be avoided by eating high fiber foods, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated.
- Cramping in the feet and calves may occur at night. Gentle exercise, particularly ankle and leg movements, help improve circulation. If leg pains do not subside, please call your doctor.
- Feeling faint or lightheaded occurs due to hormonal changes. Getting up too quickly or lying on your back are the most common times women feel faint. Get up slowly, sit down if you are standing and begin to feel faint, or roll to your side if you are lying on your back.
- Feeling hot is common due to fluctuating hormones and increased blood supply. Wear cool, loose clothing and use a fan when needed.
- Incontinence occurs during and after pregnancy due to the relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles to prepare for the baby’s delivery.
- Frequent urination can begin early and continue through pregnancy. In later pregnancy, it is caused by the baby’s head pressing on the bladder. To avoid frequent bathroom trips at night, cut back on fluids before bedtime but make sure you still drink plenty of fluids during the day.
- Varicose veins may occur in the legs or in the vulva. Avoid standing for extended periods of time and crossing your legs. When sitting or lying down, try to elevate your legs. Some women also find comfort in wearing compression garments.
- Hair or skin changes are common due to hormonal changes. Your skin including moles, birthmarks, and freckles may darken. Some women develop acne. Hair growth may increase.
- Other changes or issues may include backache, heartburn, headaches, sensitive gums, pelvic pain, stretch marks, swollen feet and ankles, tiredness, and vaginal discharge.
Healthy prenatal habits
Good prenatal care encompasses your medical care and your personal health habits. Your Northwestern OBGYN can give you information and tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These tips will help prevent and ease some of the common pregnancy issues. A woman’s health is essential for a healthy baby. Women who eat well and exercise regularly while receiving regular prenatal care are less likely to have complications during pregnancy and are more likely to give birth to a healthy baby.
Expectant mothers should eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, calcium, protein, and healthy fats. A balanced diet is linked to good fetal brain development and healthy birth weight. It may reduce some unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, and morning sickness. Pregnant women should avoid smoking and eating undercooked meats. Regular gentle exercise routines may help avoid or reduce some of your pregnancy discomforts and should be continued unless otherwise directed by your physician.