A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Sarah’s Quit Smoking Story

Sarah - MilwaukeeSarah* started smoking socially when she was 13 years old and has struggled with her addiction ever since. When she became pregnant with her fourth child, she had the opportunity to enroll in the First Breath program with her prenatal provider in Milwaukee. She received help, counseling, and incentives to help motivate her to cut down and eventually quit. She enrolled in the Striving To Quit, a new program that helps moms stay quit postpartum. Sarah sat down with us to talk about her journey and involvement in our programs.

Making the decision: When did you decide to quit smoking? Why did you decide to quit?
When I was pregnant with my oldest I smoked during the pregnancy, I quit when he was born because I wanted to breastfeed. I started smoking again when he was 3 months old. When I was pregnant with twins I quit when I was 3 months pregnant because I thought I had a pulmonary embolism. I started smoking again when the twins were 3 months old, they had RSV and I think it was partially due to my smoking. With my newborn, I cut down during the pregnancy-I only smoked when I would go out on the weekends. I quit when he was born and have remained quit even though I only breastfed him until he was about 6 weeks old (breastfeeding was the biggest reason I quit)!

Making the Change: How did you quit/cut back? What kinds of things did you do?
During the last pregnancy I started by cutting back- I would only smoke on weekends. Since he was born I haven’t started again because I think of his health (he has had colds and I’m scared of RSV again). Also I want to be able to run and play with being short of breath and I want to be a good role model for my twin girls.

Challenges: What were some challenges you experienced? How did you overcome these challenges? 
The kids’ dad and my sister smoking was a challenge, it was hard at first- now the smell disgusts me. Stress is a big challenge. I don’t keep cigarettes in the house so there’s no temptation.

Support: What type of support did you receive from the First Breath and/or Striving to Quit? Who/what else helped you in your quit attempt?
When I was pregnant my [First Breath Provider] talked to me a bit about risks of cold turkey and suggested cutting down. Striving To Quit definitely helps. I like having someone to talk too. Being with my kids helps- they are my biggest motivators to stay quit.

Feelings: What emotions did you experience during your quit attempt? How do you feel now that you have quit/cutdown?
I was always disappointed when I started to smoke again, like I was trying to do something good and now I’m back again. My goal moving forward is to stay quit. I’m super proud of myself now!!

Benefits: What are the most important benefits that you’ve noticed so far?
It’s easier to breath now and I’m not as tired. My baby would be much sicker if I smoked.  Also I have a little more money in my pocket.

Goals: What are your goals moving forward?
Stay quit! Also, I would like to go back to school.

Advice: What advice do you have for other moms trying to quit?
Kids should be the biggest motivation; you can see them right in front of you. Everyone is different though, do what works for you.

Our programs have helped thousands of women like Sarah. For more information, please visit us www.wwhf.org and click on programs or contact Kristine Alaniz, Perinatal Health Program Manager, at kalaniz@wwhf.org. You can also check out “First Breath Moms” a website designed for pregnant women and new moms who are working to become-  and stay – smoke-free!


The nomination period for the Everyday Health Heroes is now CLOSED.

Thank you for your interest in the Everyday Health Heroes Awards program. Our nomination period ended at midnight on March 11st, 2013. We will now begin the hard work of pulling together all of the nominations to begin the judging period and selecting semi-finalists.

Recent Research

More Effective Chemotherapy?

chemoSome really fascinating cancer research is just moving into human trials, specifically involving breast cancer treatment.  Calorie restriction, or dieting, while going through chemotherapy may significantly improve treatment outcomes.

We first read about this last year, when researchers were having excellent results in animal tests.  The researchers found that a 48-60 hour fast allowed them to expose mice to higher levels of chemotherapy treatment, without the increased toxicity that is common with higher levels of treatment.

The theory behind this is that healthy cells in a body are able to down-regulate their metabolism, while cancer cells cannot.  When the body is in this down-regulated state, cancer cells absorb more of the chemotherapy drugs while healthy cells absorb less.  If it is found to be as effective in human patients, this could result in more effective chemotherapy treatment with fewer side effects, simply by moderating diet during the treatment periods! There have been few specific human cases in which it’s been tested, but this announcement is one of the first controlled trials looking into the research using human participants with breast cancer.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130204094507.htm


Happy International Women’s Day!

iwd_squareMarch 8th is a day to recognize and highlight the social, economic and political achievements of women around the world. First celebrated in the eary 1900’s, International Women’s Day is a movement that celebrates every woman and every girl, no matter where they live, according to Melinda Gates.

In the early 1900’s women in the United States fought for better pay, shorter work hours and the right to vote. In 1917, thousands of Russian women began a strike for peace and the vote; days later Russian women were granted the right to vote. In 1920 women in the United States were granted the right to vote. In the years since the women’s suffrage movement of the 1900’s there has been much achieved in the quest for gender equality. While we have come a long way in the quest for gender equality, gaps still remain. According to the United Nations:

  • Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16.
  • Globally, 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
  • Up to 70% of women in the world report having experienced physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
  • Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18.

These startling and unacceptable facts push us to put an end to violence against women worldwide. What can you do? You can take a moment to learn about UN Secretary-Generals Ban Ki-moon’s UNite campaign to end violence. You can help break the cycle by starting a chain reaction. According to Kiva:

  • Women reinvest 80% of their income in the health and well-being of their children.
  • A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more like to live past age 5.
  • For girls, every additional year of school increases her future earning potential by 20%.
  • Daughters of economically empowered mothers are more likely to follow in their footsteps.

