Ask The Doctor: Bedsider and DW Check in With Dr. Colleen Krajewski

Despite increased access to resources, the majority of births in America are unplanned. This week DW partnered with Bedsider, an online birth control support network for women 18-29, to cover the complicated and very personal issue of reproductive health.

To kick off this series, DW along with Bedsider, interviewed Dr. Colleen Krajewski, contributor to Bedsider and  Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Magee-Women’s Hospital, about her work in the area and a few tips for reproductive health.  


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Improving Reproductive Health

Women aren’t fertile every day of the menstrual cycle. In reality, women are only fertile for a period of about 8 days per cycle, and it’s simple to pinpoint this fertile phase. I’ve encountered many people who can’t define ovulation and don’t know the role played by cervical fluid (or cervical mucus) in reproduction. But it’s not their fault. This isn’t something we were taught in sex ed. It wasn’t long ago that I was one of these people, and I now find myself on a mission to stop this trend.

When the female body is seen as mysterious and unpredictable, we end up missing an incredible opportunity to empower women. This lack of education about the female reproductive system leads many women to view our bodies as the enemy–something that we must constantly battle in order to remain in control. This mindset is a huge problem, especially since the female reproductive system, in most cases, is actually quite predictable. If we instead prioritize this type of education, I believe that we would set in motion a surge of powerful social changes. (more…)

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  • April 7th, 2014 The City of Brotherly Love and the Kids We Need to Love Better
    By Glenna Crooks
  • Why Grandparents Matter

    Displaying MOACGrands2.jpgAs the Baby Boomer generation begins to leave the workforce they’ll begin to face the enchantment of retired life.  So what’s next?  The awesome task of being full time grandparents of course!

    My children are fortunate enough to have three grandparents and 5 great-grandparents alive and well.  We’ve worked hard to ensure that they have a special relationship with each one.  They’ve spent time living with their paternal grandmother and often Skype, G chat and FaceTime with their maternal grandmother and grandfather.  It’s really great to watch them interact physically and electronically with these people because it teaches them two basic concepts that are sometimes missing in our society:

    Old people aren’t scary

    Love and respect everyone (more…)

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    Cultivating Creative Thought in Kids

    ICreative Thought 1nnovation is a word that has taken the forefront in our society.  At the root of innovation is the ability of individuals and groups to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to everyday problems and challenges.  But what is creativity? “Creativity” can be hard to define for an adult, so I asked my kids to try and define it. I asked a few questions: How would you define creativity? What do you use when being creative? What are some rules about creativity?  Here are their answers: (more…)

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    Sanctuary: A Teacher’s Journey to Fostering Students’ Mental Health

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    Being an urban educator in Early Childhood has brought immense joy to my life.  There truly is never a dull moment.  Whether I am bestowing my knowledge of phonemic awareness on them, racing to the nurse with a sick child, or dancing playfully during a brain break, my students depend on me not only as their teacher, but also in many ways as a pseudo parent. During the nine hours that they are with me each day, each stage of their development lies in my hands.

    It is these facts that brought me to a place of deep compassion regarding young children and their mental health.  Many of my students come to me from broken, economically depressed, and sometimes violent households.  As a novice to the profession, it was hard to wrap my mind around the many things that young children bare witness to, and then just as adults have to press on and continue their work, they as little people who are barely able to tie their shoes are asked to do the same. (more…)

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    Introducing New Foods & Raising Adventurous Eaters

    MOACBellPepper2Many of us want to try new foods but don’t know where to start.  Either we’d like our families to be healthier or the routine cuisine has become mundane and boring.  But how do we incorporate new tastes, textures and smells into our diet without the fuss?

    My family is pretty open to trying new foods because we create opportunities for everyone to share observations and opinions about their experience.   This did not come easily.  In fact, I personally was not open to trying and adopting new tastes and flavors and had a pretty boring palate in comparison to my children’s father.  What changed?  During my first pregnancy, I craved vegetables.  I was expecting ice cream or junk food, but I got a veggie craving.  I decided that I would hit the salad bar and the produce section to experience something new each day.  That experience taught me that a small nudge and a bit of persistence can impact your behavior in a big way. (more…)

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    In Memory of Sam Berns

    Photo Credit: Washington Post

    Today, our friend, Disruptive Woman, President and CEO of the Genetic Alliance, Sherry Terry pens a tribute  letter to Sam Berns. Please read her moving words below.

