About Dr. Jeff Livingston

Dr. Livingston joined MacArthur OB/GYN in 2003. He is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Seven Ways to Fall Asleep Faster

 

Insomnia

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.

~ Charlotte Brontë ~

My wife is one of those lucky people who falls asleep before her head hits the pillow. I am not so lucky. When I lie down my mind begins to race at Quantum speeds processing a million random thoughts. My parents tell the story of waking up in the middle of the night finding the three year old me playing my Mr Roger’s records while singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” 40+ years later. It still happens…well without the Mr. Roger’s records.

Sometimes insomnia comes in handy for an Obgyn since babies do not seem to follow the Monday through Friday 9 to 5 schedule. I hear from patients every day that they also suffer from insomnia. Over the years I have found a few things that help. I wanted to find tools that avoid addictive medication. Here is my TOP Seven List of all natural ways to treat insomnia.

  1. Cut Screen Time
    Electronics stimulate the mind. Turn the phone off. Instagram and Facebook will still be there tomorrow.
  2. Mindfulness
    I was a skeptic about meditation and now my nine year old daughter Lucia and I do a brief mindfulness exercise together every night. We use an app called Headspace. Insight Timer is great too.Meditation has many health benefits and helps calm the mind. Leave your skepticism at the door and give it a try. Commit to doing it daily for two weeks before you give up. That was my plan, and I am still doing it daily a year and half later. This is an awesome way to help get the kids to sleep after reading a bedtime story. You spend time with your children, you both get health benefits and you both develop habits that can last a lifetime.

  1. Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat
    This is my favorite product. It looks like a bed of nails. Ok it is a bed of nails. The mat stimulates acupressure points in the back to trigger relaxation, release endorphins and increase blood circulation. It feels great and “hurts” just enough to stop the mind from racing.

  1. Bulletproof Sleep Mode Supplement
    Most over the counter supplements contain too high a dose of Melatonin. Over time they can deplete your body’s ability to produce its own. This is a combination product of bio identical Melatonin, L-Ornithine and Brain Octane oil designed to put the brain into sleep mode. I recommend taking this with an over the counter Magnesium supplement.

  1. Daily Exercise
    Get your steps in. We all make a million excuses why we can not exercise. The truth is we all need to commit to this key health habit. Start with something simple like walking around the block. Do it everyday. Set an easily achievable goal that you can stick with over a long period of time. As exercise gets easier you can increase your goal. The key step is to set the bar low enough that your excuses to NOT exercise just seem silly. I remember telling myself one time “I can’t exercise today because I would have to change my shoes.” #badexcuse

  1. Dodow
    Dodow is a LED light metronome that helps you relax. A glowing, pulsating blue light is projected on the ceiling. You coordinate your breathing to the dynamic light changes. I find it extremely calming and peaceful.

  1. Read a book
    Fill your time before sleeping with a book. Reading books expands your mind and opens you up to new ways of thinking. Reading even a few minutes a day can help calm your mind and prepare it for sleep. If you read for just 10 minutes a day you can complete on average 10 books a year. Reading can be life changing. Here are a few of most recent favorites:

Get inspired with The Seed by Jon Gordon

Get Motivated with The Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod

Got Focused with The One Thing by Gary Keller

Get life started with The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The links above are tied to Amazon. Proceeds generated are donated to the Irving ISD Teen Parenting program, a drop out prevention program for students who are pregnant or parenting

Mental Framing

Change the frame

Change your feelings

Placing a picture in a frame changes the way we view the image.

The same is true for our thoughts and feelings. The way we frame a situation in our mind changes the way we interpret it.

Last night I worked all night and delivered six babies. I can choose to focus on my fatigue, or I can be proud of my accomplishments.

Today I did not follow my diet plan. I can choose to beat myself up over BOTH of my trips to McDonalds, or I can view today as an opportunity to start fresh tomorrow.

Today I drank an inordinate amount of coffee. I can choose to wallow in self pity about why I needed it, or I can be thankful that the amazing drink of the God’s was at my disposal.

Whenever I feel down or frustrated I try to pause and to think through how my mind is framing the situation.

If you don’t like what you see then change the frame.
Change the frame and change your feelings.

Control de la natalidad y contracepcion

¿Ya no desea más hijos? ¿Está completa su familia? ¿Está cansado de lidiar con el control de la natalidad? ¿Sabía que hay una opción permanente donde usted puede tomar el control y no preocuparse por volver a quedar embarazada?

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The Power of One

You Got Pregnant, What’s Next? How To Beat The Odds And Live A Successful Life

Dr. Jeff MacArthur Inspires Young Women Who Are Dealing With Unplanned Pregnancy

Your life has a ripple effect. You can make choices today that set you on the path for happiness, success and an abundant life.

Our lives are like a ripple effect. One action can make a big impact. We all have the power to make choices that affect not just ourselves but all those around us, including our future family. With our one life, let us make good choices.

Being A Dad

Dad’s You Are The Model For Your Kids

Dr. Jeff Livingston shares life-changing and amazing truths for young dads.

The greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life was becoming a father. It is magical. It is amazing.

Fathers, you are the model for your kids. They watch everything you do. They watch how you greet your girlfriend or wife, how you work, how you dress and how you talk.

Permanent Birth Control

Are you done having kids? If you are looking for  a permanent option that is hormone free and decreases the risk of ovarian cancer then check out this video now to learn more. You have probably heard about “getting your tubes tied.” In this video we cover the basics about this simple outpatient procedure.

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LARCs - MacArthur Medical Center

LARCs – Be Pregnant When You Want To Be

Are you ready to be a mom? If you are sexually active and are not ready to be a parent then it is important to choose an effective form of contraception. If you are a parent and your child has become sexually active it is important she start birth control before you become a grandparent. Almost half of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Don’t be a statistic. Choose an effective form of birth control that puts you in control. The most effective forms of non-permanent birth control are called LARCs – Long Acting Reversible Contraception. These methods allow you to be pregnant when you want to be and help you take control.

LARCs  – Long Acting Reversible Contraception

Long acting reversible contraception are important birth control methods to understand. These are birth control methods that work for an extended period of time without you having to do anything. Examples of  LARCs  are IUDs (Intratuterine Device) and subdermal implants (Nexplanon). An IUD is a small device that is inserted into the cavity of the uterus. There are currently currently 4 IUDs available in the US – Skyla, Mirena, Paragard and Liletta. There is only one subdermal implant available. It is called Nexplanon and is inserted just under the skin of the arm.

Of all the birth control options LARCs are the most convenient for the user. You have to come in for insertion and can leave with the confidence of having years of protection. When you are ready to parent you simply come in for removal. The return to fertility is almost immediate with pregnancies seen as early as 7 days after removal. They also have the highest continuation rates, excellent safety profiles, few side effects and few medical contraindications.

Although these methods are not right for everyone, they are considered to be the first line treatment choice for all women regardless of age including adolescents. It is not true that you have to have had a baby before you can get an IUD. Studies show that Progesterone IUDs actually decrease the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease.

If you are not ready to be a parent then choose a LARC and only be pregnant when you want to be.

Contraception Counseling Impacts Unplanned Pregnancy

Of the 6.7 million pregnancies in the US each year 48% are unplanned. Disturbingly,  about half occur in women who were using contraception at the time of conception. That statistic haunts me. As health care providers we must take that to heart and change the way we think about birth control counseling. Is there more that we can do to help prevent unplanned pregnancy in those who are actively using birth control?

When we break down the statistics and focus on young people the numbers are even more striking.  Shows like TeenMom and 16 and Pregnant draw media attention to teen pregnancy. Ironically, young women ages 15-19, are the most likely group to have used birth control the last time they had sex. The problem is this age group typically chooses methods with higher failure rates such as cycle timing, condoms, withdrawal method and birth control pills. The result is unsurprising — unplanned pregnancies.

Young patients often ask me, “what is the best birth control?” My answer is always the same – “The one that YOU will use.” There is no “right” answer. Effective contraceptive counseling involves not only providing information and options,  but also matching the right method to the right person.

Research shows that pregnancies occur less often when one chooses a contraception option that requires the least amount of effort. This is not a surprise.  Condoms work great unless you never take them out of your pocket. Birth control pills also are effective but not if you forget to swallow them. Despite the many contraception options available many patients are unaware of the choices. Linguistically speaking the phrase “birth control” is synonymous with oral contraceptives for many people. Birth control refers to many more methods than just birth control pills. Health care providers should never assume patients know all of the alternatives. Pregnancy can be prevented with a variety of nondaily options that are safe and easy to use.

When discussing  contraception with young patients, start with methods that require the LEAST amount of effort and then work backwards to the methods that require the Most effort. Direct patients to the options that have the best track record. Keep in mind that efficacy has a direct correlation with compliance. The more effort the birth control method demands from the patient the less effective it will be long term.

At Macarthur Ob/Gyn we always start with Mirena IUD, Paragard IUD and Nexplanon. We discuss the risks, benefits and potential side effects. These methods involve one visit for insertion and one for removal providing coverage for 5 years, 10 years and 3 years respectively. These methods have the highest efficacy rates and excellent continuation rates. They have excellent safety profiles, few side effects and few medical contraindications. Despite that, nationwide less than 10% of adolescents are using these methods collectively referred to as LARCS (Long Acting Reversible Contraception.) We focus on LARCS because they have the highest success rate at preventing unplanned pregnancy. We spend time addressing fears, misconceptions and myths. We make sure our patients are aware of these options. We use technology in the office via an on screen waiting room power point presentation highlighting the birth control options. We use social media platforms to educate our patients on their birth control choices. As a result a much higher percent of our young patients are choosing LARCs as their preferred method of contraception.

While the patient should ultimately choose the best for her, the health provider should be guiding her to the methods that can best meet her goal of preventing pregnancy. By increasing the use of LARCs we can dramatically impact the number of young women struggling with unplanned pregnancy while using contraception.

Adolescents and long-acting reversible contraception: implants and intrauterine devices. Committee Opinion No. 539. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2012;120:983–8.

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