Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression: More common than you think.

September 7th, 2017

By: Laura Rice, MS, Paper Cranes Healthcare Wellness Center

“I love quotes”. They can put life into perspective pretty quickly. They can reflect your feelings quite accurately. They can help you find the strength or comfort you may need. They can provide the wisdom that you may be searching for. They can provide a necessary affirmation. They are discussion points and poetic jump-starts for our mind and heart.  Quotes can make you burst out laughing which may be the best medicine at that precise moment. I came across the following quote by Linda Wooten when I was searching for “Motherhood Quotes”. It spoke to me and I believe it is an important quote to begin this blog about the “Baby Blues”.

Being a Mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed”.

Motherhood is much more than Wooten’s quote. Every mother provides their unique, individual meaning to Motherhood, but I feel this quote depicts an extraordinary common truth among all mothers. The dark, unflattering, heart wrenching moments and possible themes of motherhood are not mentioned when a woman is expecting. Most likely, the upcoming birth is celebrated, prepared and anticipated. Postpartum, women are then left to continue the celebration while demonstrating perfect mothering and optimal self care while balancing homes, school, relationships and careers.  The birth of a baby may bring on dark, unflattering, heart wrenching moments that an individual is not prepared for,  all while dealing with hormonal changes that are substantially altering to her being. Mothers do find  new strengths and face un-encountered fears, however some days this may feel quite challenging and impossible. The challenge is overwhelming when “baby blues” or postpartum emotional changes set in.

Baby Blues typically sets in within the first 6 weeks postpartum and may last a few hours to a few weeks with sadness and weepiness. 50-80% of mothers experience the “baby blues”.  While 11-20% of mothers experience a form of postpartum depression. The presentation of postpartum depression does not look identical in all women. It may present with  anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and panic attacks.  As you can see, the experience of emotional struggles after a little” bundle of joy” is born is quite common, yet a majority of women report that they feel “they are the only ones suffering”.  

What can you do?

  • Talk honestly with your doctor.
  • Rely on supports that are available. For instance, “say yes to help offered and ask when you need to”
  • Get the best rest you can…….try for a good block of sleep at night and nap when your baby does. Sleep Deprivation can be your biggest enemy at this time in your life.
  • Avoid isolation…get out with your baby and enjoy some social groups or outings
  • do not compare yourself to others
  • commend your strengths and positive moments each day

If you or someone you know is experiencing postpartum depression, it is important to talk with your doctor. The support of counseling or a support group can be a vital instrument to overcoming the postpartum depression.

Paper Cranes Healthcare offers weekly Postpartum Support Groups at our Chandler and Queen Creek offices. Feel free to call 480-704-3474 or check out our website for more information:

Lastly, let’s finish with a quote:

“Some days I amaze myself Other days i put the laundry in the oven.”

Harvest of the Month: An Apple A Day…

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, may have more validity than one might think. Research links apple consumption with decreased risk for certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. Much of this is related to apples’ high concentration of flavonoids and antioxidant activity. Additionally, apples provide a good source of dietary fiber (4.5g in a medium apple or about 15% of daily fiber needs) and Vitamin C (about 11% of total daily recommendation for women).

This month, I delve a little deeper on this “oh-so-good for us” fruit!

What we currently know from research is that apple consumption is associated with a reduced risk for:

  1. Cancer: Apple consumption has been linked with reduced risk of lung, oral cavity/pharynx, esophagus, colorectal, larynx, breast, and ovarian cancers.
  2. Cardio Vascular Disease: A study shows that subjects ingesting the highest amounts of flavonoids had a 35% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events.
  3. Asthma: Apple and Orange consumption is linked to reduced Asthma incidence.
  4. Diabetes: apple intake showed a reduced risk of Type II Diabetes. It appears that eating the apple peel provides the most benefit due to a phytochemical present in peel, Quercetin

Given their ease of eating apples make the perfect convenient snack for the person on the go, and as Fall begins to greet  Arizona apples are in season!

  • Toss one in your bag and add to your lunch or to calm that growling stomach before dinner.
  • Pair with a few tablespoons of nuts for a perfectly balanced snack that doesn’t require refrigeration or preparation!

Adding apples to your regular snack routine is an easy way to do some GOOD for your body!

Check out the these references for more information from these great sources, or come set your own personalized nutrition goals and  with me, lynn lanza, the registered dietitian at the chandler location.

Stay healthy friends, and don’t miss the next September Harvest of the month!

Eat This or That?

