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Bananas

bananaBananas are great for pregnant women. Peel it. Mash it. Slice it. Puree it. Get it into your diet. One large banana contains 4 grams of fiber and about 20 percent of your daily vitamin C and vitamin B6 needs.

Many know that bananas are rich in potassium. In fact, they offer 1/4 of your daily needs. Plus they contain 40 mcg of folate which most also know is vital for proper development of the fetal spine. However, you might not realize that the B6 helps regulate sodium and potassium which are often out of balance when moms are vomiting during pregnancy.

Those who run triathalons or work out regularly know that the banana is a perfect food post-exercise. The magnesium and potassium balance fluid levels and do the same for the mother with morning sickness. Their blandness is particularly wonderful on a queasy stomach.

Not sure I was even aware that bananas are full of phytochemicals such as myricetin, a potent antioxidant that is thought to help lower blood sugar, and beta-sitosterol, which helps lower bad cholesterol.

Toss them in the blender with some yogurt and a cup of crushed ice and you’ll have a tasty and healthy smoothy.

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Balancing Breast & Bottle: Reaching Breastfeeding Goals

A book review by Sarah O’Neill Bailey.

Author Amy Peterson BS, IBCLC and Mindy Harmer MA, CCC-SLP

imabbgesThis excellent book is aimed at mothers returning to work or to school who need reassurance and information on how to best combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The book is divided into chapters which discuss particular concerns most new mothers facing a separation from Baby will have- getting off to a good start with breastfeeding and pumping, when and how to introduce Baby to the bottle, which bottles to use, how to avoid nursing or bottle strikes and even what to do when Baby develops a preference for one over the other. It assumes some general breastfeeding knowledge but does include some important reminders about the rules of supply and demand and other tips for initiating a successful breastfeeding relationship. The well researched information on bottles and nipples will be appreciated by any mom who has stood in the aisles of the supercenter and wondered at the array of choices available. The information on breast pumps is invaluable, including selection criteria depending on your needs and sample schedules for pumping which should work for women in many different situations. The author also offers excellent information on breast milk storage. What is most appreciated about this book is the reassurance that moms CAN combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding to meet their personal goals. With the information on choosing a nipple provided in this book, moms can avoid common problems which contribute to nipple confusion. Several helpful appendices offer specific nipple brand advice and flow classifications. Believe Midwifery Services, LLC is happy to be able to include this book in our library and to offer the information it provides to our clients within a new class specific to balancing breast and bottle. Watch for further information soon.

The companion website is helpful and is found at http://www.breastandbottlefeeding.com/Home.php

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a disruptive neurologic disorder that seriously affects 2-3% of the adult population. RLS results in an irresistible urge to move the legs which is accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs. Many describe this feeling as jerking, creepy crawlies, tugging or pulling. Because RLS most often occurs in the evening, it can severely disrupt sleep and reduce quality of life.

How do I know if I have RLS?

If you think you have Restless Leg Syndrome, speak with your primary healthcare provider. Your nurse-midwife, nurse-practitioner or physician will look for these five criteria for making a diagnosis:

  • Strong urge to move legs which can’t be really be resisted
  • Symptoms start or become worse when you are resting
  • Symptoms get better when you move your legs. Relief persists as long as the movement continues.
  • RLS symptoms are worse in the evening especially when you are resting
  • The urge to move legs and any unpleasant sensations cannot be explained by another condition, such as leg cramps, positional discomfort, leg swelling, or arthritissore leg

What causes RLS?

Research is ongoing and growing especially more recently. Researchers have discovered gene variants that contribute to the risk for RLS. While it does run in families, it can also present as a result of another condition, such as pregnancy, anemia, low iron levels, endstage renal disease with dialysis, and peripheral neuropathy.

What treatments are available?

There are no lab tests for confirming the diagnosis of RLS, although many providers will check iron levels and/or potentially order sleep studies. Ruling out other disorders is the first step.

