Prenatal Health

How well you take care of yourself during pregnancy has a direct effect on the health of your baby.


Alpha-Fetoprotein Test

The AFP test identifies pregnancies at higher-than-average risk of certain serious birth defects, such as spina bifida (open spine) and Down syndrome.



Amniocentesis is a procedure performed on pregnant women in their second trimester to diagnose or rule out birth defects.

prenatal care

Childbirth Classes - The Bradley Method

The Bradley Method is a system of Husband-Coached Natural Childbirth.


Chorionic Villus Sampling

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a procedure used to diagnose certain birth defects in the first trimester of pregnancy. The test has been performed regularly since 1982, and thousands have been performed around the world.


Decreasing the Chance of Birth Defects

About 3% to 5% of babies are born with birth defects. A healthy lifestyle can prevent some of these.

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a birth defect that occurs in approximately 1 in 900 births. It is the most common birth defect.


Drinking and Your Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your baby grows inside you. Everything you eat and drink while you are pregnant affects your baby.


Drug Use During Pregnancy

It is estimated that 10% to 45% of pregnant women in the first trimester, unaware of their condition, reach for the most common over-the-counter drug: aspirin.


Emotions During Pregnancy

Although each pregnancy is unique, certain changes are common to all normal pregnancies. A basic understanding of physical and emotional changes of pregnancy helps a woman to understand pregnancy and have a positive experience.


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FAS stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS, a disorder characterized by growth retardation, facial abnormalies, and central nervous system dysfunction (CNS), is caused by a woman's use of alcohol during pregnancy.


Folate and Birth Defects

If you plan to have children some day, here is important information for the future mother-to-be: THINK FOLATE NOW.


Home Pregnancy Tests

Home pregnancy kits provide privacy and fast results, and can detect pregnancy as early as 6 days after conception, or 1 day after a missed menstrual period.


Immunizations During Pregnancy

Most women are immunized against certain diseases at a young age. When this doesn't occur, immunizations become an important part of prenatal care.


Intrauterine Growth Retardation

Intrauterine growth retardation is used to describe an infant whose weight is significantly less than expected for its gestational age.


Is the Consumption of Fish Dangerous During Pregnancy?

Healthcare officials have issued a new advisory on the dangers of eating fish. Healthcare officials are concerned that the level of mercury in fish might pose certain risks to a developing fetus.


Keep Your Baby Safe During Pregnancy

Food can be contaminated with a bacteria called Listeria. Learn to protect your food against this common bacteria.


Lead Poisoning - FAQ

Sometimes children with lead poisoning can have learning disabilities and other health problems.



Macrosomia is a term used in obstetrics and gynecology to describe large fetuses/infants. The incidence of greater than 4000 gram (approximately 8 pound infants) is approximately 5%, the incidence of greater than 4500 gram infants (approximately 9 pound infants) is approximately 0.5 to 1%.


Medications and Pregnancy

Since 1984, all OTC drug products have carried the following warning: 'As with any other drug, if you are pregnant or nursing, seek the advice of a health professional before using this product.'


Nutrition and Supplements for Pregnancy

Even before pregnancy begins, nutrition is a primary factor in the health of mother and baby. A well-balanced diet before conception contributes to a healthy pregnancy and will probably need few changes.


Oral Opportunistic Infections: Preterm Low Birth Weight Babies

Emerging evidence may link severe periodontal disease in pregnant women to a sevenfold increase in the risk of delivering preterm low birth weight babies.


Preconceptual Counseling

If you are having sex and you are capable of becoming pregnant, you should be taking 0.4 mg. of folic acid each day in case you become pregnant--even if you are not planning to become pregnant for a long time.


Pregnancy and Eating Disorders

One of the most important things a woman can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy for herself and her baby is to eat a well-balanced diet. Good nutrition during pregnancy is essential to creating an environment that allows the baby to grow and flourish.


Pregnancy and Exercise

The benefits of exercise, good nutrition, and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle are undisputed as ways to reduce many of the diseases that affect women such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and obesity.


Pregnancy Ultrasound

Pregnancy ultrasound is a method of imaging the fetus and the female pelvic organs during pregnancy. The ultrasound machine sends out high-frequency sound waves, which reflect off body structures to create a picture.


Prenatal Testing

A variety of prenatal tests are available. While not all patients need or will have all the various tests, it is good to know that they are available.


Risks During Pregnancy

Many women have concerns regarding exposure to X-rays, radiation, and anesthetic agents during pregnancy.



Stillbirth is defined as the death of a fetus between the 20th week (5th month) of pregnancy and birth. This is a particularly devastating problem for the parents and physician.


Tay-Sachs Disease

Tay-Sachs Disease is an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder found in eastern European Jewish families and some French-Canadian families. It is characterized by progressive mental and physical retardation and early death.


Tests of Fetal Well-Being

These tests are designed to evaluate the status of the placenta and whether or not oxygen and nutrition transferred to the fetus are being affected.



Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a single-celled parasite named Toxoplasma gondii. It is found throughout the world.


Travel During Pregnancy

Traveling during pregnancy can be very enjoyable. Through the first two trimesters and into the third, it is perfectly safe to travel as long as you are not experiencing any complications and your doctor has not indicated any reasons for prohibiting travel.


Triple Screen Test

The Triple Screen is a prenatal blood test that measures alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and unconjugated estriol (uE3). The test is performed between the 12th and 19th week of pregnancy to provide you and your doctor valuable information about you and your growing fetus.


Vitamin A and Birth Defects

The consumption of vitamin A at levels at or above 10,000 IU (200% of the Daily Value, or DV), or 3000 Retinol equivalents (REs), and some types of birth defects has raised serious public health concerns.


Weight Gain During Pregnancy

The average recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds.

Vanessa M. Givens, MD

Sherri Li, MD

Frank W. Ling, MD

Thomas G. Stovall, MD

Margaret Z. Summitt, MD

Robert L. Summitt, Jr., MD

Val Y. Vogt, MD

Phone: 901-682-9222

Fax: 901-682-9505

Women's Health Specialists

7800 Wolf Trail Cove

Germantown, TN 38138