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Category: Fun

February 28, 2017

At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists we strive to create a supportive environment that nurtures our patients and also brings lots of smile and laughter.

Here are some more reasons to check us out:

      1. Cumulatively our physicians have 75 years of medical experience under their belts. There’s nothing they can’t handle!
      2. Our staff is always ready with a smile and willing to help our patients.
      3. We’re the only OB-GYN practice in north Georgia with state-of-the-art advanced PAP smear screening technology
      4. Dr. Crigler does push-ups with babies on his back. Yes, really!
      5. Real help with your diet from our vegan and nutrition expert doctors, Dr. Hale and Dr. Crigler. Dr. Haley provides ALCAT testing for patients concerned about food sensitivities
      6. Our mid-wife, Susan, has delivered more than 900 babies!
      7. We offer both ThermiVa and ThermiSmooth treatments
      8. Have you seen our baby boards?
      9. Two great offices in Cherokee County: Woodstock and Canton
      10. We’ve delivered more babies at Northside Hospital Cherokee than all other OB practices combined.

BONUS REASON! (And one of the most important)
11. Our relationships with YOU – our patients – are lifelong!

Dr. Litrel delivered both McAbee sisters and still treats their mom.


August 16, 2016

dr litrel interview part 3 graphic
An Interview With Michael Litrel, MD, FACOG, FPMRS – Part 3 of a 3 Part Series

Guiding Principles
My philosophy as a doctor is the mother principle—in that you treat all your patients the same, and always keep in mind how you would want your mother, wife or other loved one to be treated. If your mother is on that operating table, you’d want the surgeon operating on her to bring his A game. For me, an A game is not just about being in one place and doing well, it’s about availability, continuous improvement, compassion, learning the latest technology and methods, follow- up, etc. so I’m giving my patients the best possible care and aftercare.

The Doctor/Patient Relationship
Apart from the mother principle, the patient’s attitude tends to guide me. My principle is that I do my very best and I’m as honest as I can be. I try to do it in a way where people can be receptive. Sometimes it works very well and other times, well, not so much. Physician-patient compatibility is very important.

For example, I recently had a patient with life-threatening blood pressure issues, and she really didn’t want to hear anything I had to say. She was being completely non-compliant by not taking her prescribed medication to combat dangerously high blood pressure readings. She became impatient, even angry with me, changing the subject to something else each time I tried to discuss the severity of her situation and the importance of following my recommendations.

On the other hand, another patient reached out to me in desperation. She described how her son was heavily into drugs and how her father was seriously ill. The situation was causing devastation to her, both mentally and physically. Apart from understandable emotional turmoil, she was compensating for the difficulty in her life by overeating and was rapidly gaining weight.

Dr. Litrel with patient photoI listened to her because I truly sympathize and care about the struggles she’s going through. I gave her the best advice I possibly could. It was clear that she was receptive to everything I was telling her and would follow my advice.

The non-compliant patient made me realize that our doctor/patient relationship was a mismatch and was going nowhere. I knew I would probably decide not to see her again, and I’m okay with that. My heart is telling me that she would be-or should be-better off with another doctor, and I’m okay with that too.

However, the troubled mother was appreciative of the help I was trying to give her. I knew that, unlike my other patients, or those that I see over the years for just an annual exam, she would remain in the forefront of my thoughts. I would remember her son’s name, follow up with her regularly, stay in touch, and even pray for her because I’m genuinely concerned. I don’t doubt she truly wants my help. I can only help those people who want to accept my advice and, in turn, help themselves.

Talking with Inhibited Patients
With shyer patients who are more reluctant to discuss their problems, I simply confront the issue. I basically just tell my patients, “Look, I completely understand that it’s very embarrassing sometimes to talk about sexual or genital issues. It’s humiliating if you ‘poop’ or ‘pee’ on yourself, don’t know what an orgasm is, or if you’re ashamed of the way you look. Whatever it is, I know some of these things can be difficult to talk about. That said, I’ve heard and seen it all, so now I’m going to get the information I need from you. Sooner or later, I’m going to find everything out anyway, and we’re eventually going to have a trusting relationship so the more you tell me now, the more comfortable you’re going to be, and the more I can help you.”

If I just acknowledge the fact that it’s an awkward or socially embarrassing subject, people tend to relax a little and speak more freely. Then, once I do an exam, my knowledge and experience guides me to ask more direct, delicate questions based on my visual findings—questions like, “Do you need to touch your vagina to defecate? Do you leak stool? Are you sexually active? Do you urinate when you cough, sneeze or jump? Do you have a sensation like your bottom is coming out? Does your back hurt a lot?”

Because I’ve been practicing for so long, I can duplicate the anatomical findings with the physical symptoms. This makes them think, ‘Oh, he knows that, so maybe this is a normal thing!’ When that connection is made, we can discuss and build a trusting relationship.

My philosophy is that, unless surgery is absolutely necessary, I discourage it. If you must have surgery, do it for the right reasons. I feel that patients seeking operations to improve their sexuality or the appearance of their genitals can be extremely vulnerable, impressionable and overly trusting of people who might want to take advantage of that vulnerability for their own profit.

Since the internet has come into our lives, we’re often led to believe that there’s only one solution to all our problems. A place that sells widgets will try to convince you that widgets will solve everything that’s wrong with your life. Desperation causes people to believe that so they buy that widget only to find out it’s not a cure-all. It’s the same thing with surgery. It’s not always the answer to everything simply because it’s radical and is made to sound like the perfect answer to everything.

Dr. Litrel Surgery Pic I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking. Again, I rely on the ‘mother principle’, going on the premise that if this was my mother, wife, sister or daughter seeking help, I would recommend surgery only when surgery is indicated. I wouldn’t want my mother or my wife going somewhere and being talked into surgery simply because that’s how the provider makes money. There’s a higher degree of ethics that’s required, and that’s to do your very best and treat people with as much love as possible. If you honor that, your patients will thrive and you’ll have a very happy career.

Cosmetic Gynecology
I feel that a lot of plastic surgeries promise unrealistic results, but because I deal solely with women’s problems, I understand that quite often, these desired results will not happen. In my opinion, altering genital appearance for visual enhancement only is much like the case of Michael Jackson, who pursued surgery after surgery, turning his original attractiveness into an almost garish version of his former self. Plastic surgery did not solve his underlying problems of low self-esteem. Unnecessary cosmetic gynecology is no different.

For me, cosmetic gynecology is all about making women more comfortable with their bodies. A lot of women come to me devastated because they don’t feel like they’re good enough. Some have given an important part of themselves to a husband or father of their children for years and have been made to feel substandard. And suddenly they’re faced with separation or divorce. These women seek cosmetic help so they’ll feel attractive, desirable and confident enough again to have a good sex life with someone else in future. I see these things all the time.

Prayer, Spirituality and Health
It’s already been documented that I pray with my patients when they ask or need me to, usually before a surgery when they’re frightened and more vulnerable. I’m happy to do it. I pray all the time. It’s part of my life, much like breathing to me.

As a doctor I can alleviate a lot of the physical suffering, especially in my areas of expertise, but much of the pain we have is not of the body, it’s of the soul.

Prayer is very basic and healthy. If you’re not praying, then you’re not really listening. I’m not saying prayer as in asking for something. I’m saying prayer as in listening to what God wants from you and if you listen, I think things will go pretty well. You need to have good relationships with people around you, have loving relationships with family and God, and for me, prayer is a very important part of that – to be faithful and to strive to listen to what God wants me to do. I think that’s a really important factor in maintaining good health.

An Interview With Michael Litrel, MD, FACOG, FPMRS – Part 2 of a 3 Part Series

Of all the specialties you could have chosen, why did you choose obstetrics and gynecology?
I was quite surprised myself that I chose OB/GYN. I really hadn’t thought of it as a specialty before I attended medical school because I was more inclined towards surgery. However, when I delivered my first baby, it was such a miraculous moment in my life. It was 3:00 in the morning, and I remember it distinctly. I was in awe that this child actually came from a woman’s body. Ten seconds later, as I was placing that baby into that little infant warmer, I realized that I wanted to participate in this miracle; that I was going to be an obstetrician. It was a profound moment for me, and I can’t begin to express how much great personal satisfaction and enjoyment I’ve received over the years by taking care of women and women’s issues.

Your wife Ann also works at Cherokee Women’s. Do you find it difficult to separate work-related issues from home life, or do you find it can strengthen a relationship?
Ann works on public relations for the clinic and I have my medical practice so yes, we work under the same roof and our paths do cross but we each tend to our own professions. I’m a doctor, something I’ve wanted to be since the age of seven and Ann is, first and foremost, an artist.Dr. Litrel and Ann photo

In answer to the second part of your question regarding separating work-related issues from home life, I think it’s very important to be married to your best friend and someone you trust implicitly. Ann is both of those to me.

We have a strong, healthy relationship and have been married for 28 years. Like any normal couple, we have our ups and downs, but we know how to apologize and go on from there. We’ve grown together and share similar interests. We agree on many things, including our relationship with God, and about becoming better people. As we advance through life, we continue to support, encourage and help each other. We’ve known each other half our lives so I wouldn’t say being a doctor and discussing work-related issues makes either my job or my marriage harder, any more than Ann being an artist and sharing her passion for it impacts either of those things.

You have an identical twin brother named Chris. When growing up, did you find that you and he shared that proverbial ‘brain’.
As identical twins, he and I understood each other so well that we didn’t learn to speak early or verbalize our thoughts to other people.

Dr. Litrel, Chris and Mary photoHowever, we’re very different. My brother is a lawyer by trade, and a lawyer’s thought process is entirely different from a doctor’s. Physicians focus more on immediate problems, whereas attorneys think three years ahead of time. Still, we’re very close and I rely on his counsel a great deal.

If you decided to retire tomorrow, what would you do?
Do you mean if I stopped practicing medicine? Well, I love what I do so as long as I’m healthy enough to keep doing it, I don’t really want to retire unless I absolutely have to. If anything, as I get older, I’ve become a better surgeon so I’d like to continue for as long as possible.

My other passion would be writing and speaking about the relationship between health and spirituality, something that’s very important to me. That’s one of the reasons I was drawn to the care of women and their health—because what life event could possibly be more spiritual and meaningful than the birth of a child?

I chose to specialize in surgical gynecology because human beings grow inside of a woman’s body, and sometimes you need a surgeon that can bring them safely into the world. I enjoy it, not only for the concrete aspects of surgery, but also for the deep spiritual meaning of this process known as the creation of a life.

We can clinically describe how a single cell turns into a newborn baby over 280 days, but the process itself is miraculous. It’s a testimony to the fact that our lives have deep purpose and deep meaning, and that God grants us life.

If you were to write another book, what topic would you choose?
As it happens, I’m currently working on a book on pelvic reconstructive surgery, but I’m also tying it in with the correlation between health and spirituality. Women not only endure suffering and damage to their bodies, but also to their souls. We all do. So the book I’m writing expands on that subject.

Women have unique human problems because of the nature of creating new life inside their bodies, and there’s suffering that comes from that process. So from that perspective, I’m writing about the nature of surgery in terms of when to have it and when not to have it. I’m also writing about the nature of health since health is not only about the physical but about the sexual and spiritual aspects as well.

I’d like to educate patients on the fact that we’re not human beings having spiritual problems, but that we’re spiritual beings having human problems. These human problems we all sometimes have call for the attention of a surgeon.

Do you like to travel? If so, where was your favorite place?
One of the things I like about practicing medicine is that I don’t have to travel anywhere. People from all over the world come to see me. I guess I’m more of a homebody than I am a traveler. I like keeping my life pretty simple. I have traveled and visited many different countries, but it’s not my favorite thing to do. I’ll go, but I prefer to stay home.

As a busy OB/GYN surgeon, I’m sure the demands can be overwhelming. How do you deal with those demands – both at work and at home?
I try to manage my schedule in such a way that I can always be in top form whenever I have patient duties. When I see my patients, I remain completely focused and concentrate on them. I also make sure I leave openings in my schedule to allow for free personal time. That way, I know that I can continue to do what I do indefinitely to prevent burn out.

Instead of allowing myself to get overwhelmed, I try to set up my calendar in a manner that guarantees I can be in peak mental condition all the time, thus insuring that I give the best care I possibly can. I’m 50 years old so I know myself well enough to know what works for me.

To unwind after work hour, Ann and I will often go for a walk around the neighborhood for about 40 minutes. We may go to the gym for some exercise, or out to have something to eat. Our favorite date is going out for a glass of wine, an appetizer, some dessert, and maybe catch a movie. That’s probably been our favorite type of date for the last thirty years.Dr. Litrel and Ann photo

I think we all need to give ourselves personal time to build up a relaxed, spiritual reservoir so that we can make good choices. To me, good choices are eating right, exercising, taking my wife out, having friends over, laughing and enjoying life—that’s MY relaxation.

Coming from an Asian-Italian background, how did you combine the two worlds when it came to traditional customs, beliefs and holidays?
Since I have a mixed ethnicity, I always had a few problems in the sense of fitting in. I was born in 1965 and there weren’t that many Chinese-Italian people out there back then. Although we’ve come a long way as a society in the sense that people are much more tolerant of interracial marriages today than they used to be, it was a bit difficult for me at times when I was growing up.

I probably chose my profession, because as a kid, I didn’t fit in too well with the world around me. I think that’s one of the reasons I was so drawn to medicine. In medicine, it’s not about skin color, ethnicity, wealth, or socioeconomics. It’s about helping and healing people.

As for holidays and customs, my mom’s father and stepmother lived in New York City. They were vegetarian Buddhists. For Chinese New Year, my step-grandmother would make a traditional Chinese meal, after which we would go into the city and celebrate. When fireworks were still legal, we would light them and throw them at the dragon. I remember how much fun that was.

As for the other side of my family, my dad had a lot of Italian friends—in fact his business was Italian food manufacturing. He worked with a lot of Italians, so we spent most of our time in their environment. New York is very rich in Italian flavor and community, so we got a lot that particular ethnic exposure too.

I still have Italian friends in New York. My grandparents have since passed away, so I’m not as in touch with my Chinese roots these days as I am with my Italian ones.

What is your very first childhood memory?
I remember when I was 3 years old we were moving to the house that would become my childhood home. I remember driving down that block and coming to the house that I would grow up in.

Ok, I just have to ask: When you watch medical movies or TV shows, do you find yourself mentally correcting the inconsistencies?
When I was younger, I used to think about all the things they were doing wrong. Now I simply sit back and enjoy what I see on the screen. I’ve come to understand that they’re just trying to create drama, and I recognize that movies and TV are all about the story.

When I was training to be a resident I used to watch ER—and that was actually a very good show. Michael Crichton was asked to be a consultant on that show because he was a Harvard trained doctor. It was a good series but sometimes it was just too much. To draw viewers, they would try to condense all these improbable situations into a one-hour episode of heightened drama and sensationalism. A lot of it was very real but it was just too intense. I DID enjoy it though. I also used to like M*A*S*H*. I still watch medical shows today because it made people aware of what it’s like to be a doctor, or a doctor in training.

What inspires you to continuously educate yourself and want to learn more? Did you have a mentor?
I think I became a doctor because I wanted to matter to other people. I also think that perhaps childhood pain is the root of my deep desire for my life and my actions to matter.

For me, life is about evolving, learning and constantly getting better and better. I don’t think my motivation to learn can be attributed to any one person. I’ve had excellent teachers and mentors throughout my life, and I feel blessed to have had them, but I don’t think that I can ascribe sole mentorship to any one person.

I think the best way to live is to always improve one’s self. I’m hoping my children have learned that from Ann and me. I pray they will always strive for self-improvement in their lives. I think that the people who don’t try, who don’t aspire to progress, who choose to remain stagnant in their viewpoints—these people become trapped in the belief that they are always right, when in fact, they can be tragically wrong.

December 16, 2015

dr-hale-sunburst-pngTalking Veggies with Dr. Hale
We recently sat down with Dr. Hale to chat with her about her nutrition journey. Always a proponent of healthy eating, Dr. Hale began eating a plant-based diet last fall. She was enthusiastic about the positive results from her new eating habits, and shared the surprising connections between diet and “classic” female health issues, ranging from polycystic ovaries to adult acne, and even heavy, painful periods.

Pegan Dish PhotoThe Unhealthy Vegan – Go “Pegan”
Specifically, Dr. Hale’s diet can be referred to as a whole food, plant-based diet with an emphasis on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. “This is an important clarification,” she said, “because it is often confused with a vegan diet.” Her diet is not vegan; as vegan diets can still consist of a lot of processed, unhealthy foods.

A “pegan” diet is low glycemic, still high in vegetables and fruits, but allows for a small amount of high quality organic meats or low mercury, low toxin fish. Here, meat is used more as a condiment rather than the main feature. This is Dr. Hale’s second choice as an ideal diet. Her preference is still a completely plant based diet.

What advice would you give to others for transitioning to a plant-based diet?
The big thing is to consider food as medicine. (There’s lots of emerging evidence on this topic.) So if health is a priority, you need to be more attentive to what you’re putting into your body. If you try to have a more plant-forward diet (having more of your meals and more of your plate consist of vegetables), you are likelier to get a healthy dose of antioxidants and other things that help your body naturally detox.

Pegan Dish PhotoWhen I’m counseling patients about making a lifestyle change, I get them to look at lifestyle changes that will improve their health in the long-term.

When I was younger I had very heavy, painful periods. One of my main goals for transitioning to a plant based diet was to improve my periods as well as my overall health.

What are the benefits for women who choose to eat a plant-based diet?
While not everyone is guaranteed to have the same results, women with endometriosis can benefit from avoiding red meat and dairy as a means to reduce inflammation in their body. Many women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) can improve their hormone balance through a low glycemic, plant based diet. A plant based diet is also a great strategy for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. It also can reduce their risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for women in the United States.

Are there any downsides to not eating meat?
I personally don’t think so. Contrary to what many people think, pregnant women can be completely meat-free and get sufficient protein to support a healthy pregnancy. They should, however, supplement with B12 and DHEA since these nutrients are harder to get naturally on a completely plant based diet.

dr-hale-running-picWhat are the first things you noticed happening to your body/mind after you changed your diet?
An increase in energy was the most noticeable change. Excess sugar sucks my mental clarity. Also, my menstrual flow wasn’t as heavy with hardly any cramps. As an added bonus I
also lost about 20-25 pounds.

How soon did you notice a difference after you switched up your diet?
In terms of my cycle, I noticed changes within a few months. A lot of people do notice that their skin clears up because you’re removing those inflammatory foods. That aspect for me has been a slower process since I’m working through multiple food sensitivities which I’ve learned also affects acne in adults.

How do you view your role for patients looking to make a dietary change?
I see my role as trying to help patients attain and maintain long-term health. Improving your nutrition is a way to be proactive about your health and do more than just depending on pills. I encourage patients to focus on the things they can add to make positive lifestyle changes rather than focusing on what they can’t have or do. Making small changes over time can help produce more sustainable change in the long term. This also helps fight an all-too-common diet “crash-and-burn.”

Do you have any suggestions on how to make the changes easier?

Having a buddy makes it easier. I have a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Center of Nutrition Studies that I feel equips me to support patients wanting to make positive changes in their diet. Dr. Crigler has many years of experience with a plant based diet so is also a good resource. There are also numerous resources available including websites, books, movies and more. While the New Year is a common time to make lifestyle changes, there is never a bad time to improve your health.

Below are a handful of resources that Dr. Hale recommends:

21daykickstart.org – free meal plans by the Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine in addition to numerous informative articles
Yum Universe – the blog that got Dr. Hale started with tasty plant based recipes
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies – articles, inspirational stories and recipes
The China Study – a book based on a landmark study in nutrition and disease.
Happy Herbivore encouraging blog and low-cost meal plans
Forks Over Knives – inspirational film, app and meal plans
Food Matters TV – hungry for change movie
Mark Hyman, MD – a proponent of the pegan diet
Plant Pure Nation – movie released earlier this year. You can join a “pod” in your area for support for your healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Hale on Vacation! Staying Healthy – Mind, Body and Soul
With all that hiking and fresh air, it’s clear to see that Dr. Hale not only talks the talk, she walks the walk!

