Tag Archives: doctor

Feel empowered & achieve life balance as a mom

We recently partnered up with Carly Snyder, M.D., who specializes in comprehensive reproductive health care and makes it her mission to help moms feel empowered and achieve life balance. Read below for our Q&A to learn more about Carly and her wonderful work with women’s health.

Q: What is your approach to help mothers optimize the body and mind pre- and post-birth? Are there certain services you provide that you find most beneficial for new moms?

A: The changes that occur in life from conception through baby’s first year of life are astronomical, and the impact of these changes on a woman’s sense of self is similarly huge. I spend a lot of time talking to my patients while they are still pregnant about identity and ways to incorporate their new identity as a mom into their current self, rather than feeling as if they are losing part of themselves with the arrival of their baby. I also work with women a lot on ways to feel proud and to own their changing bodies.

We focus a lot on living in the moment with a woman’s partner during pregnancy and enjoying the time until baby comes as a couple, appreciating one another and strengthening the relationship and continuing to function as a couple once baby arrives in addition to acting as co-parents. Too often after having a baby, couples transition to being parents and intimacy goes out the window. It is imperative that a strong bond be nurtured during pregnancy and then be reinforced after baby’s birth by having date nights and baby-free conversations. Pre-planning these date nights in advance, setting up a schedule with baby sitters lined up on a regular basis, establishes that the relationship remains important even after baby has arrived.

My patients and I also work hard on communication, speaking up about how a woman feels in the moment and making her needs known. During pregnancy and especially after the birth of a baby, new moms can feel as if their needs are secondary to their babies, but it is incredibly important that women feel empowered to speak up for themselves and to talk about their feelings and their needs openly. We explore what barriers they may have to opening up with loved ones about their experiences and then how to surmount these barriers so that open communication can occur freely going forward.

Another area that I focus on with my patients is making a sleep schedule during pregnancy for once the baby arrives to ensure that mom continues to get adequate rest. Whether mom is breast or bottle feeding, it is imperative that she sleeps at least six hours a night and ideally that she has can have uninterrupted sleep of three or more hours at a time. Moms are already exhausted as a result of labor and delivery when they leave the hospital with a newborn, and our country has no established supports in place to help new moms, so we must pre-plan to ensure that mom does not have to face feeding a baby every 2-3 hours every night on her own from day one onwards. This is only possible if mom has supports in place in advance, be it her partner, a family member, a postpartum doula or a baby nurse. A plan must be set up before baby arrives because otherwise mom will take on the full responsibility, and then she will undoubtably become exhausted and this can steam roll into feelings of sadness and a sense of being overwhelmed very quickly.

I also spend a lot of time discussing what are ‘normal and expected’ levels of anxiety and tearfulness during and after pregnancy, and at what point symptoms can be considered more significant and would warrant treatment, perhaps with more intense therapy, or with medication or with an increase in dose of medication if a woman is already taking something. Pregnancy is inherently anxiety inducing, and so is having a newborn. It is expected that new parents will be scared at times and will feel overwhelmed. At the same time, it is also important that women are able to control their anxiety and not feel that their anxiety or moments of sadness are engulfing them or taking over their lives. Parenthood will forever be scary because we love our children more than anything but cannot protect them from the outside world. We need to be able to compartmentalize our fears rather than allow the fears to control us because living in such a state of terror is not good for us or for our children.

Q: Why is it so important for mothers to focus on their mental health throughout the child bearing process?

A: Mom deserves to enjoy her pregnancy and the postpartum period as much as possible and this is impossible while struggling with a Perinatal Mood and/or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD). Mom’s mental health is intimately connected to her baby’s physical and emotional health both during and after pregnancy. Research consistently demonstrates that mom’s emotional state impacts her growing fetus and that feeling consistently severely anxious and/or depressed during pregnancy can have negative implications for a baby in the short and long run. Similarly, having a postpartum mood disorder is hard not just for mom, but also for everyone in the family.

Q: Tell us about your radio show, MD for Moms. What can listeners expect to hear and learn from tuning in each week, and how can listeners tune in? 

A: MD for Moms is a show dedicated to helping women enjoy life more, to maximizing health and wellness and to improving women’s relationships with themselves and with others. For the last year and a half I have focused on what I call my “Mama Docs On Call” Series where I introduce my listeners to physicians who are also moms, like me, and they are on the show to provide information and support geared to moms and their families. We discuss topics ranging from women’s health and wellness issues to child-related concerns. It’s really a conversation between myself and a leader in a field of medicine, and listeners are invited to call in live with their questions throughout the show. For example, some recent shows included one with an OBGYN who answered every GYN question we all have but never remember or want to ask during our annual appointments, another show was with a pediatrician who is also a Lactation Consultant and we discussed breast feeding; another show was with an ER pediatrician who has taken on a special interest in keeping kids safe on-line, and we did a two part series on how to keep kids safe on social media… upcoming shows include a discussion on autoimmune diseases and fatigue, on childhood headaches, infertility, having a baby in the NICU, and so much more. The show is booked all the way through the new year and beyond – it is really exciting. Each week I post the upcoming show information on my blog as well as on social media. The shows air live on the BBM Global Network (on the internet), on TuneIn and iHeart Radio at 1pm ET every Wednesday or you can listen to it as a podcast. Just search for MD for Moms on iTunes podcasts and there are about 115 or so shows available for download.

