GETTING DOCTORED UP WITH JAIMIE KNOPMAN AND SHEEVA TALEBIAN

December 06, 2018

GETTING DOCTORED UP WITH JAIMIE KNOPMAN AND SHEEVA TALEBIAN

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. 

Can you please confirm that PMS is REAL and provide some tips on how to manage it (for the sake of our husbands and families, lol)?
Oh it's real! Although there are not many things that you want to do when you have your period except lay in bed, watch re-runs of Sex in the City and eat coffee Haagen Dazs ice cream between work, family and an endless list of responsibilities you have to get out of bed and get moving. We recommend the following: ease up on pro-inflammatory foods (sugars, saturated fats, fried foods); while these are all you really want to eat they can make cramps and worse. Exercise during your period is a major plus. Although it may sound unappealing it can reduce inflammatory proteins which can make PMS way worse. This also might be a good time to break out the heating pad; heat increase blood flow which decreases inflammation. Lastly don't be afraid to take pain medicine (Advil, Tylenol). Menstrual cramps are real and often require medication. 

When you aren’t working and have a day to just be friends and chill, what do you love to do together?
Drinking wine and eating sushi preferably on a beach. Summer is our absolute favorite time!

You both have families, how do you manage such a busy practice and children?
As doctors and mothers we often find ourselves running (literally) from work to home, from kids' school to kids' soccer practices and from our offices to errands. But throughout the sometimes chaotic nature of our day we try to find at least 30 mins to stop and SLOW down. Whether its before the day starts or as the day ends we try and take a moment to be present and to PUT down our phone! We have learned that it's not about quantity its about quality. Even 10 minutes of being in it is better than 100 minutes of sort of being in it!

 
LIGHTNING ROUND!

THE SALT STRAP THAT’S SO ME IS:
J:  Annabelle 
S: Duke 

IN MY DREAMS, I PAIR IT WITH:
J: Celine Seau Sangle Bag  
S: Anything Chloe!

THE ACTUAL BAG I SWEAR BY EVERY DAY IS:
J:
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!

PLEASE TRANSPORT ME TO:
J: The beach---always the beach! I don't care where it is as long as there is sand and I am with the people I love!
S: Santa Teresa Costa Rica- small authentic off the beaten track surf town! Deplar Farms, Iceland: stunning scenery, the best running of my life was in Iceland! 
MY UNIFORM IS:  
J: I am definitely a jeans and white tee shirt/tank top kind of girl. My go to are usually Moussy, Redone or Mother Jeans with a James Pearse or Vintage Moussy white tank. I like to go basic and accessorize from there!
S: Jeans and a silk tank! Frame/Mother/AG - Zadig and Voltaire has great tanks!

 

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 :)

CELEB LOOKALIKE:
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.

THE SHAKEDOWN:
The source for Jaime + Sheeva's edit
Truly MD, CCRM Fertility New York, Celine Seau Sangle Bag, Chloe Bags, the Annabelle Strap, the Duke strap, Chick Mission, MOUSSY tank, Mother Denim