National Women’s Health Week: Can We “Have It All?”

National Women’s Health Week: Can We “Have It All?”

05.15.13 | By Josephine Martin

Can women really “have it all?” It is an age-old question that continues to generate significant societal interest and discussion. From a widely-shared and controversial article last fall in The Atlantic by Princeton University Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, to a Wall Street Journal poll last month that found the number of women who believe they can “have it all” has increased 12 percent since 1997, society is constantly debating whether women can adequately balance their expectations at work with their expectations at home. As a working mom, I understand these challenges and the common belief the one’s health and well-being can take a backseat, but that needs to change.

On Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day, but National Women’s Health Week serves as a reminder that a key part of being a good mom is being a healthy mom.

Consider the following: A number of diseases today disproportionately affect women, including post-menopausal osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis. While the biopharmaceutical industry has more than 850 medicines in the pipeline to help treat the diseases that impact women the most, living a healthy lifestyle is the first step. Small, simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggests women get preventative checkups, be active and eat healthy, in addition to other recommendations to help improve their physical and mental health.

Topping the list of women’s health risks is heart disease, cancer and stroke. With more than one in three women living with a cardiovascular disease and more than 800,000 women predicted to be diagnosed with cancer this year, taking the preventative measures outlined by HHS will go a long way toward reducing these health risks as well.

Carve time out time in your busy schedule this week to learn more about the conditions women face and share what you learn with the women you know. Having it all must begin with a straightforward conversation about health and wellness. This week is the perfect excuse to make both a priority. 


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