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Moms Can Celebrate Mother’s Day By Putting Health First

Focus on preventative care may increase chances a mom will be around longer for family

DAYTON, Ohio (April 11, 2013) – Although many moms put family needs before their own, they need to put more focus on themselves so they are healthy enough for their family.

No one knows that better than Terez Metry, MD, a Premier HealthNet physician who practices at Belmont Physicians. Dr. Metry had her first child at the beginning of her busy medical residency, but was able to enjoy work, family and good health thanks to the support of family and friends. This Mother’s Day, Dr. Metry encourages women to do the same to help ensure they will be a part of their children’s future.

“Women are wired to be the caregivers and there is no mom on earth who would put herself before her child,” Dr. Metry said. “But there is a limit to everything and you can’t keep putting yourself on the back burner all the time. You have to have the mammogram or go have that health issue checked out. You make it a part of your to-do list and make sure it is done.”

Women often serve as caregivers for their families. As a result, a woman’s health and well-being becomes secondary, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office on Women’s Health. The department will observe its 11th Annual Women’s Health Week from May 12 – 18. The week is a time to encourage individuals across the country to support the women in their life by helping them to take steps to ensure longer, healthier lives.

According to HHS there are five main things women can do to take the first step in that direction. They include visiting a healthcare professional for routine screenings and checkups, becoming physically active, eating healthier, avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, and paying attention to mental health such as getting enough sleep and managing stress. 

Stress can seem like an everyday part of a mom’s life, but the CDC warns that it can have significant impact on a woman’s life. Managing ongoing stress can protect a mom against health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity and depression. A woman can reduce stress by planning ahead, prioritizing tasks and preparing for stressful events. 

Dr. Metry can recall the day she realized the importance of her own health. She had just had her second child and was breastfeeding when she and her entire family came down with a stomach virus. A significant loss of fluid left her dehydrated and exhausted.

“(My family) was lying around, we were out of food and all we had left to drink was tap water. That’s when I looked around and I realized this is probably what it would look like if I wasn’t here,” Dr. Metry said. “It made it very real to me how important it is to take care of myself first.”

Perhaps one of the best choices moms can make for their health is to have regular checkups. Screening tests – such as mammograms and Pap tests – can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Routine checkups with a primary care physician can also help women lower risks of many health conditions, including heart disease. Women are encouraged to make a pledge to call and schedule an annual checkup on National Women’s Checkup Day, May 13th. Dr. Metry also encourages women to make checkups a priority by scheduling them at the same time each year such as a particular month, season or even on their birthday.

View frequently asked questions about women’s health.

 

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