ImageBig news, friends! Team Brigham is now TEAM STORK! Join today and help support healthier babies and moms at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Visit our new website at www.teamstork.org!

Founded as Team Brigham in 1998, our runners have collectively raised $5.5 million for vital patient and community health programs at BWH and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.

In 2013, Team Stork will raise money for the Stork Fund at BWH, which promotes clinical care, research, and education for healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Together, Team Stork and the Stork Fund will give all babies at BWH the best possible chance at a healthy life.

Team Stork fundraising will MAKE A DIFFERENCE by providing critical resources to the following initiatives:

  • BWH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, whose skilled and compassionate staff help premature babies beat the odds and go on to live long, healthy lives.
  • Our Birth Equity Initiative, increasing access to timely, high-quality healthcare services, reducing birth disparities in infant mortality and low birthweight, specifically among infants born to black women.
  • The Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine, providing dedicated care to women and newborns with complications identified before and during pregnancy.
  • Our Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery, transforming what’s possible in reproductive medicine and answering the hopes of many parents.
  • Additional programs and initiatives that focus on the best possible outcomes for babies and moms.

Whether a first-timer or veteran marathoner, you’re invited to join Team Stork and this group of extraordinary individuals who choose to run the Boston Marathon for more than the 26.2-mile adventure.

Help all babies have a chance at a healthy life. Join Team Stork today at teamstork.org.

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Guest Mom Blog: Relieve Pain & Stress with Prenatal Yoga

prenatal yogaRelieving discomfort, pain, and stress through yoga is simple:  you just have to do it.  Ok, it is a little bit more involved than that, but committing to trying out yoga is the first step towards having a more comfortable pregnancy.  And I am referring to both physical comfort and peace of mind.

Starting yoga can be more challenging than it sounds.  One of my main pet peeves is people telling me what to do; but I do have to admit that everything (and I mean everything) has to begin with the decision to take action.

So let me share with you the 3 surefire ways to get the most pain and stress relieving benefit from prenatal yoga.  They are easy, I promise you.

1. Focus on breathingThis does not have to be complicated.  Simply take some time and pay attention to your breath.  It goes in and out.  The more time you take to exhale, the more relaxing the effect.  Slow, smooth, even breaths are best.  You want to breathe into your belly, deep into your lungs, you should actually see your belly rise and fall with the breath.  Then notice the rest of your body: let it be soft, invite your mind to be calm.

Focusing on the breath has a ton of benefits.  It sends signals to your brain to go into a state of homeostasis (think equilibrium and stability).  Just extending your exhale lets your brain and body know that everything is cool, safe, ok.  This is good for you and your baby.  As you experience stress, your ability to breathe yourself back to a stable state is essential to “beating” stress and resuming a peaceful state of mind.  So go ahead and cherish your awesome power to calm yourself in a variety of situations.

2. Regular practice.  Ok, maybe you think this one isn’t easy, but you already breathe everyday right?  Make a point of practicing relaxing breathing every night before bed, or every time you need to go to the bathroom. (Imagine how often you will be enjoying the relaxing benefits of breathing!)  You will require some commitment to regular hatha yoga practices to help with pain, but even 10 minutes a day is enough.  Especially if that 10 minutes is spent completely present and with the wholehearted intention of feeling good.

3. Be comfortable with change.  This one is really important because when you are pregnant, even comfortable positions are not comfortable for very long.  It seems a little unfair, but there is a lesson in that the more you move, the better.  It helps you stay strong; it creates awareness of your changing body’s needs; it speeds along labor; and babies love it.  So explore finding yoga-inspired positions that are comfortable and pleasing to you.  The more the merrier.

There are many opportunities to try prenatal yoga: There are classes, DVDs, online resources, books and of course YouTube.  Really, all you have to do is decide to try it and there will be some way to work it into your life.  You might have to give some things up or find time when you feel like there is none, but believe me: when you commit to practicing, everything will fall into place.  You will feel better, have more energy, experience less pain, have more confidence, and be well on your way to birthing in a beautiful, strong and powerful way.  I believe this and I believe in all women.  Namaste.

About the Author:: Stephanie Michelet is a prenatal yoga teacher, birth doula and mentor.  Expect to laugh, relax and leave your aches and pains behind.  Stephanie’s classes are peaceful, gentle, safe and fun for all levels of experience and taught with the sincerest intention to help moms experience the best pregnancy and childbirth possible.  Please visit LaliYoga.com to learn more about Stephanie’s classes and workshops.   

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Baby Week Features Brigham Babies

ImageWith Mother’s Day less than a week away, Fox25 News is celebrating Baby Week.

