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When you’re pregnant, your doctor will recommend a one-hour blood glucose screening and tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. Low-risk pregnant women typically take the screening test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know.

Why Might I Need to Take the Screening Earlier?

If you’re at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes, your health care provider may recommend earlier screening. Risk factors can include:

  •         Family history of diabetes
  •         Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  •         Being overweight or obese
  •         High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  •         Health conditions associated with insulin problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome
One-hour Glucose Screening

The screening is intended to show how efficiently your body processes sugar. At your doctor’s office, you’ll receive a sugar solution that contains 50 grams of glucose. The drink tastes like a very sweet slushie (it comes in fruit punch, orange, or lime flavor). It tastes best cold; at Creekside Center, it’s kept chilled. You will need to drink it all within five minutes.

After an hour, a blood sample is taken from your arm to check your blood sugar level. At Creekside Center, the results are usually ready immediately after the test.

What is an abnormal blood glucose level?

Different hospitals and clinics use different standards for determining whether your level is too high. Some practitioners say that if your one-hour blood sugar level is 140 milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood plasma (mg/dL) or more, you need to have the glucose tolerance test. Others put the cutoff at 130 mg/dL to detect more women who may have gestational diabetes, but false positives are more likely this way. Creekside Center for Women currently has the cutoff at 135 mg/dL.

If your blood glucose level for this screening is higher than 200 mg/dL, most practitioners will consider you diabetic. You won’t need to take the glucose tolerance test.

If the reading shows elevated numbers (between 135 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL), which happens 15% to 23% of the time, you’ll be asked to come back for a three-hour glucose tolerance test to see whether you really do have gestational diabetes.

Tell your doctor if you’re not feeling well or taking any medicine, as these can affect the results of your test. Eat and drink normally in the days leading up to the glucose tolerance test.

Three-Hour Glucose Tolerance Test

For the three-hour test, you will be asked to come to the test fasting, not eating or drinking anything for eight hours. Many women fast overnight and schedule the test first thing in the morning.

After a small blood sample determines your fasting blood sugar level, you’ll drink about eight ounces of a glucose solution containing 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of sugar. Your blood glucose level will be tested again one, two, and three hours after you drink the solution.

You’ll want to bring something to distract you, such as a book or magazine, because you’ll stay seated in the waiting room before the blood draw. Bring something to eat right after your physician takes the final blood sample because you’ll be hungry. After the glucose tolerance test, you can return to your usual activities immediately.

Are there Risks with the Glucose Screening or Tolerance Test?

Obtaining a blood sample has a small risk. You may experience bruising or light bleeding at the site of the blood draw. You also may feel nauseated, dizzy, or lightheaded after drinking the glucose drink.

Do you have questions about the glucose screening or tolerance test? Call us at 479.582.9268 to speak with one of our experienced health care providers. Creekside Center for Women provides women the finest health care in the Northwest Arkansas region.

The post Blood Glucose Screening and Tolerance Test: All You Need to Know appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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The fourth trimester, or the first three months of a baby’s life, is filled with a tremendous amount of adjustments and milestones for the baby. These mental and physical developments during your baby’s first three months outside the womb are just as important as those that happened inside. Often the focus—from family members and health care providers—can concentrate solely on the baby’s needs.

But what about the parents, and specifically, the mothers? The fourth trimester isn’t just a time of transition for the baby, but also for the overwhelmed, exhausted adults caring for him or her.

Fourth Trimester Childbirth Adjustments

Childbirth takes a physical toll on a woman’s body, even more so if a woman has had a C-section. Besides the physical recovery, there are many adjustments such as:

  • Changing hormones.
  • Learning to feed and care for her newborn.
  • Emotional upheaval from fatigue and stress.
  • A postpartum drop in hormones can trigger depression.
  • Sleep deprivation can affect a person’s sense of well-being as well as balancing the care for older children and household chores.
  • First-time mothers who had been working may have a difficult time adjusting to maternity leave or leaving the workforce indefinitely.

On top of all that, some women have little or no support from a partner or extended family.

Are you Prepared to Manage Your Own Health?

