Category: Dr. Whitehead

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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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 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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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…

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Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

 

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

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Ask Your OB-GYN: Should We Postpone Pregnancy during COVID?

The decision to have your first child or add to your family is deeply personal. You and your partner may have begun planning your family years ago as you discussed education, career, and financial goals.  For some couples, their ages or other factors make the “ideal” time to have a baby a very narrow window.

Come now the year 2020, and suddenly parents are overwhelmed with confusion. The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first public health emergency where women have asked, “Will a pregnancy right now be safe for me and my baby? The HIV epidemic in the 80s…

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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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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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