A patient at Brigham and Women’s Hospital will be featured tomorrow for “Delivery Day” with a scheduled c-section. In Vitro Fertilization is on the rise in the United States – more than 85,000 women undergo IVF each year, with over 25,000 successful pregnancies. The topic of IVF has dominated the pop culture scene of late with several celebrities sharing their stories of struggle to conceive naturally.

The mother-to-be featured on tomorrow’s segment has a special story to tell as she herself is an IVF patient. Her physician, Dr. Paula Kolbas, will also be interviewed.

Please tune in Wednesday, May 9th to Fox25 between 8AM and 10AM. Check your local service provider for the correct viewing channel. You may also visit them online at www.myfoxboston.com

 You can help support our mission of healthy moms, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies with a financial contribution to The Stork Fund today. 100% of donations to The Stork Fund benefits Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Model Parent Debuts Film

More than just a pretty face, Christy Turlington Burns can now add filmmaker to her resume. Perhaps her best role in life however is that of parent. The mother of two children, Christy suffered complications after delivery following a healthy pregnancy. She was shocked to learn hundreds of thousands of women die in childbirth each year – and upwards of 90% of them are preventable.

The Global OB/GYN Women’s Health Division at Brigham & Women’s Hospital will host a screening of the documentary film about at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world on April 12. No Mother, No Cry highlights a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States.

“I hope that by bringing people together through the universal experience of birth, we can help create a mainstream maternal health movement that ensures the lives and well-being of mothers worldwide, for generations to come,” said Christy.

To attend or for more information, please email The Stork Fund.

You can help support our mission of healthy moms, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies with a financial contribution to The Stork Fund today. 100% of donations to The Stork Fund benefits Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Couple Welcomes Leap Day Baby

Every four years, nearly 187,000 people are born in the U.S. on Leap Day. Rebekah and Nino Sylvia’s daughter, Veronica, was born at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at 11:53 a.m. on Feb. 29, 2012. In this video, the couple discusses how they plan to celebrate their daughter’s birthday on non-leap years.

You can help support our mission of healthy moms, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies with a financial contribution to The Stork Fund today. 100% of donations to The Stork Fund benefits Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Couple Welcomes Leap Day Baby from BWH Public Affairs on Vimeo.
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Safar Coiffures Supports The Stork Fund (Again!)

Sometimes a haircut is just a haircut.

Other times it’s a ritual of sorts. You know. The just-had-my-baby chop, the pregnant-again straight perm, and — a classic — the post-partum highlights.

But at Safar Coiffure, a chic Newbury Street salon, a haircut is always a significant moment. And on Sunday, April 1 you can enjoy that moment significantly during the annual Cut-A-Thon benefiting The Stork Fund.

Haircuts are just $25 the entire day! 100% of donations will support The Stork Fund and Brigham & Women’s Hospital programs promoting healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

There will be prizes, face painting, music & storytelling.

You know — more than just a haircut.

Safar Coiffures
235 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

If you have questions or would like more information, please email The Stork Fund.

You can help support our mission of healthy moms, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies with a financial contribution to The Stork Fund today. 100% of donations to The Stork Fund benefits Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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Happiest of Birthdays with the Gift of Life

WINSLOW TOWNSON FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

One-year-old Sarah Pastore of North Reading is held by the man who gave her a new kidney last December, her Uncle Anthony of Woburn.

I am grateful that (for the most part) my kids are healthy. As they reach each childhood milestone, each birthday I am reminded of this. So as I read the touching article in the Boston Globe this weekend about a little girl who received a new kidney only 10 days after her first birthday I knew her mother had to be grateful, too.

Grateful for the brother-in-law who selflessly donated his kidney to save his niece’s life. Grateful for a life her daughter will continue to have thanks to this new kidney. Grateful for the amazing doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Boston who performed the transplant. Yes, there so much to be grateful for at Sarah’s first birthday.

The Globe article points out that toddler kidney transplants are rare. “Of the 91,000 people on the waiting list in the United States today, only 181 are under age 5 and just two are a year old or younger, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, a nonprofit that tracks data for the government,” writes Kathy McCabe, Globe Staff. Although each case is unique, when children are the recipient a parent or close relative is the likely match due to the same blood type. And more often than not, parents who are younger are better donors because they are typically in better health.

While Sarah and her Uncle Anthony are healing from their surgeries, the family wants to encourage the public to consider organ donation, and to know that it is both possible and healthy for an adult to donate to a child.

BWH is renowned in organ transplantation having been the first hospital in the world to conduct a lung transplant in 1954. Click here to learn more information about organ donation or email The Stork Fund.

You can help support our mission of healthy moms, healthy pregnancies and healthy babies with a financial contribution to The Stork Fund today. 100% of donations to The Stork Fund benefits Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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