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Author: thomas

Packing Your Hospital Bag: A Comprehensive List 

When you’re on the way to deliver a baby, the last thing you want to do is scramble around and pack your hospital bag. We’re here to give you a list of things you should consider bringing to the hospital. Keep in mind – everybody is different and wants their own birth experience. You’re always welcome to pack more or less than our list.

For Labor and Delivery:

  • Paperwork, IDs, and Insurance cards – ensure that your medical records are easily accessible for medical staff to review and that you can check into the hospital.
  • Your birth plan – if you’ve created a birth plan, bring it with you so medical staff can reference it if they have any questions. If you don’t have one, no worries. It’s not required.
  • Bathrobe/Labor Dress – this can make the hospital feel more at home while you’re waiting to go into labor.
  • Socks – nobody likes cold feet.
  • Slip-on shoes and flip-flops – slip-on shoes are great for when you want to walk around the hospital ward. You’ll want some flip-flops to use as shower shoes.
  • Lip Balm – nobody wants chapped lips, especially if you’re going into labor. This simple thing can make you feel much more comfortable.
  • Lotion – Itchy, dry skin is the last thing you want when you’re about to have a baby. Lotion can help your skin stay hydrated and keep you focused on the task at hand.
  • Comfy pillows – hospital pillows aren’t anything to call home about, so consider bringing your own. If you’re the type who likes to sleep with a specific pillow, we recommend getting it (just remember to bring it home).
  • Eye mask and earplugs – you deserve to rest, but sometimes the hospital isn’t the best place to sleep. An eye mask and earplugs can help you sleep peacefully.

After Delivery:

  • Nightgowns/PJs – you’ll want something comfy to sleep in after delivery. If you plan on breastfeeding, we recommend wearing something that’s front-opening.
  • Maternity pads – the hospital will provide you with maternity pads, but it’s always good to be prepared. You’ll probably change them every couple of hours for the first few days after giving birth, so we recommend heavy-duty pads.
  • Underwear – several pairs of underwear are recommended. Bring something you’ll be comfortable in and can easily hold your maternity pads.
  • Toiletries – a hairbrush, comb, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, skincare, and lotion can make a huge difference in how you feel after labor. We also recommend a bag to put your dirty clothes in.
  • Clothes – you may want some comfy clothes to wear around the hospital while you’re there.

To Share with Your Partner:

  • Snacks and water – you can have some of these too. Labor can be a long process, so having something to eat and drink along the way can be nice.
  • Charger – we recommend an extra-long charger.
  • Entertainment – a book, a tablet, headphones for music, whatever you prefer.

For Your Baby:

  • Bodysuits – different hospitals have different policies, so make sure you ask. But bringing something for your baby to wear is a good idea.
  • Socks and booties – newborns get cold easily, so it’s a good idea to bring something to keep them warm.
  • Blanket – the hospital will give you a blanket, but if you have a special blanket in mind for them, then it’s a good idea to bring it.
  • Going home outfit – think about the weather when packing what your baby will come home in; they get cold easily!
  • Car seat – you’ll need a car seat (already installed) to take your baby home safely.

Remember that this birth is yours. We want you to have things with you to help you be more comfortable during your stay. If you have any questions about different policies, want to create a birth plan, or are curious if there are other things you should pack for the hospital, call Greenville Women’s Care at 252-757-3131 to talk to our Midwife, Sarah Sears, or make an appointment.

Ovarian Cyst Warning Signs

Ovarian cysts are solid or fluid-filled sacs that form within your ovaries. Many women develop ovarian cysts at some point in their lives. These cysts typically form during ovulation, which is the time during your monthly cycle when one of your ovaries releases an egg.

Ovarian cysts sometimes cause pain and other symptoms, but sometimes they don’t cause any symptoms at all. Often cysts form and then go away on their own in a few weeks or in one to three months.

Although most ovarian cysts are benign — meaning they are not cancerous — in rare cases cysts are a sign of ovarian cancer. For this reason, it is always wise to tell your doctor about any symptoms that might suggest the presence of ovarian cysts.

The physicians at Greenville Women’s Care recommend calling our office for a checkup if you experience any of the following warning signs of ovarian cysts.

1. Pelvic pain.

You feel pelvic pain in your lower belly. Ovarian cysts are one of many possible causes of pelvic pain. The pain from ovarian cysts may feel sharp or dull. You may feel pain for extended periods of time, or it may come and go.  Ovarian cyst-related pain tends to be worse during your menstrual period. The hormones produced during your period can cause ovarian cysts to form or enlarge, triggering pain. When a cyst ruptures, you may feel sudden, severe pain in your pelvic region.

2. Referred pain.

Pain from ovarian cysts can travel beyond the pelvic area to your low back or even your thighs. This is called referred pain.

3. Bloating.

Like many women, you may experience bloating during your period, but watch for unusual bloating that can result when an ovarian cyst grows larger.

