Three Medical Procedures You Shouldn't Fear

Safe Ride Solutions
After a night of revelry, the last person you want to encounter is a police officer. But a nationwide car service employs off-duty and retired police officers to pick up revelers and drive them home safely. Lorenzo Neal, NFL fullback and founder of Safe Ride Solutions, shares his determination to put an end to drunk driving and explains why this method might actually work.

“It’s a nationwide DUI prevention program that uses off-duty officers or retired officers,” Lorenzo explains. “They will come pick you up, as well as your car and your friends, and take you home safely. You can get your car home safely, you’re home safely, knowing that the people that are taking you home are professional, trained officers who are providing a service and giving back to the community.”

Lorenzo adds that all the officers sign confidentiality agreements, and privacy is ensured. For more information, go to or

Your Best Birth
Giving birth can be a daunting event, and the pros and cons of different birthing options are important to assess. Actress, author, producer and talk show host Ricki Lake discusses her experiences with alternative birthing methods, chronicled in her controversial documentary, The Business of Being Born and her new book, Your Best Birth, directed and co-authored, respectively, by Abby Epstein.

Ricki says the impetus for the book came from having two extremely different birthing experiences, one in the hospital, and one at home. “The movie explores the medical system, when it comes to birth,” Ricki says. “It looks at statistics; it looks at how we’re doing as a country and as a society. It’s about knowing your options, doing your research.”

Both the documentary and the book were designed to educate mothers-to-be as consumers, and whatever birth method a woman chooses, Ricki wants a woman to do her homework, have the correct information, and make the best choice for herself.

“Becoming a mother is an amazing rite of passage,” Ricki says. “What a gift … it’s also an opportunity for women to be empowered and to be transformed in a positive way. Birth is a natural process, and it doesn’t have to be scary or an emergency situation waiting to happen.”

Are Home Births Safe?
“As medical professionals, we’ve said that home birth is not the safest choice for pregnancy,” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says, in keeping with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). “That’s because things do happen, and nature can be cruel, and babies do die and mommies do die.”

Watch Ricki Lake's The Business of Being Born

Airing on Showtime network. For more information, CLICK HERE.

Are you an expectant parent? Join Ricki Lake's social networking site and get more information on birthing options HERE.  
Dr. Lisa says the main reasons women die in birth are: not getting to the hospital in time in an emergency situation, post-partum hemorrhage and emergency events like the baby’s head getting stuck.

“Even when you do everything right in the hospital, you still might not have time,” Dr. Lisa says, but if women deliver at home, “What if something happens to your baby? There is nobody there to assist that baby right then and there.”

“The infant mortality rate that’s skyrocketing is not because people are choosing home birth,” Ricki counters. “There are some people who feel that having a baby in a hospital is taking a risk. A half a percent of women choose to give birth at home. The infant mortality rate skyrocketing is not because people are choosing home births.”

Dr. Lisa is passionate about her stance for hospital births only. “I’ve seen thousands and thousands and thousands of deliveries. I know what can happen. And you don’t want to see that happen at home, and you don’t want to be responsible for the death of your baby, or the death of your wife.”

“I am not saying hospital or home birth is best,” Ricki says. “I am pro-choice in this area, and I want women to have access to the information.”

Watch the home birth debate part I and part II

VBAC – Vaginal Birth after Cesarean
Is it safe to have a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC)?
Jillian is 6-months pregnant with her second child. Her first birth was a C-section because her daughter was breach, but she’d like to deliver her second baby vaginally.

Dr. Lisa says the risk Jillian faces is uterine rupture, which is a serious risk. Although the chances of that happening are one percent, most hospitals will not perform a VBAC for fear of uterine rupture. Dr. Lisa narrates an animation of a typical C-section.

Natural Birth
Sheena reacted poorly to the epidural that she was given at the birth of her first child. Now she’s pregnant again and would like to have a natural, or drug-free, birth. She asks The Doctors for advice.

Dr. Travis' Root Canal

Does the mention of a root canal send a shudder down your spine? Find out why the new root canal is nothing to fear! HERE...
Pain management during labor:
• Doulas, or birth coaches, can help reduce pain
• Immersion in water can decrease pain
• Pain management techniques
• Pre-natal classes
• Acupuncture
• Breathing techniques

“When you go to the hospital, take a plate of brownies for the nurses and you’ll be their favorite patient,” Dr. Jim advises with a knowing smile.

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears has a history of colon cancer on both sides of his family. The cameras follow him as he undergoes a colonoscopy, where he confesses, “I should have had this procedure five years ago.”

Gastroenterologist Dr. Jeffrey Sherman at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California performs the colonoscopy (link to procedure cam of his colonoscopy) and removes several polyps. Dr. Sherman explains that polyps are growths on the surface of the colon. In Dr. Jim’s case, the polyps were benign, but if not removed, run the risk of turning cancerous.

Dr. Jim's Colonoscopy

Gastroenterologist Dr. Jeffrey Sherman performs a colonoscopy on Dr. Jim Sears at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. WATCH HERE...
People who have a family history of colon cancer are at an increased risk of developing colon cancer themselves, but Dr. Sherman assures that simple measures can decrease everyone’s risks immensely.

How to avoid colon cancer:
• Keep to a diet high in fiber, low in fat
• Maintain an active lifestyle
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Start cancer screening at age 50

Critical Calcium
Did you know that one of the most abundant minerals on Earth is also the most abundant mineral in the human body? It can help fight colon cancer, improve mood fluctuations from PMS and promote strong bones and healthy teeth. Make sure to take 1000 mg of calcium a day. If you’re over 50 years of age, then you’ll need more, but check with your doctor.

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OAD 5/11/09