Category: Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Dads can get postpartum depression too

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Having a baby is a major life change and a big adjustment for the whole family.

Being a postpartum parent puts you at slightly higher risk of depression. We hear a lot about postpartum depression in moms, but did you know that dads can have it too? In fact, over 10 percent of new fathers experience depression compared to 4.8 percent of the general male population.

If a mother has postpartum depression, it may also increase the likelihood the father will have postpartum depression. In the 12 months following a child’s birth, it’s estimated rates of depression range from 24 to 50 percent for fathers whose spouse experiences maternal postpartum depression.

One of the biggest issues is that postpartum depression among males can easily go unrecognized or undiagnosed because people don’t expect it.

Some symptoms for postpartum depression in men might be similar to women’s symptoms, but others might be different.

Men who are dealing with postpartum depression may feel: 

  • Frustrated
  • Irritable
  • Detached
  • Angry
  • Impulsive

Men with postpartum depression may also be more likely to:

  • Engage in substance use or domestic violence
  • Feel excluded from mother-baby bonding
  • Discourage their partner from breastfeeding

Risk factors that can contribute to depression in new or soon-to-be fathers include:

  • Personal or family history of depression
  • Unemployment or feeling overwhelmed with expectations of your role as provider or father
  • Missing attention and/or sex from your partner
  • Feeling excluded from the bond between mom and baby
  • Lack of sleep after the baby is born
  • Stressful birthing experience, baby with special needs
  • Conflict between how you feel you should be as a man and how you are
  • Lack of social or emotional support

Where can you go for help if you need urgent mental health treatment for PPD or other issues?

LDS Hospital Behavioral Access Center

324 9th Avenue, Salt Lake City

Phone: 801-408-8330

CrisisLine: (801) 587-3000

Walk-in hours: daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Ages 18+

Outside of admitting hours, please go to your hospital emergency department. If your condition is not urgent, but depression is persisting, please see your primary care doctor for a referral.

For more information visit or


Wellness Wednesday: Preparing for your next big race

MURRAY, Utah  – Race season is in full swing, but before you hit the pavement, there are steps runners should take to prepare. Whether it’s a 5K, 10K or even a marathon, preparation is key to prevent injuries and ensure you have stay healthy.

Becca Bennion is the running program coordinator at Intermountain TOSH and works with runners of all skill levels. She says one of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a running program is going too hard, too early.

“People think they have to get to the top level in a couple of weeks, and that can end up leading to injuries,” said Bennion. “Those injuries then delay your training even further.”

Bennion says the minimum amount of time people need to get ready for their goal race is about 12 to 16 weeks. She notes no matter how long the race is, coaching can be a major asset to getting people prepared both physically and mentally.

Training starts best with a running assessment, says Bennion. Workouts are then geared toward increasing intensity and improving times.

Experts say while running is a key part to preparation, strength training is also important.

“While running is a great exercise it often works certain muscles more than others. This can cause a muscle imbalance which can then put pressure on tendons and ligaments,” says Bennion. “In the end it can hamper run times and endurance.”

Resistance and strength training can counter the muscle imbalance of running while helping improve metabolic rate and endurance.

Strength exercises include:

Lower Body: Squats, Lunges, Calf Raisers, Single Leg Deadlifts, Step-ups, hips.

Upper Body: Forward Shoulder Risers, Side Shoulder Raisers, Push-ups, Pull-ups, Arm Swings, Biceps/triceps

Core: Forward plank, Superman’s, Marching Bridge, Russian oblique Twist, Leg Lifts, Windshield Wipers.

Bennion also coaches runners on how to properly fuel up during races. Depending on the distance, a race will have water stations but also food and other nutrients for runners. Knowing how and when to take them can make a big difference in performance.

Before a person runs their goal race, Bennion suggests running in a shorter race as a practice. The conditions of an organized race can help a runner gauge their pacing and performance. It also gets them used to running with several hundred people.

“There’s just something about race day with the jitters, and anticipation which isn’t like anything you can practice,” said Bennion. “Doing a practice race just helps you get the feel for what the conditions will be like.”

Another major point of emphasis for all runners in the program is nutrition. Bennion says most people focus on what to eat on race day but forget what people consume while training is just as important. Running is different from other sports because of the endurance aspect. Knowing what to eat can keep energy levels up.

You can find out more information on Intermountain’s running and coaching programs here.

And if you’re ready to run, here is a list of upcoming races:

Riverton Hospital 5K, 10K, Diaper Derby – June 8th

AF Canyon Run – June 22nd

Deseret News Half – July 24th

Revel Cottonwood Run – September 14th

Ragnar Sunset – September 28th

St. George Marathon – October 5th


Wellness Wednesday: Protecting your family from skin cancer this summer

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest rate of melanoma in the nation—a rate more than double the national average. One area – the Summit County area – has a startling rate of over 70 cases for every 100,000 people.

