Monthly Archives: April 2021

Air pollution and pregnancy: Why it’s important to reduce your exposure

If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant have you ever wondered if air pollution might have an effect on your unborn baby?

Jade Elliott spoke with Virginia Homewood, an OB/Gyn with Intermountain Healthcare, on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast to provide some important tips to help you reduce your exposure to air pollution if you’re pregnant.

Why can air pollution be harmful if you’re pregnant?

Studies have shown that air pollution can increase your risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It may also lead to a slightly lower rate of fetal growth. High air pollution levels can have an effect even during the time when you conceive.

So, you may want to take that into consideration if you’re planning to get pregnant.

Why is the Wasatch Front prone to air pollution?

Salt Lake City and the nearby cities along the Wasatch Front are surrounded by mountains and have high elevations, and these factors can lead to more bad air days, especially in the winter when cold air becomes trapped in the valley and we experience temperature inversions, where it is warmer at high elevations in the mountains than at lower elevations in the valley.

Summer can be a bad time for air as well. Summer wildfires, fireworks and high temperatures all play a role in increasing the amount of summer air pollution. And of course, a big source of air pollution any time of year is automobile exhaust.

Five simple things you can do to avoid outdoor air pollution

1. Check your local daily air quality at

2. Don’t exercise outside on high pollution days

3. Don’t exercise outside at peak traffic times like rush hour

4. Don’t let your car idle

5. Use the recirculation setting in your car, to reduce the amount of exhaust fumes you breathe.

Indoor air pollution can also be a problem

Many people don’t realize air pollution can occur indoors. Outdoor air pollution is a major contributor to indoor air pollution. But you can take steps to help reduce the amount of fine particulate pollution particles in your home.

Seven things you can do to avoid indoor air pollution

1. Make sure you change your furnace filter regularly

2. Use a portable indoor HEPA air filter in the room you use most

3. Use HEPA air filters with a MERV rating of 13-16

4. Do use an exhaust fan in the kitchen

5. Don’t use a wood burning fireplace or burn candles or incense

6. Don’t allow smoking inside the home or nearby

7. Don’t spray volatile chemicals or cleaners inside your home

Recommended air filters – understanding the rating system

A High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 13-16 is most effective at removing the smallest pollution particles. HEPA filters remove more than 99 percent of particulates. (These should not be confused with air purifiers that use UV light or electrostatic charges to kill viruses or bacteria).

HEPA filter MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. A low MERV rating (1 to 4) means the filter only traps large particles such as dust. A high MERV rating (13 to 16) means that particles less than 1 micron are removed, such as the PM2.5 particles in outdoor air pollution that cause poor health outcomes. However, HEPA filters do not remove radon or ozone, which can also be harmful to the lungs. For more information visit:

An indoor air filter can help reduce the pollution particles in a room in your home. Kitchens and rooms with wood burning fireplaces can also be a major source of dirty air. Place it one of those areas or where you spend most of your time. You could move it to your bedroom at night.

How to improve overall air quality

It takes a whole community to improve air quality. We are all contributing to and affected by air pollution, whether we are young or old or have heart or lung disease or not. The solutions to better air quality must be addressed by all of us as a community. If we don’t take action, we will continue to see increased health costs and lower quality of life in our communities.

For more information visit

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.

Weekly Huddle Podcast Talkin’ Jazz with Kristen Kenney: Why the Suns are so tough for the Jazz

Utah Jazz Reporter Kristen Kenney joins us for this weeks edition of the Talkin Jazz podcast. And while the team hast lost 2 in a row, there are plenty of positives to build on. Topics include the on court relationship between Rudy Gobert & Mike Conley, Bogey on an 8 game tear with the stats to back it up, and Joe Ingles: No matter the situation he is always looking to the next play, and getting better with age.

Plus in this weeks Jazz bites Coach Quin Snyder on his level of concern. Also the always entertaining NBA top 5 plays of the week.

Check out the latest Talkin’ Jazz podcast here!

Take 2 Podcast: Utah vaccines and herd immunity, ranked choice voting and free speech on social media

Host Heidi Hatch hosts guests Maura Carabello from the Exoro Group and state auditor John Dougal to talk about a wide range of political news this week including the trail of Derek Chauvin, the former officer now convicted of killing George Floyd.


