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Update to Our Office COVID Policies

As Alabama’s statewide mask requirement has now expired (5 PM, April 9th), we would like to inform our patients about how that will affect your care at Sparks & Favor.

First, we want you to know that we are extremely confident in the vaccines. Their ability to protect people from serious illness and hospitalization has been spectacular. Breakthrough cases are extremely rare. Of the scant number of infections after vaccination, most people have had very mild symptoms or none at all. Your shot is a ticket back to your normal life.

If you have not yet been vaccinated, ALL…

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On Our 30th Anniversary–Sincere Gratitude to Our Patients!

On March 15, 1991, two young physicians from UAB opened the doors to their new office, and the practice Sparks & Favor saw its first patients. Along with Mrs. Edmonds, our practice administrator then and now, we began a journey that has continued for thirty years.

Along the way, we were fortunate that Drs. Stradtman, Gregory, and Whitehead shared our vision of the how a medical practice should provide care. More than just individual physicians sharing space and equipment, we have truly been a team over these many years. We share call with each other, but not outside of our…

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The CDC Announces Recommendations for Vaccinated People

…with a personal view from an ObGyn physician.
The CDC has recently announced recommendations about how much fully vaccinated people can return to their normal lives. You can read them here. Rather than talking about the particular recommendations, it may be more helpful to comment on the reasoning behind the guidelines.

Vaccination is already decreasing the risk of catching, spreading, and ESPECIALLY becoming very sick or dying from COVID-19. Since COVID, you have come to rely on state and local mandates, CDC guidelines, and even the media to set rules for your behavior. But ultimately you will need to…

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Birmingham Weather–Our Office will be closed today

Our office will be closed today due to weather. If you had an appointment today, please call when the office reopens to reschedule. Our answering service is available for OB patients who may be in labor and other urgent OB or GYN problems. 205.397.1286. We appreciate that the answering service employees will be working today, and ask that you be patient if YOU have trouble reaching them. Call volumes are very high during weather emergencies…

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Ask Your Ob/Gyn: Spotting Between Periods—Should You Be Concerned?

Spotting or bleeding between periods does happen occasionally. Most of the time, it does not signal a health problem. Still, it is inconvenient, and most women want to know what is going on.

There are definitely situations where spotting or irregular bleeding should not be ignored. You should consult your ob-gyn if…

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What Birmingham Women Need to Know about COVID Vaccination

The CDC has published this helpful Q&A to encourage you toward a decision to be vaccinated. I am strongly encouraging my patients to receive the vaccine when you become eligible. For our pregnant patients, we recommend that you have a conversation with your obstetrician before receiving the vaccine. You can read more about COVID vaccination for pregnant and breast feeding women in my recent post “Should Our Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine…

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Dr. Sparks’ COVID-19 New Year’s Resolution

As we wished you good health and happiness at this time last year, we could not have imagined what 2020 would hold. But the New Year always brings hope, and with weekly shipments of vaccine arriving in Birmingham, we have much reason to be hopeful. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not there yet. Let our resolutions for this New Year include continuing to protect ourselves and others until we have all been vaccinated against COVID-19. We can do this for three or four more months and give thanks that it…

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Dr. Stradtman’s Christmas Wish…

For the Stradtman Family, memories of “Christmas Past” always include musical traditions. Celia, Sandy, and their children share a love of music at home, in worship, and in the community. They have long been supporters of the Birmingham Boys Choir. The group nurtured son Skip’s development toward his career as a composer and arranger.

This year, the music is silent, or nearly so.  Some Birmingham area churches have again suspended in-person worship. The Jemison Concert Hall will be dark where the Alabama Symphony would have performed Handel’s Messiah when we most need to hear “Fear not, for…

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Should Our Pregnant and Breastfeeding Patients Receive a COVID-19 Vaccine?

The short answer is—we don’t know. When the FDA Advisory Committee meets on December 10th to decide the matter of Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer COVID vaccine (and a week later for the Moderna vaccine), they are likely to specify whether pregnant and breastfeeding women (along with young children and the very elderly) will be included.
What factors will influence their decision…

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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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