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Breastfeeding: Giving Your Baby Their Best Start in Life

The decision to breastfeed is a personal choice for a mother and her baby, however, research shows many benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby. Breast milk is nutritious, rich in vitamins, and saves time and money. In support of National Breastfeeding Week, below are some of the reasons you may want to consider breastfeeding your baby.

Benefits to babies who breastfeed:

  • Breast milk provides the ideal amount of nutrients and vitamins for babies, and it’s provided in a more digestible form than formula.
  • Breast milk provides important antibodies to fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • The colostrum that is found in breast milk within the first few days of giving birth is rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect the baby from infections, as well as helps the baby’s digestive system function and grow.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma or allergies, and research shows that they have a lower risk of developing ear infections, respiratory illnesses, eczema, diarrhea and vomiting. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding can also help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and it has been thought to lower the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers as a child.

Benefits to mothers who breastfeed:

  • Breastfeeding can help mothers lose their pregnancy weight faster since breastfeeding burns extra calories.
  • Breastfeeding helps the mother and baby bond due to skin to skin contact, the closeness of the mother’s body to the baby, and close eye contact to each other. This closeness is beneficial to both the baby and the mother.
  • Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin which helps the mother’s uterus return to normal size and reduce bleeding after giving birth. It can also help calm the mother emotionally.
  • Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis as well as breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding saves time and money since there is no cost involved, nor time spent washing and sterilizing bottles and nipples.

Breastfeeding is a personal choice that a mother should make without being influenced by friends or family. There are many benefits, but there may also be some challenges, such as sore nipples, the baby not latching on, or not producing enough milk. Seek counsel from your health care provider, family members, or other mothers if these challenges arise. If breastfeeding is the right choice for you, it can help give your baby their best and healthiest start in life.

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Top Docs Radio Show with Dr. Dorothy Mitchell-Leef on Infertility

This week’s Top Docs Radio Show featured Women’s Telehealth President, Tanya Mack, and Dr. Dorothy Mitchell-Leef, an expert in infertility. Dr. Mitchell-Leef has helped parents give birth to over 8,000 babies. Tanya and Dr. Mitchell-Leef discussed some of the common causes of infertility, along with treatments available today. Click here to listen: http://businessradiox.com/podcast/topdocs/infertility/

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Top Docs Radio Show About Women’s Health

Check out this week’s Top Docs Radio Show about women’s health with Women’s Telehealth President, Tanya Mack, and Dr. Hugo Ribot of Cartersville OB-GYN. The show show focuses on three areas: Laparoscopic Surgery, Maternal Fetal Telemedicine in the OB office and Zika virus recommendations for pregnant women. Click here to listen: http://businessradiox.com/podcast/topdocs/minimally-invasive-gynecologic-surgery/

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Top Docs Radio Show with CareSource

Beginning, July 1st, CareSource, an Ohio based Care Management Organization (CMO) will expand into the Georgia market and begin serving a portion of Georgia’s 1 million Medicaid consumers and become the state’s 4th CMO. They will share an over $4B agreement over the next 6 years with GA’s other CMO providers.

They are unique already as they are the only GA CMO that is non-profit, their top leader is a woman and they are poised to bring some innovative
programs to the Georgia market. Listen in as Women’s Telehealth speaks to top Caresource leaders and hears about their plans: http://topdocs.businessradiox.com/shows/caresource

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Staying Safe Throughout Pregnancy

Most pregnant women worry about what is and isn’t safe during pregnancy. Since June is National Safety Month, here is a list of some tips to keep you safe throughout pregnancy:

