Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ways to Increase Chances of Conception With Pregnancy Help

Babies are a blessing, and many people would do anything to have one of their own. Couples, who are able to have them, do not realize how lucky they are, and sometimes forget that others are struggling with it. There are many ways to help increase your chances with many pregnancy help tips, tricks and methods that can help. Couples, who suffer with complications, can become very stressed out, and even frustrated. Here are a few things to try to help increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Experiment with Positions

There are many people that believe that the sexual position you are in can affect your chances of getting pregnant. Sperm needs to remain inside of the woman in order to reach her eggs. Certain sex positions make it easier than others. For example, girl on top is not as effective as the missionary style. Also, after sex, the woman should place her legs in the air for about 20 minutes to allow the sperm to travel to her eggs.

Stop Using Protection

One of the most important and obvious pregnancy help methods is to stop all methods of protection including condoms and birth control pills. This allows sperm to reach the eggs, and results in becoming pregnant.

Use Herb Supplements

For couples who are looking for pregnancy help tips, another great one is to take certain herbs. Herbs can help increase fertility and has been shown to work. It's been a method that has been used for hundreds of years. Certain herbs such as Dong Quai and Chasteberry are common ones to try.

There are many other methods that have been proven to help increase fertility, and you should try a few to see what works best for you. Not all methods work for everyone. The Pregnancy Miracle is a great resource, as it gives you hundreds of methods to try that are all natural.

What You Should Know About Lap Band Surgery And Weight Loss

One difference in the early days between the Lap Band system and the Swedish adjustable lap band is that the SAGB didn't have a self-closing mechanism and had to be closed with sutures. An American company, INAMED Health, designed the BioEnterics Lap-Band Adjustable Gastric Banding System, which was introduced in Europe in 1993. The Swedish adjustable gastric band differs from the Lap-Band because it wasn't designed for use with keyhole laparoscopic surgery.

An allergic reaction to materials contained in the band or for people who have exhibited pain intolerance to implanted devices are contraindications for lap band surgery. Failure of dietary or weight-loss drug therapy for more than one year can make one eligible for the adjustable gastric band procedure. In order to be considered one must have the comprehension of the risks and benefits of the gastric band procedure and willingness to comply with the substantial lifelong dietary restrictions required for long term success.

Inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract like ulcers, esophagitis or Crohn's disease don't make one a good candidate for lap band surgery. It's usually contraindicated if the surgery or treatment represents an unreasonable risk to the patient.

As the upper part of the stomach believes it's full the message to the brain is that the stomach is full and this sensation helps the person to eat smaller portions and lose weight over time. The surgeon uses a specialized needle is to avoid damage to the port membrane. When fluid is introduced into the stomach the lap band expands, placing pressure around the outside of the stomach; this decreases the size of the passage in the stomach and restricts the movement of food.

The band is inflated and adjusted by way of a small access port placed just under the skin subcutaneously; then radiopaque isotonic solution or saline is introduced into the band via the port. Lap band or gastric band placement, unlike the traditional malabsorptive weight loss surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, biliopancreatic and duodenal switch) does not cut or remove any part of the digestive system. The adjustable gastric band or Lap Band is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device which is placed around the top portion of the stomach using keyhole laparoscopic surgery.

Post surgery the patient should consider eating less, eating more slowly and chewing food thoroughly. The patient may be prescribed a liquid-only diet, followed by soft foods and then solid foods for a varied length of time; each surgeon and manufacturer will vary. The lap band may remain deflated during pregnancy and once breast feeding or bottle-feeding is completed the band may be gradually re-inflated to help with postpartum weight loss if essential.

The World Health Organization recommendation for monthly weight loss is approximately 1.1 to 2.2 pounds per week and an average gastric banded patient may possibly lose this amount. Weight regain can happen with any surgical weight loss procedure including the more radical procedures that initially result in a rapid weight loss.

Complications of gastric band surgery include: ulceration and irritated stomach tissue. Some mechanical malfunctions that can occur post-surgery are port leakage, cracking of the kink-resistant tubing or disruption of the tubing connection from the port to the band, port site pain and port displacement.

Some of the adjustable gastric band post-surgery digestive complications are nausea, vomiting, gastroesophageal reflux, stoma obstruction, constipation, dysphagia, diarrhea, and abnormal stools. Occasionally, the narrow passage into the lower part of the stomach may become blocked by a large portion of unchewed food.

The amount you pay for your surgery will vary; there is not one set price for lap band surgery. It's important to discuss post-surgical care and diet plans with your weight loss doctor if you are considering adjustable gastric band or lap band surgery. Mexico is one of the top destinations for adjustable gastric band surgery outside of the United States, where the cost for lap band surgery is usually about $8,000 to $10,000.

Obstetric Clinicals

By this time you should be on the home stretch to finishing nursing school. Obstetric (OB) clinicals are usually the last major clinical rotation a student will have to master. During this rotation, nursing students will education patients about maternity, labor and delivery, and infant care. Students will experience patients that are pregnant and about to deliver, postpartum, and women with obstetric issues.

OB nursing process and theories will be applied to maternity patients. Selected women's

health issues will also be examined. Some patients will be admitted for hysterectomy, myomectomy, and other obstetrical surgery procedures Application of the nursing process to assist in the health of high risk pregnant women and their families.

The tools needed for OB clinicals are mostly the same as adult health and pediatric clinicals. OB classes are held at the same time as clinicals so students will have already have talked about how to perform assessments, nursing diagnosis and care plans, and how to care for a patient in labor. Some schools have a lab where students can practice on manikins before clinicals. This would be a good time to get used to teaching and performing breast exams, measuring the fundus, how to read a fetal monitor strip, and what to teach the mother for postpartum care.

Students should keep an open mind during this clinical rotation. Different cultures should be taken into account when asking the patient questions and doing an assessment. Also be aware that some women have given birth but the fetus may be ill or not have survived. There is nothing more embarrassing than coming into a room and saying congratulations when you don't know the facts. The most important aspects of OB clinicals are knowing how to perform an assessment, the phases of labor, medications given during labor and delivery, and care plans. Some institutions will not let nursing students give medications to pregnant patients due to the high risk of harming the mom and fetus. Due to this fact, there will be a lot of observations on the student's behalf. This will be a good time to see a vaginal delivery, cesarean section, and breast feeding. Below is and example of a sample care plan for a patient who is in labor:

Nursing Diagnosis /Related to Altered urinary elimination r/t compression of bladder.

Pathophysiology: Pressure from an enlarging uterus and increase in blood volume causes a large volume of urine to be held causing urinary stasis. Urinary frequency also occurs from the pressure of the bladder and its displacement.

Nursing Activities (NIC)

1. Monitor blood glucose levels in infant.
2. Observe for signs of hypoglycemia.
3. Institute early feeding of breast or bottle milk.

Rationale (from nursing references)

1. To assess and detect early onset and prevent complications.
2. To assess and detect early onset and prevent complications.
3. This prevents or treats early hypoglycemia.

Male Contraception - An Overview

There is no dearth of men all over the world looking for different methods of contraception. Contraception is mainly used to avoid unwanted pregnancies, although some forms can also help in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Without the use of an effective form of contraception, there is a high risk of unwanted pregnancies. Here are your options.

Amongst the most commonly used form of contraception in men, condoms work as barrier devices which prevent the semen from entering the vagina. In addition, condoms also provide protection against a range of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea. There is a wide variety of condoms to choose from in this day and age, and this choice comes in the form of textured and flavored condoms. Using condoms does not provide 100% protection.

The Withdrawal Method:
This method is also commonly referred to as the 'pull out' method, or 'coitus interruptus'. This is where you would withdraw your penis just before you ejaculate, thereby ejaculating outside your partner's body. This method does not offer 100% protection against unwanted pregnancies either.

This is looked upon as a permanent male contraception method, as it works in ensuring that no sperms get to the ejaculate. This procedure is generally chosen by men who feel they've had their share of children. The procedure does not take very long, and involves the 'vas deferens' from both testicles being cut, clamped, or sealed in some other manner.

Natural Solutions:
Men in some cultures use solutions derived from nature to serve as contraceptive measures. Extract from 'Neem' (Azadirachta indica) is said to work as an effective contraceptive for men, and its use in Asian cultures is quite common. Lab tests on mice have shown that Neem oil can be used as an alternative to vasectomy. Seeds from the papaya fruit (Carica papaya) have also been used by many Asian cultures as a means to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Lab tests with monkeys have shown that papaya seeds work in eliminating sperms from the ejaculate.

Alternatives Being Developed:
Various male contraception methods continue to be developed, and many of these aim to work along the lines of commonly available contraceptives for women. Men, by the looks of it, will soon have the option to avail of alternatives like pills, gels, patches, and injections. Newer alternatives which are still being tested include the use of calcium channel blockers like nifedipine; adjudin, which is a non-toxic form of ionidamine; as well as phenoxybenzamine.

Realize that what might seem like the best form of male contraception for someone might not necessary find favor with someone else. Besides, the all important factor of whether the solution sought is permanent or temporary will also have a bearing on the method that you choose.

What's important though is that you use some form of contraception whilst engaging in sex. And when this involves an unknown partner, you should take particular care to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases as well.

Recognizing Depression in Men

Jason reluctantly came to my office for marital therapy. His wife insisted that he attend or she would be calling a divorce lawyer. His ambivalence about being in my office came across loud and clear. Jason did not speak unless directly asked a question. Even then, his answer was as short and staccato as possible. He slumped as far into the arm of the couch as he was able and gave no retort or act of affection in response to his wife's tears or distress.

"He comes home from work--and I know he's tired--but all he wants to do is sit in his recliner and watch hours of television," Jason's wife complained to me through her tears. "He has trouble sleeping and worries constantly about what is going on at work. But work is where all his energy goes. I feel like I don't matter at all to him any more, because he never wants to do anything with me or even hold my hand. I don't even remember the last time we had sex!"

I looked at Jason. No response. When asked to respond, he acknowledged that yes, work does take up all his time and energy, and yes, he is tired every day, but no, it's not that he doesn't care about his wife. No further explanation. Just more slumping and staring off into space.

At first glance, many therapists might take Jason's distancing from his wife as a sign that he is having an affair or wants out of the marriage. At the very least, it appears he resents her insistence that he come to therapy and maybe he is being passive aggressive to punish her or make her change her mind about seeking marital help.

Jason is a busy man, a high-paid executive with a lot of responsibility. He manages teams of people and can handle huge budgets and deadlines. Some therapists might see Jason as arrogant, maybe narcissistic, and that he doesn't want to waste his valuable time in a therapist's office when there are more important things to accomplish with his life.

But digging a little deeper, I learned more about Jason. A few years back, when he was only in his 40s, Jason had a stroke. It was a long fight back to full health. During his recovery, his son got involved in drugs and was arrested and his father died. Jason, the oldest child in the family, took full responsibility for the funeral arrangements and settling the estate afterward. Jason was successful at his job, but more and more demands were being placed on him in the current tough economy and he was increasingly becoming unhappy at work. However, it would be difficult to walk away from a salary like his, especially since Jason and his wife recently bought their dream house. Jason felt "boxed in."

So, let's look at Jason again. He was feeling overwhelmed and stressed, he wasn't sleeping well, he was withdrawing from others including his wife of 28 years, he had lost interest in sex, he had given up his passion for golf, and he was zoning out in front of the TV every night. Maybe Jason is not narcissistic nor passive aggressive. It is possible that Jason is depressed.

The symptoms of depression are:

  • feelings of sadness or emptiness most of the day, nearly every day

  • markedly diminished interest in activities once found pleasurable

  • significant weight loss or weight gain

  • marked increase or decrease in need for sleep

  • feeling agitated or irritated

  • decreased energy or feeling slowed or weighed down

  • feelings of worthlessness, powerlessness, helplessness

  • a false sense of guilt

  • unexplained aches and pains

  • inability to concentrate or focus or make decisions

  • recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Depression in men often goes undiagnosed because it can manifest itself differently in men than in women. For example, women will often withdraw into sleep, self-medicate with food, and will cry often, even several times daily. But men, typically still go to work and function pretty well on the job, but doing so saps all their energy. They often experience depression with irritation or agitation, not with tears, because men, in general, are socialized that crying is not "manly" or acceptable, but that anger is. Both depressed men and women might lose interest in sex, but again, our society leads us to believe that men will seek out sex at all costs. Therefore, when men withdraw from their wives sexually, we often think of infidelity, when in actuality, depression may be to blame.

A diagnosis of depression may be harder for men to accept about themselves than for women. It can be more difficult to get a man to talk to his doctor about medication or to seek out therapy. In Jason's case, he is used to being in charge and is highly respected on the job and in his community. He might be worried about the stigma of depression, which unfortunately seems worse for men than for women. He may even be fearful that a diagnosis could wreck his career. Jason, like many men, may think depression only happens to women and therefore, couldn't possibly be what is afflicting him.

But depression is an equal opportunist. It is an brain-chemistry illness that affects both men and women. Likewise, treatment is effective for both genders. Jason may hope that his depression will simply go away if he zones out enough in front of the TV after work, or if his wife would just stop making demands on him and find other people to occupy her time, or if his work load could just get a little lighter. It might be challenging for Jason to accept a diagnosis of depression. I hope not, because help is available for Jason and men like him.

The Best Ways To Get Pregnant Faster - Ideas To Help You and Your Partner

If you are in a hurry to get pregnant, there are a few ideas to help you and your partner out.

Try having sex at least three times a week or more. When a couple has sex often, they are able to conceive much more easily. People try far too often to time everything down without a glitch for when a woman ovulates, but it doesn't always work out the way you plan it.

If a couple does it more than once a week, they will have a better chance at becoming pregnant faster.

You can also consider getting a kit that will predict when you will ovulate or a monitor for your fertility. Both of these devices have been proven to help couples get pregnant. These two products are amazing and will help you know when the best time is, so that you can conceive faster. Most women have to guess at when their ovulation time actually is, but the product does all of the work for you so that you no longer have to worry. These can be bought at any pharmacy or local department store.

To conceive faster, you should have sexual intercourse before you ovulate. Some couples will be confused as to when the correct time is to have sexual intercourse. There is only a small frame of time within each month for a woman to get pregnant, so if you are actively trying to have a baby, you will need to pay close attention to your cycle. Once a woman ovulates, an egg can survive for around twenty four hours. Sperm on the other hand, can live for several days. Do not wait for the exact day that you will be ovulating, because you do not want to miss the perfect chance of getting pregnant.

Most couples will try the calendar method and in most cases this has failed because of the twenty eight day cycle and the mid-cycle of ovulation. A lot of women do not ovulate exactly on the fourteenth and then get disappointed because they missed the chance to conceive. If you are on the pill then go off of it. It has been known that when a woman skips or quits taking the pill they are more often than none have a greater chance in getting pregnant faster. After having sex lie on your back because the vagina is at a downward position and this will allow the sperm to get closer to your egg.

Do not use any form of lubricant before having sex in most cases this has proven to hinder the sperm count with the ingredients in lube. If you do not have an orgasm this can make the process of getting pregnant slower so always make sure that your partner gets you to have one. Make sure your partner wears boxers because it is well-known that this can help with his sperm count and you could possibly get pregnant at a faster rate.

Out of all the information listed above the most important thing to remember is have fun and try not to stress out if you do not get pregnant the first time around.

Fish Oil Supplements During Pregnancy - How They Can Help

There are a lot of women who are looking for fish oil supplements during pregnancy. This is because there have been several researches conducted that show the benefits of using these. If you are among these women, it is important to know what you are getting into before you start using fish oil.

Women who are pregnant are advised not to consume over 2 servings of fish a week. This is because there are some concerns regarding mercury as well as other types of contaminants. Instead, they can use fish oil supplements.

The reason why these supplements are being advised is because they contain Omega 3, a primary nutrient source. The fatty acids contained in Omega 3 are needed as they are essential for the normal development of the brain and the eyes. There are several studies which indicate that taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy lowers the baby's risk for food allergies, eczema, and asthma.

Other studies have also shown that taking this fatty acid during pregnancy reduces the risk for premature birth. Overall, a regular consumption of fish has been associated with a fetus' healthy growth and development.

Among the fatty acids found in Omega 3, it is DHA which is most important. DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic acid. While there are a lot of other sources of Omega 3, such as vegetable oils and supplements, these are not capable of providing DHA like fish oil does.

Even the pregnant mother gets benefits from DHA. This is because a lack of DHA has often been associated with prenatal or postpartum depression. In order for the equal good health of both the mom and her child, taking fish oil supplements during pregnancy is advised. Because of this, it is important that the best supplements are chosen as there are some which contain impure ingredients. As such, the right supplement must be chosen carefully. To do this, visit my website.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Using and Feeling the Benefits of St John's Wart

In its natural format St John's Wart is a flowering plant that originally originates from Europe. The plant flowers from June to September allowing the herbalists to collect and obtain large quantities ready to prepare and sell on the herbal remedies markets to all world wide distributors.

What is St John's Wart usually taken for?

St John's Wart is popular for those persons suffering from mild- to serve depression. It is used as an anti-depressant by people who do not need or wish to start on a dose of Prozac. Prozac is known to become very addictive and hard to wean off once started on a course.

Other reasons people may take St John's Wart are problems or events such as:

  • Post Natal Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Obesity

  • Anorexia Suffers

  • Deaths

  • Divorces and many more.

Some people use it to calm nerves and help keep balanced day to day. It is also well known for its calming properties great for those with anxiety and public problems. It is said by scientists who test this remedies that it helps to realise chemicals from the brain causing a happier lift in a personal mental state.

Benefits of Taking St John's Wart:

  • It is great for helping people feel calmer and relaxed in situations they usually feel uptight and uncomfortable with.

  • Letting people re-gain their life by giving them a boost of confidence and self worth.

  • Help with signs of stress and exhaustion

  • Help with insomnia and people who feel restless and unable to settle on a night-time.

  • It can also reduce stress and confusion for people with mental health problems.

Risks of Taking John's Wart:

  • St John's Wart may reduce the effectiveness of the contraception pill.

  • It may affect pregnant or breastfeeding women

  • It may cause blood thinning dangerous to those people already taking medications.

Protect Your Family With Exclusive Family Health Insurance Plans

Even if you have a very healthy family with hardly any serious health problems, it is wise to have a Health Insurance policy for the entire family. You will never know when the symptoms will start or if the disease is silently progressing. You wouldn't want to settle for a cheaper treatment just because you don't have the money to pay for it. Get a good Family Health Insurance done and ensure that your family gets the best.

