Who can resist holding a newborn baby? From their tiny toes and fingers to their soft and tender cheeks, there’s nothing like the touch and smell of a newborn. At family gatherings, as soon as the babies arrive, it’s all about the babies.
For anyone hoping to have a baby this year, ARH OB-GYN Specialist Nathan Mullins, M.D. states what you can do to help your baby have a healthy start:
“If possible before you become pregnant, make an appointment with your physician to discuss any medical conditions, medications, lifestyle concerns and family medical histories. Begin taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day at least one month before and during pregnancy.”
According to Mullins, folic acid is a B vitamin and it helps prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. Eating healthy foods and being physically active is also important.
“When you’re pregnant, you need more protein, calcium, iron and folic acid than you did before pregnancy,” says Mullins. “You also need more calories, but keep in mind ‘eating for two’ doesn’t mean eating twice as much.”
According to Mullins, since the foods you eat are the main source of nutrients for your baby, sensible, balanced meals are best for you both. Mullins also emphasizes the need for physical activity.
“Almost all women can and should be physically active during pregnancy,” adds Mullins. “Regular physical activity may help you and your baby gain the right amounts of weight, reduce backaches, leg cramps and bloating as well as reduce your risk for gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops when a woman is pregnant).”
According to Mullins, women need to be informed on what to do and what not to do during pregnancy. He suggests www.acog.org website for general information.
New mom Katie Bisceglia-Stotts chose Mullins as her obstetrician when she learned she was pregnant.
“I met Dr. Mullins in 2012 when I accompanied a friend during her prenatal appointment, and was immediately impressed with how he listened and responded to every question — no question was too big or too small,” explains Bisceglia-Stotts.
“I knew that if God ever blessed me with a child, I would choose Dr. Mullins as my obstetrician.”
According to Bisceglia-Stotts, she and her husband Chris wanted a family someday, but God surprised them last summer with the news she was pregnant while vacationing in Florida.
“When the pregnancy test was positive, we both got so excited,” shares Bisceglia-Stotts. “Chris started crying happy tears and then suddenly my happiness was interrupted by a feeling of anxiety. My world was about to change. I was going to have a baby and I wanted my baby to be healthy. I knew I needed to change my diet and get more rest, but I wanted to make sure I did all the right things. As soon as we got home, I called Dr. Mullin’s office to make an appointment.”
According to Bisceglia-Stotts as she began her journey to motherhood, she received love and support from her husband and educational instruction and compassionate care from Mullins.
“Chris and I are both teachers by profession, so we appreciated Dr. Mullins and his staff educating us on every aspect of my pregnancy as well as what to expect during labor and delivery,” adds Bisceglia-Stotts. “Initially, when I had some fear about the delivery, Dr. Mullins understood and took the time to explain every detail which calmed my fear and made me feel safe.”
Bisceglia-Stotts shared that Mullins, the ARH clinic staff and hospital staff all made her journey to motherhood the best possible experience.
“I could not have had a better healthcare team,” shares Bisceglia-Stotts. “The care was excellent. Dr. Mullins and the nurses kept me and my baby healthy and safe and checked on us frequently. Housekeeping staff made sure my room was always clean. The food was really good. Everyone gave us personal attention and made us feel at home.”
Interestingly, having their baby at Middlesboro ARH was like coming home.
“Both Chris and I were born at Middlesboro ARH Hospital back in the 80s, states Bisceglia-Stotts. “ Our lives began here.”
Who knew that one day they would meet, fall in love, marry and come back to their home hospital to have their baby.
On Feb. 24, their first child Eli was born at Middlesboro ARH. Eli weighed 6.9 ounces and was 21 inches long.
“Hearing Eli cry for the first time was the best moment of all,” says Bisceglia-Stotts. “Chris cried more happy tears while we counted all his fingers and toes. Eli was perfect and healthy, and we felt extremely blessed.”
Reflecting on becoming parents, Bisceglia-Stotts shares, “Chris and I have enjoyed our life together — our marriage, our careers and all that life has offered us, but when Eli was born, it was like our lives truly began.”