4. Nausea and vomiting.

Nausea and vomiting may sometimes occur when an ovarian cyst causes one of your ovaries to become twisted.

5. Changes in urination or passing stools.

Occasionally ovarian cysts can affect the action of your bladder or bowels so that you have trouble emptying them. You may also find that you need to urinate more often.

6. Fever.

If an ovarian cyst becomes infected, you may develop a fever.

7. Unexplained bleeding.

Ovarian cysts can sometimes cause bleeding when you do not expect it. Call our office without delay if you have unexplained bleeding — it can be a sign of a medical condition that requires attention.

8. Unexplained weight gain.

In rare cases, ovarian cysts can grow surprisingly large. Their size, along with the bloating that can occur, may make a difference in the numbers on your bathroom scale.

9. Pain during sex.

Ovarian cysts can occasionally result in pain or discomfort during sex. This is especially likely if you develop a type of ovarian cyst known as an endometrioma, which occurs most commonly in women with endometriosis, a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.

10. Trouble getting pregnant.

In women with a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), many ovarian cysts form over time. Sometimes women with PCOS can have trouble getting pregnant.

Although many ovarian cysts go away on their own, some require surgical removal. The doctors at Greenville Women’s Care have extensive experience with the surgical methods used to remove ovarian cysts. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed here — or if you need other gynecological care — call us for an appointment. Our team of women’s health care providers can help you with all of your gynecological needs.

Five Topics to Always Talk to Your Gynecologist About

When you visit your gynecologist for routine check-ups, you may look at it like a chore for getting a clean bill of health and then move onto the next item on your to-do-list. But it is important that you pay attention to your body throughout the year and make a list of questions that you may have. Take the time to ask your gynecologist questions, so you have a better understanding of your body. If any of these 5 topics apply to you, you should never leave the gynecologist’s office without discussing with your physician.

Pregnancy and Fertility

Your obstetrician is an excellent resource for you to talk with about fertility, becoming pregnant or if you are currently pregnant. Your obstetrician can offer advice on topics ranging from ovulation kits, pregnancy tests, early signs of pregnancy and also early signs of infertility.

While you might want to keep that you are trying to get pregnant a secret from friends and family, you should never keep that fact from your doctor. Not only will they be able to provide helpful information about lifestyle changes that help promote conception, but they will also understand the emotional stress that can occur when trying to get pregnant.

Painful Intercourse

If  having intercourse is uncomfortable and causes you pain, you may need to talk to your doctor. Even if you are uncomfortable discussing your sex life with your doctor, or you are embarrassed to talk about it with anyone other than your best friend, painful intercourse should not be ignored. You may even want to call your physician before your visit and let them know this is going on so they will remember to bring it up during your appointment.

Your gynecologist can also help answer questions or find the cause of pain during intercourse. Pain during sex does not just happen during menopause, it can be a symptom of birth control, endometriosis, or other underlying medical issues. Bleeding during intercourse should also be discussed with your gynecologist. Bleeding can be caused by dryness, infections or other underlying issues and talking about this during your visit can help your gynecologist help you effectively.

Heavy, Painful, and/or Irregular Periods

As women, we are often discouraged to discuss our menstrual cycle. Because of this, it can be hard to know if your period is “normal”, or if something you are experiencing is due to an underlying medical issue. Heavy periods can mean different things to different women, so it is important that you talk to your gynecologist if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Heavy periods can be caused by a number of things such as uterine fibroids, hormonal imbalance, polyps, uterine hyperplasia or cancer. Painful periods may also be a sign of endometriosis, uterine fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease. Your gynecologist can help you figure out why your periods are abnormally heavy and painful and recommend treatment that can provide you relief.

Irregular periods can be normal in the adolescent years, but not as you mature. A typical menstrual cycle is anywhere from 21 to 35 days. As with heavy bleeding, every woman is different, but if you have a hard time predicting when you are going to have your period, be sure to speak with your gynecologist.

If your periods are irregular. Even if you are used to some periods lasting a week and being extremely heavy, and other months having a two-day menstrual cycle that is lightweight, you need to talk to your doctor about the topic. It could be the sign of a more serious problem.

Depression After Childbirth

If you do not feel like yourself after childbirth and suffer from signs of depression and negative thoughts, contact your doctor immediately. These feelings are not uncommon and are nothing to be ashamed of or brushed under the rug. Your gynecologists can work with you to find the right treatment to get you back to your happy and healthy self.

Menopausal Concerns

Going through menopause is a very challenging time in a women’s life. And to make matters worse, it comes with a slew of side effects like hot flashes, restlessness when trying to sleep, weight gain and mood swings. Your doctor can work with you to reduce the symptoms and let you know what is normal, and what is not. If anything can be done to relieve the symptoms of menopause, you should definitely consider them.

Whether you are going to the OBGYN for the first time, or if you have been going for many years, it can be uncomfortable to share private information about your body with your gynecologist. Our office has the most female physicians – and like you, as women, we have been in your shoes. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our gynecologists.