Cobb salad


Ever thought to yourself, “I’m going to order a salad because I want to eat healthy”? Well this might not actually be the case depending upon where you go out to eat. So here is my best advice on how to ensure you actually get a nutritious salad instead of an unhealthy restaurant meal disguised as a salad:

1. Skip the shell:
Taco salads are notorious for coming in a fried shell, which can pack on an extra 400 calories, over 20g fat and over 40g carbohydrates. For some folks, this is the equivalent of a meal before you even add the fillings.

2. Max out the vegetables:
For many salads you order at a restaurant, the word “salad” should be taken lightly. For example, many pasta salads have very little vegetables at all and are mostly starch based. When ordering your salad, make sure at least 50% of the entree is actually vegetables. An easy way to do this is reading the ingredient and looking for at least 4 different non-starchy vegetables- think lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, etc. Some restaurants will swap out more vegetables in place of heavier ingredients if asked.

3. Ask for heavy items on the side:
Restaurants want your food to taste REALLY REALLY good so you keep coming back so, they load on the fat, salt, and sugar. Moderate this by asking for ingredients like cheese and dressing on the side. This way you get to decide how much you want to add.


4. Do your research:
All restaurants with 20 or more locations must, by law, have their nutritional information available to their customers and many add this information online. Take the time to look ahead online and you’ll save yourself the guesswork while dining.

Recipe for Lynn’s Homemade Cobb Salad: Eat This or That Cobb Salad

Stay healthy friends and keep an eye out for more healthy snacks like this here on the Paper Cranes Wellness Blog! 

More Information:
Here you can find the nutritional information for the Cheesecake Cobb Salad I referenced in the video:

Our Children…Social Media and Anxiety

By: Laura Rice, MS

Paper Cranes Healthcare Behavioral Health

Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”—Maya Angelou

First, I am starting this blog off with the above quote of Maya Angelou. It speaks loudly to me because it is a reminder to not be complacent. There is always something more to learn about in effort of improving an area of life, while prompting me to not dwell on the past. Social media and technology is forever changing and keeping up to speed is essential. We learn from our mistakes and there are many that can be made with social media.

Did you know that social media was used to begin a relationship with a minor in 50% of all sex crimes against a minor involving a social network site?



Secondly, I would like to apologize at the start of this wellness blog for the possibility of writing in a frustrated or angry state at some points, while discussing social media. I choose an infuriated response at times in regards to social media because I see our children being so deeply affected in a negative way. I see relationships that are crumbling as an effect of the social media obsession. My feelings of frustration and anger are not towards others. They are directed towards social media and the social apps and the continuous grasp it has over our young generation. Our children’s communication, self-esteem, social skills, attention, emotional regulation, physical health, school success, happiness, relationships, goals, sleep, behaviors and childhood in general are being negatively influenced and stunted because of social media and screen time. Yes, social media is a part of our times and our “smart” devices allow us to be smart in the subject that we choose.

Did you know that more than half of teens have given out personal information including photos and physical descriptions to a stranger online?



I recognize that fighting the innovative development of our times is not ideal, but I firmly believe that we need to be smarter than our “smartphones” when it comes to raising our children. “Raising our Children” is directed to our community and our village, not individual parents. It “Takes a Village to Raise a Child” and our community needs to do better.

Did you know that 67% of teenagers say they know how to hide their online behavior from their parents and 43% would change their online behaviors if they knew their parents were watching them?

I am getting right to the suggestions to help our children because the alarming impact speaks for itself:  the anxiety, depression, opposition, isolation, bullying, insecurities, inattentiveness, pornography, negative self-image, lack of confidence, social deficits, victimization, self-hate, self-harm and even suicide.

    • The view of social media as a privilege, rather than a necessity or the norm must be the new motto. Social media must have parameters otherwise one person can waste hours of their day, days of their week, weeks of their month, and months of their year.
    • Natural forms of socialization need to be promoted and supported. Adults must model this behavior. Talking to people face to face without the phone as a distraction. No phone zones and times such as during meals, while walking, in the car, during activities are some examples. When the phone is put away, this gives the opportunity for families and friends to connect. This gives time for other healthy activities to be enjoyed. This allows for other interests to develop.
    • Delaying the use of “smart tablets and phones”  by our children as long as possible. Then be sure to have very clear limitations and parental restrictions on the device. It is very important to be the ultimate protector of children when they do have access to a smart phone or tablet. DO NOT TRUST that the apps or sites have your child’s best interest at heart and that the Ratings are accurate.
    • Teach your child about the risks and your family’s core values in regards to social media and the use of technology. Answering “ Because I said so” is not recommended. This is a matter that needs ongoing communication and life lessons between children and their caregivers.
    • Scrolling, texting, trolling, streaming videos and playing on apps should not be the first choice to fill boredom or be the way to have a child sit quietly still. It is our duty to teach our children how to fill their time with a healthy balance of activities.
    • Setting up a daily routine for a child can provide the structure, clear expectations and healthy activities can be so influential for a child and calming for a household. Include screen time in an optimal time for your home and family.
    • Teach “Stranger Danger” rules to follow just as you would if you dropped your child off in the middle of New York City.  