Dr. Hale Vacation Photos



July 8, 2015

Get to know Dr. Peahen Gandhi, a board-certified OB/GYN physician here at Cherokee Women’s Health, on a more personal level. Read below to learn what inspired her to become a doctor and what she believes is important in life.


What inspired you to become a doctor?
“Of course there’s those heroic stories about Dr. Barnard performing the first successful heart transplant…but the source of my inspiration was more special. I had the example of ambition personified – my late Grandfather. Orphaned when he was just a young boy, he worked without pity on himself. He was engaged always in achievement, not fear of failure. I loved this about him. And I knew I was his favorite. I listened to his stories and he believed in my dreams. It was a symbiotic relationship. No doubts, no uncertainty ever entered our minds when we conversed. I learned from his experience and he inspired me to create my own. His sacrifice, allowing my parents and me to leave him in India and emigrate to the United States, was immense. Every summer when we went back to India after moving to Amanda, Ohio, he would have a “medical gift” for me. One summer it was a stethoscope, another it was a tuning fork. I still have the old copy of Gray’s Anatomy he found for me. I knew he cared. I knew he wanted to keep up the consistent encouragement. For that, I am indebted to him.

Who were your mentors along your medical journey?
“Well, having the calling to become a doctor is just the first step. Getting into the field is another story. You need an advocate who know the ins and outs. You need someone who will encourage you, when you think you can’t possibly make it. Chances seemed slim for a girl from the small town of Amanda, Ohio. Dr. Keith Krantz, the Director of the Hosier Scholarship Program, never saw me that way. To him, I was a real contender. I still remember when I got my first medical school acceptance letter and Dr. Krantz said to me “you got one in the bag, kiddo!” Dr. Krantz then awarded me the Dr. R. S. Hosler Memorial Educational Fund Scholarship. At the time, I think I was the only person from my high school who was awarded the honor. It not only gave me a sense of accomplishment, but the financial support of the scholarship allowed me to realize my dream of becoming a doctor. It has been four years since he passed, and even though I can no longer walk into his office and get my weekly pep-talk, I know he is giving me the “’ol kiddo” smile as I put on my white coat.

Do you have a philosophy about life or medicine?
Mahatma Gandhi said “Simple living, high thinking.” I think it’s important to spend time every day with the people you love. I keep my life simple, in that I focus on family when I’m home. My parents live with my husband and me, and we are surrounded with aunts, uncles, cousins, multiple generations, almost 30 people. We usually just get together at my house a few times a month and play cards and eat great Indian food! I think most people think I am an extrovert, but really I am kind of shy, unless I really know a person.

Fun Facts
~ Dr. Gandhi had a traditional Indian marriage in her father’s home village of Umreth in India. It lasted 10 days!
~ Dr. Gandhi believes in the strength of family: “Surrounding yourself with the people you love makes you a loving person.”
~ A family project – the restaurant Bello Italian in Cumming is owned by Dr. Gandhi’s brother, Paril.
Dr. Gandhi quips, “Most people think my brother has an Indian restaurant but I just laugh and say…actually it’s great rustic Italian food! I feel so fortunate to live in America, where anything is possible.”




June 4, 2015

Father’s Day is June 21st and we’re honoring dads by holding a fun Daddy and Me Photo Contest on our Facebook page! Submit your favorite Daddy and Me photos for a chance to win 1 of 5 Lowe’s gift cards, each valued at $50!

The contest starts June 16th and will run through June 23rd so start gathering those pics now!


January 20, 2015

Our Facebook Winter Baby Contest is ON! Enter your baby photos (ages 0-24 months) for a chance to win some great prizes and perhaps more importantly, bragging rights!

To enter from your computer, simply go to our Facebook page.
To enter from a mobile device such as your phone or tablet, click here!

Contest runs from January 15th through January 29th!

Prizes include:

  • Grand Prize (TWO WINNERS): 16″x20″ Print on Canvas (to display those beautiful photos!) 
  • 2nd place: $25 Johnny’s Pizza gift certificate
  • 3rd place: $25 Johnny’s Pizza gift certificate
  • 4th place: Bojangle’s Picnic Pack
  • 5th place: Chick-Fil-A basket with gift cards

Can’t wait to see your most adorable winter baby photos! 🙂

May 19, 2014

We are pleased to announce that the Cherokee Women’s Health 2nd Annual Cutest Baby Contest was a smash hit! With the tallies officially in early last Friday, we would like to thank each and every person who entered photos, as we had a wonderful time ooh’ing and aah’ing over them.

With the success of  our 1st and 2nd Annual contests, and with so many adorable babies entering the world each day, we look forward to celebrating them each year with our Cutest Baby Contest. (Mark your calendars for next year, Moms – 2015 will be our 3rd year!) Cherokee Women's Health Cutest Baby Contest

We were lucky enough to have another group of amazing prizes this year, so we’d like to offer a HUGE Thank You to all the organizations who participated. If you haven’t already, please show your support by liking their Facebook pages to stay up-to-date on their events and offerings (Links below.) If you missed our post from last week, here are the winners of our 2nd Annual Cutest Baby Contest!

2014 Cutest Baby Contest Winners

  • 4th place: Hunter and Meegan Price – Bojangles’ tailgate party pack
  • 5th place: Brittany Reece – Chick-Fil-A nugget tray with prizes
  • 6th place: Merle Stepler – Papa John’s large pizza
  • 7th place: Mialanna Cater – Papa John’s large pizza
  • 8th place: Ali Hoad – Papa John’s large pizza
  • 9th place: Tracy Dinsmore – Papa John’s large pizza
  • 10th place: Mandy Hannah – Papa John’s large pizza

Congratulations to all the winners, and we look forward to seeing a brand new crop of adorable babies next year!

May 6, 2014

Think your little sweetheart is the cutest of the cute? Then you’re in luck – Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists is having their 2nd Annual Cutest Baby Contest! We are lucky enough to have some amazing prizes from local businesses in Woodstock, Canton and Kennesaw, and all you have to do is show us those sweet cheeks between now and May 15th! The best thing? Your “baby” can be any age today, as long long as they were up to 24 months in the photo!

TEN Amazing Prizes Including:
A $200 photo shoot from Kaptured Photography
A $100 gift card from Once Upon a Child
A $69.95 one-hour massage from LaVida Massage
And more prizes from Chick-Fil-A, Bojangles and Papa John’s!

How Do I Enter?

1.) Head to our Facebook page and “like” us if you haven’t already.

2.) Next, click on the button in the top right that says Cutest Baby Contest Enter Here!

3.) Then, fill out the form, upload your photo(s) and most importantly, share your photo(s) with your friends so they can vote and enter their own babies!


Can’t wait to enter? Here are the official submission rules and other important contest info:

Entries for the 2nd Annual Cutest Baby Contest may be submitted from May 1st through May 15, 2014. Babies aged 0-24 months are eligible to participate.

1) Submit as many photos as you’d like – there are no limits!

2) Make sure it’s not any ol’ picture. We want to being “oohing” and “ahhing” when we see it so be sure your photo is good quality.

3) Include your baby’s name and something that makes them special (i.e.: “Kelly loves to play peek-a-boo with her daddy.”)

NOTE: All photos submitted to Cherokee Women’s Health will become property of Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists. Upon submission, you grant Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists the right to use the photo(s) in all forms of media, including throughout any of our publications (printed, online, or otherwise) and in our partners’ publications and websites.

  • Babies aged 0-24 months are eligible to win. This means they have to be 0-24 months in the photo and not necessarily what their age is today. And while we know that babies and kids of all ages are wonderful, for this particular feature we’re focusing on this age range.
  • Each photo must be submitted by a parent/legal guardian over the age of 18.
  • The parent/legal guardian must give a valid email address.
  • Please keep images close to 100KB in size.
  • We accept photographs sent in JPEG format only.
  • Parent/legal guardian warrants that the photo submitted is original and that the parent/legal guardian owns the copyright in such photo.

Users will be allowed to vote for as many photos as they like. However, users may only vote for each photo once every 24 hours. Any violations of the rules will be cause for disqualification or other contest changes to be determined by Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists.

The winner(s) of the 2nd Annual Cutest Baby Contest, in its various stages, will be determined by the highest number of votes said photo(s) receives.

Second Annual Cutest Baby Contest – Prizes

Does all of that sound good to you? Want to know what you’ll win if your babe gets the most votes? This year, we’ve added more prizes, which means your chance to win is even higher!

  • 1st place: $200 photo shoot with Kaptured Photography of Canton.
  • 2nd place: $100 gift card from Once Upon A child of Kennesaw.
  • 3rd place: $69.95 one-hour massage from LaVida Massage of Hickory Flat.
  • 4th place: Bojangles’ tailgate party pack
  • 5th place: Chick-Fil-A nugget tray with prizes
  • 6th place: Papa John’s pizza
  • 7th place: Papa John’s pizza
  • 8th place: Papa John’s pizza
  • 9th place: Papa John’s pizza
  • 10th place: Papa John’s pizza

Our contest this year is only a few days in so far (entries are accepted through May 15th), so don’t hesitate to get your babies’ photos in so you can start counting those votes! Good luck to everyone!

*Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists reserves the right to change these rules at any given time.
March 21, 2014

pregnancy boy or girlOne of the first questions others ask once you tell them that you are pregnant is “Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” No doubt, as you navigate your first trimester, you ask yourself this same question on a daily basis. The ultrasound to determine the baby’s gender, which is usually between 18 and 22 weeks, is still months away, and the anticipation is killing you. Isn’t there some way to find out if it’s a boy or girl before then? While there is nothing definitive, there are a myriad of characteristics of your pregnancy that suggest you may be carrying one gender versus the other. Cherokee Women’s Health has a list of these old wives tales for you compare:

It’s a Girl

  • You’re carrying high
  • Baby’s heart beat is higher than 140 beats per minute
  • You’re experiencing morning sickness
  • You’re craving sweet foods
  • Your hair is thinner and dull*
  • Your face is fuller and rounder than usual*
  • You’re experiencing acne during your pregnancy*
  • You are graceful during your pregnancy
  • Dad-to-be is gaining weight with you
  • When stringing your wedding ring over your belly, it moves back and forth

*Noticing a trend that suggests your pregnancy may not be too kind to your natural beauty? This is indicative that you are having a baby girl because she is stealing your beauty, or so the old wives tale goes.

It’s a Boy

  • You’re carrying low
  • Baby’s heart beat is below 140 beats per minute
  • You’re having little to no morning sickness
  • You’re craving salty foods
  • Your hair is full bodied and shiny
  • Your face is long and narrow
  • You are more clumsy during your pregnancy
  • Your feet get colder now than they did before your pregnancy
  • Your areolae have darkened
  • When stringing your wedding ring over your belly, it moves in a circle

Do your pregnancy symptoms favor one gender over the other? Well, these are all in fun and have not been proven to be an accurate indicator of your baby’s gender. Other than the second trimester ultrasound and an amniocentesis, the most accurate gender predictor is simply a mother’s intuition – 71% of the time, the mom-to-be knows the gender of her baby.

We hope that these fun gender predictors will help make the wait for your gender revealing ultrasound a little easier to bear. If you need to schedule a second trimester ultrasound, don’t hesitate to contact our office by calling 770-720-7733.


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“Dr. Litrel was a fantastic doctor. I had my first exam with him, although at first I was skeptical about a male doctor for my GYN. But after I met him I’m glad I kept an open mind, and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better doctor. He cares about you as a person and not just a patient. The front desk ladies and nurses were very friendly and it’s a great office, very clean and not intimidating. I highly recommend Cherokee Women’s Health.”
– Vicki