On December 14, 2019, four months before the due date of her twin girls, Laura Freedland went to the hospital with what she thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions. Though only 22 weeks pregnant, she quickly realized she was in active labor. After 16 hours, little Vivienne entered the world 17 weeks early, weighing only 1 pound, 4 ounces. Her sister, Margot, remained in utero … [Read more...] about Tiny Babies, Big Miracles: A NICU Wonder in a Time of Coronavirus
Every person has memories of childhood checkups, and mostly, they consist of stressful shots ending with rewards of stickers and suckers. For parents, however, when these visits are packed into busy schedules, it’s common to feel unprepared. Read on for pointers on what to expect from your kids’ wellness exams. Childhood wellness exams start soon after birth, in order to … [Read more...] about How to Prepare for Child Wellness Exams
Do you not know how to get better, or do you simply not want to get better because you don’t want to gain weight or because your eating disorder allows you to feel in control? I don’t ask this to shame anyone because I, myself, would answer “yes” to all three. Although I don’t feel qualified to guide others on a journey that I haven’t yet completed, there are some tricks I have … [Read more...] about Living with Anorexia
If you are a caretaker of an elderly person, help is here. Learn where help is available:The Administration on Aging offers many services such as fall prevention, aging and disability programs, brain, oral, and behavioral health programs, elder abuse prevention, legal assistance, and retirement planning, and has chapters in most of the U.S. Find AoA services in your area.The … [Read more...] about Practical Tips When Caring for Our Elders
How and what you want to feed your baby is a personal decision. You, as a mother, deserve to know all the facts of the various options without feeling ashamed or guilty about your decision. Nutritional possibilities for your baby’s first few months include breastfeeding (temporarily or long term) and formula feeding. Breastfeeding Breastfeeding is often considered … [Read more...] about Postpartum Options: Breastfeeding, Formula, and Weaning
Cicely Saunders, the founder of the first hospice facility, St. Christopher’s Hospice in London, said to her patients, “You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.” Is your loved one a candidate for hospice? Just because the hospital recommended hospice for … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know About Hospice
Shelter-in-place measurements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can also increase the likelihood of women and men being trapped in domestic and/or sexual abuse situations at home. Despite the threat of the virus itself, stay-at-home orders and the suspension of community rituals and events have been attributed to a rise in domestic and sexual abuse in both rural Native … [Read more...] about American Indian Women and Men: Know Where to Seek Help in a Crisis
Health insurance is essential — even if you feel healthy, accidents and sudden illnesses can happen. The first step has to be to check through your parents, employer, or school — wherever you can qualify for insurance now. See what they cover and don’t cover. Are your pregnancy costs covered? Which pregnancy costs? Is your child covered? What will insurance cover for your … [Read more...] about Find the Best Health Care (When You Can’t Afford It)
The coronavirus pandemic hit home for Giana Mylan. Literally. That’s because Mylan, 28, lives in Queens, New York, the county with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States. One of the most serious logistical crises facing those on the front lines of the effort to slow, stop, and defeat the virus is the shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE for … [Read more...] about Doing Her Part: A Seamstress Joins the COVID-19 Effort
In addition to the President’s recommendations and state government restrictions for social distancing, not shaking hands, wearing gloves and masks, self-quarantining, etc., here are other things you can do to stay safe and not bring disease home to at-risk family members, including the elderly (especially those who have other risk factors such as diabetes, heart disease, … [Read more...] about Extra Measures to Protect the Highly Vulnerable
Leaving the house and being social is often suggested as a way to stay mentally healthy, but sometimes, that is not possible. What is someone with depression or anxiety to do when she has to take social distancing measures? Here are 14 tips to help you get through these challenging times: Go outside. If the weather is nice, take a walk around the block or to a park. Just … [Read more...] about 14 Tips to Take Care of Your Own Mental Health
Here is what I have been telling my patients: There is a lot we do not know about COVID-19, but it seems to be similar to the flu in many respects. Precautions that pregnant women should take include avoiding travel by plane, avoiding crowds, and avoiding exposure to people who are ill. Frequent handwashing is important as the virus may reside on inanimate objects, such as … [Read more...] about Are My Unborn Baby and I at Risk from COVID-19?
It’s all over the news: Another deadly illness is spreading all over the world, and of course, you’re worried about the children under your care. Here is what you need to know. If you have traveled recently to an area where the outbreak is severe, contact your doctor for advice. You can find a map with up-to-date information about the outbreak here: … [Read more...] about What Do Parents Need to Know About the Coronavirus?
