Obstetrics

Whether you’re thinking about getting pregnant or already have a baby on the way, we’re here for you.

When the time comes, you’ll have a full team dedicated to healthy conception, pregnancy and birth. This includes not only doctors, nurse practitioners and midwives but also maternal fetal medicine specialists and genetic counselors. We offer you comprehensive care from preconception to birth and beyond, with access to the most advanced techniques and technology.

Any question you have, any symptom you feel, we’ll be there for you. You just won’t have to do it alone.

How We Care For You

“Is this the right time?” “Am I healthy enough?” “Can I afford to have a baby?” “What if I can’t get pregnant?”

Only you know if the time is right. Or, if you are financially ready. But, we can tell you everything there is to know about healthy pregnancies.

We’ll start with a thorough assessment of your current health and a review of your family history.

To get your body ready to support a baby, we’ll talk about the importance of a nutritious diet. We’ll also review vitamins and supplements, including folic acid. We recommend taking it three months before you conceive and throughout your pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects.

We’ll review your medications, immunizations and any medical conditions you may have that might affect your pregnancy.

And finally, we’ll talk about smoking, drinking and drugs. Here, honesty is always the best policy. Our biggest concern is your health and the health of your baby.

When you’re thinking about having a baby, it’s natural to have questions. But it’s even more important to get answers.

Each pregnancy and birth is just as special for our family as it is for yours. We’re committed to creating the birth plan you want, and we’re honored to be on this journey with you.

Whether you’re planning a low-intervention midwifery delivery or you’re experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, we have the experience, expertise and technologies to give you the very best care. And we partner with hospital-based OB-GYNs to provide around-the-clock care

You can rest easy knowing that we’re ready when you are.

Our midwifery team collaborates with hospital-based midwives to make your delivery the amazing experience it should be. We have years of experience and access to the most sophisticated delivery techniques. We offer high-touch, low-intervention and low-tech birthing support.

We believe nature and your own body instinctively guide labor and birth.

You help us help you.

And if you or your baby need it, our medical doctors are right here to help.  Learn more!  

Most pregnancies have a happy ending—a healthy baby and healthy mother. But some women have a high risk of complications.

This includes women with diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, kidney or heart disease, epilepsy or those who are severely underweight or overweight, or who drink, use drugs or smoke.

You may also be at high risk if you’re younger than 17, older than 35 or having more than one baby.

If you’ve had miscarriages or pre-term labor or premature rupturing of the membranes, or if your baby isn’t growing as expected, you may also be at risk for complications.

Knowing your risk helps us lower your risk. We’ll monitor and work with you closely throughout your entire pregnancy and beyond. Your safety and your baby’s safety are always top of mind.

It’s your choice to have genetic testing performed during pregnancy. And if you choose to have tests done, we’ll be there with the latest in technology and medical expertise.

When tests reveal issues, our maternal-fetal medicine specialists and genetic counselor are here to help you navigate your options and next steps.

The best news is that there are new developments in the field of genetics every day and expanding choices for prenatal testing.

An ultrasound is a window into your baby’s developing world. It’s the first glimpse you’ll have of your child. And, we’re excited to share your baby’s first pictures with you.

A prenatal ultrasound, sometimes called a sonogram, is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to create an image of your baby, placenta and uterus. An ultrasound provides valuable information about the progress of your pregnancy and your baby’s health. It’s common to have two ultrasounds during your pregnancy—early OB and 20-week anatomy scan. Additionally, your provider may recommend additional scans if your pregnancy is high-risk or for a variety of other medical reasons.

A more detailed scan at around 20 weeks allows us to check the baby’s development and anatomy.  We can even tell you what color to paint the nursery, if you’d like.

This scan also provides information about your placenta, amniotic fluid and cervical health. If the placenta is covering your cervix – a condition called placenta previa – it can cause bleeding later in the pregnancy. Too much or too little amniotic fluid also presents a need for careful monitoring. If the scan indicates a concern, an additional ultrasound may be used as part of a genetic test.

Preparing for Your Ultrasound

During ultrasound examinations, our goal is to take the best possible images and measurements of your baby. Please help us by turning off your cell phone. We will provide you with numerous ultrasound and keepsake pictures. Here are a few tips to ensure we’re able to get the very best images of your baby.

  • Allow plenty of time for your appointment. Ultrasound appointments typically last about 45 minutes.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Ideally, a two-piece outfit so that the bottom can either be removed for a transvaginal scan or lowered for a transabdominal scan.
  • Eat a well-balanced meal before your appointment so that your baby will be awake and active.
  • Avoid food that is high in sugar as this may cause your baby to become overactive and make it difficult to obtain necessary measurements.
  • Ultrasound exam rooms are small. And we want to focus on you and your baby. So, please limit the number of guests in the exam room.

For your convenience, we offer maternal-fetal medicine services at our Midlothian, Mechanicsville, Forest locations, and  Short Pump locations.

Breastfeeding
La Leche League

Breast Health   
Breast Cancer Information and Awareness
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation  

Diabetes
American Diabetes Association  

Health Resources   
Mayo Clinic
WebMD Health
National Institutes of Health

Infertility
The American Fertility Association

Pregnancy  
American Pregnancy Association  
March Of Dimes  
Pregnancy Calendars
Patient information from UpToDate
WebMD Pregnancy App

Pregnancy Loss  
March Of Dimes

Unintended Pregnancy
Pregnancy Resource Center of Richmond
Safe Harbor Domestic Violence Shelter

Women’s Health
American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists
Journal of the American Medical Association
National Women’s Health Information Center

HOSPITAL INFORMATION

BON SECOURS
Maternity Preregistration, Love and Learn Prenatal Classes, My Birthing Experience
https://bonsecours.com/Richmond/Our-Services/Womens-Services/birth-and-parenting
Preregistration is recommended on/around 32 weeks
Breastfeeding Support
https://bonsecours.com/richmond/our-services/womens-services/a-womans-place-lactation-center

BON SECOURS MEMORIAL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
8260 Atlee Road • Mechanicsville VA 23116 • 804.764.6000
https://bonsecours.com/richmond/find-a-facility/memorial-regional-medical-center
BON SECOURS ST. FRANCIS MEDICAL CENTER
13710 St. Francis Boulevard • Midlothian, VA 23114 • 804.594.7300
https://bonsecours.com/richmond/find-a-facility/st-francis-medical-center
BON SECOURS ST. MARY’S HOSPITAL
5801 Bremo Road • Richmond, VA 23226 • 804.285.2011
https://bonsecours.com/richmond/find-a-facility/st-marys-hospital

HENRICO DOCTORS’ HOSPITAL
1602 Skipwith Road • Richmond, VA 23229 • 804.289.4500

Henrico Doctors’ Hospital Preregistration
http://henricodoctors.com/patients-and-visitors/preregistration.dot
Preregistration is recommended at 32 weeks
Use your due date as the “date of scheduled procedure”

Henrico Doctors’ Hospital Obstetrical Services, Virtual Tour, Educational Classes
http://henricodoctors.com/service/obstetrics

CORD BLOOD BANKING
Prior to delivery, you may wish to explore your cord blood banking options. Cord Blood Banking involves collecting blood and/or tissue from the umbilical cord and storing it for future medical use. Cord blood contains potentially lifesaving cells called stem cells. Virginia Women’s Center is not affiliated with nor do we endorse any specific blood bank.

Private Cord Blood Banking (storage and usage directed by you)
Viacord . http://www.viacord.com
Cord Blood Registry . https://info.cordblood.com
Cryo-Cell . https://www.cryo-cell.com

Cord Blood Banking Public Donation (donating to others)
LifeForce Cryobanks . http://www.lifeforcecryobanks.com

Here’s a list of approved medications for when you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. Use as directed.

