Five Things Pregnant Women Need to Do Before the Holidays

Happy Holidays from Dr. Linda and The Smart Mother’s Guide team. While we want you to have a joyous holiday season, here are a few tips to keep in mind to avoid unwanted disappointments or unexpected surprises regarding your pregnancy:

  1. Confirm whether your physician or healthcare provider will be on vacation and if so, who will be covering in his or her absence, including the labor room?
  2. Please do not fly after 32 weeks. The change in barometric air pressure increases your chances of prematurely rupturing your membranes (aka breaking your water).
  3. Ideally, do not travel if you have a high-risk pregnancy, even if you think you’re okay. One of my former patients didn’t follow this advice.  Her abnormal lab had not been flagged and when I discovered it, I had to track her down which resulted in her having an emergency cesarean section in another state.
  4. Do not leave on vacation without obtaining lab results in case they are abnormal.
  5. Be merry but do not drink alcohol. Alcohol crosses the placenta. It lowers your platelets (which helps clot your blood) therefore increasing you AND your unborn baby’s risks of bleeding too much.



Have a beautiful holiday and a healthy and prosperous New Year.


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Preventative Measures You Should Take For Your Dental Health Before Becoming Pregnant

This week, The Smart Mother’s Guide would like to introduce you to our guest blogger, Dr. Amanda Tavoularis:


Dr. Amanda Tavoularis has been committed to excellent dentistry for over 20 years. She studied at the University of Washington School of Dentistry and the prestigious Kois Center located in Seattle. She belongs to numerous dentistry networks include the American Dental Association and the Wellness Dentistry Network. Dr. Amanda can provide her expertise for dental care for women as well as expecting mothers. She has a son of her own and is committed to providing the most accurate information possible for patients.

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Seven Facts Pregnant Women Should Know About Marijuana

Although marijuana is legal in many states, it might not be a good idea for pregnant women to use it.


Here are 7 facts pregnant women should know about marijuana:

  • It is the most abused drug used during pregnancy. Most pregnant women don’t report its use until after delivery which statistically means 18%.
  • It is legalized in 33 states (or 67%) in the US for medicinal purposes and 11 states and Washington, DC for recreational purposes.

Should Pregnant Women Smoke Marijuana?

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Dr. Linda's Commitment to Mentorship

I'm happy to be back and I want you to know that my first priority is and has always been keeping pregnant women and their babies safe from harm's way. With this in mind, I'm excited to announce that I will begin mentoring pregnant mothers, pre-med and med students, ob-gyn residents, colleagues in need of support, and in this video I forgot to mention doulas and midwives. More information will become available in the next few weeks, and feel free to comment below or through my website if you are interested in learning more.

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Are Unborn Babies at Risk for Autism if Their Pregnant Moms Eat Processed Foods?

A University of Central FL research study proves preservatives damage brain cells which may be the reason why autism has increased. Pregnant moms, you are eating for two.


Please read labels before you eat that bread or cheese. It could affect your unborn baby.

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The Price of Refusing a C-Section: $229 Million Dollars and a Brain Injured Baby

Sixteen year old Erica Byrom’s refusal to have a C-Section, despite having severe preeclampsia made history when a Baltimore jury awarded her the largest medical malpractice verdict in the U.S. however, there is no reason to celebrate. Her daughter has significant brain injuries and will need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.


The question is: does a 16-year-old teenager have the maturity to make a life and death decision?

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Seven Safety Tips for Pregnant Women About the Fourth of July

Celebrating holidays with friends and family can be fun, and the Fourth of July is no exception. Here are seven tips pregnant women should remember as they celebrate:


  1. Don't stuff yourself with food. Remember, digestion slows down during pregnancy.
  2. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid parasites
  3.             Drink plenty of fluids and come in from the hot sun if you feel dizzy or short of breath

    4.      Make certain all grilled food is well cooked before eating.

    5.      Avoid inhaling smoke from a grill

    6.      Avoid direct exposure to loud fireworks. Sound travels through your body and reach your baby. According to CDC, exposure to loud noises could potentially damage your unborn baby’s hearing.


    7.      Enjoy your day with friends and family. When your happy, your unborn baby is happy too!


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Has Alabama Gone Too Far? Marshae Jones Indicted

In the state of Alabama, a pregnant goes to jail for being shot in the abdomen which resulted in the death of her unborn baby.


Has Alabama gone too far? I'd love to hear your perspective. 



reference article:

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Dr. Linda Interviewed by NPR Host John L. Hanson Jr.


Update to previous blog post


I’m humbled and happy to share my interview with the esteemed John L. Hanson Jr., the host and producer of “In Black America" a nationally syndicated NPR program that is dedicated to looking at all aspects of the African American experience.


Now, more than ever it’s important to share this perspective and the challenges of health equity for all, as well as maintaining women’s health benefits presently in the Affordable Care Act. During this interview I shared my insight regarding the alarming rise in maternal mortality rates as well as how patients can be the best health advocates regarding their healthcare. 


I hope you will listen to this podcast and share your perspective. 


podcast source:



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Can Magnetic Beads Detect Pre-Eclampsia?

According to new research released in the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Journal Report, the answer is yes. A new study has highlighted the use of functionalized magnetic beads to reduce blood levels of a harmful molecule by 40%.


 During pregnancy the placenta produces molecules that can damage the mother’s blood vessels. When blood vessels are damaged, the blood pressure increases. These harmful molecules are called SFIL-1. 

