Giving mom the gift of health for Mother’s Day

WASHINGTON — Sunday is all about mom.  But the rest of the year, many women forget to make themselves a priority.  All the more reason why the Department of Health and Human Services is kicking off National Women’s Health week.

While we’re thinking about the women in our lives, the campaign aims to show the best gift we can give may just be a chance to focus on themselves.  “There are lots of research that shows that women don’t make their own health a priority.  That they worry about the things going on with their loved ones”, says Nancy C. Lee M.D., Director of the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

She says women often put off annual well woman check–ups and other important preventative measures.

“Women are the primary caregivers for their families, their spouses, their children, their in-laws, and often, their own mothers.  The idea of National Women’s Health Week is to get women to take simple steps to avoid not putting their own needs on the back burner.  A good way to start, says Lee,  “Pick one thing you can do to help your health and do it that day.  The next day do another one.” She adds, “Don’t do it all yourself.  Get the people in your life to help in managing that.”

On a website devoted to the campaign,, there are fact sheets that women can use to help navigate what they need to do at different stages in their lives.  “Different things are important at different decades,” says Lee.   And she says it’s not just about physical health, “We also want women to pay attention to their mental health, managing the stress in their lives and getting enough sleep.”





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