With the demand for vaccines against COVID-19 in Utah now slowing or falling behind supply, some have wondered if the state can reach herd immunity, especially in a state with so many children. Are people vaccine hesitant? Is the pause in Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine making people nervous?

There has been no link made but a woman in Oregon died this week after getting a vaccine. Should herd immunity include those who have already tested positive, along with those who had the virus but were never tested?


Salt Lake City voted 6 to 1 in favor of ranked choice voting during the November municipal election and North Logan is considering it too while Draper will move to it this fall.


Utah Senate President Stuart Adams wants to rein in the power of social media companies to decide what can or cannot be posted. He is the newly elected president of the American Legislative Exchange Council, called ALEC. It is a conservative group that proposes legislation.


The Utah Legislature created a privacy commission but what do the new privacy officers do? MORE:

What if my pap smear is abnormal?

If you’re over age 21 and have had a well-woman exam, you’ve probably had a pap smear. It’s a quick test, and can be briefly uncomfortable, but what does it check for and how often should you get one?

Jade Elliott spoke with Martie Nightingale, a certified nurse-midwife with Intermountain Healthcare, to answer your questions about pap smears, why they’re important and what it means if your test comes back abnormal.

What is a pap smear and what does it check for?

A pap smear is a test that detects precancerous changes on the cervix. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus, located inside the vagina. A virus called the human papillomavirus or HPV, often causes cervical cancer. HPV can be passed during sexual contact.

A pap smear requires your provider to place a speculum into the vagina to view the cervix, then scrape away cells from the cervix using a brush. Once removed, the cells are tested for abnormal changes.

Why is it important to get a pap smear?

Getting regular pap smears allows these precancerous changes to be detected and treated before it turns into cervical cancer.

Women with early cervical cancers usually have no symptoms.

Symptoms of cervical cancer often do not begin until the cancer is growing quickly and begins to spread to other body parts. When this happens, the most common symptoms are:

Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Unusual vaginal discharge
Pain during intercourse

What to know before your appointment?

Schedule your pap smear for a day when you are not having heavy period bleeding. If you must go during your period, avoid putting anything in your vagina for at least 24 hours before your appointment.
Avoid douching.
Abstain from sexual intercourse for one to two days before your Pap smear.

At what age should you get your first pap smear? How often should you get a pap smear?

Current recommendations for cervical cancer screening include pap testing every three years beginning at age 21, and beginning at age 30 a pap test with HPV testing (co-testing), every five years, or pap testing alone every three years. Women with HIV or a weakened immune system may require more frequent or additional testing.

What does it mean if your pap smear comes back abnormal?

Most abnormal test results don’t mean you have cancer. An abnormal pap can result from temporary changes like a vaginal infection, or reactive or repairing cells that may need to be monitored a bit more frequently.

What would be the next steps if it’s abnormal?

Recommended next steps depend on your age, type and severity of abnormality, and previous history, and may include additional testing for high-risk HPV, repeat testing in one year, or a colposcopy exam with cervical biopsy.

Where can women go for more information?

American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) is a great resource for patient information.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Abnormal Pap Test results

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.

Take 2: 100 days of Spencer Cox, war of words over political cartoon

Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello join 2News anchor Heidi Hatch to review this week in Utah politics.
They’ll review Gov. Spencer Cox’s first 100 days in office, the ongoing mask debate in Utah, Republicans’ opposition to President Joe Biden’s definition of “infrastructure,” and a war of words between Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley and Utah’s congressional delegation over a cartoon criticism of Rep. Burgess Owens’ speech at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Safe weight loss after childbirth

Weight gain during pregnancy occurs because you’re growing another human and a placenta. Your blood volume also increases. Many women are concerned about losing that extra weight after childbirth.

Jade Elliott spoke with Martie Nightingale, certified nurse midwife with Intermountain Healthcare, who is also a plant-based endurance athlete and certified yoga instructor, to help answer your questions about how to lose weight safely after pregnancy.

Why does it seem like it takes a long time to return to your pre-pregnancy weight?

