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Get the facts on common myths about being pregnant.

When you’re having a baby, you’ll come across plenty of advice. Your friends and family will probably give you lots of tips, but some of them may be based on common pregnancy myths. To help clear up the confusion, here are five of the most common pregnancy myths debunked.

1. Avoid getting stressed out or it will hurt the baby.
If you’ve seen headlines linking stress to problems in pregnancy, try not to worry. These studies are generally based around significant stress and trauma, not everyday worries. A normal amount of stress is fine. If you find yourself feeling like you’re unable to cope, talk to your doctor.

2. Pregnancy makes you crave ice cream and pickles.
Many women experience strange cravings during pregnancy, but they won’t necessarily be similar. This is a pregnancy myth illustrating how surprising cravings may be. You may not even experience any at all.

3. You’ll glow and feel wonderful while you’re pregnant.
Being pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean feeling blissful and content. For a variety of reasons, pregnant women may feel uncomfortable, sick or even depressed. Try not to set unrealistic expectations for yourself. It’s okay if you don't always feel great or better than usual.

4. You shouldn’t work out when you’re pregnant.
The American Pregnancy Association’s recommended guidelines do not prohibit a woman from working out. As long as your pregnancy is low risk, you can continue your normal fitness routine. Be careful about starting anything new or strenuous, and avoid contact or dangerous sports.Talk to your doctor about your workout plans.

5. You should be eating for two.
According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women should not use pregnancy as an excuse to eat more than is necessary. Eat what makes you feel good when you’re feeling nauseated, but try to focus on a balanced diet. Talk to your doctor about what supplements are necessary for you.

At our Women's Center, get the very best care before, during and after the birth of your baby. If you would like to set up an appointment or find a doctor to speak with, call 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.

Related Posts:
Ready to Have a Baby?
What to Expect After Delivery

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dad

My husband and I are expecting our first baby any minute. Okay, in four weeks, but technically she could arrive tonight if she wanted to (and we wouldn’t complain if she did). Mother’s Day and Father’s Day hit at that in-between time for us – technically we’re not parents yet, but we sure have done a lot of work preparing for baby girl’s arrival. And so we discussed it and decided that yes, indeed, we were going to celebrate both holidays this year.

Plus, let’s face it, we just love any excuse to celebrate.

My husband thoroughly spoiled me on Mother’s Day (hello prenatal massage gift certificate!) and I have some surprises up my sleeve for him this weekend. What about you? Did you celebrate Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) while you were pregnant?

And, because I’m new at this – what were some of the BEST Father’s Day gift you or your kids ever got your husband? We’ve created a Pinterest board with some last-minute homade ideas for the kiddos, but we’d love it if you would share your ideas as well! Link to your blog post with your own idea, or summarize it in the comments below.

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Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be in July who will be delivering right here at North Hills.

Need an OBGYN? Check out our “Meet our OBs” section on the blog.

packing

I live my life based on to-do lists – it’s the only way I know how to survive. So you can imagine the giant to-do list I have going right now, at 33 weeks pregnant, unsure exactly what day my sweet baby girl is going to decide to make her grand entrance into this world. With most major milestones in life, you know exactly what date it will take place – but with babies, they come on their own timing – and sometimes quite unexpectedly.

And so I’m tackling my to-lists now, just to be on the safe side. One BIG to-do item looming over me is packing for the hospital. Since I’m a first-timer, I decided to go straight to the experts – I asked our Labor & Delivery department what they think every new mom should pack for the hospital. Thanks to nurses Angie and Courtney for coming up with this great list. (please note – some of these hospital-related items only apply to moms delivering at North Hills Hospital):

• Toiletries, lotions (the hospital will provide you with lip balm)
• Hair tie
• Hair dryer
• Your own fluffy pillow and a soft throw for comfort (the hospital provides both, but there’s something about having your bedding from home that brings extra comfort). Use a colored pillow case so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital’s pillows.
• Fun socks for labor and pushing (Angie says you’ll always remember these as your “lucky labor socks.”)
• If you are sensitive to smells, bring a scented plug-in.
• Camera/charger
• Chargers for your phone, laptop and/or iPad
• Movies
• Soft music, speakers for your iPhone (or, a special laboring playlist)
• Small hand massager for your husband to use on your upper and lower back during labor for pain relief
• Microwavable warm pack for your shoulders and neck
• Nursing pajamas, robe and slippers (remember, you’ll have a lot of visitors, so bring something cute)
• You should not need a nursing bra or pads while you are in the hospital, but make sure you have these ready for day 3 after delivery.
• Breastfeeding pillow/Boppy
• Scrapbook page or baby book for handprints and footprints after the baby’s first bath
• The hospital will provide dad with a snack bag – bring extras if you have a particular favorite. We also have vending machines and a cafeteria – and a Starbucks on weekday mornings.
• A loose, comfortable going-home outfit for you and the baby

Other checklist items:
• If you want newborn photos, book a professional photographer ahead of time, as most prefer to photograph your baby within the first 7-10 days.

• Be sure to pre-register with the hospital well in advance. They recommend at least two months before your due date. At North Hills Hospital, we offer online pre-registration on our website. I just did it and it took less than 5 minutes.

To you seasoned moms out there – what other items would you recommend packing for the hospital? And what did you pack that you wish you had left at home?

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Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be in just a few weeks.

Need an OB? Check out our list of physicians who deliver at North Hills Hospital.

I’ve officially entered my third trimester, and after six months of almost round-the-clock nausea, no energy and feeling like my body has been invaded by aliens, I must say that now I feel pretty good. I’m actually starting to enjoy this whole pregnancy experience, especially when I feel my baby girl kick and am reminded that I have a special life inside of me.

But in the midst of my newfound pregnancy enjoyment, I’ve also encountered something new. It’s the everyone wants to comment on your baby bump stage. And I mean EVERYONE.

Most people are very kind. In fact, it’s kind of like being a celebrity – I’m now big enough that it’s very obvious I’m pregnant, so people open doors for me, dote on me, tell me I’m glowing and that motherhood suits me. I love these people.

But then there are the others… the ones who make comments that in any other circumstance would be highly inappropriate. Like the two people last week who told me, “You’re so big, you MUST be having twins!”

Nope, there’s just one precious baby girl in there.

And then there are the others who insist on telling me I’m too big, not big enough, that I waddle, that I’m carrying high or low. Or, simply, that I’m so much bigger than (insert name of other person due around the same time as me).

I know I’m not the only one who gets this, so I asked some friends on Facebook to help me come up with a list of the:

Crazy things people say

10. When I told someone I wasn’t having twins she replied, “Maybe there are THREE in there.” – Kelly

9. During my last pregnancy, my own mother told her friend I was starting to resemble Shamu… right in front of my face! – Adriane

8. (Stranger): “You look like you are about to pop.”
    (Me): “I still have 10 weeks left.” – Camille

7. “We’re going to have to wheel you out of here in a wheelbarrow.” – Jean

6. “Oh, you are having twins! Wow, better you than me!” – Kimberly, mom of twins

5. “Are your twins natural or did you take hormones?” Not sure how this would be anyone’s business. –Kimberly, mom of twins

4. As a mother of two boys, when people found out my third was also a boy, the sad voiced/disappointed, “Awww…” or the “Are you going to try again for a girl?” question really made me mad. As if I was not as happy and blessed with my last boy as I was with the first. – Callie

3. A lady told me, “You know, I have a pregnant mare at home that looks just like you… she is about to have her colt any day.” I still had at least four months to go. – Stacy

2. “My daughter-in-law is due almost exactly the same day as you and she’s not NEARLY that big!” – Ashley

1. After looking at how VERY large I had become, someone bragged to me, “I only gained 18 pounds during MY pregnancy.” – Vicky

My favorite post came from Stacy, mom of two. She told me:

“The last two months of my pregnancy I would wait to go to the grocery store until late in the evening, in hopes of avoiding as many people – and their comments – as possible. One particular evening, I was walking into the store and a lady went out of her way to tell me I was the most beautiful pregnant woman she had ever seen. Whether she meant it, or not, it sure did boost my spirits. Since then, I have tried to make an effort to compliment pregnant women I see.”

Wouldn’t we all benefit if we took the same approach? Pregnancy is such a miracle – and a blessing – but it’s also a lot of hard work, and the more we can band together to encourage one another through it, the better we’ll all be.

What about you? What’s the craziest – or nicest – thing someone has said to you during your pregnancy?

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Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be in July who will be delivering right here at North Hills.

Need an OBGYN? Check out our “Meet our OBs” section on the blog.

This is the fourth post in our blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

OToole1

NHH_Headshots_Feb1_05

Dr. O’Toole attended medical school at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and then completed her internship and residency at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, New York. She has done extensive research on Fragile X and the effects on female reproduction, particularly being a Fragile X carrier and having premature ovarian failure and thyroid disease.

She has been married for five years and has a 22-month-old child and a 13-year-old black pug.

Dr. O’Toole – why did you get into medicine, and in particular, obstetrics?

I grew up surrounded by medicine.  My father was a small town internal medicine physician, and I grew up watching him take care of our community.  People always admired him so much, and he seemed to make such a difference in their lives.  I decided I wanted to have that kind of impact on people when I grew up.

I truly enjoy taking care of women and helping them through the different stages of life.  From adolescent changes and puberty, to pregnancy and childbirth, and finally through menopause, I want to help my patients make it through these times of transition with ease.  I like being able to answer all their questions and treat any conditions that are necessary.

What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do/know?

Pregnancy is not easy!  Your body goes through so many changes throughout the entire process, sometimes you might feel like a totally different person. 

OToole2

What kind of reassurance can you provide to first-time moms-to-be?

It is normal to feel overwhelmed at times.  You are experiencing something completely new and foreign.  Most of the strange things you are experiencing are normal to pregnancy, but I like to be there and explain anything that my patients feel is strange.  Reassurance can go a long way for a first time mom!

What’s your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?

Go for a preconception visit with your OB.  There are things that can be discussed and testing that can be done before you get pregnant that cannot be addressed once you are already pregnant.  Things like vaccinations and genetic testing can be taken care of ahead of time.  Plus, you can get started on the correct prenatal vitamin for you.

What is your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?

Don’t give up.  There are so many different options out there to help women with issues conceiving.  It is a very rare case these days that isn’t able to eventually become pregnant.  And even for those rare few individuals who are unable to conceive despite intervention, the option of surrogacy is available

How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?

Experiencing being pregnant – having the morning sickness, having preterm contractions, going through childbirth – has made me have so much more empathy for my patients.  When they call me with problems or questions, I have actually experienced a lot of the things they have questions about so I can help them from both a medical perspective and a personal perspective.

OToole4

My daughter is the most important person in my life, but I also have a very demanding job.  I have learned how difficult it is to be a full-time working mother and still have quality family time.  I think this also has helped me relate to my patients on a personal level because so many mothers do work full-time now.

What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?

All the genetic testing that is now available is so exciting to me.  We are able to prescreen so many patients now for diseases that before seemed to pop up out of nowhere.  Being able to counsel my patients appropriately prior to them being pregnant, and being able to offer them options regarding conception, has changed how I practice medicine.

When you’re not delivering babies, what do you do in your free time?

I LOVE to travel and my bucket list of places I want to go is extensive.  I lean toward places with warm climates and beaches.  My husband and I have a phenomenal group of friends and family in the area.  We like to get together with them on the weekends and cook out and have game nights.  And after living in New York for four years, I have a big interest in musicals.  I try and catch as many of the traveling shows that pass through here as I can.

For more information on Dr. O’Toole or to make an appointment, visit her  profile on the North Hills Hospital website.

This is the third post in our blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

quote4

NHH_Headshots_Feb1_11

Dr. Robinson-Brown graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN, and then completed her internship and residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. She has been married for over 20 years and has two sons – a sophomore in high school and a junior in college.

Dr. Robinson-Brown – why did you get into medicine, and, more specifically, why did you choose obstetrics?

Growing up I saw first-hand how limited healthcare affected the lives of many in my community. My interest was sparked early in life.  Born premature weighing only 2lbs and 12 oz, since childhood I yearned for the knowledge to understand the circumstances of my birth. While in college, I became involved in the Health Professions Club which allowed me to participate in the Med-Dent Start program. Through this program I was able to witness various surgeries, the birth of a child and the sorrow and loss brought on by the death of a patient. These early experiences increased my desire to pursue Obstetrics and Gynecology.

What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do or know?

Seek prenatal care early in your pregnancy. Do not assume that because you have had one pregnancy that the next pregnancy will be exactly the same. Every pregnancy will be different and may require different treatment based on your medical condition for that current pregnancy.

quote3

What kind of reassurance can you provide to first time moms to be?

Know that your doctor is there to help guide you through your pregnancy process. Do not be afraid to ask questions about what is happening with your changing body. Sometimes the questions you ask may be important to the care or management your doctor is providing.

