Posts Tagged ‘women’s health’

Have you made your health a priority yet?

Monday, May 9th, 2016

nurse measuring blood pressureThis week is National Women’s Health Week – a time to make your own health a priority.  As mothers, women often put their families’ needs first. But remember, it’s difficult to take care of others if you are not feeling well yourself.

If you’re like me, work, responsibilities and obligations often get in the way of my health goals. So in honor of this week, I have scheduled a well-woman’s checkup with my health care provider. Getting that appointment on the calendar (in pen!) will enable me to keep it there regardless of the other errands I know I have to run.  Even if you feel healthy now, at your well-woman’s exam you can talk to your provider about ways to stay healthy in the future.

Here are some tips to help put your health on the priority list:

  • Schedule a well-women’s visit with your provider. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the well-woman visit is considered a preventive service and is covered by most health plans with no cost to you.
  • Don’t have health insurance? Read our article for info on how to get started.
  • Get active and eat well. Keep those ice cream dates to a minimum.
  • Mental health is just as important as physical health. Get enough sleep and manage your stress.
  • If you smoke, now is the time to quit.

Click on your age to take steps for better health. Follow #NWHW on Twitter for more tips.

Midwifery – What does a midwife do?

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

midwifeThis is National Midwifery Week, created by the American College of Nurse Midwives to celebrate and recognize midwives and midwife-led care.

A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.

There are several different types of midwives, each holding different certifications based on their education and/or experience. Certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) attend approximately 93% of all midwife-attended births in the United States, and as of 2010 they are required to have a master’s degree in order to practice midwifery.

Midwifery care fits well with the services provided by obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs), who are experts in high risk, medical complications and surgery. By working with OB/GYNs, midwives can ensure that a specialist is available if a high-risk condition should arise during pregnancy or labor and delivery.

Once your baby is here, a midwife can assist with questions about breastfeeding (it’s not as easy as you think.) Midwives can provide you with health care in the postpartum period and between pregnancies at well woman visits. They can provide pain medications, birth control, screenings and vaccinations. They treat women from the teen years through menopause.

Here is a link to more information about midwives from the American College of Nurse Midwives.

La ovulación

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Did you know the March of Dimes offers Spanish language pregnancy videos too?

Get ready for pregnancy

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Dr. Siobhan Dolan talks with a woman about what she can do before pregnancy to have a healthy, full-term baby.

How to find a midwife

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with advanced, specialized training and experience in taking care of pregnant women and delivering babies. Certified nurse-midwives are licensed to provide care before, during and after delivery.

The American College of Nurse Midwives has great information about midwifery on their web site. You will see that they are primary health care providers to women throughout the lifespan. They perform physical exams, prescribe meds, order lab tests, provide prenatal care, gynecological care, labor and birth care, as well as health education and counseling to women of all ages.

If you are interested in talking to a midwife, the Find a Midwife practice locator is a web-based service that allows you to find midwifery practices in your area. It also supplies you with basic contact information like practice name, address, phone number, e-mail address, web site and a map of the area. Check it out.

Cervical Health Awareness Month

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I was looking through a national health observances calendar the other day and discovered that, among other things, this is Cervical Health Awareness Month.  It was a good reminder to me to schedule an annual check up.

Most women I know don’t relish the thought of having their next Pap smear – I mean really, I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather be doing –  but they do eventually get around to it.  I remember as a busy mom, however, how easy it was to put myself last.  Yep, I’d take the kids to the doc, get their vaccinations, take the hubby to the optometrist or the dog to the vet… but somehow time easily marched by before I stopped slacking off and remembered to take care of myself.  And then one year when I finally did go, I was shocked to find a bad result which eventually led to surgery.  Not an avenue I’d recommend.

Did you know that some cervical surgery may cause a condition known as cervical insufficiency that can lead to premature birth?   Vaginal infections, like Group B strep or sexually transmitted infections, can pose special risks for pregnant women and their babies.

So ladies, make sure you get with the program.  Go for your annual check up.  If there is an early sign of an infection or problem, you can nip it in the bud.  It’s important for you, your future children and the family that loves you.

Here’s to you, ladies!

Monday, March 8th, 2010

iwdToday is International Women’s Day, commemorating the great achievements made by women every day, all over the world. Let’s celebrate our womanhood! Learn more about International Woman’s Day.

Image credit: InternationalWomensDay.com

Health info on the Web

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

woman-on-laptopOK, I confess; sometimes, if I’m not feeling well or some part of my body is bothering me, I turn to the Web first to try and find the culprit. I don’t intend to diagnose myself, but sometimes the convenience of having all that information at my fingertips makes it too easy. And I don’t think I’m alone. The Washington Post published an article earlier this month on the increasing use of the Internet to search for health topics. The article also mentions a new term, “cyberchondriac,” which is similar to a hypochondriac except that the person uses the Web to further her fears and anxiety about her health. Thankfully, that’s not me!

But even though I’m turning to the Web for more information, I try not to let my amateur medical research get in the way of me seeing my health provider regularly or when there’s a problem. While the Internet can be a useful tool, there’s also a lot of junk out there, so I try to make sure that the information I’m getting is from a good source.

Here are some tips that can help you know if a Web site is a good source for health information:

• Find out who sponsors the Web site. Knowing what organization or company pays for the site can help you determine if the site’s information is credible.

• Look at the Web address to know what kind of organization it is. Government sites end in .gov; educational institutions end in .edu; professional organizations (scientific or research) end in .org; and business or commercial sites end in .com. Some health Web sites that end in .com can offer credible information (for example, hospitals or health organizations). Be sure that the .com site discloses any sponsorship for its health information or if it endorses any products or services.

• Science and medical recommendations change over time. Make sure the Web site and information is updated frequently and lists when the information was last revised.

• Information on the site should be based on facts and able to be verified. Any opinions should be clearly identified as such.

Some good Web sources for health information include:
www.CDC.gov
www.WomensHealth.gov
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/
www.MarchofDimes.org
www.MayoClinic.org

ACOG revises Pap smear recommendations

Friday, November 20th, 2009

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) today announced new guidelines on Pap smears and cervical cancer screenings. The organization says that women can wait until they’re age 21 to have their first Pap tests. ACOG also says that women between the ages of 21 and 30 should have a Pap test and cervical cancer screening once every two years instead of once every year. Women aged 30 and older who’ve had no previous complications in their last three screenings can have a Pap test once every three years.

The organization revised its recommendations based on the latest research about Pap tests and cervical cancer rates, showing that most cervical cancer cases come from women who don’t regularly see health care providers. ACOG also says that data shows testing at two and three year intervals can be just as effective at preventing cervical cancer.

While these recommendations represent a shift in women’s health care, talk to your health provider about what is best for you.

Moms benefit from breastfeeding, too

Friday, April 24th, 2009

breastfeeding-picWe know that breastfeeding is the best food for most babies. But did you know that breastfeeding can have benefits for moms, too?

The New York Times recently reported on a study showing that women who breastfeed at some point during their lives have a lower chance of facing high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease later on in life. And the longer a woman breastfeeds her baby, the better her chances are of avoiding these health issues during her lifetime. It’s still not clear how this relationship works, but it’s one more reason to breastfeed if you can!