Carly Snyder, M.D.

Written by Taylor Bell, Marketing & Social Media

Holiday Survival 101: How Acupuncture Can Reduce Stress

While the holiday season can be a joyous and exciting time of the year, it can also be a time of added stress and anxiety. Holiday parties and holiday shopping all require extra time and energy, as we continue to meet the demands of our daily responsibilities. Family gatherings have also been known to ramp up stress and anxiety during the holiday period for many. Though holiday stress may feel challenging to address, there are ways to minimize its impact. Getting enough sleep, regular exercise, being mindful of nutrition and not indulging to excess, can all be helpful in keeping stress at bay.
Acupuncture can also be an effective way to relieve and reduce stress and anxiety during the holidays and throughout the year.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of Chinese medicine that is more than 2,000 years old. Acupuncture, a natural therapy that works with the body’s own energy and healing capacity, is a noninvasive way to address many conditions, including emotional issues, and has little to no side effects. It is based on a meridian system of energy in the body. The 12 primary meridians correspond to certain organs and run throughout the body. Energy or qi (pronounced “chi” as it is called in Chinese medicine) and blood move through these meridians bringing nourishment to all aspects of the body. An individual remains healthy when qi and blood are moving freely and uninhibited. Disease such as pain and stress occurs when qi and blood become stagnant or blocked. Blockage can be a result of various reasons.
Points on these meridians have specific functions such as clearing heat, strengthening the immune system, and calming the mind. Once a diagnosis is reached, hair thin needles are inserted on specific meridians at specific points to treat a particular issue. While the needles are in place the patient has an opportunity to relax as the needles are balancing the body’s energy and unblocking areas where energy and blood have become stuck.
Benefits of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is most often associated with pain management, for which it is extremely effective, but it also treats a wide range of  non-emergency conditions, including insomnia, painful periods, fatigue, and menopause symptoms.
Some benefits of acupuncture include:

  • Supports the immune system
  • Speeds up recovery after an injury
  • Decreases muscle and joint pain
  • Improves blood flow and circulation
  • Decreases stress and anxiety by regulating the nervous system
  • Increases energy
  • Improves sleep

Acupuncture may not be the first thing that comes to mind when dealing with seasonal stress. But it has proven to be helpful in managing and reducing stress during the holiday season, and throughout the year. If you find yourself experiencing increased stress and anxiety during the holidays, acupuncture could be just what the doctor ordered!
Annora Cheng
Written by our contributing partner, Annora Cheng, L.Ac., at Internal Harmony Acupuncture in NYC

Ask Dr. Jen … We Did!

We recently had the opportunity to partner with Pediatrician Jen Trachtenberg, MD, to get some of our Pediatrician questions answered and to learn more about her latest ventures, which include great tools for parents!
Take a read through our Q&A below, and then visit her website to learn more. You’ll soon find that you are on your way to a more comfortable and confident parenting experience (it exists!).
Q: Finding the right Pediatrician can be a big decision for new parents. How early would you suggest new moms and dads to find one? And what are some good questions for parents to ask the Pediatrician when trying to decide if he/she is a good  fit?
A: Finding the right pediatrician for your family is an important task because having a physician that makes you feel confident as well as comfortable asking questions to, is essential to getting the best care possible for your baby. I recommend starting early – in the last trimester of pregnancy – to begin finding a pediatrician. Ask family and friends, as well as your OB/Gyn for recommendations. You can easily search the doctor’s credentials on the internet, but I highly recommend going for a “meet and greet” or prenatal appointment in their office so you can ask questions directly and see how the office operates. You can also come a bit early and speak with other parents in the waiting room for their opinions as well. Make sure to bring a list and ask your questions to the doctor. Here are a few important ones:

  • – Are they board certified and continue with ongoing medical education?
  • – Will the pediatrician see the newborn in the hospital?
  • – What are the office hours and who do I contact in case of an evening emergency?
  • – Do you use email or phone to return messages?
  • – What are your views on vaccines and breast and formula feeding?

