Health Articles Category: Obstetrics and Gynecology

A Midwife Gives Expectant Moms a Choice

Expectant mothers in the area now have the option of choosing a midwife to care for them during their pregnancy and delivery at Saint Francis Medical Center. Tracy Carr, MSN, CNM, is a certified nurse midwife who sees patients at Cape Primary Care, Cape Care for Women... Read more

Abnormal Pap Smears

When your doctor says you have an abnormal Pap smear, that means the test found some cells on your cervix that do not look normal. These cells are probably not cancerous, but they could turn into cancer. That is why you will need to undergo further... Read more

Avoid Anemia During Pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, her blood volume increases by 40 percent to supply blood to the baby and placenta. This can lead to anemia, a condition in which the red blood cells are low, leading to fatigue. “Almost all pregnant women will experience anemia at some... Read more

Avoid Gestational Diabetes in Second Pregnancy

If you had gestational diabetes during your first pregnancy, you are at an increased risk for developing the same problem in your second pregnancy. “After a woman with gestational diabetes delivers her baby, her doctor will check her blood glucose levels at six to eight weeks postpartum,”... Read more

Breast-feed Babies in NICU

When babies are born before 36 weeks’ gestation, they are often unable to begin oral feeding because their brain is not yet mature enough to initiate the suck-swallow-breathe response. However, the staff at Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) strives to... Read more

Choosing an OB-GYN

When a woman chooses an obstetrician and gynecologist, she needs to find someone she trusts. Having a close relationship with her physician means she is much more likely to return for annual examinations. "Some women stop seeing their OB-GYN after they have children because their lives are... Read more

Coloring Your Hair While Pregnant

Hundreds of young women regularly color their hair. When they become pregnant, one often-asked question is whether dyeing their hair will harm the baby. The answer is not as simple as you might think. Coloring your hair is probably safe. However, this particular issue has never been... Read more

Combat Bloating During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you are likely to experience uncomfortable bloating and gas. This is due to the hormone progesterone, which causes your gastrointestinal tract to relax and slow down digestion. “When digestion slows, this gives the nutrients from the food you eat more time to reach... Read more

Control Diabetes During Pregnancy

Patients with pre-existing diabetes or those who develop gestational diabetes need to carefully monitor their glucoses to have the best outcome for their babies. This often involves testing the blood glucoses frequently. Controlling glucose levels can decrease the risk of additional complications of pregnancy, including preeclampsia... Read more

Controlling High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be very dangerous for a woman who is pregnant. There are two main types of hypertension issues in pregnant women – those who develop it as a part of a condition called preeclampsia or "toxemia" and those who have hypertension... Read more

Detect Birth Defects

Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor may order several tests to detect potential birth defects. "When we know there are problems, we might be able to take steps to prevent them from worsening," says Grant D. McWilliams, DO, obstetrician and gynecologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. When you... Read more

Family BirthPlace Classes

When you are preparing for the birth of your child, you may feel like you have more questions than answers. Saint Francis Medical Center's Family BirthPlace offers a wide range of classes for parents-to-be that will help you feel more equipped for such a big change. The... Read more

Family BirthPlace Staff Is “Like Family” to Patient

When Malinda Milam entered Saint Francis Medical Center's Family BirthPlace in December 2013 for monitoring of her pregnancy, she was frightened and apprehensive. However, the smiling, reassuring faces she saw put her at ease immediately. "I couldn't help but feel like I was with family," says Milam,... Read more

First Baby of New Year Born at Saint Francis

Saint Francis Medical Center celebrated the delivery of its first baby of 2017. At 4:59 pm on Monday, January 2, 2017, a baby girl was welcomed into the world by proud parents Jesse and Lora Stafford of Fredericktown, Mo., and caring Family BirthPlace nursing staff. Grant D.... Read more

Foods for Nursing Moms

If you are breast-feeding your baby, it is important to stick to a balanced, nutritious diet so your baby receives the nutrients he or she needs. In general, you should add about 500 calories per day to your diet. “Breast-feeding moms need large amounts of calcium and... Read more

Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

When you are pregnant, you need to pay special attention to your diet because the foods you choose can affect the health of your unborn baby. Fish can be very nutritious and high in omega-3 fatty acids, but avoid fish that have a very high mercury... Read more

Helping Newborns Breathe

Newborns who have difficulty breathing can get the help they need in Saint Francis Healthcare System’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Doctors give babies treatments ranging from airflow in the nose to a breathing tube that infuses medication into their lungs in the Level III... Read more

High Blood Pressure Can Threaten Pregnancy 

If you suffer from chronic hypertension (high blood pressure), talk with your doctor before trying to become pregnant. You may need to take extra precautions throughout your pregnancy. “People with hypertension have decreased blood flow to the uterus, which can affect a baby’s growth,” says Naomi L.... Read more

Increase Odds of Pregnancy

The best way to increase your odds of becoming pregnant is to have timed intercourse within a few days before or 24 hours after ovulation. Of course, to do this, you need to know when you will ovulate – and that can vary from cycle to... Read more

Keep Up to Date with Vaccinations During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, certain vaccinations lower your risk of becoming ill and, in turn, lower your baby’s risk. At about 28 weeks’ gestation, your doctor will talk to you about receiving a dose of the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also... Read more


Request a personalized estimate