Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic

May 2016: From puberty through pregnancies and menopause, a woman has unique healthcare issues. These distinct stages in a woman’s life influence the specialized type of health care she needs.

Dr. Nikki Gautreau, center, with Dr. Keith Elbourne and Dr. Joshua Best are the obstetricians/gynecologists at Bayou  Regional Women’s Clinic in Zachary.

Dr. Nikki Gautreau, center, with Dr. Keith Elbourne and Dr. Joshua Best are the obstetricians/gynecologists at Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic in Zachary.

The physician a woman chooses to monitor her female health, care for her unborn baby, deliver her newborn, and guide her through contraceptive options and the “change of life” is more than just a doctor. They are a person who is an ally and advisor during some of life’s most momentous occasions and important decisions.

Dr. Keith Elbourne, OB/GYN, saw the need for a women’s health clinic in Zachary and founded Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic in 2006. He was joined by Dr. Joshua Best in 2010 and Dr. Nikki Gautreaux in 2013.

clinic3

“We are proud that the clinic is now partnered with Lane Regional Medical Center,” said Dr. Elbourne. “We provide women from Zachary, Central, Baker, the Felicianas and surrounding areas with complete healthcare in a friendly and caring environment. Our doctors at Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic give consideration to women’s preferences and concerns and build professional relationships with them that last a lifetime.”

Puberty
One of the most significant stages of a woman’s life is puberty, that time in life when boys and girls mature sexually, and girls experience their first menstrual cycle.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that girls have their first gynecologic visit between the ages of 13 and 15. The first visit may be just a talk between the girl and the doctor where the girl can get answers to questions about the changes in her body, find out what to expect at future doctor visits and get information about how to stay

 Above two photos are of antique obstetricians; instruments and books which are on dispplay in the cabinet behind the doctors in the second floor lobby inside Lane Medical Plaza.

Above two photos are of antique obstetricians; instruments and books which are on dispplay in the cabinet behind the doctors in the second floor lobby inside Lane Medical Plaza.

healthy. She may have a general physical exam, but young girls usually do not need a pelvic exam at the first visit unless they are having problems, such as severe cramps or abnormal bleeding. If they are sexually active, they may be tested for certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Dr. Gautreaux said, “Teenagers who have irregular or excessive bleeding with their periods should see a gynecologist. There are various options available that we can use to help regulate periods and help with pain. Teens can discuss with their doctor birth control, safe sex and STIs. We can have these conversations with their mother present, but usually they are done privately.”
Dr. Best added, “Sometimes the young women will want to speak to us confidentially to talk about their sexual activity because they think their parents don’t know. We assure them that we will keep the conversation confidential, and we also assure them that, most likely, their mother already knows that they are sexually active. Females should see a gynecologist at age 18 whether they are sexually active or not, and earlier if there are any female reproductive problems or as soon as they become sexually active.”

Seated L-R: Amy Holloway, RN, nurse for Dr. Gautreaux; Arlene Roy, Office Manager; Evie Ballard, MA (medical assistant), nurse for Dr. Best; and Lanee Munn, LPN, nurse for Dr. Elbourne Standing L-R: Kacey Baker, front desk clerk; Joshua Best, MD; Nikki Gautreaux, MD; Keith Elbourne, MD;  and Erin Young, front desk clerk.

Seated L-R: Amy Holloway, RN, nurse for Dr. Gautreaux; Arlene Roy, Office Manager; Evie Ballard, MA (medical assistant), nurse for Dr. Best; and Lanee Munn, LPN, nurse for Dr. Elbourne
Standing L-R: Kacey Baker, front desk clerk; Joshua Best, MD; Nikki Gautreaux, MD; Keith Elbourne, MD; and Erin Young, front desk clerk.

