Little Tips That Can Make A Big Difference For A Woman’s Body

Dr. Lori Gore-GreenEvery woman has her little tips for keeping healthy and making sure that she’s making the right decisions for her body.

For some, it’s staying hydrated and consistently ingesting water.  For others, a healthy lifestyle means creating iron-rich diets to boost and replenish the body during  and following menstruation. Also, others opt to steer clear of canned and oversized, sweetened caffeinated beverages, aware that it’s frequently overwhelmed with sugar. Instead, they consume strong cups of coffee and fragrant teas.  There are several ways a woman can help boost her health, and here are some of them:

The Scale Isn’t God

While some women obsess about the number on a scale, others recognize that health isn’t dependent on those fluctuating numbers. Being in good health means much more than maintaining a healthy weight. Also, some other matters of importance of high blood pressure, bone and brain health, and other things. By documenting details about your eye health and your weekly exercise efforts, your victories, large and small, will be readily accessible.

Drink Milk

While drinking milk doesn’t promise to prevent fractures, but it does ward off osteoporosis. Regular milk and fortified alternatives truly does the body good.

Sleep More

Men require approximately 20 minutes less sleep than women. The reason for this is because women are more prone to multitasking, thus they require more recovery time. Physicians suggest that women try to make it bed before their male partners.

Work It

It’s said that exercise not only helps you to shed undesired pounds, but it helps to fight off gestational diabetes. More than that, the endorphins released when you exercise can give your mood an upswing. So, try out swimming, Zumba, yoga, running, and/or pilates.

Seek Balance

Balance is different for everyone. Each woman tends to know her limits, even when she temporarily rebels against them (i.e. pulling an all-nighter). Anxiety and depression, as well as physical ailments, can arise when one doesn’t attend to their mental health. Seeking out traditional therapists, or utilizing newfangled apps, such as HeadSpace, are tried and true ways to incorporate mental wellness into your everyday schedule.

Schedule It Out

Spontaneity is so passé;. Instead, make a schedule to pencil in your gym time, as well as  time for self-care. By making a place for self-care you promise that you’ll be able to visit with your child at his/her baseball game, and you demonstrate to you children how one should organize time, demonstrate responsibility, and prioritize oneself. Also, be sure to pay yourself healthy treats to enjoy wherever you be, as to keep yourself from making rash decisions when it comes to snacks and meals.

While there are countless other tips that can be shared to help women to improve their health, the aforementioned six tips can be used to guide anyway.

Summer Bliss: 6 Tips for a Healthier and Happier Summer for You and Your Body

16937042916_1f0d5765c5_bThe warm summer season has its perks: sun-kissed skin, freeing clothing, and warmth in spades. The sunbaked days unveil an opportunity to shed layered clothing and jackets; simultaneously, countless individuals take to their gyms, parks, and neighborhoods as they attempt to shed pounds in favor of beach-readied bodies. During these hot days, it’s vital that women, men, and children proceed cautiously, consuming water and submitting themselves to safe practices, ensuring that they avoid sun damage during outdoor hours.

Extended, cumulative exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays do a bit more than contribute vitamin D. That direct sun exposure can lead to incidences of skin cancer, with basal and squamous cell carcinoma outpacing incidences of all other cancers combined. More than sun safety, the summer sparks concerns around heat illness, food safety when grilling, swim safety and avoiding bugs.

In addition to increasing water consumption to decrease the risk of heat exhaustion and avoiding bugs to curb the contraction of viruses or illnesses, women should commit to the following actions that promise to maximize comfort during stifling summer days and night, and prevent illness and injury. Be prepared to yourself during warmer weather, vacations, and pool time.

Purchase sunscreen/sunblock: Using sunblock can help to save your son from malformations caused by sun damaging. Skin cancer, which is on the rise, can be life threatening, but more commonly it threatens the quality of life. Members of the public can continue to enjoy outdoor activities, but taking proper care of one’s skin is a matter of being proactive and informed. So, apply it every day, reapply it every three hours all over, including your face, your hands, your scalp, and under your bathing suit (the SPF of regular clothing is only 5 to 6). This important because UV radiation will destroy sunscreen over time, and water will rinse it from you. Avoid sunscreens that are too fragrant, too greasy, or too expensive. Any sunscreen with the protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater should do the trick.

Don’t Use Tanning Beds: Golden skin is certainly attractive, but tanning beds increase the risk of melanoma by 75 percent. Also, tanning beds deliver cancer-causing radiation, leading to poor health and skin damage.

Keep your immune system up: Warm weather doesn’t mean you should dodge vitamins and other supplements. Continue to drink juice, consume vitamins, and get a good amount of rest, so your body is prepared to fight off illnesses and viruses.

Wear Loose Clothing: Rather than wearing snug clothing and fabrics that are synthetic, wear underwear that has a cotton crotch and clothing that’s loose-fitting. Additionally, don’t lounge around in wet clothing or a bathing suit, as that isn’t very good for your vaginal health.

Consider Your Vaginal Health: It’s important to urinate frequently, shower often with mild soap, and stay away from vaginal sprays and douches. Douching can upset your natural pH balance and it can irritate the vagina by washing away healthy bacteria. Also, don’t use perfumed products or scented tampons, Also, if you’re experiencing vaginal discomfort, abnormal discharge, and burning during urination. Approximately 75 percent of women will have at least one vaginal infection in their lifetime, and women face additional threat of that during the summer months, where the rise in temperatures leads to a subsequent increase in sweat. Be sure to change your tampons and sanitary napkins to keep the vagina clean and odor-free. Also, keep in mind that any sort of hair removal should take place at least 24-48 hours before enjoying a swim at the beach or the pool.

Take Care of Your Skin: Don’t skimp on your normal skin and hair care regimen. Make sure you consistently clean and moisturize your skin, so it remains supple and shining.

And, remember, hydrate!

Zika Virus Affecting 234 Women Nationwide, No Treatment Available

7469978464_6ebe7c0c7c_bThe Zika virus has continued to spread, and the World Health Organization has recommended that women and couples living in Zika-infected areas should refrain from becoming pregnant in order to limit the risk of giving birth to children with a congenital brain disorder –known as microcephaly, provoked by the virus.

Recently, the WHO indicated that the Zika virus will affect millions of reproductive-aged people in 46 nations where the virus has spread. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked that pregnant women and those trying to conceive not travel to Zika-plagued areas –although such requests frequently ignore certain realities. Approximately 25 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million population will likely be infected by Zika virus by the year’s end. With that said, scientists have not expected that outbreak will spread to the continental United States.

Zika virus is commonly spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus. This can be transmitted by having sex with another person, and mothers can infect infants, who face high rates of microcephaly, which is a disorder characterized by unusually small heads and severe brain damage. Avoiding pregnancy is nearly impossible for certain women living in Zika-infected areas.

In Caribbean and Latin American countries, 58 percent of pregnancies are unattended. These countries also have some of the most restrictive and harshest reproductive health laws. Contraception is far too pricey in these areas, likewise, clinics are too far and many young people avoid contraception because of stigma regarding promiscuity, which all increases the likelihood of childbirth. Additionally, abortion is restricted and banned in many areas. What must also be considered are the number of young women raped each year in Latin America, an estimated 1.6 million.

Unintentionally, women will become present, so it’s up to the government to educate the public and make essential resources available whenever necessary, making it easier for women to avoid pregnancies. According to the New York Times, the Zika virus has not only spread from Brazil into the Carribean, but women and unborn children in the U.S. also face a threat. There are three essential tests used to detect the virus. If a woman tests positive for Zika, there’s no treatment, but doctors will be able to perform several ultrasounds to detect issues in fetal development.

According to the New York Times, there are now 234 pregnant women in the continental U.S. carry the Zika virus. Beyond that, the problem facing health providers is the fact that many who require testing, large numbers of women, many uninsured or low-income immigrants from the Caribbean and Latin America, are not being screened or tested sufficiently.

Beyond that, data isn’t kept on many women who’ve traveled to Zika areas. Conversely, women from higher-income neighborhoods are far more likely to be tested. Risks are mounting as the summer draws nearer and mosquitos carry the virus to Florida and other states along the Gulf of Mexico, where there will most likely be cases of transmission. All reported cases of the virus in the U.S. have been contracted elsewhere –including the three babies born in the U.S. with the disease, and the recent loss of three babies that occurred due to the virus.

