Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A team approach to managing high-risk pregnancy

Lashawna and Kyle Netisingha are grateful for the expert and compassionate care that helped Lashawna navigate her high-risk pregnancy.

Since her birth, Lashawna and Kyle Netisingha's daughter, Savi, has brought countless giggles.

Parents know that even under routine circumstances, pregnancy, labor and delivery can be challenging. When a woman faces a high-risk pregnancy, challenges are intensified, requiring even more expertise and compassion from the medical team.

While treating each woman’s physical needs, the obstetrics and gynecology specialists at Loyola University Health System are also flexible and try to find creative approaches to accommodate the patient's lifestyle and make her pregnancy more manageable.

Among the underlying reasons for a high-risk pregnancy are diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or a transplanted organ. Cervical issues also can create a high-risk situation. A condition known as cervical incompetence can cause dilation and thinning before a pregnancy has reached full term. That can result in a miscarriage or premature delivery.

Lashawna Netisingha’s cervix issues had led to two miscarriages. When Lashawna became pregnant again, she knew she needed special care. At 14 weeks into her pregnancy, she met with a Loyola specialist. "Through my research I learned that a cerclage (temporary stitching of the cervix) might help in cases similar to mine," she said. The doctor scheduled Lashawna for the procedure for the next day.

Loyola’s maternal-fetal medicine specialists treat the full range of pregnancy complications. The team includes obstetricians, neonatologists, geneticists and obstetrical anesthesiologists. Loyola offers a world-class neonatal intensive care, the only obstetrical intensive care unit in Illinois, and one of the state’s highest survival rates for low-birth-weight infants.

All of our patients, high- or low-risk, are comforted to know that if any issues surface unexpectedly during their pregnancy, labor or delivery, world-class specialists are available 24/7. Lashawna appreciated the access to her obstetrician, saying that she "helped make us feel secure and confident that everything would be OK."

In June 2010, with her pregnancy lasting full term (40 weeks), Lashawna welcomed their baby daughter Savi into the family. The 26-year-old Oak Park mom has returned to her work as a teacher and tutor and is balancing her work and home responsibilities gracefully. Looking into the future, she said, “When we have another baby, Loyola is the only place we would go.”

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with a Loyola physician, call (888) LUHS-888 (888-584-7888).

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.