By Alexander Germanis
While not always remembered and often glossed over in historical texts, women have nevertheless played the most vital role in human history: they have perpetuated human history. Without women, there would be no childbirth, no nurturing of children, and, therefore, no future generations.
For all women of this and future generations, there is the caring team of obstetrician/gynecologists, midwives, and nurse practitioners at Teverbaugh, Croland, and Mueller OB/GYN and Associates of Peoria — medical professionals dedicated to making a woman’s life a safer, healthier, happier experience.
From pregnancy to birth
Motherhood — whether a prospective or repeated experience — is one that requires medical attention. “All expectant moms are given the same examination and education, whether they are a first time mom or on their fourth baby,” says Janell Pettry, office coordinator at Treverbaugh, Croland, and Mueller.
“Pregnancy should be one of the most joyous times in your life,” say the doctors, “but it can be overwhelming, too.” To help alleviate that pressure, they establish a support system for an expectant mother from her first visit onward.
The support begins with an OB/GYN or nurse practitioner confirming pregnancy with a blood test or ultrasound. “[These] prenatal visits are some of the most exciting doctor visits you’ll ever experience,” share the doctors. “It’s during these appointments that you’ll learn your due date, find our your baby’s gender, and you’ll get to hear your little one’s heartbeat for the first time.”
A tried-and-true profession that has existed for millennia, midwifery is part of Teverbaugh, Croland, and Mueller’s services as well. “We are the only practice in Central Illinois to offer a midwifery service 24/7, 365 days a year,” shares Janell. “We also offer individualized obstetric care for our patients. They can see only midwives [and] — as long as they are having a low risk pregnancy — they can see the same provider throughout their entire pregnancy if they desire. The only caveat to this is we can’t guarantee their provider for their delivery.”
Janell adds that all mothers are encouraged to have at least their first two visits with a midwife. “During these visits, extra time is spent educating patients on everything from good nutrition to what to expect after delivery,” she continues. “Midwives also are there for patients from the beginning of labor to the birth.”
Regardless of the OB/GYNs’ combined years of birthing experience, Janell reminds expectant mothers that they should not rely solely on doctor visits for answers. “Always listen to your body and give us a call if you have concerns or questions. Oftentimes, expectant moms feel they have to keep all their questions for actual appointment times. We have a staff of triage nurses whose job is to help alleviate concerns, give medical advice within our physician-approved protocols, or determine when a patient should come in for an appointment.”
Medical technology has made tremendous leaps through the last century. The ultrasound machine debuted in the late 1950s in Scotland and since then its use in medicine has become routine.
But even using ultrasound — the practice of sonography — has advanced in the years since. The Peek-a-Boo sonogram, for instance, is an early way for mothers to discover the gender of their babies. “Whether it’s to have a gender-reveal party or they simply can’t wait until their anatomy sonogram to find out the sex,” Janell says, “our Peek-a-Boo sonogram is just about finding out the gender. We take a few fun photos for keepsakes.”
The more in-depth sonogram to look at all of the baby’s major organs is usually done around 22 weeks into the pregnancy, she adds. But, for those moms and dads who just can’t wait, the Peek-a-Boo is a mere $50.
Aging with dignity
A natural part of womanhood is the cessation of egg production and, consequently, a woman’s fertility. Known as menopause, this time can carry with it various unwelcome symptoms such as mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, dry skin, difficulty sleeping, and more.
As the entire scope of womanhood is their business at Teverbaugh, Croland, and Mueller, menopause is naturally a part of their purview.
“We understand menopause because the majority of our providers are women,” Janell points out. “We listen to our patients and work with them to find the right treatment for their symptoms. Whether it’s standard medications or bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, we will individualize the treatment for each patient.”
Another unfortunate part of aging is urinary incontinence. As this is something most women experience to some degree, Janell wants to assure there is no shame in asking for help. Urinary incontinence can be brought about by myriad causes, such as bladder infections, pregnancy, giving birth, neurological disorders, pelvic order prolapse, or tumors.
“There are many treatments, medications, and surgeries that can alleviate or eradicate urinary symptoms,” Janell assuages. “Most women come in routinely for their yearly well-women’s check up so they already are accustomed to talking about their bodies. Our clinical staff is well trained to ask the appropriate questions in a professional and gentle manner.”
An often-overlooked aspect of physical health is the connection it has to our emotional and psychological wellbeing. Most medical professionals will agree that feeling good about how you look goes a long way toward improving your overall health. Aging gracefully, therefore, is truly a health issue and Teverbaugh, Croland, and Mueller recognize that.
Of their cosmetic services, the MonaLisa Touch Laser system, SculpSure, and Pellevé Wrinkle Treatment each play their role in helping women maintain their individual beauty through the years.
A major issue with aging is the drop in collagen the body naturally produces. A protein and major component of connective tissue in the body, reduced collagen can result in reduced elasticity in body tissues.
The Pellevé system uses radiofrequency waves to stimulate collagen production in the face, resulting in smoother skin. While it typically takes three to five sessions and results are not instantaneous, Pellevé has been scientifically proven to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the face. Performed with a small handheld device, it is a painless procedure some women have equated to getting a hot stone massage.
A dip in collagen can take place in the vaginal area as well, and this can result in dryness and itchiness, also leaving a woman more prone to infections. The MonaLisa Touch Vaginal Laser was developed to combat this. A probe containing a laser stimulates collagen production in the vaginal skin. After a while, the body starts producing new collagen, restoring the connective tissue and reducing dryness. “Most women only need three treatments,” Janell states. “However a ‘touch up’ treatment is needed once a year. This is at a significantly discounted price.”
Finally, the SculpSure Body Contouring system is meant to target those “soft spots” on the body that no amount of time at the gym seems to be able to eliminate. An FDA-cleared method of destroying stubborn fat reserves, the Sculpsure handheld device sends heat in wavelengths beneath the skin of the midsection. The heat, while not felt on the surface skin, triggers the fat cells beneath to break down.
The body will then naturally dispense with the excess fat through its waste products.
Although Teverbaugh, Croland, and Mueller are obstetricians/gynecologists, they have successfully treated both women and men with Sculpsure.
“Mona Lisa, Sculpsure, and Pellevé are not covered by insurance,” Janell adds. “Peek-a-Boo sonograms and some genetic testing may not be covered as well. But, we will always let patients know if a service may not be covered.”
For the convenience of their patients, Lori Teverbaugh, MD, FACOG; Joshua Croland, MD, FACOG; and John Mueller, MD, FACOG lead a team of professional medical women, providing the aforementioned services and more at six hospital and surgical center locations throughout Peoria.
Making up the rest of the team are Vanessa Cameron, DO, FACOG; Xochitl Garcia, MD, FACOG; Jennifer Lynch, CNM; Kristin Burns, CNM; Ashley Frerichs, CNM; Sue Sphar, CNM; Lynette Davis, CNM, WHNP; Nicole Pahl, CNM; Megan Nestrud, WHNP; and Diane Dunniway, DNP, APN, WHNP-BC, FCP.
A like-minded team of women and men, Teverbaugh, Croland ,and Mueller OB/GYN and Associates has a sincere, vested interest in ensuring the health of this generation as it ensures the existence of all future generations.
For more information about our programs and services visit www.obgynofpeoria.com.
Our office is located at 2419 W. Cornerstone Ct., in Peoria or call 309-692-2025.