• What to do when your water breaks

    If this is your first pregnancy, you might assume that it’s easy to tell when you’re going into labor. But reality can be quite different, as you’ll learn when you watch this featured video. For starters, most women don’t experience a gushing torrent of fluid that indicates the amniotic sac has broken. For some women, it may only be a little trickle of fluid. Or, the amniotic sac might not break until the new mom is already in labor at the hospital. Labor and delivery can be confusing, but there’s no need to worry. When you work with the maternity care specialists at West Hills Hospital, you’ll get all the information and support you need as your big day approaches.

    Prepare for rupturing membranes

    It’s always possible that you’ll be in the small percentage of women who do experience a dramatic membrane rupture. As you get closer to your due date, you can prepare by keeping a stash of super-absorbent feminine hygiene pads close at hand. Because babies follow their own schedule, you may also wish to use a plastic mattress cover.

    Call your maternity doctor

    Call the maternity hospital right away if you notice leaking amniotic fluid . Make a note of the color of the fluid, which should usually be clear.

    If the fluid looks brown or green, it’s possible that your baby had a bowel movement. Your doctor will want to monitor the situation carefully, as aspiration is possible.

    You should also call your doctor promptly if you notice any of the following:

    • Reduced fetal movement
    • Vaginal bleeding
    • Abdominal cramps
    • Change in vaginal discharge color
    • Pain or pressure in the rectal or pelvic area

    Time your contractions

    Expect your maternity doctor to ask you about the timing of your contractions. It’s best to have your partner handle the stopwatch, as you’ll be busy focusing on your breathing.

    Your partner should time the contractions beginning at the start of one contraction up to the start of the next contraction. This is the frequency of the contractions. Your partner should also time the duration of each contraction.

    Writing down this information is the easiest way to keep track of it. Your maternity doctor will ask you for this information when determining whether it’s time for you to come in to the hospital.

    West Hills Hospital is the maternity hospital of choice for expecting parents in the West Hills community. You’ll find family-centered, compassionate maternity care at New Beginnings Maternal and Newborn Care, including extensive postpartum support services. You can reach a registered nurse by calling (818) 676-4321.

  • How to find relief from migraines

    Migraines can be debilitating. The symptoms may keep you out of work and away from your family, but you can regain control of your life with help from the neurologists at West Hills Hospital. Here, you’ll find the cutting-edge treatments and personalized medical guidance you deserve.

    Self-care during a migraine

    When you first experience migraine symptoms, try to reschedule your planned activities. Many patients find it helpful to sleep or relax in a quiet room. Turn off the lights and lower the window blinds.

    Place a cold pack or heating pad on your head or neck. Try both heat and cold therapy to see what works best for you.

    Preventive medicines for migraine patients

    Your doctor can prescribe medications that are intended to reduce the frequency of your migraines. These preventive medicines are generally appropriate for patients who suffer several migraine attacks each month. Anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants and cardiovascular medicines are some examples.

    Preventive strategies for migraine patients

    Your doctor can help you identify migraine triggers and learn how to avoid them. Some common migraine triggers include:

    • Skipping meals
    • Consuming alcohol or caffeine
    • Consuming chocolate or aged cheese
    • Changing sleep patterns

    Pain relief medications for migraine patients

    Your doctor may prescribe acute care medications that you will take at the first sign of a migraine attack. Triptans, ergots, glucocorticoids and anti-nausea drugs are some examples of prescription pain relievers for migraine patients. Some patients find sufficient relief with over-the-counter migraine medications.

    Injections for migraine patients

    When migraine trigger avoidance and medications aren’t enough to control migraines, a neurologist may recommend injections of OnabotulinumtoxinA. This medication inhibits nerve activity to relax the muscles.

    Your doctor may inject this substance into the muscles of your neck and forehead every 12 weeks to reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks.

    West Hills Hospital brings together leading neurologists and neurosurgeons who are committed to giving each patient superior, compassionate care. At our hospital in West Hills, we’ll customize a migraine treatment plan that’s right for your unique needs and preferences. Call our hospital today at (818) 676-4321 to request a physician referral.