  • Drink a lot of water, especially during the hot, summer months to avoid becoming dehydrated.
  • Do not sit for long periods of time to avoid circulation problems.
  • Wear flat, comfortable shoes to avoid slipping or falling. Also, your feet may swell during pregnancy so you should wear what is most comfortable.
  • Always wear seat belts while travelling in cars. Seat belts should fit across your chest and under your belly.
  • Avoid travelling during the last trimester of pregnancy. Most doctors do not recommend flying after 36 weeks of pregnancy when the chance of going into labor is greater.
  • Exercise during pregnancy is usually safe and even recommended to reduce the risk of complications throughout pregnancy. Check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise routine.
  • Eat a nutritious and healthy diet to help with fetal brain development and to reduce to risk of low birth weight and many birth defects.
  • Take prenatal vitamins to provide the extra nutrition that developing fetuses need.
  • Visit your prenatal health care provider regularly to monitor your pregnancy and the baby’s development.

Following these tips will contribute to a safe pregnancy for you and your baby, but be sure to talk to your health care provider about any questions or concerns that may arise throughout your pregnancy.

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Smoking During Pregnancy

There are numerous health risks associated with smoking, and smoking during pregnancy causes health problems for you and your baby. When you smoke, your baby smokes. The poisons you inhale in cigarettes, such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, and lead, cross the placenta and keep your baby from getting the proper nutrients and oxygen needed to grow. Smoking can make it harder to conceive, and smoking during pregnancy can lead to pre-term birth, birth defects, and even infant death.

Smoking during pregnancy can cause the following health problems:

  • Trouble conceiving
  • Increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth
  • Problems with the placenta, such as the placenta separating from the womb too early, which is dangerous to the mother and baby
  • Pre-term birth and low birth weight for the baby, leading to more health problems for the baby
  • Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Increased risk of the baby developing respiratory (lung) problems
  • Increased risk of birth defects, such as cleft lip or cleft palate

Stopping smoking will not only benefit your health, but it will significantly improve your baby’s health as well. Ask your health provider for details on programs to help you quit. START BY OBSERVING WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY – TODAY!

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Obesity During Pregnancy

Obesity during pregnancy causes many risks for both the mother and the baby. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology classifies obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. The higher the BMI, the greater the risk.

The mother may be at risk for the following complications if she is obese during pregnancy:

  • Gestational diabetes: diabetes first diagnosed during pregnancy which may increase the risk of having diabetes after pregnancy. Gestational diabetes also increases the risk of having a cesarean delivery.
  • Preeclampsia: a high blood pressure disorder that can occur during or after pregnancy. Preeclampsia may cause the kidneys and liver to fail as well as lead to seizures, a condition called eclampsia.
  • Problems with diagnostic testing: obese mothers may encounter inaccurate diagnostic screenings such as ultrasound testing due to their size. Some common concerns are not being able to see the baby’s heart or spine development fully, and not being able to see the mother’s ovaries completely to determine if there are any problems.
  • Sleep apnea: a condition in which a person stops breathing for short periods while sleeping. This condition is often associated with obesity and may increase of the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and heart and lung problems.
  • High risk pregnancy: once a mother is determined to be obese and pregnant, she will likely be diagnosed as a high-risk pregnancy and need follow-up with a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist to monitor the pregnancy.

Obesity during pregnancy not only causes complications for the mother, but the baby may be affected as well. The following complications may occur for the baby:

  • Miscarriage: obese women have an increased risk of miscarriage than women of normal weight.
  • Birth defects: babies born from obese women have an increased risk of having heart or neural tube defects.
  • Preterm birth: complications from the mother’s obesity, such as preeclampsia, may result in the baby needing to be born early. Babies born before 39 weeks may suffer from short-term or long-term complications from being born before they are fully developed.
  • Macrosomia: a condition in which the baby is born larger than normal, which can increase the chance of the mother needing a cesarean delivery, or the baby becoming obese later in life.
  • Stillbirth: the more obese the mother, the higher the risk of the baby being delivered stillborn.

Despite the risks, obese pregnant women can have a healthy pregnancy with proper weight management and prenatal care. However, losing weight before becoming pregnant can significantly decrease the risks of complications for both the mother and the baby, and result in a much healthier pregnancy.

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