Your Partners in Health Through the Seasons of Life.


When many consider a visit to the OB-GYN, it conjures thoughts of pregnancy, menopause, or pap smears every three years, but there are many reasons that visiting a trusted OB-GYN before you or your daughter turns 21 is important. Visiting an OB-GYN is more than a doctor’s visit in a crisis scenario. Rather, an OB-GYN is an important part of every woman’s total health plan. Here are 4 reasons for making an appointment before you or your daughter turns 21:

  1. Putting your health first – OB-GYNs specialize in more than just pregnancy; these specialized doctors help women live a full life by teaching them how to put their health first. This knowledge extends far beyond the act of giving birth. OB-GYNs can do things such as helping patients identify a healthy body weight, establish good habits to avoid osteoporosis later in life, and achieve optimal health throughout the coming decades. Regular check-ins with your doctor can also identify emergency conditions, such as cervical cancer, in early stages. 
  2. Learn Accurate Information About Periods - An OB-GYN can help identify why women are experiencing heavy, painful, or infrequent periods. As women experience their first periods in their teens, it’s important to have a health expert walk alongside them to help understand premenstrual syndrome (PMS), spotting between periods, and other common menstrual issues that women face. This provides significant understanding throughout one’s life and avoids misinformation from other sources. 
  3. Get Unbiased Information About Birth Control - OB-GYNs can help patients in planning ahead in your teens and twenties by identifying a birth control plan that works for you. OB-GYNs can consult alongside patients to help them find the best birth control for their lifestyle and future plans. If pregnancy is in a woman’s plans, an OB-GYN can help identify the plan ahead for the coming months and years. 
  4. Testing & Vaccines - Visiting the OB-GYN office can also enable women to receive vaccines, such as the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, or get tested for STI’s or HIV. Prevention and lowering of infection risks can also be discussed during an appointment.

You’ve long planned a much-needed respite to the beach for the Summer. You’ve booked the hotel, scheduled the rental car, and maybe even booked a reservation or two for the trip. Then one day, surprise -- you’re pregnant! Not too long after you’ve found out about your new addition, your mind might recall that long-awaited trip and wonder if you should cancel your plans. For many women and young families, the answer may come with a sigh of relief.

For most women, traveling during pregnancy is perfectly safe. As long as you and your fetus are healthy, most women can travel until around the 36th week of the pregnancy. We don’t recommend travel if you have certain pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia, premature rupture of membranes, and preterm labor. You will also want to avoid areas where Zika outbreaks are ongoing, as the disease can cause serious birth defect. For an updated list of these areas, visit the CDC's travel notices page.

Before your trip, make sure you schedule a checkup with your OB-GYN. Your doctor will ensure that you’ve covered all your bases, from reviewing your estimated due date, ensuring you have the proper over-the-counter medications (don’t forget your prenatal vitamins!), and reviewing any other needed plans. Whether you’re driving or flying, make sure that you stay safe by buckling any safety belt, ensuring that it is low on your hip bones below your belly with the shoulder strap between your breasts to the side of your belly. As always, drink plenty of water and don’t over exert yourself.

One helpful tip -- consider making your travel plans between week 14 and week 28 if possible. Most pregnancy problems, even the side effects like morning sickness, occur in the first and third trimesters. You’ll still be able to move around and enjoy yourself, so take the time to enjoy that babymoon!   

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Beacon offices are open and available but most are currently operating with more limited office hours for in person visits. Virtual/ telephonic visits are also available and covered by most health plans. Please call your Beacon office for further details and for any questions you may have.

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Stay safe and well.