Seven Weird Things You Didn’t Know Were Actually Good for Your Heart

The list below may raise your eyebrows, but it won’t raise your blood pressure. Here are a few lesser-known things that are actually good for your heart: 1. Maintaining a stable relationship Stable relationships can protect your heart and your health. Did you know relationship issues could increase your risk for heart attack by 34 percent? 2. Keeping a positive mindset Happiness can make your heart healthier, your immune system stronger, and your life longer. Living with a generally positive mindset can also help lower your heart rate and blood pressure. 3. Living in the ‘burbs Suburbia is less congested and often lends itself to a slower, more relaxed pace. Regular exposure to heavy traffic may increase your risk of heart attack. 4. Having a primary care physician Partnering with a primary care physician and maintaining regular appointments will help him or her identify early warning signs of cardiovascular disease and recommend dietary changes, exercise and medications. 5. Taking a daily aspirin Talk to your doctor to find out if taking a daily low-dose aspirin is right for you. Though it may not be beneficial for everyone, it may help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition to relieving pain, reducing inflammation and lowering fevers, aspirin can help prevent blood clots from forming. 6. Getting an annual flu vaccine A flu shot helps reduce the risk for heart attack by 10 percent in heart patients following hospitalization. It has also been shown to protect heart health in elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions. 7. Keeping your gums healthy Mouth bacteria can trigger chronic inflammation in the blood vessels and lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Keep your heart healthy with regular professional dental cleanings and check ups. If you’d like to learn about more about things that are good for your heart, call the Pomona Valley Health Centers specialists at 909-536-1493.The list below may raise your eyebrows, but it won’t raise your blood pressure. Here are a few lesser-known things that are actually good for your heart:

  1. Maintaining a stable relationship
    Stable relationships can protect your heart and your health. Did you know relationship issues could increase your risk for heart attack by 34 percent?
  2. Keeping a positive mindset
    Happiness can make your heart healthier, your immune system stronger, and your life longer. Living with a generally positive mindset can also help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
  3. Living in the ‘burbs
    Suburbia is less congested and often lends itself to a slower, more relaxed pace. Regular exposure to heavy traffic may increase your risk of heart attack.
  4. Having a primary care physician
    Partnering with a primary care physician and maintaining regular appointments will help him or her identify early warning signs of cardiovascular disease and recommend dietary changes, exercise and medications.
  5. Taking a daily aspirin

Talk to your doctor to find out if taking a daily low-dose aspirin is right for you. Though it may not be beneficial for everyone, it may help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition to relieving pain, reducing inflammation and lowering fevers, aspirin can help prevent blood clots from forming.

  1. Getting an annual flu vaccine
    A flu shot helps reduce the risk for heart attack by 10 percent in heart patients following hospitalization. It has also been shown to protect heart health in elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions.
  2. Keeping your gums healthy
    Mouth bacteria can trigger chronic inflammation in the blood vessels and lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Keep your heart healthy with regular professional dental cleanings and check ups.

If you’d like to learn about more about things that are good for your heart, call the Pomona Valley Health Centers specialists at 909-536-1493.

Are You Heart Healthy? Take This Quiz to Find Out

Heart healthyWhether it’s pounding with excitement, fluttering with nervous energy or beating steady as you rest, your heart is working hard for you every single day. It’s the most important muscle in your body because it pumps blood and oxygen to your organs.

If you struggle with high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, your heart suffers. High blood pressure forces your heart to work harder than it should, which can lead to thickening in the left ventricle and increase your risk of heart attack. While not all cholesterol is bad, too much can increase your risk for heart disease. You can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels that make it more difficult for your heart to pump blood through your arteries.

February is Heart Health Awareness Month. The skilled physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers want to help you understand your risks so you can recognize early warning signs and symptoms.

Just about everything you do and everything you eat affects your heart health. Take our quiz to find if you’re doing things that will help keep your heart strong and healthy.

How healthy is your heart?
Heart Health Quiz

Do you have a history of heart disease in your family?

  • No—Or none known
  • Yes—One or both parents
  • Yes—Extended family (e.g., aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)

Do you have a fitness routine?

  • Yes—I exercise 3-4 times per week
  • Yes—I do something active every day
  • No—I have not made daily exercise a priority

Do you have excess weight?

