Blog Posts by EmpowHER

  • Returning Birth Choice to Women

    By Darlene Oakley

    Definition of Midwifery

    Midwifery is the traditional practice of having a trained woman rather than a doctor, deliver babies. A midwife is a trained professional who specializes in supporting women during pregnancy and birth by providing one-on-one attention and care, education, counseling and support throughout the childbearing cycle.

    In the United States, there are nurse-midwives, who are also registered nurses, and "direct entry" midwives who are trained in pregnancy care and birthing techniques, but are not nurses. While obstetricians focus on the difficulties of pregnancy, midwives operate according to the belief that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.

    Advances in Giving Birth

    Midwifery was widely practiced until the "enhanced" medical knowledge and discoveries of the 17th and 18th centuries emerged, which included the discovery of pain-relieving drugs. Along with drugs and male physician-attended deliveries also came anesthesia, delivery by

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  • Jane Linnell and Dr. Patel on Joint Replacement for Osteoarthritis

    By Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch

    In the United States, 27 million adults have osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the joint breaks down, causing bones to rub against each other. Patients with osteoarthritis can experience chronic pain and stiffness, affecting their everyday lives.

    For patients who are experiencing pain despite using pain medications and walking supports, joint replacement surgery may be an option. To spread awareness about the effects of osteoarthritis and how joint replacement surgery can help, www.RealLifeTested.com/ sponsored by DePuy Orthopaedics, shared the stories of individuals who have had hip or knee replacements, and offered information for patients considering the surgery.

    EmpowHER
    talked to one patient, Jane Linnell, whose osteoarthritis affected her ability to dance, an activity she loved. EmpowHER also asked Manish A. Patel, M.D., FAAOS, a board certified

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  • Tumors and Technology

    By Katie Meakem

    A seemingly harmless tuck of the cell phone in your bra so it doesn't get lost during a night on the town has become a cause for concern as a possible risk factor for breast cancer. Many young women have ditched their purses for the convenience of the JoeyBra, Forbes' writer Kelly Clay reported.

    The bra, with pockets on both sides, allows women to stash iPhones, IDs, debit cards and a key. Its material prevents phone damage by wicking away body moisture. The new iPhone manual, however, says to keep the phone less than half an inch away from any body part, reported CBS Philly.

    Some doctors say the heat of the battery or the radio frequency (RF) radiation from cell phones may increase the risk of breast cancer.

    Breast cancer risk is higher among women who have close ties with the disease. About 5 - 10 percent of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary. Yet, over 85 percent of women who get breast cancer don't have a family history.

    The

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  • The Stress Balloon

    By Marcia G. Yerman

    With global conflicts in the headlines and a constant analysis on the health of the economy filling the airwaves, it's not surprising that people feel anxious about the future ... and increasingly stressed-out about their lives. I spoke with Sarah McLean, author of Soul-Centered, about the challenge of staying centered in our fast-moving world of information and electronic overload.

    "We cannot shut out all bad news. We cannot just delete stress. Stress is a fact of life," McLean pronounced. Rather, strengthening one's nervous system through the practice of meditation is a top way to navigate stress.

    Each of us has a different mind/body makeup. Therefore, the manifestations of too much stress differ. One individual may be able to listen to the 11 o'clock news and not lose a wink of sleep. For another, a negative report can keep them ruminating until three in the morning. Regardless of the source, stress causes discomfort. McLean uses a metaphor to explain that as

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  • When is the Best Decade to Date? the Answer May Surprise You!

    By Susan Cody

    When I think of dating, I lump it all into a few categories -- teen dating dramas, dating in your 20s and 30s to look for a permanent mate, or dating after divorce with all that baggage attached! But there are many other groups dating, and one important group is our seniors. Dating over 60 is becoming far more commonplace, which can only be considered a great thing. Romance is most certainly not exclusive to those under 50.

    One of the biggest dating sites in the world, Match.com, has taken a look at what their members are saying about dating and their romantic outlooks in general.

    Those over 60 appear to be the most relaxed and happy over the status of their relationships. They cite many factors. The main one is that they've been around the block once or twice and know exactly what they want and what they don't want. Rather than posting photos lying against their nice cars (come on guys, why do you DO that?!) or pursing their lips provocatively into the camera lenses

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  • Autism Spectrum Disorder: When the World Doesn’t Understand

    By Darlene Oakley

    I often write articles on what having a particular medical condition may be like and ways to cope with it or prevent flare ups. But very few of my articles tell the other side of the story - what it's like to be a parent, caregiver, guardian of someone with a particular disorder, condition, or illness. As a parent of an ASD child, I thought I'd change my usual article-writing topics this time.

    What it's Like Being an ASD Parent


    Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder face a slightly different experience than parents of children who have more obvious disabilities (i.e., being in a wheelchair) because many children on the autism spectrum appear "normal". And because the child appears normal, people don't know that he sees and processes the world completely differently.

    Many parents have experienced the glares from other grocery shoppers or restaurant patrons when a child has a temper tantrum. You know, the "why don't you discipline your child better"

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  • Diabetes: Learning More About a National Epidemic

    By Dr. Daemon Jones

    November is Diabetes Awareness Month and I think it's important for people to learn more about how many people are affected by this disease. According to the American Diabetes Association almost 26 million children and adults are currently living with diabetes.

    A staggering 79 million are pre-diabetic and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. That is three times more people that are on their way to developing it during their lifetime.

    Diabetes, which is caused by hyperglycemia, is literally high blood sugar levels in the blood vessels all of the time. Normally our blood sugar levels are high only after meals because the blood sugar increases from the meal and then it goes into the cells to be used as energy by the cells.

    When the blood sugar levels are high all of the time they can cause several symptoms such as constant hunger, frequent urination and excessive thirst. It can also cause fatigue, blurry vision, weight gain or weight

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  • How to Needle Your Doctor to Stay Safe

    By Andrew Schorr

    A few years ago we saw the shocking report that almost 100,000 Americans had died in 1999 from medical mistakes. And now, with a bigger population and more aggressive medical treatment and testing, it is estimated as many as 200,000 Americans are dying a year from mistakes.

    On top of that, defensive medicine practices are resulting in more medical tests than are unnecessary. This is not making us safer but instead is introducing more mistakes through misdirected or unnecessary treatment from false positives.

    Thankfully many doctors and hospitals are working hard to bring the terrifying number of mistakes down and make changes. They want to head off deadly errors and, for example, prevent a surgeon from operating on the wrong side of your brain because the posted CT scan image was backwards, or prevent you getting a prescription that you are allergic to, or prevent the symptoms of serious illness from being missed.

    But what can YOU do to prevent mistakes? Some

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  • Domestic Violence: Everybody’s Issue

    By Marcia G. Yerman

    With a range of women's concerns being pulled into the maelstrom of election cycle rhetoric, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has now become another political football. Originally co-sponsored by Democrat Sen. Joe Biden and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in 1994, the bill comes up for reauthorization approximately every five years.

    The Senate has voted to reauthorize the bill. However, the House has put forth its own version - which eliminates aspects that have traditionally included protections covering confidentiality for immigrants, outreach to those in the LGBT community, and improved prosecution of perpetrators against Native American women.

    October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. President Barack Obama issued a Proclamation stating, "Let us renew our efforts to support victims of domestic violence in their time of greatest need, and [to] realize an America where no one lives in fear because they feel unsafe in their own

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  • Your Annual Physical is Likely a Waste of Time

    By Susan Cody

    Well, this is one for the books! Just 10 days ago I scheduled my annual physical six weeks ahead. I'm having it done as part of my own health maintenance and also using it to follow up on some sports injuries I've accrued in the past 18 months.

    And today I came across a study that says it might be a waste of time!

    At my annual, I'll get a reminder about booking a mammogram (done!), a general exam and a chat about mental health -- the usual stuff my health care provider and clinic offer.

    Will I die without it? Certainly not! But it's something I've done with some regularity for the past 15 years and something I plan to continue. It also helps that I have good insurance. My husband gets an annual and my kids see their pediatrician when needed. Most of my friends get annual physicals too.

    So do we actually need these annual physicals? If we're overall healthy human beings with no chronic illness or diseases, what exactly is an annual physical going to do, aside from

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