What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy – Third Trimester

Here we are presenting a journey through pregnancy, based on some of Dr. Wilkes' personal and professional experience. In this series of letters to guide you through each trimester, she provides personal insights into things you may experience and steps you should take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. In this third letter from Dr. Wilkes, she explains some of the more uncomfortable sensations associated with physical changes in your body. She also includes some tips for preparing for maternity leave, feeding your baby, and even items to bring to the hospital to ensure you and your baby have a safe and comfortable ride home!

The third trimester typically yields the most complaints and discomfort but it also means that you will soon be able to hold your baby. In this trimester, you will begin to notice more physical changes. Your breasts can increase one to two sizes. If you are on your feet often, back pain can also increase. It is important to wear the appropriate support bands such as waist control bands or back braces to ensure that you are not straining yourself too much.

You may also experience a tightening feeling in your upper belly. These light contractions, called “Braxton Hicks contractions,” are completely normal in this stage of your pregnancy. Women who are in their third trimester in the winter time are lucky. In the summer time, you may experience more cramping due to dehydration and the increased heat. You are not only hydrating yourself, you are hydrating your growing baby as well. So, it is very important to stay hydrated during your pregnancy.

During this trimester, you will really begin to feel the baby move. You may experience pain when the baby pushes against your pelvis, otherwise known as “lightning crotch.” This pain can stop you in your tracks and you may feel the need to sit down. This is completely normal and common.

Another factor to consider in this trimester is when to start maternity leave and the length of time to take off. Ensuring your time off from work in advance will ensure time to recover. Everyone is different in how much time off they will need. You should take at least 6 weeks after a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks after a c-section. In some cases, employers will allow up to 16 weeks. It is up to you to decide what is best for you and your baby. Personally, I have opted for 8 weeks. There may be some guilt when it is time to return to work and you may feel that there was not enough time together with your baby. This is normal and you should talk with friends and family about your feelings.

When preparing for how to feed your baby, there are options as well. Breastfeeding provides nutrients, immunity strength, and bonding, but in some cases it is not an option. Sometimes formula is the best option when considering both you and your baby. It is a viable option as long as the baby is healthy and growing.

No one can prepare you for the pain of labor. When it happens, you will know. It is a culmination of multiple symptoms like contractions lasting over an hour that are becoming closer in time, when this starts to happen please be sure to contact your provider.

Use your provider, friends and family as resources in deciding what items you will need to bring the baby home. Some items you need to consider are a car seat, a crib or bassinet, a changing table, a diaper bag, a stroller or baby wearing device and diapers…lots and lots of diapers.

You’re almost there! Try to stay calm and get ready for your beautiful baby to enter this world. It will all be worth it soon.

Check out the rest of the series! What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy - First Trimester - Second Trimester - Third Trimester

If you have any questions regarding pregnancy, please contact SRB & Associates at (904) 262-5333 and we will help answer all of your pregnancy questions!

Home Pregnancy Tests: What You Need to Know

Finding out you’re pregnant can be one of the most deeply rewarding as well as the most stressful time of your life. If you think you might be pregnant, a home pregnancy test can confirm your suspicions with up to 99% accuracy. If it comes back positive, you should meet with your doctor for a follow-up test to confirm. There might be some confusion as to how soon you can effectively use a home pregnancy test. According to the Office On Women’s Health, some home pregnancy tests are more sensitive than others, but for the best results, you should wait at least until the first day of your missed period. The amount of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in your urine doubles every couple of days, so the sooner you take the test, the more difficult it would be to detect.

If your home pregnancy test indicates that you’re pregnant, get in touch with your doctor immediately so that they can perform a blood test to confirm the results and get you started with your prenatal care so that you and your baby stay healthy.

If you suspect that you might be pregnant and your home pregnancy test says that you’re not, take another pregnancy test after a few more days have elapsed to be sure. If you still think you’re pregnant after multiple negative tests, call your doctor.

All home pregnancy tests come with written instructions. For the most part, they’re very similar. You can hold the stick in your urine stream, urinate in a cup and dip the stick in the cup, or urinate in a cup and use a special dropper to put a few drops of urine into a special container. The wait time is generally around 2 minutes. No matter how faint the positive indication may be, the result still indicates positive. Taking the test first thing in the morning can boost the accuracy of a home pregnancy test according to the Office On Women’s Health.

Most medicines have no effect on your home pregnancy test. Over-the-counter and prescribed medicine including contraceptives and antibiotics will not cause a false positive, nor will alcohol. However, medicines such as those used for infertility are known to cause a false positive or any medication that contains the hCG hormone as an active ingredient.

