Friends for almost twenty years and colleagues for about 10, Jaime Knopman and Sheeva Talebian are two of the most trusted and loved fertility specialists in NYC. They work together at CCRM NY, a center created for women and families who are experiencing infertility. They also have an incredible blog, TRULY MD, where they share honest, understandable advice for women trying to conceive. They are doctors, mothers, and athletes on a mission to empower and educate women on all things reproductive. We caught up with them in their chic NYC office and talked about, well, everything!
After years of friendship, what inspired you to team up and launch a practice together?
We have always functioned as a team; even before we opened our own practice we adopted a collaborative approach to patient care. We talked though difficult patient cases, assisted each other in the OR and formulated treatment strategies together. Between the two of us there was no ego and no competition--this attitude significantly benefited our patients. When we had the opportunity to launch our own practice it was sort of a no brainer---we get to help build families and do it together...where do we sign up?! As of now our practice has been open for 2.5 years and we couldn't be happier. There is really nothing like working with your best friend. Although we frequently show up in the same clothes and patients often have trouble telling us apart, knowing that you are never alone on this journey is incredible.
What is the biggest myth surrounding pregnancy that you encounter with your patients?
That you can control it! The reality is that what happens when you are trying to get pregnant, during your pregnancy or after your pregnancy is in almost all ways out of your control. As women we tend to blame ourselves for everything, including our ability (or inability to get pregnant). However the reality is it's almost never your fault. That cup of coffee, glass of wine or extra spin class is not what is preventing you from getting pregnant. We want to make sure women know this and stop beating themselves up. Self-blame and guilt will not get you anywhere!
We love your blog, Truly MD! What drove you to create a medical blog and how do you manage to keep it so friendly, honest, and accessible to readers?
Our goal was to empower and educate women on all things reproductive. We wanted to be honest, direct and not to sugarcoat the truth (and also to take the medical jargon out so women could really understand what we were saying!). From your first period to your last period we wanted to offer answers, insight, and awareness into all things female-related. Is birth control bad? Am I fertile? Are these pregnancy symptoms normal? Do I have to breastfeed? You name it and we will talk about it. Because of time and geography we can only see a certain number of patients in a day. We wanted to take our message nationally educating and empowering women to become their own advocates through our medical advice.
THE SALT STRAP THAT’S SO ME IS:
IN MY DREAMS, I PAIR IT WITH:
J: Celine Seau Sangle Bag
S: Anything Chloe!
THE ACTUAL BAG I SWEAR BY EVERY DAY IS:
S:Chloe Marcie Bag!
THE INSIDE OF MY BAG IN 5 WORDS (OR LESS!):
J: Messy with no essentials
S: Organized with all the essentials.
I STAY UP LATE WITH:
J: This is a tough one...I actually am usually up late writing notes, reviewing labs and emailing with patients. I always have Pandora on (usually the Mumford Station) but I am not a TV person at all!
S: Agree- I'm up late responding to patient emails! I do watch movies with the kids (Pitch Perfect 3 last night!)
MY BEAUTY SECURITY BLANKET IS:
J: Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and Nars Lip Gloss. I usually start my day with these 2 items and slowly put on the rest of my makeup throughout the day (in my office I have a hair dryer, a flatiron, hair products and a ton of makeup!) Let's just say patients who see me first thing in the morning vs end of the day see a very different Dr Knopman!
S: If I already have a tan, just some highlighter. But in the winter months for sure Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and then bronzer/highlighter- always Mascara (Maybelline!) and various lip glosses!
RECENTLY, I’M GIRL CRUSHING ON: My strong, kick ass, supportive group of girlfriends. These ladies (and you all know who you are) stood by my side through a tough year--their commitment to me and my girls was unwavering (no matter what time of the day or night!) We borrowed the phrase "just keep swimming" from Finding Nemo---for this and for their endless love and support they are my forever girl crushes!
S: My friends! I am fortunate to have a group of women that I can call my besties who are role models in every way.
MY KARAOKE JAM IS:
J: Don't Stop Believing by Journey (it is also the last song on my marathon playlist!)
S: Agree with Jaime on this one! I am a HUGE EDM fan, but that does not work so well for Karaoke :)
J: I have recently gotten (and not infrequently) The Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif. I honestly had no idea who she was before I was told this!
S: get back to you in a few hours- my office staff are taking a poll.......
THE CAUSE CLOSEST TO MY HEART IS:
J: I am the chief medical office of an organization called Chick Mission. We raise money to provide grants to patients who are diagnosed with cancer and want to preserve their fertility before treatment but cannot afford the treatments.
S: CHICK MISSION as well- as a fertility specialist, and breast cancer survivor- this cause is near and dear to my heart. I was fortunate enough to be diagnosed after I had my children, but unfortunately this is not the case for many.
Meet Elsa Marie Collins, social impact strategist and co-founder of impactful US/Mexico border organization, This Is About Humanity. She also works to bolster causes like Latina empowerment through She Se Puede and voter registration with I am a Voter and the movement for Black lives with Harness, among others.
We chatted with this busy working mother about her experience growing up at the border, and how we can help make this world a better place for our children.