There is no cure; however, there are many nonpharmaceutical and pharmaceutical therapies that help ease symptoms. Your healthcare provider may choose medications that increase the chemical dopamine levels in the brain, or choose an epileptic medication, an opioid pain reliever, or offer a sleeping aid. Our practice will first encourage testing of the neurotransmitters so we better understand what chemistry is off balance, rather than assuming and medicating inappropriately. We can also discuss herbal, homeopathic and essential oil therapies.

Common antihistamines and some antidepressants can make symptoms worse. A regular exercise schedule can improve symptoms, as well as engaging your mind when symptoms begin. Eliminate alcohol and caffeine from the diet. Get to bed on time. Fatigue can make symptoms worse.

What if I’ve been misdiagnosed?

Because there is no specific test for diagnosing RLS and because there are a number of disorders that mimic this disorder, misdiagnosis is possible. Nocturnal leg cramps awaken people during their sleep, are painful and may cause a person to get out of bed at night; however they affect a specific area of the calf or sole of the foot. These are sometimes called charley horses, and are the result of a muscle spasm lasting from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Interestingly, RLS in children is associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Up to 25% of children with ADHD also have RLS, sleep apnea, and/or periodic limb movements. This may actually contribute to worsening symptoms of ADHD. They may not sleep well, twitch, or need to get up suddenly and walk around. Some evidence suggests the link is related to a deficiency in dopamine.

Anxiety can also cause sleep disturbances, pacing, and the need to walk around at night. Treating the underlying anxiety may resolve symptoms.

Peripheral neuropathies are nerve disorders that can produce burning, tingling, pain, and/or shooting sensations in the limbs. Diabetes is certainly a cause of painful peripheral neuropathies, although alcoholism, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, amyloidosis, HIV infection, kidney failure, and certain vitamin deficiencies. Peripheral neuropathies though, are not typically associated with restlessness, a key component of RLS. Movement does not relieve pain associated with peripheral neuropathies either, and symptoms are persistent, day or night.

Less commonly, akathisia or meralgia paresthetica may be to blame. Akathisia is a state of restlessness or agitation, described as muscle quivering. This sensation occurs at any time and more often when a sufferer is sitting (not lying down as with RLS). Typically this is caused by drugs used to treat schizophrenia or other psychoses, or anti-nausea medications. This condition can also present with medications used to treat Parkinson’s are withdrawn. Meralgia paresthetica on the other hand, causes a numbness, pain, tingling, or burning on the front and side of the thigh and is typically limited to one side or the other. A chiropractor is the best source of relief, as this condition is caused by compression of the thigh nerve as it passes through the pelvis as a person is sitting.

I am pregnant and have RLS.

Penny, our midwife, can identify with this those that suffer with RLS, as she had this disorder with her last four pregnancies, and it never completely resolved after her fifth. Twenty percent of women, in fact, suffer with RLS although it typically resolves within a month of birth. Some women experience these symptoms in their arms, as well as their legs and most notice an increase in symptoms during their third trimester.

RLS in this population is often contributed to deficiencies in iron and the B vitamin folate. It is important to identify and discuss treatment options as it can significantly impact restful sleep which in itself can further intensify symptoms. Hormonal changes, increased sensory input, varicose veins, nerve compression, decreased bladder capacity and prolonged caffeine half-life are additional theories on the cause of RLS in pregnancy. Treatment, particularly pharmaceuticals, are limited during pregnancy. There are no safe medications used to treat this disorder, although again, the chiropractor can offer tremendous relief.

Depression and RLS

Approximately 40% of people with RLS complain of symptoms that would be indicative of depression if assessed without knowledge or consideration of RLS. Interestingly, greater depression severity has been found with increased severity of RLS. Effective treatment of RLS will result in a significant improvement in depression in some cases. When victims of depression suffer from RLS and depression, and antidepressants are indicated, treatment can involve a delicate balancing act, as some of the most effective and widely used antidepressants can actually worsen certain aspects of RLS.