The results of an online national survey that a market research firm conducted in April 2019 indicates that many women are not prepared for the physical and emotional changes they often experience after giving birth.

The poll found that nearly two-thirds of the 873 mothers surveyed are as concerned for their health as their baby’s. However, thirty-seven of 18 to 34-year-old moms said they didn’t have a plan for managing their health and well-being over the fourth trimester. Forty percent of women in the U.S. don’t receive any postpartum health care visit. Furthermore, Fifty-seven percent said they felt overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or depressed during the three months postpartum.

Raising Awareness

Several health care organizations are working to raise awareness about women’s needs during the fourth trimester. The 4th Trimester Project at the Jordan Institute for Families is a team of healthcare providers, mothers, and others working to educate the public about postpartum health concerns. The team collaborates with these stakeholders to create solutions about unmet postpartum health needs. Parents can find out more about their advocacy and research on this website: https://jordaninstituteforfamilies.org/innovate/4thtrimesterproject/the4thtrimission/.

In April 2018, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) announced a redesign of postpartum care. ACOG now recommends that postpartum care should be an ongoing process with holistic support offered, rather than a single encounter. They advocate that all women have some form of contact with their obstetric care providers within the first three weeks postpartum.

Creekside Center’s nurse-midwife Sam Corral said, “I like to see women at a minimum at two-weeks and six-weeks post-partum. The visits give me an opportunity to check in with the mom and make sure everything is going well with her health, lactation, milk supply, overall mood, etc. I encourage my patients to call anytime they have a question or a concern. I aim to be just as available to my clients for post-partum as I am for prenatal care.”

Fourth Trimester Health

Mothers can and should be advocates for their health. Before delivery, discuss a comprehensive care plan for your postpartum needs. This plan can include your desire and timing for future pregnancies, management of chronic diseases, as well as information regarding resources such as lactation consultants and counseling for postpartum depression. If you’re a new mom, don’t hesitate to contact your health care provider throughout your fourth trimester as you navigate the new challenges of motherhood.

Creekside Center for Women in Northwest Arkansas believes in providing the finest in women’s health care in a caring, friendly atmosphere. Call us to schedule your appointment. 479.582.9268

The post Fourth Trimester – Happy, Healthy Mom Equals Happy, Healthy Baby appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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Round ligament pain or “lightning crotch” is a brief, sharp pain in the lower belly, pelvis, or groin area on one or both sides. It’s one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. However, this discomfort is considered a normal part of pregnancy as your body stretches and grows and happens most often during the second trimester.

Causes and Symptoms

Several rope-like ligaments encircle and hold your womb (uterus) as it grows during pregnancy. One of them is called the round ligament.

Imagine the round ligament is like a taut rubber band. Abrupt movements—such as sneezing, coughing, rolling over in bed, or standing up quickly—can cause the ligament to tighten quickly, which “pulls” or “snaps” the rubber band that can cause a sharp, sudden pain. The pain typically affects the right side, but it may happen on both sides. It can feel like a jab or a spasm, only lasts a few seconds.

Round ligament pain can be uncomfortable and annoying, but it is considered normal as your body changes during pregnancy.

Although rare in women who aren’t pregnant, it may happen in women with endometriosis.

Treatment

Here are some tips that may help reduce your discomfort:

  • Try over-the-counter pain relief. Talk to your doctor about what over-the-counter medicine is best.
  • Exercise plenty to keep your core muscles strong. Stretching, gentle exercises or prenatal yoga can help decrease pain. Ask your doctor which activities are safe for you and your baby in each trimester.
  • Avoid sudden movements by adjusting your position slowly when you stand up or sit down.
  • Apply warmth. A warm bath or heating pad may help.
  • Wear a maternity support belt.
  • Rest on one side, with the knees bent and pillows between the legs and under the belly.
When Round Ligament Pain is Serious

Call your doctor immediately if you have pain that lasts for more than a few minutes, fever, chills, difficulty walking, and pain while urinating. If you’re one of our patients and are experiencing these symptoms, call Creekside Center for Women at (479) 582-9268 to speak with your provider.

