My Checkups

Health exams for: #AGEGROUP#

The following exams, tests, and procedures are recommended for #AGEGROUPLOWER#.#FEMALETEXT#

Select a link from the list below to learn how and why each test is performed, as well how to prepare for it.



© 1997- All rights reserved.

© 1997- All rights reserved.

<div class=media-desc><strong>Storing breast milk</strong><p>Breast milk is the perfect food for babies. And because of that, many women will pump and store to give to their baby at a later date. I'm Dr. Alan Greene and I want to share with you a few tips about that. First, how long can you store breast milk? Well it turns out that it stores remarkably well. At room temperature, it only lasts for about 4 hours or so. But just a bit below room temperature, say in a cooler with an ice pack in there, it will last for at least 24 hours. In the refrigerator, it will last for a full 8 days and be just as fresh as the day you started. And in the freezer it will last for 3 or 4 months. But if you think you'll be using it in the next week or so, keeping it in the refrigerator is probably the best because you keep most of the wonderful properties of breast milk still intact. If you're going to be freezing breast milk, a few tips. First is make sure the container you use is intended for freezing. If you use bag, make sure the bag says it's for freezing. Some are for rapid use. And if you use a glass bottle, again make sure it's for freezing. And if you're going to freeze in glass, you want to leave the lid slightly ajar until the milk is frozen and then screw it all the way down so you don't create too much pressure inside. Whatever container you use, you'll want to put the date that it was frozen on the there. The date it was collected and frozen. And that way you can always keep your supply as fresh as possible by going back and taking the first one in should be the first one out. I do suggest though another important tip. Is some time after the first week or so, go ahead and pull out a bag and use it so that you can find out if there were any problems along the way. If it doesn't look right, or it doesn't smell right, talk to your lactation consultant. It can usually be fixed with just a simple extra step in the process. And it's well worth finding that out now rather than waiting until you have 3 or 4 months worth of breast milk all there at the same time it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to. It's well worth the effort to nurse and any extra breast milk to go ahead and collect it now to give to your baby at moments when you're not nursing.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Early weeks of pregnancy</strong><p>The first trimester of a pregnancy is a time of incredible growth and development. A 7-week fetus will have begun to develop all essential organs.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Childbirth</strong><p>Childbirth is really a series of four stages that culminate in the actual birth and short period thereafter. For more specific information regarding emergency delivery see the information on childbirth, emergency delivery.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Pregnancy care</strong><p>It's always important to take good care of your health, but never more so than when you're pregnant. You're not only caring for your own body, you're also nurturing and growing a new human being. Let's talk about pregnancy care. During the nine or so months of your pregnancy, you'll see a lot of your ob/gyn. In fact, you should visit your doctor once a month during the first seven months of your pregnancy. Then you should see your doctor once every 2 or 3 weeks until your ninth month, and finally every week until you deliver. You might also see your regular doctor, a nurse midwife, or, if you have any complications, a perinatologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. That might sound like a lot of visits, but the goal is to keep a close eye on both you and your growing baby. Your doctor will check your baby's heart rate, and measure how quickly you're gaining weight. You'll likely have at least one ultrasound, where you can actually get to see your baby and find out the gender, unless you want it to be a surprise. Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor will monitor you for any health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. At your regular prenatal visits, your doctor can give you advice about what to eat and how much to exercise. You can also ask about all those weird symptoms you've been having, like morning sickness, food cravings, and the constant urge to use the bathroom. There are a few things you need to do while you're pregnant to make sure you and your baby are healthy. First, you have to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid is especially important right before you get pregnant, and during the first trimester of your pregnancy because it helps your baby's brain and spinal cord form. Taking folic acid can help prevent birth defects like spina bifida. One thing you need to avoid is alcohol. When you're craving a glass of wine or beer, have some sparkling water, grape juice, or ginger ale instead. Alcohol can be very dangerous for your baby. Also don't take any medicines without talking to your doctor first. That includes over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and cold relievers. Caffeine is okay, but only in moderation. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee, instead of your regular two or three. Don't smoke and stay away from anyone who is smoking. Cigarette smoke deprives your baby of oxygen. It can stunt your child's growth, and lead to birth defects such as a cleft lip or palate. If you're pregnant and you haven't seen a doctor yet, now is the time to call. The sooner you get prenatal care, the more likely that your baby will be born healthy. Let your doctor know if you have a condition like diabetes, seizures, or high blood pressure, or if you've been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection, chemicals, or radiation. Get medical help right away during your pregnancy if you have a fever, painful urination, vaginal bleeding, or severe stomach pain. Call if your water breaks, or you're not feeling your baby moving and it's near the end of your pregnancy.