If you consider it takes nine months to gain the pregnancy weight, it makes sense it will take some time to lose it. If you’re a first-time mom, it’s helpful to know it takes a minimum of six weeks for your body to fully recover from childbirth, so have realistic expectations about weight loss. During the first six weeks, primary goals may include physical recovery, baby care and adjusting to being a new mom. Self-care is vital in the first few weeks and should include getting adequate sleep, minimizing stress, eating healthfully and hydrating. A focus on self-care and healthy lifestyle will often lead to a natural weight loss during the first few weeks.

Can breastfeeding help you lose weight?

According to research, breastfeeding helps with weight loss. Plus, breastfeeding is so healthy for babies. Babies who are breastfed have less risk for obesity, diabetes, and asthma. There are also antibodies in breastmilk that help prevent infections.

If you are breastfeeding, you need more calories and to stay hydrated

Here’s what’s recommended:

275 calories above normal if pregnant

500 calories above normal, if breastfeeding

75-80 grams additional protein if breastfeeding

Have a healthy snack with protein almost every time you breastfeed. You need approximately four liters of water per day to provide for your hydration as well as milk production needs.

You won’t get down to your pre-pregnancy weight when breastfeeding. Set realistic expectations. That last bit of weight may not come off until weaning. This is due to weight in the breasts and extra body weight and fluid to support breastfeeding.

Returning to exercise

By naturally returning to exercise, you’ll start to lose weight. During the initial two weeks after childbirth, limit exercise to gentle walking as you feel up to it. Pay attention to your postpartum bleeding and don’t over-exert. From two to six weeks postpartum, slowly integrate exercise like longer walks and gentle yoga. An incremental increase in exercise over six weeks is preferred to being sedentary for six weeks and then abruptly beginning exercise.

What kind of diets are best to help you lose weight?

Focus on eating a whole-foods plant-based (WFPB) diet that doesn’t include meat, dairy, or processed foods. The WFPB has been shown in research to result in the most weight loss when compared to other diets like Mediterranean or keto and has the best health outcomes, including lowest risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Patients following a WFPB diet also report improved mood, increased energy and reduced constipation.

Try to limit processed foods and focus on increasing whole grains, and fresh vegetables and fruits. Enjoy a colorful diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and legumes. Nutrition experts are talking about plant-based diets, where most of the protein you eat is plant-derived, and now there’s much more availability of plant-based proteins and recipes. Focus on including beans, legumes, tofu and tempeh, using meat substitutes and analogs only sparingly as they are processed foods.

Avoid diets that are a fad, or extreme diets that are not proven by research.

Where can women go for more information?

Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine 21 Day Kick-Start
Nutrition Facts
There are a variety of smart phone tracking Apps that can help you monitor healthy intake and/or activity.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.

Take 2 Podcast — Public lands, gun reforms after mass shootings, mask mandates and the U.S. Border with Mexico

Take 2 host Heidi Datch welcomes guests Scott Howell and Greg Hughes to talk about recent issues in Utah and Utah politics. The trio discusses public lands after federal and local officials visited Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments. They ask talk about possible gun reforms after more mass shootings in the United States. Utah’s mask mandate is also a topic and the U.S. border with Mexico.

PUBLIC LANDS: Interior Secretary Haaland in Southern Utah touring Bears Ears and Grand Stair Case with the Governor and Congressional leaders. Her visit comes after President Biden signed and order on his first day in office to change boundaries and cut off fracking, drilling in the area.
Is this visit just for show? Or do we think there are real conversations happening. Secretary Deb Haaland is the 1st Native American to serve in the position. She Is a member of the Pueblo tribe and 35th generation New Mexican.

GUN REFORM: 2 Mass shootings Thursday in the US on Thursday.
One in Texas where an employee of a company shot 5 people, killing one- 4 critically injured. Then shot a trooper who was in pursuit of him.
In South Carolina: Former NFL player Phillip Adams fatally shot five people including a prominent doctor, his wife and their two grandchildren before later killing himself, authorities said Thursday.
That morning President Biden signed executive action to start the process of enacting new gun laws. “He pushed back against arguments that these executive actions would infringe upon the right to bear arms. The changes include reviewing federal policy surrounding ghost guns — handmade or self-assembled firearms that don’t include serial numbers — and the use of stabilizing braces on pistols, a modification that turns the weapon into a short-barreled rifle.” – CBS

Salt Lake City Mayor used executive powers to keep the mask mandate in place. Even adding possible $1000 fine and up to 6 months in jail if you refuse to wear a mask.
Salt Lake County Health Dept. Did not recommend a mandate. County buildings and parks require masks. Is the park mandate good policy for sports like softball and baseball?
Grand County keeps the Mandate through June 15th.
Will there be confusion and nastiness?
Masks are still required in schools- and where businesses ask that patrons where a mask.

