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All Posts in Category: Women’s Health

Addiction and Babies? Help Us Raise Awareness!

April is Alcohol Awareness Month in the U.S. and a perfect time to raise awareness around prenatal substance abuse and how this affects both the fetus and the newborn. The U.S. has seen a dramatic increase in the past ten years in babies exposed to drugs and alcohol in the womb before birth.  Babies that are born to an addicted mother can suffer from withdrawal once born. Babies can’t consciously abstain. We know this and see stories about this in the news every day. 

The effects are far reaching and for the baby in utero, may result in low birth weight, slow growth, altered development and in some, lifelong health problems.  After the baby is born, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) may require intense intervention in a hospital, perhaps even NICU setting.

Neonates may be exposed to a wide range of substances and it’s hard to know what they may be exposed to due to self-reporting, not knowing the exact components of illicit drugs and wide range of prescription drugs the mother may be taking during pregnancy. All babies do not have withdrawal depending on the length of exposure, the cumulative dose and the baby’s gestational age at birth. Full term babies are more likely to experience withdrawal than preemies.

Symptoms for babies who are experiencing withdrawal often show up within 72 hours of birth, but may not become apparent until a few weeks after delivery. Specific symptoms may vary but include:

  • Irritability 
  • Poor Feeding    
  • High Pitched Crying
  • Fever  
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures  
  • Chronic pain

Most babies get better initially in 5-30 days and treatments for these conditions include:

  • Environmental manipulation (swaddling, holding, low lighting, mother-baby bonding
  • Pharmacologic therapy to wean them off of the  addictive substance
  • Social service intervention as family situations may be complex
  • Providing empathy and support  
  • Close follow up post hospitalization and these substances may affect their development

As with many health care issues, prevention is preferred over later intervention. Early intervention is a critical path to mitigating problems.  Consider:

  • If you are pregnant and on prescriptive drugs that may affect the fetus, notify your provider.
  • If you are pregnant and using, do not quit cold turkey without the direction of your provider, as it may negatively affect the baby.  Ask about medically-assisted treatment.                                           

To help us raise awareness, SHARE THIS MESSAGE to get information into the hands of people dealing with pregnancy and substance abuse.
~Tanya Mack, President
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“March” with Us Toward Greater Gestational Diabetes Awareness!

March 26 is Diabetes Alert Day! It’s a one-day wake-up call reminding everyone to find out you are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

It’s especially important for women who are pregnant to be checked for Gestational Diabetes. It’s a growing epidemic spurred on by increasing obesity in pregnant women.  Gestational Diabetes is caused by an insulin blocking hormone produced by the placenta, which in turn causes high blood sugar during pregnancy.

Here are key takeaways to increase awareness for all pregnant women and their families:

Testing: Gestational Diabetes is detected by an oral glucose tolerance test between 24-28 weeks gestation.

Symptoms:  Pregnant women may have no symptoms or may experience thirst and frequent urination.

Risk Factors:  Being overweight, history of gestational diabetes during a past pregnancy, delivery of a baby weighing over 9 lbs., PCOS (hormonal disorder), family history of Type 2 Diabetes

Potential Complications:  Mom – pre-eclampsia, Type 2 diabetes later in life; Baby premature birth, stillbirth, jaundice, higher than normal weight

Treatment: Treating gestational diabetes comes down to one key factor: controlling your blood sugar. It is very important to monitor your blood glucose level closely throughout pregnancy to ensure that your blood sugar remains in your target range. This is accomplished by:

  • Eating wisely. Pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat. Seek professional help to develop a meal plan that’s full of good-for-you and good-for-the-baby foods.
  • Physical Activity. When you’re active, your body uses more glucose, doesn’t need as much insulin to transport the glucose, and your body becomes less insulin resistant. Since your body isn’t using insulin well when you have gestational diabetes, a lower insulin resistance is a very good thing. Physical activity also helps control your weight during pregnancy, keep your heart healthy, improve your sleep and even reduce stress and lighten your mood. After checking with your doctor about what’s safe to do while you’re pregnant, try to get at least 30 minutes of activity every day… anything that gets you moving rather than sitting.
  • Insulin/Medications. Most people are able to control blood glucose levels through adjustments in diet and exercise. However, 10-20% of women with gestational diabetes may require insulin or another medication to assist your body in regulating your blood glucose level. These medications are safe for your baby.