Despite increased public awareness, the most recent data shows that Utah’s melanoma rate has continued to rise steadily every year, more than doubling in the past 17 years, from 20 to 42 cases for every 100,000 people, according to the Utah Department of Health and the Utah Cancer Registry.

Why is the Melanoma Rate So High in Utah?
Besides being a state with a majority of white residents whose fair skin is a risk for melanoma, health officials think the high melanoma rate could be related to Utahns outdoor lifestyles. Why? It’s related to the rays.

There are two types of ultraviolet rays that penetrate Earth’s atmosphere and reach your skin: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. The intensity varies by time, season, and location, but the most significant amount of UVB hits the U.S. between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from April to October. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays, so that they hit the skin twice.

UVA rays penetrate deeper into your skin and are responsible for skin aging and increase your risk of melanoma. UVA rays are present with relatively equal intensity year-round during daylight hours. Unlike UVB rays, they can penetrate clouds and fog.

Overall, the sun’s UV rays are more intense at higher elevations. At 10,000 feet, you’re 70 % more exposed to UV rays than at sea level.

Melanoma is the Deadliest Skin Cancer
Melanoma cancer accounts for about 1% of all skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Although melanoma occurs most often on the skin, it can develop in the eye or the lining of the nose, mouth, or genitals.

In 2018, it was estimated that there were 91,270 new cases of melanoma in the United States. 55,150 cases of invasive melanoma occurred in males and 36,120 cases occurred in females. Of those, 9,320 cases resulted in death from the disease.

Melanoma Affects People of All Ages
Melanoma is the third most common cancer among women aged 20-39 years and the second most common cancer in men aged 20-39 years. In the US, melanoma is currently the fifth most common cancer in men and the sixth most common in women of all age groups

A Growing Concern
The increase of melanoma has risen rapidly over the past 30 years. From 2004 to 2013, the rate increased by 2% to 3% per year among men and women ages 50 and older. However, it did stabilize among men and women younger than age 50.

Treatment and Survival
Treatments are available for all people with melanoma. Melanoma can quickly spread to other parts of the body, so it is important to detect and treat melanoma in its earliest stages. When melanoma is detected and treated in its early stages, the chances for long-term, disease-free survival are excellent. In fact, for localized melanoma (84% of all cases), the 5-year survival rate is approximately 99%.

Prevention: Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Skin Cancer
• Establish an easy, daily sun protection regimen you can follow all year long
• Apply sunscreen each morning and reapply every two hours. In addition to daily sunscreen use, you should cover up with clothing, broad-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
• Seek the shade, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest
• Continue using sunscreen during the winter and on cloudy days.
• Both UVA and UVB rays play a role in the development of melanoma—and the rays can be just as powerful in winter or through clouds as they are on a sunny summer day.
• Make sun protection a daily habit, no matter the season and weather.
• Do not let your skin burn. On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns. It’s important to take the time and effort to prevent sunburns in the first place. Protect your skin.
• Check your skin. It is recommended that adults over the age of 18 see a dermatologist once a year for a full skin exam. Adults should also perform monthly self-exams, looking for new or changing moles or lesions that should be examined by a healthcare provider.
• No cancer, including melanoma, can ever be prevented with 100% certainty. Some risk factors for melanoma, such as skin type and family history, cannot be changed. Sometimes melanoma may develop despite your best efforts to prevent it.
• The good news is that the risk factors for melanoma are well known. Since the primary risk factor for melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, learning how you can protect yourself from UV radiation can help you reduce your risk of melanoma.

For more prevention tips and treatment options, visit

Wellness Wednesday – Preventing falls

SALT LAKE CITY – The fear of falling and getting hurt can be a big concern, especially for older adults. Each year, millions of adults suffer falls that cause hip fractures or head trauma, both of which can increase the risk of early disability or death.

83-year-old Peter Wright and is 81-year-old wife Leda, are very well aware of the dangers and risk of falling. “At my age, the people that I know that have had falls have broken something, and nine out of ten times that person has a had a very hard time recovering,” said Wright.

In fact, injuries from falls are more common than you think, and can affect all age groups. “Falls are our number one mechanism of injury here at our trauma center, and actually most trauma centers across the country,” said Dr. David Morris, Trauma Surgeon for Intermountain Medical Center.

Even if you don’t have a high risk behavior, you can be at risk for a fall that leads to serious injury. “It’s not an extreme sport, it’s not skiing, it’s not car crashes, it’s falls at home,” said Morris.

Every day obstacles can greatly increase your chances of falling. Intermountain Injury and Trauma Prevention Coordinator Teresa Brunt suggests making simple changes to reduce your risk. Wearing supportive footwear, eliminating throw rugs that can cause you to slip, and adding grab bars to your to your bathrooms at home are all simple changes that can make a big different when it comes to falls.

Brunt also suggests talking to loved ones who may be more prone to falls. “It’s OK to be gracefully older and to embrace that. We want to do the best for you to keep you active and do things that keep you that way,” said Brunt.