  • Yes—I need to lose more than 50 pounds
  • Yes—I need to lose fewer than 50 pounds
  • No—I am a healthy weight for my height

Do you have diabetes?

  • No—As of my last medical check up
  • Yes—I manage it effectively
  • Yes—I need to manage it more effectively

Do you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products?

  • No—I do not smoke or use tobacco products
  • Yes—I smoke or use tobacco products occasionally
  • Yes—I smoke or use tobacco products every day

How often do you eat fast foods (e.g., high fat or fried)?

  • Less than once per week
  • 2-3 times per week
  • Almost every day

If your answers included one or more bolded options in the quiz above, your lifestyle choices may be increasing your risk for heart disease. To help you make heart healthy changes, we encourage you to partner with a skilled physician at Pomona Valley Health Centers. Call 909-536-1493 to schedule an appointment today.

How Sweet the Success: Ten Tips for Managing Diabetes and Pregnancy

Pregnant woman receiving a diabetes test

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high. It can occur before, during or after pregnancy and may cause a number of health problems for you and your developing baby.

Seven out of 100 women will develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes and typically resolves itself soon after delivery. However, this leads to an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Ten Tips for Managing Diabetes During Pregnancy

To help keep you and your baby healthy, it’s important to keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible—before, during and after pregnancy. Here are useful tips for managing diabetes throughout your pregnancy:

  1. Eat smaller meals, more often
    Eat three meals and 2-3 healthy snacks every day to help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Each meal should have a selection of complex carbohydrates, leafy green vegetables and fiber. It’s also important to limit saturated fats and avoid food and drinks that contain a lot of sugar.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast
    Pregnancy hormones are often strongest in the morning, which can cause your blood sugar levels to rise even before you eat. A breakfast of whole grains and protein is usually best.
  3. Eat more fiber
    Whole grain bread, rice, whole oats, barley or any other whole grains high in fiber will help keep blood sugar levels lower than refined grains (e.g., white bread and white rice). Other high fiber food options include split peas, lentils and beans.
  4. Measure starchy foods
    Starchy foods are important, but they may increase your blood sugar levels if eaten in excess. Measure your starchy foods at mealtime to avoid complications. A reasonable serving size is about one cup of cooked rice, grain, noodles or potatoes, or two pieces of bread per meal.
  5. Measure fruit portions
    Fruit is nutritious, but it contains natural sugars that can elevate blood sugar levels. Eat only one small portion of fruit at mealtime like one cup of mixed fruit. It’s also important to avoid fruit that has been canned in syrup or fruit juice.
  6. Limit milk intake
    Milk is healthy, a great source of calcium and good for your baby. But too much at one time can lead to high blood sugar levels.
  7. Avoid sugar
    Do not add any sugar, honey or syrup to your foods.
  8. Stay active
    Engage in moderate physical activity that raises your heart rate each day. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning this or any new exercise routine.
  9. Lose excess weight before pregnancy
    Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight before pregnancy is especially important if you have diabetes or a family history of gestational diabetes.
  10. Read nutrition labels closely
    Though certain foods may advertise that they’re sugar-free, sugar alcohols may be used instead. Check the food labels total grams of carbohydrates.

If you’d like to learn more about managing your diabetes during pregnancy­—or need help managing your diabetes before you get pregnant—the skilled physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers can help. Call 909-536-1493 to schedule an appointment.

Pregnancy and the Flu: Prenatal Precautions to Note This Winter

Sick Pregnant Woman

During the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, a woman’s body begins to naturally repress its immune system. This allows immune cells to flood into the lining of the womb, which causes inflammation. While inflammation typically means pain and discomfort, this is a unique situation in which it actually helps ensure a successful pregnancy. It also helps support the growth and development of the fetus throughout the entire pregnancy.

The downside is that changes to the immune system along with changes in the heart and lungs during pregnancy make women (and women up to two weeks postpartum) much more vulnerable to severe illness from the flu. If these symptoms are left untreated, it could mean a trip to the emergency room.

The flu is not only harmful for pregnant women, but also their developing babies. A common flu symptom is fever, which may be associated with neural tube defects, congenital heart disease and certain facial deformities in babies.

How to avoid getting the flu while pregnant

  • Get your flu shot
  • Wash hands often and use hand sanitizer regularly
  • Wipe down surfaces (doorknobs, light switches, etc.)
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

Is it safe to get a flu shot during pregnancy?

Yes, it’s safe to get a flu shot during pregnancy. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend all women who are pregnant during flu season get vaccinated, regardless of which trimester they’re in. The flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of respiratory infection (commonly associated with influenza) in pregnant women by about 50 percent.

The skilled physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) offer comprehensive prenatal and OB care as well as the flu vaccine. Protect yourself and your growing baby this winter with prenatal care services from PVHC. If you’re concerned about your pregnancy and the flu, call 909-536-1493 to schedule an appointment today.

How the Right Primary Care Doctor Can Help With High Blood Pressure

Did you know one in every three Americans has high blood pressure? Anyone (including children) can develop high blood pressure, a condition that vastly increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Doctor taking blood pressure

How can my primary care doctor help with high blood pressure?

Asymptomatic high blood pressure can go undiagnosed for years and lead to more serious cardiovascular conditions. So, it’s important to keep your doctor appointments, including your annual wellness exam. Visiting your primary care doctor at least once a year—when you’re feeling well­­—will help them establish a baseline for your overall health. It also helps your doctor understand what’s normal for you and what is not.

At the first sign of elevated blood pressure, you and your primary care doctor can discuss simple dietary and lifestyle changes to help return your blood pressure to normal levels. When you treat your doctor like health partner, they will be better equipped to provide the medical intervention early, before you experience any negative or lasting impacts to your health.

Do I need to see a specialist or cardiologist for my high blood pressure?

Doctors who specialize in family medicine are highly skilled in identifying and treating high blood pressure. Referral to a hypertension clinic, specialist or cardiologist is only necessary in a very small minority of people who have persistent and severe elevations in blood pressure despite treatment with multiple blood pressure medications.

Symptoms of high blood pressure

Though many people can live for years without any symptoms, here are the warning signs of high blood pressure that should never be ignored:

  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Vision problems
  • Chest pain
  • Difficult breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding in the chest, neck or ears

 

If you or a loved one needs skilled medical care and services, trust your health to the skilled physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers. Our primary care doctors have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure.

 

Here’s how to get started: Find a primary care doctor near me.

 

American Diabetes Awareness Month: A Successful Pregnancy With Gestational Diabetes

If you’re pregnant and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes you are not alone. In fact, the prevalence of both preexisting and gestational diabetes in the United States is on the rise.

This year’s National Diabetes Awareness Month is focused on promoting health after gestational diabetes. Women and their children who’ve had gestational diabetes are at an increased lifelong risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or it resists insulin.

pregnant woman smiling

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and goes away for most after the baby is born. If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it means you and your baby’s blood sugar levels are too high. However, by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout your pregnancy you can still have a happy and healthy baby.

Diabetes, pregnancy and your primary care doctor

Women with gestational diabetes can have successful pregnancies and healthy babies with proper medical care and monitoring. If you’ve kept regular well woman appointments throughout the years you can benefit from having the same trusted primary care doctor during your pregnancy as well.

It’s essential to have someone who understands your medical history who can provide individualized obstetric care during this unique time in your life, especially if you’re managing pregnancy with diabetes.

Reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes

Women who’ve had gestational diabetes are three to seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years. Their children also carry a heightened risk for both obesity and type 2 diabetes. The good news is that you can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Here are a few easy ways you can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Choose 100 percent whole grains instead of processed white and enriched products
  • Eat a rainbow of assorted fruits and leafy green vegetables
  • Reach for more lean meats and skinless poultry than red meats
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid juices or sports drinks
  • Get three to five hours of moderate exercise each week

The skilled family medicine doctors at Pomona Valley Health Centers have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of pregnancy with diabetes and we want to help you have a healthy, happy baby. Call us at 909-536-1493 to schedule an appointment.

When Is a Sports Injury Enough to Seek Treatment?

Most athletes or their parents know minor injuries can be treated effectively with the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Thankfully, these self-care tactics are sufficient to resolve most minor injuries within a few weeks; however, it’s essential to understand when sports injury treatment is needed.

soccer leg injury

When it’s time to see a physician

Sometimes knowing when to seek medical treatment for a sports injury can be tricky, especially if there isn’t obvious trauma or if the symptoms don’t get in the way of playing. If you answer ‘true’ to the any of the statements below, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a specialized sports medicine doctor:

  • You have a mild to moderate sports injury that hasn’t gone away with a week or more of rest and home treatment.
  • You have an injury or condition that affects training or performance that has not been diagnosed or treated.
  • You have an injury or condition that may pose a risk to your teammates or competitors.

When it’s time to seek urgent care

While most sports injuries can be treated safely at home, there are some rare cases in which an injury is severe enough that it needs to be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. The Pomona Valley Health Centers offer conveniently located urgent care facilities in Chino Hills, Claremont and La Verne. Here are the most common signs someone needs urgent medical care:

  • Any head injury that involves loss of consciousness, disorientation or confusion
  • A joint or bone is clearly broken, dislocated or deformed
  • Inability to support weight or tolerate pressure on the affected area
  • Extreme pain that’s getting worse
  • Paralysis, tingling or numbness
  • Unsteady breathing or pulse
  • Noticeable paleness

No matter what type of muscle or skeletal pain you’re dealing with, PVHC has the treatment options you need to get back on the playing field. Our sports medicine doctors are specialized in nonsurgical orthopedic treatment and rehabilitation for all ages and abilities. When you need safe, effective, leading edge sports injury treatment contact the experienced physicians at PVHC.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: One Test Could Save Your Life

A woman getting a mammogram

Every October major breast cancer charities across the globe participate in an international health campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer and educate women about the importance of annual mammograms.

At Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC), we’re doing our part to raise breast cancer awareness this month by sharing the benefits of a 3D mammogram. In addition to ultrasound and regular x-ray services, PVHC is proud to offer leading edge testing like 3D mammograms—the most accurate breast screening system available. With our new SmartCurve System, mammograms are now more comfortable and more accurate than ever. This month, we are offering $50 mammograms if yours isn’t covered by insurance.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray image of the breast tissue. Most doctors recommend women get an annual mammogram following their 40th birthday. It’s an essential part of a women’s healthcare as they can be used to detect lumps, tumors and other abnormalities in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer—which can save your life.

Benefits of a 3D mammogram

Women with dense breast tissue in particular may benefit from a 3D mammogram because it provides a clearer picture that a traditional 2D mammogram. A 3D mammogram, or breast tomosynthesis, combines multiple breast x-rays to create a three-dimensional image of the breast. They are also used to investigate breast issues or concerns, like a suspicious lump or thickening. Here are additional benefits of 3D mammograms:

  • More Accurate Detection
    3D mammography minimizes the impact of overlapping breast tissue, making tumors easier to see.
  • Earlier Diagnosis
    Overlapping tissue can hide small cancers in a 2D scan, whereas with a 3D mammogram the multiple image ‘slices’ can be analyzed one by one.
  • Less Anxiety
    With improved accuracy in diagnosing abnormal structures, 3D mammography can help reduce the likelihood of false positives, additional scans and biopsies.
  • Safe and Effective
    During a 3D scan, women will experience a minimal amount of additional radiation as compared to a traditional 2D mammogram. However, this dose is well below the FDA-regulated limit and no additional risk is associated with this scan.

Schedule your Mammogram Today! SmartCurve Badge

PVHC is proud to be the FIRST in the region to offer the new SmartCurve System for mammograms. Now more comfortable and more accurate than traditional exams. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are offering $50 mammograms if yours isn’t covered by insurance.

If you’re 40 years or older be sure to schedule your annual mammogram because this one test could save your life. Call PVHC at 909-536-1493 to schedule a state-of-the-art 3D mammogram today.

World Alzheimer’s Day: How to Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking, and other important mental functions. As the disease progresses, it affects a person’s ability to carry out simple tasks like getting dressed or making a cup of coffee. There are an estimated 5.8 million people living with this disease in the United States alone. While Alzheimer’s is most common in people aged 65 years or older, nearly 200,000 people in the United States suffer from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. How can I reduce my risk for Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease is often associated with old age, but it’s not a normal part of aging. Though there is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there’s a lot you can do to lower your chance of getting it. In fact, the same things that are good for your heart and body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, including: • Regular Check-ups Research shows a strong connection between Alzheimer’s and conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Visiting the doctor for regular preventive care screenings will help lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Preventive care focuses on illness and disease prevention and includes wellness visits, immunizations, and screenings for blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol, depression, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. • Regular Exercise Excess weight increases your risk for conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Research has also found that obesity can change the brain in a way that increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise helps increase blood flow to the brain, which makes your brain healthier. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of activity at least five times a week. • Regular Stimulation People who keep learning and stay social might have a lower risk for the cognitive decline typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact reason is not clear, this type of mental stimulation may strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain. When you see your doctor regularly, they can detect and treat conditions or diseases early, before they become serious or life threatening. Get the corWorld Alzheimer’s Day: How to Reduce Your Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease Family Medicine.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking, and other important mental functions. As the disease progresses, it affects a person’s ability to carry out simple tasks like getting dressed or making a cup of coffee.

There are an estimated 5.8 million people living with this disease in the United States alone. While Alzheimer’s is most common in people aged 65 years or older, nearly 200,000 people in the United States suffer from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

How can I reduce my risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is often associated with old age, but it’s not a normal part of aging. Though there is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there’s a lot you can do to lower your chance of getting it. In fact, the same things that are good for your heart and body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, including:

  • Regular Check-ups
    Research shows a strong connection between Alzheimer’s and conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Visiting the doctor for regular preventive care screenings will help lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Preventive carefocuses on illness and disease prevention and includes wellness visits, immunizations, and screenings for blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol, depression, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular Exercise
    Excess weight increases your risk for conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Research has also found that obesity can change the brain in a way that increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.Regular exercise helps increase blood flow to the brain, which makes your brain healthier. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of activity at least five times a week.
  • Regular Stimulation
    People who keep learning and stay social might have a lower risk for the cognitive decline typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact reason is not clear, this type of mental stimulation may strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain.

When you see your doctor regularly, they can detect and treat conditions or diseases early, before they become serious or life threatening. Get the correct health services, screenings, and treatment you need live a longer and healthier life from the board-certified physicians at PVHC Family Medicine.

Your Pregnancy Step by Step

Your Pregnancy Step by Step

Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life. There are a lot of physiological changes that take place to support a growing embryo or fetus. Pregnant women (and their placentas) produce different hormones that cause a broad range of changes like persistent nausea, breast pain, temporary darkening of your skin and many other common symptoms.

What happens to my body during pregnancy?

A full-term pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks. During that time a woman’s body undergoes many temporary and sometimes unexpected transformations. The weeks are grouped into three trimesters:

  • First Trimester (Weeks 1-12)
    Hormonal changes during the first trimester affect every organ system in your body. During these first 12 weeks, your period will stop and you may experience extreme tiredness, tender breasts, nausea, constipation, frequent urination, headaches, heartburn, or mood swings. Your baby is also growing rapidly. His brain and spinal cord begin to develop as well as his major organs. This is a very crucial phase in your pregnancy and your baby’s development, and it is vital to meet your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Second Trimester (Weeks 13-28)
    The second trimester is often referred to as the ‘honeymoon period’ because nausea commonly subsides, emotions level out, and libido returns. During this time your abdomen begins to noticeably expand, making room for your growing baby. You will also start to gain weight, which is good for your growing baby but can mean aches, pains, and swelling for you. You will feel movement between 18-20 weeks as your baby’s arms and legs grow larger and stronger.
  • Third Trimester (Weeks 29-40)
    The third and final trimester often comes with insomnia and increased discomfort as your baby continues to grow and gain weight. Other common symptoms may include shortness of breath, heartburn, hemorrhoids, and swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face. Toward the end of this trimester you may notice your baby drop lower into your abdomen. Braxton Hicks or irregular contractions are very common during this trimester, but your doctor will educate you more on what is normal and what is not normal and should prompt you to go to the hospital.

As you move closer to your due date, your cervix will become thinner and softer and contractions will become stronger. This is a normal process that prepares your body for labor and delivery.

