Pregnancy

Healthy Babies
Start Here.

Women’s Health Specialists is here to help you every step of the way in growing your family, from pre-conception, through every trimester, and beyond.

Always Here for You

With You at Every Step

Age 13-20

Age 21-35

Age 36-45

Age 46-55

Age 56-65

Age 66 & Up

  • Is this normal?

    The changes of your teen years can be exciting, confusing and even frustrating. We can answer all of your questions and get you on the path of lifelong health.…

    More about this stage
  • Is this what I want?

    Whether you’re planning a family, or you're not sure yet, our providers help you understand your reproductive health so you can make the right decisions for you…

    More about this stage
  • Am I doing this right?

    From contraception and Pap tests to pregnancy and raising a growing family, life can throw a lot at you during this time. We can help you navigate your health journey and keep it stress-free…

    More about this stage
  • What can I do about this?

    It might feel like staying on top of your health has gotten more complicated, but remember you’re not alone. We can help you stay one step ahead of your changing body…

    More about this stage
  • Is this normal?

    Just when you think you've got it figured out, menopause can throw you another curveball. Our providers can help you manage your ongoing symptoms and maintain an active lifestyle…

    More about this stage
  • What's happening now?

    Achieving and maintaining health through your 60s and beyond can have its own challenges! We're here to help you stay in charge of your health and wellness, and ready for all the good times this part of life has to offer…

    More about this stage

Experienced Physicians

Our physicians take the time to listen to your wants, needs, and concerns so, together, we can develop the best plan of care for you.  The current all-women team of physicians will discuss the care plan with you in a professional and clear manner.  They will answer all of your questions and support you every step of the way.

Above & Beyond Care Team

From the moment you walk into our office, you are welcomed by our friendly receptionists. Our Doctor-Nurse teams go above and beyond to give the best care in The Fox Valley. Women’s Health Specialists has been voted Appleton Post Crescent Readers’ Choice for Best OB/GYN in the Fox Valley area for 14 years running!

Care For Life

Strong relationships are the foundation of excellent care. The doctor you choose will be there for every stage of your life and know your unique history. From treating PMS symptoms to delivering your baby, to helping ease the frustrations of menopause — we are here for you every step of the way.

Pre-Conception

Planning Your Pregnancy

Man kissing woman holding positive pregnancy test on the cheek
Whether you’re in the family planning stages or already pregnant, our Doctor-Nurse teams are excited to join you for this chapter of your life! Our OB/GYN doctors receive specialized obstetrics training to ensure that you receive the best medical care before, during and post pregnancy. At your pregnancy appointments, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss tips for a healthy pregnancy, medications that are safe during pregnancy, foods to avoid during pregnancy and any other questions or concerns you may have.

When fertility issues arise, it can be very disheartening to those involved. We have resources available if you are having difficulty getting pregnant. Our Family Fertility program has a specialized team that will partner with you to better understand the root cause and help you acheive your goal of becoming pregnant.

Life throws all sorts of challenges at us, but infertility isn’t one you need to face alone. We can help you start this next chapter of your life.

Getting Started

Your First Ultrasound

During your pregnancy, you'll see your doctor regularly to ensure that you and baby remain healthy. You will receive ultrasounds, blood tests, and other tests. Regular checkups are the best way to avoid possible complications and manage your pregnancy.

Your baby's first picture will likely be done via vaginal scan because it’s easier to get the clearest image of that little one in the early stages! Our ultrasound team takes great pride in their work and being able to share in such a special moment with patients.

Man and woman holding out an ultrasound photograph
What To Expect

After Requesting An Appointment

  1. You will receive a call within 24 hrs or on the next business day.
  2. We will collect insurance information.
  3. Verify the physician you would like to see and preferred location.
  4. Discuss the type appointment you are looking to schedule.
  5. If needed, you may speak with a nurse to address any immediate concerns.
  6. We'll find the best time and date for you and schedule your appointment.
Gray-haired woman, talking on a mobile phone
Our Satisfied Patients

Creating Happy Families

"I have nothing but great things to say about Dr. Jill Honkamp from Women's Health. I moved here from Hawaii and it was very important to me to find a great OB and indeed I did. From the start she has been a caring and made me feel so comfortable. She put my needs first and always listens to my concerns. She has been with me from the beginning to the end for both my babies and delivered both my babies. I still do my yearly check up with her even if I am not pregnant anymore because I want to see her. I referred a few friends to her as well because I want what is best for my friends and I know in Dr.Honkmap hands they will be in great care. I can go on and on about her if I could but I will end it with this. I would give Dr. Honkamp 10 stars if I was able too!"

