Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by our partners at Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group.
Time is precious when you’re a parent, so much so that it’s easy to neglect something that’s very important — your health.
As moms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the demands of career and family. Women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who don’t make regular visits to a primary care doctor could be putting themselves at risk.
How To Stay Proactive?
Primary care providers, which include internal medicine and family medicine physicians, look after your overall health. Primary care providers treat everything from sinus pain and back aches to colds and flu. Another important role they provide is managing chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, anxiety and depression.
It’s often at routine office visits that primary care providers uncover the first signs of cancer or other serious diseases, the early detection of which is often crucial to good outcomes.
If you struggle to maintain that healthy work-life balance and think you’re too busy to see a primary care doctor, you’re cutting yourself off from the one person uniquely equipped to help quarterback your health and well being.
Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group, for example, is encouraging patients to “Join the Group.” There are more than 100 offices around the region. You can choose evening or weekend appointments, video visits with your doctor, and message your doctor directly in the MyChart app.
A Mental Health Focus
It’s important for moms to maintain a sense of self. You may strive to be the best parent you can be, but that should not mean abandoning every interest and activity that inspires and fulfills you outside of parenting. It’s important to make time — and take time — to do things for yourself.
Far from making you feel busier, such meaningful activities often energize and empower us to better tackle the demands of work and family. With the holidays approaching, you’re probably more busy than ever!
Four Simple Tips To Get Started In The Right Direction:
- Unplug. We hear all the time how important it is to limit our kids’ screen time. But, parents often pick up the phone first thing in the morning to check messages and scroll social media. Setting aside device-free time during the day, such as when you first wake up and right before bed, can help you be more present and content. Prayer and meditation are very effective in helping calm anxieties and restore our sense of purpose and self.
- Stay active. You don’t have to live at the gym for better physical health. Even simple activities like walking for 5 or 10 minutes at a time can boost your physical health and reduce anxiety. The key is finding activities you enjoy and doing them consistently.
- Learn your family medical history. So many chronic conditions are hereditary, so it’s important that you and your doctor know about your family’s medical past. You can learn a lot of valuable information about your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and cancer simply by asking your parents, grandparents and adult siblings. Make the most of your family time this holiday and learn more about “you”.
- Visit a primary care provider. Whether it’s an internal or family medicine clinician, you should establish yourself with a primary care provider. Just like everyone relies on Mom, you can rely on your PCP to help navigate your path forward to better health.
Visit their website HERE to learn more.
About Dr. Lauren Barfield
Lauren Barfield, MD was raised in New Iberia, LA. She received her Bachelor’s degree from LSU and then went on to receive her medical degree from the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge. Dr. Barfield is a member of the American College of Physicians and the Catholic Medical Association. Dr. Barfield specializes in adult primary care and preventive medicine in an office setting.