Visit Restless Leg Syndrome Foundation for more information and to locate the nearest support group, NightWalkers.

Speak to your provider if you think you may have RLS.

IQ Mega Salad

Our practice works hard to implement good fats into the diets of our pregnant mothers, because these are so important for the development of their baby’s brains. Fish have become victim to pollution and must therefore be rationed in the diet to a point that does not meet the needs of the growing baby. While we encourage including other sources of healthy fats, often mothers need a supplemental source.

iq megadōTERRA’s IQ Mega has been popular with our clientele because it takes the fishy taste out of fish oil and puts the fresh orange flavor of dōTERRA’s wild orange CPTG essential oil in this great tasting and easy to swallow omega-3
supplement providing 1,000 mg of concentrated, pure omega-3 from fish oil per serving. IQ Mega contains the essential nutrients EPA and DHA to support healthy brain, cardiovascular, immune and joint function.* IQ Mega is formulated to be used daily, by children and adults, with A2Z Chewable.

We found a great IQ Mega Salad recipe and thought we would share. Please let us know if you enjoyed it!

IQ Mega Salad

Ingredients

1 package (12-16 ounces) salad greens of your choice (romaine, arugala, spinach, etc.)

1/2 cup roasted and salted pepita seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 large avocado, cubed

2 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned

2 small baby cucumbers, sliced

1/4 cup dōTERRA IQ Mega

1/4 teaspoon teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, finely groundomega 3

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/8 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

Get the salad ready with all the veggies, fruits, and nuts. Drizzle IQ Mega over the salad to lightly coat it. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Add feta cheese and lightly toss until mixed. Yum! I have also added black beans, chicken strips, or cubed tempeh as a protein source for a complete meal (about 1 cup).

Lisa Kelly’s fabulous recipe

Non-Alcoholic Mint Mojito

I’ll admit, I am a big fan of the Mojito so when I found this non-alcoholic recipe with dōTERRA lime, I was rather excited. Enjoy.summer cocktails

Ingredients

Club soda
dōTERRA Lime essential oil
Liquid stevia
1 small bunch of mint leaves

Directions

Fill regular glass with club soda. Add 4-7 drops Lime essential oil, 10-17 drops liquid Stevia, and 8-10 mint leaves. Stir and enjoy.

If you try this recipe and love it, leave us a comment!

Meet Amy Robinson PT

A Natural Solution for Infertility and Women’s Health Issues

Amy-Robinson

Amy Robinson PT is director of the Clear Passage Physical Therapy clinic in Indianapolis.

By Amy Robinson, PT
Did you know that approximately 6,000,000 U.S. women are presently diagnosed with infertility? In addition, 60 percent of women in the U.S. experience pain with intercourse pain, also called dyspareunia, at some point in their lives.

The good news is that infertility and numerous other women’s health issues can be treated naturally, without the need for drugs or surgery. As director of the Clear Passage Physical Therapy® clinic in Indianapolis, I help women overcome these challenges every day.

I address these issues using a unique manual therapy called the Wurn Technique®. At the core of this treatment is a focus on adhesions – the internal scars that form in all of us as we heal from trauma, surgery, infection or inflammation. Composed of tiny collagen strands called cross-links, adhesions can remain in the body throughout life. I use my hands and over 200 manual techniques to improve fertility and reduce the pelvic pain and dysfunction caused by adhesions.

What are adhesions and how can they be treated?

The female pelvic organs may be subjected to numerous traumas, infections, inflammations and surgeries during a woman’s life. Endometriosis, a bladder or yeast infection, fall onto the tailbone, car accident or simply sitting for long periods of time can all contribute to the formation of adhesions.

reproductive-organs-adhesions

Adhesions can attach to pelvic organs and structures, causing pain and dysfunction.