- Steph Villacorte

"I saw Dr. Kennedy for my first pregnancy. Her nurse Kelly has such a genuine concern for her patients; I can't imagine anyone being a better nurse than Kelly. Dr. Kennedy was great. She made some decisions for my delivery that at the time I didn't want to hear. But her calls resulted in keeping me healthy, and more importantly a perfect new baby boy. I will forever be grateful to her for taking such good care of us. I highly recommend Women's Health Specialists and Dr. Kennedy to anyone. Especially after seeing other doctors, I think this place is the best."

- Sam R.

"Dr. Pfaffenbach and the team at Women's Health has been wonderful. I went through them for the delivery of my baby. They caught a potentially life threatening condition and successfully delivered my baby. Despite it being a very scary experience, I felt comfortable knowing I was in good hands. After being hospitalized for awhile, I am on the road to recovery, which wouldn't have been possible without them."

- Brittany R.

"I would highly recommend anyone to Women's Health Specialist! I personally see Dr. Amy Schmidt and she is AMAZING! Herself and her staff are so easy to work with! She is more than willing to sit down and take the time to listen to you, make sure all of your questions are answered and that you feel comfortable every step of the way! I look forward to working even closer with her in the future when we start a family."

- Ashley W.

"So impressed with everything at this facility. Would highly recommend Dr. Ramsey to anyone!"

-Nancy D.

"I love coming here everyone is so friendly and respectful. I am currently trying for my first baby and Pa Kou is so sweet kind and understanding ! She gives me so much hope!"

-Kairy P.

"Dr. Julie Meyer is a real gem! Like finding a real diamond in a box of cracker jacks. From my perspective, she has a special quality about her that would difficult to express in words. The professional, caring and kind manner in which I was treated by her will be remembered for a long time. I didn't have a long wait-time to see her, however, she is someone well worth waiting for if need be. A great listener too! Someone who actually cares and is interested in what you have to say. Yay! for Dr. Julie Meyer."

-PAB

“When I think about what I want in a physician, I want someone that is caring and compassionate. When I started working with Dr. Honkamp, that’s exactly what I got, and more. I feel like she’s my mother, honestly concerned about my situation, and genuinely cares about me.”

-Maria L.

“Dr. Clark delivered my 2 babies. She is very kind, calm and caring. Would recommend her to anyone!”

-Amanda Jo T.

“Dr. Koellermeier delivered both of my boys. I'm so thankful for her attention to detail and her willingness to get to know her patients. I feel like she has become a friend over the years!”

-Ashley S.

What About High-Risk Pregnancy?

Should your pregnancy become what is known as a “high-risk pregnancy,” which would include cases of multiples, advanced maternal age, and so on, you’ll likely be referred to a high-risk specialists like Fox Valley Pernitology. Referrals are made based on medical needs and insurance coverage as well as the best interest of the patient.
Pregnant woman and someone standing behind her, both sets of hands on the belly
After Delivery

With You at  Every Step.

woman breastfeeding baby on a sofa while looking at her mobile phone
Your care doesn't stop at delivery! We'll be there to support you as you begin life with your new baby. From ensuring proper healing, to dealing with postpartum blues, to supporting your breastfeeding journey, your care team at Women's Health Specialists will be there for you.

For the moms-to-be that are interested in breastfeeding their baby, we have a nurse on staff who is a Certified Lactation Counselor that can assist you with questions before and after your baby arrives. Contact us to set up a consultation any time.

Free Download

Get Our Healthy Pregnancy Guide

The Healthy Pregnancy Guide covers some of the most important knowledge and tips for each stage of pregnancy. It’s quick and informative, and you’ll want to refer to it again and again!
Smiling babt, fresh from bath, with infant towel on their head

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do to prepare for pregnancy?

If you don’t have any medical issues, start by keeping track of your menstrual cycle. At least three months before you begin trying to get pregnant, start taking a prenatal vitamin so your body has the reserves it needs before pregnancy.

If you are not already established with an OB/GYN and have a lot of questions regarding your health and pregnancy, schedule a preconception counseling visit with your chosen provider. This can be helpful to answer any questions or concerns and prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy

Why are prenatal vitamins important?

During pregnancy, you need more folic acid and iron than usual. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. These defects are serious abnormalities of the fetal brain and spinal cord. Ideally, you'll begin taking extra folic acid at least 3 months before you become pregnant. Iron supports the development of the placenta and fetus. Iron helps your body make blood to supply oxygen to the fetus. Iron also helps prevent anemia, a condition in which blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.

Prenatal vitamins are available over-the-counter in nearly any pharmacy. Beyond checking for folic acid and iron, look for a prenatal vitamin that contains calcium and vitamin D. They help promote the development of the baby's teeth and bones. DHA, omega-3 fatty acid, is one of the key building blocks for fetal development.  It is also beneficial to take a prenatal vitamin that contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, and iodine.

How soon can I take a pregnancy test?

Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in your urine. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as you’ve missed your period. However, it’s best to wait at least one week after you’ve missed your period to get the most accurate results.

I just had a positive home pregnancy test, what should I do now?

Call your OB/GYN’s office and schedule a prenatal visit. Your provider will want to see you for your first appointment between 8-10 weeks or about a month after your first missed period and a positive pregnancy test. If you are unsure of the first day of your last menstrual cycle, call and speak to a nurse regarding the next steps.

What can I do to help my morning sickness?

Despite its name, “morning” sickness can happen at any time of the day. Especially during those first few months of pregnancy (but sometimes beyond), you may feel nauseous, even to the point of vomiting.

Things our providers recommend to help you manage your nausea:

  • Eat small frequent meals. Going too long without eating during pregnancy can cause nausea or make it worse. If you experience continuous nausea, eat every one to two hours.
  • Avoid greasy, high-fat foods. They are more difficult to digest.
  • Try eating foods that are easy for your stomach to tolerate, like those on the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast).
  • Consume dry starch foods, such as crackers, toast or cereal, in the morning before you get out of bed. Also, it helps if you stay in bed for 20 minutes or so after eating and get up slowly from the bed for a sudden change of position can aggravate nausea.
  • Hydration is very important, so drink water and other non-alcoholic, decaffeinated beverages.
  • Ginger products: Ginger ale, ginger tea, ginger candies, gum, or capsules.
  • Eat plenty of carbohydrate-rich foods such as cereal, fruit, bread, and rice. They are easy to digest and provide energy.
  • Take prenatal vitamins with food and at supper or bedtime.
  • Eat a high-protein snack before bed to stabilize blood sugar.
  • Limit your consumption of coffee. It stimulates acid secretion, which can make the nausea worse.
  • Consume liquids separately from meals, waiting about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Wear sea sickness wrist bands called Sea Bands. These can be found at most pharmacies.
  • Start taking over the counter Vitamin B6, 50 mg in the morning and 50 mg at bedtime. With the bedtime dose of Vitamin B6, take Unisom ½-1 tablet. Those combined in the evening can help.
  • If you aren’t getting relief, talk with your doctor to see if you should try a prescription medicine.
What can I do to help my morning sickness?

Despite its name, “morning” sickness can happen at any time of the day. Especially during those first few months of pregnancy (but sometimes beyond), you may feel nauseous, even to the point of vomiting.

