Women's Health and Issues

This Isn't What I Expected… Postpartum Depression

November 1, 2010

Mom and babyThis guest article is by Elizabeth Greason, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of perinatal mood disorders, trauma, attachment and parenting issues.

During the past two weeks have you:

  • Felt nervous, anxious, or worried?
  • Felt so unhappy that you seem to be crying all the time?
  • Felt like you were going crazy?
  • Had recurrent thoughts that you are not a good mother?
  • Felt scared that you will never feel happy again?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be suffering from a form of postpartum depression. The term “postpartum depression” actually describes a continuum of postpartum emotional and physical reactions ranging from the common and relatively mild “baby blues” that resolve in a few days to the rare and extreme cases of “postpartum psychosis”. It can occur anytime during the first year postpartum. Affecting 10–20% of expectant and new mothers, postpartum depression is a common complication of pregnancy and is a treatable medical illness.

Nurturing the Bond With Your Baby

October 18, 2010

Mom and new babyThis guest article is by Marin pediatric nurse practitioner, lactation consultant, and mom Annie St. John.

We all have it. It’s that inner wisdom. Our intuition. We sometimes just don’t know how to tap into it. Especially when it comes to parenting. We often feel too overwhelmed, scared, and exhausted, so we doubt that inner wisdom. Don’t doubt it. It is the key component when it comes to bonding with your baby. Your baby.

Just as we need that wisdom and intuition, we also need resources. “Resources” is defined as:

  • One’s personal attributes that sustains one in certain circumstances.
  • The ability to find avenues to overcome difficulties.
  • Assets that can be drawn on by a person in order to function effectively.

Once your baby is born, it all comes down to feeding your baby and getting to know your baby. During your daily routine of countless cycles of feeding, burping, calming, swaying, swaddling, changing, and sleeping, you, as the parent, start to gain confidence. Your confidence arises from realizing that you do have the resources (either within yourself, from your spouse or partner, or from an outside support person). From that realization you are able to nurture your relationship with your baby and build upon that bond.

Premenstrual Syndrome: The Curse Within the Curse

October 11, 2010

In this guest article, Mill Valley naturopathic doctor Lisa Brent, ND, LAc offers some suggestions for treating PMS.

If you are a woman who suffers from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), it might be helpful to know that you are not alone. Of course, if you are a woman who is experiencing PMS as you are reading this, you probably don’t care at all that many other women have similar issues. You may just want to shout some expletives at your computer and then burst into tears. That’s usually how I behave right around the third week of every month. (Well, at other times, too, but I can’t blame that on my period.)

Just for the record, approximately 80% of women experience emotional or physical changes before their menses; among these women, about 20–40% have functional difficulties that have a negative impact on their work, relationships or home lives. More than 150 symptoms have been attributed to PMS. The most common are anxiousness, irritability and anger or mood swings among all three. Some women feel very sad; others feel tired and lethargic. Physical changes include bloating, breast tenderness, food cravings, headache and intestinal upset. There is also a group of women who experience positive changes before their period: enhanced creativity, heightened sexual desire, intellectual clarity and feelings of happiness. But we don’t need to talk bout them.

Questions and Answers About Secondary Infertility

October 4, 2010

This guest article is from our friends at Laurel Fetility Clinic, a local fertility practice with offices in Mill Valley, San Francisco, and Modesto. Visit them online at www.laurelfertility.com.

Secondary infertility is a growing issue among women. According to experts, in 2005 an estimated 3,000,000 people suffered from secondary infertility. Whether you’ve had one child or three children, mothers who are unable to grow their families after conceiving in the past are heartbroken. However, with the success of fertility treatments, more options are available today than ever before. Below is a list of common questions patients have asked at their visit to Laurel Fertility Care. We hope these will help you through your fertility journey before seeing a fertility specialist.

The Importance of Mommy Self-Care

September 14, 2010

Mom and babyThis guest article is by Marin County therapist, writer, and mom Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT.

Whether or not you’re a married, divorced or single mommy, the common tie that binds us together is that we are responsible for loving, caring for, shaping and guiding our children. I can’t think of a more important job! But the reality is that many of us do have other roles and hats we wear each and every day. Aside from mothers you may be wives, girlfriends, friends and caretakers. Some of you probably work full-time and race home to spend precious moments with little ones, others are full-time homemakers managing the logistics of running a household and I’m fairly sure many of you fall somewhere in the middle, doing your best to balance the need for financial stability with the needs of your family. Wherever you are on the continuum…

Five Tips a Fertility Nurse Wishes Her Patients Knew

September 1, 2010

This guest post is from the nurses at Laurel Fertility Care, a local fertility practice with offices in Mill Valley, San Francisco, and Modesto. Visit them online at www.laurelfertility.com.

Throughout patients' fertility journeys, it can be easy to forget the other health practitioners who play a vital role helping patients reach their fertility dreams. At Laurel Fertility Care, one of the most important relationships occurs between the patient and nurse. Every visit to the doctor's office either starts or ends with a check-up with the nurse to ensure that the patient is nurtured emotionally, physically, and mentally. Below is a list compiled by nurses at Laurel Fertility Care of what they encourage patients to understand and think through before agreeing to any treatments.

  1. Understand (and explore) your reproductive system. "Yes, this may sound like your fifth grade health class instructor," commented Laurel Fertility Care nurse May Pepito, "but honestly it is so helpful to know how an average female reproductive system works and how your reproductive system regularly functions. Understanding and educating yourself before going into your fertility doctor's office will save you time and money." For more information, visit WedMD's comprehensive page.

Healing Our Aging Metabolism: Weight Loss and Increased Vitality for Moms

August 30, 2010

This guest article is by Lisa Brent, ND, LAc. Lisa is a naturopathic doctor specializing in women’s health and integrative gynecology at the Owning Pink Center in Mill Valley, CA.

Are you in your early forties and doing everything right, yet gaining weight with every passing year? You aren’t alone. Ask any mom and chances are she will tell you that her metabolism has changed over time, and especially after pregnancy. While we are all guilty of snacking on goldfish scattered on the floors of our cars, most of us do try hard to eat well and get some kind of regular exercise. It is frustrating when these efforts do not produce the results they used to when we were younger.

What’s the root cause of this age 40+ weight gain?

There are two main reasons for this: stress and metabolic compromise. It is well known that metabolism changes over time. Around middle age, many women begin to slowly gain weight even though they have not changed their diet or exercise regimen.

To Sleep, Perchance to… Sleep! The Challenge of Insomnia for Women

July 20, 2010

sleeping mom and babyAre you a mom who has trouble getting enough sleep? You're not alone! In this guest article, Dr. Lisa Brent offers some facts about insomnia and what you can do to combat it and get the rest you need and deserve.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is advice many mothers receive when they bring a new baby home. This is a really great idea, but it is not always so easy to do. For many women, sleep does not come easily, even when they are completely exhausted by the daily (and nightly) demands of motherhood.

Transitioning From One Child to Two: Financial Implications

June 6, 2010

Child number 2 on the wayThere are many factors that go into the decision to grow your family, and affordability is usually one of them. To determine whether or not a second child is financially feasible, you need to consider the costs of raising that child from birth through financial independence, which is hopefully when they graduate college. Here are a few of the largest expenses to evaluate.

Does Size Matter?
Housing-related costs (mortgage, insurance, and property tax) are the largest expenses for most families. In planning for Baby #2, ask yourself if you need (not want) to move to accommodate your growing family.

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