Surgery is another common cause of pelvic adhesions in women, resulting in fertility issues or various types of pelvic pain and dysfunction. Adhesions often form after a hysterectomy, C-section, myomectomy or appendectomy.

Regardless of what caused them, adhesions can attach to organs and structures, creating pulls that can cause pain and dysfunction. Adhesions that occur around the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or the delicate fimbriae at the end of the uterine tubes can impact a woman’s ability to become pregnant

Studies published in several U.S. and international medical journals, including Medscape General Medicine and Contemporary ObGyn, found that the Wurn Technique improved fertility and decreased pelvic pain in most women, including in complex cases involving advanced reproductive age, unexplained infertility and women for whom traditional fertility treatments were not successful.

An effective adjunct to the care of physicians and midwives, our therapy can be used as a complement to the pre-conception and infertility care provided by Penny and the Believe Midwifery team.

A different approach to care

By the time they arrive at my clinic, many of the women I treat are frustrated by the lack of results they have seen with other treatment methods, including surgery and drugs.

Our treatment programs occur over five weekdays, Monday-Friday, typically with four hours of treatment per day. Whether I am treating a woman for infertility, dyspareunia, incontinence or other type of pelvic dysfunction, I begin with a thorough evaluation of the entire body, checking for restrictions. Using this whole-body approach, I begin treating adhered areas, with manual techniques that can feel like a deep stretch or a site-specific pressure, to reduce pain and increase function.

The transformations I see in my patients throughout and at the end of treatment are incredible. I feel so privileged to be able to help women achieve their goals and return to a life free of pain and dysfunction.

If you would like to learn more about the women’s care we provide or to schedule a free phone consultation, I invite you to visit www.clearpassage.com or call 1 (866) 222-9437.

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can adversely affect oral health, which can subsequently effect a woman’s overall health and well-being. Preventive, diagnostic, and restorative dental treatment is an important part of optimizing pregnancy outcomes. The National Consensus on Oral Health Care in Pregnancy (2012) states that dental procedures are safe throughout the entire pregnancy, although our midwife encourages families to avoid the first trimester if at all possible, allowing the fetus to develop without the introduction of medications, X-ray exposure or even bacterial upset in the blood stream from tooth cleanings.

pregnant-woman-with-toothbrushEvidence suggests that most infants and young children acquire caries-causing bacteria from their mothers. This was believed to be from breastmilk for decades, but experts now recognize that the breastfed mother more often cradles her child in her arms than the mother who supplements and therefore provides greater exposure to her child. Providing pregnant and lactating women with counseling to promote healthy oral health behaviors may reduce the transmission of such bacteria from mothers to infants and young children, thereby delaying or preventing the onset of caries.

Consider Your Oral Health Status

  • Do you have swollen or bleeding gums, a tooth-ache (pain), problems eating or chewing food, or other problems in your mouth?
  • Since becoming pregnant, have you been vomiting?
  • When was your last dental visit?

Our practice encourages women to seek oral health care, practice good oral hygiene, eat healthy foods, and attend our Optimizing Pregnancy childbirth education class. Our client privilege page offers names of holistic dentists, nutritionists who provide counseling, and community-based programs that serve pregnant women with low incomes, as well as a letter for your dental provider.

Tips for Good Oral Health During Pregnancy

If your last dental visit was more than six months ago or if you have any oral health problems or concerns, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. Tell the office that you are pregnant and your expected due date so they can provide the best care for you.

  • Brush your teeth twice each day. Replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, or more often if the bristles are frayed. Do not share your toothbrush. Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Rinse every night with an over-the-counter fluoridated, alcohol-free mouthrinse.
  • After eating, chew xylitol-containing gum or use other xylitol-containing products, such as mints, which can help reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • If you vomit, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to stop acid from attacking your teeth.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, and dairy products. Meats, fish, chicken, eggs, beans and nuts are also good choices.
  • Eater fewer foods high in sugar like candy, cookies, cake, and dried fruit, and drink fewer beverages high in sugar like juice, fruit-flavored drinks, or pop (soda).
  • For snacks, choose foods low in sugar, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and unsweetened yogurt.
  • Read food labels!
  • Drink water or milk instead of juice, fruit-flavored drinks or pop. Drink water throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks.
  • Continue taking care of your mouth after your baby is born and take care of your baby’s gums and teeth, and take your baby to the dentist by the age of one. Breastfeed exclusively!