  • Common reasons men don’t see the doctor

    Men have a reputation for health care avoidance. But for every excuse men give for not seeing the doctor, there’s at least one compelling counterargument. If the men in your life haven’t seen a doctor in over a year or are experiencing some unusual symptoms, you can reassure them that the physicians at West Hills Hospital are second to none. At our state-of-the-art hospital, we treat our patients like family because we live and work in the same West Hills communities. When it’s time to ask your guy to see a doctor, be prepared with a response to the following common excuses.

    They don’t have primary physicians

    One simple reason why many men don’t see their family doctors regularly is that they don’t have a family physician. Some men only see a doctor when they are sick or injured—and sometimes not even then. If your guy doesn’t yet have a family physician, it’s time to find one.

    Family physicians are necessary because they keep track of their patients’ health over time. They provide personalized medical guidance, recommend health screenings and coordinate care with specialists. It’s important for every man to develop a long-term, working relationship with a family physician he trusts.

    Doctor’s appointments take time

    It’s tough to find an hour or two of spare time in a packed schedule, but that’s why many family physicians offer early appointments, allowing patients to get a checkup before work. Plus, preventive healthcare allows doctors to detect potential problems as early as possible. This can save patients a great deal of time later on.

    If he’s still not convinced, compare annual exams to routine car maintenance. If your guy wouldn’t think of driving a car many thousands of miles without getting new spark plugs or an oil change, then he might see the sense in seeing a doctor now and then.

    They wait out symptoms

    It’s not uncommon for men to ignore health issues, like nagging back pain, unusual fatigue or daily headaches. They often try to tough it out, telling themselves that the symptoms will go away eventually. But you can tell your guy that when symptoms are persistent, they could indicate a more serious underlying health problem.

    At West Hills Hospital, we are firmly committed to putting our patients first by giving them the one-on-one attention and superior care they deserve. Our healthcare providers in West Hills live in the same communities as the people we help, giving us a unique insight into their health needs. Call a member of our nursing staff at (818) 676-4321 and let us know how we can help you.

  • What are the most common injuries in runners?

    If you’re looking for a challenging workout that doesn’t require special equipment and that you can enjoy with friends or family, why not lace up a pair of running shoes? June 7 is Global Running Day—a time when avid runners and beginners alike pledge to run for better health. If you have an underlying medical condition, consider talking to a doctor at West Hills Hospital about whether it’s safe for you to start running. If you suffer a sports injury , our emergency care doctors and orthopedic specialists will provide the superior care you deserve.

    Ankle sprains

    Many of the most common injuries in runners are overuse injuries, but acute injuries can also occur. For instance, runners are susceptible to suffering ankle sprains. An ankle sprain occurs when a ligament becomes overly stretched or torn.

    In some cases, ankle sprains are severe enough to warrant emergency care. Ankle sprains cause:

    • Sudden pain in the ankle area
    • Tenderness
    • Bruising
    • Swelling

    If you hear a popping sound, it’s time to seek emergency care. This indicates the ligament has been severely torn . You will also need emergency care if the ankle has been dislocated.

    Stress fractures

    Unlike most fractures, stress fractures are usually an overuse injury characterized by hairline cracks in the bone. Runners are prone to developing stress fractures of the feet and lower legs. They can be characterized by:

    • Pain that worsens with activity and lessens during rest
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness
    • Bruising

    If you have a stress fracture, you’ll need to take a break from running until it heals, which may take six to eight weeks.

    Plantar fasciitis

    Plantar fasciitis is another repetitive strain injury that runners are susceptible to developing. It involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that stretches along the bottom of the foot. It is indicated by a sharp pain in the heel that worsens with activity.

    The healthcare providers at West Hills Hospital are committed to helping our injured patients get back on their feet quickly. We are leading providers of responsive emergency care and sophisticated orthopedic care in West Hills. To request a referral to a physician at our hospital, you can call a registered nurse at (818) 676-4321.