The post What is Lightning Crotch? Dealing with Round Ligament Pain appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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When you put your baby down for a nap, you expect your baby will be safe. However, tragedies can happen. Sometimes the cause is unknown, as with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In other cases, such as unsafe sleep, the cause of SIDS is clear and preventable. Parents and caregivers who thought they were doing the right thing can put a baby in harm’s way if they don’t know current safe sleep recommendations. As a parent, you have the power to help keep your sleeping baby safe. Here’s what you need to know about safe sleep for babies.

Where should my baby sleep?

The safest place for your baby to sleep is by themselves in a bassinet or crib. If you have multiples, put each baby in their bassinet or crib. Here are some do’s and don’ts about making your baby’s sleep space safe:

Do’s
  • Do put your baby to sleep on her back until she’s one-year-old.
  • Do place your baby on a flat, firm surface, such as a crib mattress covered with a tightly fitted sheet.
  • Do make sure your baby’s bassinet, crib or play yard meets current safety standards.
  • Do remove hanging window cords or electrical wires near where your baby sleeps.
  • Do keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
  • Do give your baby a pacifier. However, if you’re breastfeeding, wait until your baby is four weeks old before giving her a pacifier.
  • Do room share during baby’s first six months, and ideally, for the first year.
Don’ts
  • Don’t use sleep positioners, such as mats or wedges with pillows on either side to help keep your baby in place.
  • Don’t let your baby sleep in a carrier, sling, car seat or stroller. If your baby falls asleep in one, take her out and put her in her crib as soon as you can.
  • Don’t put your baby to sleep on soft surfaces, like a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress or cushion.
  • Don’t keep loose bedding, crib bumpers, toys or other soft objects in your baby’s crib.
  • Don’t use cribs with drop-side rails.
  • Don’t attach the pacifier to your baby’s clothing or a stuffed animal.
Are there other ways I can reduce my baby’s risk of sleep dangers, including SIDS?
  • Make sure your baby gets all her vaccinations.
  • Don’t smoke and keep your baby away from other smokers and secondhand smoke.
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs during pregnancy.
  • Go to all your prenatal care checkups during pregnancy.
Safe Sleep for Babies References

Do you live in the Northwest Arkansas area and need an OB/GYN physician? Creekside Center for Women is focused on women’s healthcare needs. Our caring staff delivers the highest quality medical care with a sense of warmth, compassion, and respect. Let us know how we can help you. (479) 582-9628

The post Safe Sleep for Babies: Where Should My Baby Sleep? appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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When you have your period, your uterus sheds its lining. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus through the cervix and passes out of the body through the vagina. Through the duration of your period, the blood might change color, ranging from black to orange to pink to deep red. Different colors of period blood have different significance for your health. Here’s a guide to determine what they could mean for your health.

Period Blood Color

If you have noticed different colors in your period blood, it’s usually normal. In most cases, the color change relates to how long the blood has been in the uterus. Your flow will change how long the blood remains in your uterus. You may see bright red blood on your heaviest days and brown blood on your lightest days.

However, certain colors can signal a problem, and you’ll want to see your healthcare provider. If you see a color that’s unfamiliar or gray, make an appointment to get checked out. Also, any bleeding during pregnancy is a reason to contact your doctor.

Black or Brown Blood

Black or brown blood might look alarming, but it isn’t necessarily a reason to worry. This color may look like coffee grounds. Black or brown is usually old blood, which has had time to oxidize, changing the hue.

Brown blood, in particular, is often seen at the start or end of your period. At these times, your flow may be slow, which slows down the process of the blood leaving the uterus. The blood may also be left over from your last period.

Dark Red Blood

You may see dark red blood upon waking during your period or after you’ve been lying down for a while. The deep color may merely mean that the blood has been in the uterus for a while but hasn’t oxidized yet.

Dark red blood is associated with the end of your period. You may also see this color blood toward the end of your normal menstrual period as your flow slows.

Bright Red Blood

Your period may start with bright red bleeding as the blood is fresh and is flowing quickly. Your blood may stay this way your whole period or may darken as your flow slows.