Things our providers recommend to help you manage your nausea:

  • Eat small frequent meals. Going too long without eating during pregnancy can cause nausea or make it worse. If you experience continuous nausea, eat every one to two hours.
  • Avoid greasy, high-fat foods. They are more difficult to digest.
  • Try eating foods that are easy for your stomach to tolerate, like those on the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast).
  • Consume dry starch foods, such as crackers, toast or cereal, in the morning before you get out of bed. Also, it helps if you stay in bed for 20 minutes or so after eating and get up slowly from the bed for a sudden change of position can aggravate nausea.
  • Hydration is very important, so drink water and other non-alcoholic, decaffeinated beverages.
  • Ginger products: Ginger ale, ginger tea, ginger candies, gum, or capsules.
  • Eat plenty of carbohydrate-rich foods such as cereal, fruit, bread, and rice. They are easy to digest and provide energy.
  • Take prenatal vitamins with food and at supper or bedtime.
  • Eat a high-protein snack before bed to stabilize blood sugar.
  • Limit your consumption of coffee. It stimulates acid secretion, which can make the nausea worse.
  • Consume liquids separately from meals, waiting about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Wear sea sickness wrist bands called Sea Bands. These can be found at most pharmacies.
  • Start taking over the counter Vitamin B6, 50 mg in the morning and 50 mg at bedtime. With the bedtime dose of Vitamin B6, take Unisom ½-1 tablet. Those combined in the evening can help.
  • If you aren’t getting relief, talk with your doctor to see if you should try a prescription medicine.
Can I exercise while I am pregnant?

The answer is a definite yes! If you’re already active, we encourage you to continue exercising. We recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, for 150 minutes total each week. Walking, swimming, and yoga are some of the safest exercises you can do during pregnancy. Regular exercise keeps circulation and heart function strong. Proper exercise improves flexibility and will keep your muscles strong and resilient, which will help when it is time for you to deliver the baby. Staying fit and strong will make the birthing process go much smoother, and in some cases, much faster.

If you haven’t been active, talk about your plan with your OB/GYN. Start out slow, with 10 to 15 minutes of exercise, and add 5 minutes a week. Walking may be the easiest thing to do. When you work up to 30 minutes, walking can do wonders for your health.

During pregnancy, it may be more difficult to perform certain types of exercise. Lifting weights or using weight machines may be limited as you move into the third trimester. Exercises may have to be modified to account for the shift in your center of gravity and ensure that you can continue to exercise without injuring yourself or the baby.

Do I really need to sleep on my left side?

A lot of women read online that they should sleep on their left side throughout their entire pregnancy, but that’s difficult and not necessary. You can sleep on either side, right or left. You just want to avoid sleeping on your back later in pregnancy. As your belly grows, sleeping on your back puts more pressure on the blood vessels that supply blood to your uterus. If you find yourself sleeping on your back in your second or third trimester, don’t panic. Just turn to one side or the other.

Try sleeping on one side with your knees bent, it'll help reduce the amount of pressure on your uterus and help you breathe better. Plus, this position can help relieve backache. You can use pillows under your belly, between your legs, and behind your back, if you like.

Can I have sex while I’m pregnant? Is it safe?

It is common for couples to wonder whether sex and pregnancy are safe together. Unless your health care provider advises you otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for both you and your baby. The baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the womb, by your abdomen, and by the mucus plug which seals your cervix and helps guard against infections.

Is Anemia common in pregnancy?

Your body goes through significant changes when you become pregnant. The amount of blood in your body increases by about 20-30 percent, which increases the supply of iron and vitamins that the body needs. Many women lack the sufficient amount of iron needed for the second and third trimesters. When your body needs more iron than it has available, you can become anemic. Mild anemia is normal during pregnancy due to this increase in blood volume. This is usually treated with an iron supplement and increased iron-rich foods in your diet.

To prevent anemia during pregnancy, make sure you get enough iron. Eat well-balanced meals and add more foods that are high in iron to your diet.

I was just diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and I’m confused how I could have this?

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which a hormone made by the placenta prevents the body from using insulin effectively. This is caused by the pregnancy. Glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells. Unlike type 1 diabetes, gestational diabetes is not caused by a lack of insulin, but by other hormones produced during pregnancy that can make insulin less effective, a condition referred to as insulin resistance. Gestational diabetic symptoms disappear following delivery.