Allergies (seasonal): Actifed®, Benadryl®(plain), Chlor-Trimeton®, Claritin®, Zyrtec®

Constipation: Benefiber®, Citrucel®, Colace®, Dulcolax suppository/pills, Fibercon® tablets, Metamucil®

Colds & Congestion: Benadryl® (plain), Dextromethorphan, Guaifenesin, Robitussin® (plain) PE, saline nasal spray, Sudafed® (call your doctor if you have high blood pressure)

Cough: Robitussin® (plain), Robitussin DM

Diarrhea: Imodium® AD

Heartburn & Indigestion:  Maalox®, Mylanta®, Mylanta II, Pepcid AC®, Tums®, Zantac-75®

Headache: Tylenol®, Tylenol Extra Strength

Hemorrhoids: Anusol-HC®, Dibucaine, Preparation H®, Proctocream, Tucks® pads

Insomnia: Simply Sleep®, Tylenol PM, Unisom®, Doxylamine, Benadryl®

Itching/Rash:  Benadryl Lotion, Hydrocortisone cream 1%,

Nausea: Emetrol®, Acupressure wristbands, Vitamin B6, Doxylamine, Unisom®

Sore Throat: Cepacol®, Chloraseptic® Spray, salt-water gargle

Yeast Infection:  Gyne-Lotrimin®, Monistat 7®

Prenatal yoga is a great way to learn to relax and stay fit. It teaches you how to breathe deeply and consciously relax along with stretching and strengthening exercises—which can help prepare you for labor and delivery.

Prenatal yoga is designed for moms-to-be and can:

  • Relieve common discomforts of pregnancy
  • Prepare you for labor and delivery
  • Shorten labor
  • Reduce risk of c-section
  • Increase lower-body muscle strength which can help with childbirth
  • Increase strength, endurance, flexibility and overall physical fitness
  • Decrease rate of pregnancy hypertension.
  • Allow you to meet other pregnant women and become part of a support system/community

Sound like something you may be interested in?  Here’s the scoop:

Mondays from 6:00 to 7:15 PM

Location: VWC Short Pump

12129 Graham Meadows Drive | Richmond, VA 23233

Cost: $85 for six classes

Instructor: Mary Jo Lowery
Certified Yoga Instructor, Doula
mjolowery@gmail.com | 804.814.7079

Registration is required in advance.  Email MJolowery@gmail.com to learn more.

We’re partnering with Birthing Babies to offer Childbirth Education Classes to all VWC parents-to-be in the comfort of familiar surroundings.

Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 – 9:00 pm in the Community Room of our VWC Short Pump location.

Cost is $70 per couple. For additional information or to register, go to birthrva.com or call 804.761.8008

Being on your own with your baby for the first few weeks and months is one of the most eye-opening, messy, absolutely beautiful experiences you’ll ever have. And, it can be scary, sad and overwhelming—all at the same time. Learning to embrace your messy, wonderful new world order isn’t always easy. But, it’s
so worth it. Let us help you learn about complete postpartum health—mind and body.

Just as we developed your birth plan together with you. Let us help you—and your partner—plan for the arrival of your newest family member. Join our Preparing for Postpartum Workshop to learn how to predict and cope with the changes in your life after your baby is born. We’ll cover:

  • hormonal and physical changes you can expect after giving birth
  • how the lack of sleep, alone time and control can impact you
  • postpartum mental health conditions—what’s normal, what’s not
  • factors which may predispose individuals to have a postpartum condition
  • importance of self-care
  • coping skills that work best with your personality type
  • when to ask for help

Facilitated by Lisa Cuseo-Ott, Ph.D. | VWC Short Pump | Mondays | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m | Advance registration is required.
This workshop is offered free of charge to all VWC moms-to-be and their partners  And, if you recently had a VWC baby, and would like to join the workshop, please let us know.
Call 804.288.4084 to register today!

For months, you’re aware of every little change in your body and what it means. Your baby grows, and your body adapts. You learn what to expect.

After birth, we continue to care for you since we know that you’re focused on what’s important—being a new parent. If you’re having unusual aches, pains, or recovery symptoms our urogynocology team is here to help.

But do you know what to expect after your baby is born?

In the first few days, you may experience lochia—a bloody discharge heavier than your period that contains clots. This discharge becomes lighter over the next four to six weeks.

Abdominal cramps are common in the first week after delivery and may be stronger when you’re breastfeeding. Changing positions, emptying your bladder and taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help.

During delivery, your perineum—the region between your vagina and anus—takes a beating. It may be stretched and bruised. And if you tore, you will have stitches. You’ll probably be sore for a week or so. Stitches dissolve over the next few weeks, but the tenderness may last several weeks. Be gentle with yourself. After using the toilet, rinse your perineum with warm water. Warm sitz baths can help. If the pain, swelling or discharge increases, let us know.

If you had a Cesarean, your challenges will be different. The incision point will be painful at first, and you may require pain medication. Fever, increasing pain or drainage from your incision are signs that something is wrong, and you should let us know immediately.

Your first bowel movement after giving birth may be difficult. Eating whole grains and plenty of fruit will help, as will drinking plenty of water or fruit juice.

During pregnancy, your growing uterus adds pressure to the surrounding region, resulting in swollen blood vessels of the rectum —hemorrhoids. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid getting them during pregnancy, they often show up after giving birth. Hemorrhoid pain can be treated with warm baths, creams such as Anusol® or Preparation H®, cold packs, and witch hazel pads.

If you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, it’s generally safe to begin walking as soon as you feel up to it. If you had a C-section, don’t lift anything heavier than your baby and try to keep stair climbing to a minimum. Your doctor will let you know when you’re cleared for exercise.

Surround yourself with support in the days and weeks after birth, and don’t try to do everything yourself.

Be as gentle with yourself as you are with your newborn.

Just as your body is returning to its pre-baby size and shape, your hormone levels are finding their way back to normal, too.

And along the way, your emotions may swing from elation to depression. You may feel overwhelmed, especially if your baby has separation issues and wants to be held 24/7.

Your roller coaster emotions should even out over time.

But if you feel utterly sad and hopeless, or so overcome with worry that you can’t get any rest, you could be experiencing postpartum depression. If you feel angry or violent, call us immediately. Clinical psychologists are part of your team and can help you through this difficult time.

Zika
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, and you or your partner have recently traveled to or plan to travel to an area where Zika is known to be present, please let your provider know.

Areas of transmission and what is known about Zika changes almost daily. Visit the CDC’s web page dedicated to providing information on the Zika virus, to stay current on the latest recommendations. And if you have questions or concerns, please call us at 804.288.4084 or send a message through our secure patient portal.

Listeria
The media routinely alerts its viewers/readers about food recalls involving Listeria. Although the risk of a Listeria infection is low, it can be concerning for women who are pregnant. Listeria (also known as Listeriosis) can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and diarrhea. If there was a recent food recall involving Listeria and you consumed the affected food and have the symptoms listed above, please call our office at 804.288.4084. It’s important to remember that infection from Listeria remains extremely low.

For more information on Listeria, visit the CDC website.

Food Safety Recalls
For a list of recent food recalls, visit the FDA website

Drug Recalls

For a list of drug recalls, visit the FDA website

ATTENTION ALL VWC MOMS-TO-BE 

The flu has been merciless this year. So much so that RVA hospitals, including Bon Secours and HCA Virginia, now are limiting visitors to protect patients, visitors and healthcare providers.

Visitors must be 18 years old   |   Visitors are limited to 2 at a time  |  Anyone with flu-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever, etc) is asked not to visit and will be asked to leave if demonstrating symptoms

If you’re having a baby or surgery, please make sure your family and friends know that visitation is limited. And, if you haven’t already gotten the flu shot, it’s not too late.

 

The Latest

Endometriosis—you don’t have to live in pain.

  Endometriosis, or “endo” as it’s sometimes called, occurs when the tissue that typically forms the lining of the uterus grows in places outside of the uterus. Under normal circumstances, […]

Read More

Pregnancy Brain: Is It Real or a Myth?

Mechanicsville OB/GYN Dr. Rachel Kreis, of Virginia Women’s Center discusses the experience of “pregnancy brain”: What it feels like, why it occurs and how expectant moms can cope. You keep losing […]

Read More

Birth Control Packaging Error Leads to Recall – May 2018

On May 24, 2018,  Allergan voluntarily recalled one lot of Taytulla® sample birth control packs due to pill sequencing concerns. The first four days of the pack included non-hormonal placebos […]

Read More

“I had an annual, mammogram, and an ultrasound and was in and out in under an hour! If only every doctor's office was this organized and efficient.”