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Healthy Babies…Loving, Capable Mothers

"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers--strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength." -  Barbara Katz Rothman

Indeed, it is a privilege and a pleasure to participate in the birth of a baby.  The days, and nights, in the life of an obstetrician are mostly filled with witnessing the miracle and joy of childbirth.  

Labor and delivery is also a team sport composed of many dedicated and talented people.  The nurses, OB technicians, unit business and service associates, physician assistants, midwives, residents, anesthesiologists, obstetricians and numerous specialists work together like a well-oiled engine!

Our team takes the health of the mother before, during and after pregnancy very seriously as it can be helpful in the future health and well-being of both mother and child. We offer care and counseling before pregnancy and if a woman has a preexisting medical condition, we focus on treating and stabilizing her health before conception.  It's the truth -- women who get regular care during pregnancy (prenatal care) have healthier babies.

We work with women in the Bronx to share simple steps to help protect their health:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise most days of the week
  • Don't smoke
  • Limit alcohol
  • Early and regular visits to the doctor

We find pregnant women are often confused about information they read online, hear in the press and from their friends and family.  For example, there are many myths about diet and weight gain. 

During pregnancy – as in the rest of our lives – a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish is essential.  We recommend women with a normal weight entering into pregnancy should gain about 25 pounds and if she is overweight to start, the limit is 15 to 20 pounds. Whatever their number, we work with them to manage their nutrition and support healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Fortunately, most pregnancies, labors and deliveries are uneventful and come off without a hitch.  However, some health issues can lead to health problems for moms and babies during and after pregnancy.  Finding these problems early can lead to early treatment, prevention and may save a woman's life down the road.

There are two glaring health problems we often deal with and that are red flag alerts for our team:

  1. High Blood Pressure – may occur during pregnancy as chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia or eclampsia.

    When one of these occurs – the patient's lifetime risk of heart disease is increased up to four times and heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States.
  2. Gestational Diabetes – is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and is a problem with high glucose (sugar) in the blood.  Gestational diabetes increases the risk of diabetes in the older adult.  Diabetes also increases the risk of heart disease and premature death.

I am dedicated to caring for these patients because health and overall wellness contribute to the strength of all mothers – not just during pregnancy, but also throughout their lifetime.  Healthy moms breed healthy kids – and so it's the cycle of life!

Mary Rosser, MD, PhD, is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OBGYN) in the Department of OBGYN and Women’s Health at Montefiore Medical Center. She also is assistant professor, Department of OBGYN and Women's Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Posted by blogmoderator on 10/22/2013 at 8:52 AM Add Comment