After women deliver a baby, they experience bleeding for four to six weeks, which is called lochia. Lochia bleeding begins with a heavy flow and bright red blood. After around day four, lochia may be pinkish or brownish in color.

However, bright red blood is also associated with an infection, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. These infections can cause bleeding between periods. If you see bright red blood before your period, contact your doctor.

Pink Blood

Your blood may appear pink in color at the beginning or end of your period, especially if you’re spotting. This lighter shade usually means that the blood has mixed with your cervical fluid.

Sometimes pink menstrual blood may indicate low estrogen levels in the body. Some causes of low estrogen include being on hormonal birth control that doesn’t contain estrogen or perimenopause.

Orange Blood

Blood may appear orange after it mixes with cervical fluid. You may see orange-colored blood for the same reasons you see pink blood. Still, any abnormally colored or unusual discharge may also be a sign of bacterial infection or sexually transmitted infection.

Gray Blood

If you see gray or off-white discharge, call your doctor. Gray blood is associated with infection. Other signs of infection include fever, pain, itching, or a foul odor. If you’re pregnant, a gray discharge may be a sign of miscarriage.

Is it normal for the color to be different at the beginning and end of my period?

Your period may change colors from the beginning of your period, the middle, and at the end. You may have different colors from month to month. Women at different times of their lives may notice various changes. Several factors affect period blood color, even when your periods are healthy.

When to See Your Doctor

If your period lasts longer than seven days or is very heavy (soaking through a pad or tampon every hour or two) make an appointment with your doctor to rule out certain medical conditions. Always see a doctor if you’re concerned about any changes to your period.

At Creekside Center for Women, we love our patients and provide comprehensive, patient-focused women’s healthcare for women of all ages in a caring atmosphere. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. (479) 582-9268

The post Different Period Blood Colors: What it Means for Your Health appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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Women at any age may experience hormone imbalance. Hormone levels decline or fluctuate contributing to severe PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, postpartum depression, headaches, fatigue, low libido, and sleeping disorders. Birth control pills can also cause hormone imbalances. For many women, hormone pellets can be an effective remedy to balance hormone levels.

What are Hormone Pellets?

Using pellets in hormone replacement therapy began in the late 1930s. Pellets are made up of primarily estradiol or testosterone, which are usually derive from plant sources like soybeans, beets, or yams. These hormones are pressed into very small cylinders that are a little larger than a grain of rice.

Dr. Darrin Cunningham at Creekside Center for Women has prescribed pellets for over ten years for women with hormone balance issues. According to Dr. Cunnigham,

“Hormone pellets last three to six months before they dissolve. The benefit of pellets is that women avoid the fluctuations of hormone levels seen with other methods and don’t have to take a pill every day or put cream on. Pellets offer a more continuous hormone level because the hormones are absorbed regularly.”

How are Hormones Levels Monitored?

At your first visit, we draw lab tests including, estradiol, progesterone, free testosterone, and others as deemed necessary based on your history. We reevaluate levels during hormone therapy after the first three months and again in six months. Once we determine that your dosing is stable, we will test labs each year.

How are Pellets Inserted and is there a risk?

We place the pellets under the skin using local anesthesia at the hip or the low pelvis with a tiny incision. The primary risks would be bruising or infection, similar to a shot. We advise patients to avoid swimming, hot tubs, and baths for two days and to avoid vigorous physical activity for 48 hours as well.

What can women expect after pellet insertion?

Some patients notice that after pellet insertion they have more energy, sleep better and feel happier. They may also experience increased strength, coordination and physical performance.

“Most women will begin to feel the positive benefits of the hormone pellets within a few days,” said Dr. Cunningham. “Many begin feeling increased energy, and an improved sense of wellbeing. Over time, they can also see improved muscle mass and bone density.”

Does insurance pay for this treatment?

Insurance often covers the lab tests due to your medical condition (with hormone imbalance or menopausal symptoms being the most common). Occasionally insurance companies will cover the pellets, but many times the cost will be out of pocket. We use a certified lab to make your pellets. You will work with the lab directly to pay for the pellets to minimize your expense. Usually, the cost is about $50 a month for the pellets. We bill the insurance company for the office visit. There could be out of pocket expense based on your deductible, out of pocket requirements, and your plan.