Here are some tips to help keep you on your feet and moving forward safely:

  • Exercise regularly. Get up and move! Do exercises that improve your balance and make your legs stronger. Building muscles and keeping ligaments lean and strong helps you walk with confidence.
  • Talk to your family members or others close to you. Ask them to help you take simple steps to stay safe. An unsafe home increases the risk for falling for everyone, from the very young to the very old.
  • Regularly review your medications with your doctor and/or pharmacist. This includes medications prescribed by all of your healthcare providers and any over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, supplements, or herbs you are using. Some combinations may cause side effects that increase your risk of falling. Take your medications only as prescribed.
  • Ask your doctor to assess your risk for falling. And make sure to share your history of any recent falls.
  • Get your vision and hearing checked every year and update your eyeglasses. Your eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
  • Get up slowly after you sit or lie down. Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
  • Keep your home safe. Remove tripping hazards, such as rugs and toys, increase lighting in low-light areas, make stairs safe by installing hand rails and non-slip surfaces and removing obstacles, and install grab bars in areas of uneven flooring and the bathroom.
  • It’s safest to have uniform lighting in a room. Add lighting to dark areas. Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
  • Paint a contrasting color on the top edge of all steps so you can see the stairs better. For example, use a light color paint on dark wood.
  • Take a falls prevention class from Intermountain Healthcare.

Looking to prevent dangerous falls and improve your balance and strength? Then attend Intermountain Healthcare’s “Stepping On: Fall Prevention Series.

This interactive eight-week course brings together physical therapists, pharmacists, and community safety experts to teach fall prevention strategies. This class is great for seniors who want to maintain an independent lifestyle, and best of all, it’s free. Sign up today by visiting

Wellness Wednesday: Car seat safety

SALT LAKE CITY – Is your child safe in the car? Most parents are surprised to find that their children are not safely secured and Intermountain Health Care wants to help them ensure car seats are installed properly.

This week, Jessica Strong with Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital joined FOX 13’s Amanda Jones to discuss car seat safety.

Wellness Wednesday: Steps to avoiding spring injuries

SALT LAKE CITY – As spring arrives, doctors say they see a spike in injuries, often because people go too hard too fast after a winter with less physical activity.

Intermountain Health Care physical therapist Enoch Mills is here to talk about how to avoid getting hurt this spring and he said something as simple as warming up and stretching before an activity can help prevent injuries.

Wellness Wednesday: New guidelines for aspirin usage

SALT LAKE CITY – New guidelines reverse long-standing recommendations for preventing a heart attack or stroke in high-risk patients.

In today’s Wellness Wednesday we talked with Intermountain Health Care Heart Institute’s Dr. Brent Muhlestein about changes in the use of low-dose aspirin.


Wellness Wednesday – Babies and medicine: Getting the right doses

SALT LAKE CITY – When your baby is sick, sometimes medicine can be the best thing for them. But how do you know you’re giving them the right dose? Pediatric pharmacist Bevan Jensen from Intermountain Healthcare explains.

If you’ve ever given medicine to a baby or toddler, you know it’s not always a smooth process. But you can make it a little smoother — and keep your little one safer — by giving the right dosage every time.

Getting the right dose is important. Medicine dosage is based on a child’s weight and age, and measuring it accurately is important to their health. In small children, even the smallest amount over the dosage recommendations can harm a child. If you’re not giving them enough, the medicine also can be ineffective. That goes for over the counter pain relievers and prescription medication alike. The problem is, we’re not always getting the right doses for our kids because of the way we measure the medicine.

To get the right dose, never use a teaspoon. A teaspoon is equivalent to 5 milliliters or 5 ccs. But when you use a spoon from your kitchen drawer, it’s likely to measure significantly lower or higher than 5 ccs. If your prescription medication dosage is in teaspoons, ask your pharmacist to recalculate the dosage in milliliters or ccs – and use a more accurate tool to measure the dose.

A dosing cup is a better option – but when your child takes the medicine, there’s going to be some medicine residue in the cup. This essentially means your child is not getting the most accurate dose.

Use an oral syringe to more accurately measure liquid medicine. You can get these at many pharmacies, from your pediatrician, or purchase them at a drug store or online. These syringes can’t connect to needles and are safe to use with infants and toddlers. They include measurement lines in milliliters and ccs, so you can get the right dosage. You also can prevent kids from spitting it all out by distributing the medicine in the corner of their cheek.

Dipping the syringe inside the medicine bottle can leave residue on the outside of the syringe, so you’ll want to wipe it off before giving the medicine to your child.

The best option: Use a spill-proof stopper for the bottle top, tip the bottle upside down, and use a syringe to draw the right dose. These are free at the Primary Children’s Pharmacy with purchase. Or, ask your pharmacist for one, or you can buy one at drugstores or online for about 35 cents apiece. One hint: Be sure to get the right size to match your bottle. While bottle stoppers fit most bottle openings, a cone-shaped, one-size-fits-all model is a sure fit and can be found in some drug stores or online.