Ways To Help Out In Your Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting Americans in various ways and for extended periods of time, it’s quite possible that people in your community are struggling without you even realizing it. Many Americans have lost their job, making it difficult to pay bills. Others have lost loved ones or had to worry about elderly relatives or at-risk family members, or are at-risk themselves. You may realize this and decide to yourself that you’d like to help out where you can if you yourself are in a good position to do so. But what can you do? Here are a few great ways to volunteer in your community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Check On Your Neighbors

A great place to start is by checking on your various neighbors and see if there’s anything you can do to help out. This can be especially helpful if you have elderly neighbors as well. See if they need anything, such as someone to do their grocery shopping for them or someone to deliver a package for them. When doing so, be sure to socially distance yourself from them by talking through screen doors or windows and staying at least six feet away from them. If you have their phone number or know of a way to contact them via the internet, that can be even better as it will completely eliminate any risk.

Donate

Donating can be another great way to help out your community during these difficult times. If you have a particular nonprofit you’re a fan of that has been doing good things for your community, a cash donation would likely be the best way to support their cause and in turn, help out in your own way. There’s also the option of donating to a food bank, as there are likely many people who are in need of meals right now.

Think About Essential Workers

While many places of business have shut down or begun working from home during the pandemic, there are still plenty of “essential workers” out on the front lines every day. Essential workers can include healthcare workers, grocery store workers, police officers, and much more. These people risk themselves and their families each day due to the nature of their role, so a great way to give back to your community is to be mindful of that. Be sure to be polite to the employees of your local grocery store, saying please and thank you as well as being patient. Ask members of your community if they’d like to pitch in to order food for healthcare workers in your local hospital as well, as they’ll surely appreciate it.

This article was originally published on DrLoriGoreGreen.net

Great Books To Read About Women’s Health

One of the greatest joys in life is sitting down and reading a good book. Books offer vast amounts of knowledge and wisdom and have the ability to transport you to entirely different worlds than our own and it’s as if there’s an unending supply of them. There are so many books that it can be a challenge even deciding which ones to read. One topic, women’s health, has plenty of awesome choices to choose from, but here are a few of the best.

Come As You Are – Emily Nagoski

While sex is a wonderful thing, women sometimes struggle to truly find themselves sexually. That’s where Emily Nagoski comes in, sharing interesting research in easy to understand terms that can help you view your sexuality in a new light and ultimately becoming more comfortable in your own skin. You may think you know a lot about sex, but this book will make you realize you were wrong and lead you to an all-around better sex life.

The Emotionally Healthy Woman – Geri Scazzero

There are times in our lives where we often feel stuck and unsure of how to find the happiness we deserve. According to author Geri Scazzero, the answer lies in quitting. Quit the things that make you unhappy and you can begin rediscovering yourself and ultimately become an emotionally healthy woman. For Gerri, this began when she quit the church her husband pastored and realized she had to do what was right for her. The book also has an accompanying video series and is recommended to be used for both personal reflection or group discussion.

Rushing Woman’s Syndrome – Dr. Libby Weaver

We all understand how busy the world can be today. Most of us are constantly overwhelmed, trying harder and harder to keep up with everything going on and ensuring we check off every box on our never-ending to-do list. In Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, Dr. Libby Weaver discusses how leading these fast-paced, stressful lives can have harmful effects on women of all ages. Dr. Weaver is a nutritional biochemist and in this book, she discusses areas of the body such as the Nervous system, the Adrenal Glands, the Reproductive system, the digestive system, and last but not least, our emotions.

This article was originally published on DrLoriGore-Green.com

Postpartum Fitness Tips

A common question among new mothers is how long after giving birth can they get back into their pre-pregnancy fitness routine? While you may think you’ll be able to quickly get back to the way you lived before being pregnant after you give birth, you may want to think again. After giving birth you may suffer from bad posture, general fatigue, and an achy body amongst other things. This means doing many common activities you did before pregnancy, such as exercising, may be difficult to adjust to for a bit. The pregnant body takes around 40 weeks to form, and in some cases, it can take almost as long as that to get completely back to your pre-pregnancy body. At the end of the day, your doctor will let you know when you’re okay to start working out again, but when you do begin it’s important you approach it safely. Here are a few tips to help you out in postpartum fitness.

 

Ease Into It

It’s important that you take your time when getting back into your fitness routine. Pushing yourself too much so soon after birth can actually threaten your overall recovery. Many doctors will recommend that you avoid exerting yourself for about 2 weeks after giving birth. After that, a good way to start is by taking a 5-minute walk and seeing how you feel.  As long as you feel okay and there isn’t any bleeding or aching, you’re likely fine to take a slightly longer walk the next day and continue slowly building how long your walks are over time. After you build this up for about 2 weeks, you can move into gentle upper-body stretching or even take a postpartum exercise class.

 

Be Careful If Breastfeeding

Not every mother breastfeeds but if you are and you want to get back into fitness, it’s important you’re even more careful than usual. Weight loss shouldn’t be as much of a concern the first few weeks after giving birth until you’ve built up a stable milk supply. Some of the weight will naturally disappear during the first few days due to your body relishing the extra fluids it needed while pregnant. It’s also important you eat correctly if working out and breastfeeding, as breastfeeding mothers need an additional 500 calories a day than non-breastfeeding mothers.

 

Get Plenty of Rest

Getting rest and not overexerting yourself is more important than ever after having a baby. It’s easy to become sleep-deprived after having a baby, especially if your baby is waking up multiple times throughout the night, not letting you get a full night’s sleep. If this is the case, it’s important that you’re careful about overworking yourself. Exercise does have the potential to provide you with more energy but if your body is already lacking then it’s more likely it will just add to your exhaustion.

This article was originally published on DrLoriGore-Green.com

Food You Should Eat To Increase Fertility

While making a baby is rather straightforward, that doesn’t mean people don’t struggle with actually getting pregnant. A percentage of women in the United States struggle with getting pregnant all of the time, so and while that percentage seems small, the number is still rather large. Luckily, there exist several ways in which women can work on boosting their fertility when they’re trying to conceive. One of the easiest things to do is adjusting your diet, so here are foods you’ll want to try eating if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Healthy Sources of Fat

While eating too much fatty foods can be detrimental to your healthy, there are plenty of healthy fatty foods that are great for boosting your chances of pregnancy. In particular, you’ll want monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which is commonly found in nuts, seeds, avocados and smaller, oily fish such as anchovies.

No Skim Milk

Dairy products typically aren’t the best thing to consume when you’re thinking of getting pregnant, but skim milk and other low-fat dairy products are especially harmful. A little bit of dairy here or there isn’t the worst, especially if it’s something you really enjoy, but be sure to always partake in the full-fat kind.

Get Plenty of Iron

Getting enough iron is always good for you and has been shown to help increase your odds of getting pregnant. You’ll want to make sure you partake in foods such as tomatoes, spinach, beans and much more if you’re looking for something high in iron.

Try Complex Carbs

You’ll want to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates that take time to be digested, such as whole fruits, beans and non-starchy vegetables. These foods are important, as having a high or mismanaged blood sugar has typically been associated with not being able to get pregnant. It’s also important that you don’t cut out carbs all together, because this will make the body think it’s not getting enough food, which will trigger survival mode.

 

This article was originally published on DrLoriGore-Green.com

What Every Woman Should Know About Postpartum Depression

Whether or not a woman plans on having a child or not, it’s important to understand what postpartum depression is and how it works. It can affect many women, including yourself and the women you care about. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding postpartum, which is why it’s imperative to know the facts from myth to better help the women who are affected by it.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Not to be confused with “mommy blues”, which can last two to three days, postpartum depression affects women who have just gone through childbirth and are experiencing an emotional emptiness longer than two weeks. This kind of depression can make it harder for mothers to care for their children and not feel connected to them. It should not be taken lightly and is a very serious mental illness that involves the brain, affects your behavior, and physical health. Whether mild or severe, postpartum depression affects one in nine new mothers.

The Causes of Postpartum Depression

The biggest trigger for postpartum may be hormonal changes. Levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are the highest when a woman is pregnant. These hormone levels drop significantly back to normal within the first 24 hours of giving birth, which can lead to depression. Women who have a history of depression are also at risk for postpartum.