Young adulthood
Dr. Best said, “Young women certainly need to have an exam before graduating high school and going off to college. These young ladies will have a new-found freedom and they need to have the information to keep them safe and healthy. They need to be armed with information – accurate information – about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Too many times they depend on information they find on the Internet which may or may not be factual, depending on the source.”
“We recommend that women start having pelvic exams and Pap tests at 21 years old,” said Dr. Elbourne, “and the women should see their doctor for an annual exam. The Pap test, which checks for abnormal changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer, is repeated every three years for females age 21-29.”

Pregnancy
“When women decide they are ready to start a family, a checkup with their doctor before they conceive is recommended,” said Dr. Elbourne. “We want women be at the peak of their health before getting pregnant to help assure a healthy pregnancy. We also check to see if there are any medicines they might be taking prescribed by other doctors that could cause problems with conceiving.

Dr. Nikki Gautreaux with baby Chloe, daughter  of new mom  Brittany Roberts (not shown)

Dr. Nikki Gautreaux with baby Chloe, daughter of new mom Brittany Roberts (not shown)

We routinely prescribe vitamins at that time, too. They are called prenatal vitamins, but they actually should be called pre-pregnancy vitamins. Women should have vitamins in their system before they become pregnant because by the time they find out they are pregnant, a lot of the baby’s development has already taken place. Vitamins may also help lessen morning sickness in the early stages of the pregnancy if the vitamins have been taken early enough.”
“If a couple has trouble getting pregnant, we can counsel them on infertility,” said Dr. Gautreaux. “Although most couples expect to get pregnant immediately upon trying, that’s not usually the case, but we don’t consider it to be a fertility problem until they have been trying for at least a year. However most couples after six months of trying come in to talk about it, and we will have them start tracking when they are trying, and we may treat with some medications and may order some tests. It they go a year or longer without conceiving, then we’ll make a referral to a fertility specialist.”
Dr. Best said, “Once a woman is pregnant, we’ll generally see her for her first prenatal visit at eight weeks from the last day of her last cycle, however we will see women earlier than that if they have a history of miscarriages or other problems.”
The first visit will likely be the longest visit for first-time mothers who have lots of questions. Women should bring notes about any questions they have and their complete medical history. The doctor will provide them with information about pregnancy and delivery and discuss any concerns they have, and can recommend helpful books.

Dr. Keith Elbourne with new mom Amanda Cobb and baby Arie.

Dr. Keith Elbourne with new mom Amanda Cobb and baby Arie.

Dr. Gautreaux said, “Many women are fairly well-educated about pregnancy and childbirth, but a lot of first-time mothers do not know what to expect. Lane (Regional Medical Center) offers prenatal and baby care basics classes, and we highly recommend them to all our patients.”
Pregnant women will have an initial blood test to check their general health and screen for infections and other issues, and an ultrasound may be given. Most insurances will pay for three prenatal ultrasounds: at the beginning of the pregnancy which allows the doctors to more accurately calculate the due date; mid-term which tracks development of the fetus, identifies the sex, and also screens for any abnormalities; and towards the end of the pregnancy which further tracks development and provides a better idea of the size of the baby.
“Some of the healthiest patients can still have high risk pregnancies and can be helped with early testing and intervention,” said Dr. Elbourne.
The doctors said that the number one problem during pregnancy is cigarette smoking, and number two is obesity. New research from the National Institute of

Dr. Joshua  Best with new mom McKensie McDavid and baby Annalyse.

Dr. Joshua Best with new mom McKensie McDavid and baby Annalyse.

Environmental and Health Sciences shows that pregnant women’s smoking may alter their babies’ DNA. The mother’s obesity can lead to gestational diabetes which, in addition to causing health problems for the mother, may cause her baby to have excessive birth weight, premature birth, respiratory distress syndrome, low blood sugar and be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
“We screen all women for gestational diabetes and treat the disease with diet exercise and/or medication to optimize the outcome. Because of health concerns, we try to get all expectant mothers to stop smoking and to start eating healthier and exercise,” said Dr. Best.
Dr. Elbourne added, “If they can make just a little modification in their lifestyles, it is beneficial to them and the fetus.”

