9 out of 10 pregnant women with acute Hepatitis B infections pass the infection on to their babies.¹

In many regions of the world, viral Hepatitis infections are common. Some people become sick from the infection while others do not. Without screening, many people do not know if they carry the infection or are passing it to their families and communities. This is why July 28th is celebrated as World Hepatitis Day; a chance to bring awareness to the disease, its prevention and treatment. 

Know Your Status! HIV positive women who know their status and take HIV medications during pregnancy and delivery significantly reduce transmission of HIV to their babies.¹

Hey Mama! June 27th is HIV testing day! If you’re of childbearing age and are at risk of exposure to HIV due to sexual history, an infected partner or IV drug use, then this information is for you. It’s also for you if you know you have HIV and want to get pregnant.

Hey Mama!  New motherhood, or repeat motherhood can sure pile on the stress. Sometimes it’s so gradual that we don’t notice it until we’re barely hanging onto the confluence of work and family schedules, and those pesky expectations we put on ourselves! In honor of Spring and new beginnings in May - Maternal Mental Health month - let’s look at realistic ways to reduce stress and risk of depression and anxiety in motherhood. 

Hey Mama!  May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It’s time to focus on the signs of high blood pressure, the risks, and what you can do to avoid it. This is especially important information for pregnant and postpartum women!   High blood pressure during pregnancy is called preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a part of a spectrum of high blood pressure disorders that occurs during pregnancy:  gestational hypertension (high blood pressure during pregnancy), preeclampsia, eclampsia, and HELLP syndrome. 

Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).¹   Mama, I know smoking tobacco is one of the hardest habits to quit. Many smokers who successfully kick the habit lament that quitting smoking is like saying goodbye to an old friend. It takes a lot of personal strength and willpower to quit, as well as the right support system. If you’re smoking and pregnant, we hope there’s information here that will give you the conviction to quit.

What Foods and Beverages Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?

It might be a little unnerving to know that your unborn baby can be affected by a food borne illness when you don’t become sick or show symptoms of infection. Tragically, some food borne illnesses can cause devastating and permanent effects to a baby, like neurological damage and developmental delays. Sometimes the damage from an infection is obvious at birth; sometimes it takes years to become apparent.

3% of infants in the U.S. are born with birth defects.¹ If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or just found out that you’re pregnant, you may also be thinking about birth defects. January is Birth Defects Awareness Month so it’s a good time to discuss the basics and learn how they occur. Knowing the risk factors can help reduce your baby’s risk of developing a birth defect in the womb.

95% of Cervical Cancers are caused by HPV (Human Papillomavirus) mainly contracted through sex.³

What is Cervical Cancer?

Talking about cervical cancer can be scary. It’s a disease that affects women in childbearing age, which means very young to middle aged women. 95% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV (Human Papillomavirus), which is spread mainly through sexual intercourse.³ 

Hey Mama!  December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. While pregnancy is not often associated with disability, there is one condition that affects some pregnant women and presents similar acute and enduring challenges: Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP). Pelvic Girdle Pain is usually related to Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). SPD happens when the ligament that joins the right and left pelvic bones becomes too soft and stretchy. The pelvic bones often lose alignment and become unstable.

Mother-to-baby HIV transmission disproportionally affects black/African American people. In 2019, 61% of new mother-to-baby HIV diagnoses were black/African American.²

What is Mother-to-Baby HIV Transmission?

Hey Mama! December 1 is World Aids Day and a time to bring awareness to HIV transmission from mother to baby. There is so much to plan and prepare for when you are thinking about becoming pregnant for the first time or growing your family. No matter your circumstances, it’s always best practice to get tested for HIV (and other sexually transmitted infections) before you conceive.

High blood sugar around the time of conception and throughout pregnancy increases risks of:  birth defects, still birth, preterm birth, c-sections, and the baby developing obesity and diabetes later in life.¹

What is Gestational Diabetes?

November is American Diabetes Month and a great time to put a spotlight on diabetes during pregnancy, which is a rising trend in the United States. In the United States, gestational diabetes (diabetes developed during pregnancy) has increased by 56% from 2000-2010.¹

1 in 4 women have experienced intimate partner physical violence in their lifetime.1
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is the willful use of abuse or aggression that occurs in a current or past romantic relationship.  IPV can range from one episode of violence that could have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over multiple years.  Many women first experience a form of IPV before the age of 18.

5-10% of U.S. women of childbearing age have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and often find out when they are trying to have a baby.²
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility of women in the United States. It affects all races and ethnicities. The good news is that it’s also a very treatable condition.

COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy reduces the risk of pregnancy complications if infected with the COVID virus.² The last two years have been a scary time for women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or newly postpartum. The novel Coronavirus is new to the medical landscape. Society, including medical providers, have been navigating month by month what it means to live, prevent and be sick with COVID-19.  For many women, the stakes are high as they consider the risks of contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy.

Since 1988, greater than 35,000 people have received umbilical cord blood for the correction of metabolic, malignant and genetic disorders.¹ As you approach your baby’s due date, it is your medical provider’s role to discuss the option of banking your baby’s cord blood after birth. You might be wondering what this is and what are the benefits to your family or others.

Scleroderma, a connective tissue disease, most often affects women of childbearing age (30-50).¹
Scleroderma is a fairly rare disease, affecting 75,000 - 100,000 people in the United States. Women are affected more than men, mostly during childbearing years from ages 30-50. For this reason, it’s thought that hormones play a role in the development of Scleroderma, but the cause is still unknown.¹