Category: Dr. Hall-Minnie

5 Toxic New Year’s Resolutions to Avoid in 2024

The New Year and its traditions are upon us. For most of us, the festivities will include some combination of watching football, eating collards and black-eyed peas, attending a party, counting down the ball descent on Times Square, toasting 2024, AND making a New Year’s resolution!

Notice that the last item is not likely to help any of us look forward to 2024 with optimism. The reason is obvious. Experience tells us that most New Year’s resolutions are doomed to fail. So today our New Year’s greeting for patients and friends will not include the typical…

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OB update from Dr. Hall-Minnie–Protecting Your Baby Against Group B Strep

Group B Streptococcus (Group B strep or GBS) is a type of bacteria that can cause illness in people of all ages. In newborns, the effect of Group B Strep infection can be very serious. It can cause meningitis (infection of the spinal fluid and lining around the brain), pneumonia (lung infection), and sepsis (blood infection). We want our pregnant patients to understand the recommendations that will help protect your baby from this illness. Obstetricians have followed these recommendations for many years, and we have been very successful in making early-onset newborn infection a rare event. The message here…

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An Obstetrician’s Reflections on New Dads

One of the great privileges of our work as obstetricians is the opportunity to witness, again and again, the moment when a man becomes a father. During the pregnancy, he waits in a supporting role. He attends prenatal appointments and childbirth classes, assembles a crib, installs a car seat, and offers his partner whatever help and comfort he can. During the first minutes after the birth, he watches his partner hold their tiny infant against her skin while a nurse works to clear the baby’s nose and mouth and dry the skin. Someone calls out a few numbers (the…

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5 Heart-Warming Resolutions for the New Year 2023

Happy New Year 2023! Over the years, we’ve posted many greetings in this space suggesting healthy resolutions to start the year. The typical list includes weight-loss, smoking cessation, exercise, preventive healthcare, and so on—worthwhile goals for any new year.

This year we decided to change it up a bit. We begin 2023 with resolutions to make you happy. While none of these “resolutions” can minimize the burden of life’s serious challenges, they might offer you a few more smiles, moments of fun, chances to relax, or personal satisfaction over the next twelve months. Our list got…

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Are you planning to become pregnant?
Will you have contact with an infant this year?
Are you attending college?
Have you reached age 60?
Are you planning foreign travel?
Most of us are very aware that children need immunizations to protect them from contagious diseases and to enroll them in school. Each summer, moms plan visits to the pediatrician to update the important blue slip, the Alabama Certificate of Immunization. But our need for vaccinations extends beyond childhood. The questions above are reminders of just some of the situations for which adult women need to consider their immunizations.
We know…

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Long Acting Reversible Contraception: A Birth Control Method Many Gynecologists Choose for Themselves

Surprising Facts:
Over 40% of women’s health providers choose the Intrauterine Device (IUD) for themselves according to one study. However, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that only about 12% of American women overall are choosing an IUD or other long-acting reversible contraception methods (LARC). These gynecologists and other providers help their patients learn about the advantages they enjoy themselves. Long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods like the intrauterine device (IUD) and arm implant (Nexplanon) are very reliable types of birth control that provide years of protection against pregnancy with a single device.
Why Do So…

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5 Reasons Your OB Doctor Wants You to Think About Your Birth Plan

All the physicians at Sparks & Favor welcome birth plans. Whether you have a written plan or just a mental note of a few items, it helps us to know what is important to you.
A True Birth Plan Story
Many years ago, Dr. Sparks and his wife looked forward to the birth of their first child. Dr. Sparks, an army physician, had just received his new duty assignment to the 130th Station Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. They would travel over a month before the baby’s due date, get settled, and then spend some time enjoying this beautiful city…

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Your Relationship With Alcohol: Just Another Reason For Women To Feel Guilty?

To start, I am not writing about Alcohol Use Disorder specifically. I just want to offer a little sip of caution to those who drink alcohol socially—almost half of Alabama adults. What is social drinking? Well, some people are more social than others. But if you’re rethinking your drinking habits, you really want to know “Where do I fit in?” “Are my alcohol choices affecting my health or quality of life?”

April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Scroll to the end of the post for a refresher on the medical facts of alcohol consumption. But if you clicked on…

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Gestational Diabetes–Good OB Care Makes a Difference in High-Risk Pregnancy

Over the nine months of your pregnancy, you are likely to experience some physical and emotional bumps in the road. Most women are not caught off guard by feelings of fatigue and the discomforts of morning sickness during the early weeks. These sensations usually improve. The middle months pass as you make plans and preparations for your child’s arrival.

As you begin your third trimester, your doctor will schedule a few tests to make sure your body is adapting well to the changes that pregnancy brings. Your 28-week appointment will include a screening test of your blood sugar…

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Developing a Healthy Body Image for Pre-Teens and Teenagers

As a gynecologist, I occasionally see a woman who is struggling with a serious emotional problem. Sometimes she realizes that challenges like being stuck in an unhealthy relationship, substance use, self-harm, or eating disorders (anorexia, compulsive eating) have become lifelong battles. Many women cannot explain the issues that interfere with a healthy life. Too often, a woman’s first steps on this path began years before.

Pre-teens and teenagers are under lots of pressure these days. Recognizing emotional changes that are different from normal teenage angst is a hard part of parenting. One aspect of teens’ emotional and…

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