Childbirth
Dr. Elbourne said, “Surgical techniques change with time, and today’s technology allows us to monitor the expectant mother from almost anywhere. But the basics of obstetrics has not changed that much; it’s still a woman giving birth to a baby.”
“There has been a bigger push in recent years for patient autonomy,” said Dr. Best. “Medicine has moved from paternalistic models with doctors telling patients what to do, to an environment where patients are advised and counseled by their doctor as to their options and helped to make informed decisions.”
Women have choices as to whether or not they will have natural childbirth or use pain-relieving drugs during labor and delivery. They also choose who will be in the room with them during labor and delivery.

“We are proud that the clinic is now partnered with Lane Regional Medical Center” Dr. Keith Elbourne, Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic

When women start having contractions, some may not be sure if they are in labor.
“Usually, if they’re not sure, they’re not in labor,” Dr. Best said. “They should time their contractions to see how long they last and how far apart they are. And just because they’re having contractions, they are not necessarily in labor; the cervix also has to be dilating. If their water has broken, that’s a pretty good indication that they are in labor and should go to the hospital.”
Women in early stages of labor are encouraged to walk around to help advance labor. Once their water breaks or if they are given an epidural, they will remain in bed. Various monitors will be attached to the mother to keep a check on her and the baby’s condition.
During and after childbirth, neonatologists and other specialists are on call 24/7 if needed for the baby or mother. Women will see their doctor in the hospital before being discharged and will typically have a postpartum checkup around six weeks after giving birth.

Contraception
Women who do not wish to become pregnant have various contraceptive choices.
“The birth control pill is the most widely used contraception but it’s also the least effective, because women often fail to take them properly,” said Dr. Best.
Dr. Gautreaux said, “Women have greater success with the hormonal implants than with pills. With the pill they have to remember to take the pill every day, to get their prescription filled before it runs out, to take the pills with them when they travel. Ten percent of women don’t take the pill as directed, and sometimes other medications can interfere with the metabolism of the pill. The implant can be in put in the woman’s arm or uterus here in our office, and then they don’t have to think about it for three to five years. It’s just as effective as having your tubes tied but it’s more easily reversible. The implants also help regulate periods, whereas having their tubes tied does not.”
Other contraceptive methods are also available, and the doctors can discuss the pros and cons of each with their patients.

Menopause and perimenopause
“Many women will come to see us when they start experiencing symptoms which have convinced them they are in menopause, but, usually, they are in perimenopause, which is the stage during which a woman’s body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility,” said Dr. Gautreaux.

“We screen all women for gestational diabetes and treat the disease with diet exercise and/or medication to optimize the outcome. Dr. Joshua Best, Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic
Symptoms of perimenopause are menstrual irregularity, not flashes, sleep problems, mood changes, vaginal and bladder changes, changes in sexual desire and function, and other conditions.
Because there is a gradual transition from perimenopause to menopause, and both share some of the same symptoms, there is no distinct beginning or end to the phases. Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. The average age of menopause is 51 years old, but menopause may occur as early as the 30s or as late as the 60s. There is no reliable lab test to predict when a woman will experience menopause.
Dr. Gautreaux said, “Hormone replacement can help with some of the symptoms. We prescribe the lowest dosage needed to work for each patient and for the shortest period of time necessary. We also counsel women about medical and surgical options we have to stop heavy periods and let them know there are choices other than a hysterectomy. lf a hysterectomy does become necessary, we offer laparoscopic surgery which is less invasive and produces little or no scarring and has a very short recuperation time.”
“Women who are in or past menopause still need to get an annual exam with their gynecologist, even if they have had a hysterectomy,” Dr. Elbourne said. “We recommend a pelvic exam every year to check for vaginal cancer and other issues, and a pap test.
Because the doctors see their patients through so many major events in their lives, they usually develop a close relationship with them.

