The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone. We want to make sure you and your family are ok, and that you know we continue to be a resource for your gynecological health and family-planning needs. Here’s a brief check-in for our pregnant mothers and their support systems. If you feel stressed or concerned, anxious, or worried, we understand and we are here. Below are some helpful tips for managing a healthy and happy pregnancy amidst this global pandemic.
Although most in-person events, classes, and groups are canceled, you can look into joining a virtual support group. It’s always a good idea to talk to other people in a similar situation as yourself – pregnant during the COVID-19 outbreak. Check-in with your regular support group and see if they would want to do it virtually through Zoom, Skype, or any other video call service.
It’s important for you and your baby to keep your anxiety levels down, even during this time. One way to help feelings of anxiety is through exercise, like going for a walk or doing yoga. Make sure to talk to your health care provider before taking part in any exercise.
Another option to reduce anxiety is meditation. Meditation is a way to clear your mind through breathing exercises. These exercises will help your mind slow down and ease worries. There are many meditation apps you can choose from and download to get started.
During the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s especially important to find ways to stay active virtually. There are many free yoga classes online and also meditation apps you can use your phone for.
Many of us around the country have been ordered to stay in our homes if we are not essential workers, and to keep a safe distance from others. This can feel isolating. Thankfully, we have plenty of modern technology to keep us connected to our friends and family. Try these:
Stressful times typically make us want to reach out for external solutions for our problems. But, while you’re pregnant and after birth, it’s important you stick to the recommendations from your doctor like: Stay away from smoking, don’t drink alcohol, and don’t use illegal or unprescribed medical drugs.
Healthy pregnancies begin even before you even plan to become pregnant. Here are some tips for preparing your body for future pregnancies. For a more detailed breakdown, check out our preconception health page.
Take Folic Acid:
Folic acid is a B vitamin needed to generate new cells. To prevent any birth defects in your baby, especially to the brain and spine, it is important to have high levels of folic acid in your system to help new cell generation. Brain and spine development occur very early in pregnancy, within the first 28 days, so maintaining the appropriate levels of folic acid in your system can prevent birth defects even before you are aware of your pregnancy. Women who are able to bear children should take 400-800 micrograms of folic acid each day whether they plan to become pregnant or not. Try to take a multivitamin supplement that includes this daily dose of folic acid as well as calcium, iron, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D.
Keep Vaccines Up-to-Date and Have Regular Health Screenings:
Every woman should have regular screenings, have regular pap smears, and keep their vaccinations up-to-date, and in pregnancy this is especially important, as your health will affect your baby’s health. Some diseases, including STD’s, can be transmitted to the baby during delivery, so screening for them once you find out you are pregnant can help determine whether a cesarean section may be a better delivery option to prevent transmission of any diseases. This may also determine whether your baby should be immunized at birth.
If you are not immune to rubella and chickenpox, which can cause complications during pregnancy, you should be immunized immediately and not attempt to become pregnant until a month after immunization. Make sure you get the flu shot before pregnancy along with vaccinations for Hepatitis B if you haven’t already.
Manage Health Concerns:
Before pregnancy, it is important to manage health problems like epilepsy, diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, obesity, depression, eating disorders, and asthma. You should always be finding ways to achieve better health like staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, and making smarter food choices. If there are any specific pregnancy risks that run in your family, please discuss them with Dr. Ayalon. It is important that you can openly communicate with your doctor about any other health concerns you may have.
For more info on preconception health, call us at 818.654.9312.
With the advances of obstetrics, more women are choosing a c-section birth as their delivery option. There are many benefits to a c-section for both mom and baby but it does not always mean it is better than having a vaginal birth. Since a c-section is major surgery, it is important to consult with your obstetrician to better understand what to expect during and after the procedure.
What to Expect
A cesarean section is a common surgical procedure performed on pregnant women who cannot safely give birth the natural way. These can be planned in advance or become necessary due to complications during labor. Other complications that could necessitate a cesarean section include displaced placenta, mother or child distress, halted labor, non-dilated cervix, compressed umbilical cord, and oxygen cut off to the baby.
