Obstetrics & Gynecology in Howard County
Signature OB/GYN has proudly been a part of the Columbia and Howard County community since 1976, and as Columbia has grown, so have we. The growth of our practice has enabled us to provide our patients with a diversity of both medical providers and a vast array of medical services. Our Certified Midwifery Program was the first in Columbia and remains the largest and most active midwifery practice in Howard County. We currently have 4 physicians specializing in Gynecology, 8 physicians specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 7 Certified Nurse Midwives, and a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner. In July, 2006, we joined with the Johns Hopkins Health System as part of our aspiration to provide excellence in patient care. We have two offices, one in Columbia and one in Eldersburg.
- Routine Gynecological Care
- Well Woman Health Visits & Health Maintenance Education
- Cancer Screening
- Routine Gynecologic Surgery including most ambulatory, and inpatient procedures
- Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Screening & Counseling
- Family Planning & Contraception
- Preconception Counseling
- Sexual Dysfunction
- PMS/PMDD evaluation and treatment
- Heart Disease & Osteoporosis Risk Assessment & Reduction
- Menopause Management (nutrition, exercise, hormone replacement and alternative therapies)
- HPV Testing
- HPV Vaccine
Initial Infertility Evaluation; Treatment, in some cases
Advanced Operative Gynecologic Surgery including;
– Operative Laparoscopy & Laser Surgery
– Operative treatment of Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts and Tubal disease.
– Operative Hysteroscopy and Endometrial Ablation
Operative and Medical Management of Ectopic Pregnancy
Treatments for Cervical Dysplasia, including Laser, LEEP, Cone Biopsies and Cryotherapy
Operative Permanent Sterilization
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Benign Diseases and Uterine Cancer
- Routine Obstetrical Care
- Midwifery Services
- Obstetric Ultrasonography
- Childbirth Education & Childbirth Classes.
- Nutrition Counseling
- High Risk Pregnancy including Diabetes, Thyroid Disease and Hypertension Management
- Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Section (VBAC)
- Evaluation and Treatment of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
- Management of Multiple Gestations
- Evaluation & Treatment of Postpartum Blues & Depression
- External Version
- Evaluation and Treatment of Premature Labor & Delivery
- A close working relationship with HCGH Hospital’s Level III Intensive Care Nursery
- A close working relationship with the Maternal Fetal Programs at Johns Hopkins
- University and the University of Maryland
Signature OB/GYN maintains hospital privileges exclusively at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH), a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and have a physician and a midwife available 24/7 at HCGH. We remain dedicated to providing the highest standards of medical care within a friendly, caring and professional environment for each and every one of our patients.
For more information contact: 410-884-8000
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: What do I expect during my pregnancy?
A: During your pregnancy, you will normally be seen for regular visits every 4-6 weeks until 28 weeks, then every 2-3 weeks until 36 weeks, and after that weekly until delivery. You may either rotate amongst the providers or have your visits with just one or two of them as you wish. We take turns being in the hospital, so when you are in labor or have a problem, the provider in the hospital will take care of you. There is always a doctor or a midwife on call to take care of patients in labor or to handle emergencies but we do ask that you call and talk to one of us if you think you need to come to the hospital. Between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm, call the office. After office hours and on weekends and holidays, please call our answering service at 1-800-926-2387 FREE or if that fails, call Labor and Delivery at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) at 410-740-7845 and ask to speak to one of us.
Q: Where do you deliver?
A: All of our deliveries for both the obstetricians and the certified nurse midwives are done at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH). A new Labor and Delivery Unit (with 12 Labor/Delivery/Recovery rooms and 2 operating rooms) and a new Level III Intensive Care Nursery opened in 2002. The 18 bed NICU has state of the art equipment and can take care of infants starting at the limits of viability. A neonatology team is always in house to care for newborn emergencies. Anesthesiologists are also available 24 hours a day. You can arrange for a tour of the hospital or sign up for sibling preparation classes, childbirth and breastfeeding classes, infant care, and infant and child CPR classes by calling the HCGH Wellness Center at 410-740-7601 or going online at www.hcgh.org.
