On-Air Advice: St. Louis Children’s Hospital
Pregnancy can be a time of uncertainty—hormones go haywire, moods change with the weather, and a woman has so many questions she doesn’t know where to start. When doctor’s appointments are infrequent during those first months, it’s tempting to turn to Google. But that isn’t always a good idea, cautions Dr. Camaryn Chrisman Robbins, OB/GYN at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University School of Medicine. “There’s a lot of stuff out there that looks like science and sounds like science, but isn’t,” says Robbins, who is a regular guest on a new Facebook Live series, ‘Belly to Baby,’ aimed at moms-to-be.
The one-hour ‘show’—a collaboration between St. Louis Children’s and Barnes-Jewish hospitals and Washington University Physicians—airs at 1 p.m. on Fridays and is hosted by St. Louis Children’s Hospital media relations manager Abigail Wuellner, who conceived the series and is pregnant with her first child. “It really started because my husband was getting tired of me going online and coming up with all kinds of crazy answers,” she admits. “He suggested I would be better off asking the people I work with each day, and he was right. It helps to be surrounded by the best and brightest in the field!”
Robbins adds, “When you are pregnant—especially if it’s your first time—you feel so out of control and need a game plan. Abby is so funny and delightful that she is a calming influence.” The first show went live in March, and page views already have jumped significantly. The Facebook site receives around 6,000 visits each week. Although the conversation is guided by the week’s topic—which could be anything from fetal heartbeat monitoring and ultrasound to birth plans and high-risk pregnancies—Wuellner stresses that there’s no such thing as a silly question. “If there was, I couldn’t be the host because those are all I have!” she says.
In addition to Robbins, Wuellner has invited nurses, other physicians and a few maternal-fetal medicine specialists to the show. If the question is particularly specific and can’t be answered during the segment, resources are put up on Facebook afterward. An archive of shows also is available on YouTube.
Robbins says the series comes at a good time: Later this year, the labor and delivery suites at Barnes-Jewish move to the new Women & Infants Center a few blocks north on Kingshighway. “We want our Wash. U. obstetricians to be out in the community, letting people know Barnes-Jewish is the place to come for expert care,” she says. The new building connects labor and delivery to the expanded St. Louis Children’s Hospital newborn intensive care unit.
Meanwhile, Wuellner’s baby is due in August, by which time—thanks to her colleagues and a lot of very good questions posed by the public—she ought to know everything there is to know. She assures Facebookers that the series won’t fall by the wayside, but may morph a little. “What new parent doesn’t have a million questions?” she says.
Pictured: Dr. Camaryn Chrisman Robbins is a guest on Abigail Wuellner’s ‘Belly to Baby’ Facebook live series.
Photo: Bill Barrett
‘Belly to Baby’—a Facebook Live series presented by St. Louis Children’s and Barnes-Jewish hospitals and Washington University Physicians—airs each Friday at 1 p.m. Pictured on the cover: Dr. Jagu Anadkat, Washington University newborn medicine physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital; Abigail Wuellner, ‘Belly to Baby’ host and Children’s Hospital media relations manager; and Dr. Camaryn Chrisman Robbins, OB/GYN at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. To view, visit facebook.com/stlchildrens. For an archive of shows, visit youtube.com/ChildrensHospitalStL.
Cover design by Julie Streiler | Cover photo by Bill Barrett