Family Health Insurance Plans that cover everything

The Insurance Plans of different companies will vary and one should compare the rates and conditions before opting for one. Some plans cover even preventive care. This is most important among children who need to be regularly checked, immunized and vaccinated. While it is a must for children, regular check ups should be done for adults as well. Hospitalization and other expenses will also be paid for by the insurance company which will come in very helpful when unexpected injuries take place.

Foresight is important

If you have a hereditary disease in the family, family Health Insurance will be all the more important for you. If you are just married or are planning to have more children, opt for Family Health Insurances offer that cover maternity care as well. Little children tend to fall sick or injure themselves and having good Family Health Insurance Plans will help you financially. Getting your insurance done online will be very convenient as payment etc can be easily done. It is very efficient and the transactions can be done even in the comfort of your house.


Including the entire family under one Family Health Insurance Plan is a great way to save and it is more affordable especially for those with big families. Some companies allow you to include the family within the individual insurance too. You will also have income tax benefits on the amount spent on the premium. The amount spent for dependent children and parents who are senior citizens is also accountable for income tax deductions.

Protein's Role in a Healthy Pregnancy Diet

While the actual recommended amount of protein might vary from doctor to doctor, all health care providers agree protein is a vital component of a healthy pregnancy diet. Protein supports a wide variety of important body functions for expectant mothers, while providing the raw materials necessary to build a healthy new human life.

Daily Recommendations for Pregnant Women

The recommendation of protein as part of a daily diet for a pregnant woman fluctuates. These fluctuations are reflection of the ever-changing food pyramid recommended by the USDA, the care provider's personal leanings and the latest medical research.

Some providers recommend as little as 40-50 grams of protein daily, while others bombard women with a minimum recommended amount of 90+ grams daily as part of a healthy pregnancy diet.

Most doctors recommend moderation, which splits the difference between these high and low numbers landing at 60 grams of protein daily. This amount stays steady as part of diet during first trimester pregnancy as well as every subsequent trimester. Protein needs to be high priority from pregnancy's beginning to its end.

Getting adequate protein is of such vital importance that some doctors even go so far as to advise against a vegetarian diet in pregnancy.

The body uses protein in many ways. During pregnancy, the multi-tasking elements of protein's nutritive powers are pushed to the limit.

Waste Removal Systems Have Added Strain for Pregnant Women

During pregnancy, mom's waste removal systems kick into over drive. This means the kidneys, liver, blood stream and all other body components used to scour toxic substances from the body need extra support.

Protein is a key player in waste removal. As protein digests, it is broken into small pieces. The smallest of these elements are indigestible sponge-like molecules. The body uses these protein sponges to soak up and remove waste particles from the blood stream.

Without adequate proteins, wastes build up resulting in fatigue, swelling and potentially the life-threatening complication, toxemia. Research in this aspect of protein's benefits is still ongoing.

Fetal Development and Protein

Proteins are made of long strands of amino acids as well as vital fatty acids like omega-3. Both nutrients play important roles for mother and baby.

Amino acids are the basic building blocks of life. Trying to develop a healthy baby without amino acids would be like trying to build a log cabin without logs.

Maintain Steady Blood Sugars with Protein

Proteins also help mom's body to maintain normal blood sugar levels. This helps with mood swings, energy levels, appetite control and even reduces or eliminates morning sickness.

As you can see, protein is a vital part of a healthy pregnancy diet for both mother and child.

Coping With A Breakup While Pregnant - 3 Tips To Cope With Breakup And Win Him Back

Learning ways of coping with a breakup while pregnant will help you to gain control of your emotional and physical health during this time - when you also have to care for the life of your child. So here are 3 advice that will bring peace to your feelings towards your ex-boyfriend and help you cope with the break-up.

Advice #1: Agree with the breakup... for now...

The easiest thing to do now is agree with the break-up. I understand this may not be what your mind is telling you to do, but doing so will do you more good than harm. Here's why:

  1. It is easier to go with the flow than to fight against the current. Since your ex is firm about his decision in breaking up with you, reserve and share your energy with your baby. Being in your stomach,your baby needs your support to gain good nutrition for growth. Your mood also affects how your baby grows.

  2. Agreeing with the break up will come as a shock to your boyfriend. One of the reasons your ex decided to breakup with you is because he is afraid that he needs to cope with your mood swings and bring up a new born child. It is a huge responsibility for a guy and your partner probably isn't ready. By agreeing with the break-up, you are showing him that you are able to cope on your own. He will be pleasantly surprised and relieved - which gives him the time to reconsider things between the both of you.

Advice #2: Take care of yours and your baby's health

Learning how to cope with a breakup while pregnant also involves taking care of yours and the baby's health. Your baby is probably only a few weeks or months old and you have to mind your emotional feelings and prevent yourself from physical harm - to ensure that your baby grows with good health.

Also, our self esteem takes a plunge during a relationship break-up. Thus, a quick way to regain your composure, is to look in the mirror and ask yourself 'Is this the person I want to be? Do I want my own skin, weight and look to suffer even more?' You will hear yourself thinking 'I want to be happy. I expect my life to be better. I want my to win my partner back. But...' Once you reach this point, stop thinking about the issue.

The key is to focus on what you want instead of what is stopping you from having what you want. It will help you increase your emotional and general happiness.

Also, your breasts will grow bigger during pregnancy. Use it to tempt the man you love back into a relationship with you but don't have sex too soon. Having sex with him too fast will take away the attraction prematurely. Try talking to him. Make him commit. You're in control.

Advice #3: Get the support, love and comfort from the people who loves you

We all find our own ways to cope with a romantic relationship breakup. While withdrawing from social interaction for a period of time can do you good, do your best to accept your friends' suggestions to meet up and hang out once in awhile. Start doing light exercise with your friends to stay healthy.

In the beginning, just take small steps out of your comfort zone, and even have your friends come to your house if you like. True friends will be sensitive to your needs and put in the effort to be there for you - All you need to do is ask.

Being a single pregnant mom is common. However, the power lies in your hands; for coping with a break up while pregnant and also getting your ex boyfriend back.

Pregnancy Antenatal Care - Your Health Care Team and Appointments

During pregnancy, yours and your baby's health is monitored closely, but who should you see? When do you need to see them? And what are all the pregnancy tests and scans for? Finding out what antenatal care you should expect when you're pregnant can be confusing, so here's our guide to help you through this exciting time.

Your Pregnancy Health Care Team

Your team of health care professionals during pregnancy can be quite varied. Initially you should see your GP (family doctor) when you think you're pregnant and they will help you plan your antenatal care.

Your doctor should tell you how to arrange your first appointment with your midwife (otherwise known as your 'booking in appointment') and from there the midwife will look after you and your baby throughout your pregnancy and for the first few weeks after your baby is born.

You may also have routine appointments with an Obstetrician at the beginning and end of your pregnancy. They specialise in pregnancy and birth and will see you more regularly if you are carrying multiple births, have any complications with your pregnancy or are having a planned cesarean.

When your baby is a few months old, your Health Visitor will take over the care of you and your baby from your midwife. They are likely to visit you to see how you're getting on and are available for any worries or concerns you may have as your baby grows.

Pregnancy check ups

During your first pregnancy you are likely to have up to 10 appointments to attend to. This reduces to around 7 in subsequent pregnancies.

The number of check ups you have when pregnant depends on many things:

  • Your risk factors

  • Any complications

  • Elected labour options

  • The number of babies you are carrying

  • The area in which you live.

All pregnant women will be given their medical records to keep hold of during pregnancy. Don't forget to bring them to all of your appointments so that whichever doctor or midwife is treating you will have your notes to hand.

Booking in appointment

The first meeting with your midwife will happen when you are around 8-10 weeks pregnant and is referred to as the 'booking in' appointment.

This is when your midwife will discuss your family history (and your partner's), give you advice about your diet, lifestyle and staying healthy whilst you're pregnant.

The midwife will also carry out some tests such as urine and blood tests, you'll have your blood pressure checked and some details about your body recorded such as height, weight and tummy measurement. This is all for your midwife to monitor the health of you and your baby.

Dating 12 week scan

Many clinics offer a scan at between 10 and 14 weeks. This is your pregnancy dating scan (also called the 12 week scan) and is used to date the pregnancy more accurately than the estimated due date your midwife may have given you. The dating scan is also used to check the number of babies you are carrying.

Sometimes you may be able to take a picture of the baby home with you (often hospitals charge for this) to keep as a momentum of your 12 week scan. For most women this is the first time they will have seen the baby.

The dating scan isn't offered in all parts of the country so if this isn't available to you in your area, you'll need to wait for the 20-week anomaly scan which is the next scheduled pregnancy scan.

Pregnancy blood tests

You should have a range of blood tests in your 2nd trimester, usually between the 14th and 20th week of your pregnancy. These are routine and are offered to all pregnant women:

  • Blood group tests identify whether you are Rhesus Negative (RhD). This can cause complications in later pregnancies, but simple injections during your first pregnancy will prevent this.

  • You'll have what's called a full blood count test (repeated again at 28 weeks) which helps to monitor you for deficiency anaemia, a common complaint during pregnancy.