Symptoms to Be Aware Of 

There are many symptoms a woman can display that are signs of postpartum depression. Although symptoms vary from one woman to another, common symptoms are sadness, loss of hope, despair, frequent crying, feeling unable to care for the baby, loss of ability to do basic chores, inability to bond with the baby, loss of memory, and trouble focusing. When a woman is showing the symptoms of postpartum, only a doctor is able to give a diagnosis.

Treatment Options

When diagnosed with postpartum depression, there are two main treatment options available. The first is taking medication to cope with postpartum. Antidepressants directly affect the brain by altering the chemicals that regulate mood. A doctor may also suggest hormone therapy to help regulate estrogen levels. The second treatment option is going to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health professional for counseling. This option helps women suffering from postpartum depression make sense of toxic thoughts and give them the strategies they need to cope.

What To Know About Being Pregnant During COVID-19

The world has changed quite a bit since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in full force. Most places require masks to be worn in public and social distancing measures have been taken in public spaces as well as places of business. This can be nerve wracking for people, especially if you’re pregnant during these wild times. While not much evidence has been found saying that pregnant women need to be more worried than others, it’s still fair if you’re someone who is constantly worried. Here are a few things you might want to know about being pregnant during the pandemic.

Risk Of Transmitting The Virus To The Baby?

While it’s certainly possible for a new born baby to contract the virus, there has been no evidence that points towards the baby being affected while it’s still in the womb. Research has shown that newborns may be less likely to catch any serious forms of the virus, as well as show symptoms of it. Regardless of this, it’s important to protect not only yourself while you’re pregnant but the baby when it’s first born, so be sure to take precautions when first bringing the baby home.

Should I Change Labor and/or Delivery Plans?

Being in a hospital during a pandemic can be extremely stressful, especially as so many of them have suffered from overcrowding. This may make you think you’ll have to change your deliver and labor plans, but the first thing you should do is sit down and speak with your doctor about it. Many hospitals are adjusting things in order to limit the chance of exposure for patients such as expecting mothers, and many believe that delivering in a hospital is still the safest course of action regardless of the state of things.

What Should You Do If You Think You Have COVID-19 or Have Been Diagnosed?

If you think you’re sick, you’ll want to seek out the advice of your healthcare provider. If you actually get diagnosed with the virus, you’ll want to not only speak with your OB-GYN but also read what the CDC has to say about having the virus while pregnant. This will likely mean quarantining yourself as much as possible, only going out for medical care, and avoiding congested public places such as transportation.

This article was originally published on DrLoriGore-Green.com

4 Signs Women Should Talk to Their Doctor About Painful Sex

Sex might feel like a topic you rarely bring up, especially with a doctor, but it’s perfectly normal. Pain during sex might not be something you want to talk about at all, but sometimes it’s necessary and never something you should be ashamed of. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, three out of four women will experience pain during sex during their lives. The problem is common, especially during menopause, but there are signs you should talk to a doctor if they occur.

Lube Doesn’t Help

When sex gets uncomfortable, lubricants are typically the first line of defense. Vaginal dryness is a common cause of uncomfortable sex, so if lubricants aren’t helping, there may be  different underlying cause, such as hormonal changes, medications, or stress, that your doctor is best suited to identify.

Pain is Accompanied By Bleeding

For some women, bleeding after sex is not uncommon for women who still get their periods. However, if the spotting or bleeding happens simultaneously with the pain, it can mean something more serious. Sexually transmitted diseases or vaginal trauma due to intense dryness can cause bleeding, so it’s best if you check in with a doctor to discover the cause and a solution.

Painful Urination

If burning or itching occurs when you urinate you may have a yeast infection or a common bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis. While some infections can be treated with over the counter solutions, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor first, especially if the infection requires a round of antibiotics.

Intense or Long-Lasting Pain

It can be tough to know when to contact a doctor, especially when pain is your only symptom. If you experience consistent discomfort or intense pain, it’s definitely time to talk to a physician. If your pain is also accompanied by trauma such as cuts or abnormal discharge, consult a doctor immediately. No matter your concern, it’s 100% okay to bring up your questions or concerns with a doctor at any time during the process.

The Cause Behind Brown Discharge Before a Period

When you see brown discharge, you may feel distressed. But no worries, brown discharge is usually harmless and there are many reasons why it may happen in the first place. Sometimes brown discharge can be an indication of pregnancy or perimenopause. Very rarely is brown discharge an indication of an underlying health condition.

Below we will look at the various causes for brown discharge and when it is time to see a doctor.

What is Brown Discharge?

Women have vaginal discharge on a relatively normal basis. Usually, vaginal discharge is thin and clear or white in color. When the vaginal discharge is brown it indicates that there is a small amount of old blood. If there is blood still in the uterus and it takes a longer time to come out, it may be brown.

Non-Pregnant Women

If you have brown discharge while you are not pregnant you may be experiencing the start of your period just at a lighter flow or ovulation spotting. You may also be having a reaction to a Pap smear test or a reaction to having sex.

Pregnant Women

If you happen to be pregnant, pink or brown discharge is sometimes an early sign of pregnancy. Not every pregnant woman will experince this symptom, but it does occur in a few women. The discharge occurs due to implantation bleeding. The bleeding may occur one to two weeks after the egg has been fertilized. Brown discharge during your pregnancy isn’t anything to be concerned over, but if the discharge is a dark brown, be sure to speak with a doctor.

Approaching Menopause

For women who are approaching their 40s or 50s and experiencing brown discharge before their period, it may be a sign of perimenopause. Perimenopause is a transition period that happens before menopause begins. Along with brown discharge, women may be experiencing mood swings, hot flushes, night sweats, a hard time sleeping, and vaginal dryness.

Serious Causes of Brown Discharge

There are a few other more serious causes of brown discharge and can occur at any age and will be accompanied by other symptoms. Pelvic inflammatory disease, a sexually transmitted disease, a retained foreign body (tampons, condoms, vaginal contraceptive sponges, diaphragms, etc.), polycystic ovary syndrome, and cervical cancer.

When to See a Doctor

As mentioned before, brown discharge isn’t something you usually have to worry about. Although it can be a symptom of something more serious, it won’t require you to go to the doctor. However, if you are experiencing brown discharge that continues for several weeks, happens after sex, smells bad, is accompanied by pain, cramping, or vaginal itching.

from Dr. Lori Gore-Green | Gynecology and Obstetrics https://ift.tt/2tbjRox

What Is Amenorrhea?

A woman’s menstrual cycle is stressful enough without complications. However, there are many factors that can interrupt or change a regular cycle. Here’s what you need to know about what amenorrhea is, how it’s caused, and its treatments. The more knowledge you have about it’s causes, symptoms, and treatments, the more prepared you’ll be if it happens to you.

Put simply, amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual bleeding in a woman who is of reproductive age. There are two different types of this condition, primary and secondary amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea occurs when girls over age 15 have never had their period. Secondary amenorrhea occurs when a woman who previously had regular periods does not menstruate for over six months.

Causes and Risk Factors

There are a variety of factors than can contribute to the onset of this condition, including:

  • Obesity
  • Less than 17% body fat
  • Leptin deficiencies
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Overactive thyroid glands
  • Extreme emotional distress
  • Excessive exercise
  • The use of some contraceptives
  • The use of some medications
  • Chemotherapy or radiation treatments
  • Scar tissue in the uterus
  • Genetic defects

Symptoms of Amenorrhea

While the main symptom is the lack of a period, there are other factors that can occur. If you think you may have this condition, consult with a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The following symptoms may occur due to amenorrhea:

  • Weight gain or loss
  • Changes in breast size
  • Milky discharge from breasts
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Increase in facial hair growth
  • Headaches and vision changes
  • Pelvic pain

Diagnosis and Treatment

Consulting a doctor should always be the first step whenever you feel you have a condition or illness. Be open and honest about your symptoms so they can properly determine the condition, cause, and then prescribe a treatment plan. Doctors and medical professionals will typically perform tests to check hormone levels or genetic markers and may perform pelvic ultrasounds, MRIs, or a CT scan.

Treatment will depend entirely upon the root cause of amenorrhea, but may include medication, surgery, lifestyle changes, or a combination of several. Taking steps to achieve and maintain a healthy weight may be a suggestion if obesity or low body fat is a cause. Medical treatments could include a change in birth control, estrogen replacement therapy, or removal of scar tissue.