With all of these big, exciting changes happening in your body, it’s important to have a family doctor you feel comfortable with. Choosing a doctor that really knows you and your medical needs from puberty to pregnancy and beyond can provide you with uniquely individualized pregnancy care and services. Your doctor will likely care for your baby too, making this a unique experience for you and the family.

Pomona Valley Health Centers is proud to offer experienced, compassionate women’s health care at all four of our office locations. We provide pregnancy care, including for high-risk pregnancies, and have a multidisciplinary team approach to help you through this very important event in your life. If you’re in need of expert obstetric services for your pregnancy, trust your care to a board-certified Pomona Valley FM/OB doctor.

World Breastfeeding Week: Four Common Breastfeeding Problems You Can Overcome

Four Common Breastfeeding Problems You Can Overcome

Are you struggling with engorged breasts, painful latching, low milk supply, or cracked or sore nipples? While breastfeeding can be a wonderful way to bond with your new baby, it can also be extremely difficult. Take heart, mama, we have solutions to four of the most common breastfeeding problems.

Four common breastfeeding problems and how to solve them

If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, the board-certified OB/GYNs at Pomona Valley Health Centers want to help. Let’s take a look at four common breastfeeding problems and how to solve them. They are as follows:

  1. Engorged Breasts
    If your breasts are swollen, throbbing or uncomfortably full, you may have a high milk supply. Engorgement can extend all the way to your armpits and cause a low fever. This is especially common in the first few weeks after delivery while your body adjusts to the needs of your baby or babies. Though pumping and storing the excess milk may seem like the best solution to alleviate pain, you are actually prolonging the problem. Instead, try feeding your baby before he is hungry, when he’s likely to suck more gently. This stimulates your breasts less and lightens your flow. You can also apply ice packs between feedings to reduce engorgement and alleviate pain and discomfort.
  2. Painful Latching
    If you’re like most mothers, there will be an adjustment period for breastfeeding, especially if this is your first baby. Your nipples will need to toughen up a bit before you can experience pain-free feeding. It’s important make sure your baby has a good latch. Their mouth should cover more of the areola below your nipple than above. If you need additional support, consult a professional lactation consultant.
  3. Low Milk Supply
    Once your body adjusts to your baby’s needs, your breasts may feel less full and your nipples may stop leaking. This does not necessarily mean your milk supply is in jeopardy. If your pediatrician becomes concerned about your baby’s weight gain, there are some things you can do to help boost your supply, like more frequent nursing and pumping throughout the day.
  4. Cracked or Sore Nipples
    If you just skipped to this section of the page, you’re not alone. This is a very common complaint among new mothers. You can easily treat and soothe your dry, cracked, or sore nipples with a lanolin-based nipple cream between feedings. Also, avoid soaps, alcohol-based products, and regular body lotions because these products can aggravate dryness. You can also try breastfeeding more often at shorter intervals, to encourage your baby to suck more gently.

We hope these solutions help you overcome your breastfeeding problems and guide you toward more comfort and better bonding with your newborn. If you need additional breastfeeding or lactation support, contact a Pomona Valley Health Centers OB/GYN in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne.

National Immunization Awareness Month: Vaccine Basics

Immunization Awareness and Vaccine Basics

Thanks to a vaccine, one of the most terrible diseases in history—smallpox—no longer exists outside the laboratory. Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The experienced physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) want to share some vaccine basics with you, so you can better understand why they’re so important.

Why are vaccines so important?

Vaccines create immunity toward certain diseases. Immunity is the body’s way of preventing disease.

The first time a person is infected with a specific antigen (e.g., the measles virus), the immune system creates antibodies to fight it. A vaccine, typically administered as a shot, is made from very small amounts of weakened or dead antigens. They help prepare your immune system so it can fight the disease faster and more effectively. When you’re vaccinated you won’t get sick if you’re exposed to the disease.

In the last few years some parents have refused or delayed vaccinating out of fear or misinformation about its safety. As a result, there are more unvaccinated children, adolescents and adults in our communities.

Choosing to not vaccinate your children not only leaves them susceptible to disease, but also puts at risk other children who are too young or sick to be vaccinated.

Are vaccines safe?