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Five Preeclampsia Clues Pregnant Women Don’t Want to Miss


In our continuing series regarding preeclampsia, some clues are warning signs of worse things to come. Pregnant women are often misdiagnosed because some healthcare providers focus on the patient’s blood pressure and either ignore or are not aware of these other vital signs. Please don’t ignore the symptoms listed below. They could potentially save your life.


1. Headaches that don’t go away with over-the-counter meds such as acetaminophen (or Tylenol®) could be an early warning sign of high blood pressure. Please do not ignore a headache, especially if you are in the late third trimester (36 to 40+ weeks). Untreated high blood pressure can lead to stroke.


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Now Is The Time To Fight For Moms - The Rockefeller Foundation

This is what life looks like when people have mothers. Can you imagine what it's like to grow up without one? An immense thank you to the Rockefeller Foundation for producing this amazing video. Mothers are precious and we can't afford to lose one.



Mothers fight for us their whole lives. Now is the time to fight for moms. We hope you will join us, so that we never have to imagine a world #WithoutMom.

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Facts Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About Preeclampsia: Part One


Each year almost eight hundred pregnant women die in the U.S. and frequently from undiagnosed preeclampsia. May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month and the Smart Mother’s Guide will be presenting strategies and tools to reduce maternal mortality as it relates to preeclampsia, so let’s begin.


Preeclampsia is a clinical condition that occurs during pregnancy and involves high blood pressure, protein in the urine and swollen areas of the body that can include the legs, ankles, feet and sometimes face. However, one does not need to have all these symptoms at the same time in order to be diagnosed with preeclampsia.  Unfortunately, preeclampsia is sometimes misdiagnosed during pregnancy which, if left untreated, could cause a stroke, very low platelets, seizures and death. Although preeclampsia usually occurs in the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester, it can occur any time after twenty weeks and yes, it IS possible to be diagnosed with preeclampsia as early as twenty-two or twenty -three weeks.

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5 Questions Every Pregnant Woman Should Ask Before Being Induced


Although most women will spontaneously develop labor by their due date, there are exceptions to the rule. Some women may have to be delivered earlier because of complications such as high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, diabetes, poor fetal growth or low amniotic fluid. Other women may have to be induced at 39 weeks which is the new standard of care.


Why are inductions of labor necessary? When the conditions within the uterus or a medical condition pose a threat to either the baby or the mother, the baby must be delivered. While most labor inductions are successful, there are some questions that pregnant moms need to ask in order increase their chances of having favorable outcomes.

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Dr. Donna Adams-Pickett On The TEAM Approach to Prenatal Care


My colleague Dr. Donna Adams-Pickett is giving excellent advice on how the "TEAM" approach can help reduce maternal mortality. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are "team" activities. Do you have a good prenatal team for your pregnancy?

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Can This Urine Test Save Lives In Pregnant Women?

You all know that I am passionate about the accurate diagnosis and treatment of preeclampsia so you can imagine how excited I am about “Congo Red.”


 According to an article in USA Today, researchers have created a test called “The Congo Red Dot” (CRD) test that can potentially save lives by detecting preeclampsia earlier in pregnant women.der text 

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Dr. Linda Will be Interviewed by NPR Host John L. Hanson Jr.


I’m humbled and looking forward to my interview this week with the esteemed John L. Hanson Jr., the host and producer of “In Black America" a nationally syndicated NPR program that is dedicated to looking at all aspects of the African American experience.


Now, more than ever it’s important to share this perspective and the challenges of health equity for all, as well as maintaining women’s health benefits presently in the Affordable Care Act. I will be sharing my insight regarding the alarming rise in maternal mortality rates as well as how patients can be the best health advocates regarding their healthcare. 


I hope you will listen to this podcast and share your perspective. 

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Should Labor Be Induced at 39 Weeks?


According to a recent research study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), induced labor after 39 weeks in healthy women may reduce the need for a C-section and might offer additional health safety benefits to the mother and newborn. In fact, the recent study results suggest inducing labor early in healthy women may also reduce the risk of preeclampsia, and the need for infant respiratory support.


In my near three-decade- career as a practicing ob-gyn, I can attest that in the past doctors did not recommend inducing labor for convenience and inductions were typically were only done for medical reasons and only at 41 weeks of pregnancy and beyond. 


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Dr. Linda Highlights OB (S)heroes Who Make a Difference


Too often we hear about maternal mortality and the disproportionate number of African-American women who die from preventable deaths while pregnant.


Today though, I want to acknowledge and celebrate the gifted obstetricians and midwives who perform miracles, manage complicated pregnancies and save lives. In the coming weeks and months, I will be sharing some of these incredible stories. 

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Dr. Linda on Capitol Hill


On March 12, 2019, I was among 700 OBGYN physicians from across the country who descended onto Capitol Hill with the American College of Obstetrician-Gynecologists (ACOG) to preserve the lives of pregnant mothers, to protect women’s healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act and advocate extending Medicaid postpartum benefits for twelve months rather than the traditional 6-week period. 


ACOG invited five Congresswomen to speak at the conference including the Honorable Lauren Underwood, the youngest African American woman elected to Congress and the first nurse; the Honorable Ayanna Pressley and the co-sponsor of the postpartum Medicaid expansion bill, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Ph.D. 

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