National Women's Health Week

National Women’s Health Week is a great time to focus on your well-being. No matter your age, there are things you can do every day to improve your health and prevent some major health issues. One thing you can do is focus on healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more about healthy eating and find the right plan for you. Another great resource for personalized recommendations is https://healthfinder.gov/. Remember to also try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Remember to wear a seatbelt and don’t text and drive to avoid injury and possible need for surgery. Also, wear a helmet when riding your bike to decrease the risk of head injury or brain damage. There are several things you should talk to your doctor about at least once a year. Family health history can play a huge role in your health, so it is important to bring up any family health issues, especially cancer. You should definitely let your doctor know about your alcohol and tobacco use, and any mental health concerns. Remember to ask your doctor if you need any tests, medicines or vaccines for blood pressure, cholesterol, flu, hepatitis B & C, HIV, pap, HPV or tuberculosis.

Celebrate National Women’s Health Week and remember these tips for staying healthy. Focus on how you’re doing, how you’d like to be doing and what changes you can make to reach your health goals.

What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy – Second Trimester

Here we are presenting a journey through pregnancy, based on some of Dr. Wilkes' personal and professional experience. In this series of letters to guide you through each trimester, she provides personal insights into things you may experience and steps you should take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. In this second letter from Dr. Wilkes, she discusses some of the fun things she did during this second trimester, as well as what changes to expect in your body and some items you may want to start purchasing to prepare for their arrival!

Now you are in your second trimester, where you’ll experience new changes happening super fast as your baby is growing quickly! The morning sickness and fatigue should be going away so you will soon start feeling more energetic. For some women the second trimester is the easiest three months of pregnancy.

The further along in your pregnancy you get, you start to notice that even making routine things like getting out of bed and bending over to put on your shoes may seem like a lot of work. Changes are happening all over our bodies and you’ll notice this in the way your clothes fit.

Besides just our body changing, our sleep position may change as well. Laying on your back or stomach may become uncomfortable. So, a comfortable sleeping position is to sleep on your side and use pillows for support.

Despite all the changes and new hassles you are experiencing, this is a super exciting time because your pregnancy is starting to feel more real as you start to feel more movements from your baby! I have begun to talk to Rachel more, yes, I am having a girl, and she talks back to me with different movements. Within the next 14 weeks our babies will grow from the size of a walnut to the size of a sack of grapes. The organs are beginning to be developed to form the perfect little bundle of joy.

At this point, one of the most exciting things can take place, you can find out the gender of your baby so you can start preparing for their arrival! Start getting geared up on things like a crib, diapers, and a car seat so you’re ready to take your little one home when its time. Also, start setting up your home for your baby and planning where he or she will sleep. This means it’s time to start shopping. Remember to buy essentials, and not just cute outfits! I already have 20 different outfits for my baby girl but have no essentials! Keep in mind those cute outfits will be peed, pooped and spit up on so they may not necessarily last long.

Enjoy the second trimester by taking lots of pictures and showing off your beautiful pregnancy bump as in this trimester many wonderful things happen to our bodies.

Check out the rest of the series! What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy - First Trimester - Second Trimester - Third Trimester

If you have any questions regarding pregnancy, please contact SRB & Associates at (904) 262-5333 and we will help answer all of your pregnancy questions!

What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy – First Trimester

Here we are presenting a journey through pregnancy, based on some of Dr. Wilkes' personal and professional experience. In this series of letters to guide you through each trimester, she provides personal insights into things you may experience and steps you should take to ensure a healthy pregnancy. In this first letter from Dr. Wilkes, she discusses pregnancy testing, early side effects, and how to celebrate and enjoy this experience.

Pregnancy is an amazing experience that should be celebrated and enjoyed! There is nothing more remarkable then to think about all the amazing changes that are happening to your baby daily!

Finding out you are pregnant is an exhilarating time and absolutely life-changing.  When the time comes to confirm your pregnancy, there are many choices with pregnancy tests. Some require longer wait times in order for specific hormone levels to register properly. For example, during my pregnancy I waited one week after my cycle was late. If you have taken a pregnancy test and it shows a positive result it does not necessarily mean that it is correct.  Set an appointment for a second test and ultrasound 7 weeks after your last menstrual period or 2 weeks after your positive urine pregnancy test to confirm with a doctor that you are indeed pregnant.

Regardless of all the planning and trying, conception can sometimes be a stressful yet rewarding experience. The first trimester alone brings changes in your mind and body that are nothing like you have ever experienced before.

In the first few months you may experience nausea (morning sickness), light spotting and sore, tender breasts early on and throughout the first trimester just like I did.  Fatigue, discharge and heartburn are also some common symptoms of pregnancy that occur during the first trimester.

However, watching your body change and adapt is a pretty amazing experience and it should make all of you feel proud of your body and its abilities.

Check out the rest of the series! What to Expect During Each Trimester of Pregnancy - First Trimester - Second Trimester - Third Trimester

If you have any questions regarding pregnancy, please contact SRB & Associates at (904) 262-5333 and we will help answer all of your pregnancy questions!