Details:

Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic, 6550 Main Street, Suite 2000, Zachary, LA 70791;225.658.1303; facebook.com/Bayou-Regional-Womens-Clinic-162530017120768
Elbourne said, “We often get to know our patients’ families and friends as well, because our patients recommend us to them. When I go to the ball field to watch my kids play, I see lots of kids there that I’ve delivered. I like that sense of community.”
clinic8Dr. Gautreaux said, “I really do love being an OB/GYN; it is ‘happy’ medicine most of the time. We help women become pregnant, then deliver their babies, and help them have better health throughout their lives. This is a really important role for us as doctors, and I try to make them feel like a member of our little working family at Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic. We give our patients individualized care and spend the time with them that they need so they know they are not just another appointment. I love living here because I see my patients at the grocery store and other places around town. Being their doctor makes me smile and makes me proud.”

Baby Lane planned to meet women’s needs
A message from Lane Regional Medical Center
Lane Regional Medical Center remains committed to bringing our community the best-possible healthcare facilities and providers. For this reason, we are proud to have partnered with four of the area’s best obstetricians and gynecologists, Dr. Keith Elbourne, Dr. Joshua Best and Dr. Nikki Gautreaux at Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic, and Dr. Lydia Lewis at Zachary OB/GYN.
Area women have known both Lane and these doctors as area leaders in women’s health care for many, many years, and through this partnership with Lane, the same physicians and practice you have come to trust will are backed by a regional leader in healthcare and state-of-the-art facilities.
Lane took women’s preferences into consideration when developing Baby Lane, our labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum (LDRP) rooms. These large, well-appointed facilities allow you to enjoy your childbirth experience in a single room. The homelike surroundings are tastefully appointed; the modern touches and attention to detail provide a comfortable atmosphere that allows families to experience traditional childbirth in a comfortable, caring environment.
Each LDRP room houses an array of high-level technology including fetal and ultrasound monitoring equipment, as well as a central monitoring system, all to ensure a safe and smooth delivery. We are equipped to perform a variety of functions ranging from prenatal assessments and nonstress analysis to other diagnostic tests that closely monitor your baby’s health during your entire stay.

I love living here because I see my patients at the grocery store and other places around town. Being their doctor makes me smile and makes me proud.” Dr. Nikki Gautreaux Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic
We offer additional rooms for post-surgical patients, as well as preterm labor and pregnancy complications including diabetes, high blood pressure and dehydration. Our labor and delivery unit has an operation room specifically designed for cesarean sections.
Our highly trained nursing staff is experienced in lactation, labor support and intensive care nursery. At Lane, more nurses care for fewer patients. This ensures individual attention and one-on-one instruction on topics such as breastfeeding, nutrition and newborn care.
We believe that the sooner a baby is placed in the mother’s arms, the sooner the parental bonding begins; that’s why we encourage mothers to have their babies room-in. At mother’s request, her newborn may stay in the room for initial assessment or be taken to the nursery so that she may rest. To promote further family bonding, we welcome dad to spend the night in mother’s room, and visitors are allowed inside only with mother’s permission.
In addition to our skilled obstetricians, pediatricians and professional hospital staff, Lane has neonatologists on call 24 hours a day to help babies who may need special care.

Details:

Lane Regional Medical Center, 6300 Main St., Zachary, LA 70791; 225-658-4000. Website: LaneRMC.org and Facebook: facebook.com/LaneRMC.
The doctors at Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic said, “Most women today have access to good prenatal care, and they usually will deliver a healthy baby regardless of the facility, but we deliver our patients’ babies at Lane, and we feel like Lane provides the best experience for women. Mothers and babies receive individualized care, and Lane is closer to home, so they don’t have to drive an hour away while in labor to have a good life experience.
“With four OB/GYNs, we are in close communication with each other and are able to better monitor and control the quality of care. This, in turn, leads to better care and a better experience for all patients.”

 

Comments are closed.