Q: What about diet and exercise while I am pregnant?
A: We encourage you to take good care of yourself during your pregnancy: that means eating a balanced diet (especially adequate calcium and fiber), getting regular exercise (yoga, low impact aerobics, swimming, walking, stationary bicycling are all great in pregnancy), and gaining an average of 25-35 pounds if you are of average weight at the start of the pregnancy. According to the FDA, pregnant women should not eat fresh shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. Canned light tuna is safe. For the latest government recommendations, please see www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish. Food poisoning with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria (listeriosis) is not common, but the risk can be reduced by avoiding soft cheeses (such as feta, Brie, Camembert, Mexican-style cheeses and blue veined cheeses), deli meats, and unpasteurized milk products; cooking meats thoroughly; and washing produce well.
Q: What medicines are safe during pregnancy?
A: The following substances seem to carry little if any risk throughout pregnancy, although limiting exposure to the baby to any artificial substances in the first 13 weeks is preferable:
- Acyclovir or Valtrex
- some antidepressants
- caffeine (the equiv1alent of 1 cup of coffee per day
- Nutrasweet or Splenda
- antihistamines (Claritin, Allegra, Zytec, chlorpheniramine, Benadryl)
- decongestants (pseudoephedrine, after the first trimester and only if you do not have high blood pressure; Dristan nasal spray)
- Tylenol (Regular or Extra Strength)
- Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
- Guaifenesin (expectorant)
- Cough drops
- Hemorrhoid medications, stool softeners (Colace), and fiber supplements (Metamucil and Citrucel)
- Antacids: Zantack, Pepcid, Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, Prevacid
- Antidiarrheals: Kaopectate, Imodium, Lomotil, Paregoric
- Synthyroid or Levothyroxine
- Asthma medications: Albuterol, Theophylline, Cromolyn Sodium, Beclomethasone
- Vaccines against influenza, tetanus/diphtheria, rabies, Hepatitis A and B, pneumococcal pneumonia
- Antibiotics: penicillin, amoxicillin, cephalosporins, erythromycin, Zithromax, Flagyl, Macrobid (except in the last month of pregnancy), Bactrim (except in the last month of pregnancy)
- Antifungals: Monistat, Gyne-Lotrimin, Diflucan (one dose), and Mycelex
- Narcotics in small limited doses after the first trimester: hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine
- Hair treatments: dyes, relaxers, permanents, bleaching
- Skin preparations such as sunscreen, self-tanning lotions, over the counter acne medications, calamine or Caladryl lotion, insect repellent
- Chamomile tea and raspberry tea
More information on medications and birth defects as well as counseling about risks is available at the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists at 866-626-6847 FREE or www.otispregnancy.org. Herbal products are not regulated by the FDA and very few have been studied in pregnancy, so little is known about their safety. A good discussion of herbal products contraindicated in pregnancy and/or breastfeeding as well as about other pregnancy concerns can be found atwww.marchodimes.com under the “Professionals and Research” heading.
Q: When are my symptoms considered an emergency?
A: There is a doctor and a midwife available 24 hours a day for emergencies. Please call us if you experience problems including but not limited to the following:
- bleeding or spotting
- persistent, significant pain or cramps in your lower abdomen, especially pain that does not subside with resting
- leakage of fluid from the vagina
- headaches that are severe and are not relieved by rest and/or Tylenol
- sudden and extreme swelling of face or hands accompanied by visual changes (spots, dim or blurred vision), upper abdominal pain
- fever and chills
- decrease of baby’s movements after 24 weeks
- burning with urination
- contractions – abdominal tightening that continues despite resting and increases in fluid intake
Q: What about the flu vaccine(s)?
A: The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all women who will be pregnant or postpartum during the winter flu season receive the injectable influenza vaccine (unless you are allergic to eggs), not the nasal spray.