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Post-partum stress can contribute to OCD, study finds
Shortly after Dr. Dana Gossett gave birth to her first daughter 13 years ago, she began agonizing over worst-case scenarios familiar to any new mother.
One of those nagging concerns: What if I fall down the stairs while carrying the baby?
"It's not something you intend to do, it's not something you want to do, but it's a thought that comes unbidden into your mind," said Gossett, a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Those persistent worries are at the center of a new Northwestern Medicine study that shows postpartum mothers are nearly four times more likely to grapple with obsessive-compulsive behavior than everyone else.
Eleven percent of several hundred mothers surveyed at two and six weeks after giving birth reported obsessive-compulsive symptoms, such as worrying too much about dirt and germs.
The study did not delve into the possible causes of the elevated anxiety, but Gossett offered her own explanation.
"We know that stress of any nature can trigger OCD," Gossett said, referring to obsessive-compulsive disorder. "And we know that child birth and becoming a mother is enormously stressful."
Although the fears are common, Gossett said new mothers should think twice if their concerns are causing "significant emotional distress" or interfering with everyday life.
The study, which Northwestern calls one of the first of its kind, could help other researchers determine whether postpartum depression is a gloomy period or its own disease.
Gossett is reserving judgment."The jury is out," she said, "but it's a fascinating idea."
-- McClatchy Newspapers
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Mix up your workout routine with Ploymetrics
Plyometric workouts have long been known as one of the most efficient and effective ways to train, because they simultaneously burn calories and build muscle.
Plyometrics or "plyos" are a type of exercise that encourages muscle development, power, speed and endurance and include anything that involves jumping.
Start with something less complicated like picking up a jump rope, skipping or high knees. Gradually add squat jumps, split lunge jumps or box jumps. Even try good old-fashioned burpees. You'll see gains in strength and confidence in no time.
-- GateHouse News Service
IN THE Q-C
Roxanne Kramer breast cancer award nominations due Friday
The Trinity Health Foundation is accepting nominations for the Stylin' Against Breast Cancer's annual Roxanne Kramer Award. This annual honor is given to an outstanding individual(s), organization or business that has tirelessly contributed to the quality of life of breast cancer survivors, and through deed, word and ongoing advocacy, has helped educate the community about breast cancer and breast health, according to a news release.
Ms. Kramer, a breast cancer survivor, owns the Always a Woman boutique in Moline that fits breast prostheses and specializes in wigs, head wear and specialty bras for breast cancer survivors. She also co-founded the Quad City Breast Cancer & Lymphedema Support Group, coordinates the survivor models for Stylin', and emcees the show, the release states.
The award winner will be announced at the annual "Stylin' Against Breast Cancer" luncheon and style show on April 25. All nomination applications are due to the Foundation office by Friday, March 22. For a complete list of criteria, eligibility and nominating information, visit trinityhealthfoundation.com.