Author: Peggy Edmonds

For Our Patients: FAQs About Your Upcoming Appointment

State Health Officer Scott Harris reported on Tuesday 4/28 that Alabama is now seeing a leveling-off in the rate of new Covid-19 cases within our state. This appears to be the situation in Jefferson County as well. Here at Brookwood, as across the state, we have not experienced near  the numbers of Covid-19 patients needing hospital care that was predicted. Therefore, in conjunction with Gov. Kay Ivey’s re-opening recommendations, Dr. Harris stated, “There are no continuing restrictions on procedures by doctors or dentists, or dentists or optometrists or [other medical providers]. They are free…

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Dr. Sarah Whitehead, Obstetrician and Mom, Talks about Breast and Bottle Feeding

Few of our expectant moms have missed the message that breastfeeding has many benefits. But, while we continue educating expectant and new mothers about how good it is for baby, we don’t want to overwhelm them with the idea that breastfeeding—because it is natural—should always be easy to do. Some well-meaning breastfeeding advocates cite higher breastfeeding rates in third-world countries. Such statistics suggest that successful breastfeeding happens naturally in cultures where breastfeeding is the norm, and it happens despite inadequate healthcare and education for women.

Many suppose that, in developing countries like Botswana where I…

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From Dr. Sarah Whitehead—Optimizing Your Chance of Becoming Pregnant, an Obstetrician’s View

You’ve decided you’re ready to start a family. In fact, you’ve decided that the next few months would be “ideal” to begin a pregnancy. But a month goes by, and then another, and no little + sign appears on the magic stick. You’re not exactly worried, nor should you be. Statistics say that around 20% of couples who will eventually have a spontaneous pregnancy do not conceive during the first six months that they attempt getting pregnant.  Obstetricians define infertility as the inability to achieve a successful pregnancy after twelve months of regular, unprotected intercourse. So, during…

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Meet Dr. Cameron Askew–and learn about bariatric (weight-loss) surgery in Birmingham

Dr. Cameron Askew is a board-certified general surgeon. She cares for patients with a wide range of surgical problems, especially men and women seeking bariatric (weight-loss) surgery. She practices at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center here in Birmingham.

Dr. Askew is a life-long Alabamian. She is a graduate of Florida State University and the University of Alabama School of Medicine (UAB). She completed her general surgery training in the Baptist Health System. She is married with two stepsons, two dogs, and an active role in promoting obesity education; so, she understands her patients’ struggles to prioritize health in…

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Our Mammography Technologist Discusses 3D Mammography

So…a year has passed since we began using our new 3D mammography unit. If you have not yet had a mammogram with this technology, you may be overdue. Here is a re-run of last year’s post about the advantages of the new machine. Our patients tell us that it’s Smart-Curve compression surface is indeed more comfortable! Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds us to ask ourselves “When was my last mammogram.” (If you can’t remember, call us. We’ll check.)

Most of our patients (beyond that “certain age”), have met Mrs. Charlene Aitken, Sparks &amp…

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An Announcement for Our Obstetric and Gynecologic Patients

We would like to notify our patients that Dr. Cynthia Brown has left Sparks & Favor to begin another chapter in her career. Dr. Brown will be joining the medical staff at Medical West in Bessemer, Alabama, beginning October 1, 2019. We are proud of her dedication to community practice and her desire to broaden her contribution to the health needs of Birmingham women. With sincere gratitude for her service to our practice and to the care of our patients over the past twenty-three years, her colleagues here at Sparks & Favor and our staff wish her well in…

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A Milestone in Women’s Surgery

We were amazed and delighted a few weeks ago when the Women’s Medical Center at Brookwood Baptist announced its 8000th robotic surgery, adding that approximately 6000 of these were hysterectomies. In fact, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (manufacturer of the da Vinci robotic technology), published last fall that Brookwood is Birmingham’s leader in GYN robotic surgery.

How time flies! At Sparks & Favor, we were interested in the new technology from nearly its beginning. Dr. Sparks recalls those first cases in 2009. He wondered whether women would accept the new “robotic” technique. He assured them that the robot did nothing…

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A Chat with Dr. Whitehead–for Birmingham Girls!

Brookwood Women’s Services is again offering this excellent program (Saturday May 4th, 9 AM), and Dr. Whitehead is looking forward to participating. Click here to find registration information.
From my childhood in Botswana (my parents were missionaries), I am deeply aware of the difference reproductive-health information can make in the lives of women and girls. The HIV/AIDS epidemic devastated Botswana. Women, particularly young women ages 15 to 24, are still suffering in greater numbers than men, and progress has stalled. The fact of their limited opportunity, especially in education, makes them vulnerable. Nearly half of them cannot…

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Introducing Our New Website! A Wellness Resource for Birmingham Women

Our site, (the web-address has not changed), is an important resource for our current patients and also for women looking for a new obstetrician or gynecologist in Birmingham. We work to keep it up-to-date and informative. If you are a regular visitor to the site, you will notice a bright, fresh look. More important, we have tried to make it easier to find the information our patients use most frequently. The new site is more responsive across a wide variety of mobile devices!

If you have never landed on the Sparks & Favor site or not explored…

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Family Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer

Although breast cancer risk increases throughout a woman’s life, younger women can also face breast cancer. Experts do not recommend routine screening for breast cancer (mammogram) before age 40. But some women–those with hereditary risk factors for breast or ovarian cancer–may be advised differently.

We want to help our patients recognize risk factors in their family’s medical history. Your annual well-woman exam is an ideal time to review your family history. If your updated family history suggests higher risk, your Ob-Gyn physician may recommend genetic testing for abnormal changes in certain genes (BRCA 1…

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