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Obstetrics

Cherokee Women's Health Specialists is pleased to offer obstetrics care to women in the Cherokee County area.

Your Pregnancy  –  We’re here to help you.

atlanta-parent-magazine-mom-approved-litrel-graphicWhether you’re pregnant or planning to be, you’ll have our help every step of your pregnancy journey. We’ve delivered over 10,000 babies, and our partnership with the new Northside Hospital Cherokee gives you the highest personalized care during childbirth. We provide a full range of OB services:

    • Prenatal Care
    • Reproductive Assistance
    • High Risk Pregnancies
    • Midwives on Staff
    • Nutrition (Holistic) Counseling
    • Accredited Ultrasound

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Prenatal Care – Our patients receive full prenatal care for all trimesters of pregnancy.

Reproductive Assistance – If you have difficulty becoming pregnant, our specialists focus on diagnosing and treating the issues.

High Risk Pregnancies – Our providers offer compassionate care and monitoring to ensure everything goes smoothly for both mother and baby throughout the pregnancy.

Midwives on Staff – Our certified Nurse Midwives help you receive the best experience possible during pregnancy and delivery.

Nutrition (Holistic) Counseling – Nutrition plays a huge role in the health of your developing baby. Our physicians offer valuable nutritional counseling.

Accredited Ultrasound – Cherokee Women’s is one of a select list of OB practices fully accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine for Obstetric and Gynecologic ultrasound. Observe your baby in real time detail with our 4-D ultrasound service.

FIND OUT MORE:
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PATIENT PORTAL

Our doctors love catching up with the babies they delivered -- and their patients, too!

A Range of Birthing Plans for Normal and High Risk Pregnancies
Together our physicians and midwives at Cherokee Women’s bring decades of experience and expertise to directing our obstetrical services in Woodstock and Canton, Georgia. We have delivered over 10,000 babies, and can accommodate a range of birthing plans for expectant mothers, whether your pregnancy is normal or high risk.

A Very Personal Delivery Experience
We are happy to partner with Northside Hospital Cherokee, rated in the top 100 hospitals in the state. The personalized nursing care and private delivery suites have caused our patients to compare their delivery experience to giving birth at a spa – right down to the Jacuzzis for laboring moms.

What to Expect at Your First OB Appointment
Finding out you’re pregnant can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but it can also be overwhelming. To help ease your concerns about your first OB appointment, we’ve created this video so you’ll know exactly what you can expect.

First OB Appointment

Once you get the positive result from a home pregnancy test, the next step is making your first appointment with your obstetrician or midwife. While you will be visiting your doctor’s office many times throughout your pregnancy, the first appointment can be the most overwhelming, especially if this is your first pregnancy. So, Cherokee Women’s Health would like to walk you through your first OB appointment to give you a better idea of what to expect. The appointment should take about an hour to complete as there are many things to be done.

Paperwork
Once you check in, you will be given a packet of paperwork to fill out as well as be asked for your insurance card. Please take the time to read through everything thoroughly, and write down any questions that you might have for your doctor or midwife so that you won’t forget them.

First Prenatal Ultrasound
After the paperwork has been completed, the ultrasound technician will take you back to do your first ultrasound. In this early stage of pregnancy, we utilize a trans vaginal probe to get a good look at the baby. So, don’t be alarmed when the ultrasound equipment is not rubbed on your belly (as shown in the video for demonstration purposes). In these early weeks of pregnancy, we can’t always get a clear picture. So, if you aren’t able to see anything, don’t worry; it just means it’s too soon and you’ll get a picture in a couple of weeks.

We use this initial ultrasound to help determine how far along you are and to determine your due date. Ideally, you will get a heartwarming picture of your little bundle of joy and get to bring it home. Lots of parents use this as a visual aid when they announce their pregnancy to family and friends.

Weight, Height, Blood Pressure and Urine Sample
From the ultrasound, a nurse will take you to check your weight, blood pressure and get a urine sample. You can expect that these three things will be done at every appointment throughout your pregnancy.

Meet the Doctor, Ask Questions, Pelvic Exam
Then, you will meet with your doctor or midwife. This is your opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about pregnancy. Do not be afraid to ask questions! We know that you have them, and we are here to help ease your mind of any concerns that you may have. There will be a pelvic exam done following the consultation. Here, the doctor is checking to make sure your cervix is closed and ready for pregnancy and may do a pap smear if needed.

Goody Bag
You’re almost finished, and the good news is that you now get a goody bag filled with things like prenatal vitamins as well as important pregnancy literature, which you should take your time reviewing.

Blood Work
The last step before check out is to get some blood work done. We are just running some tests to ensure everything is going smoothly with your pregnancy.

Check Out, Make Next Appointment
Before you leave, stop by to check out and schedule your next prenatal appointment, which will be in two to four weeks.

Congratulations On Your First OB Appointment!
You are likely overwhelmed with information as well as emotions, but don’t feel like you have to have everything figured out already. Just take time to enjoy this exciting news while you navigate through your first trimester.

You Stay Informed

During your office visits you will observe your baby in real time detail with our 4-D ultrasound service. Cherokee Women’s is one of a select list of OB practices fully accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine for Obstetric and Gynecologic ultrasound. Throughout your pregnancy you will have the ability to check your lab results online 24 hours a day.