  • You'll also be screened for infections and viruses such as Hepatitis B, syphilis and HIV. This is a precautionary measure and just means they can look after your baby to prevent you passing the infection on during pregnancy.

The 20 week anomaly scan

Around your 20th week of pregnancy, you will have an anomaly scan. This is a detailed check on your baby using ultrasound and examines the baby's body, measurements and growth. They'll also check on your placenta and you may even have the option of finding out the sex of your baby, although not all places offer this and no hospital guarantees the sex from the ultrasound.

You can usually ask for a picture from this pregnancy scan, but again expect to pay a charge. Some places even offer a video.

Additional tests and scans

Other than the standard pregnancy scans and tests you may be offered additional checks, either as optional tests if you are at risk of any complications, or as extra monitoring of your baby. The important thing to remember is to discuss any concerns you have with your midwife or doctor, they are there to help make your pregnancy as healthy, safe and enjoyable as possible.

Tips to Help Get Pregnant After 30

After the age of thirty, getting pregnant can become difficult for many couples. This is mainly due to the fact that, as the human body ages, fertility drops off, and the older one gets the harder it becomes to conceive. Therefore, here are a few tips to help get pregnant after 30.

This hold true for any woman trying to conceive but, it is most important for older women, and that is taking care of your body. If your body is not, in top physical condition then, this is where you will need to begin. You can greatly increase your bodies' fertility if you get it into its best physical condition possible.

If you are over weight or under weight, start on a diet that will bring your body into the weight range it should be in. Make sure the diet is one that will supply your body with all the foods rich in nutritional value that a body requires to be healthy. The healthier your body is the more fertile it will be so, consider seeing your doctor and have them put you on a diet that will be healthy for you, and help you get your weight where it belongs. (They can also let you know what not to eat or drink to help increase your fertility levels.)

Exercise is important as well and can also help you get your weight under control. I have heard many say that when a woman is trying to get pregnant they should take it easy and relax. This is bad advice because the stronger your body is, the better all the organ in the body function, this includes the reproductive system. Another thing exercise can do for you, if you are planning on a natural child birth, is make labor and delivery easier on you.

The best position to use during intercourse to help get pregnant has not been scientifically proven but, many believe that the missionary position is the best. This is because it provides for the deepest penetration and places the sperm closest to the cervix. Again, there is no scientific evidence that suggests one position is better than another.

Having sex only during the ovulation cycle so the man's sperm is not depleted when the woman is ovulating, is another thing I have heard many say and it is not true. Think of it as supply and demand, the greater the demand the more supply the body will produce, and this is a fact. You are much better off having sex daily because this will get the man's reproductive system to produce more sperm as well as higher quality of sperm. The important thing here is to keep it fun and interesting, if it becomes a chore or mundane it will adversely affect your chances to conceive, and causes stress when it does not happen.

There are many more tips to help get pregnant after 30 however, these are ones that you can start with before, and while trying to conceive. It is also worth mentioning that the better shape both of you, man and woman, is in, the greater your chances of achieving your goal will be. If you are in excellent physical condition, older than thirty, and have been trying for more than six months without success, you should seek help from a fertility specialist to ensure there is no infertility issue.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vista Health Care Florida Health Insurance Company Review

Vista Health Care is a Florida insurance company and a subsidiary of Coventry Health Inc. Vista Health Care Company provides health benefits to its over 300,000 individual members and over 10,000 large and small business group plan members. The company employs over 950 employees, all of whom assist Vista in meeting its mission to provide health coverage that offers the best overall value for their customers.

The company which has its headquarters in Hollywood boasts annual revenue of one billion dollars. Vista Health Care also has offices in Miami, Tallahassee, Lake Worth, and Sunrise. Members of Vista Health Care are presented with a large range of independent health care providers to choose from- over 6000 in fact. You can rest assured that you will be able to get prompt customer service as this department is open ten hours a day, 5 days a week. Currently Vista only offers coverage in the South and North Florida areas.

Vista Florida Health Insurance Coverage Overview

Vista Health Care Company offers a wide variety of plans to its members. Plans offered include HMO, POS, PPO, Medicare, Medicaid, and Florida Healthy Kids. Vista is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), which means that the company has undergone and passed various nationally set standards (i.e. how it communicates with members, grievance resolution, etc.) for quality and access to health care.

No matter your group or individual selection of insurance you will be pleased with the wide variety of services and coverage options these plans offer. Most plans offer a selection of over 6000 physicians and include dental and vision coverage. Your co-payments are fixed and customers have the almost unheard luxury of coverage of preventative health care such as yoga classes and massage therapy.

As an example of the innovation of this company, as part of almost all of their Florida health insurance plans, you are eligible to receive a discount at the 500 different health clubs throughout the state that participate in the discount program. Members also have access to an e-program that assist them with important health concerns such as quitting smoking, and wealth of online and personal wellness tools to ensure that you achieve the best health possible.

The Medicare plan offers benefit options that are not available under original Medicare. Participants will pay nothing for visits to the doctor or for generic prescriptions. There is also no limit to the amount of generic prescriptions that are available for purchase.

Vista's Florida Customer Service Record

Vista Health Care Company offers its individual and group members unparalleled insurance selection and customer service. Their commitment to your family's overall well being and health along with the health and well being of their surrounding community makes them a leading choice in Florida health insurance.

Using Lavender Essential Oil During Pregnancy

Lavender essential oil (Latin name Lavendula angustifolia) is considered the safest of all the essential oils used in aromatherapy. Even so, it is not advisable to use this versatile oil in the first three months of pregnancy as there is always a possibility that it may bring on a miscarriage. The fact is that although lavender is completely natural, essential oils contain the essence of the plant they are extracted from, and are very powerful.

That being said, there are many ways in which lavender can help over the later months of pregnancy. It is particularly beneficial for stretch marks. These can appear in the later stages of pregnancy on the upper thighs and the abdomen. Massaging four drops of lavender mixed with palm full of jojoba oil into the abdomen and thighs daily will help to prevent stretch marks from forming and to help reduce their appearance if they have already started to form. Skin tends to become drier during pregnancy, and the combination of lavender and oil helps by moisturizing the skin and preserving its elasticity.

Lavender also helps to combat the daily stress of pregnancy, particularly in the later stages when the body becomes unwieldy and sleep is disturbed. Lavender soothes and calms the nerves, helping to relieve tension, stress and anxiety. It also helps ease insomnia, and a couple of drops on the pillow when retiring for the night will help to ensure a good night's sleep.

During labour lavender can be used to calm, and as a pain reliever. Rubbing four drops of lavender mixed with a palm full of jojoba oil into the back will ease backache and have a calming effect. However, it should be noted that lavender should not be used in labour at the same time as Pethidine, with an epidural, or with Oxytocin/Piticon, as it may interfere with their function. If you have any doubts about this, consult first with your health advisor before using the oil.

After the birth lavender can help a new mother to recover from the trauma of delivery. Taking a warm bath to which eight drops of lavender mixed with a palm full of jojoba oil have been added, is not only relaxing, but will relieve pain and help to prevent infection. The bath will also help to ease any other conditions, such as hemorrhoids, sore or cracked nipples or a poor breast milk supply.

In all, used with precaution, lavender can be a great aid in both pregnancy, and the immediate period afterwards.

Getting Pregnant After 40 - Help to Make It Happen

If you are thinking about getting pregnant after 40, you may have to make a little more effort than your younger counterparts. Don't be discouraged, though, there are many ways you can maximise your fertility that can make a surprising amount of difference to your chances.

The first thing you must do is make sure your body is in a completely healthy state. Whereas some younger women will be able to counter the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, older women generally cannot. Just as you can't drink as much as you did in your twenties without suffering from a bad hangover, you also can't abuse your body with an unhealthy lifestyle and still expect it to function to the best of its ability.
Cut out all alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and caffeine, all of which are stimulants and will diminish your fertility. You will need to get used to this lifestyle once you get pregnant anyway so you may as well start now. Get your partner to do the same. These stimulants have the exact same effect on his fertility as it does on yours, and contrary to popular opinion, male fertility does decrease with age. If you are both serious about conceiving, he will have to make an effort too.

Embark on a healthy diet and exercise regime. Fatty and sugary foods can cause hormonal imbalances that can destroy your chances of becoming pregnant, so make sure you are not eating too many of these. Regular exercise will make sure your body is in its best state, and should even help with hormonal imbalances. You need to make sure you are eating plenty of folic acid, vitamin C and antioxidants - these will all help you to get pregnant, and also help with your baby's development afterwards. Make sure your partner is getting plenty of zinc in his diet - even a small deficiency can affect his testosterone levels enough to make conception difficult.

Invest in an ovulation monitor. You really must take the scientific approach if you're thinking of getting pregnant after 40, because you have to give your body it's best chance. Every time you ovulate, therefore, make sure there is sperm there to greet it. You may unwittingly be missing your ovulation period every month because it really only lasts for a few days. Having sex once a week just won't be enough, and it's best to direct your efforts straight at the ovulation period.

You should be doing all you can to allow nature to follow its course, because sometimes it needs a helping hand. This doesn't mean only have sex during ovulation, of course. There is no danger of your partner's sperm being 'used up' by too much sex. Although regular sex will diminish his total sperm count by a small amount, it should still be well within the range that will be able to make you pregnant. Regular sex is also thought to keep the testicles healthy and to keep sperm motility at a good level.

