Disclaimer: This is a guest post from Dr. Leanne Redman, associate professor of women’s health studies at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. You can get to know her more here and read her first post here. Her facts and opinions are based on her personal research. Red Stick Moms Blog was not paid to promote any specific medical viewpoints or studies. Always consult your physician with any medical questions.
With technology at our fingertips, 21st century moms have evolved to be savvy readers on health and wellness topics important to their own health and the health of their family. Lucky for us that with the development of the internet, many important health and medical organizations developed educational and research materials that are readily available to the every-day mom. Knowledge is power and indeed some of the world’s most inspiring people have talked about the power of knowledge and education. I love this quote from Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, because it extends the power of knowledge, information and learning to the family;
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family”
I am conservative at heart and a believer that moms are for the most part, still at the epicenter of most family units and those who know me have heard me refer to moms as the nutrition and health gatekeepers in the home. With so many health problems prevalent in our world today, moms are becoming more and more empowered by knowledge. Many of us are less hasty at scheduling that doctor’s appointment and are more likely to jump online to see how we can help ourselves. Every day when I read what moms are openly sharing in Facebook groups and blog posts – I feel a sense of pride and humility. I have learned there is a teacher in all of us. Unknowingly by sharing our experiences and recounting personal events in our own lives we are empowering moms to do the same – to think, to share, to educate and to learn. However in the midst of the heartfelt and personal accounts from moms, some factual information is lost or interpreted incorrectly.
I wanted to write this piece more as a resource. I hope to give Red Stick Moms a one-stop list of reputable sources of health, wellness and nutrition information. I also want to encourage moms to continue to reach out to other moms and if you have not already, join some local Facebook groups where you will find unwavering support from your fellow moms in Baton Rouge and Louisiana.
1. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is a private nonprofit membership organization comprised of board-certified physicians advocating quality health care for women, promoting patient education, and increasing awareness of the changing issues facing women’s health care.
ACOG’s website, offers health information for teens and women across the US. Facts and explanations can be found on a teen’s first period or first OB visit; as well as information on diseases and treatments for gynecologic problems. Answers to questions about pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum care can also be found on this website. Topics such as sterilization, birth control, ovarian and cervix cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility treatment, cesarean birth, postpartum depression, nutrition and fitness, genetic disorders, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy choices are available on the website among many more.
The educational resources available through the ACOG website for patients are displayed through user friendly electronic patient education pamphlets available in English and Spanish. You have access to locate ACOG Ob-Gyns in your area. The ACOG website is an excellent source of information for all things in women’s health.
2. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 62,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. In 2009, the AAP launched a parent-oriented website, HealthyChildren.org, offering up-to-date health advice for parents and caregivers. The Healthy Children website stands by the motto ‘Powered by pediatricians. Trusted by parents’. This is a trusted website that houses health and developmental information from pregnancy and infants to the teen and young adult. It also explains how and why nutritional decisions are important. Whether your child is a picky eater, has food allergies, or may be just bored and not hungry, this website may help. The website also goes into detail about immunizations, vaccine preventable diseases, health conditions, and different family environments. I really like that the information is accessible in both English and Spanish. It also has some audio and visual capabilities. Healthy Children website connects you with pediatricians and resources to guide you through parental and child health concerns.
3. Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is Australia’s largest breastfeeding information and support service. For those who know I am from Australia, probably think this suggestion for information on breastfeeding is my own personal bias but honestly, Australia is leaps and bounds ahead of the US when it comes to breastfeeding and that can be easily seen when you visit the ABA website. ABA offers breastfeeding information on breastfeeding safety, laws, work environment, storage, weaning, and introduction of solids. Video tutorials are also embedded on the site for breastfeeding basics, compressions, problems, and lactation aids. ABA supports and encourages women who want to breastfeed or provide breast milk for their babies, and they are promoters to raise community awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and importance of human milk to child and maternal health. For all your breastfeeding concerns, the ABA’s website is a great source of information and guidance. ABA helps more than 80,000 mothers each year. The ABA website provides up-to-date information and continuing education to thousands of health professionals working with mothers and babies.
4. As the nutritional gatekeepers of our home, it is up to us to provide healthy, nutritious, and safe meals and snacks to our children, but that is often easier said than done. KidsEatRight.org, a part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (eatright.org), provides science-based health, physical activity, and nutrition information you can trust for children of all ages to empower families to be happy and healthy. Kidseatright.org has educational articles and tips covering an array of topics including food additives, eating on a budget, addressing special needs, picky eaters, homemade baby food, food safety, child involvement in meal preparation, and oral health (just to name a few)! Simple, but delicious recipes and video demos are a great resource when you’re all out of meal ideas, looking for something new, or searching for a healthy alternative to a family favorite. KidsEatRight.org does not forget about the importance of being physically active. KidsEatRight.org reminds us that physical activity should be a fun, age appropriate, and involve the whole family.
Other trustworthy and reputable sites by topic (alphabetically):
Depression and Pregnancy
Healthcare for your baby and baby health
Healthy eating for the family
Mom Fitness and Nutrition
Potty Training your child
Dr. Leanne Redman works at Pennington Biomedical Research Center as an Associate Professor while holding adjunct appointments with the LSU Graduate School as well as the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the LSU Medical School. She is a wife to her wonderful and supportive husband, Tim, and mother to their four beautiful children, Jesse 14, Caleb 10, Stella 4 and Emery 3. You can follow Dr. Redman on Twitter@DrLeanneRedman.