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Amniotic fluid</strong><p>Amniotic fluid surrounds the growing fetus in the womb and protects the fetus from injury and temperature changes. It also allows for freedom of fetal movement and permits musculoskeletal development. The amniotic fluid can be withdrawn in a procedure called amniocentesis to check for chromosomal defects or other abnormalities.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Breast engorgement</strong><p>It's normal during the first week after a baby is born for a mother's breast to become heavy, and tender, and full as the milk is coming in. And even before that as the blood flow is expanding and the lymph flow is expanding to allow the milk to come in. But sometimes that progresses to something we call engorgement. I'm Dr. Alan Greene and I want to talk briefly about engorgement. What causes it, how you can prevent it, and what to do if engorgement does happen. We call it engorgement if the pain becomes really severe because the milk is so full in the breasts that it squeezes shut some of the blood and lymph vessels. So causes swelling in the tissues. It's not just too much milk. It's real swelling of the breasts. And it can be quite painful and make nursing kind of difficult. Probably the best way to prevent engorgement is frequent, early feeding. If you feed as often as the baby wants to, and at least every 2 to 3 hours when the baby is awake during the day, and no longer than 4 or 5 hours one stretch at night during that first week will often prevent engorgement. Engorgement is less common, too, if you don't do supplemental feedings. But even if you do everything perfectly, some women will still become engorged. It's not a guarantee. If you do and don't do anything, the engorgement will likely last for 7 to 10 days. But if you take steps to treat the engorgement, usually it will be gone within maybe 24 to 48 hours, at least the worst part of it. So what does treating engorgement mean? It's a couple of very simple steps. The first one is really to try to empty the breasts completely. Again, going back to frequent feeding and to encourage the baby to nurse to finish the first breast first. Don't try to switch breasts in between, but start and let them empty as much as they can. And then only after they come off it their timing, try the other breast. Then start with the opposite one next time. Then you can do a lot with cool and warm compresses. Doing a cool compress in between nursing can help reduce the swelling and reduce the tenderness. And then a warm compress you want to switch to in the 10 to 15 minutes before nursing to help encourage let down and help the breast drain more fully. You can actually get compresses that are made for this purpose that you can warm or you can cool. And they can fit inside a nursing bra. Another thing that can be very helpful are cabbage leaves. There have been a few studies suggesting this and a lot of personal experience people have had just taking a cabbage leaf out of the refrigerator and wearing it as a compress. There seems to something in there that does help. Whatever you do, you may also want some pain relief, something like acetaminophen. And if that's necessary don't hesitate if that's something that's going to keep you nursing because breast milk is the very best thing for kids.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Cesarean section</strong><p>There are many reasons to deliver a baby by Cesarean section, such as abnormal position of the baby, or abnormalities of the placenta and umbilical cord.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Newborn jaundice</strong><p>Are your newborn baby's skin or eyes yellow? Is she extremely tired and doesn't want to eat? Your baby may have jaundice. Newborn jaundice happens when your baby has high levels of bilirubin in her blood. This yellow pigment is created in the body during the normal recycling of old red blood cells. The liver helps break bilirubin down so it can be removed from the body in the stool. Before a baby is born, the placenta removes the bilirubin from your baby so it can be processed by your liver. Right after birth, the baby's own liver takes over the job, but it can take time. Most babies have some jaundice. It usually appears between the second and third day after birth. Often babies get a screening test in the first 24 hours of life to predict if they are likely to develop jaundice. Your baby's doctor will also watch for signs of jaundice at the hospital, and during follow-up visits after your baby goes home. If your baby seems to have jaundice, the doctor will test the bilirubin levels in her blood. So, how do you treat newborn jaundice? Jaundice usually goes away on its own, so treatment is usually not necessary. If your baby's bilirubin level is too high or rising too quickly, however, she may need treatment. You'll need to keep the baby well hydrated with breast milk or formula. Feeding up to 12 times a day will encourage frequent bowel movements, which help to remove the bilirubin. If your baby needs treatment in the hospital, she may be placed under special blue lights that help break down bilirubin in the baby's skin. This treatment is called phototherapy. If your baby's bilirubin level isn't rising too quickly, you can also do phototherapy at home with a fiberoptic blanket that contains tiny bright lights. For most babies, it takes about a week or two for jaundice to go away. Very high levels of bilirubin, however, can damage a baby's brain. The good news is that this condition, called kernicterus, is almost always diagnosed long before bilirubin levels become high enough to cause damage, and phototherapy treatment will usually make it go away.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Umbilical cord healing</strong><p>The umbilical cord connects the baby to the mother's placenta. During fetal development in the womb, the umbilical cord is the lifeline to the baby supplying nutrients. After birth, the cord is clamped and cut. Eventually between 1 to 3 weeks the cord will become dry and will naturally fall off. During the time the cord is healing it should be kept as clean and as dry as possible.