The CDC will publish weekly updates, offering pregnancy outcome data:  www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/pregnancy-outcomes.html.

Contraception, Reproductive Health Are Economic Issues

Opened_Oral_Birth_ControlFor parents within the United States, particularly women, reproductive health is an economic issue. Both mothers and fathers are quick to describe parenthood as a life-changing feat, an adventure, or the most fulfilling commitment you’ll ever have, but they rarely readily address the countless expenses attached to parenthood.

From birth until adulthood, children can cost parents approximately $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation) for middle-income, husband-wife families, according to the latest annual “Cost of Raising A Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Expensive, particularly during the time of economic instability, children can add to financial struggle. That’s in addition to the emotional investment that’s tied to the decision to start a family and put parenthood planning into action. The ability to decide and plan for a family drives major economic conversations, which is why the decision of politicians and policymakers pointedly affects women, impacting personal freedom and contraception access, which is directly tied to economic security.

Economic security is fundamental for survival, whether one is choosing to have a family or not, particularly for contraception-users who are sexually active and of childbearing age. Nonetheless, state legislation sometimes misses the importance of access to reproductive care, including birth control and abortion. Of course, this shrugs off the fact that health care and birth control is very important to many American women, who want control over their reproductive health.

American women have face challenges in this regard, dealing with restricted access to healthcare, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and stripping public funded health programs –which is an affront to the basic economic realities. Approximately 70 percent of voters recognize that true economic security lies with access to affordable reproductive healthcare, as well as equal pay, paid time off to care for families, and affordable childcare.

Across political parties and races, constituents feelings about abortion care, but there’s a recognizable understanding that the ability to plan is piped directly to Millennial’s core economic values and the needs of multicultural communities. Also, approximately 76 percent of all voters believe that access is necessary for basic economic survival. Likely because there’s an involved connection, linking reproductive care and major economic discussion.

Beyond conversations around reproduction health care, women are breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and HIV tests, and reduction in funding for women’s reproductive care hit multicultural communities hardest. Reproduction care is more than a woman’s issue and social issues, it’s a freedom issue, a family issue, a values issue, and an economic issue.

Evolution of Wearable Technology: Women Can Track Fertility Levels, Stop Menstrual Cramps

Apple_Watch-Beyond pedometers, fitness and health trackers are doing a great job of helping to improve the lives of women and men.

Wearable technology has achieved something incredible,  incorporating advanced electronic technologies with clothing. In some cases, this is called “tech togs,” while other refer to it as “fashion electronics.” No matter what you called it, it’s been recognized that wearable technology is being used to boost the health of women.

Women face specific health issues, which stand apart from health issues faced solely by men. More and more, businesses are looking to meet the unique needs of women, developing and perfecting wearable technology that intends to keep them healthy. These technologies aren’t restricted to tracking running and walking, smart fitness clothing and wearable technology to track fertility levels and other things that a technician would be required for.

Livia

Livia, for instance, is a gadget that promises to stop menstrual cramps, which is debilitating for some women. Drug-based pain relief can be temporarily sufficient, but doesn’t help quite as much as it should and could become expensive. Livia targets ‘the pain gates’ and attempts to close them. This is done by stimulating the nerves involved, and blocking pain signals being sent to the brain. The compact device can fit comfortably on a waistband while two electrodes are applied to the abdomen to put an end to the pain. The USB-chargeable device has no side-effects, and can last about 15 hours.

Elvie and OhMiBod’s Lovelife krush

Whether you’re attempting to recover from childbirth or improve your bladder and bowel control, pelvic floor exercises are likely quite beneficial to you. Elvie, which is a tampon-like device provides pelvic floor workouts in five-minute increments. In conjunction with a cell phone, users can control program and strength rating before they complete kegel exercises. The device is able to meet the needs of different body types and ‘skill levels.’ As kegel muscles strengthen, the device adapts and become gradually more difficult in order to encourage and track progress. OhMiBod’s Lovelife krush is a similar device, but it has a slight twist. It’s part pelvic floor exercise gadget and part sexual health device. It has built-in sensors, a supplementary app that tracks daily activity, and it has special vibration patterns for sexual intimacy.