The procedure involves making a horizontal incision in the lower abdomen through which the baby is lifted out. The umbilical cord is cut and the fetal membranes are removed. The surgeon will then stitch the uterus and abdominal wall closed. In most cases, Dr. Ayalon will use spinal anesthesia, which will cause the patient to not feel any pain. If the situation is an emergency, general anesthesia may be used.
If you feel a c-section birth may be right for you, please contact your obstetrician in Tarzana to learn more about the surgery. Dr. Ayalon desires to provide compassionate and understanding professional care for all his patients when making birthing decisions.
Whether you are new to a city or wanting a different patient experience, finding the right gynecologist is an essential part of every woman’s life. Staying healthy requires regular checkups, examinations, and high-quality care from your doctor. By visiting the best gynecologist near you, it can be easy to maintain good health no matter your age.
Visit a Gynecologist Near You
Dr. Ayalon provides all of his expert medical care with compassion and sensitivity. He gets to know each of his patients personally and will take the time to answer each of your questions with simple and straightforward explanations. You are guaranteed that every visit to Dr. Ayalon’s office will mean you will receive care from the same committed and trusted OB/GYN you’re used to seeing. To learn more about Dr. Ayalon and his staff, schedule your routine exam today!
With the rise in understanding of postpartum depression, it is a positive step in offering mothers the necessary support to heal emotionally and physically after having a baby. For mothers who find themselves feeling overwhelmed or anxious, it is essential for them to know what they are experiencing is completely normal. By visiting your OBGYN in Tarzana CA, you can identify if what you are feeling is postpartum depression and what steps you need to take to get the help necessary to begin to feel more like yourself and bond with your child.
Common Signs of Postpartum Depression
Women suffering from postpartum depression might be easily agitated, restless, feel worthless or guilty, are unable to enjoy most activities, and may even have thoughts of death or suicide. Symptoms will vary, with some women worrying excessively about their baby while others show little interest in them. In severe cases, some mothers feel urges to hurt their baby, but this is very rare and these feelings are almost never acted upon. Generally, symptoms are persistent and cause you to feel negative about your baby or your life situation after delivery.
Common Causes of Postpartum Depression
If you are pregnant and any of these apply to you, remember that stress from these scenarios can play a part in postpartum depression:
• Having depression or bipolar disorder before pregnancy
• Having mixed feelings about the pregnancy
• Abusing alcohol, illegal substances, or smoking during pregnancy
(this behavior is harmful to your baby and should not continue during or after pregnancy)
• Being a single mother or having a weak relationship with your partner
• Experiencing complications during delivery
The most important thing to remember when experiencing postpartum depression is that you are not alone. You have your family, your doctor, and other medical professionals who can help you through this time. We encourage all our patients who think they may be experiencing symptoms of depression to schedule an appointment with your OBGYN in Tarzana.
Should I get a flu shot while pregnant?
Not only is it safe, but it is also essential that pregnant women get the flu shot because of the changes in their bodies that make them prone to infection. Once you are 32 weeks into your pregnancy your immune system is suppressed to protect your fetus from being rejected from your body. This leaves pregnant women susceptible to many illnesses like the flu.
Can I get the flu nasal spray during my pregnancy?
Pregnant women should only receive the shot and never the nasal spray vaccine. The shot contains an inactive virus while the nasal spray uses a live virus which is riskier for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant. Check with your doctor before getting the shot if you have had any severe reactions in the past. While some reactions are not related to the shot, it is always good to take extra precautions. You may need to wait in Dr. Ayalon’s office for at least thirty minutes after receiving a shot in order to monitor your reactions.
What are the risks of not getting a flu shot when pregnant?
Catching the flu during your pregnancy is cause for concern since your suppressed immune system increases the severity of flu symptoms. A case of the flu in pregnancy can lead to pneumonia, hospitalization, or even death. During pregnancy, your heart and lungs are put under extra stress, and your immune system will not work as hard to rid your body of the virus. The flu can affect your baby as well, causing complications like low birth weight, preterm birth, and miscarriage.
What additional actions can I take to prevent catching the flu?
Aside from getting the vaccination for you and your baby, make sure that anyone living with you receives the shot as well. Your family and others living with you are going to be in close contact with you and your newborn. You can take other preventative actions to protect yourself against catching the flu as well. Prenatal vitamins containing Vitamin C help strengthen your immune system. Don’t forget to consume your vitamins and minerals naturally through a well-balanced diet, making sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
What if I get the flu while pregnant?