Did you know that 66% of teens who have witnessed online cruelty have also witnessed others joining?

If there is a concern regarding your child’s well-being and they are having behavioral difficulties, change in mood, sleep disturbance, school difficulties or social difficulties THEN the reduction in screen time may allow for them to open up about what is difficult for them. There is professional support that can assist with emotional, behavioral and social struggles.

Paper Cranes Healthcare can be of further assistance by calling 480-704-3474.

Check out for upcoming wellness groups for children, teens and adults.



Prediabetes (Part 2, by Lynn)

Lynn Lanza, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, wrote part 1 of this series a few weeks ago.  Look for the post in our previous blog post section where she explains how to interpret the A1C and Fasting Blood Sugar numbers, and what is happening in the body when prediabetes is diagnosed.

What does Prediabetes mean for you?

When your provider broke the news to you that your blood sugar was elevated, you were probably also told to eat better, lose weight, exercise and then sent on your way. What you might not have been told is that this is an extremely vital point that will significantly affect the future of your health. Once your fasting blood sugar exceeds 125mg/dL or your Hemoglobin A1C exceeds 6.4%, it is likely that there has been extensive damage to the part of your pancreas that produces insulin. Therefore, you will likely never make enough insulin in the future to have healthy blood sugar control without the use of medication. Based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (Research article here), people who make no changes to their lifestyle have about a 30% chance of developing diabetes in the next 5 years.

What can you do about it?

The good news I always tell my patients is that they can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 60% by making significant lasting lifestyle change. In fact, lifestyle change had an almost double lowering effect than even starting a medication to reduce blood sugar! Even more good news is if you’re over the age of 60, there was over a 70% reduction in risk of diabetes with lifestyle change! So if you are one of the 86 million Americans who has Prediabetes, it might have felt like very bad news when you received the diagnosis. However, the good news is that you are in the 10% of folks that know you have it, and there is a lot you can do to prevent the development of diabetes in the future.

What specific lifestyle changes should I make?

The 3 main interventions cited in this trial included: weight loss, increased exercise and dietary changes that were reinforced by frequent visits with a Registered Dietitians

  • Weight loss: If this is appropriate, a 7% loss in body weight has been shown to help reduce insulin resistance and significantly lower blood sugar.  For every 2.2lbs of weight loss, you reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 16%

  • Increased Exercise: Engaging in 150 minutes of exercise per week is the current recommendation for all American adults. To get the most benefit, this amount of exercise is spread out throughout the week so we’re not going more than 2 consecutive days without exercise. The moment you engage in exercise, you reduce insulin resistance in the body! Find exercise you enjoy and get moving today!

  • Dietary changes: This is often the hardest part! According to research out of Cornell University, the average American makes about 221 food and beverage decisions every single day. The increased amount of decisions being made often contributes to a perceived decrease in importance of each one of these decisions. For example, having a can of soda or 12 fl oz of fruit juice each day might not seem that concerning to some. However if this decision is made consistently, day after day, one would consume 36 pounds of sugar in 1 year! Because long-term dietary changes are difficult, participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program met with coaches and dietitians regularly for both individual sessions along with classes to equip them with the tools necessary to create lasting lifestyle behavior change.

Get started with these changes today by scheduling your appointment with our Registered Dietitian.

Looking to get started right now? The Harvard Healthy Plate is a great first resource:

At Paper Cranes Healthcare we believe meeting with a dietitian regularly is one of the best ways you can make lasting improvements to your eating habits and health. Contact us at 480-704-3474 to schedule your appointment today!

Our Unique Story Influences Our Well-Being

By: Laura Rice, MS of Paper Cranes Wellness Center

July 24, 2017

“I let go of all negativity that rests in my mind and body”-Louise Hay

Our early years are present within us each and every day, sometimes strongly and other times with subtleness.  We carry memories with us and interact with our world in a familiar way that we inevitably learned when we were just tiny humans. Children are so very impressionable and the early years are undeniably the vital time for one’s overall development. One’s social, emotional, and physical well-being is shaped from those early years. As a community, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of promoting the holistic health of our children. Taking care of our children as a community will be life changing for many, The positive outcomes will be on the child, the adult and the community itself.  Caring and kind interactions with others is a positive way to improve one’s own mood, while a community with caring, kind and supportive people is ideal.