Listen for how the doctor responds and see if you feel you have a connection, and your questions are answered adequately. As a new parent, there are no silly questions, just ones you need the answers to. By finding a pediatrician who listens and understands your concerns and fears as new parents, you can ensure safety and better health and wellness for your new bundle of joy.
Q: You have two published books on the shelf, 1) The Smart Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids through Check Ups, Illnesses and Accidents and 2) Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children. What can readers expect to learn in each of these books. 
A: I have written two parenting books to help decrease parents’ fears and anxiety that often comes with raising a child. By giving easy to understand information, it helps to build healthy habits and also empowers parents to advocate for their child’s health. Good Kids Bad Habits: The Real Age Guide to Raising Healthy Children, breaks down habits into small easy steps and demonstrates how making even a few changes in nutrition, exercise, stress, and safety can have a huge positive impact on your child’s long term health and wellness. My second book, The Smart Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Kids through Checkups, Illnesses and Accidents, is all about empowering parents to speak up and how to get the information you need to make the right decisions regarding your child’s health in the ER, during a hospital stay or dealing with a routine well visit.
Q: You provide a great video series called, Pediatrician in Your Pocket, offering parents a one-stop learning experience on all things childcare. What are some essential items new parents will takeaway from these videos, and how can people access them to view? 
A: My latest venture is my new comprehensive video guide manual Pediatrician in Your Pocket for parents that gives you all the answers you need about caring for your baby from newborn through age 2 years. It’s the only science based, mom tested, no judgement video guide for new parents.  The ultimate video cheat sheet, stacked with information new parents need to feel more confident during their first parenting journey. The bite size five minute videos are comprehensive, reassuring and easy to understand, and available to you 24/7 whenever you have a question or need answers. I am a virtual doctor-on-demand, delivering medical tips backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics. I discuss sleeping, eating, peeing, pooping, vaccines, common illness, developmental milestones, what to do for fever, baby proofing, temper tantrums and so much more. When you know the answer to your question, it’s as simple as one click and a video clip. New parents can take a deep breath and know someone has their back any time day or night.
jt headshot
 
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

When Your Lil' One Has Eczema

Ahhhh my baby has eczema!
I’ve spotted small dry spots on my son since he was a newborn. I’ve always treated the spots with Vaseline or Aquafor, rubbing the ointment into his dry patches. I then followed up with a fragrance free moisturizing lotion like Babyganics, and smoothed that all over his body.
Since then the dry spots have gotten progressively worse.
Last night my baby woke up around midnight (which is odd – so close to when I go to bed – he never does that); and he was so agitated. His body could not get comfortable, and he kept trying to get out of my arms. I tried feeding him 2 oz. of formula, then another 2 oz., which he took down, but still was not satisfied.
I know his teeth are trying to come through, so that is an on-going thing to blame for these behaviors, but this time it seemed different. He started to use his nails to scratch his sides, which have patches of dry skin on them as does his back.
After an hour, I wondered if his skin was just so dry that he couldn’t get comfortable. I got the lotion and rubbed it all over him. Then I sat him down next to me, rubbed his back for a few minutes, and the little guy fell asleep in that position. As soon as I found the dry spot he was out for the night.
In the morning, I called the pediatrician because he was scratching the spots and causing them to bleed. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t an allergic reaction.
The doctor said it was eczema.
Once I received the remedy (rub Hydrocortisone cream 1% on the dry patches/spots and then lather up his body in Vani Cream), my lil’ guy felt good as new!
Eczema-1
Eczema - 2
Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

When Your Baby Hits Their Head

When your baby falls and bumps their head, mama calls the doctor and the doctor said..

When your baby hits his/her head for the first time it is no joking matter. A wave of fear, nervousness, and helplessness overcomes you. I was out at a work meeting when I came home to my husband and baby. My baby was cheerful as usual, but then my husband looks at me intently and says “I **cked up.”

I immediately get that sinking feeling in my stomach and he goes into how the baby fell out of his swing. I remain as calm as I can and pick up my baby, analyzing his body for any bumps or bruises. He looks fine. I then call my sister who has toddler twins (that fell constantly) and asked her what she recommended. She gave me a few stories about how the girls fell and then said to call the pediatrician just in case. We make the call and the doctor calls us back within 20 minutes.

The doctor was calm and asked us for a play by play. She said the couple she spoke to prior to us had the same thing happen.

We were instructed to do the following:

1. Scope out his body for any bumps or bruises.
2. Pay special attention to the baby’s head exactly where he fell.
3. Be aware of any troubled breathing or changes in breathing patterns.
4. Be aware of any projectile vomiting.

I couldn’t hear the monitor well at night, so I slept in the nursery with the sleep machine off to hear better. I checked on him every hour or so (I couldn’t sleep anyway), and then monitored him for a full 24 hours for any changes in behavior, vomiting, or trouble breathing.

He seemed fine. In  the end, I’m glad we called the doctor and I stayed in the same room as him. It gave me a piece of mind.

Carseat2

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell