Preparing for Healthy Babies  Placental and fetal growth are most susceptible to maternal nutrition and lifestyle choices during pre-implantation and the first 3 to 7 weeks after the last menstrual period. Since many women do not know that they are pregnant this early, they may be inadvertently making poor lifestyle choices at a critical time for their baby. Although it is reassuring to know that isolated incidences of poor health choices are not as important as sustained good health, there are certain things you can do before conception that may increase your fertility potential and optimize you and your baby’s health. 
  • Achieve a healthy weight. Neither extreme in weight is ideal prior to or during pregnancy. Being overweight (BMI >30 kg/ml) puts women at risk for many obstetrical complications, such as gestational diabetes, neural tube defects, preterm delivery and an increased risk of c-section. Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy) is often worsened by insulin resistance, a condition prevalent in many overweight women or women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Since it is not recommended to lose weight during pregnancy, weight loss endeavors should be initiated prior to conception.  Being underweight (BMI less than 18.5 kg.ml) is also problematic. These women are at risk for nutrient deficiencies, osteoporosis, preterm birth, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth retardation. 

  • Start building important vitamin stores. If not already taking prenatal vitamins, start taking them now. Folic acid supplementation is particularly important since studies have shown that adequate stores of folic acid can greatly reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus. Assure proper iron intake from foods and prenatal vitamins to prevent anemia. Another important vitamin is vitamin D. Studies show that up to 70% of pregnant women do not have adequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is not only protective against several cancers, but also helps to prevent osteoporosis, hypertension and diabetes. Babies and children who have adequate levels of Vitamin D have a lower risk of type 1 diabetes. The current recommendation for vitamin D supplementation ranges from 400 to 1000 IU/day. 

  • See your OB/GYN to assure your health screenings are current. Make sure you are up to date with your pap smear and mammogram since screening and treatment options during pregnancy can be somewhat limited.

  • Assure that you are up to date with your immunizations. Get the flu and H1N1 vaccines if during flu season, and check your immunity to rubella (German measles) and varicella (chicken pox). The vaccinations for these diseases contain a live virus, so you cannot attempt pregnancy for 1-3 months after getting vaccinated.

  • Determine if you carry a genetic disease based on your ethnicity.  

  • One of the easiest, but most important interventions is to drink enough water. 8 glasses a day is suggested and 2-3 of these can be decaffeinated beverages. Caffeinated drinks don’t count toward your quota and can actually cause you to lose water. Dehydration can exacerbate stress, cause fatigue, headaches, sluggishness, and constipation. 

  • Lastly, it is important to get enough sleep. How much sleep you need varies per person, but good quality sleep can keep hormone levels balanced and help with conception.  Find ways to reduce stress. For many women experiencing infertility, this is incredibly important. Since some forms of stress release, such as intense exercise or drinking a glass of wine are not recommended during treatment cycles, it would be helpful now to work on alternate outlets. These can include meditation, participating in a yoga class, gardening, walking a dog, or getting frequent massages. Chiropractors can help alleviate muscle tension and studies show that acupuncture may help with the stress of infertility as well as relaxing smooth muscle (which is important for implantation). Just be sure that whatever practitioner that you utilizes specializes in pregnancy or women’s health. Most importantly, use the time prior to conception as a time to concentrate on you, your physical and mental health. Assuring that you have balance in your life is essential for emotional well-being during this pivotal time in your life.


What is infertility? A couple is considered infertile after a year of unprotected intercourse without getting pregnant.  Because age is a major cause of infertility, the criteria for women over 34 is 6 months of unprotected intercourse without conceiving.  If you’re coping with infertility, you’re not alone. One out of every eight couples in the U.S. is infertile.  Of those couples, 40% will find male infertility to be the problem, 40% will discover female infertility is the cause, in 30% of the cases both couples will have problems and the remaining 20% of couples will be diagnosed with unexplained infertility. 

Dealing with infertility is a huge challenge thousands of couples are facing at this very moment.  Luckily, reproductive technology is continuing to advance, more insurance companies are offering infertility coverage and each day more people are becoming parents.  

Although experiencing infertility can be one of the most stressful times in a woman’s life, it provides a unique opportunity to optimize both partners’ health and, therefore, the health of future pregnancies. 

The Shaw Center is proud to be able to offer our patients local consults in our office with Dr. Kevin Winslow of the Florida Institute for Reproductive Medicine for patients exploring IVF fertility treatment options. Dr. Winslow is at The Shaw Center the first Wednesday of each month.


You are encouraged to rotate your appointments with our providers during your prenatal visits to meet all the members of your obstetrical team.  If you have a question or concern in between your scheduled appointments, please call our office during regular office hours whenever possible. The midwife on call or the nursing staff will return your call to address your questions and concerns.

If you have a problem after office hours, call Archbold Memorial Hospital, and the operator will notify the midwife or doctor on call. Any time you have an acute emergency, you may go directly to Archbold Memorial Hospital emergency room; the ER staff will contact the midwife or doctor on call.


During Pregnancy For a full list of medications that are safe to take during pregnancy, please see the link at the bottom of this page.

Prenatal Appointments

Even though you may feel fine, regular check-ups during your pregnancy are very important. You must be on time for your appointments. If you are late, your appointment may be cancelled, and you will need to reschedule. If you must miss an appointment, please call the office at least 24 hours in advance to cancel your appointment and reschedule.

Financial Concerns
Our fees are within the customary range for this area. At one of your early visits, you will need to meet with our patient financial counselor to receive financial counseling. This is the time to ask questions regarding payment of fees.

Classes Childbirth is a family event, and we encourage you to have a support person with you during your delivery. Ask for information on available classes offered at Archbold Hospital for prepared childbirth and baby care.

Good advice:       * Get plenty of rest.     * Eat balanced meals.      * Wear your seat belt.

For more information on Pregnancy at Shaw Center, please click here  

Midwifery  Midwives are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. This means that midwives perform physical exams, prescribe medications including contraceptive methods, order laboratory tests as needed, provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care, as well as health education and counseling to women of all ages. Women, children, and families have better lives because of the work of certified nurse-midwives (CNMs). The American College of Nurse-Midwives is the professional association that represents CNMs. 

Midwifery as practiced by Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs)  encompasses primary care for women across the lifespan from adolescence beyond menopause, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. Midwives perform comprehensive physical exams, prescribe medications including contraceptive methods, order laboratory and other diagnostic tests, and provide health and wellness education and counseling. The scope of practice for CNMs also includes treatment of male partners for sexually transmitted infections, and care of the normal newborn during the first 28 days of life.

Peek A Boo Imaging
2D Gender Determination: $65 (Please note that this package is 2D only. This package does not include any 3D or 4D images.)    * Available between 16-40 weeks of gestation   * 10 minute 2D ultrasound session   * 4 (4X4) black and white images   * DVD of high-resolution pictures. Perfect for email, websites, and even Facebook. Print directly from the CD at your local CVS, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.   * You may bring up to 3 guests  2D & 4D "Hello World": $130     * Available between 25-40 weeks of gestation only   * 20 minute 2D and 4D ultrasound session   * 4 (4X4) black and white images   * DVD of high-resolution pictures. Perfect for email, websites, and  even Facebook. Print directly from the CD at your local CVS, Target,  Wal-Mart, etc.   * You may bring up to 3 guests  For more information on Peek A Boo Imaging, please click here  

Related Documents: