Heather S. Lipkind, MD, is a high-risk obstetrician who doesn’t shy away from sharing her own personal experiences if it will put patients dealing with pregnancy complications at ease.
Not only was Dr. Lipkind born at 32 weeks’ gestation (and turned out fine, despite it happening before the age of newborn intensive care units), she later suffered from preeclampsia, a common, but potentially serious, problem in pregnancy, which she now treats.
Dr. Lipkind’s baby was healthy, but she was acutely aware that she was then at higher risk for developing heart disease later in life. “I don’t think most moms realize that, and even I didn’t until I started reading more about it based on my own experience,” she says.
As a result, Dr. Lipkind helped create a program called Yale Hearts Moms, which offers health screening and counseling for women six months after delivery, which is a key time to pick up conditions like preeclampsia after delivery. She does not currently perform deliveries.
In addition to treating patients, Dr. Lipkind is interested in physician burnout and lectures on the topic through the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine. “Taking care of patients and taking care of physicians have become national priorities. If physicians are well cared for and are resilient in their lives, it affects their care,” she says.
Dr. Lipkind is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.