Discover a free health information resource in this sponsored post.
Do you ever make to-do lists of all the to-do lists you need to write? If you’re like me, you may feel like you are constantly juggling as you attempt to keep everyone in your family happy and healthy. As a new mom again after taking an eight year break, I’ve found myself struggling to balance work with all of the responsibilities of caring for a teething, crawling baby as well as a school-aged daughter who needs help with homework and rides to sports and activities. Plus, there’s everything involved in managing a household (meal planning, shopping, cooking, laundry, running errands….and more). While I’m blessed that my husband is an amazing and involved father, I still get tired just thinking about everything on my to-do list.
As moms, we know that it isn’t easy keeping all those balls in the air. The first ball to drop is typically self-care. You take care of family, friends and work, but are you taking care of yourself? I’ve skipped many doctor’s visits because I was just too busy.
I know that there is so much going on after you have a baby that managing your health can get bumped down to the bottom of the list. I’m a nursing mama, so it’s important that I take care of myself for my own sake, but also for my baby. Have you ever lost sleep worrying about your health and wondering how your family would cope if anything happened to you? I have and so have my other mom friends. That’s why I partnered with The Merck Manuals to let you know about their free health information resources and how you can use them to be a more informed patient.
There have been plenty of times that I’ve consulted with Dr. Google or asked for health advice on Facebook. I can’t tell you how much questionable medical information I’ve read online! I’ve also received some unsolicited medical advice from well-meaning friends and family that was just…wrong. I’m talking outdated information that goes against what my doctor recommended.
That just goes to show that not all medical sites or sources of medical information are created equal. Here are some questions to ask yourself, courtesy of The Merck Manuals:
The Merck Manuals have been a trusted source of medical information for over 100 years and are one of the world’s most widely used medical information resources. MerckManuals.com and the Merck Manual Consumers Mobile App provide free and open access to reliable medical information. 350 medical professionals continually update The Manuals’ content to reflect the most current and accurate medical information, and the Merck Manuals are editorially independent of Merck. There are no ads, no registration and no subscription fees, which improves the user experience of this not-for-profit initiative.
I discovered The Merck Manuals after posting on Facebook to share some postpartum symptoms with my friends. My hair was falling out, and before I went completely bald, I wanted some feedback from other moms. A few of my friends shared beauty tips, but one of them reached out to share a link from The Merck Manuals about the symptoms of hypothyroidism and about postpartum thyroid disorders: “In 4 to 7% of women, the thyroid gland malfunctions during the first 6 months after delivery. Thyroid hormone levels may be high or low, usually temporarily.”
The Consumer version of The Merck Manual explained postpartum thyroid disorders in language that was easy for me to understand. There is also the option to click for free to read the Professional version intended for doctors and nurses which provided even more detail. The professional “Thryoid Disorders In Pregnancy” article explained risk factors such as a family history of autoimmune disorders and noted that “In women with any of these risk factors, TSH and free serum T4 levels should be checked during the 1st trimester and postpartum.”
When she shared this Merck Manuals link, my friend noted that doctors had dismissed her fatigue and hair loss as a normal result of motherhood. She suffered for over a year before her condition was diagnosed. I’ve been in the position to have to advocate for myself as a patient in that way, too. Using the information from The Merck Manuals, I can speak up for myself more effectively when describing my symptoms to my doctor.
Since then, I’ve used The Merck Manuals to research other medical issues for myself and for my family. I feel comfortable sharing links with friends in real life or on social media when they express health concerns or if I see someone else giving them medical advice from a questionable source. There’s an extensive section on Women’s Health Issues as well as Children’s Health Issues, which I know will be useful for the coming cold and flu season.
Merck Manuals believes that “health information is a universal right and that every person is entitled to accurate and accessible medical information.” Closing the medical knowledge gap between doctors and patients improves healthcare outcomes because it enables patients to make more informed decisions and enhances the relationships between patients and doctors.
I hosted a Facebook Live Event recently on the topic “Medical Knowledge Is Power.” I shared my experiences and discussed ways women can advocate more effectively on behalf of their health as well as their family.
More about The Merck Manuals:
First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Manual, known as the Merck Manuals in the United States and Canada and MSD Manuals outside the United States and Canada, grew in size and scope to become one of the world’s most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. As The Manual evolved, it continually expanded the reach and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical information to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers. For access to thousands of medical topics with images, videos and a constantly expanding set of resources, visit MerckManuals.com. and connect with us on social media:
This post is sponsored by The Merck Manual.