Not just the Baby Blues

After 9 months of carrying a developing fetus, a child is born.  But happiness doesn’t always follow.  Nearly 12% of women suffer from depression after childbirth, also known as postpartum depression.

 

The Federal Government Source for Women’s Health Information lists a few factors that increase likeliness of postpartum depression:

  • A personal history of depression or another mental illness
  • A family history of depression or another mental illness
  • A lack of support from family and friends
  • Anxiety or negative feelings about the pregnancy
  • Problems with a previous pregnancy or birth
  • Marriage or money problems
  • Stressful life events
  • Young age
  • Substance abuse

Baby blues is depression that lasts about a week, but if the following symptoms persist, postpartum depression is likely present:

  • Thoughts of hurting the baby
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Not having any interest in the baby

Those who find themselves with postpartum depression should find a way to cope that works for them. This may include creating an action plan,  contacting a local mental health service, or consulting a doctor.

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H1N1 (swine flu and you)

Q&As for Pregnant Women and their families

What is the best way to prevent getting the H1N1 virus?

Getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent getting the flu!

Practice healthy behaviors such as washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid being around sick people.

What does theH1N1 vaccine do?

The H1N1 vaccine is a deadened strain of H1N1 virus that is injected into your body. The body immediately  begins to make antibodies to kill the foreign invaders.  When exposed to the same (or similar) virus in the future, the body’s immune system remembers fighting these invaders and sends antibodies to kill the virus.  Getting the H1N1 vaccine will protect both yourself and your baby from H1N1.

What risks are posed to Pregnant women who get H1N1?

Pregnant women who get H1N1 are more likely to be hospitalized that others with H1N1.

Pregnant women are more likely to have serious illness or death because of H1N1.

Which vaccine should I take?

The H1N1 vaccine is approved by the CDC for people six months to 49 years.  This includes pregnant women.  The nasal spray flu vaccine is also available, but not approved for pregnant women.

Protect both yourself and your baby this season by getting the H1N1 vaccine today.  Click here to find a vaccine near you (just enter your zip code).

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Don’t forget the Folic.

 

Folic Acid:  5 things women should know.

1. Folic acid is a type of vitamin that helps the body make new cells, therefore it is vital in the reproduction process.

2. Folic acid prevents major birth defects in developing infants by 50-70%.

3. The CDC recommends that women take 400mg of folic acid daily, beginning at least one month before getting pregnant.

4. Get 100% of your folic through a vitamin or foods that contain folic acid, such as cold cereal (click here for a link to cereals that contain all your daily folic)

5. Hispanic women are the least likely to have heard about and taken folic acid before pregnancy.

For additional information about birth defects or folic acid, visit:

National Council on Folic Acid, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, and March of Dimes

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ONE

Sugar and spice and everything nice.  That’s what these girls are made of.  Their futures look bright.  Someday, they may go to college, marry, have families, travel the world, find cures for disease, and break world records.  But ONE will have a life different from the rest.  Because  ONE will be the victim of rape.

Rape.  Even the word makes us cringe.  Yes, we know it occurs, but what does it mean to us as women?

Rape results in 32,000 pregnancies every year.

91 % of rape victims are female.

29% of rape victims are between the ages of 18 and 24.

About 1 in 4 college age women have been the victim of rape.


Victims are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

Victims are 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Victims are 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.

Victims are 26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

Victims are 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

For more information about rape, prevention, and upcoming events where you can share your voice against rape, check out the organizations below.

National Organization for the Prevention of Rape and Assault

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network

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mirror, mirror

They’re everywhere.  In our homes.  In our cars.  In department stores.  In restrooms. Mirrors are everywhere.  But why do we care so much about changing the image our eyes see when we look in a piece of reflective glass? What are our minds interpreting from the image?  Why do we look in a mirror hoping to see someone other than ourselves? 

Insteadof looking at thier body in a positive way, many young women try to fit society’s ideal body type and size, often through eating disorders. In fact, as many as 1/10 young women suffer from an eating disorder.  The most common being anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. 

Anorexia nervosa

  • fear of gaining weight
  • refusal to keep body weight at normal level
  • avoiding meals and eating
  • may be accompanied by excessive exercise

Bulimia nervosa

  • episodes of binge eating followed by purging
  • sense of lack of control in eating
  • often accompanied by induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or long periods of fasting

If you suspect that you or someone you know has an eating disorder, get help NOW! Take a look at the websites below.

Finding hope

Tips for talking to friends with eating disorders

Symptoms and warning signs

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low-calorie delicious snack?

I’m a breakfast eater.  I always have been.  Cold cereal is great, but I like to mix things up to keep my mornings interesting.  As I strolled through the produce section of a favorite grocery store last week, I found myself staring at a huge pile of  fuzzy brown kiwis.  I love kiwis.  I don’t usually buy kiwis in November, but what really sold me on the idea of adding them to my grocery basket was the price–10 for $1.  I bought 10.  This morning I found myself searching the remains of last weeks groceries to find my kiwis once again.   As I devoured the luscious green fruit, a quandary crossed my mind.  What are the nutrition facts of a kiwi?  I went to my laptop to find out.  The results:

45 calories.

2 grams of dietary fiber.

7 grams of sugar.

120% Vitamin C.

Much better tasting than taking a vitamin C tablet in my opinion. And a low-calorie snack! 

With 100-calorie packs in crackers, chips, cookies, and any other snack food imaginable these days, it is easy to forget that a snack doesn’t have to be prepackage or processed.  Fruit (such as kiwi) and vegetables make wonderful low calorie, nutrient filled snacks. 

Under 100 calories:

  • 1 medium apple (72 calories)
  • 1 plum (30 calories)
  • 1 cups sliced or grated carrots (50 calories)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (100 calories)
  • 2 cups sliced cucumber ( 29 calories)
  • 1 medium orange (62 calories)
  • 1 cup watermelon (46 calories)
  • 3/4 cup grapes (83 calories)
  • 3/4 cup broccoli flowerets (18 calories)

And the list goes on.  The options are as large as your local grocery store produce section (don’t forget the frozen fruits and veggies).  No need to eliminate snacking from your diet, just make your snacks healthy options.

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seatbelt check…ME!

 

My parents were really into wearing seatbelts.  And they wanted us, as their children, to be just as enthused as they were about seatbelt safety.  In order to ensure that each child was wearing thier seatbelt before we began traveling, my mother would call out,

“Seatbelt check!”

As soon as I was buckled, I would call out “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”  This would continue until each of  my siblings were  also calling out “MEEEEEEEEEEEEE”  which signified that we were securely fastened and ready to be on our way. 

My parents knew what they were doing when they encouraged us to wear our seatbelts.  In 2006, car accidents were the leading cause of death for every age 3 through 34.  In one study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, researchers found that of 16,210 people killed or injured in auto accidents in 2002, 10,404 people were not wearing seatbelts.  That’s over 64% not protected by seatbelts! 

You may not be able to control whether or not you find yourself and those in your vehicle in an automobile accident, but you can control the seatbelts usage in your car.  Don’t find yourself as part of the 64% without a seatbelt.

Next time you are in the car, have a seatbelt check of your own. And be sure to call out “MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” when you are securely buckled!

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