Shelley Flannery

Experienced writer and content marketer specializing in health and wellness, higher education and nonprofit

New parents: Here's when to start tummy time

The practice of putting awake infants on their bellies has come under scrutiny on social media. Here’s what to know about the dos and don’ts of tummy time.

To tummy time or not to tummy time? That is the question on many new parents’ minds these days. We talked to Dr. DeOnna Johnson, a pediatrician at Vanderbilt Children’s Primary Care, to learn all about it.

For those who aren’t familiar, tummy time is exactly what it sounds like: When awake babies spend time lying on their tummies rather tha

Your Age Does Not Define Your Menopause Stage

You’ve probably heard that women in the U.S. reach menopause at the average age of 52. But if you’re thinking that means you can wait until the big 5-0 to start prepping for the change, we’ve got news for you: Menopause doesn’t have as much to do with age as we’ve been led to believe.

In fact, it can naturally occur much earlier or much later than 52—anytime between ages 40 and 58, to be exact. And perimenopause—the period around menopause in which symptoms are most likely to occur—can last any

I’m Not Having Hot Flashes. Could It Still Be Menopause?

I could not wait to get to middle school the Monday after my 13th birthday, because it also happened to be the very day I got my first period. I was the second of my friend group to men-stru-ate (as our sex-ed teacher put it), and I was excited to regale my gal pals with my oh-so-dramatic tale of getting my first period: After my party! On my birthday! While my mom was asleep!

And yet I have no such plans to announce to my current besties the intimate details of entering perimenopause. Few of u

Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds

When healthy relationships end, there may be sadness, anger, guilt or regret, but eventually, both parties move on. After all, as the saying goes, time heals all wounds.

But that’s not the case for all survivors of domestic abuse.

After enduring abuse at the hands of a supposed loved one, moving on can be especially difficult. Fear and stress are natural consequences of abuse, and these stressors can increase one’s risks for

When should I worry about my child's developmental milestones?

About 1 in 6 children have a developmental disability. Tracking milestones and getting help early is the best way to set your child up for success.

You tracked your baby’s growth in utero, sharing with loved ones milestones like, “Baby is now the size of a blueberry!” And now you’re eagerly documenting every “first” in the baby book. But a friend’s child seems to be outpacing yours at every turn, even though you gave birth less than a month apart. What gives? And when is it time to worry your c

Do kids need a multivitamin? | My Southern Health

Why a daily kids multivitamin is probably a waste of money — and what you should be giving your kids instead.

Chewable. Gummy. Plant-based. With probiotics or without. Kids multivitamins have come a long way since kids across the country started singing, “We are Flintstones kids. Ten million strong … and growing!” in the 1980s. But while you may not have missed a dose of your favorite chalky chewable as a child, now you’re getting mixed messages about giving your own children a daily dose, whic

Want a Nutrition Coach? Check Out Telehealth.

It almost goes without saying—the food you eat is crucial to feeling and being healthy. Consider this: Poor diet has been found responsible for nearly half of the deaths from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, and it can play a role in the development of at least 13 different types of cancer. There’s also a strong connection between nutrition and mental health.

Moving toward a more nutritious life can be difficult to do on your own, but a virtual nutrition coaching program—such as the

6 Tips for Making Your Period Easier

Ugh! Again with the bleeding?!

I don’t know about you, but it seems like only a few days pass between finally getting around to stashing my tampons and pads in the back of the bathroom cabinet and needing to dig them right back out again. Seriously, uterus, didn’t we just do this?

While periods are generally thought of as monthly events, the average cycle is 28 days, meaning even the most regular individuals can expect to get 13 periods each year. And considering normal cycles fall anywhere be

What You Need To Know About At-Home COVID Testing

Stop me if this sounds familiar: You wake up with a slight throat irritation and immediately assume it’s COVID-19. You run through your schedule for the next 10 days and weigh what’s cancelable and what you’ll need to take care of from home. Then you realize you slept with the window open and don’t have any other symptoms of being sick (yet). You wonder: Maybe I’m imagining things.

You head to the medicine cabinet, grab whatever COVID test kit you got in the mail months ago and diligently begin

Menopause and VMS by the Numbers

Considering the fact that every woman on earth who lives long enough goes through menopause, it’s astounding that the subject is still so hush-hush. Fortunately, medical researchers are devoting more attention to menopause and its effects, including vasomotor symptoms (VMS), the medical term for hot flashes and night sweats.

That’s thanks, in part, to the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, widely referred to as the SWAN, which began in 1994 and continues to follow nearly 3,300 women in

What We Know—and Don’t Know—About Menopause and VMS

Did cavewomen ask their caveman husbands to fan them when they woke up from night sweats? Were Victorian-era women able to get out of their corsets by the time a hot flash passed? How did menopausal women cool down before having their very own refrigerators to stand in front of?

Society has come a long way since the first women experienced hot flashes, the telltale signs of the menopause transition. And yet, there’s still so much that remains unexplained about vasomotor symptoms (VMS), the term

Hot Flashes? Night Sweats? You’re Experiencing VMS

If you’re like most women, you probably first learned about hot flashes while watching a menopausal character on TV. Or maybe your mother clued you in while she was going through “the change.” Either way, your menopause knowledge is likely relegated to what you’ve heard through pop culture or secondhand anecdotes from other women—not necessarily science.

“Health curriculum covers puberty but mentions nothing about menopause, so we don’t learn about it in school,” says Andrea Donsky, a certified

Quiz: How Much Do You *Really* Know About Your Period?

Considering comprehensive sex education is only taught to of U.S. adolescents (age 10 to 19), there’s a pretty good chance you never learned about your ins and outs. “As women, we’re just kind of expected to know about reproductive health, but most of us didn’t have good resources for that when we were younger,” says Navya Mysore, MD, a New York family physician and women’s health expert.

And yet it’s super important to have knowledge beyond first-person experiences, so you can understand what’

Careers and Chronic Conditions Such as Bleeding Disorders

Experts answer your most pressing questions about navigating the job market with a blood or bleeding disorder.

Nick McRae-Cyr knew he wouldn’t be going into construction like the rest of his family. Instead of a high-impact occupation, because of his , he chose a career in social work. Still, it hasn’t been without challenges.

One of his first jobs after graduate school was working with children in crisis at a psychiatric hospital. He was prepared for the position to be physical, but it proved

5 Reasons Dispatchers Need Real-Time Situational Awareness

The importance of situational awareness is drilled into officers from the very first day of police academy. But what about situational awareness for dispatchers? Knowing what’s going on out in the field can help them do their jobs more efficiently — and keep officers safer, too. Here are five reasons dispatchers need access to real-time information.

1. Officers Aren't Always in Their Cars

When deciding which unit to deploy to a call for service, dispatchers rely on automatic vehicle location (

How to Get a Protection Order Served on an Abuser

Most advice to survivors of domestic violence for getting an order of protection ends there. But simply requesting the order and having it granted is only half the battle. You need to have the order served for it to be valid. And that doesn’t happen automatically.

Here’s what you need to do to complete the process of getting a protection order.

Thanks to TV, many people wrongfully assume the police can track down an abuser at the drop of a hat and with minimal information. But in reality, an a

How to Help Kids With a Learning Disorder Build Confidence

As a parent, you know your child is so much more than their learning disability. They’re skilled and talented in many ways. But with so much of their time spent in an academic setting, where they are acutely reminded of their learning challenges, it can be difficult for kids to see themselves the same way their parents see them. And that can take a toll on their self-confidence and, even deeper than that, their self-concept.

“For a child with a learning disability, their entire self-concept can

What We Know About ADHD and Food

Parents of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often hear that certain foods can reduce or exacerbate ADHD symptoms, namely hyperactivity and inattention. But what does the research actually tell us?

“There has definitely been research that’s shown eating nutritious meals helps our brains function and when we don’t eat, we struggle to think clearly,” says Stephanie Ruggiero, PsyD, a psychologist in the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute.


Sentenced for Defending Themselves

Men, on average, are sentenced to two to six years in prison for murdering a female partner, according to the ACLU. But when women kill their male partners (which is often in self-defense), they get an average of 15 years.

And that’s just an average. Kim Dadou Brown received a 17-year prison sentence for shooting and killing her boyfriend after he climbed on top of her and said he was going to kill her in 1991. And Brown isn’t alone. As many as 90% of women who are in prison for killing a ma

Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Kids

For a lot of kids with anxiety, excessive worry is triggered by a specific situation, such as being away from their parents, public speaking, heights or a scary animal. But kids who worry excessively about numerous things may have generalized anxiety disorder.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized as constant worry about lots of different things that aren’t really threats and/or overreacting to minor threats. It’s the most common type of anxiety disorder among children and teens.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Teens

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common form of psychotherapy used in the U.S. today, but there’s another evidence-based approach gaining steam among clinicians who work with teens and parents. It’s called acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT.

ACT is a treatment approach in which teenagers learn to do two things. First, they accept that negative thoughts and feelings are appropriate human responses to certain situations and don’t need to be avoided. Second, they commit to tak

Kids Who Worry They’re Sick When They’re Not

We’ve all worried needlessly about our health at some point or another. Perhaps you have niggling thoughts about being diagnosed with cancer every time your mammogram comes due. Or you have a coughing spell and wonder if it’s COVID.

Children and adolescents do the same thing. But if the occasional intrusive thought or worry about their health turns into intense, persistent anxiety, it may be more. What used to be called hypochondria is now two separate but closely related disorders: illness anx
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