10 Facts the Public Should Know About COVID-19 and Social Distancing© By Donna Adams Pickett, MD, PhD

What is accomplished by Social Distancing? Let's do a little microbiology here:



Viruses are Obligate Intracellular Parasites.  That means they are OBLIGATED, they ABSOLUTELY MUST, reside in a living cell to survive and increase their numbers.



Covid-19 has decided that the cells that they MUST live in are respiratory droplets.


Every time you speak, sing, cough, sneeze, sniff, yawn, laugh you release little tiny drops of saliva from your mouth or secretions  from your nose into the air.



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Are You Pregnant and Concerned About COVID-19


Out of concern and respect for pregnant mothers, this author is sharing the ACOG protocol which outlines EXACTLY how your OB care provider should manage your pregnancy in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic.


If you have any specific questions, feel free to refer to this algorithm when speaking to your physician, midwife or nurse practitioner.


Wishing everyone a safe pregnancy journey.

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Fear is Not Your Friend During Pregnancy


Pregnancy can be a daunting experience, especially if there are risks or complications.  While efforts to enhance awareness regarding maternal mortality are appreciated, they should not create an atmosphere of fear. Fear creates confusion, worry, doubt and on occasion, inaction. The key to a healthy pregnancy is risk recognition, proper treatment, heightened fetal and maternal surveillance and maternal confidence and compliance.

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Should Pregnant Women Take High Dose Vit D?

According to a recent article in The New York Times and JAMA Pediatrics, the answer might be yes n the future.



As a mother of two cross country runners and basketball players, I prayed neither one of my sons would have a severe accident and fracture a limb. So far, the Universe has been kind.


Here are the fast facts about the article:



·        Pregnant women between 24 weeks and one week postpartum who took high doses of Vit D had children with stronger bones from infancy up to age 6 yrs of life



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How Much Should it Cost to Make a Baby?

As a former infertility patient, I know first-hand how bumpy that roller-coaster infertility ride can be. For me, infertility represented shame (I was less than a woman), anger (my body betrayed me) and depression (I was unworthy). I never once considered conceiving through IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) because as an OBGYN physician, I was fully aware of the inherent risks. I eventually became a mother through the gift of adoption, and I couldn’t imagine life without my sons.


 Unlike me, many women opt to have IVF but even in medical school and during residency training, no one ever mentioned the sticker price. The New York Times recently published several vignettes about what families paid for IVF or surrogates which I found both fascinating and sad. 


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Pregnancy and the Heart: Are you at Risk?

February is a time not only to celebrate the romantic heart but the human heart as well. In celebration of National Heart Month, let’s raise awareness regarding cardiac risk, especially as it relates to pregnancy.



Historically, pregnancy and heart disease are part of my family's medical and social history. My grandmother died at age 39, nine months after giving birth to my aunt from post-partum cardiomyopathy, a form of congestive heart failure that affects pregnant women. Neither my youngest aunt nor her grandchildren got an opportunity to know her because of this tragedy.

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Risk Recognition Must Become the New Normal for Pregnant Moms


We have entered a new decade and yet have made limited progress regarding eliminating calamities that occur in our “OB Space.” Einstein stated the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”  A paradigm shift has begun regarding childbirth and obstetrics. Pregnant women are more proactive regarding their healthcare. They seek answers and demand respect.


Pregnant moms, please be assured that there are OB healthcare professionals who hear you. See you. Respect you and are ready to empower you with tools you need to bring your unborn babies into the world safely. Rest assured, change is coming. Please, stay tuned.

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Five Things Pregnant Women Should Know About the Coronavirus


At present, the coronavirus has claimed 80 deaths in China (where the virus originated) and 63 persons are being examined in 22 states in the U.S. according to CDC.


Are pregnant women at risk?


The short answer is yes. During pregnancy, the mother’s immune system is altered so that it does not attack the unborn fetus (which is a foreign object) but it still maintains the ability to protect the mother against infection.


Here are five things that a pregnant woman should know about the Coronavirus:

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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.


Please like and share if you found this information helpful.

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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: nytimes.com

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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: kut.org



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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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