To really maximise your chances of getting pregnant after 40, however, you should make sure to take herbal fertility supplements. You may be sceptical as they are not actual drugs given to you by your general practitioner, but in fact these herbs can be as powerful as drugs (as much scientific research has shown). Chasteberry, otherwise known as Agnus Castus or Vitex, Wild Yam, False Unicorn Root and Evening Primrose Oil are all highly beneficial for female fertility. They do this by normalizing the hormones and the function of the pituitary gland. Correct hormone balance is essential for becoming pregnant, and is one of the main reasons it becomes so difficult to get pregnant as you get older. These supplements can, therefore, be literally invaluable for women over 40 who want to conceive.

Want to Get Pregnant Fast? Su-Jok Therapy Can Help

If you are trying to get pregnant and failing then Su-Jok therapy may be a good alternative to use while trying to conceive. You can try Su-Jok without any fear because the treatment does not have any contraindications or side-effects.

The treatment has its origins in Korea. It consists of powerful acupressure and acupuncture techniques using the hands and/or the feet only. The beauty of it is you can do it yourself at home. The only condition is you should know the points on your hands and feet which you need to stimulate.

Professor Pack (the inventor of the method) found a complete correspondence of all body organs on our hands and feet. Reproductive organs also have many corresponding points on the hands and feet and by stimulating them it is possible to increase your fertility.

Often, pregnancy is not happening because there are other problems in the body. Other organs can malfunction and stop women from conceiving. It can be a malfunction of the thyroids, pancreas, pituitary gland or something else.

All these can be stimulated with Su-Jok therapy. The only thing you need to know is the corresponding points for the problematic organs you have. After balancing these organs a pregnancy can often happen quickly.

To learn the corresponding points for each organ and body parts it is better to see them on a schematic picture. But I will now give you a short description of where the most important fertility points are.

For the basic fertility stimulation it is important to stimulate the uterus and ovaries. For men it is important to stimulate the male genital's corresponding points and prostate.

The Ovaries corresponding points can be found at:

- The base of the third and the fourth toes of each foot.
- Near the base of the third and the fourth fingers of each hand.

You can stimulate them with a pointy object something like a point of a pen but it shouldn't prick the skin. You can also stimulate them with seeds, blunt needles and/or magnets. All these methods are powerful when you do them regularly.

Uterus corresponding points can be found at:

- Just below the point where the third and the fourth fingers join.
- Just below the point where the third and the fourth toes join.

The way of stimulation is the same as you did to stimulate the ovaries.

Male genitals and prostate corresponding points can be found at:

- Near the joining point of the third and the fourth finger.
- Near the joining point of the third and the fourth toes.

All of the above are only basic ways of stimulation according to Su-Jok therapy. For those who want to do it in a more serious way it is important to know that in Su-Jok therapy there is two correspondence systems: the main correspondence system and the "insect" corresponding system. The points I told you above are according to the main corresponding system. The points of the "insect" corresponding system would be in a different location. But this is a more advanced strategy.

To conclude, Su-Jok therapy can be a great way for someone to stimulate their fertility and get pregnant much faster than they would by doing nothing or taking massive amounts of drugs. It is fun to do and absolutely harmless. It is also a great way to learn how everything is interconnected in our body. Ignoring this interconnectedness could be the culprit in infertility for many couples and why they still struggle to have a family.

Create Your Own Maternity Leave Benefits

Your maternity leave should be a time of great happiness, as you and your newborn child have a chance to bond. Don't let financial concerns rob you of the joy. You can create your own maternity leave benefits that can help you enjoy this time, without the worry.

Maternity Leave Insurance

Apply for two maternity leave insurance programs when you are planning a pregnancy, or trying to conceive. By applying before you conceive, your normal pregnancy and delivery will be a covered benefit.

Short Term Disability Insurance can create maternity leave pay. Your benefit for normal delivery may triple the premium you pay over twelve months.

  • Plus you are covered in case of pregnancy complications, delivery complications, accidents and illnesses.

Hospital Indemnity Insurance covers your normal labor and delivery, and will pay a cash benefit directly to you that increases your maternity leave pay. Your benefit for normal delivery may be six times the premium you pay over twelve months.

  • Plus you are covered in case of premature birth. An additional benefit may be paid in the event that your infant requires special medical attention in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU.

  • Plus you are covered in cases where an accident or illness causes you or a family member to be hospitalized

Pregnancy Tax Savings

A Flexible Spending Account allows you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for certain predictable expenses associated with your pregnancy, delivery, and upcoming child care. You may find opportunities to use pre tax dollars to pay for:

  • Fertility treatments

  • Co pays for extra doctor visits

  • Co insurance for diagnostic tests such as ultrasounds, etc

  • Out of pocket expenses for prescription drugs, prenatal vitamins, etc.

  • Deductibles - your pregnancy and delivery may utilize your entire annual deductible

  • Hospital co pays are very common, and your maternity labor and delivery may invoke a charge

  • Child care that allows you to return to work

Gain Access Via Your Employer

You can easily get the coverage you want with cooperation from your employer. There is no direct cost to your employer, as you pay the premium via payroll deductions. And, your request is very simple, your employer benefits, and your co-workers will thank you.

Flexible spending accounts often save your employer money by reducing the amount of payroll taxes they must pay.

3 Symptoms of Major Depression

How does major depression differ from depression? Major depression is classified as a person having 5 or more symptoms of depression in 2 weeks. This is accompanied by changes in sleeping or eating habits. For the three symptoms read further.

If symptoms are exhibited there are screening tests that can be done to further conclude the diagnosis of Major Depression. Nobody is immune from this, but it is reported that women are more prone to get this form of depression compared to men.

Three symptoms to watch for are

  1. Fatigue or Lack of Energy.

  2. Trouble sleeping or the opposite to much sleep.

  3. Withdrawn, remove themselves from social activities they otherwise would attend.

There is no need to expand on these symptoms, they are self explanatory. The causes can be anywhere from a small incident that triggers an extreme response up to a chemical imbalance that triggers extreme emotional behavior. In either case this is a very serious condition that requires attention.

The most extreme way of relief is suicide. As we know many people with depression have taken this route. Pills and drugs can temporarily calm a situation like this down, but long term the drugs can actually be more harmful. To further complicate the matter the health plans of today are trimming back benefits. They are also overloaded and can't always give the individual the care needed for a depressive condition.

If you rule out a chemical imbalance for the cause then you can look at the emotional side. Somewhere HOPE was lost in the persons mind. Depression and hope are opposites. Filling the gap when someone losses hope is depression. The longer this condition is allowed to go on the deeper the roots go.

It is imperative to attack this as early as possible.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Is the Best Health Insurance Plan for Me?

With all the health insurance options available today it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing which health plan is right for you. In most of of the states there are close to a dozen health insurance companies offering health insurance and all of them offer anywhere from ten to thirty health plans. That means that there are hundreds of health coverage options available to you. To know which is the right health insurance plan is right for you, we have to take a look at your current situation. To pick a best health coverage you have to consider your age, your health, your past use of health insurance, are you single or a family, do you have young kids, are you planing on having kids, are you a men or a women, do you have a doctor that you like to go to. All of that comes in to the effect when it comes to know which is the right health plan for you.

One of the main things to consider when it comes to choosing medical coverage is to know the difference in a health plan that covers maternity and the one that does not. That does not mean that you are planing or not planing on having kids. It means that health plans that cover maternity tend to cost more. That simply means why would you want to be on a plan that covers maternity if you are a single guy or some one that is not planing on having kids. Once you know that you want to health plans that does cover maternity then look for coverage that has a low deductible and within your budget. Not having adequate maternity coverage and planing on having kids can be very costly.

The second biggest difference in the knowing which health plan is right for you is your budget. It does not matter what health plan covers if you cannot afford it or will not be able to afford it in the near future. This is why give yourself breathing room when it comes to choosing a health plans. That means if you are on the budget choosing a plan with a higher deductible. Most of the health plans that are available today cover preventative care, doctor office visits and prescription drugs before the deductible is met. In most cases deductible applies for outpatient and inpatient procedures, like surgeries and serious illnesses, where you need to be hospitalized. Having a health plan with a high deductible offers you a low monthly premium and in case of emergency you are still covered. In case you do end up in the hospital that last thing that you and hospital is going to worry is your deductible. Once you are taken care of and back on your feet every hospital will work with you on the deductible. That would involve either waiving, discounting or allowing you to make payments to pay off your deductible. What you will find out is that hospitals are flexible when it comes to collecting their balances. The main priority is getting you taken care of and getting you back on track. That it infinitely more important to pick medical coverage that you can afford then it is to have a lower deductible.

Keeping your history of your health care use in your mind while comparing coverage also makes a big difference. If you are self-employed and like most self-employed people are you probably do not even have time to be sick. Therefore why pay high monthly premiums for health insurance because you wanted to low deductible or small co-pay just in case you need to go see a doctor. It does not make a lot of sense to be paying for somethings that you are barely going to use. Some plans offer you even lower monthly premium if you choose to pay for your regular doctor visits out of your own pocket. You are still going to be covered for any emergencies in the event you do end up in the hospital. Paying for what you are going to use is the basic money management. Every medical plan covers for inpatient/outpatient hospitalization and all other benefits are like add ones at the higher premium. The two things to always keep in mind while comparing plans is your past usage and your budget. We all would like to health plan that would covers everything with a low monthly premium. It is like saying I want to drive a Mercedes and I have a budget for Honda.

Overcome Infertility - How the Mineral Iron Helps to Treat Infertility

As we mentioned in previous articles, infertility is defined as inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It effects over 5 millions couple alone in the U. S. and many times more in the world. Because of unawareness of treatments, only 10% seeks help from professional specialist. We have spent most of the time in this series discussing the conventional and Chinese medicine in treating fertility. Nutritional supplements also helps to improve the chance of fertility, in this article, we will discuss how mineral- iron effects fertility.

I. How mineral- iron effects fertility
1. Increasing blood flow
Iron not only is necessary for the fetus to grow, it also plays a vital role for women who try to conceive because it helps to stimulate the production of red blood cells, thus increasing the oxygen absorption into the blood stream, resulting in lessening the risk of anemia and increasing the chance of fertility.

2. Energy
It also helps to turn glucose into energy by stimulating the production of hemoglobin which is a essential element in red blood cells for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the cells in the body. In each cell, oxygen is used to release maximum energy from the food that you eat. Deficiency of iron causes low level of hemoglobin, leading fatigue, dizziness and nervous tension.

3. DNA synthesis
Iron is required by ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) and other enzymes involved in cell division. RNR plays a critical role in regulating the total rate of DNA synthesis so that DNA to cell mass is maintained at a constant ratio during cell division and DNA repair. Deficiency of iron distorts the ratio, leading to DNA being damaged, causing birth defects and miscarriage.

4. Menstruation
For women with heavy menstruation (blood loss more than certain amounts) may cause blood deficiency and iron loss. If the blood and iron loss can not be replaced, it may cause lower red blood cell resulting in anaemia that can disturb the function of reproductive function in fertilization.

5. Myelin
Myelin is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Since iron help in myelin formation and maintenance, deficiency of iron causes disrupting signals between the brain and other parts of the body, leading to double vision, memory loss, difficulty in controlling bowel movements or urination, fatigue, etc, thereby lessening the reproductive system to maintain it's normal function, resulting in low quality sperm count and infertility.

II. Risks and side effects
1. Prolong period with high levels of iron may damage the liver
2. If Overdose, it
a ) Is toxic to the body
b) May weaken heart beat
c) Causes buildup of fluids in the lungs
d) Causes Gastrointestinal system disorder
e) causes Heart and Blood problems
f) Nervous disorder
g) Skin problems

Paid Maternity Leave in the US And Europe

The European Union is debating passage of a bill that would create uniform paid maternity leave benefits across all countries in the union. The bill provides for twenty weeks of maternity leave at full pay, plus two weeks of full pay for fathers. Contrast this initiative with how the U.S. handles paid maternity leave benefits: the issue is left up to each state. And only five states have chosen to put a program in place, and it's done as an afterthought.

Paid maternity leave in many European countries is set up as a specific policy: the programs directly address maternity issues in terms of pay replacement, length of paid leave, and even throws in paid parental leave as well. In the U.S. five states have mandated short term disability that just so happens to cover normal pregnancy in addition to covering accidents and illnesses. And each state has varying rules for how the programs replace income, and for how long. Of course there are no mandates in forty five other states. Women have to plan ahead and purchase a private policy, if offered by her employer.

Five States With Paid Leave

The five states with inadvertent paid maternity leave are California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Each of these states has mandatory short term disability for people who work in the state for private employers. The programs are intended to help workers who become disabled temporarily due to an accident or illness. Normal labor and delivery is considered a covered illness and creates maternity pay for women giving birth. Also any time missed due to complications may also be covered.

But even in these states the coverage is lacking. Some states limit the income replacement to 55%, while another cap benefits at $170 per week. That is 17% income replacement for a woman earning $52,000 per year - not an outrageous salary.

Every Working Woman Should Have the Option

Virtually every U.S. family could have a paid maternity leave, or a higher level of income replacement during maternity leave and no legislation needs to be passed. Employers with three or more benefit eligible employees can make a voluntary short term disability option available to workers. Women could pay the premiums themselves and enjoy maternity leave pay, and security in case of complications.

Employers Have a Simple Solution

But most employers don't make this option available. And there simply is no excuse. There is no direct cost to the employers as the employees pay the premiums themselves. The only requirement is for employers to make employees aware of the options, provide education about the value - provided free of charge by the insurance carrier - and forward deducted premiums once a month to the insurer.

Can you believe that is all that stands between U.S. families and paid maternity leave? It sounds pretty hard to believe to me. There needs to be greater awareness. Awareness of the need to begin coverage before getting pregnant, and awareness of how easily employers can make maternity leave pay available. Article by article, blog post by blog post there is one voice trying to help our families and employers at the same time.

Belly Bandit Compression Wrap is Great For After Your Pregnancy

After pregnancy and the excitement of the newest addition to your family, all mothers deal with the reality of the postpartum belly. As one transitions out of pregnancy, the additional weight can be a bit frustrating to deal with. Exercise and healthy eating are important, but with the busy and hectic schedule of having a new baby in the home, this can be difficult. Anything to help the process along and get one back to ones pre-pregnancy shape is amazing, and mothers are constantly on the look-out for tools and tricks that will help them feel and look great. The Belly Bandit, an abdominal compression wrap, is hugely popular with new mothers and has worked wonders for celebrity moms, including the beautiful designs.

The Belly Bandit is an abdominal compression wrap which helps bring you back to your pre-pregnancy body. It has a variety of benefits, the most obvious being that it helps you regain your pre-pregnancy shape. However, it also helps to decrease bloating caused by water retention, give added leg and back support, and reduce the swelling of the uterus. While you are nursing, it has the added benefit of helping you with your posture so that your back pain is reduced. These benefits explain why the Belly Bandit is so popular with moms everywhere.

The Belly Bandit assists you in regaining your pre-pregnancy shape and is incredibly easy to use. This abdominal compression wrap simply wraps around your belly and uses Velcro to fasten itself. It is smooth with no tags so that it is very comfortable to wear. The lightweight and tagless design is made so as not to irritate your skin. As you wear it throughout the day, you will be comfortable and at ease while paying extra attention to your posture. Worn underneath your top, your confidence will be boosted as you subtly regain your pre-pregnancy shape.

The Belly Bandit is being worn by moms everywhere. The limited edition design is a must have for all new mothers, as you will feel stunning and sexy when you wear it! A silky tan fabric lines the inside while a beautiful faux lace design is on the outside. What makes this design extra special is that it is so stylish that it is the first design that can be worn over one's clothing. To help you regain your shape and still feel sexy, try the limited edition Belly Bandit. Its style and results will truly surprise you!

When buying your Belly Bandit, there are a few helpful hints to keep in mind when trying to decide on the correct size. If you are purchasing it early on in your pregnancy, buy one to two sizes up from your pre-pregnancy size. When purchasing towards the end of your pregnancy, measure your belly at about eight months pregnant, as this will generally be your size directly post-partum. If you are purchasing it just prior to pregnancy, subtract three to five inches from your waist for the correct size. Choosing the correct size is important so that it works correctly and is comfortable as you wear it.

The Original Belly Bandit has been hailed by mothers as a must have tool for getting your body back to its pre-pregnancy size, and the limited edition version simply makes a great product even better. The stylish and sexy design leaves you feeling stunning and confident. To regain your pre-pregnancy shape and feel sexy while doing it, try adding the new design to your post-pregnancy wardrobe. You will look and feel great!

How to Get Pregnant - What Foods Help and What Foods Hinder Conception?

So you're trying to get pregnant and want to improve your chances by eating a healthy diet. This is a good start. But do you know which foods will increase your fertility and help you get pregnant and also which foods could make conceiving more difficult? You would think that it was basic common sense, but most people seem to get at least some these wrong.

First off you need to realize that you are about to start the journey of creating another human being. To do this you need to ensure that your body has all the nutrients it needs to both get pregnant in the first place and to ensure that your baby gets the best start in life. If you eat quality, nutrient-rich foods, you will be off to a great start.

So what do you need to eat?

1. Stick to a mainly plant-based diet. This means lots of veggies in your diet and also some legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. If your budget can afford it I would stick to organic foods wherever possible. Cut back or cut out meats. Did you know that The Nurses' Health Study showed that just one portion of meat a day can cause almost a 33% rise in ovulatory infertility?

2. Include healthy fats, but avoid unhealthy fats. This one is confusing to most people, because the press often suggests that all fats are bad. This is completely untrue. Fats are essential and we should be eating an adequate quantity of healthy fats. Healthy fats include avocado, olive oil (uncooked), coconuts and coconut oil, and nut oils. Fish oil is healthy but some fish has high levels of mercury, so is best avoided. Unhealthy fats include most vegetable fats that have been heat treated and animal fats.

3. Eat complex carbohydrates, but avoid processed carbohydrates. This means avoiding things like French fries, potato chips, white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc. and eating veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, etc.

4. Eat foods containing folate and iron. These include asparagus, lentils, chickpeas, spinach, broccoli, beets and oranges.

For an extra fertility boost, why not check out the book Pregnancy Miracle. This is a true story about how a 42 year old woman became pregnant against the odds. The woman in question is Lisa Olson, an alternative health and nutrition specialist. The book has some fantastic tips on how to get pregnant using natural, holistic methods.