Oral Health Care During Pregnancy Expert Workgroup, 2012. Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center.

Bad Birth Experience?

Bad birth experiences often cause women to search for support on the internet and ultimately, research alternative options for subsequent pregnancies. Birth stress often leads women to consider homebirth and similarly, nurse-midwives are often lead to practice in this environment after suffering their own trauma, whether personal or professional. In fact, Penny has experienced fairly horrifying birth trauma herself, and suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder for most of her twenties and thirties.

These scenarios aren’t limited to hospital birth, as along with many other women, Penny was also victim of poor midwifery care with a lay midwife in a planned homebirth. These experiences motivated Penny to establish Believe Midwifery Services, LLC where she felt she could utilize her clinical skills to create a practice that rivals the best in the state, while being a strong advocate for childbearing families.

Grief DarkWhat is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is a psychological term for a set of reactions anyone may experience when something traumatic, scary or bad has happened in their life. Sadly, PTSD associated with childbirth is often poorly recognized or appreciated, with mothers often being told, “at least you have a healthy baby.”

A typical PTSD sufferer may identify with:

  • Having experienced an event or events that involved the threat of death or serious injury to self or others (including the baby);
  • Responding to a scenario with intense fear, helplessness or horror;
  • Experiencing recurrent intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares, distress, anxiety, or panic related to cues that remind them of the event;
  • Often try to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma (this includes talking about it, which is why so many don’t seek help);
  • Being torn between the desire to have another child and the conviction that they could not risk exposing themselves to another traumatic event;
  • Trying to numb the painful emotions but unfortunately all their emotions become numbed so they may feel unable to love the baby, or may even dissociate from their memories of the event and be unable to remember part of all of it; and
  • Persistent increased arousal including difficulty sleeping, exaggerated startle response, difficulty concentrating, irritability or anger, and hyper-vigilance (being on your guard all the time).

These symptoms may start soon after the birth or be delayed for months and it can go on for years. Sufferers usually end up with a degree of depression due to their symptoms, but PTSD does not start with depression. A traumatic experience as an adult can trigger memories of earlier or childhood trauma that went unresolved.

Risk Factors for Postnatal PTSD

  • Managed labor
  • Induction
  • Poor pain relief
  • Feelings of loss of control
  • Unnecessary trauma
  • Traumatic delivery
  • Impersonal treatment, overly professional or judgmental attitude of staff
  • Not being believed or listened to
  • Lack of explanations
  • Lack of attention to dignity (no coverings)
  • Multi handling, numerous changes of staff, not being introduced, superfluous staff in room as observers
  • True obstetric emergencies
  • Invasive procedures without explanations or consent
  • Forceps/suturing without adequate pain relief
  • Prolonged latent phase – demoralization
  • Conflicting advice
  • NICU
  • Severe postnatal anemia
  • Poor postnatal care
  • Old trauma
  • Unmet need to debrief

Debriefing – A highly important need for mother and provider

After any highly emotional event, good or bad, there is a strong need to share the experience and to have one’s emotions acknowledged. Having a baby is a monumental experience in any woman’s life. We all seek to debrief even after the most normal of births. Those with more stressful experiences will need to talk it through many times, and while friends and family are generally sympathetic initially, this wanes as they fail to understand the need for repeated discussion.

Birth reporting, reviewing and debriefing has been shown to reduce the occurrence of perinatal mood disorders. It is also effective in reducing the severity of PTSD. We believe all women should have the chance to talk over their birth experience in the early postnatal days, preferably with their health professional who was present for the labor and birth. However, when our practice is sough for subsequent births we are often in the place of helping a family find healing.

The sorrow that hath no vent in tears, may make other organs weep. ~unknown

Where to go for help

Find a sympathetic ear, someone who understands your experience as a traumatic one and share until you find peace. If you suffer from flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, avoidance, numbed emotions, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, irritability or anger, or hypervigilance… seek help. Call our office to schedule an appointment. We will listen and we do care.

 

Domestic Violence

Four million American women experience a serious assault by a partner during an average twelve-month period. One out of three women around the world has been beaten coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Women of all races are equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.

One in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are four to six times more likely to get pregnant and eight to nine times more likely to have tried to commit suicide.

As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy. For thirty-percent of women who experience abuse, the first incident occurs during pregnancy.

Seventy-four percent of battered women were harassed by their partner while they were at work. On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. Seventy-five percent of murder-suicides occur in the home. Ninety-four percent of the offenders in murder-suicides were male.woman despairing

How is your relationship? Does your partner:

  • Embarrass you with bad names and put-downs?
  • Look at you or act in ways that scare yo u?
  • Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?
  • Stop you from seeing or talking to friends or family?
  • Take your money or Social Security, make you ask for money, or refuse to give you money?
  • Make all the decisions?
  • Tell you you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
  • Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
  • Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
  • Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
  • Shove you, slap you or hit you?
  • Force you to drop charges?
  • Threaten to commit suicide?
  • Threaten to kill you?

If you said yes to even one, you may be in an abusive relationship. If you need to talk, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800)-799-7233 (SAFE). They can provide options, connections, and support. Their services are free, anonymous, confidential and available 24 hours a day.

Personal Safety Tips

No one deserves to be abused. If things get out of hand, it’s good to have a plan!

When a fight breaks out move away from the kitchen, bathroom or any place where there are dangerous objects. Plan the easiest escape. Decide on a door or window to exit quickly and safety. Find a neighbor, friend or family member you can trust to help you and your children, or to call police.

If you decide to leave your partner, plan for safety. Every situation is different! Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for information on how to plan for safety. Leaving may be risky for you and your children.

Domestic Violence and Children

Children are indirect victims of intimate partner violence.  Millions of children are exposed to incidents of domestic violence every year. Over half of the female victims of domestic violence live in households with children under the age of twelve (U.S. Department of Justice, 1998).

Many victims of domestic violence think that their children are not aware of the violence because they do not see it happen. However, children are keenly aware of the abuse. Research indicates that 80 to 90 percent of children living in homes where there is domestic violence are aware of the abuse (Pagelow, 1990).

Parents who experience abuse go to great lengths to protect their children from abuse and adverse effects of domestic violence. Despite these efforts, domestic violence continues to have a huge impact on children’s well-being. In a study of more than 6000 families in the United States, half of the men who physically abused their wives also abused their children (Strauss, Murray, Gelles, Richard, Smith, 1990). Older children are frequently assualted when they intervene to defend or protect the victim (Hilberman & Munson, 1977-78).

Witnessing and experiencing abuse as a child can have a lifelong impact. A child’s exposure to domestic violence is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. Childhood abuse and trauma has a high correlation to both emotional and physical problems in adulthood, including tobacco use, substance abuse, obesity, cancer, heart disease, depression and a higher risk for unintended pregnancy (Jaffe & Sudermann, 1995; Wolfe, Wekerle, Reitzel & Gough, 1995).

With proper intervention and treatment, the cycle of violence can be stopped and the wounds of childhood trauma can be healed. Leaving the abusive relationship is a step towards healing for your children, but counseling and therapy are as important for children as it is for victims.

Teens and Abuse

Dating abuse does not discriminate. It can take many forms and can affect anyone. It is not limited to physical abuse; it can also include verbal, emotional and sexual abuse. Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect, equality, communication and trust. Abuse relationships are based on control, jealousy, intimidation, and blame.