What is your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?

Again start prenatal care early. You may want to see your physician for a pre-pregnancy counseling and examination. During that visit you can discuss current medications, health issues, substance use, daily habits and family illness that may affect your pregnancy. 

What’s your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?

Do not give up too early on trying to conceive. The process may be longer than expected. Also do not let your disappointments and frustrations cause stress in your relationship.  Early intervention is important. Female age is an important factor when planning for a pregnancy. Females 35 and older need to seek care with a healthcare professional to start the evaluation process as soon as possible. Both partners should be involved and will require a medical evaluation to identify the cause.

quote2

How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?

Having children allowed me to be able to relate to the discomforts that often occur in pregnancy. Often I am able to incorporate personal accounts and helpful tips from my own experiences to help my patients cope and adjust to each situation.

What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?

I am excited about the new advances in minimally invasive surgery such as robotic surgery, hysteroscopic removal of fibroids and polyps from the uterine cavity, endometrial ablation for bleeding and hysteroscopic sterilization techniques that allow patients to return to their busy schedules if required.

What do you do in your free time?

During my time away from the office, I am an avid foodie and I love to cook. I love to sing and I enjoy various styles of music.  I also enjoy traveling with my family, going to movies, bowling and participating in the W.O.W. (Women of Worship) Choir.

For more information on Dr. Robinson-Brown or to make an appointment, visit her  profile on the North Hills Hospital website.

This is the second post in our blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

safely

NHH_Headshots_Feb1_04

Dr. Safely graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston, and then completed his internship and residency at John Peter Smith Hospital. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and has a particular interest in pelvic prolapse, minimally invasive surgery, and general OB/Gyn healthcare.

Dr. Safely has been happily married for more than 25 years and has two children. When he’s not delivering babies, he’s an avid tennis player and enjoys working on old cars.

 
Dr. Safely – why did you get into medicine, and in particular, obstetrics?

I love the family aspect of caring for pregnant women. My desire is to help people while integrating my passion and interest in science.

What’s your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?

Don’t stress. Conception will usually occur within 6-12 months; some patients may take a bit longer.

safely3

What is your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?

We personally experienced a miscarriage between our two children. I can relate to the stresses of infertility and pregnancy loss. I try to provide the information needed to guide patients through the maze associated with infertility.

safely2

What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do/know?

My desire is for every women to have an uncomplicated pregnancy and uneventful/memorable delivery. I feel that this starts before pregnancy with eating right and getting regular exercise, managing stress and getting an adequate amount of sleep. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, of course.

What kind of reassurance can you provide to first-time moms-to-be?

I am there to provide education and spend time carefully answering their concerns or fears.

How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?

Since I have a college student and a near junior in high school, I feel I can offer a bit of experience and perspective to the younger pregnant patient as well as the maturity to our older gynecology patients who may be encountering surgery for the first time.

What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?

Robotics definitely gives us a degree of precision in surgery that is unprecedented. It does not replace the basic skills needed to perform certain surgeries, however, it expends the scope of procedures that can be finished using 1/2 inch incisions or smaller, enabling quicker patient recoveries.

For more information on Dr. Safely or to make an appointment, visit his profile on the North Hills Hospital website.

Welcome to our new blog series, Meet our OBs. We hope you can get to know our physicians on a more personal level so that you can choose the best fit for you and your family.

OB quote 5

Snell

Dr. Snell-Hargrove graduated from Prairie View A&M University, and then attended medical school at Michigan State University. She completed her residency at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan. She is a wife and mom of two young children.

 
Dr. Snell-Hargrove – why did you become a doctor, and more specifically, why did you choose obstetrics?
 
I fell in love with the idea of delivering babies when I was 11 years old. At that age, I knew that by becoming a doctor I would be able to deliver babies, but I did not have an understanding of all that came along with it.
 
While going through medical school I was exposed to many career opportunities, but I never found anything that excited me more than obstetrics.  To see the excitement in the eyes of a mother as she is blessed with the opportunity to deliver one of her greatest accomplishments brings me joy.  I also love to see the tears of joy that a father sheds as he holds that tiny part of them for the first time.
 
OB quote 1
 
What’s your best advice for someone who’s thinking about becoming pregnant?
 