Prenatal Massage Therapy - Benefits of Pre-Natal Massage For the Expectant Mother

Every pregnancy comes complete with aches and pains. It's not a welcome inclusion but it is a non-negotiable part of the deal. Prenatal massage can be of enormous benefit to expectant mothers.  We will discuss here the top benefits, some precautions one should consider, and some of the methods used when applying pre-natal massage therapy.

Muscular tensions, aching back, neck and shoulders, headaches, pooling of blood in the legs, and all other manner of physical discomforts and pains occur due to the inevitable increase in weight, the resulting shifting of posture and centre of gravity, and changing hormone levels.

Prenatal massages aim to alleviate aches and pains, improve circulation, reduce muscular tensions and help to ease other pregnancy related symptoms.  An additional benefit is an improvement in the expectant mother's emotional moods and mental attitude.

A full body massage including attention to the head including the scalp and face area, as well as the feet and hands provides relief from tensions and is found to be extremely soothing and nurturing. All areas should of course be massaged gently, with appropriate levels of pressure applied.

An experienced prenatal massage therapist can choose methods which are effective and safe that provide much needed comfort and pampering.

Prenatal massage offers numerous benefits of a broad range.  The top benefits of pre-natal massage are:

- Reduction of fatigue

- Increased circulation

- Improved digestion

- Reduced swelling in the hands, feet and lower legs

- Fewer calf cramps

- Lessens the severity of backaches, headaches, shoulder and neck aches

- Reduced pain in the pelvic/hip area

- Alleviates stress on weight bearing joints including the lower back, knees and ankles

- Improves sleep and decreases insomnia

- Promotes deep breathing and relaxation

- Reduces stress hormones

- Assists in maintaining correct posture

Prenatal massage therapy during pregnancy can also be greatly beneficial emotionally as it allows expectant mothers to relax and feel a sense of calm. They also report feeling comforted and healthy during what is a period of emotional and physical stress.

Pre-natal massage can be applied in different ways. The pregnant patient should lie on her side and the therapist is trained to modify the massage techniques to adapt to this position. Lying flat on back is not recommended as it reduces blood circulation to both mother and child.  The mother-to-be can lay on her back with the body in an elevated position by using pillows to support the mother's body. Body pillows can also be used for side lying positions as well.

There is a specially designed pillow now available to assist when massaging expecting mothers in a face down position. This pillow has a deep centre cut-out which allows the mother to lie flat on her belly and feel comfortable and relaxed.

After giving birth, new mothers experience a kaleidoscope of physical and emotional stresses, commonly including sleep deprivation. Prenatal massage can aid the birthing process, and then continuing with postnatal massage can be highly beneficial and therapeutic by assisting the new mother's body to return to its former state.

Pre-natal massage is generally considered safe for expecting mothers, although it is always advisable to consult with your doctor before beginning a program.  There are some precautions. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, prenatal massage is not advised. You should certainly tell your therapist if you have had, or are having any complications or problems with your pregnancy.

Prenatal massage may be from 10 minutes to an hour depending on your available time and your level of comfort.  If the massage brings discomfort, you may like to have shorter sessions more often.  If the massage causes no abnormal discomfort, then once per week during the 2nd trimester and twice per week or more during the 3rd trimester is ideal.

If considering prenatal massage therapy to assist with a pleasant and positive pregnancy and birth, consult you doctor or pre-natal massage specialist and begin.  The therapy has enjoyed long and wide spread use and offers many therapeutic benefits to the pregnant mother to be, and ultimately to her child as well.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Depression Over a Break Up - 5 Natural Ways to Alleviate Depression Over a Broken Heart

Depression can strike at any time, but it commonly occurs during major life transitions, such as the end of a relationship. Symptoms of depression can include persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety about the future, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, and changes in sleeping patterns and appetite. It is challenging to let go of something old and embrace a different possibility in life, but it can be managed. For severe cases of depression, it may be necessary to take a pharmaceutical approach, but for many milder cases, natural treatments may be very effective in alleviating symptoms. Here are 5 natural methods to treat depression following a break up:

1. Eat well. It is important to take care of the body, as the health or the body impacts the health of the mind. As tempting as it may be to grab junk and comfort foods, try to focus your diet around fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid highly processed foods and sugars. If you are struggling with your appetite, try carrying around high protein, healthy snack foods and eating small amounts throughout the day. If your tendency is to overeat, do not eat while distracted, i.e. in front of the TV. Try setting a time at night when you stop eating for the day.

2. Take supplements. Start with a good, food based multivitamin. If you do not eat a lot of calcium rich foods, take a calcium supplement. Try fish oil. Its many physical benefits include improved brain health. You may take 5 HTP (hydroxytryptophan), a natural antidepressant that is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is involved in mood regulation. L-Theanine is often taken in conjunction with 5 HTP and is a natural anti-anxiety supplement.

3. Implement an exercise regimen approved by your doctor. Cardiovascular exercise is ideal for treating depression. What you want is an activity that will elevate your heart rate and keep it up for a period of time. This allows for the release of the feel good compounds, endorphins, that elevate mood. An added bonus is better overall physical health and better body image. The ideal is 45 minutes of cardio activity 5 days per week, but don't avoid exercise if that seems too much for you. Any amount is helpful.

4. Talk it out. A good counselor is very helpful. Having a professional, unbiased person to offer you feedback and perspective on you and your past relationship can be invaluable. You will be better able to process the break up, as well as take valuable lessons forward into your future. Friends and family are also important to have close when you're depressed, to offer emotional support and help fill the time you used to spend with your partner.

5. Do one kind thing for yourself daily. Make a list of small things you enjoy doing. Each day, choose one thing off your list and do it for yourself. When you have exhausted that list, create a new one.

How to Stay in Shape While Pregnant - 3 Tips

Trying to stay in shape while pregnant is no mean feat, and until recently had been considered somewhat taboo.

However, with the press coverage of many celebrity moms and moms-to-be like Britney Spears, Ashlee Simpson, Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie showing off their in-shape bodies, many women would like to discover what the secret is on how to stay in shape while pregnant.

Now, I don't want to dwell on these celebrity moms, 'cos let's not forget that they are surrounded by some of the most highly paid personal trainers, nutritionists, doctors and the like, who make their money from keeping these women in tip top shape - basically their career depends on helping them to stay in shape while pregnant. So comparing yourself to them is not the way to start.

However, there are some simple steps that you can follow to help you to stay in shape while pregnant, making you and your baby healthier, and having an easier labour and delivery. Below, I've highlighted the top 3 things you can do to stay in shape while pregnant.

1. Control Your Cravings

Controlling your cravings is one of the most important things you'll need to do if you're looking to stay in shape while pregnant.

Pregnancy cravings are perfectly natural as your hormones are going haywire, and your body is telling you it needs certain foods. However, unbridled eating and submission to those cravings is one of the main reasons for excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

Choosing foods that have a low Glycemic Index (GI), like oatmeal will give you a slow and sustained energy release throughout the day, as opposed to sugary foods like chocolate that give quick bursts of energy and then trail off quickly, giving you that tell-tale emotional "drop" that always accompanies high-glucose, high-fat foods.

Try substituting some of the high GI, high fat foods for others that are lower on the scale. For example, eating a cold fruit smoothie or non-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice-cream; whole grains breads with a little jam instead of doughnuts and pastries...things like that.

Eating good regular meals will help you to avoid unnecessary snacking which often contributes to consuming high sugar foods, and making it more difficult to stay in shape while pregnant.

Feel free to indulge sometimes though, your baby needs it. And pregnancy is about the best excuse you'll ever get! ;)

2. Diet = Bad....Eat More = Good!

If you only take one piece of information away from this article, let it be this...Pregnancy is NOT the time to be dieting. Going on specific diets in order to stay in shape while pregnant is dangerous and can harm your baby's health as well as your own. Most diets were never designed to be used during pregnancy, so please avoid using them.

However, there are some things you can do concerning what you eat and when you eat it, that can help you to stay in shape while pregnant.

We've already discussed the importance of controlling your cravings, but did you know that eating more regularly can be more beneficial to you than eating less when trying to stay in shape while pregnant?

Snacking is probably the single biggest reason for excessive weight gain during pregnancy, so how can you beat it? Try eating smaller meals more regularly.

You see, the traditional 3 meals a day works well in theory, but as you know, with such hectic lifestyles these days the practice is very different. If you miss one of those meals, let's say lunch, you are now going several hours without which point the snacking begins.

Start your day with a good healthy breakfast that will set you up for the rest of the day. Make sure you eat a good lunch and dinner, but slightly smaller portions than normal. In between the 3 meals you can set designated times to have another "meal" - not really a full cooked meal as such, but something like a banana, small salad, pasta...stuff like that. This should help you to stay in shape while pregnant without the need for dangerous diets.

3. Exercise

Beyond making better food choices, getting regular exercise will help you to stay in shape while pregnant.

The amount of exercise you should be doing while pregnant depends on your situation and whether you were particularly active before your pregnancy. Therefore I recommend you consult your doctor before going straight out and busting your tail in the gym or something.