Vaccines are one of the safest medical treatments available proven to prevent disease. They can also help you avoid high medical costs associated with treating infectious diseases. As with any medical treatment there are risks, but they are significantly less than those associated with the diseases themselves. Once you’re vaccinated, you may experience one or more of the following mild side effects for a few days (serious side effects are extremely rare):

  • Mild fever
  • Pain, swelling or redness at injection site
  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of vaccinations and other preventative health care measures, call Pomona Valley Health Centers at 909-536-1493.

Routine vaccinations can also be administered during routine well-woman care visits. Contact PVHC to schedule an appointment with a skilledOB/GYN in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne.

Six Things to Consider When Choosing an OB for Your Pregnancy

Six Things to Consider When Choosing an OB/GYN

No matter your age or stage in life, it’s important to have a caring, compassionate doctor who understands your unique needs by your side. A woman’s needs are very specific, and change dramatically throughout her lifetime. And when you’re a newly expecting mother, there’s a lot to consider when choosing an obstetrician to care for you during your pregnancy.

The caring physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers are highly specialized in family medicine as well as obstetrics, which means they provide excellent whole-person care for every situation.

What to look for when choosing an obstetrician

When you’re looking for an obstetrician, it’s important to find one that is right for your medical and emotional needs. Before you make your first appointment, here are six important things to consider:

  1. Skill & Experience
    The PVHC family medicine physicians are highly skilled in obstetrics. They have extensive experience providing prenatal care, delivering babies, and supporting both mom and baby postpartum.
  2. Malpractice Claims
    Confirm the physician does not have a history of or ongoing malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can usually request this information from the medical office or your state website.
  3. Hospital Affiliations
    OBs are often affiliated with a hospital for surgeries, procedures, and labor and delivery. Find out which hospital they’re affiliated with and check their ratings. Highly rated hospitals and medical facilities often have fewer complications and higher survival rates should you need their medical services.
  4. Gender
    Don’t forget to consider your doctor’s gender while selecting a family physician for maternity care. It is essential you feel comfortable during each and every appointment because you’ll be sharing intimate information about yourself and your relationships with this person.
  5. Insurance
    This is often top of mind when selecting a family medicine provider. Choose a physician that will help optimize your insurance benefits, so you can avoid high (and often unexpected) out-of-pocket expenses.
  6. Patient Satisfaction Surveys
    Read as much as you can about your potential physician so you can feel confident when you make your choice.

For specialized OB services in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verne call the skilled physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) at 909-536-1493. PVHC Women’s Health focuses on delivering highly individualized care in a professional and compassionate setting.

Measles Continues to Spread: Who Is at Risk?

Measles Continues to Spread: Who Is at Risk?

Did you know the bacteria in your coughs and sneezes can stay alive in the air for up to 45 minutes? Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily through airborne respiratory droplets expelled by a cough or sneeze. That puts a lot of people at risk (often unknowingly).

In 2000, measles was declared an eliminated disease in the United States. In recent years, however, there has been a surge of people reluctant to vaccinate. As a result, we are seeing an uptick in measles cases. This is particularly true in communities with low vaccination rates. To create an adequate blanket of protection for everyone, between 93 and 95 percent of the population must be vaccinated.

Who is at risk for measles?

Besides those who have decided not to get vaccinated, certain people are at a heightened risk of contracting this disease. Reasons include age, health conditions, or other factors like pregnancy. Here is a list of people who can not, or should not, get a measles vaccination:

  • Babies and small children who are too young to be fully vaccinated.
  • Elderly individuals who are sick or have a weakened immune system.
  • Anyone with a history of severe or life-threatening allergic reactions to any MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine.
  • Women who are pregnant.
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system due to HIV, AIDS, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or steroids.
  • Anyone with a family history of immune system problems.
  • Anyone with a condition that causes them to bruise or bleed easily.
  • Anyone who has recently had a blood transfusion or received other blood products.
  • Anyone who has tuberculosis.

Vaccinations are a vital part of preventative care, not just for yourself, but also for those around you who are unable to get vaccinated.

Protect your community today and get vaccinated against measles and other preventable diseases. Pomona Valley urgent care services in Chino Hills, Pomona, Claremont, and La Verneoffer onsite immunizations on top of their robust medical care services.