How Do I get Started?

Call Creekside Center for Women at 479-582-9268 located next to Willow Creek Women’s Hospital for a consult. We look forward to seeing you soon.

The post Hormone Pellets: A Safe Treatment for Hormone Imbalance appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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Dr. Darrin Cunningham completed his medical degree at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991, subsequently completing an Obstetrics & Gynecologic Surgery internship and residency in 1996 at Hillcrest Health Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Dr. Cunningham is Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecologic Surgery.

Why did you decide to study Obstetrics & Gynecology?

I was initially going to do family practice with an obstetrics emphasis, but then I discovered surgery and found not only an aptitude but a love for minimally invasive surgery. I am thankful that in my job I can help relieve pain and suffering for my patients, in addition to caring for the prenatal and other health needs of my patients.

What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of working in OBGYN?

The most obvious reward is delivering babies. It’s simply a miracle every time you see a new baby, even when everyone is exhausted at 2 AM. Seeing the look on the mom’s and the family’s faces as they look at their little one is so joyful and astonishing with every baby born.

What is most challenging about what you do?

Perhaps the most challenging is working with a family who has had a loss, perhaps a miscarriage. It’s always hard to walk with a family through that experience. I’ve had the privilege of counseling families that have experienced a loss. They are nervous, and we talk through their emotions and concerns, helping them to the end. It’s an incredibly great experience to be part of when they do have a baby.

What’s a typical work week like for you?

I’m in the clinic every day, Monday through Friday. Some of those days are blocked out for surgeries. I’m also on call one night a week and every fifth weekend. We’re one of the few clinics where we don’t rotate our patients, and the doctor will deliver his or her own patients’ babies if possible. Now, if a woman goes into delivery at night, she might get a different doctor. The call system allows the medical team to be able to have a family life.

However, if I know one of my patients is delivering in the evening, I will do my best to stay, (if my wife says it is okay).

What types of care, education, and support do you provide women before pregnancy?

If a woman hasn’t had a well-woman exam, I will conduct a physical exam including a pap smear and conduct screenings for breast and gynecologic cancers. I will discuss her health situation and lifestyle behaviors. I’ll meet with her (and her partner) once a month until 28 weeks, and then every two weeks until week 36, and then once a week. I’ll continue to discuss her health and answer questions as well as check for high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and such.

What types of care, education, and support do you provide women after pregnancy?

I see my patients approximately four weeks after delivery to make sure everything is going well, to discuss birth control, and to make sure they’re healing well, for example. Doing this gives us time to plan procedures like tubal ligations, so they are within their medical insurance coverage timeframe.

What else would you like people to know about your job/career?

I offer a very personalized, family-oriented care. I intentionally don’t have a computer in my room, because I want to listen to the person who I’m with, to genuinely hear their story. It’s essential that women get individualized, focused attention from their doctor.

What are your hobbies?

My family, my wife (married since 1992) and our son, are very water-oriented. Sometimes my family and I will rent a sailboat in the Caribbean and sail with friends. When we aren’t swimming, then we scuba dive as a family. We also boat on Grand Lake in Oklahoma since my in-laws live there.

Do you have any additional career goals that you are working toward right now?

I’m always learning something new, and I do my best to stay up on technology and advances in the field of OBGYN through reading journal articles on best practices and attending conferences. In early 2018, I completed training in the use of the da Vinci Surgical System as a Console Surgeon.

Can you summarize your philosophy of practice?

I’ve always said that I want to treat my patients the way that I want my wife’s doctor to treat her.

Dr. Darrin Cunningham

Creekside Center for Women is so thankful to have Dr. Darrin Cunningham on our staff. If you’re looking for an OB/GYN, we hope you will consider him and our clinic for your healthcare needs. We offer many services for women’s health and have the best providers in the state. Let us know how we can help you (479) 582-9268

The post Get to Know Dr. Darrin Cunningham appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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World Doctor’s Day is Saturday, March 30.  It’s a day to celebrate and recognize the contributions of physicians in our lives and the community.