If you happen to catch the flu during your pregnancy, increase your fluids intake, eat small meals spread throughout the day, get plenty of rest, and use a steamer to help facilitate ease of breathing. Make sure to monitor your temperature at least once a day and call your OBGYN in Tarzana if your temperature gets close to 100° F or if you are concerned about your symptoms.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and an essential time to highlight the importance of early breast cancer detection. With one out of eight women experiencing breast cancer at some point in their lives, early detection is key to ensuring successful treatment and recovery. Regular visits to your ob-gyn for breast exams and mammograms are important; however, you can take steps at home each month to detect breast cancer.
How to Perform a Self-Breast Exam
Self-examinations should begin as early as the teenage years, but by age 20, women should be performing self-breast exams on a regular basis. They take only a few minutes and should especially be performed one week after the start of your period. The first part of a self-exam should be done in front of a mirror. Check the appearance of your breast from multiple angles and note any changes in breast size or shape. Notice if the texture of your skin looks irritated, dimpled, or retracted. The nipples should be checked for fluid discharge. They may also be turned inward or enlarged.
The second part of the exam can be done standing or lying down. You can start with your right breast by raising your right arm and placing your hand behind your head. With your left hand, feel your breast with the tips of your three middle fingers. Search for signs of lumps or masses. These should feel very firm and are usually painless. Squeeze the nipple with your finger and thumb to see if discharge appears. After this, perform the test again on the left breast, reversing the hands you used for the right side.
If you have detected any of the symptoms described above, alert your gynecologist in Tarzana, CA as soon as possible for a clinical exam.
Absolutely. Regular breast exams increase your chances of detecting cancer in the early stages when it is most treatable. An estimated 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. There are three common breast exams that provide the most successful detection.
Self-examinations should begin as early as the teenage years, but by age 20, women should be performing self-breast exams on a regular basis. They take only a few minutes and should especially be performed one week after the start of your period. The first part of a self-exam should be done in front of a mirror. Check the appearance of your breast from multiple angles and note any changes in breast size or shape. Notice if the texture of your skin looks irritated, dimpled, or retracted.
Clinical breast examinations are performed in Dr. Ayalon’s office. Before the exam begins, you should let Dr. Ayalon know about any changes you’ve noticed in your breasts and share your concerns and questions. Dr. Ayalon will address your concerns, answer your questions, and use any information you provide to help find and identify symptoms of breast cancer.
Mammograms are X-rays that are used to identify masses or tumors in the breasts. In this procedure, you will have your breast placed between two plates. The plates compress your breast to get the clearest image possible. This is known to cause discomfort, but will only last for a short moment while the picture is taken. Mammograms can tell if a tumor is present, but not whether it is cancerous or not.
Regular breast exams can ensure your health and give you peace of mind. Every woman should make it a priority not only to monthly self-examinations but also annual clinical exams with their OBGYN in Tarzana, CA. You can schedule your routine exam by contacting our office at (818) 654-9312.
Before and during pregnancy is an essential time to receive proper medical care. Prenatal care in Tarzana, CA, will not only provide mothers and mother-to-be with valuable care but will also ensure the health of their babies. When visiting your OB/GYN, it is crucial to understand what to expect during appointments and the benefits of proper medical care.
A few things to know about prenatal care include:
Schedule your prenatal appointment by calling our office at 818.654.9312.
For many women visiting the OB/GYN is easily an appointment to postpone. It is important for women to have a gynecologist they can trust through all stages of life. Dr. Roy Ayalon is an experienced and accomplished doctor, providing a large variety of gynecologic services for women of all ages.
Dr. Ayalon provides all of his expert medical care with compassion and sensitivity. He gets to know each of his patients personally and will take the time to answer each of your questions with simple and straightforward explanations. You are guaranteed that every visit to Dr. Ayalon’s office will mean you will receive care from the same committed and trusted OB/GYN you’re used to seeing.
Discover how our OB/GYN in Tarzana, CA can help you with all your gynecological health needs by scheduling an appointment at (818) 654-9312.