The Looncup

The Looncup is a wearable sensor for your period, tracking menstruation volume levels and color variations. The device analyzes the health of a woman’s period, it checks for discrepancies and determines if a visit to the doctor is warranted. This device is made from hypoallergenic silicone, and has a battery life of about six months, and it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other conventional options.

iTBra and OMbra

The iTBra is a smart bra that detects the early signs of breast cancer. The bra can detect if there have been any sudden changes in a woman’s circadian temperature, unveiling abnormal developments within the breast cells. Examinations take anywhere between two and 24 hours, and the results are sent to the wearer’s smartphone or personal computer for future consultation. The detection rate for the iTBra is higher than for mammograms. Also, OMbra is a smart bra, which adapts to body and workout, absorbing pressure and reducing stress on one’s back and shoulders. Feedback is shared on heart rate, cadence, impact, and breathing rate. It perfectly captures how much you push yourself when working out.

The Pilldrill

The Pilldrill is an updated take on the pillbox. As opposed to just housing your pills, this pillbox delivers timely visual and audio alerts for each dose. A user only needs to scan the pill container, and the Pilldrill tracks tablets. The box works in conjunction with a number of other apps, such as Mood Cube, which tracks adverse side effects when switching birth control methods.

The digital resources available to women can truly change their lives and improve their personal health.

New Prenatal Test Warn Expectant Moms About Risk Factors Just Nine Weeks Into Pregnancy

Pregnancy

With all of the concerns about how various activities and foods will impact the baby, pregnant women have a lot to worry about. While every pregnant woman wishes to have a perfect pregnancy, this is not always possible. And if something does go wrong, it’s best to know as soon as possible. “As soon as possible” has just become a lot sooner thanks to a revolutionary new test called Panorama.

This new prenatal test and can now find abnormalities as early as nine weeks into the pregnancy. Taking this test will take some of the weight off of the shoulders of expecting mothers if there are no abnormalities. If there are some abnormalities, the family will have time to prepare.

So how exactly does it work? Blood is drawn from expectant moms in order to get genetic material from the baby’s placenta. This test can spot defects that can result in Down’s syndrome or other trisomies. It can also find defects that lead to sex chromosome abnormalities and microdeletions, which are the cause of conditions like Angelman and Prader-Willi.

If the results of the test show that there is a high risk for some abnormalities in your baby, there is more that needs to be done. The next step is more testing, such as amniocentesis or the CVS, chorionic villus sampling. If the results show a low risk, the expectant mother may be able to void amniocentesis or other invasive tests.

While it will, of course, be unsettling for an expectant mother to learn that she is high risk, it is ultimately crucial that she find out early, so she can better prepare. If an expectant mother gets back a high-risk result, the mother and her doctor should monitor the pregnancy differently. They will also want to ensure that that the mother is at the best possible location to deliver her baby. This means that she should be near the best specialist and the best NICU possible. This way, her delivery can go as smoothly as possible and the baby can be as healthy as possible.

While the most important aspect of Panorama is, of course, the ability to detect risk factors, it also has a number of other interesting features. For example, parents can detect their baby’s gender early on. It is astounding that a non-invasive surgery that is done with a simple blood test can show this.

One of several cell-free DNA tests on the market, Panorama may give a false positive result. However, out of all prenatal screening tests available, Panorama has the lowest false positive rate for the commonly screened chromosomal abnormalities, trisomies 13, 18 and 21.

Panorama is typically used alongside other routine screening tests such as ultrasounds, and it is typically covered by insurance. With Panorama, expectant mothers who do not have high-risk factors can instead focus on other matters. And those who are at high risk can adjust so that their babies can be as healthy as possible. Panorama is bound to make an incredible difference in the lives of many expectant families.

Speak with your doctor about Panorama and allow your doctor to communicate if this prenatal screening is right for you.