Abuse can be expressed as jealousy, such as not wanting you to have friends, gets upset when you spend time with other people, or constantly accusing you of cheating. It can be control in that he doesn’t let you make your own decisions, tells you what clothes to wear and what you are allowed to do, always wants to know where you are and who you talk to, goes through your personal belongings and your cellphone without your permission. He may threaten to hurt you or people you love, threaten to leave you in strange places, threaten to commit suicide if you leave, destroy your belongings or threaten to tell your secrets. An abuser may pressure you to do things you do not want to do, or force you or guilt-trip you into sex when you are not willing. He may blame you for anything that goes on in the relationship, saying if you hadn’t provoked him then he wouldn’t have hurt you, or makes you feel like anything is your fault and you can do nothing right. An abuse will often call you names, put you down, spread rumors about you to isolate you from your friends, tell you that they are the only one that cares about you or will ever love you.

Is Your Teen a Victim?

Watch for warning signs. Do they fear their partner? Do they frequently have marks or bruises that they dismiss as accidents? Do they seem to be sad and depressed, and are withdrawing from family and friends? Have they changed their physical appearance? Have they given up things that used to be important to them? Does their partner want them to be available at all times? Do they make excuses and apologize for the way that their partner behaves?

Resources can be found on the internet, in books or at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

"It is much more important to know what sort of patient has a disease than what sort of disease a patient has." Sir William Osler

Food for Thought

Happiness is underrated and critically important to health. Seriously! Unfortunately, many people just have no idea how to be happy. Aviva Romm

Food for Thought

Physicians simply do not have time to be what patients want them to be: open-minded, knowledgeable teachers and caregivers who can hear and understand their needs. Snyderman and Weil

Food for Thought #1

They say that time changes things. But you actually have to change them yourselves. Andy Warhol

Food for Thought

To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking. Johann Wolfgang von Goether

Food for Thought

"Birth isn’t about avoiding one set of realities in favor of another. It’s about embracing all facets of birth--contradictory, messy, or unpleasant as some might be--as vital to the whole." Rixa Freeze PhD

Food for Thought

Why I appreciate being a certified nurse-midwife, as opposed to choosing another route for midwifery: I feel learning the science is vital so the art of midwifery is safe and effective. Dr. Penny Lane, nurse-midwife

Food for Thought

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

Food for Thought

To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. Anatole France

Food for Thought

"Science and uncertainty are inseparable companions. Beware of those who are very certain about things. There are no absolute truths in biological sciences - only hypotheses... 'We need to train medical students and residents more in the art of uncertainty and less in the spirit that everything can be known or that it even needs to be known.'" Grimes (1986)

Food for Thought

American physicians are rewarded for doing things to patients, not for keeping them well. Grimes, 1986

Food for Thought

The false idol of technology. "Having a widget screwed into one's scalp has become an American birthright." Grimes, 1986

Food for Thought

"Between 1985 and 1987, a hospital instituted a successful program to reduce its cesarean rate. The rate fell from 18% to 12%, losing the hospital $1 million in revenues - no small sum in those days." Goer & Romano, 2012, p 37

Food for Thought

"Obstetricians are much more likely to perform a cesarean when they wrongly believe the baby weighs 4000 g or more based on sonographic estimates than when the baby actually weighs this much but the obstetrician did not suspect it." Goer & Romaro, 2012, p 35

Food for Thought

"If you play God, you will be blamed for natural disasters." Marsden Wagner (2006)

Food for Thought

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't. Anatole France

Food for Thought #3

"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth also is about making mothers - strong, competent, capable mothers, who trust themselves and know their inner strength."

Barbara Katz Rothman PhD (1996)

Food for Thought #4

Believe there is always, always, always a way.

When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't. THOMAS EDISON

Food for Thought #5

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer

Food for Thought #2

Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast.

Psalm 22:9