Don’t be anxious!  Be informed!  Contact your OB provider to get tested!

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World Prematurity Day Highlights Education and Technology As Solutions

World Prematurity Day is Saturday November 17, a day designed to draw attention to the more than 380,000 babies who are born too soon in the United States every year. Alabama’s pre-term birth rate is 12%, as published in the annual report from the March of Dimes, earning the state a grade of “F” which is unchanged from the previous year.  Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery, Women’s Telehealth and Dr. Anne Patterson have launched a new MFM Clinic to support expecting Moms in the prevention of premature births.  Please click the link below to view the WSFA news report.

http://www.wsfa.com/2018/11/15/world-prematurity-day-raises-awareness-education-about-babies-born-too-soon/

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Women’s Telehealth Selected as a 2018 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge Winner

ATLANTA – November 5, 2018  Women’s Telehealth is a recipient of a $5,000 grant in the annual Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC), a grant program designed to engage small- and medium-sized businesses in metro Atlanta in the development of international sales plans.

Companies from all over the 29-county region, ranging in size from pre-revenue startups to small and established medium-sized businesses, applied to the program. Thirty companies were selected in the competition and will each receive a grant of $5,000 to apply towards the growth of their international business.

Women’s Telehealth is thrilled to be in receipt of The Atlanta MEC grant and plans to use this funding to make technology enhance to benefit the launch and relationships associated with Project Echo to decrease  maternal and infant mortality rates in our partner countries.

Women’s Telehelath provides high risk obstetric service  via telemedicine.

To see the full list of grant awardees, click here

The Atlanta MEC is one of many ways to engage small- and medium-sized companies in metro Atlanta in the development of their international business. Over the last two years, the program has given out more than $400,000 to metro Atlanta companies thanks to the generous sponsorship of JPMorgan Chase & Co, which again contributed $100,000 to this year’s program. Additional sponsorship came from the Metro Atlanta Chamber, UPS, Johnson Controls and Partnership Gwinnett.

“JPMorgan Chase is pleased to help metro Atlanta businesses grow in the international economy,” said David Balos, head of JPMorgan Chase’s Middle Market Banking group in Georgia. ‘’These grants will help companies spend time in their target markets to meet with distributors, partners, and potential customers. Seeing metro Atlanta companies grow their international business will consequently lead to job creation and growth of the metro Atlanta economy.”

The Atlanta MEC is being implemented by ORBATL, a regional partnership of metro Atlanta public and private leaders that enables businesses to grow in the global economy through trade and foreign direct investment.

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Dr. Dinsmoor Joins Women’s Telehealth

Women’s Telehealth welcomes Dr. Mara J. Dinsmoor to our telemedicine practice.  Dr. Dinsmoor earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and went on to earn her Medical Doctor’s degree from Indiana University. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont and completed a fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Dinsmoor also holds a Masters Degree in Public Health.  After completing her fellowship, she joined the faculty at the Medical College of Virginia (now Virginia Commonwealth University) where she worked for 12 years.  She became a tenured Associate Professor and was the Head of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Division.  Her research interests while there were HIV in pregnancy and group B streptococcus.  In 2001, Dr. Dinsmoor returned to the Midwest and has been with NorthShore University HealthSystem for the past 17 years, reaching the rank of Clinical Professor.  Her primary research focus at NorthShore has been the NICHD Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit Network studies. We are proud to have such an accomplished physician join Women’s Telehealth.

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Mother’s Day Kicks Off National Women’s Health Week!

Mother’s Day, yesterday, kicked off the 19th annual National Women’s Health Week- and oh, we women are often taking care of everyone but ourselves, right?! The smallest changes often make big differences so we are encouraging ALL women to say “YES” to one step toward better health and it may be easier than you think. Here are some beginning steps to consider:
*Call and make an appointment for your annual well woman check-up and preventative screen.
*Eat healthier this week.
*Get some extra (or even normal) sleep.
*Think safety: wear your seatbelt and don’t text while driving!
For more tips, follow: #NWHW or share your story at #WhatIWishIdknown

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