Watch as Dr. Darrin Cunningham and Dr. Greg Reiter from Creekside Center for Women talk about what you need to know about women’s health at every decade of life as well as what spouses/partners can do to help support women’s health.

If you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a medical provider at Creekside Center for Women call 479.582.9268.

The post Interview on KNWA For World Doctor’s Day – March 30th appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacterial infection found in a woman’s intestines, vagina or rectum. Approximately 25 percent of all healthy, adult women have these bacteria. Often, Adults don’t show any symptoms except for bladder or urinary tract infections. Although not dangerous in adults, a mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery.

Why is GBS a problem for babies? Samantha Corral, a certified nurse midwife at Creekside Center for Women, explains that

“It is so important to be screened and appropriately treated because the risks of untreated Group B strep can be devastating for newborns. If the GBS leads to an infection in a newborn, the possible outcomes include illness, deafness, developmental disabilities, and even death.”

How do you know if you have GBS?

The best way to know if you have GBS is to get tested. Group B strep screening is a routine part of prenatal care across the country. Even women who plan to have home births will undergo Group B strep screening with their licensed lay midwife. If you have GBS, your health care provider can give you treatment during labor and delivery that protects your baby from GBS. The good news is “GBS in newborns has become exceedingly rare because we now know how to prevent it with antibiotics administered during labor effectively,” said Corral.

Your provider will give you a simple and painless test for GBS at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. They will take a swab of the cells on your vagina and rectum and will send the sample to a lab. The test results are usually available in 1 to 2 days.

How likely is it that you will pass GBS to your baby?

If the infection is left untreated, there’s a 2% chance that your baby will get GBS during childbirth. The possibilities are higher if you have any of these risk factors:

  • The baby is premature (baby born before 37 weeks of pregnancy).
  • Your water breaks 18 hours or more before you have your baby.
  • You have a fever during labor.
  • Previously delivered a baby with a GBS infection.
  • Experienced a UTI during your pregnancy that was caused by GBS.
How Can You Protect Your Baby from Group B Strep Infection (GBS)?

If your GBS test at 35 to 37 weeks shows you have the infection, your provider will give you an antibiotic during labor through an IV.

“Some women express concern about the effects of antibiotics on the newborn’s microbiome, and that is a valid concern,” according to Corral, “but this is a great example of the importance of weighing risks and benefits.”

Penicillin is the best antibiotic for most women although another antibiotic called ampicillin also can be used if a woman is allergic to penicillin.

Corral continues:

“The risk of a GBS infection of a newborn far exceeds the risk of a temporary alteration of the microbiome due to antibiotics given to mom. Moms who do require antibiotics during their labor due to positive GBS status can protect and fortify their newborn’s microbiome by facilitating skin-to-skin contact and by exclusively breastfeeding. It ensures that the baby will receive lots of mom’s good bacteria, as well as important immunological factors to help fight infections and diseases.”

More information on GBS: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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The post How Can You Protect Your Baby from Group B Strep Infection (GBS)? appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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A certified nurse midwife (CNM) is a specific kind of advanced practice nurse that specializes in women’s healthcare services. CNMs are licensed, independent health care providers with prescriptive authority in all 50 states. CNMs focus on participating as partners in a woman’s care and generally take a low-intervention, holistic approach to healthcare.

Samantha Corral, CNM, APRN, DNP is a certified nurse midwife at Creekside Center for Women.

Why did you decide to study nurse-midwifery and become a nurse midwife?

“I truly stumbled into it. I was finishing nursing school and flew out to Oregon on a whim for an interview with a midwifery nursing program.  However, I fell in love with nurse-midwifery and saw a need for it in Northwest Arkansas (NWA). I knew I wanted to move back to NWA after my education and create a space for it. I feel fortunate that I was able to find a career that I love.”

What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of working in nurse-midwifery?

