Monthly Archives: February 2017

Breast Feeding

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Dr. Max Izbicki DO Chicago IL OB/GYN cares for pregnant patients from the first prenatal consultation through the delivery and beyond and supports breast feeding in new moms. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. Breastfeeding is best for your baby for the following reasons: Breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, protein, and minerals needed for a baby’s growth and development. As your baby grows, your breast milk changes to adapt to the baby’s changing nutritional needs. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula. Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from certain illnesses, such as ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, and allergies. The longer your baby breastfeeds, the greater the health benefits. Breastfed infants have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breast milk can help reduce the risk of many of the short-term and long-term health problems that preterm babies face.

Breastfeeding is good for you for the following reasons: Breastfeeding triggers the release of a hormone called oxytocin that causes the uterus to contract. This helps the uterus return to its normal size more quickly and may decrease the amount of bleeding you have after giving birth. Breastfeeding may make it easier to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Drinking caffeine in moderate amounts (200 mg a day) most likely will not affect your baby. Newborns and preterm infants are more sensitive to caffeine’s effects. You may want to consume a lower amount of caffeine in the first few days after your baby is born or if your infant is preterm. If you want to have an occasional alcoholic drink, wait at least 2 hours after a single drink to breastfeed. The alcohol will leave your milk as it leaves your bloodstream—there is no need to express and discard your milk. Drinking more than two drinks per day on a regular basis may be harmful to your baby and may cause drowsiness, weakness, and abnormal weight gain.

Most medications are safe to take while breastfeeding. Although medications can be passed to your baby in breast milk, levels are usually much lower than the level in your bloodstream. The latest information about medications and their effects on breastfed babies can be found at LactMed, a database of scientific information, at http://www.toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm. If you are breastfeeding and need to take a prescription medication to manage a health condition, discuss this with your health care team and the health care professional caring for your baby.

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Painful Intercourse

Dr. Max Izbicki Chicago Il OB/GYN cares for women with a wide range of obstetric and gynecologic conditions including painful intercourse. Pain during intercourse is very common. Nearly 3 out of 4 women have pain during intercourse at some time during their lives. For some women, the pain is only a temporary problem; for others, it is a long-term problem. Pain during sex may be a sign of a gynecologic problem, such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis. Pain during sex also may be caused by problems with sexual response, such as a lack of desire or a lack of arousal.

Women may feel pain in their vulva, in the area surrounding the opening of the vagina, or within the vagina. The perineum is a common site of pain during sex. Women also may feel pain their lower back, pelvic region, uterus, or bladder. If a woman has frequent or severe pain during sex, she should see a health care provider. It is important to rule out gynecologic conditions that may be causing the pain.

Pain during sexual intercourse can be a warning sign of many gynecologic conditions. Some of these conditions can lead to other problems if not treated. Some skin disorders may result in ulcers or cracks in the skin of the vulva. Contact dermatitis is a common skin disorder that affects the vulva. It is a reaction to an irritating substance, such as perfumed soaps, douches, or lubricants. It may cause itching, burning, and pain. Treatment of skin disorders depends on the type of disorder. Vulvodynia is a pain disorder that affects the vulva. When pain is confined to the vestibule (the area around the opening of the vagina), it is known as vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS). There are many treatments available for vulvodynia, including self-care measures. Medication or surgery may be needed in some cases.

During perimenopause and menopause, decreasing levels of the female hormone estrogen may cause vaginal dryness. Hormone therapy is one
treatment option. Using a lubricant during sex or a vaginal moisturizer also may be helpful. Vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina, can be caused by a
yeast or bacterial infection. Symptoms are discharge and itching and burning of the vagina and vulva. Vaginitis can be treated with medication. Vaginismus is a reflex contraction (tightening) of the muscles at the opening of your vagina. Vaginismus may cause pain when women try to have sexual intercourse. Vaginismus can be treated with different forms of therapy. Women who have had an episiotomy or tears in the perineum during childbirth may have pain during sex that may last for several months. Treatments include physical therapy, medications, or surgery. Pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and adhesions are all associated with pain during sex.