Be In the Know When You’re On the Go

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 22nd, 2016

This is the last of four messages in observance of National Safety Month.

Summer has arrived and the kids are out of school. Many families will be planning vacations in the coming weeks, so it is appropriate to remind people be aware of their personal health and safety in public and while traveling.

Just as you would at home, while traveling and staying in hotels, keep doors and windows locked. Know who is at the door before opening it. While out shopping or doing other fun things, be aware of your surroundings at all times. Have your keys handy as you approach your car. Check the backseat and floor before entering. As soon as you get in your car, lock all doors and windows. Keep shopping bags and valuables out of sight, either under the seat or in the trunk. After dark, park in well-lit areas. Most experts say that if someone attempts to rob you, let them have what they want. Putting up a struggle can result in injury or even death. No purse or wallet is worth your life.

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Choosing the Hospital Where You’ll Deliver

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 21st, 2016

Expectant women in the care of a trusted obstetrician often leave the decision of where to deliver their babies to their doctor. However, there are questions you should ask about the hospital you choose. The most important question:  Does the hospital have a fully functioning Obstetric Emergency Department?

Whether it’s a first baby or fifth, every pregnancy is different. Women may wonder if they can safely deliver vaginally after they’ve had a C-section. What if they go into preterm labor? What if they start to bleed heavily? Will they see a Board Certified physician immediately when they arrive at the hospital?

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Folic Acid Supplements During Pregnancy Still Clearly Recommended

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 16th, 2016

Preliminary findings of a study on folic acid recently generated sensational headlines suggesting that the ingestion of too much folate and vitamin B12 by pregnant women can increase an infant’s risk for autism. Folate (folic acid) is an essential B vitamin necessary for normal cell growth and development. It is critical that women not jump to conclusions based on this limited information and question the safety of their prenatal vitamins. As Albert Einstein famously quipped, “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be research.”

While compellingly interesting, the findings thus far are statistically insignificant and any explicit conclusions wholly premature. Only 1,391 mothers participated in the Johns Hopkins University study. This is a relatively small sample in the context of the overall population of pregnant women. The mothers studied were tested for the presence of excessive folate, for excessive vitamin B12, and excess levels for both, immediately after giving birth. The study had not yet been peer-reviewed at the time it was publicized in a medical conference press release.

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Workplace Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 13th, 2016

This is the third of four messages in observance of National Safety Month.

While many days it may seem that your most compelling workplace hazard is accidentally clicking “Reply All” in an email diatribe, most offices are packed with surprising little hazards that can impact your physical health and well-being in powerful ways.

You don’t often think of office-based jobs as particularly menacing, but often injuries from desk work creep up slowly over time. These can include a typing-induced, repetitive-motion injury such as Carpel Tunnel. Long hours staring at the computer can cause eyestrain and myopia. Sitting idle for long periods without frequent breaks and lumbar support can lead to neck strain, and lower back pain.

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Pay Attention to Safety in the Safest Place — at Home

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 8th, 2016

This is the second of four messages in observance of National Safety Month.

Our homes should feel like the safest place on Earth, so it may be surprising to learn how many safety hazards lurk both inside and out, especially for children. Every member of the household should know how to dial 911 in the event of an emergency. Prevention should be everyone’s priority. Awareness is the best defense against accidental injury at home.

A number of commonsense precautions can prevent accidental fires. Never leave candles or cooking unattended. Exercise care to avoid overloading electrical outlets; it’s often best to simply unplug small appliances when they are not in use. Teach children not to play with matches or lighters. Keep space heaters far away from combustible materials.

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A Healthy Pregnancy is Possible After Cancer

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 5th, 2016

Decades ago, a cancer diagnosis was met with fear, dread, and hopelessness. Young women planning to start families especially were devastated, because harsh treatments required to kill the disease also adversely affected their fertility and chances for a safe pregnancy. Fortunately, that’s not the case any longer, as more people than ever before are surviving cancer and living rich, fulfilling lives. In fact, nearly 14.5 million Americans are living well after cancer, many of them raising children conceived after surviving cancer.

The first Sunday in June marks the annual observance of National Cancer Survivors Day®. It is an opportunity for people across the nation to come together and celebrate the lives of cancer survivors. It also provides occasion to raise awareness about reproductive health after cancer.

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Pregnancy After 35

By Kristine Hartvigsen on June 3rd, 2016

There’s a silly joke on the Internet that poses the question:  Should a woman have children after 35? The response:  Um, don’t you think 35 kids is enough already? (insert laugh track here)

But seriously. More women than ever are delaying motherhood for various reasons, including education, careers, and increasing confidence in evolving reproductive science. Just last month, entertainer Janet Jackson made headlines when she announced that she is expecting. At age 50. And a 70-year-old woman in India recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy after two years of in vitro fertilization (IVF).

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Because Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident

By Kristine Hartvigsen on May 31st, 2016

This is the first of four messages in observance of National Safety Month.

It’s been said that, while on a ladder, you should never step back to admire your work. Safety doesn’t happen by accident. It requires considerable planning, forethought, and education. June is National Safety Month, created to raise awareness about accident prevention and mitigation of common safety and health risks at home, at work, while traveling, and in the general public.

Each week this month, OBHG will share commonsense information and tips to make the world a safer place for individuals and families. We’ll start with preventing accidental falls.

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Disturbing Report Highlights Importance of Patient Safety

By Kristine Hartvigsen on May 24th, 2016

Loyal audiences of National Public Radio (NPR) likely choked on their coffee listening to “Morning Edition” on May 3. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine recently released the results of a study positing that if medical errors were a disease, they would be the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer.

The release of this study is timely as the National Patient Safety Foundation is holding its Annual Patient Safety Congress in Scottsdale, AZ this week. OBHG will be there, and attendees are invited to visit us at Booth No. 317. Patient safety needs to be front and center of everything we do, and continuing the dialogue is imperative.

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Certified Nurse-Midwives Fill Widening Access Gap

By Kristine Hartvigsen on May 23rd, 2016

The woman who delivers her baby in a car pulled to the side of the road might provide an exciting headline on the local evening news. And while these stories usually have happy endings, they nonetheless represent significant risk for each and every woman who endures such an episode. Fortunately, emergent roadside births are relatively rare.

OBHG believes every patient is best served by a team working in tandem to deliver the best care possible, and we occasionally have hospital-based opportunities for experienced, passionate Certified Nurse Midwives. OBHG representatives will be exhibiting in Albuquerque, NM, for the American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Meeting from May 22-26. We invite any CNMs to stop by our table and say hello.

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