As we all know, life is not perfect, and if it were, I would not have this career of counseling to follow and to feel passionate about. (Well, that is positive thinking on my part: focus on this career that I love in place of life being horrendous at times.) Childhood experiences can be just that: horrendous, abusive, heartbreaking, traumatic, difficult, trying, depressing, unstable, rigid, unpredictable and so much more. When trauma occurs, people are recognizing that one’s well-being can be shattered in that moment. People are identifying that the child has an opportunity to repair with the right support and relationships. People understand that one can work to overcome the trauma with help and inner resilience. However that trauma is within and will be carried within their unique story that continues to touch on their well-being.

Our story is carried with us and is showing up in ways that are surprising. It can manifest in pain, heart disease, chronic fatigue, migraines, cancer and autoimmune disease. This is where a holistic approach is most beneficial (and I am proud to say that this is the Paper Cranes healthcare way). Trauma does alter our brain functioning and places one in the “fight, flight or freeze state”. Also, research findings have identified early childhood adversity has doing the same. Early childhood adversity experiences are common and typical amongst our family and community members. Some examples may include a highly critical parent or one that humiliates you, divorced parents, the death of a family member, or having an alcoholic or depressed parent are a few examples. Research has shown that ongoing adversity indicates a continuing emotional response of “fight, flight or freeze”.  Yale Researchers have newly shown that a brain is altered within a child when stress hormones flood a child’s body and the stress response is set to “high” for life.  In effect, the risk for inflammation is high thus leading to a greater risk for physical, medical conditions.

Nurse Practitioner, Melissa Brown of Paper Cranes Healthcare has cared for many patients in her career that face anxiety and depression resulting in physical symptoms. She believes that “It is important to treat the patient as a whole by addressing the emotional and psychological well-being, so the physical symptoms can be minimized. Some symptoms can be very scary for the patient, depending on the symptoms and their intensity, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, clammy hands, numbness and tingling, headaches abdominal pain and more . Cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness practice, exercise and dietary changes can help alleviate the symptoms.  Sometimes this is not enough and there are daily medication options to improve the overall emotional and physical symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. The goal is to help get through situational tough times or chronic issues for an overall improved quality of life.”

Healing begins with a holistic approach by your physician whom will recognize the need to treat your mind and body. Restoring one’s emotional health will facilitate the prevention of physical symptoms or repair the present ailments. Where should you begin if you feel that adversity or trauma has impacted your well-being:

  1. Talk with your healthcare provider and let them know that you experienced  trauma or adverse life experiences that may be causing physical symptoms.
  2. Caring for your mind involves practicing mindfulness on a daily basis.
  3. Contact a counselor to gain support with your emotional well-being while learning strategies to enhance your life.
  4. Take care of yourself with health, eating, sleeping, exercise, relationships and overall life choices.

If you are interested in Wellness,  Physical Health,  or Counseling, please contact Paper Cranes Healthcare at 480-704-3474

Informational Sources for this Blog:

Childhood Disrupted  by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Childhood trauma leads to lifelong chronic illness-so why isn’t the medical community helping patients?  By Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Prediabetes (Part 1, by Lynn)

Prediabetes: What it means and what you can do about it? (part 1 of 2)

by Lynn Lanza, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator

Have you been told by your medical provider that you have Prediabetes or High Blood Sugar? Well, you’re not alone — 86 million American adults have Prediabetes. Look around in your office, doctor’s waiting room or church — statically speaking, 1 out of 3 people sitting next to you likely have Prediabetes. And what’s even more surprising is that  roughly 90% of them don’t know they have it! So, let’s answer a few questions about Prediabetes.

  1. What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In diagnosing terms, we generally use 2 measures to diagnose: Fasting blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1C.  


So, let’s break down what each one of these means:

a) Fasting blood sugar: this is the measure of the sugar level in your blood after an 8 hour fast without food or calorie yielding beverages. In someone without diabetes, one could expect this reading to be less than 99 mg/dL. Diabetes is suspected if one’s fasting blood sugar is 126 mg/dL or greater. Prediabetes is in the middle of these 2 numbers: 100-125 mg/dL

b) Hemoglobin A1C: In our blood we have red blood cells. Think of these doughnut shaped structures as very sticky, kind of like doughnuts. The higher our blood sugar, the more sugar we find stuck to our red blood cells, which naturally die and reproduce about every 3 months. Therefore, Hemoglobin A1C is a measure of average blood sugar for the last 3 months. In someone without diabetes, one can expect this reading to be about 4.8-5.6%. Diabetes is suspected when readings exceed 6.5%. Again, Prediabetes is diagnosed somewhere in the middle with readings from 5.7-6.4%.

2.  Why does blood sugar get elevated in the first place?

In order to understand what goes wrong in diabetes and prediabetes, we have to have a good understanding of normal blood sugar control: Let’s say I eat a delicious apple, which contains carbohydrates.  Through digestion, the apple gets broken down into glucose. This then gets absorbed from my small intestines into my blood, causing my blood sugar to rise. My pancreas sees this and releases the hormone insulin, which acts as a key to unlock the door to my cells to allow sugar to move from my bloodstream into my cells.  Without insulin, the cells in my muscles, brain and other parts of my body are essentially locked, preventing the uptake of needed glucose.

Prediabetes: So what those slightly elevated fasting blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1C readings tell your provider is that some of your cells have “changed the locks” and the insulin “key” is not working in the same fashion it was before. Therefore your blood sugar levels are slightly more elevated than they have been in the past. You may have heard the term “Insulin Resistance” before — well this is essentially some of your cells “changing the locks” and this is why your blood sugar is slightly elevated. There are other things occurring in different parts of the body as well, however this is the most essential.

Look for the article next week (part 2), where Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Lynn Lanza, discusses what actions you can take when presented with a prediabetes diagnosis.


Improve your mood and day with Mindfulness

By: Laura Rice, MS of Paper Cranes Wellness Center

July 17, 2017

Mindfulness seems to be a popular buzz word today.  We hear “Being Mindful” in the media, on college campuses, in our community, on TV and sometimes out of the mouths of children. It has always been a popular statement among the yogis of our world, while being their daily practice. The practice of mindfulness has the power of enhancing your mood, daily life, focus, attention, relationships, physical health and more. UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center defines mindful awareness as “paying attention to present moment experiences with openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with what is . . . It invites us to stop, breathe, observe, and connect with one’s inner experience.” It sounds quite easy, right? However it is not that easy with our current fast-paced, multi-tasking, always plugged -in, social media type society, we have to remind ourselves and others to “Be in the Present”.  Those basic, old-school sayings that we have heard over and over really are poignant to being mindful. “Stop and Smell the Roses”! “Stop, Look and Listen”!

Mindfulness provides the opportunity for us to accept the uncertainty in life, to nurture our own uncomfortable emotions, to connect with the people in our life, to recognize our surroundings and gifts in life. According to the research of Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, the majority of our emotions last a mere 90 seconds. Allow yourself to feel the emotion and show some care to yourself. The more we push away the natural response of our emotions, the more they will pile up and release in unhealthy ways. Acknowledging our own emotions is so important.

In each moment, really try to “tune in” to the person you are speaking to by looking at them without distractions such as your mental to do list or phone.  Look at the sky, mountains and beauty which surround us each and every day.  Take deep a breath and calm your body and mind throughout the day while focusing back on the present. Slow down and enjoy each bite of your food. Remember that everyone and everything is out of your control and in place, manage your own thoughts with positive thinking such as “ I choose to enjoy this moment or at least to make the best of this moment”.  

There are waves in life each and every day. Sometimes those waves are strong and push us down, other times they are calm and easy to float through. Each day the type of wave is uncertain. We can sit on the shore and wait for the waves but then we will be missing the wonderful moments as they calmly float by us. Or,we can enjoy the moments and live our life in the present while knowing that if the storm arrives, it too shall pass.

Here are a few ways to practice mindfulness each day. Just pick a few and practice each day, then add a few more.

  1. When you wake up in the morning, take a few minutes to think of  a daily motto for your day. Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it for 4-5 seconds then exhale slowly, while thinking about your daily motto. Repeat this breathing exercise while stretching your arms, shoulders, legs, feet, back, chest, neck ect. Focus your thoughts on only your daily motto and the way you are feeling at that exact present time.

Here are some daily mottos or make up one that is good for you: Just Breathe, I am Strong, No Worries, It’s a beautiful day, I am worth it, It will be fine.

  1. Make time for conversations and really engaging with your family, friends and others           throughout the day. Stop what you are doing and focus on the conversation. Let them know that you are really listening with your body language.
  2. Pay attention to your daily tasks and think about it thoroughly. For example, when you are cutting up an apple, think about how you obtained that apple. Think about the seed that was planted in an orchard, where that orchard may be, how it grew, the farmer that may have picked it, how it traveled to you. Try to appreciate the color, taste, smell of the apple and how it nourishes your body and satisfies your hunger.

If you are interested in learning more about Mindfulness, please contact Paper Cranes Healthcare at 480-704-3474