Low-Dose Aspirin Can Prevent Preeclampsia and Preterm Birth

Preeclampsia is a serious health condition that occurs during pregnancy and/or up to 6 weeks after delivery. Preeclampsia involves a rise in blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy and possibly large amounts of protein in the urine. Preeclampsia affects 3.4% of pregnancies in the United States. How does preeclampsia affect my baby and me? Preeclampsia can cause the mom to have bleeding, seizures, stroke, kidney damage, liver damage, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), and die. For babies, preeclampsia can cause preterm birth (before 37 weeks), intrauterine growth restriction (very small size), and death. What is my risk for developing preeclampsia? Women are at higher risk for developing preeclampsia if they have or had any of the following: Preeclampsia or high blood pressure in previous pregnancy, Chronic high blood pressure, Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2), Kidney disease, Autoimmune Diseases (i.e. Lupus, RA), First time pregnant or it has been more than 10 years since you had a baby, Pregnant with twins, Obesity, Older than 35 years of age, You are African-American or Black, Became pregnant via in-vitro fertilization (IVF), Sickle cell disease What steps can I take to help reduce my risk for developing preeclampsia in pregnancy? If your doctor thinks that you are at higher risk of developing preeclampsia, he/she will ask you to take a low-dose (81mg) aspirin every day starting at 12 weeks of pregnancy (and preferably before 16 weeks of pregnancy). You will continue the aspirin until 36 to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating, quitting smoking, and exercise, such as walking. Are there risks to taking aspirin during my pregnancy if I am at increased risk of developing preeclampsia? The risk of taking low-dose aspirin during pregnancy is small. Aspirin is not known to cause any birth defects in the baby. In general, aspirin affects your platelets (blood cells that work to form blood clots when you get injured). Thus, there is a small risk of bleeding. It is also possible to be allergic to aspirin. The benefits of maintaining a healthy pregnancy and carrying a healthy baby to term are greater than any small risks linked to taking low-dose aspirin every day. More Resources:  Preeclampsia Foundation – www.preeclampsia.org,  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – www.acog.org,  U.S. Preventative Services Task Force – www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

Obituary – Maria Pimentel

Maria da Luz Pimentel

“Loving mother and grandmother.  Accomplished businesswoman and humanitarian.”

Mrs. Maria da Luz Pimentel, of Waterbury, CT, passed away peacefully on September 23, 2019.  She was born on December 26, 1938 in the Cape Verde Islands.  At the age of two, she became an orphan.  Through raw talent, diligence, and a great sense of responsibility, Maria rose from poverty and built a business that served her local community.  Her hard work was equally matched by her humanitarian spirit.  Maria was a beacon of light to countless in The Islands.  She helped many emigrate abroad in search of a better life.  Her beautiful home was a place of refuge to those in need.  She was the godmother to over 50 children and sheltered dozens of children while raising her own.  She selflessly cared for the sick and the elderly.  Throughout the years, she became a source of guidance and comfort to many who came in contact with her.

Maria came to The United States in 1992.  She found her greatest joy in being a dedicated mother and grandmother.  She was the widow of Paulo Pimentel.  She is survived by her son Mr. Francisco Pimentel; her daughters Mrs. Julia Pimentel (and husband Mr. Luis da Cruz), Mrs. Maria dos Reis Pimentel, and Dr. Veronica Maria Pimentel (and husband Mr. Victor N’Guessan); as well as ten grandchildren (Paulo, Christiane, Christian, Joel, Lucas, Nolan, Chris-Lewis, Josel, Christine and Vivianne-Marai).

She leaves behind a legacy of love and selflessness.  Maria’s wisdom, warmth, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Maria strongly believed in giving back to the community, no matter how much or little one has. A scholarship is being created in her honor. In Maria’s own words, “Education is the best gift you can receive. What you learn, no one can take from you.”


“What is the matter with the flu this year?” you asked.

Perhaps you have heard the story of a young 21-year-old bodybuilder who recently died from apparent influenza (flu) complications. Maybe you heard the many news reports about how bad the flu season already is.  We are facing one of the worst flu seasons in years.  Many of you have asked me questions about the flu.  I decided to answer them below. 


Why is this flu season so bad?

The virus responsible for most of this year’s flu is the H3N2 influenza A.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the past, this virus caused more people ages 65 and older and young children to be hospitalized and die when compared to other age groups.  Unfortunately, the vaccine does not do a great job of protecting against this strain of the flu virus. 


What does hurricane Maria have to do with the flu?

Part of the treatment of a patient who is hospitalized with the flu is intravenous (IV) fluid hydration.  To make matters worse, there is a shortage of IV fluid after the devastation caused by hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.     


I am young and health.  Can I still get the flu and have complications from it?

People who have an immature or a poor immune system are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu.  This means that young children, adults over the age of 65, people suffering from chronic diseases, such as cancer, and those who are obese and pregnant can get very sick and possibly die from a flu infection.  Still, young and health people can get the flu and get very sick and possibly die.      