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>C-section</strong><p>When it's not possible or safe for a woman to deliver a baby naturally through her vagina, she will need to have her baby delivered surgically, a procedure referred to as cesarean section, or C-section. I know this is a controversial topic recently, sometimes people talk C-sections being done too often. That may be true, but when it is necessary, it can be life saving for mother or baby. A C-section is the delivery of a baby through a surgical opening in the mother's lower belly area, usually around the bikini line. The procedure is most often done while the woman is awake. The body is numbed from the chest to the feet using epidural, or spinal, anesthesia. The surgeon usually makes a cut or incision across the belly just above the pubic area. The surgeon opens the womb, or uterus, and the amniotic sac, then delivers the baby. A woman may have a C-section if there are problems with the baby, such as an abnormal heart rate, abnormal positions of the baby in the womb, developmental problems in the baby, a multiple pregnancy like triplets, or when there are problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. A C-section may be necessary if the mother has medical problems, such as an active genital herpes infection, large uterine fibroids near the cervix, or if she is too weak to deliver due to severe illness. Sometimes a delivery that takes too long, caused by problems like getting the baby's head through the birth canal, or in the instance of a very large baby may make a C-section necessary. Having a C-section is a safe procedure. The rate of complications is very low. However, there are some risks, including infection of the bladder or uterus, injury to the urinary tract, and injury to the baby. A C-section may also cause problems in future pregnancies. The average hospital stay after a C-section is 2 to 4 days, and keep in mind recovery often takes longer than it would from a vaginal birth. Walking after the C-section is important to speed recovery and pain medication may be supplied too as recovery takes place. Most mothers and infants do well after a C-section, and often, a woman who has a C-section may have a vaginal delivery if she gets pregnant again.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Ultrasound, normal fetus - profile view</strong><p>This is a normal fetal ultrasound performed at 17 weeks gestation. In the middle of the screen, the profile of the fetus is visible. The outline of the head can be seen in the left middle of the screen with the face down and the body in the fetal position extending to the lower right of the head. The outline of the spine can be seen on the right middle side of the screen.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>NICU consultants and support staff</strong><p>If your newborn needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, a group of different medical professionals will be there to help. Here's a rundown of some of the consultants and support staff you can expect to meet in the NICU. Each person who works in the NICU has a different specialty: Your bedside NICU nurses work most closely with your baby, providing care and observing closely for important changes. A neonatologist specializes in the health problems of newborns. They supervise and coordinate care. A cardiologist is trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels. If a baby has a heart defect, a cardiovascular surgeon will perform the surgery to fix it. An infectious disease specialist treats babies who have serious infections, including infections of the blood, brain, or spinal cord. A neurologist diagnoses and treats conditions of the brain, nerves, and muscles. You might see a neurologist if your baby has seizures, or is born with a nervous system condition like spina bifida. When the problem needs to be corrected with surgery, a neurosurgeon will perform the operation. An endocrinologist diagnoses and treats hormone problems, such as diabetes. Gastroenterologists are expert at treating digestive problems of the stomach and intestines. A hematologist-oncologist treats blood disorders and cancer. An infant might see this type of doctor for a problem with blood clotting. A nephrologist focuses on diseases of the kidneys and urinary system. If your baby was born with a kidney problem, you will talk to this doctor about treatments, and possibly the need for surgery. Pulmonologists treat newborn lung problems, such as respiratory distress syndrome. You might see this doctor if your baby was born with a breathing condition. Then you'll work with a respiratory therapist to treat the problem. If you had a very high-risk pregnancy, you'll work with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist. This doctor can help if your baby was born prematurely, or you had twins or other multiples. Babies who are born with eye defects see an ophthalmologist, a doctor who diagnoses and treats eye problems. If your newborn needs x-rays, an x-ray technician will take the test, and a radiologist will read the results. Sometimes babies are born with or at risk for developmental delays. If that is the case, a developmental pediatrician will test your child, and help you find the right care once you leave the NICU. The pediatrician may recommend that you see an occupational or physical therapist to assess your baby's reflexes, movement, and feeding. While you're in the NICU, you'll also see a neonatal nurse practitioner. This specialist will work closely with your doctor to make sure your baby gets just the right care. Being in the NICU can feel scary and new at first. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Your NICU medical team is there to care for your baby, and to make sure you're prepared to take over that care once you get home.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Delivery presentations</strong><p>Cephalic (head first) presentation is considered normal, but a breech (feet or buttocks first) delivery can be very difficult, even dangerous for the mother and the baby. </p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Pregnancy</strong><p>The first trimester consists of the first 14 weeks of the 40-week pregnancy. During this time, a woman may experience various emotions due to the hormonal changes in her body, and she may experience “morning sickness” at any time during the day or night.

During the first trimester, nearly all of the fetus’ internal organs form. The fetus is approximately the size of a fist and can even begin to move a little.

During the second trimester, weeks 15 through 27, a woman may experience symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. The baby’s growth in the abdominal area becomes noticeable, and stretch marks may develop as the skin of the abdomen expands. 

The developing fetus grows very rapidly during the second trimester, and the fetus’ arms and legs become well developed and strong. The expectant mother may begin to feel the baby moving inside. Although the fetus is almost fully formed, the lungs need to develop further while the fetus puts on more fat and weight.

During the third trimester, weeks 28 through 40, the baby continues to grow and the lungs develop further. It can be difficult for a woman at this stage to find a comfortable position either awake or asleep.

The baby’s growing body within the uterus pushes the abdominal organs up under the diaphragm and compresses the bladder and colon. Near the end of the 40-week cycle, the baby drops down into the pelvic cavity, which is nature’s way of saying, “It’s time to give birth”.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Ultrasound, normal fetus - foot</strong><p>This is a normal ultrasound of a fetus at 19 weeks gestation. The right foot, including the developing bones, are clearly visible in the middle of the screen.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Ovulation</strong><p>Ovulation starts when the pituitary gland releases the hormone FSH to start the development of an egg.
LH, another pituitary hormone, helps the egg mature then triggers its release.
Let's see what happens once it leaves the ovary.
Fimbriae form a finger-like fringe on the end of the fallopian tube. Their waving motion draws the egg across a small space in the body cavity and into the tube.
There, it will either be fertilized by a sperm or dissolve if it's not.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Fetus (12 weeks old)</strong><p>A fetus at 12 weeks can make a fist and suck its thumb.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Vaginal delivery</strong><p>When the cervix dilates to 10 centimeters, the pushing and delivery phase of childbirth begins. 

During this phase, the baby starts the journey down the birth canal.  As the baby’s head rotates, it may become distorted while slowly coming down the narrow opening.  The baby’s skull bones have gaps called fontanelles that allow the head to elongate and fit within the birth canal. 

As the baby’s head is delivered, it will naturally turn to one side.  The baby’s head and shoulders are supported and the rest of the baby’s body generally comes out fairly quickly.

Often when parents see their newborn child, they realize that the pain and waiting were all worth the effort.  

Welcome to the world, little guy.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Fetus at 30 to 32 weeks</strong><p>At 30 to 32 weeks, a fetus has increased central nervous system control over body functions and rhythmic breathing movements. It is still developing lungs and is partially in control of body temperature.</p></div>

© 1997- All rights reserved.