Dentistry care can be expensive and is therefore put on the backburner. Some employers don’t even offer dental insurance, and when they do, it can seem to cost too much. But dental care is foundational to health care. Your dental health affects your overall health, and setting a good foundation for dental care can help your child for a lifetime. Here are 8 ways to find … [Read more...] about 8 Ways to Get Affordable Dentistry Care
You just had a baby. You should feel wonderful. Why do you feel so down? You are not alone. It is estimated that one in seven women experiences postpartum depression or anxiety. As many as 80 percent of women experience postpartum “blues.” Not surprisingly, the immense emotional and physical changes that occur when your body brings new life into the world precipitate a … [Read more...] about Dealing with Postpartum Depression
Maternal mortality has been in the news over the past few years because it appears its incidence may be rising in the U.S. While part of the documented rise is artifactual because we are doing a better job of detecting maternal deaths, it is true that many older women with pre-existing health problems are becoming pregnant, and this may place them at higher risk for … [Read more...] about Taking Your Cardiac Health to Heart
Federally Qualified Health Centers are important safety net providers in rural areas. FQHCs are outpatient clinics that qualify for specific reimbursement systems under Medicare and Medicaid. They include federally-designated Health Center Program awardees, federally-designated Health Center Program look-alikes, and certain outpatient clinics associated with tribal … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know About Federally Qualified Health Centers
Bathing your baby is an important part of keeping him or her happy and healthy. It might seem scary at first, but with the right preparation and a little practice, you’ll have this routine down. Until his or her umbilical cord falls off, it’s best to give Baby sponge baths. Gather everything you need. Once you start, you can’t leave Baby alone, even for a second: -dry … [Read more...] about 18 Tips for Bathing Baby
What Is Elimination Communication? Elimination communication is a form of potty training in which a child is given the opportunity to potty based on his or her natural timing. A child’s need to go is determined by signals, such as sudden crying, sudden stillness, or grunting. Opportunities to potty are accompanied by “cues” from the caregiver, such as making a “pss pss” … [Read more...] about Potty Training? Try Elimination Communication
Like many other cesarean section birth stories, my birth story starts long before the day. My body seemed to love being pregnant. A lot of chronic issues I have were actually alleviated during my pregnancy, rather than made worse. However, one of my chronic issues may have contributed to my birth story. Around 36 weeks, for various reasons, it was determined that my son … [Read more...] about A Cesarean Section Birth Story
Finding an OB-GYN can seem like an overwhelming task, at first. These tips can help you find local doctors and then choose one for your pregnancy experience. How to Find an OB-GYN: If you have a gynecologist you like, check if s/he also practices obstetrics.Ask your general physician or other health care providers for recommendations. They probably know of good OB-GYNs in … [Read more...] about Top Tips When Choosing an OB-GYN
I get a lot of stares and questions when I’m out and about in my fitness gear. I suppose I’ve mastered the not-so-soccer-mom look enough to the point that people wonder how it all came about. To be honest, because of the culture I grew up in, I never participated much, if at all, in any team sports. The parochial schools and homeschool settings of my childhood certainly did not … [Read more...] about 10 Fun Fitness Tips for Moms
Too much information overwhelms me, and I am certain that no topic has ever been written about more than childbearing. So naturally, as soon as I found out that I was pregnant with my first child, I was quickly overwhelmed. My first instinct when I am overwhelmed is to simplify — ruthlessly simplify. Anything that is not mandatory or absolutely necessary will get tossed to … [Read more...] about An Epidural Birth Story
After a failed pregnancy in a past relationship, seven years passed before I conceived again in 2013. I hadn’t had any medical insurance for those years and am glad Medicaid covered pregnant women. I immediately started fighting the push for appointments for this test and that screening. Prenatal vitamins were included, but I saw no reason to alter my healthy state or question … [Read more...] about A Natural Birth Story
Women considering pregnancy or who are already pregnant are likely concerned about recent news reports that the U.S. is experiencing a drastic increase in maternal mortality. So I asked OB-GYN and Women Deserve Better Contributor Dr. Ingrid Skop for insights as an expert on high-risk pregnancies: Q. How risky is it for women to die during pregnancy or after giving birth? … [Read more...] about Maternal Mortality Q&A
Preterm birth is a serious problem. Complications from prematurity are the most common reason that babies die after birth, accounting for 70 percent of neonatal deaths. Half of the time, preterm birth occurs when a mother enters labor early or the amniotic membrane ruptures prematurely, and the doctor is unable to stop the early labor. The rest of the time, birth occurs due … [Read more...] about Predicting and Preventing Preterm Birth
PRE-ECLAMPSIA and EMERGENCY C-SECTION It was my first year in medical school. My wife was 35 weeks pregnant and her blood pressure was elevated, she was spilling protein in her urine and we were sitting in her doctor’s office for our weekly check. As the doctor entered the exam room…our roller coaster began. He said that my wife’s blood pressure was way too high (190/110) … [Read more...] about What to Expect When You Have a Preemie
Premature babies can have a hard road to travel, including incubators, drugs, and surgery. The good news is that among the medical and technical advances has arisen an appreciation of the human side of helping a premature infant to survive and thrive. As early as the 1970s, medical personnel faced with too few incubators and resources in the country of Colombia, for instance, … [Read more...] about What Is Kangaroo Care, and How Can It Help Preemies?