    Dear Friends,

    First and foremost, we in this community are a family, and support and love each other. And so, I sadly write to let you know that Sam Berns, son of Leslie Gordon and Scott Berns, nephew of Audrey Gordon, passed away on Friday night. (more…)

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    Art and Emotional Health

    Amber Coleman-MortleyArt is an integral part of our family life.  We paint, we sculpt, we use crayons, markers and chalk, we collage; you name it, we’ve tried it.  I’ve observed that kids (at least mine and their friends) do not have a predetermined notion of how to make art. That’s really cool. This means their senses are open to interpreting the wonderful world around them.   They are open to creating ideas and exploring their true emotions.  Art therefore allows your child’s mind to wander through their wonderful creative thoughts to destinations unknown. (more…)

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    Expert Insights on How Working Parents Can Achieve Balance with Joanne Dougan

    Joanne DouganOur friends over at eNanny Source recently interviewed Joanne Dougan, M.Ed and creator of Plan C Strategies on the perfect formula for working parents trying to achieve a balanced life. Ms. Dougan believes if you’re willing to adjust your perspective a little, you can achieve the balance that you need.

    eNannySource: Can working parents really achieve balance?

    Joanne: Absolutely. If there is a will, there is a way, as my mother used to say.

    A great place to start is to by defining what “life balance” means. There are people who see it like a scale where the two sides are equally weighted. Other people seek “quality time”, i.e. short bursts of time and attention, hoping that if they do it all they will feel balanced.  Another perspective — and the one I subscribe to – balance is about how you look at your life, and focusing on authentic life success is the goal, not the attainment of life balance. (more…)

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    Loving my Postpartum Body

    Leslie WaghornAt nearly eight months postpartum, I was recently asked “how do you think celebrities do it?” I knew immediately they were referring to what has been called the “snap-back”: the phenomenon wherein a celebrity gives birth and snaps back into her pre-baby shape mere weeks later.

    This wasn’t the first time I’d been asked this question since I’d given birth. A friend had confided feelings of failure and lazy for not having a taut post-baby stomach like Kourtney Kardashian, four months postpartum. (more…)

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    #ThxBirthControl (Seriously…thanks.) and ponder all that birth control has made possible for women, men, children, and society. A remarkable track record of success wouldn’t you say?

    The availability of birth control has played a direct and powerful role in countless aspects of all of our lives. For all of these reasons and more, today is the day that we hope you will join The National Campaign and Bedsider in saying, “Thanks, Birth Control.” (more…)

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    You Can Help Make a Difference for Kids with this One Easy Step

    central_parkWill you lend us your voice to protect children from pollutants? Children are more sensitive to pollutants: their bodies are still developing; they eat, drink, and breathe more in proportion to their body size; and their behavior can expose them more to chemicals and microbes. (more…)

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    Maternal Health: Disrupting the Pregnancy Status Quo

    CflynnAll of us who are here were born. We should care deeply about the maternity care system we have, as it has affected every one of us.  The U.S. just fell for the third straight year in the WHO international statistics for maternal mortality (from 41st to 50th to 58th, but who’s counting?) and holds the unenviable distinction of having the worst such outcomes in the developed world.  In addition to low outcomes, we’re also the most expensive.  Despite the fact that about a quarter of hospital discharges are moms and babies, some $98 billion a year worth, and 43% of those births are paid by Medicaid (your tax dollars), few policy makers seem to be paying much attention to maternity care.  This was on my mind last week as I attended the National Academy of State Health Policy (NASHP) in my home town of Seattle. (more…)

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    The Good and Bad Of Healthcare For Special Needs Children

    healthspecialchilder1Many doctors are amazing at what they do and their expertise is essential in taking care of a child with special needs. However, as a mother, I have an amazing gift too – the gift of knowing and understanding my child better than any doctor ever will, no matter how skilled or brilliant. (more…)

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