So celebrate International Women’s Day by taking action and getting involved.


You lose if you don’t snooze.

Do you remember someone saying to you “You snooze, you lose” when you missed out on a great opportunity? Flip that phrase around to “You lose if you don’t snooze” and that’s how important it is to get enough sleep.

Why is sleep important to your health?
Kelly Gullo, a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist at the Sleep Disorder Center at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin said, “Sleep is just as important as food and water.” Your body requires at least eight hours of sleep. According to Gullo, sleep gives your body the opportunity to “Restore, Repair and Rejuvenate.”

Why is lack of sleep dangerous to your health?
Insomnia and lack of sleep contribute to dangerous health issues for women such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and depression. Gullo says, “Heart attacks, heart failure, an irregular heart beat and high blood pressure can all be related to sleeplessness.”

Six steps to a peaceful slumber:

  1. Set a routine. Just as a bedtime routine helps a child get to sleep, you need to program yourself for sleep.
  2. Avoid high-stress activities before bed.
  3. Keep your bedroom dark, cool and free of noise.
  4. Avoid the backlighting of your electronic devices and TV at least two hours before bed.
  5. Get moving! Exercise has been shown to improve sleep.
  6. Try some chamomile tea before bed.


Sweet dreams!

*If you have trouble sleeping contact your healthcare provider to determine if there is an underlying health issue causing your sleeplessness.*


Spring Gala Registration is Now OPEN!

Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation’s 14th Annual Spring Gala

Reserve your spot at the beautiful State Capitol Rotunda for WWHF’s 14th Annual Spring Gala! Join us for an elegant evening of dancing, dinner, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, wine, champagne, beer and spirits.

All proceeds stay in Wisconsin and support WWHF’s women’s health education programs located in all 72 Wisconsin counties.

gala page collage

Saturday, May 4th, 2013
8:00pm – Midnight
State Capitol Rotunda

Spring Gala Registration
Individual Tickets ($95)
Table for 8 ($1280)
Golden Circle VIP Table for 8 – Please email us at wwhf@wwhf.org

Be sure to tell your friends not to miss out on the best party in town!

Nominate an Everyday Health Hero today!

web site stock photos 012This year at our annual Spring Gala WWHF will be honoring a new group of people. These people are our Everyday Health Heroes. This awards program recognizes individuals who have made a positive impact on the health and welfare of their families and communities.

We will recognize individuals who make courageous choices; are creative in how they live a healthy life; help others make changes to improve their health; and are generous with their time, talents, and energy. The Everyday Health Heroes award will honor individuals who live out the WWHF’s mission of helping women and families reach their healthiest potential in their everyday lives.

Do you know someone who fits these qualities? Nominate them! We encourage you to nominate your parents, neighbors, coaches, teachers, families and friends.

Nominations are now open! The deadline for nominations is March 11st 2013.

Everyday Health Heroes will receive:

-Complimentary tickets to the WWHF Annual Spring Gala on May 4th, 2013

-Valuable gift certificates from local businesses

-Recognition at the Pre-Gala VIP Auction on May 4th, 2013

Click HERE to nominate an Everyday Health Hero today!


Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

MS ribbonMarch is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) awareness month. MS is a disease that disproportionally affects women, typically developing in young adulthood to age 50. Currently, over 2 million people worldwide are living with MS.

What is MS?

MS is an unfortunate disease in which the immune system, instead of attacking and destroying foreign substances to the body, mistakenly attacks normal tissues such as the brain and spinal cord resulting in loss of muscle control, vision, balance, and sensation (numbness). The progression, severity, and symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary person. Most people living with MS learn to cope with the disease and continue to lead functional and satisfying lives.

No one is sure why MS develops – research has shown that it is most likely a combination of genetics and environment. There is no cure for MS, but scientists have developed treatments to help people living with MS manage their symptoms. Although specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from person to person there are early symptoms, including:

      • Muscle weakness/numbness
      • Decreased coordination
      • Blurred, hazy, or double vision
      • Fatigue
      • Emotional changes
      • Bladder and bowel dysfunction

For more information or to find out how you can help, contact the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Just 3 Steps

A Balanced Diet in Just 3 Steps

Eat real food.

  • If you can’t pronounce it or its ingredients, don’t eat it.

Consume all 3 macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) at each meal.

Plan your meals. Grocery shopping 101:

  • Make a list and stick to it. This saves time and money.
  • Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where the fresh food is found.
  • Read ingredient labels and remember step 1 – Eat real food!

Choose My Plate is an excellent resource for healthy meal planning.


Support Our Mission

Support Our Mission – First Breath and My Baby & Me Statewide Providers’ Meeting

youngmomwithboyImprove the health and well-being of women and families in Wisconsin by supporting the First Breath and My Baby & Me Statewide Providers’ Meeting!

Your donation will help healthcare providers from around the state to participate in our annual program training on March 28, 2013. Healthcare professionals will learn new strategies to help pregnant patients quit smoking and abstain from alcohol. Each year we host 75 nurses, nutritionists, public health professionals, and many others at this informational event.

A donation of just $25 is equivalent to the cost of one provider’s meal and educational materials for the entire day of training.

Click here to download the donation form or call the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation at 800-448-5148 ext.112.