Study: Mashed Potatoes, Potato Chips Contribute to a Higher Risk of Gestational Diabetes Among Pregnant Women

Fingerling_Potatoes,_Pike_Place_Market

Enjoying a potato-rich diet, involving the consumption of potatoes and potato by-products (ex. scallop potatoes, au gratin potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato chips, tater tots, hash browns and french fries), could be bad for you if you’re pregnant, according to new research published by The National Institutes of Health. The report asserts that potato-rich diets contribute to a higher risk of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes generally develops during the 24th week of pregnancy, and it’s associated with high blood sugar and high glycemic index food. The British Medical Journal published the study, and it concluded that consuming potatoes more than five times a week increased the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes by 50 percent. The 10-year study examined the health records of 15,632 women between 1991 and 2001. The researchers proceeded to track and evaluate the subject’s consumption of potatoes and other foods, checking in every four years. They tracked incidences of diabetes, verified by medical records and reported by patients. That lengthy study yielded interesting results.

The research authors found that pre-pregnancy consumption of potatoes fundamentally contributes to the increased risk of gestational diabetes, regardless of adjustments to other major risk factors (weight, age, and diet). When following up, it was discovered that 854 women developed pregnancy diabetes. Women who consumed two to four 3.5-ounce servings of potatoes per week were 27 percent more likely to develop pregnancy diabetes, and those who ate five servings of starchy vegetables each week were 50 percent more likely to face a greater risk of developing the condition.

Women who eat fewer potatoes, and consume legumes, whole grains, and other vegetables instead, are 12 percent less likely to develop gestational diabetes.  The study was the first to examine the impact of potatoes on pregnancy.

It’s important to recognize that correlation doesn’t not necessarily equal causation.  Eating potatoes in moderation is fine, but what’s most important is maintaining a balanced diet. It’s the absolute best way to have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

3 Beautiful Resolutions for Your Baby

Dr. Lori Gore-Green

The “New Year, New You” mantra can extend to beautiful newborns, as well as joyful new moms. The arrival of the new year marks a chance for new opportunity, new creation and new adventure. That can be the same for babies, toddlers and older children. Adults aren’t the only ones who benefit from a little change in their lives.

Smile, Laugh and Make Friends

It may seem that newborns should be held closely, fed, cleaned and adored… and that’s about it. However, young children benefit from social interaction with their peers. If they get into the habit of enjoying themselves with others in the same age group, they may develop lasting friendships and they’ll learn the importance of social interaction. 

Sleep!

It may seem that young babies are getting enough rest because they’re always dozing off, but that doesn’t necessary mean that they’re getting a lot of restful sleep. Blocks of sleep should last 6+ hours. But, naps are really nice, too.

Be Confident, Be Happy, Be You

Some babies have a natural inclination to explore the world and take on an adventure. While other babies enjoy music, quiet time or playtime. Encourage your baby to do all the things that make it happy and confident as long as it’s safe and responsible. 

Learn about some addition resolutions here

5 Tips On Recovery After Giving Birth

Dr. Lori Gore-GreenIt’s true, every pregnancy is different. If you talk to any woman who has had more than one pregnancy, she will likely be able to recount distinctive differences between them. That being said, it’s not surprising that “recovery” times from the pregnancy can also vary drastically depending on the woman and depending on the pregnancy itself. Therefore, coming up with a standard checklist for shortening or improving recovery time is difficult, if not impossible. However, there are certain steps that women should take in order to improve or at least better understand their recovery period. 

  1. Talk with your doctor. Check in regularly, and ask what you (specifically) should be looking out for given your pregnancy and medical history. 
  2.  Try to keep a journal. This is great for nostalgia and overall well-being. Keeping a journal is also a good way to track any issues that may be related to the pregnancy or your health.
  3. Take your time. Some women want to snap back in to a rigorous exercise routine and packed daily calendar as soon as that baby cries for the first time. But pace yourself. Your body has been through a lot, and your chances of sleeping through the night are going to be slim to none with your newborn. In addition to that, whether you delivered via a caesarian section or vaginally, you will likely have stitches that need time to heal, and you will also likely have some residual bleeding initially ( while this is normal, make sure that you talk to your physician about what is to be expected). Therefore, make sure that you continue talking to your doctor about what kind of exercise is and is not appropriate for your body at different points in the recovery process. 
  4. Ask for help. Caring for a newborn is exhausting, and sometimes you just need to take a nap, or go for a walk. Make a point to carve out time for yourself to just relax. And when you get overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 
  5. Dr. Lori Gore-GreenNutrition. “Good nutrition” may seem like something somewhat subjective, but this is another topic to discuss with your doctor. Make sure that you are eating enough and eating the “right” things that are nourishing for both you, and your child. 

