Postpartum Depression

Most of the time, the emotions experienced after childbirth include excitement, joy, fear and anxiety.  On some occasions, women will experience the “baby blues” which can insist of mood swings and crying spells.  On a rare occasion, this can be a more serious condition known as postpartum depression, a form of depression.  This will occur in 10-15% of all new mothers.

How do you know if you’re experiencing merely the baby blues or the more serious postpartum depression?  Here are differences in symptoms according to the Mayo Clinic.

Baby Blues: Mood swings, anxiety, sadness, irritability, crying, decreased concentration and trouble sleeping

Postpartum Depression: (symptoms may start out the same as the baby blues but then may increase) Loss of appetite, insomnia, intense irritability and anger, overwhelming fatigue, loss of interest in sexual intimacy, lack of joy in life, severe mood swings, feeling of shame, guilt or inadequacy, difficulty bonding with baby, withdrawl from friends and family, thoughts of harming self or baby

If left untreated, postpartum depression can last for months or even years.

Postpartum depression can be caused by physical, emotional, or lifestyle factors such as a drop in hormones, lack of sleep, exhaustion, or difficulty breastfeeding.

If your symptoms don’t fade after two weeks, get worse, make it hard for you to care for your baby, make it hard to complete everyday tasks or you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, then you should set up an appointment to speak with your provider and get help.

The Gospel Perspective

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Prevalence of self-reported postpartum depressive symptoms — 17 states, 2004–2005 (57(14);361-366). Retrieved from website:
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012, September 11). Postpartum depression. Retrieved from

So You Want to be a Vegetarian?

Vegetarians come in all shapes and sizes.  The most strict vegetarian diet is a vegan diet which restricts you from eating any animal product.  There are those lacto-vegetarians who will also eat dairy products and lacto-ovo-vegetarians who will eat dairy and eggs.  And then there are the people who are mostly vegetarian but will eat chicken or a burger every once in a while.  Because there are so many varieties of vegetarians, it is hard to classify how many there are in the United States but polls place the number somewhere between 5-13%. 

What are the benefits of having a vegetarian diet?  Many include being more lean, having lower levels of serum cholesterol, having lower blood pressure and decreasing risk of colon cancer. Other benefits include having a diet lower in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.  You also reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

What concerns are there with being a vegetarian? Because vegetarians are cutting out meat and other animal products, they may be at risk for iron deficiency, insufficient calcium, Vitamin D deficiency, and Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

            To get iron eat: Dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit.

            To get calcium eat: dark green vegetables like broccoli, kale and collard greens.  Also eat foods fortified with calcium such as juice, cereal and soy milk.

            To get Vitamin D eat: Vitamin D fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereal, and get a sufficient amount of sun exposure.  You may need a supplement if you cannot get enough in your diet.

To get Vitamin B-12 eat: a Vitamin B-12 supplement.  This vitamin is found exclusively in animal products.

Getting Started  For some, going cold turkey when it comes to making a switch in their diet can be hard.  One way to make it easier is to each week increase the number of meatless meals you eat.  Search on the internet for simple substitutions for ingredients or look up vegetarian cookbooks.  There are many sources out there!

If vegetarianism is something you’ve been interested in trying out, make sure to do your research first so you can be sure to get all the nutrients your body needs.

Digging a vegetarian diet. (2012, July). Retrieved from
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012, July 11). Vegetarian diet: How to get the best nutrition. Retrieved from
Vorvick, L. (2013, October 31). Vegetarian diet. Retrieved from
Wikipedia Authors. (2013, November 4). Vegetarianism by country. Retrieved from 

50 Rexburg Service Ideas

Tis the season to show others you care!  As the Thanksgiving and Christmas season approach, we all look for ways to serve others and show them we care.  Here’s a list of ideas for acts of service (some of them very small!) you can do right here in Rexburg. 

  1. Call and talk to a family member who lives at least an hour away
  2. Focus on not saying anything negative for a day
  3. Write a letter to a missionary
  4. Smile at someone as they walk by
  5. Pick up trash outside
  6. Rake someone’s yard (or shovel snow!)
  7. Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
  8. Attend the temple
  9. Give a stranger a compliment
  10. Say good morning to someone you don’t normally talk to

  11. Write a thank-you card to someone who has helped you recently
  12. Give someone a hug
  13. Hold open the door for someone
  14. Be extra courteous to pedestrians crossing the street
  15. Make a treat for someone
  16. Do something nice for the person/ family you visit or home teach
  17. Remember to say please and thank-you…even for simple things
  18. Give someone a high-five and tell them good job for something
  19. Leave an anonymous note for someone
  20. Send a card to a stranger in the phone book
  21. Make breakfast for your spouse or roommate
  22. Throw away someone’s trash for them
  23. Leave a large tip for your waiter/ waitress
  24. Babysit for someone’s kids so they can go to the temple
  25. Tell someone you love them
  26. Tell someone a joke
  27. Tell someone why you appreciate them
  28. Write and send a letter to someone you love
  29. Do a chore for your spouse/ roommate that they usually do for you
  30. Put $10 in a random gas pump
  31. Index at least 20 names
  32. Visit the nursing home and talk to the residents

