When I first entered the world of natural birth I was educated to believe body weight had no effect on maternal or infant outcomes.  The organization I trained with was equally adamant that gestational weight gain was a useless measure that predicted nothing. I believed them. I made this belief a part of my life and looked the other way when I was obese for the first time in my life after my second pregnancy.  I spread this belief to other mothers, believing I was protecting them from fat shaming, from a non-evidence based health system, from the poorly researched advice they would get from otherRead More →

I gave a talk last month about obesity and pregnancy. I had an inkling it wouldn’t be a well accepted topic.  I have this image in my head that very few people are as interested in obesity as I am; and that probably for the most part American’s are sick of hearing that they should maintain a healthy weight. I didn’t get booed off the podium.  I actually had a few women ask questions when I was done, and a few who felt inspired that they really needed to take their own health more seriously. I had three main points: 1. If at least 1Read More →

I know many of the women I work with are opposed to vaccines.  So I have decided it is necessary for me to have the best understanding possible so I know when to definitely recommend a vaccine, when to definitely recommend against, and how to help the parents understand the risks and benefits. The first thing I often hear is that women want nothing to do with a vaccine in pregnancy, fearing it is unsafe for the baby.  This often comes up with the influenza vaccine.  CDC guidelines are clear that pregnant women should get the vaccine, but do you know why they recommend that? 1.  TheRead More →

I had the opportunity to attend a women’s health conference last week.  Not much on pregnancy, mostly preventing cervical cancer.  But one important take home point for everyone working with pregnant women. The latest guidelines for pregnancy will be to perform a PAP test ONLY if the PAP is due.  It will not be a routine part of the prenatal visit. And when it is due depends on many things, like the age of the woman and what type of testing she had for her last PAP and the results.  For example, if a woman has a negative PAP with HPV testing, she should notRead More →