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Women's Health Education Program WHEP Blog: Advocacy


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Breastfeeding Mother

Barriers to Breastfeeding

“Breast is best” is a common phrase used to promote breastfeeding. However, providers should still be cognizant of the barriers to breastfeeding and the shame that mothers may feel when they are unable to or prefer not to breastfeed.


Dietitian with patient.

Size-Inclusive Medicine: A Response to AAP’s Guidelines for the Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Obesity

We are a grassroots advocacy organization of medical students across the country, focused on making health care more equitable for patients in larger bodies. We join the physicians, eating disorder professionals, and community members who raise concerns regarding the AAP’s most recent clinical guidelines, “Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Obesity.” (


Chestfeeding person.

Inclusivity in Chestfeeding

Gender identity is often fluid, and individuals who identify as transmasculine can still have the desire to chestfeed and carry their own child in their uteruses. Birthing parents who do not identify as a woman exist and they may not resonate with terms like "breastfeeding" or "mom." Language is powerful, as it can cause harm people and trigger feelings of gender dysphoria. But on the other hand, it can empower and help people feel more included.


Reproduction Concept

What Legal Rights Do Pennsylvania Minors Have to Reproductive Care?

As the national landscape of reproductive health care evolves, health care providers must stay abreast of local and state laws, and patients should know what rights they have. Health care providers to minors in Pennsylvania may encounter questions or concerns about what types reproductive of health care their patients can receive confidentially and independently.


Acne on chin reflected in mirror.

iPLEDGE: An Ineffective Program, Impeding Effective Care

Isotretinoin, more commonly known by its brand name Accutane, is an approved therapy for the treatment of severe acne with unrivaled efficacy. However, its use can cause profound birth defects in a developing fetus. Because of this, the United States Food and Drug Administration created the iPLEDGE program in 2006 to remove the risk of fetal exposure to isotretinoin by ensuring patients are not pregnant or at risk of becoming pregnant while on a prescribed course of the medication.


Growing Fetus

Reproductive Justice on the PA Ballot in 2022

On June 24 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right for a woman to choose a safe medical procedure that grants reproductive freedom and justice. Reproductive justice is defined as the “human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision to overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey set back reproductive justice to 1973 in 13 states that passed trigger laws.


Portrait of confident doctor. -->

The Underrepresentation of Women Physicians in Cardiology

In cardiology, women comprise only 18% of fellows, less than 15% of practicing general cardiologists, and less than 5% of interventional cardiologists. This is a stark difference to the patients they serve, with recent estimates indicating that more than 50% of women in the United States above 40 years old suffer from cardiovascular disease.


Female doctor and senior patient discuss medical records.

Women in Medicine Month

Being a woman in medicine means different things to different people. For some, it means finding their own niche in a historically male-dominated field. For others, it means providing comfort and care to other women in their most desperate times of need. For most, it means being able to inspire future generations to pursue whatever they dream of, free of the shackles of labels, discouragement and doubt.


Roe v. Wade newspaper headline concept.

Roe v. Wade

In January of 1973, the U.S Supreme Court sided with “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade’s pivotal declaration of existing anti-abortion law as an encroachment of several personal freedoms outlined in the Constitution. Most notably, legislature protecting privacy and due process appear in the Fourth, Fifth, and 14th Amendments. Specifically, the 14th Amendment reads that “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.


Reproduction Concept

Restriction on Abortion Care Amplifies Health Disparities and Suffering

Reproductive rights including abortion care have been protected for the last 50 years. However, in June of 2022 the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The implications of such policy signify that individual states have full authority to regulate abortion policy in any way they deem fit.


Father working at home but baby interrupting his session.

No Paid Parental Leave for Americans

Paid parental leave is a benefit of employment that almost seems intuitive; it lets parents in the workforce care for themselves and their newborn following delivery, reducing financial insecurity and stress during those times. The United States remains the only industrialized, modernized country that does not have a paid family medical leave program. While the U.S. has implemented the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), this only affords unpaid leave and has strict eligibility requirements, often excluding those most in need, exacerbating existing health disparities.


Breastfeeding Mother

Debunking MD Misconceptions about Breastfeeding

As an MS4, I thought I was ready to excel in my Women’s Health in the Community: Breastfeeding Elective at St. Christopher’s Center for the Urban Child. It turns out that I had to learn even faster than I usually do. As the trained lactation consultants went through common breastfeeding myths with me that afternoon, I realized that I had believed every single one of them. At another hospital, one without lactation consultants, a doctor might even be counseling their patients wrong. In order for us to counsel our patients correctly, we must first debunk those misconceptions that we hold for ourselves. Here are the biggest ones that have fundamentally changed how I will practice medicine.


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