Mike Lee visited last week
Burgess Owens was there this week
What is the best way forward? Can we all admit there is a problem?

Exercising while pregnant: why it’s good for you and how to do it safely

All types of women become pregnant, those who have a regular exercise routine, or those who exercise sporadically or not at all. There are also women who have jobs that require a lot of physical activity. That means pregnant women have all types of questions about what kinds of physical activities they engage in.

Jade Elliott spoke with Martie Nightingale, a certified nurse midwife with Intermountain Healthcare, who is also a plant-based endurance athlete and certified yoga instructor, to help answer your questions about exercise during pregnancy.

Why is it helpful to exercise during pregnancy?

Pregnant bodies, just like regular bodies, benefit from movement. And unless your provider has told you not to exercise, it’s healthy to engage in physical activity or movement. If you’re pregnant and new to exercise, find something you enjoy and start slowly. Just walking or simple stretching, like yoga, has tremendous benefits. Exercise shouldn’t create stress, but rather reduce it. The types of exercises most recommended by experts during pregnancy includes walking, swimming, riding a stationary bike and prenatal yoga.

Ideally, pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week like brisk walking, with an hour daily being ideal.

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy include reduced back pain, decreased constipation, reduction in excessive maternal weight gain, postpartum weight loss, improved overall fitness, decreased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, postpartum depression and anxiety and possible reduction in risk of cesarean delivery. The pregnant body changes quickly over nine months and can place strain on a woman’s self-image. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and self-image, while also assisting to reduce stress.

Research shows women who do exercise during pregnancy typically continue to exercise afterward, so it’s a good habit to form.

How might women need to modify their exercise when they’re pregnant??

Few activities are restricted during pregnancy, but you’ll want to be cautious about participating in contact sports or extreme activities like skydiving, scuba diving or any which increases risk of falls like mountain biking, downhill skiing or horseback riding, especially as pregnancy progresses and balance may become compromised. In general, overly vigorous activity in the third trimester, activities that have a high potential for contact, and activities with a high risk of falling should be avoided.

Some yoga positions are not advisable during pregnancy, so do check with the instructor so they can assist with modifications. After 20 weeks, avoid lying on your back to exercise or standing in one position for long periods.

You can do some crunches, but use caution with abdominal exercises, particularly later in pregnancy and immediately after childbirth as this can cause separation of the abdominal muscles or diastasis recti. Immediately after childbirth, there are some abdominal exercises which are helpful to begin right away. These focus on your breath to help bring in the muscles and strengthen them. Talk to your provider for specific cautions and exercises to avoid.

Any recommendations for target heart rates during pregnancy?

Target heart rate is not used to assess exertion due to wide variation in individual heart rate responses during pregnancy, instead ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) should be used to assess intensity instead of traditional heart rate–based methods.

Where can women go for more information?

Parents Empowered podcast: Spring break and underage drinking

With spring break and kids finally getting out and hanging out with friends with COVID-19 restrictions lifting and vaccinations readily available, experts say now is the perfect time for parents to talk to their teens about underage drinking.

2News Heidi Hatch is helping to facilitate the dialogue by discussing underage drinking prevention with special guests Rob Timmerman and Lt. Jeff Adams from Parents Empowered in a easily accessible podcast that can be listened to as a family.

The podcast is offered quarterly to help parents understand the ramifications of underage drinking, how to prevent it and how to talk to their children about it because studies show that kids are listening.

Protecting your baby from Group B Strep during pregnancy and childbirth

You might not be aware, but if you’re pregnant, it’s important to be tested for a common bacteria called Group B Strep before delivering your baby. You could have Strep B and not even know it and pass it along to your baby.

jade Elliott spoke with Taylor Hanton, a neonatal nurse practitioner with Intermountain Healthcare, to help us understand why going to your prenatal visits and getting tested for Group B Strep, will help you and your baby stay healthy.