Susan Griggs, RN, CNM photo

Susan Griggs, RN, CNM

Midwives On Staff Expand Your Delivery Options
We are fortunate to offer our patients the option of seeing our highly experienced certified nurse midwives (CNM’s) throughout your pregnancy as part of our OB team in Woodstock and Canton, Georgia. Certified Nurse Midwives are educated in both nursing and midwifery, and strive for a healthy pregnancy through a natural birth experience. They are also trained to recognize and deal with deviations from the normal, and thus work in partnership with our experienced Board certified OB surgeons in case of complications.

Obstetrics and midwifery are complementary to each other – the real “yin and yang” of childbirth. We are happy to offer the best of both worlds to our patients.

Before You Become Pregnant
To give your baby a healthy start, think of your pregnancy as twelve – not nine months – long. This will give you three months to prepare your body before you get pregnant.

See your doctor for a prepregnancy checkup. Ask about things like family medical conditions, genetic conditions, risk of birth defects and chronic illnesses. Discuss all the medications you take and make sure they’re safe to continue during pregnancy.

  • Eat a healthy diet, including lots of leafy greens, lean proteins and fiber. Take a prenatal vitamin. In particular, folic acid will help prevent birth defects like spina bifida. Because many of these conditions arise very early in pregnancy, you need healthy levels of folic acid right from the start. Diabetics need more folic acid. Doctor will order if needed. 400 mcg of calcium is also important. Take a multivitamin that contains 400 mg of calcium.
  • Smoking poses several risks to a developing baby, including birth defects and low birth weight. It also doubles your risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. Smoking also makes it more difficult to become pregnant as smoking is strongly linked to infertility in both men and women. Stop smoking is recommended.
  • Get checked for hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted infections and HIV.
  • Get any health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes under control. Lose weight if you are overweight and talk to your doctor about how to maintain a healthy weight.

Nutrition
You’re not eating for two, as the saying goes.

  • You only need an extra 300 calories a day (equivalent to a couple pieces of fruit).
  • Get all essential vitamins and minerals daily and eat a healthy diet.
  • Fill your plate with leafy greens, fruits, veggies and whole grains. Get plenty of calcium-rich foods like broccoli and low-fat milk and yogurt. Stick to lean meats like chicken and turkey.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Mercury, found in some types of fish, has been linked to birth defects. To limit your exposure, follow a few simple guidelines. Choose fish and shellfish such as shrimp, catfish, Pollock and salmon. Do not eat swordfish, king mackerel, shark or tilefish. Limit whole (albacore) tuna to six ounces a week. You should also check advisories about fish caught in local waters.
  • Raw fish. This includes sushi and sashimi.
  • Unpasteurized soft cheeses like feta, gargonzola, brie, Camembert, and Roquefort. These may contain bacteria called listeria that can cross the placenta, potentially causing miscarriage or leading to a life-threatening infection.
  • Unpasteurized milk which can also contain listeria.
  • Cold ready-to-eat meats like luncheon meats and hot dogs. These can also contain listeria. Reheat these foods at 160 degrees or until they are steaming.
  • Uncooked or cured meats and eggs like prosciutto, runny eggs and sauces made with raw eggs like some hollandaise sauces.
  • Alcohol. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with healthy development and lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, one of the most common causes of mental retardation and the only one that is completely preventable. There is no known safe level of exposure to alcohol for a fetus.
  • Caffeine. Some studies have found a link between caffeine and miscarriage so it’s especially important to steer clear of caffeine during the first trimester. Large amounts of caffeine have been linked to premature birth and low birth weight so do your best to switch to decaf. If this is too extreme for you, limit intake to 300 milligrams per day or less (1-2 cups of coffee).

How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
The average woman should gain about 2 to 4 pounds during her first three months of pregnancy and 1 pound a week for the remainder of her pregnancy.

  • If you’re at a normal weight before pregnancy, gain between 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
  • If you’re overweight before pregnancy, gain 15 to 25 pounds.
  • If you’re underweight before pregnancy, gain 28 to 40 pounds.
  • For multiple births, consult your doctor (usually you should gain about 35 to 45 pounds for twins).

Reasons to call your doctor between prenatal visits
You’ll be seeing your obstetrician, midwife or other prenatal care specialists on a regular basis over the next nine months but there are times you may need to call your doctor between prenatal checkups. Call your provider immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Unusual or severe cramping or abdominal pain
  • Significant reduction in the baby’s movements after 28 weeks (less than 10 movements in a 2-hour period).
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Any bleeding in the second or third trimester
  • Signs of premature labor, such as regular pains or tightening in the lower back or abdomen or significant fluid discharge.
  • Pain or cramping in the arms, legs or chest
  • Fever over 100.4 Fahrenheit
  • Severe or persistent diarrhea or vomiting
  • Fainting spells or dizziness
  • Blurred vision or sports in front of your eyes
  • Swelling in your hands, fingers or face.

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Testimonials

“Dr. Litrel was a fantastic doctor. I had my first exam with him, although at first I was skeptical about a male doctor for my GYN. But after I met him I’m glad I kept an open mind, and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better doctor. He cares about you as a person and not just a patient. The front desk ladies and nurses were very friendly and it’s a great office, very clean and not intimidating. I highly recommend Cherokee Women’s Health.”
– Vicki