November 10, 2008
The Sharon Kleyne Hour
Radio Talk Show – www.workdtalkradio.com
Power of Water, Global Warming and Your Health
Mind – Eyes – Skin – Body
Date aired: October 27, 2008
Guest #1 – Michelle Larsen, Joanne Rogovoy and Dr. Richard Lowensohn (Portland, OR), all of Oregon March of Dimes
“Improving the Health of Babies”
Guest #2 – Andy Ferguson (Baker, NV), Great Basin National Park
“All About the Great Basin”
Sharon Kleyne (paraphrased): Welcome to the Sharon Kleyne Hour. Today’s first guests, Michelle Larsen, Joanne Rogovoy and Dr. Richard Lowensohn, are all with the March of Dimes in Portland, Oregon. Good morning, Michelle, could you tell us about the March of Dimes?
Michelle Larsen (paraphrased): We’re a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the health of babies. We’re concerned with birth defects, premature births and infant mortality. Also with the health of mothers and infants.
S: How long have you been with the March of Dimes?
M: Eight months.
S: And you, Joanne?
Joanne Rogovoy: 28 years.
S: And you, Dr. Lowensohn?
Dr. Richard Lowensohn: About 20 years.
S: Joanne, what is the March of Dime’s #1 educational focus?
J: For a healthy pregnancy, you need to start with a healthy woman.
S: And how to you accomplish that?
J: By maintaining a healthy lifestyle from adolescence on. Women should be taking vitamins, folic acid, etc., exercising regularly and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes.
S: Do you have in-school programs for this?
J: Absolutely. We have tons of literature used by teachers.
S: But you don’t have experts actually going to the schools?
J: No, that’s not cost effective and we have no jurisdiction for it. We do offer online classes on prenatal health, though.
S: Dr. Lowensohn, dy you have any recommendations for teaching health to teenagers?
R: Teenagers think they’re immortal and don’t listen well. You need to bombard them with as much information as possible from many directions and hope some of it gets through.
S: Do you have health education programs for preteens and children?
R: That’s not our specialty.
S: What else does the March of Dimes do in Oregon?
M: We conduct research, professional and public education, and community services and advocacy for pregnant women.
S: Is it true that low income women not take care of themselves as well as more affluent women?
R: From what I’ve read, infant and prenatal health do not correlate with income level.
M: And birth defects don’t discriminate by income, either.
R: It can, however, be more difficult to get the poor to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, even though fresh produce is probably the least expensive item in the grocery store.
S: Why doesn’t the WIC program offer water?
M: WIC, the Federal Government’s “Women, Infants and Children” program that distributes coupons for certain free foods, is changing. They only used to offer only packaged foods, now they’re starting of offer produce. But I don’t think they offer water yet. We do recommend eight glasses of water a day, though.
S: And it needs to be pure water, not soda or juice. In my opinion, not enough charitable organizations that are involved with health recommend water as a nutrient. Tell me, Dr. Lowensohn, if a woman finds out she’s pregnant and her lifestyle is to eat out and run around a lot, what are some good eating tips?
R: Fast foods now have healthier options than they used to. Avoid too much bread and soft drinks. Hold the mayo on hamburgers. Avoid deep fried foods. And when you go out, bring some cut-up veggies and dip with you.
S: It’s especially important for pregnant women to keep doctor appointments and to monitor their personal habits. Could you help with this?
M: The March of Dimes puts out a pregnancy guide and diary to take to appointments to assist the doctor. It shows exercise, food intake, etc. It also offers suggestions on ways to quit smoking.
S: Smoking is dehydrating and will affect your baby’s health. This is absolutely urgent. What else are you learning about infant health?
R: The risk of birth defects is greater among older women. But 50% of birth defects are completely unexplained to it is foolish to ever assume that you’re completely safe.
S: Are birth control pills effective?
R: Mostly. But women need to remember to get them and take them. They tend to get lazy after a few years. And condoms have a very high failure rate, although they’re excellent for preventing disease, which pills are not.
S: What is the number on health problems with babies?
J: Premature birth. The rate is one in ten in Oregon, which is better than the national average of one in eight.
S: And can this be prevented through lifestyle?
R: Some of it can. But again, 50% of premature births have no explanation. The rate is higher among teens and older women. Women who receive prenatal care have a lower rate. There is also a higher rate of multiple births due to fertility drugs.
S: Are viruses a cause of premature births?
R: Not that I’m aware of. There are some bacterial infections associated with premature birth.
S: What is your main message to pregnant women? For me, it is attitude and stress handling.
R: Increased access to prenatal care. Also improving nutrition options and reducing smoking.
S: What about drugs and alcohol?
R: Those are very important. We need to make sure substance abusing women quit when they become pregnant, and that they absolutely don’t start after they become pregnant.
S: What about nutrition supplements?
R: Everyone pregnant woman needs to supplement folic acid and iron. The minimum for folic acid is 400 micrograms a day but we recommend is 10 milligrams a day. With iron, it’s 250 to 300 milligrams one to three times a day. Those are found in most prenatal vitamins. I don’t recommend vitamin A, however.
S: What about morning sickness?
R: Oddly enough, the sicker the mother gets the better the pregnancy seems to be. It’s a sign that she’s producing lots of hormones and that the placenta is well attached.
S: Any suggestions for morning sickness?
R: Have a soda cracker in the morning, then a cup of tea.
S: Any final words?
J: Look us up at www.marchofdimes.com for all sorts of information. Also, we urge listeners to sign our 2008 “Petition for Preemies” to support maternal and infant health.
M: Also, November is Premature Birth Awareness Month where we sponsor 10K and 3K walkathons.
S: Than you all again for your wonderful work. My next guest is Andy Ferguson of Great Basin National Park in Nevada who is going to tell us about the great basin, high mountain ecosystems in the desert and cave formations in eastern Nevada.