Category: Dr. Whitehead

Ask Your Ob-Gyn—Dr. Sarah Whitehead Answers Questions about Endometriosis

What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis in a condition in which tissue normally found in the lining of the uterus begins to grow in other areas of a woman’s abdomen. It is normal tissue, not a cancer, but it can still cause great discomfort and other medical problems. Endometriosis is very common, affecting about one in ten women.

The misplaced endometrial tissue can become attached to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, the outside surface of the uterus, the bladder, bowel, or other places in the pelvis.
What problems does endometriosis cause…

Read Full Article

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…

Read Full Article

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…

Read Full Article

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…

Read Full Article

Why A Healthy Diet Needs Some Fish—Important for All and Especially During Pregnancy

What’s for dinner tonight? Chances are good that it’s not a fish or seafood meal. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that 8 ounces of fish/seafood per week are part of a healthy eating pattern. Most Americans (80 to 90%) do not reach that goali. We may be missing out on nutrients that benefit our overall health.
Why is Fish an Important Nutrient Source?ii
(For everyone, but especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or might become pregnancy.)

Fish is an excellent source of protein—one of the critical building blocks of tissue growth, repair…

Read Full Article

The Pap Test–Finding Cervical Cancer Early

The Pap Test Changes Cervical Cancer Survival
Most women regard a Pap Test as a routine part of their reproductive health care. Sometimes you don’t even notice the moment during your exam when your doctor swabs or brushes the cervix to collect cells from its surface. This small sample of cells is sent to a lab where it is examined to look for pre-cancerous or cancerous cells within the sample.

In 1943, Dr. George Nicholas Papanicolaou published his description of a simple procedure that could distinguish normal from abnormal cells taken from swabs of the vagina and cervix…

Read Full Article

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…

Read Full Article

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…

Read Full Article

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…

Read Full Article

Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

 

What Is Pre-Diabetes? Take the One-Minute Test…

Read Full Article