woman on scale pregnantWhen you're pregnant, you often worry about your weight. “Am I gaining too much?” is the common concern. According to a recent study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, approximately 47 percent of women gain too much weight during pregnancy. Your doctor will give you guidance about weight gain, and there are ways you can help manage your weight while you carry your baby.

Exercise is an important tool in maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy, and most women should get 30 minutes of light exercise, such as walking, at least three days a week. But don't give up on exercise if you can't make it through a half-hour walk. Even 10 minutes of physical activity will benefit you.

When it comes to eating, try to focus on quality rather than quantity. Eat more fruits, vegetables and lean protein, plus foods high in folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D. And realize that it's okay to occasionally enjoy those less-healthy foods, but do so in moderation. Trying to beat food cravings cold turkey during pregnancy can make you miserable.

Plan for three meals each day and always carry healthy snacks with you. You never know when pregnancy hunger will strike or when you'll need a boost of energy. If you're prone to stress eating, ask yourself if food is really the answer. Consider simple alternatives like mindfulness exercises or prenatal yoga that can help get your mind off the idea of eating.

You can also cut calories by watching what you drink. For example, a glass of orange juice or apple juice might seem like a healthy choice, but it can have plenty of sugar. Instead, eat an orange or an apple and drink a glass of water. You'll stay hydrated and get all the natural fiber and vitamins from the whole fruit.

Don't obsess over the scale every week. Some women gain more weight in their first trimester and then taper off. Look for trends and work with your doctor to monitor and manage your weight.

Getting some expert help can also make it easier to eat right during pregnancy. Consult with a nutritionist or take a nutrition class through a local hospital or health agency to learn good eating habits. And if you feel like you’re gaining too much weight and you’re concerned, ask your doctor about it.


healthcare costsCost sharing is a reality for many people with health insurance today, but a number of women's preventative services should be available to you with no copayment or coinsurance, even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible, as long as you see an in-network provider for your plan.

Tops on the list for many women is contraception.  According to, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that insurers fully cover the cost of at least one form of contraception in each of the methods that the Food and Drug Administration has identified for women in its current Birth Control Guide, which includes birth control pills, the ring, the patch, and intrauterine devices.

The issue came to the forefront recently when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services restated the wellness care provisions of the law in the face of complaints from women who said that their insurers were not covering the cost of contraception services like birth control pills.

Along with contraception services, your insurer should also be picking up the full cost of screenings for cervical cancer, HIV screening and counseling, screening and counseling for sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, and gonorrhea and syphilis screening and counseling.

Also, breast cancer mammography screenings for women over age 40 are fully covered, as is osteoporosis screening for at-risk women over age 60, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for women age 30 and over.

Other wellness services that are fully covered under the ACA include paying for folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant, and breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers, including access to breastfeeding supplies for pregnant and nursing women. Insurers are also required to pay the full cost of tobacco use screening and interventions for all women.


dos-donts smPregnancy is a time when you're focused on doing all the right things to give your baby the best start possible. Sometimes that means giving up things that you enjoy, but it's not all bad news. Here's a dozen tips that will help you have a happier, healthier pregnancy.

DO eat well and enjoy five or six smaller balanced meals each day.

DON'T do household chores that require heavy lifting, litter box cleanup, or the use of harsh chemicals

DO get eight hours of sleep a day, and take naps if necessary.

DON'T drink alcohol.

DO take a prenatal vitamin each day as directed by your obstetrician.

DON'T smoke or expose yourself to secondhand smoke.

DO drink plenty of fluids but DON'T make it a beverage with caffeine or artificial coloring.

DON'T wear high heels or tight shoes and DO put your feet up to prevent swelling.

DO exercise by walking or taking a pregnancy exercise class.

DON'T skip the sunscreen because pregnancy makes you more prone to sunburn.

DO wear a seat belt but keep it under the abdomen and low as possible on the hips.

DON'T take over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies without first consulting your obstetrician.


DO take time to indulge yourself occasionally with a nice manicure, an evening with your friends, or just a quiet walk to relax and de-stress. It's good for you and your baby.


summer healthySummer is a great time to get active and enjoy fun in the sun, but don't let your summer be sidelined by a vaginal yeast infection. Humid weather can increase your risk, and there are steps you can take to avoid having to deal with a yeast infection.

Start by slipping out of that wet swimsuit as soon as possible. Sitting in wet clothes can promote the overgrowth of yeast that leads to an infection. And when you're changing into your dry clothes, pick out a pair of cotton underwear. Synthetic fibers can hold moisture, but cotton keeps it away from your skin.

Hot and sweaty summer weather might have you reaching for scented hygiene products, but think again because these can affect the natural chemical balance in the vagina. And don't douche, because this can spread an infection into your cervix and uterus.

In summer, you should change pads and tampons more often, because that moisture combined with heat can be a risk factor for developing a yeast infection. Make it a habit and you'll have less to worry about at that time of the month.

And be sure to treat a summer yeast infection right away. Talk to your doctor about a prescription-strength treatment, or try an over-the-counter remedy if you've had a yeast infection before. Either way, don't wait to begin treatment of a yeast infection, so you can get back to enjoying your summer as soon as possible.


maternity leave smA mom-to-be can have a lot to consider when deciding the right time to stop working before the baby arrives. These days, more pregnant women are working right up until a few days, or even a few hours, before they go into labor. Often, that decision is based on economic factors, like how much paid maternity leave you will have.

There's no single answer to the question, “When should I stop working?” but there are health guidelines that can help you planfor your maternity leave. Be sure you discuss the factors related to your work and your pregnancy with your healthcare provider.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax