Doctor’s orders: treat yourself


The busy mom juggles a variety of roles: mother, daughter, sister, coworker, friend, and wife. She has a number of obligations, including (but not limited to) managing finances, excelling in her career, running errands, taking classes, and juggling the family’s robust schedule. She gets home after a long day and leaves her problems at the door. There is no one else in the world who can balance life’s many obstacles quite like her. To be a caring and compassionate mother and human being takes an inspiring level of strength.

Garrison Women’s Health, an OB/GYN practice located in Dover, New Hampshire, helps women live their best lives. Team members Kristin, Janet, Tracey, and Sue are busy moms, too—and they’ve been through it before. It’s easy to get caught up in motherhood and forget to care for yourself. And for women experiencing this challenge, they have some advice.

Take time for yourself

As Tracey, Garrison’s practice administrator, explains, a physician is there to offer guidance and provide women with the means to navigate life’s everyday stressors. It is important to allocate time for yoga, massages, therapy, proper nutrition—whatever it takes to improve a patient’s quality of life.

As a mother herself, Tracey strongly encourages getting in the habit of making time for you. Engage in physical activities, treat yourself to a spa service, or even splurge on a new outfit. Eat when you’re hungry and rest when you’re tired. Neglecting your needs will limit your ability to provide the best care for those around you.

Don’t skip your gynecologist appointment

Kristin, an OB/GYN at Garrison, sees patients at all stages of life, including adolescence, pregnancy, and menopause. When visiting with her patients, she notices a general undertone suggesting that these women’s
lives are complex. Pushing back medical appointments is not uncommon—having to balance being a mother, daughter, and spouse is a lot. But, when her patients arrive and enter the appointment room, Kristin notices a visible sense of relief.

As uncomfortable as a gynecologist appointment can be, the visit gives women the opportunity and space to address their health. Kristin stresses the importance of investing in your mind, body, and soul.

Get that yearly mammogram

Sue has been a mammographer at Garrison for 32 years. She specializes in 3D Mammography—an innovative technology that provides radiologists with a more detailed view of the breast tissue. Mammograms can detect abnormalities before symptoms arise.

Breast cancer could begin forming as early as the day after you get a mammogram, so skipping your annual appointment is risky. Sue advises that mammograms should be conducted on a yearly basis once a woman turns forty. Having a family history of breast cancer can alter that schedule. Family history is not the only indicator of breast cancer—just being a woman puts you at risk.

Take your pregnancy day by day

Pregnant women experience a variety of emotions and can endure many challenges—stress, exhaustion, and the virtually impossible task of finding a comfortable sleeping position. Janet, an OB/GYN, explains, growing a human being is hard work! If you were to pick up a two-liter bottle of water, that heavy object represents the amount of extra blood pregnant women carry around during pregnancy. Just blood alone! Imagine all the other changes that are happening.

Janet recommends that new mothers do their best to enjoy pregnancy and live in the moment. Whether you are expecting your first child or your fourth, life will never be the same. The process can be painful, uncomfortable, and exhausting—but take time to enjoy life as it is, so you can prepare for the wonderful changes to come.  Don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do simple tasks as quickly when you are pregnant. 

Care for your family, but not at your own expense

Motherhood is a remarkable gift; the greatest job in the world. However, it’s often full of sleepless nights, endless loads of laundry, and a calendar full of scheduled activities. Many moms selflessly balance their careers—simultaneously maintaining a household, caring for their children, and dedicating time to their cherished relationships. An “I love you, Mom” at the end of the day makes waking up the next morning to do it all over again worth it. It doesn’t change the fact that their needs are too often put on the back burner. Whether an annual gynecologist appointment is pushed back another year, or a gym class is missed once again, moms tend to put themselves last.

At Garrison, we are women caring for women. We want mothers to take strides in dedicating time for themselves, living every day to the fullest, and most importantly, taking charge of their health. When your mind, body, and soul are taken care of, too… motherhood is that much sweeter.