Category: Obstetrics

Sparks & Favor Sponsors Golden Gala for Baby Steps Bama

We are proud to partner with Baby Steps Bama as a sponsor of their Golden Gala.  Baby Steps is a non-profit organization that supports pregnant and parenting college students so that they are empowered to thrive as both parents and students.
The organization’s vision is “to create a culture of empowerment that changes how universities, communities, and society as a whole respond to and support Student-Moms. Young women facing unplanned pregnancies should not be defined by their circumstances but empowered to thrive. We are diligently working to bring Baby Steps to Student-Moms across the nation.” So…

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Over-the-Counter Birth Control—Is This a Good Option for You?

For the first time in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its approval to an oral contraceptive product that will be available without a prescription. We expect that Opill will begin to appear in pharmacies, grocery stores, and online in early 2024.

From the FDA press release (July 13, 2023):

“Today’s approval marks the first time a nonprescription daily oral contraceptive will be an available option for millions of people in the United States,” said Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “When used as directed…

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Dr. Sarah Whitehead, Obstetrician and Mom, Talks about Breast and Bottle Feeding

Few of our expectant moms have missed the message that breastfeeding has many benefits. But, while we continue educating expectant and new mothers about how good it is for baby, we don’t want to overwhelm them with the idea that breastfeeding—because it is natural—should always be easy to do. Some well-meaning breastfeeding advocates cite higher breastfeeding rates in third-world countries. Such statistics suggest that successful breastfeeding happens naturally in cultures where breastfeeding is the norm, and it happens despite inadequate healthcare and education for women.

Many suppose that, in developing countries like Botswana where I…

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OB update from Dr. Hall-Minnie–Protecting Your Baby Against Group B Strep

Group B Streptococcus (Group B strep or GBS) is a type of bacteria that can cause illness in people of all ages. In newborns, the effect of Group B Strep infection can be very serious. It can cause meningitis (infection of the spinal fluid and lining around the brain), pneumonia (lung infection), and sepsis (blood infection). We want our pregnant patients to understand the recommendations that will help protect your baby from this illness. Obstetricians have followed these recommendations for many years, and we have been very successful in making early-onset newborn infection a rare event. The message here…

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Extending Your Biological Clock with Fertility Technology

As the average age of first-time mothers continues to creep upward, more women have questions about future fertility and fertility-extending technology. According to the CDC, this average age has reached 27.3 years (2021). And women sometimes delay their pregnancy plans far beyond this age for professional and personal reasons.
“Should I freeze my eggs?”
We hear this question in the office more frequently as more women become aware that the technology exists. In fact, the number of women seeking oocyte cryopreservation (freezing eggs) has increased dramatically over the last decade. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine no…

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Why A Healthy Diet Needs Some Fish—Important for All and Especially During Pregnancy

What’s for dinner tonight? Chances are good that it’s not a fish or seafood meal. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that 8 ounces of fish/seafood per week are part of a healthy eating pattern. Most Americans (80 to 90%) do not reach that goali. We may be missing out on nutrients that benefit our overall health.
Why is Fish an Important Nutrient Source?ii
(For everyone, but especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or might become pregnancy.)

Fish is an excellent source of protein—one of the critical building blocks of tissue growth, repair…

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Your Obstetrician’s Holiday Tips for Expectant Moms

The holidays bring a dramatic change in our usual routines. For most of us the festivities include more food and perhaps alcohol, travel, large gatherings of friends and family, more stress, and less rest. We wouldn’t have it any other way! But if you are pregnant, many holiday traditions require some special consideration. Here are a few tips to help our expectant moms enjoy the holidays safely…

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5 Reasons Your OB Doctor Wants You to Think About Your Birth Plan

All the physicians at Sparks & Favor welcome birth plans. Whether you have a written plan or just a mental note of a few items, it helps us to know what is important to you.
A True Birth Plan Story
Many years ago, Dr. Sparks and his wife looked forward to the birth of their first child. Dr. Sparks, an army physician, had just received his new duty assignment to the 130th Station Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. They would travel over a month before the baby’s due date, get settled, and then spend some time enjoying this beautiful city…

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Gestational Diabetes–Good OB Care Makes a Difference in High-Risk Pregnancy

Over the nine months of your pregnancy, you are likely to experience some physical and emotional bumps in the road. Most women are not caught off guard by feelings of fatigue and the discomforts of morning sickness during the early weeks. These sensations usually improve. The middle months pass as you make plans and preparations for your child’s arrival.

As you begin your third trimester, your doctor will schedule a few tests to make sure your body is adapting well to the changes that pregnancy brings. Your 28-week appointment will include a screening test of your blood sugar…

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Dr. Hall-Minnie Talks About Strategies to Enhance Recovery After a Cesarean Delivery

Did you have a hard time when your doctor suggested that a cesarean delivery would be best for you and your baby? You’re not alone. Most expectant mothers are young and have enjoyed good health.  Many have never had any kind of surgery. Moms recall feeling disappointed and sometimes fearful.

Knowing what to expect will ease your concerns. I’d like to offer some reassurance and a few tips for our OB patients, whether you are expecting a c-section or just know it’s a possibility. Women who have had a previous c-section may also find this…

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