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Healthy Essentials

I jolted awake, in a cold sweat and gasping for air.

I was midway through my much-wanted, much-anticipated pregnancy with our second child, and in retrospect, I can say with some certainty that I was experiencing antenatal depression (depression during pregnancy). Little did I know, depression during pregnancy is actually pretty common — up to a quarter of women may experience it. But at the time, I felt hopeless. I knew I wanted this baby, but the depression led me to fear that the pregnancy was a mistake. To wake from a dream about this baby not making it into the world, just to dream it, left me feeling certain that I didn’t deserve to be a mom.

Image via iStock.


Depression can rear its head for any number of reasons, and I don’t know that I could have prevented it, but I do know that I wasn’t taking good care of myself.

Mercifully, during the pregnancy, my hormones shifted again and the darkness passed. (Though my depression passed, it doesn't always, so contacting a health care professional can be essential.)And not long after, my little girl was born, and all those feelings of fear and hopelessness felt so distant that they didn’t seem real. I was so glad to have her. I felt so fortunate that she was mine.

Now, finding myself at the beginning of a third pregnancy, I'm excited but also a little nervous that prenatal depression could creep back in down the road.

I didn't experience depression during my first pregnancy, and I don't know what my third will hold. But during this pregnancy, I’m determined to make self-care a priority. Because my emotional health matters.

Not only to me and my husband, but also to my children and most definitely to the little one growing inside me. What I’m enduring matters.

Image via iStock.

My self-care will include more "me time," more social activities, more days vegging out (at-home spa hour with body yogurt, anyone?), and more time talking to my doctor about what I’m going through.

What everyone needs is different, and there are many places to start — from easy things like taking a walk around the block to ones that take more of a commitment, like learning how to say no (check out this list over at the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Program). I’m starting with daily meditation, deep breathing when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and a determination to have more girl time with my friends.

It wasn’t an easy lesson to learn, but now I know that sometimes it’s more than just "crazy pregnancy hormones." Sometimes my feelings are telling me something important. I’m finally ready to listen.

We don’t talk much about depression during pregnancy — isn’t it supposed to be a time of bonding and nesting and anticipation after all?

Image via iStock.

But according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, experiencing depression during that time isn’t exactly rare. Between 14% and 23% of women are reported to face some depression symptoms during pregnancy — but I have to wonder if those numbers would be higher if we weren’t so squeamish about the topic.

Your feelings are a big deal, but treating depression doesn't have to be. There are lots of approaches available for depression or anxiety that are safe for you and baby. And you shouldn't feel like you have to do it alone — doctors and therapists are there to help.

Image via iStock.

I'm a busy working mom, and we are in the middle of trying to sell our house. I know how hard it can be for us moms to find time for ourselves.

And when I leave the kids with my husband to have lunch with a friend, part of me feels guilty to even take a couple of hours for myself. But I know that by prioritizing self-care, I am investing in the well-being of my entire family. None of us likes the distracted and impatient mom I am when I’m burned out and overwhelmed, so I take some time for myself to make my time with my family so much better.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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