  33. Go Christmas caroling (or Thanksgiving caroling…be creative)
  34. Take a treat to those waiting in line at the testing center
  35. Take a treat to those who finish their test at the testing center
  36. Write your roommates notes of appreciation
  37.  Get involved with Activities on campus (they even have SERVICE activities!)
  38.  Volunteer at the animal/ horse shelter
  39. Give someone a ride home from the grocery store
  40.  Write a letter/ email to your grandparents
  41. Clean out your closet and donate clothes you don’t wear to Deseret Industries/ Goodwill
  42.  Bring your bishop a snack for his late after-church meetings

  43.  Learn how to do family history
  44.  Pay your fast offering
  45.  Donate supplies to the Family Crisis Center
  46.  Pray for someone who needs a little extra help
  47.  Help someone who’s moving
  48.  Help clean the chapel after services
  49.  Let someone go in front of you while you’re waiting in a checkout line or in traffic
  50.  Take a treat to the fire station

 Remember, it’s the little things that count.  Elder M. Russell Ballard said “It is my humble prayer, brothers and sisters, that we will ask in our daily prayers for the inspiration to find someone for whom we can provide some meaningful service, including the service of sharing the gospel truths and our testimonies. At the end of each day, may we be able to say yes to the questions: “Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need?””

Here are some great talks and devotionals regarding serving others:

Pictures from the LDS Media Library

Hair Care: What You're Doing Wrong!

As girls we love to take care of our hair, but we aren’t always the best at it.  There are all sorts of advertisements trying to tell us which products to buy and what will fix our damaged hair but what works and what doesn’t?  What can you do to have healthier hair naturally?  How can you make your thin hair look fuller?  Here are some tips and tricks to help you have fuller, healthier, better looking hair.

Brush your hair BEFORE washing– hair is much more likely to break when wet and wet hair tangles more easily.  Save yourself some trouble and wash your tresses when they are tangle free.

Don’t wash every day– MOST hair does not need daily washing.  Unless your hair has excessive oil, stick with washing every other day.  Unnecessary washing can strip the healthy oils on your scalp and leave your hair with less shine.

Lightly towel dry– There is no need to be rough with the towel when drying your hair.  Rubbing too much can lead to breakage so try blotting your hair with a towel and then if you decide to use a blow dryer, use the low setting.  Hair that is shoulder length is approximately 2 years old, so be careful with it!

Use a heat protectant– If you like to blow dry, straighten, curl, or otherwise apply heat to your hair, use a heat protectant first.  Make sure to get a non-greasy, light product.

Blow dry upside down– If you’re looking to add volume to your hair, blow dry upside down to give your roots a little lift from the start.  Also use a volumizing powder to help your roots hold all day.

Curl the ends under– By straightening your ends, it makes the rest of your hair look thinner.  So if you already have thin hair, try curling the ends under to give it more body.

You can’t mend split ends!– Hair is a non-living thing so once you split a hair it isn’t growing back together, despite what product advertisements claim.  The only thing the FDA regulates on hair product packaging is the ingredient list so other claims made are based solely on the person manufacturing it. 
Beauty High. (2013, November 21). 8 ways your’re making your hair look thinner. Retrieved from
Loux, R. (2013, September 24). The 10 biggest hair care mistakes. Retrieved from
LoveYourHair. (2013). 20 hair health tips. Retrieved from

Gestational Diabetes

Did you know that gestational diabetes occurs during 2-10% of all pregnancies?  As new ways of classifying and diagnosing gestational diabetes emerge that number could rise to as high as 18%. 

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes where women who have no history of diabetes have above normal blood sugar levels during pregnancy due to increased hormones.  Most of the time, it disappears after the pregnancy is complete.  The following is how the American Diabetes Association describes gestational diabetes.
The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin. She may need up to three times as much insulin.
“Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels. This is called hyperglycemia.”
There are quite a few risks with gestational diabetes.  One of the main ones is having a “fat” baby.  This can happen because the baby will develop high blood sugar, which causes the pancreas to make high amounts of insulin and that extra energy is stored as fat.  These children are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.  Other complications while giving birth can arise for mom and baby when the baby is too large.
Of women who have gestational diabetes, 35-60 percent will develop type 2 diabetes later in life.  This could happen immediately after pregnancy or 20 years down the road.
One way to diagnose gestational diabetes is to do an oral glucose tolerance test.  This is when the mother drinks a solution containing a certain amount of glucose (usually 75g) and then has their blood sugar tested at certain intervals after it’s finished.  This test can be done at your doctor’s office and is usually done between weeks 24-28.

American Diabetes Association. (2013, July 2). What is gestational diabetes. Retrieved from
American Diabetes Association. (2013, December 11).Diabetes statistics. Retrieved from
US Department of Health and Human Serices. (2013, September 09). National diabetes statistics: 2011. Retrieved from
WebMD. (2011, July 5). Oral glucose tolerance test. Retrieved from
Wikipedia. (2013, November 6). Gestational diabetes. Retrieved from