Saint Francis Healthcare System is closely monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and we have implemented a number of measures to detect and respond to this public health threat. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.
The Human Papillomavirus Vaccine safely prevents cancer through protection against human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. Certain types of HPV can lead to oral and genital cancers.
HPV vaccines are highly effective in preventing infection when given before initial exposure to the virus. Similar to the need to... Read more
The time period before and after menopause is different for every woman. Some women experience very few symptoms, while others are plagued with mood swings, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping and vaginal dryness.
There are many ways a doctor can help manage symptoms. “We will develop a plan... Read more
Saint Francis Medical Center has been named a winner of the Women’s Choice Award: America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience. Saint Francis is the only recipient in Cape Girardeau County.
As the only national honor that focuses on female patient satisfaction, the Women’s Choice Award signifies... Read more
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
Some parents know before birth that their baby will need extra help in its first few weeks of life. But other times, complications can arise unexpectedly. Birth depression occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen and blood during delivery, and it can happen due... Read more
For Connie Skelton, a midwife was the perfect choice for two very important moments in her life: the births of her two children.
Skelton gave birth to her first son, William, now 5, in New Mexico. It was her first experience with a midwife, and she appreciated... Read more
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
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
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
Women who previously had a cesarean section (C-section) may be able to have a vaginal birth in subsequent pregnancies. Research shows that 60 to 80 percent of women who attempt a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) are successful.
“Whether a VBAC can work depends on a... Read more
While postpartum depression has received much attention in recent years, fewer people are aware of its cousin: postpartum anxiety. Postpartum anxiety occurs when a new mom experiences racing thoughts, worries continuously and has a constant dread that something terrible will happen.
“It is normal to experience stress... Read more
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
While both men and women contract bladder infections (also called urinary tract infections, or UTIs), women are much more likely than men to experience this painful occurrence. Symptoms include pain during urination, blood in the urine and a frequent urge to urinate.
“Bladder infections are not serious... Read more
Area women who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer can find encouragement and camaraderie through Saint Francis Medical Center’s Power of Pink Breast Cancer Support Group.
The group, which meets Tuesday evenings for two six-week sessions in January and June, has been going strong since 2011.... Read more
Many women experience mild to moderate cramping during their period. But if your pain is considerably bad every month, talk to your doctor because you may have endometriosis.
“Endometriosis occurs when the uterine, or endometrial, lining grows outside the uterus,” says Grant D. McWilliams, DO, FACOG, obstetrician... Read more
If you are a woman between the ages of 21 and 65, you should be talking to your doctor about having a Pap smear performed at least once every two or three years. A Pap smear is the main screening for cervical cancer, and it involves... Read more
Untreated thyroid problems can cause depression, weight gain and loss of energy, and can put you at risk for heart disease, infertility and many other medical problems. The following are some classic signs of a thyroid issue:
Fatigue – People with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) often feel like... Read more
When an infant is born premature, his parents often feel helpless. But there is one important way a mother can help her baby: pump breast milk.
The lactation consultants at Saint Francis Medical Center’s Family BirthPlace and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) help mothers understand... Read more
When a baby is breech (lying upside down or on its side rather than head down), it is unsafe for the mother to deliver vaginally. She has two options: schedule a C-section or ask her doctor to try to turn the baby.
External cephalic version (ECV) is... Read more
Parents whose newborns are in Saint Francis Medical Center’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit need not feel alone: Neonatologists at Saint Francis use information gathered from nearly 1,000 NICUs to help optimize care for each infant.
The Medical Center is part of the Vermont Oxford Network... Read more