Start your prenatal vitamins early.  Some people don’t realize they are pregnant until they are out of their first trimester.  Pregnancy itself is stressful enough, don’t add to the problem by prematurely worrying if it is an accomplishable task for you.  If you have a regular monthly cycle, it is possible to achieve pregnancy pending all other factors are normal.
 
What is your best encouragement for someone who is having trouble conceiving?
 
Relax. The more you try to say you will be pregnant by a certain day and time, the more the task seems to discourage and frustrate you. Discuss your timing with your physician. Other tests may be required, sometimes it is the subfertile female that shows the infertile male.
 
What is one thing you wish every expecting mom would do/know?
 
Early prenatal care is optimal.  Enjoy your pregnancy as much as possible.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
 
What kind of reassurance can you provide to first-time moms-to-be?
 
Don’t believe everything you read.  Trust that your doctor will do their very best for you to have a healthy mom and healthy baby.
 
OB quote 4
 
How has having children influenced the way you practice medicine or interact with your patients?
 
I feel that I am more compassionate when it comes to the discomforts of pregnancy.  I will continue to be understanding about the idea that every pregnancy is different.  How you react to the changes that are taking place makes all the difference in the world.
 
What new advancements in technology or medication are you most excited about?
 
I am most excited about minimally invasive surgical technology.  It is amazing that I get to be a part of this innovative field of medicine.  People are able to go home from the hospital in a shorter amount of time and recover much quicker.
 
For more information on Dr. Snell-Hargrove or to make an appointment, visit her profile on the North Hills Hospital website.

nursery gear2

Now that I’ve finally come out of my first trimester fog, my husband and I are starting to think about our nursery. Thankfully my sister is an interior designer so I know I’ll have help – but there are still so many decisions to be made.

Recently I posted a question on my Facebook page about gliders vs. stuffed rockers, and boy was I surprised at the number of responses I received! Not only did my friends give me great opinions on the chair (I went with a glider), but I got all sorts of other tips on baby gear I need for my nursery.

We’re on a budget and also want to be minimalists – we are trying to avoid having too much gear, but we want to make sure we invest in the items that will make life easiest. Which is where you come in – what’s your best advice to me, a mom-to-be, when it comes to designing a nursery? What do I just have to have, and what mistakes did you make that you’d redo the next time? Please leave your advice in the comments, and hopefully other new moms can also get some great ideas.

 

Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be next summer.

saltines

I never knew that Kate Middleton and I would have so much in common. Not exactly the part about living in a castle and having an unlimited clothing budget. But the Duchess of Cambridge and I do share one unique gift – having round-the-clock morning sickness with our first babies.

That stuff isn’t for sissies.

Don’t get me wrong – I am absolutely THRILLED to be expecting a little bundle of joy next summer. My husband and I were delighted when we found out we were pregnant, and can’t wait to hold that precious boy or girl in July.

But I should have known I was in for a wild ride, since my first “sign” of pregnancy was when I mistakenly thought I’d gotten food poisoning. Only this food poisoning was different, because I just couldn’t shake it. And that’s how I’ve felt ever since – like I have food poisoning, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and it’s been like that for two months now.

So like any first-time mom, I’ve solicited advice from those women who have gone before me and been through the same thing. According to one online article, morning sickness affects 75 percent of women, so I know I’m in good company.

Here are my go-to nausea remedies:
Crackers (in my purse, in my car, next to my bed – I don’t go anywhere without them)
Sour candies (a friend gave me Preggie Pops, but almost any sour candy will do)
Ginger tea
Ginger Ale, Sprite
Any sort of plain carbs – bagels, toast, pasta
Broth-based soups
WATER – I’m amazed at how much better I feel when I drink nothing but water.
Small, frequent meals – Big portions make me sick, as does an empty stomach (especially in the morning, which is why I keep crackers next to my bed).
Gatorade
Salty chips
Sea sick wristbands (I used to think it was hocus pocus, but they really do seem to help.)

All of those, plus an anti-nausea medication have kept me going. I’ll admit I get overwhelmed when I think about possibly feeling nauseous for another few weeks – my only way to cope is to take one day at a time.

baby wright

And in the meantime, I will dream about the day I go from “green” to glowing. Since I’m 11 weeks along, it should only be a little while longer.

What about you? Any other suggestions for morning sickness fixes, from one mom to another?

 

Bethe Wright is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, a wife, and a first-time mom-to-be next summer.

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