Where are you originally from? How long have you lived in the Capital District? What brought you to the Capital District?
I was born and raised in the capital district! I never left! I grew up in Latham and went to North Colonie Central School District. I then went to SUNY Albany for my undergraduate degree, Albany Medical College for medical school and then did my residency in Internal Medicine at Albany Medical Hospital. I currently work in Delmar at Community Care Physicians. I am a primary care physician and I absolutely love what I do!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have 7 siblings, all of whom live locally expect one of my sisters who lives in NYC. I currently live in North Greenbush. I am very close to my siblings which is the reason why I haven’t ventured away from the capital district. My family owns Guptill’s Arena, the World‘s Largest Rollerskating Arena in the world (it is in the Guinness book of records) right here in Latham. It was built by my paternal grandfather. Over 20 years ago, my family opened Guptill’s Ice Cream and I spent all my summers working there as a teenager and in college.
What are your favorite things to do with your four year old daughter at home during social distancing?
I am constantly trying to find ideas to keep her occupied. She loves crafts. Yesterday, I filled up a big bin with shaving cream and a few drops of washable paint and let her go to town. The day before, I put a paper towel on a baking sheet and used washable markers to write letters on the towel. Then she used a pipette to drop water on the letters to find her name (see pictures). It‘s a fun way to learn letters! Every day I try to come up with something new and creative but it is hard! We also do scavenger hunts in the backyard, go for walks etc. She just got her first bike for her 4th birthday so learning to ride a bike is next on her list.
Do you have any advice for pregnant mothers or mothers with newborns during social distancing/COVID-19?
Preliminary research shows that the virus doesn’t likely pass from the mother to the fetus. Research testing amniotic fluid, cord blood, and breast milk, didn’t find any evidence that the virus could pass from mom to baby. This is reassuring but since COVID-19 is highly contagious and can affect anyone, the last place you want to be is in the hospital. So it is very important to be strict about social distancing and stay home as much as you can (send your husband to the grocery store!). Social distancing is isolating. This does increase your risk for postpartum depression. I recommend you do daily Facetime visits/Skype/Zoom visits with your family. Now that the weather is getting nicer, go for walks around your neighborhood. Ask friends and family who ask what they can do for you to drop a meal at your front door! Call you doctor if you feel depressed. We can help!
I know some moms are concerned about taking their children to routine doctor’s appointments which might include shots? Do you have any advice? What precautions are doctor’s offices taking?
Offices are taking precautions. Immunizations are very important (if we had a COVID-19 immunization, we would be all set). If it‘s a routine visit where shots aren’t needed, I’d push it back a few months. If shots are needed, ask the office if you can wait in your car until they call you to come in and then take you directly to the exam room, avoiding the waiting room. Wash their hands (and yours) before you leave the office. Ask your office about the precautions they are taking. This will help calm your fears. We are fully disinfecting rooms in between patients (the exam table, chairs, door knobs, everything), we took all magazines and toys out of the waiting rooms to avoid the spread of germs etc). In my office, we virtually eliminated the waiting room to decrease your exposure to others.
Click here to get updates from Dr. Guptill regarding COVID-19 by following her Facebook page (She has over 7,000 followers!).