Have you ever left your OB-GYN’s office completely confused by all the genetic testing she has offered? You are not alone. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and there are many (often expensive) tests available to women during pregnancy. I hope to help you navigate through these options, to understand which tests may be of benefit to you and your unborn baby, and which … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know about Genetic Testing
You have probably heard of a mosquito transmitted virus called Zika, which has been associated with severe birth defects when pregnant women have been affected, and you may wonder how much of a risk this poses to you and your unborn baby. Although infection with the virus has been associated with babies born with a small head and brain abnormalities (microcephaly) in some … [Read more...] about Should I Be Worried about a Zika Infection?
So, you are going to have a baby. As excited as you are, picturing your baby in your arms, you are likely somewhat anxious about what you will experience in order to get there! That is natural. It can be hard to picture how your baby will get from “in there” to “out here.” But don’t worry; your body was designed for this. You are tougher than you know! And the rewards at the … [Read more...] about Labor and Delivery Q&A
Childbirth support is becoming more commonplace in America. This is fantastic news for women. Having the right support during labor and delivery can make the difference between a labor experience that is peaceful and empowering and one that is tense and scary. Navigating what type of support to have and whom to hire can be almost as daunting as the approaching labor and … [Read more...] about Do You Need a Monitrice or a Doula?
Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it is also a time to be focused on staying healthy—not only for you, but also for the child who is growing within you. It is possible to take care of both yourself and your baby while also keeping the costs down. Before the baby comes—and if possible, before you become pregnant—talk to your doctor about your health status, and get … [Read more...] about Keeping Up with Your Prenatal Health
Morning sickness is a common negative effect of pregnancy. Here are some tips for dealing with morning sickness: Sleep Well, Eat Healthily, and Keep Up Your Fluids Give yourself plenty of time to get out of bed, eating something in the morning so that you have food in your stomach, drinking lots of fluids, avoiding spicy and greasy foods right before bed. Try … [Read more...] about 4 Tips for Dealing with Morning Sickness
Giving birth can be a gratifying, empowering, and affirming experience. It can also be a fearful, confusing, and difficult experience. Knowing what to expect, understanding what the female body is capable of, and having support make the difference between feeling empowered and feeling confused or scared. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are unique experiences that require … [Read more...] about What to Expect During Labor? A Birth Doula Explains
One in three women will experience pregnancy loss. This is a staggering number. Sadly, most of these women will experience a miscarriage, late miscarriage (sometimes called a demise by doctors), or stillbirth without any support. They will be alone, emotionally and physically. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If this is your experience, we are sorry for your … [Read more...] about Whatever You Need Is OK When Dealing with Pregnancy Loss
No one enjoys getting shots, but vaccines are extremely important when it comes to quality of life and disease prevention. This article is aimed to help you understand the why, how, and when of vaccines before you rush to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Why Vaccinate? The most basic reason to vaccinate your children is vaccines prevent deadly diseases, such as polio, … [Read more...] about Vaccines 101
There are many different options for bringing your child into this world. Obstetricians have completed four years of medical school, and then have trained an additional four years specifically to deliver babies and provide women’s care. Family practice physicians have also completed medical or osteopathic school, but their training in delivering babies may be more … [Read more...] about 6 Options to Consider When Preparing for Childbirth
Before the baby comes—and if possible, before you become pregnant—talk to your doctor about your health status, and get information on how to stay healthy during your pregnancy. Your health care provider may suggest vaccines: Some of the common vaccines for pregnant women are pertussis (whooping cough) and the flu shot. You may also need to get a vaccine for … [Read more...] about What Is Prenatal Care?
Whether you are a new or experienced parent, having a pediatrician that you know and trust is incredibly valuable as you welcome a new baby to your family. When making this important decision, it’s important to think about both the doctor(s) in the practice as well as the nurses and the office staff. Often, you will find that the other people at your pediatrician's office are … [Read more...] about 8 Tips for Choosing a Pediatrician