New Mammography Guidelines

Recently, doctors are recommending mammograms above and beyond the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). This revision to the common school of thought is driven by the understanding that women’s lives are saved by early screening and early detection. Therefore, the recommended age to begin getting screened has been reduced to 40. This information was the topic of a recent breast cancer screening study performed by the JAMA Internal Medicine. Based upon mammography’s potential to save lives, the JAMA study results have concluded that it’s not just worthwhile, but a physical imperative for women to begin getting screened at a younger age as well as extending the maximum recommended age to get screened. The thought behind this is to recommend various screening options to women and give them the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not to pursue additional potentially life-saving screenings.

Some women may feel additional anxiety at the thought of being screened more frequently or at a younger age, but the recommendation seems to be the general consensus given that the Society for Breast Imaging (SBI), American College of Radiology (ACR), American Cancer Society (ACS), and the USPSTF are all in agreement that screening should begin as young as age 40.

Let Us Help You Understand Vaccine Schedules

It's never been more important to get vaccinated. Kids need to get necessary vaccines at certain times in their lives prior to beginning different scholastic milestones. As we age, we need boosters. Even adults who have been free of a number of diseases since childhood now need to consider vaccines such as shingles which can suddenly appear after decades of lying dormant within you. Use the available charts to see when you need to be vaccinated and for what.

Promoting Awareness of Domestic Violence

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, SRB & Associates wants to bring awareness to this important topic. Going beyond the physical, domestic abuse can involve emotional and verbal abuse between partners.1 in 4 women in the United States have reported experiencing domestic abuse in the past or present from a partner or spouse. Domestic abuse can have seriously detrimental effects on women. Anxiety, depression, and hypertension are just some of the side effects caused by domestic abuse. Abuse can inhibit women’s ability to combat serious illnesses, and can increase their risk of developing heart conditions, depression, and stroke.

There are many resources that can help women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse. Futures Without Violence has partnered with a few health centers to provide assistance and guidance to these victims of abuse. You can view Futures Without Violence’s initiative in the link provided here: https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/health/improving-health-outcomes-through-violence-prevention/

Do you feel that your health and well-being are being compromised by your relationship? Follow these steps to help you deal with such a stressful situation as this.

  1. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. He/she can help you with coping strategies, and get you on the right track towards improving your health.
  2. Write down your experiences and pain, provided you are safe.
  3. Breathe, meditate, and exercise. These will help reduce stress, improving your coping abilities.
  4. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. This resource provides 24-hour, toll free support that can provide you with housing alternatives, advice and referrals.

Domestic abuse is a serious problem that families and households across the United States face. Reaching out and getting help is the first step toward ending the cycle. For more information and resources, click the link below:



Guide to Childhood Immunizations

School is back in session, and with it comes the annual battle against an influx of sick children coming home after being confined to classrooms all day full of other sick children.  No one enjoys sick days (when they are actually sick, anyways), especially parents who have to miss work to stay home with their children.  Years ago, instead of a little cough or fever, parents had to deal with things like measles, mumps, polio and a host of other debilitating and sometimes life-threatening ailments. Fortunately, science and medicine have joined forces over the years to create some incredible vaccinations to combat the heavier hitters in the germ and disease world.  Vaccination has come under fire in recent years, due in large part to social media and celebrities making assumptions based on anecdotal evidence and emotional reaction as opposed to regarding decades of scientific study and medical research, along with the dramatic decrease in cases of polio, measles and other contagious diseases since vaccinations became readily available.

This year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) won a National Health Information Award for their 64-page guide, “Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations”.  The CDC’s mission, taken directly from their website, is to work “24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”

The Parents Guide helps parents and caregivers learn about the role vaccines play in helping keep children healthy. The color booklet includes a glossary and list of resources and is illustrated with children’s artwork.  If you are interested in learning more about what immunizations the CDC recommends your child have from birth to 18 (including how to catch them up if they’re behind schedule), you can visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/tools/parents-guide/index.html and download or print out the guide for free.

Guide for Pregnant Women and the Zika Threat

The number of non-travel related Zika cases has grown substantially, more specifically in the Wynwood area of Miami, Florida. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recommends that people who reside in or have traveled to the area of Miami-Dade county any time after June 15, 2016, and show symptoms of Zika infection, should be tested for the virus. Symptoms of a Zika infection may include fever, rash, conjunctivitis and arthralgia. The DOH and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) highly recommend that pregnant women avoid nonessential travel to the aforementioned area. Pregnant women who have traveled to the area of active Zika transmission or have had unprotected sex with a partner living in that area should consult their healthcare provider. If you are pregnant and asymptomatic, it is recommended that you get tested for the Zika virus in your first and second trimester.

For more information on what to do in the face of a Zika threat, download the PDF in the link shown below: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/zika-virus/_documents/zika-testing-update-8-4-16-v14.pdf