How do I know if I have the flu?

If you experience some combination of the following symptoms, cough, fever, sore throat, body ache, body weakness, tiredness, and headache, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.  Your doctor will examine you and run tests to check if it is the flu.  If you have those symptoms, please wear a mask and avoid exposing other people to possible flu.


Why doesn’t my doctor give me antibiotics for the flu?  Wouldn’t antibiotics make me feel better faster?

The flu is caused by viruses and not bacteria.  Antibiotics are medications that are used to kills bacteria.  Instead, the treatment for viruses are called antivirals.  In the case of influenza, your doctor may prescribe you an antiviral called Tamiflu (oseltamivir).  This medication works on both influenza A and B.  It should help you feel better and recover from the flu sooner. 


What can I do to protect myself (and others)?

·       You can still get the flu vaccine.  Although the vaccine is not great at preventing this year’s flu infection, some protection is better than no protection. 

·       Be religious about washing your hands.

·       Don’t be in close contact with people who are sick.

·       Sleep well.

·       Drink a lot of fluid.

·       Stay home if you are sick, except to seek medical care.

·       Wear a mask if you are sick, especially if you are coughing or sneezing.

·       Call your doctor if you think you were exposed to the flu.  In certain cases, antiviral drugs can be given to prevent influenza. 


You can find more information about the flu at www.CDC.gov.  You should always contact your own physician if you any health-related questions. 


Stay informed.  Stay Healthy.   Be joyful!


Disclaimer:  The information displayed in this blog are for informational purposes only.  It should not be used to substitute for your physician’s (or qualified health care provider’s) medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician (or qualified health care provider) regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never delay in seeking their care and advice because of something you read on this blog. 




This past week, the Trump administration forbade the CDC, America’s leading public health institute, from using seven words: “diversity,” “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “science-based” and “evidence-based.”

I am a Maternal-FETAL Medicine Specialist and SCIENTIST from a DIVERSE background who cares for VULNERABLE populations with EVIDENCE-BASED medicine.  Does the government want me to become a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist?!

I believe all women, cis or TRANS, deserve appropriate care rooted in empathy, EVIDENCE and SCIENCE. Through experience, I recognize ENTITLEMENT as a complex issue that may have negative or positive implications depending on how it is used. It often reflects the views of those in power to marginalize the other. But, ENTITLEMENT programs have regularly given the marginalized a chance at an equal playing field.

I am deeply troubled by this administration’s attempt to recreate our society by silencing truth and progress.  The banning of these words strongly affect future research fundings and will likely have profound negative impact on the lives of the most VULNERABLE.  Ironically, SCIENCE is under a methodical form of top-down attack. The stakes are too high!  It might take a grass-root people-centered movement to counteract this attack. The medical community cannot afford to stay silent!

Meet Carlos de Sousa – a Cape Verdean to Know

Cape Verdeans to Know

Carlos de Sousa

When you meet Carlos de Sousa, you are immediately struck by his inviting smile.  Then, you begin to learn about his love for Cabo Verde and for the Cape Verdean culture and community in Connecticut.   Carlos was born and raised in Waterbury, CT.  Son of Cape Verdean immigrants Jose de Sousa and Lucialina de Sousa, he puts his love for Cabo Verde into action.

Carlos has been an active member of the Cape Verdean Social Club, Inc of Waterbury since he was 16 years old.  He has held several positions at the Club, including being its President, Vice President and Secretary.  Carlos has organized several fundraisers for churches, schools and charities in Cabo Verde.  No wonder, Carlos was honored as Waterbury’s Cape Verdean Mayor of the Day on October 27, 2017!

Carlos graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.  He is the manager of the Affiliate Center of Excellence at Disney, which handles all affiliate revenue for Disney, ESPN and ABC companies.  He speaks fluent Cape Verdean Kriolo and enjoys playing soccer and dancing.

Carlos de Sousa is a Cape Verdean to Know.  #CV2Know


Cape Verdeans to Know (CV2Know) highlights Cape Verdeans making a strong contribution to their professions and community.

Look Who’s Climbing Connecticut’s Career Ladder!

It was 5 am in the morning and there I was awake and ready.  Ready for what?! My feet were heady to hit the ground running.  My mind was ready to conquer another day.  Except, it was Saturday morning.  After 11 years of training, my weekends now belonged to me.  My body did not yet know this.

This particular Saturday morning, I was right awake.  Unable to go back to sleep, I found myself googling my name along with the name of my new employer.  To my surprise, a smiley picture of me was featured in the Hartford Courant.  Who’s climbing the Connecticut ladder? Me.

I shared this feature with my mom and surprisingly heard her utter a most pleasurable sound.  Of all the degrees and awards I have received, somehow being featured in CT’s most prominent paper was the one accolade that made my mother feel that I had made it.