“I value the building of relationships with women. I cherish meeting women where they are, treating them as an individual, and being part of their health journey. When a woman comes in to deliver her baby, the health care provider shouldn’t feel like a stranger. You want somebody there whom you trust.

I treasure the relationship when a woman is in labor, and an intervention is needed. In this situation, I can talk to her and her partner about their options. I can make a recommendation, and they know they can trust me.  As a nurse midwife, it’s a priority to me to build that relationship and to develop that rapport.”

What is most challenging about what you do?

“It’s very frustrating to me when I have a patient who doesn’t want to do something that truly is important for the safety of their baby. I will respect the patient and her autonomy, but I will still make recommendations about what is best for their and their baby’s health. At the end of the day, it’s the patients’ right to choose what to do, but I will still communicate all the pros and cons of a decision and advocate for the best health outcome.”

What’s a typical work week like for you?

“I’m in clinic Monday through Friday, 8 AM-5 PM. I’m also on call 24/7. Last night, I delivered a baby at 3:30 AM, and I’m working a full day today, supplemented by coffee. I do travel some on the weekends, but I try to remain on call if I’m still a reasonable distance from the hospital. And, of course, my partners at Creekside are always on-call as well in case I could not make it to delivery. I have a supportive practice that reminds me I do need to take vacations for my own health. When I do go on vacation, I let my patients know far in advance when I’m gone and who will continue their care.”

What types of low-intervention care, education, and support do you provide women before pregnancy?

“I do my best to talk to women early in their pregnancy about the kind of research they can be doing, such as on birthing styles and classes (Lamaze method, hypnobirthing, Bradley method, etc.). No style of birthing is superior; it’s a matter of finding one that aligns with the mother’s own style. I encourage expecting parents to attend hospital visits at Willow Creek. A woman’s self-education is so important to me. I’ll provide resources, but I encourage my patients to review the options available and choose what’s best for them.”

What types of low-intervention care, education, and support do you provide women after pregnancy?

“I like to see women at a minimum at two-weeks and six-weeks post-partum. The visits give me an opportunity to check in with the mom and make sure everything is going well with her health, lactation, milk supply, overall mood, etc. I encourage my patients to call anytime they have a question or a concern. I aim to be just as available to my clients post-partum as I am for prenatal.”

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

“So many people think that a midwife and a doula have the same role. Doulas provide emotional support for the laboring mother and are typically not medically trained. As a nurse midwife, I went to medical school to get my degree. I’ll also provide emotional support, but I’m there to focus on providing medical support.”

What else would you like people to know about your job/career?

“I would love for people to realize that I do so much more than deliver babies. I see women across their entire lifespan, much like an OB/GYN physician. A certified-nurse midwife can take care of pap smears, STD screenings, infections, hormone replacement therapy, and many more issues beyond prenatal care and deliveries.”

What are your hobbies?

“I love well-crafted coffee and all things brunch. To balance my ‘foodie’ habits, I also love running and have completed several marathons. My golden retriever Tilly also makes sure I get lots of exercise. I enjoyed my time in Portland, but it made me nostalgic for Northwest Arkansas, so I love camping or exploring the Buffalo on the weekends.”

Do you have any additional career goals that you are working on currently?

“I finished my Doctor of Nursing Practice in May 2018 from Oregon Health and Science University, where I got my master’s and did my clinical rotation. I’m also at the foundational level of lactation consultation certification; in April I’ll take the international board certification to be an IBCLC (international board-certified lactation consultant). Once I pass, Creekside Center for Women will be able to offer more individualized breastfeeding assistance.”

Can you summarize your philosophy of practice?

“Women can expect from me that I will always take their concerns seriously, guide them in what is best practice, and explain their options while respecting their autonomy of choice.”

Samantha Corral, Certified-Nurse Midwife

We are so thankful to have Samatha Corral on our staff. If you are looking for a Certified Nurse Midwife, consider her and Creekside Center for Women. We offer many services for women’s health including hormone therapy, birth control, and OBGYN services. We have the best providers in the state. Let us know how we can help you. (479) 582-9268

The post Get to Know Samantha Corral, Certified-Nurse Midwife appeared first on Creekside Center For Women.

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