What is Group B Strep?

Group B streptococcus [strep-tuh-KOK-uh s] (also called “group B strep” or simply “GBS”) is a common bacteria. Since these bacteria live in the human genital and gastrointestinal tract, it’s not the same bacteria that causes strep throat, and in adults it usually doesn’t cause illness. When a pregnant mom has Group B Strep it can be dangerous for her newborn because the unborn baby can be exposed to this bacterial environment once mom’s water breaks. For this reason, most healthcare providers and hospitals have adopted a national standard to screen all pregnant women for this bacteria. This ensures the best outcome for your baby.

Why is Group B Strep during pregnancy a concern?

If you have Group B Strep during your pregnancy, there’s a chance you could pass the bacteria on to your baby. The bacteria can live in the rectum and vagina, so a baby can become infected during childbirth. Infection can cause serious, even life-threatening, problems in a newborn, such as lung infections, blood infections, and meningitis (inflammation of the tissues around the brain and spinal cord). That’s another important reason to keep all your prenatal visits and deliver in a hospital.

Group B Strep is common – ask your provider about testing

Studies show about 20 percent (1 out of 5) pregnant women carry the Group B Strep bacteria but have no symptoms. For this reason, it’s recommended that all pregnant women be tested for it late in pregnancy (usually starting at about 36 weeks gestation) to detect this common bacteria, so that your doctor can plan steps to help protect your baby. Testing is sometimes done earlier if preterm delivery is anticipated.

Testing is quick and simple. Your provider will swab your vagina and rectum and send the sample to a lab to be cultured. A positive test result means Group B Strep is present. A mom can test positive for GBS with one pregnancy and negative with a subsequent pregnancy. The culture result can take 1-2 days, so it is important to have this information before mom goes into labor.

If you have Group B Strep, special precautions need to be taken before your baby is born

The most common cause of newborn infection is from GBS bacteria. Based on data from the Utah Department of Health from Jan 2015 – July 2019, the incidence of newborn infection caused by GBS is higher in Utah compared to the national incidence (UT 0.4 cases/1000 live births vs. national incidence of 0.22 cases/1000 live births). Symptoms can be very mild, but if left untreated, it can even cause death in the newborn. Screening all pregnant moms for GBS as well as treating those positive with GBS has significantly reduced the incidence of GBS infection in newborn infants.

Your baby will need special treatment and care in any of these circumstances:

  • You’ve tested positive for Group B Strep
  • You’ve previously had a baby who developed a Group B Strep infection after birth
  • You’ve had a urinary tract infection during pregnancy that was caused by Group B Strep
  • The labor is preterm (less than 37 weeks gestation) and you haven’t had a Group B Strep test
  •  The labor is term and GBS is unknown and risk factors develop during labor

Antibiotics administered during labor

To minimize the risk of passing Group B Strep to your baby, moms who test positive for Group B Strep will be given antibiotics during labor through an IV to help get rid of some of the bacteria. Sometimes extra monitoring and/or treatment may still be indicated for your baby if antibiotics are administered shortly before birth. If you’re planning a C-section delivery, your labor hasn’t begun, and your water hasn’t broken yet, you may not need antibiotics.

Monitoring your baby after birth

After birth, your baby will need to be watched carefully for any signs of Group B Strep disease. Your baby’s physical exam, vital signs and blood pressure will be monitored more frequently and screening labs and/or blood cultures may be needed. Your baby may need antibiotics if there are any concerns for infection.

Some signs of infection include: increased or rapid breathing, needing oxygen, abnormal vital signs such as high or low temperature or increased heart rate), fatigue, disinterest in oral feeding, and decreased urine output. Depending on your baby’s clinical exam and lab results, care can be continued in a well-baby nursery or a Newborn Intensive Care Unit.

Finding out moms are GBS positive in advance makes it more likely mom and baby can remain together after delivery. The overall goal is to treat babies who are at the highest risk of being infected with GBS bacteria, while limiting the exposure of all newborns to unnecessary antibiotics.

For more information go to Intermountain

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.