• What Are the Benefits of Having a Midwife?

    Midwives are frequently involved in the care of expectant mothers throughout pregnancy and delivery in other countries, but they have traditionally been less common in the U.S. In recent years, this practice is changing and the demand for midwives from expectant mothers in this country has exploded. When you’re considering your options for labor and delivery in Arlington Heights, could a midwife be right for you? Here are some of the benefits of working with a midwife during your pregnancy and delivery.

    Personalized Attention

    Pregnancy Midwives are typically able to develop closer relationships with their patients during the prenatal period. They are less bound by the strict schedules of OBGYNs and are inclined to use that time to build a rapport with their patients. The bond is important when midwives transition to the delivery room with their patients, and coach the patients through the child birth experience. This personalized attention can continue after the birth with lactation support and contraceptive counseling.

    Natural Childbirth

    The Midwives Model of Care states that both pregnancy and birth are natural and can occur without interferences for most women. If natural childbirth is important to you, then a midwife can be the right fit. Midwives strive to prevent the need for interventions in the delivery room, including induction and regional anesthesia. That doesn’t mean that a midwife can’t or won’t help you build a birth plan that involves medical pain control or that you will be at risk if you do require interventions for a safe delivery. Midwives work closely with OBGYNs and ensure every woman gets the right care, whether that means natural birth is not safe or desired.

    Delivery Room Advocate

    Even if you require an OBGYN during labor and delivery, a midwife can be an important advocate to have during delivery. Your midwife can strive to ensure that your birth plan is honored and offer explanations and support as you progress through labor. Most women find the relationship with their midwife extremely valuable no matter how their eventual delivery occurs.

  • Signs You Have a UTI

    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are quite common in women. They are usually caused by E. coli bacteria that can travel up the urethra after urination or after sexual intercourse. However, it’s important to note that UTIs are not sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you suspect that you might have a UTI, you can visit a gynecologist near you in Arlington Heights for a proper diagnosis. After a gynecologic exam, your provider can recommend appropriate treatment options to reduce your risk of complications and improve your comfort level. urinary - tract - infection

    Primary Symptoms

    When you go to your appointment with the gynecology provider, be sure to inform him or her about all of the symptoms you’re experiencing and how severe they are. The main symptoms of a UTI are urinary symptoms. You may notice a feeling of pressure in your bladder. Even though you may feel as though you have to urinate, you may pass little to no urine. When you do urinate, you may experience pain or a burning sensation. Your urine may be unusually cloudy or foul-smelling. Some women may experience bright pink or red urine, which is an indicator that there is blood present. A UTI can also result in pelvic pain.

    Location-Specific Symptoms

    Gynecology providers have identified certain symptoms that are associated with infections of certain parts of the urinary tract. For example, women with infections of the urethra, known as urethritis, will typically experience burning and discharge with urination. Women with bladder infections, or cystitis, are more likely to experience pelvic pressure, bloody urine, frequent and painful urination, and discomfort of the lower abdomen. Occasionally, the bacteria that cause UTIs may enter into the kidneys, which is a condition known as acute pyelonephritis. If this occurs, women may experience symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. They may display a high fever with shaking and chills. Upper back and side pain is also common.

    Complication Indicators

    Promptly treating a UTI with help from a gynecology provider can reduce the risk of developing complications from it. In women who are pregnant, a UTI may increase the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. When the infection affects the kidneys and it is not treated with antibiotics, women may develop permanent kidney damage. Chronic kidney disease can cause symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, sleep problems, and muscle cramps.

  • Is a Healthy Pregnancy Possible with Epilepsy?

    Epilepsy is a serious disorder that will almost certainly cause a pregnancy to be labeled as a high-risk pregnancy. However, it is indeed possible for epileptic mothers to deliver healthy babies, as long as they receive the proper prenatal care. If you have epilepsy and you wish to grow your family , consult an obstetrician in Arlington Heights before you try to conceive. You can also watch this featured video to learn about the precautions your obstetrician may take.

    This video follows the story of Susie and Steven, who originally hadn’t planned on having children because of Susie’s epilepsy. But when Susie turned 35, she realized that she wanted to try for a baby. Thanks to the careful planning and monitoring of her obstetrician, the couple finally welcomed a healthy baby boy.

  • Is It Risky to Smoke While Using Oral Contraceptives

    When you visit your women’s health professional to discuss birth control, one of the things that he or she will consider is your lifestyle and what risks certain contraceptives could pose based on these factors. If you smoke, your OBGYN in Arlington Heights may steer you away from oral contraceptives to protect you from potentially dangerous side effects. Here is what you need to know.

    Smoking and oral contraceptives are a dangerous combination. The estrogen in birth control pills increases the pressure in blood vessels, increasing the risk of blood clots. When you smoke, that pressure is increased even further. When smoking and oral contraceptives are combined, your risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart attack increases, especially if you are over 35.

    If you smoke, talk to your OBGYN about non-hormonal birth control methods that won’t further impact your cardiovascular health. You can also ask your doctor for advice to help you quit smoking. Doing so not only increases your options for birth control but can also dramatically improve your overall health.

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  • Your Guide to Preventing Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis is characterized by weak, brittle bones that are at a high risk of fracturing due to falls or even mild physical trauma like coughing. It’s often thought that osteoporosis is inevitable for women who are of menopause age . And indeed, the work of preventing osteoporosis should ideally begin well before a woman enters menopause. However, it’s never too late to begin improving the health of your bones, even if you’ve already begun to experience menopause symptoms. To get started, talk to your provider about having a healthy menopause in Arlington Heights. osteoporosis - symptoms


    Healthy nutrition is a cornerstone of osteoporosis prevention. For a well-balanced diet, women should choose a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products. A well-balanced diet can help women under 50 get 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day. Older women should aim for 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily for bone health. Vitamin D is also important for building strong bones. Women who are 70 or younger should get 600 units of vitamin D daily, while those who are older should get 800 units daily.


    Regular physical activity is essential at every stage of life. Weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones as well as muscles. Some good examples of weight-bearing exercises include walking, stair climbing, jogging, tennis, dancing, yoga, and hiking. Strength training with weights or resistance bands is also a smart idea.


    In addition to eating well and exercising regularly, you can make other healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your risk of osteoporosis. These include not smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption. Smoking is significant for bone health because it inhibits the ability of the bones to absorb calcium by interfering with the way the body uses vitamin D. Smoking also lowers a woman’s estrogen levels. At menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels have already begun declining considerably. Smoking will worsen this effect and further increase the risk of osteoporosis. Additionally, it’s widely recommended that women consume no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, if any. Consuming more alcohol than this may increase your risk of osteoporosis because it can act on the liver in a way that interferes with the activation of vitamin D. Alcohol can also affect the absorption of calcium.

  • Important Questions to Ask Your Midwife

    It’s natural for a woman to have many questions during her pregnancy. In fact, you may have so many questions that it can be hard to keep track of all of them. Keep a small notebook with your questions and observances, and bring it along to each appointment with your midwife in Arlington Heights. Early on in your pregnancy, you should ask your midwife if any of your medical conditions, medications, or supplements might pose a threat to your developing baby. You should also ask about the tests that you should have during pregnancy to make sure that everything is progressing normally.

    To begin planning your birth, ask your midwife which hospitals in the area she is able to deliver babies at. As you approach your third trimester, you should start learning about the details of labor, if you haven’t already. Ask your midwife to demonstrate common labor positions. The two of you should also be on the same page regarding the identification of the medical problems that will prompt the passing of your care to an obstetrician.

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  • Why Choose Northwest Professional OBGYN

    Personalized Attention

    To provide personalized care the Certified Nurse Midwives at Northwest Professional OB-Gyne in Arlington Heights draw on many disciplines, not only midwifery, but nursing, psychology, nutrition, social science, human development, public health and medicine. This broad background helps our midwives to understand each individual woman and her needs and provide a whole-woman approach to care. Our midwives see your health as a part of your life that influences and is influenced by all the other parts of your life.

    Midwives Listen to Women

    Women want a provider who will involve them in making decisions for their health, labor and birth. Midwives listen to your concerns, educate you about the issues and options and work with you to find a solution that is best for you. Your midwife strives to be your partner in care, not just your provider of care.

    Evidence Based Care

    The care midwives provide is based on evidence of the benefits for mother and baby. Midwives don’t interfere with the normal process of pregnancy, labor and birth as long as there are no problems. Our midwives will work with you to help you stay healthy and avoid complications. At the same time, midwives carefully monitor women during pregnancy and labor, identify problems and know what to do to manage them if they should arise. With this approach, women midwives care for are less likely to have a cesarean section, have labor induced, or have an episiotomy.

  • Breaking Down Myths About Midwifery | Infographic

    One of the first—and biggest—decisions you will make during pregnancy is who will provide your care. Obstetricians are the first choice of many women, but midwives can also be the right option for some patients. Although midwives are the primary caregivers in births in many other countries, myths about the profession mean that many women in the United States overlook this option. For instance, many women assume that midwifery services are restricted to home births and that midwives can’t provide medications during labor and delivery. In reality, the vast majority of midwife births take place in the hospital, and midwives can prescribe pain medications in the same way your doctor would. Get the facts about midwifery in Arlington Heights in this infographic from Northwest Professional Obstetrics & Gynecology .

    Midwifery Infographic

  • Spotlight on Chris Butler, M.S., A.P.N., C.N.M.

    Chris Butler brings an extensive and varied background in women’s health, labor, and delivery to Northwest Professional Obstetrics and Gynecology . She is committed to women’s health in Arlington Heights and believes in empowering women to make their own choices about pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

    After receiving an associate degree in nursing, Chris worked first in medical-surgical nursing and then in labor and delivery. During her time in the labor and delivery unit, she also attended a home birth and eventually decided to work for the doctor that performed the home delivery. Inspired by the home birthing experience, Chris returned to school to earn her bachelor’s degree and midwifery certification. Now, Chris practices as a midwife and helps women make informed choices about labor and delivery, including how to manage pain.

    In addition to labor and delivery services, Chris provides well woman exams, birth control counseling, and post-partum healthcare. As a La Leche League leader, Chris also counsels new mothers in breastfeeding.

    Dr. Chris Butler

  • Get to Know Dr. Karen L. Collins

    When you become a patient at Northwest Professional Obstetrics & Gynecology , you’ll quickly realize that our practice was built on the principles of compassionate, patient-focused, and family centered care. Dr. Karen L. Dr. Karen L. Collins Collins embodies those values by forming partnerships with her patients. Before Dr. Collins joined our gynecology practice, she earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Northwestern University. After completing medical school at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Dr. Collins went on to complete her residency at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. She provided gynecology and other women’s health services at other local practices before joining our practice for gynecology near Arlington Heights.

    Dr. Collins’ special interests include menopause management and preventive wellness. She is proud to help women take charge of their wellness by explaining screening exams that are appropriate for various life stages. Dr. Collins has taken an interest in alternative and complementary medicine, and enjoys hearing from her patients about the tools or resources that may have worked well for them.