Remember that recovering from giving birth is a process, and that there may be some changes that won’t necessarily completely recover to their pre-baby state. Think of this recovery time as a chance to give your current body a fresh start and the opportunity to feel nourished and as rested as possible as you embark on this new chapter of your life with a child! Good luck, and make sure to consult with your physician regularly.

5 Ways to Prepare for your Due Date

dr. lori gore-greenImpending parenthood is often a time fraught with a unique blend of excitement, anxiety and a whole host of other emotions. And while many claim that no one is ever fully prepared for parenthood, there are some concrete steps that expectant mothers and their partners can take in the days leading up to delivery. Below are some of the easiest ways to relieve stress related to the delivery process, simply through preparation.

Make a Go Bag

While this may seem fairly obvious, make a point to pack a bag that includes comfortable clothes that are easy to get into (think zip up hoodies, yoga pants, a warm shawl or fleece that you can wrap yourself in) without much movement or effort. I wouldn’t suggest bringing much in the way of jewelry or makeup. Instead pack simple, fragrance free products. The most important thing to include in your to go bag are any medications that you are currently taking or may need to take. Also, don’t forget to include your folder of important documents (outlined below) and extra pairs of underwear . 

Contingency plans

Whether you are having an induced labor or going the natural route, it’s important to have a plan in place for getting to the hospital, but it’s equally important to have a backup plan, and to have a plan for your other responsibilities. If you have another child or other children, make sure that they also have a go bag so that they can stay with a trusted babysitter or relative while you are in labor and recovering. Discuss the time frame for your expected delivery and make sure that this works with the guardian for your child. Create a document with all relevant information for your child, and for you. Do this well in advance so that you don’t have to worry about it when you are focusing on the delivery, and make a point to email a copy and give this guardian a printed copy. 

Automate Bill Pay

A month or two before your expected delivery date, make a point to automate or take care of any bills coming up in the next few months. While automated bill pay is a convenience that you may already take advantage of, if you haven’t started, now is a great time to try it. This way, you won’t have to worry about bills getting paid on time while your focus is elsewhere. You can always change this option once you are home, but the more things that you can automate while you are focusing on this birth, the better. Also, consider sharing your bill pay or “errand” calendar with your partner or a trusted confidante if you don’t have time to finish these tasks prior to delivery.

Important Documents

While this may seem like the last thing on your mind as you approach your labor day, this is something that will reduce paper-work related-stress, and will serve you well even after the birth of your child. Early on, I recommend that you create a folder that includes copies of all important documents including a copy of your government-issued ID, a copy of your Health Insurance Card(s), a sheet that lists all of your current doctors and medications that you are taking – as well as any allergies. Additionally print out a sheet that includes your emergency contacts and their information. Also keep an updated copy of your will and any pertinent instructions regarding end of life care. Keep this information in a folder in your go bag, and leave a copy at home or in your safety deposit box and/or with your partner or family member(s). Make sure your partner or hospital companion keeps an eye on this folder once you arrive. While this may seem like a somewhat somber set of documents to procure in the midst of your pregnancy, it is all a part of being responsible for both your health and the health of your child. Talk to your doctor and ask if there is any other information that would be relevant to have on hand, or if there is any way to share this information beforehand (to cut back on the number of items you bring with you).

Be Kind to Your Body

Although this means different things to different people, there are certain things that you should do for yourself throughout your pregnancy. Finding ways to exercise regularly (from yoga, to walking to more aerobic workouts, always make sure you consult with your doctor and listen to your body). Make a point to meditate. Drink lots of water and eat healthy whole foods. Visit your doctor regularly, and never be afraid to ask any questions. And most importantly, find ways to de-stress your daily life.

There are a number of other ways that you can prepare for your child’s arrival. Preparing your home before you go to the hospital or birthing center is also a huge component of preparing for the birth. For more information on how to prepare, do your research and talk to your doctor.