Types of exercises for pregnant women vary, but there is general agreement that stomach crunches and sit-ups are at best risky, and at worst dangerous, and should not be performed. As are any exercises that require you to lie on your front or put pressure on your belly.

Swimming is excellent and there are many pools with classes that cater for pregnant women. Yoga can also be performed which will help you to relax and relieve the back pains that are common while pregnant. Again, make sure you find a qualified Yoga instructor that specialises in pregnant women.

Fish Oil For Depression Treatment - How Effective is It?

How does the idea of using fish oil for depression treatment sound to you? You can say 'it is a good idea', or 'it is a bad idea', or you can even say 'I have no idea whatsoever'. No matter what your answer is, you are not alone. A lot of people do not have a clear understanding of fish oil and the role it plays in treating depression. Let us take a look.

Fish oil, as you all know, is rich in omega 3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA. According to health experts, these omega 3 fatty acids play a major role in improving brain function. They play a very important role in the growth of neurons in the frontal cortex of the brain, which is referred to as the 'seat of personal behavior'. They prevent the disruption of the dopamine system and promote mental health. A number of clinical studies have shown that a regular dose of omega 3 fatty acids will prevent mental disorders like depression, anxiety, irritability, and aggression. This is why fish oil depression treatment is usually pretty effective.

When consumed on a regular basis, high quality fish based oil supplements can reduce suicidal tendencies and irritability in people who are depressed. They are very essential for pregnant women to stay healthy and to avoid postnatal depression. It has also been proven that omega 3 fatty acids significantly reduce the risks of childhood mental disorders like ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia. This is why fish based oil is considered a very good for children and adults alike.

To get the best results in fish oil depression treatment, you should take high quality fish based oil capsules. Look for fish oil supplements which contain plenty of DHA and EPA - preferably in 2:1 ratio. A lot of fish based supplements these days contain very little amount of these omega 3 fatty acids and you cannot expect good results from taking such supplements. So, always make sure the product you choose contains at least 250 mg of DHA and 120 mg of EPA.

One of the most important things you should know about depression treatment is that it is a combination of the right kind of medications, a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, high quality health supplements, and some important lifestyle changes. So, while using fish oil for depression treatment is certainly effective, it definitely should not be considered an alternative for medications. You must always consult your doctor and follow his advice without fail to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health and to get over depression.

X-Ray and Pregnancy

The use of X-rays is very common to determine problems in the human body. X-rays have their pros and cons. In this article, we will look at their effects on an unborn child -effects during a pregnancy. Generally, it is believed that having an X-ray during a pregnancy is very harmful to a fetus. This is true to a certain extent.

Simply put, exposures of over 10 rads (absorbed radiation measurement units) to an unborn child could be very harmful and can increase the chances of eye and learning disabilities.

Understanding Rad

One rad is equal to 1000 millirads. An estimated exposure through a chest X-ray is 60 millirads and for an abdominal X-ray, it is 290 millirads. To produce an adverse affect on an unborn child, 10,000 millirads are required. Now you must have understood how many rads are required to affect a fetus and whether X-rays are harmful during a pregnancy.

Unless it is recommended by an expert or physician, then there is no need to worry about it as the amount of radiation your baby will receive is well within the safe zone.

Extra Care

In every laboratory, radiologic technologists are properly trained for quality patient care. These are the people who conduct examinations. The radiologic technologists are supposed to ask you whether opr not you are pregnant., If for some reason they do not ask, you should tell them that you are a pregnant or expecting pregnancy so that they will know to take special precautions.

X-rays Alternatives

An ultrasound could be the best replacement of an X-ray. In addition, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can also be used after the first trimester of your pregnancy.

Post-Natal Depression

Dealing with the Baby Blues & Post Natal Depression
With your body undergoing such a massive transformation over the nine months of pregnancy and the subsequent birth, the readjustment of your hormone levels can have some unexpected effects.

The Baby Blues
The baby blues are a mild form of post natal depression. Most women will experience a period of anxiety and emotional turbulence in the first few weeks after the birth of a baby. This is normal, and it's to be expected after such a huge biological event. This period is referred to as the 'baby blues' or the 'maternal blues' in popular culture, and will pass after a few weeks.

The Cause of the Baby Blues
Since 75-80% of mothers experience the baby blues, it's pretty safe to say that the cause is biological, not psychological. It's caused by the hormone balances in your body; over the nine months of your pregnancy your body has learned to depend on the raised levels of estrogen, progesterone and endorphins. So after the birth, when these chemicals are suddenly no longer coursing healthily through your veins, you enter a sort of 'withdrawal' period, just as you would if you'd just quit smoking, for example. Combine the biological elements with the fact that you're exhausted from the mental and physical exertions of giving birth and caring for a newborn baby and you have a recipe for, frankly, a rough couple of weeks. But those rough couple of weeks will pass.

Symptoms of the Baby Blues
You will probably be aware of, or will have experienced, most of the symptoms of the baby blues before your pregnancy, since many of them are in common with the symptoms of any other type of depression.

They include:
* Depression - You are low a lot of the time. You're miserable, melancholy. You may have moments of real contentment which give you hope, but it passes and the depression seems all the more profound.

* Irritability - You are grumpy and snappy with people around you. You shrug off and reject any physical contact, and even inquiries about your well-being irritate you.

* Fatigue - Lethargy and listlessness add to a general sense of malaise, yet you may not be unable to get much sleep despite how tired you are. This can be the most frustrating symptom, since all the lying awake provides loads of time to explore in your mind all the negative emotions you're currently feeling.

* No Appetite - You forget to eat or you're never hungry. When you eat, it's only small amounts and with no real interest. The lack of food makes you feel rundown. You may even be aware that you're not eating enough, but are not inclined to do anything about it.

* Joylessness - You find that you can derive virtually no pleasure from any activity. Even the sense of safety and comfort you previously derived from sex has evaporated and you are reluctant to partake.

* Guilt - You experience waves of unendurable guilt, a sense that you could and should be trying harder with your baby, a real sense of uselessness occurs to you. Guilt that you feel so low when you are aware that it should be a time for real happiness, and this knowledge exacerbates your feelings.

* Anxiety - You feel panicky and your heart races and thumps causing you to worry that you are unwell or have a heart condition. Further, you worry about your relationship with your baby, whether you are bonding or not, whether your baby is breathing steadily enough and if he or she is healthy. You are wracked with worry when your baby is in the care of another, and you're anxious about the possibility of cot death, choking, or drowning. You may also be worried that you will harm your baby yourself.

Every new mother has all or some of the symptoms listed above. However, there are cases where the symptoms are extreme, leading to a serious condition that we will discuss in just a moment. Before we do, you have to be aware that it is difficult, nearly impossible in fact, for you to determine when your symptoms have moved from the mild depression of the baby blues, and onto the vaguely termed 'extreme'. It's difficult to tell the difference between the baby blues and PND when your experiencing one or other of them.

It may take another person, perhaps a spouse, family member, or doctor, to help you. When this is the case, you may find that you've been diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. Post Natal Depression (PND) is different from the baby blues. Post natal depression is a serious medical condition which can be dealt with quickly if it's diagnosed early. You can't diagnose yourself, but your GP is trained to recognize PND, so if the symptoms listed above persist for more than a month after the birth of your baby, it might be worth contacting him or her.

Common Factors in Post Natal Depression
PND is a form of clinical depression and is treated as such. Although there is no single individual cause of post natal depression, there are occasionally cases in which obvious factors are at play. In these cases, any treatment will be primarily focused on those factors. They include:

* Prenatal Depression - Depression during pregnancy seems to be the most common contributing factor to postnatal depression.

* Low Self Esteem - A mother who has consistently had low self-esteem or a low opinion of herself, or places little value or importance on her place in the world may risk developing PND.

* Childcare Stress - If a mother has been really, seriously anxious about her ability to raise a child, anxious to the point of becoming unwell, then PND may develop.

*Life Stress - An unusually or extremely stressful lifestyle can be detrimental to your mental health after the birth of your baby.

* Low Social Support - PND has been connected a lack of support from friends and family. Women who have been rejected by their families will generally have a higher chance of developing PND.

* Poor Marital Relationship - A loveless conception is a possible factor in the development of post natal depression. A loving relationship is beneficial anyway, but perhaps more poignantly so in cases of mental health.

* A History of Depression - If you have a history of clinical or manic depression, there may be an elevated chance of post natal depression manifesting itself.

* Infant Temperament Problems / Colic - A particularly 'fussy' or 'colicky' baby often puts enormous pressure on mothers. Listening to their baby crying for such extended periods of time can lead to the belief that they are neglecting something important that their child desperately needs. This feeling can lead to stress, depression, feelings of helplessness, and low self-esteem, all of which, as we have seen, can be a factor in the development of postnatal depression.

* Single Parenthood - A lack of support and feeling of economic insecurity can be damaging at the best of times, but it's effect on a vulnerable new mother can potentially be devastating.

* Low Socioeconomic Status - Associated with many of the points already mentioned, your status and economic situation have the capability to seriously affect your mental health.

* Unplanned/Unwanted Pregnancy - An unwanted or unplanned pregnancy brings many of the stresses and anxieties that we've already covered, along with associated feelings of shame and an immediate problem bonding with the baby.

Treating Post Natal Depression
Just as there is no single cause for post natal depression, there is no single cure for it. It is fully treatable however, and most women go on to make a full recovery. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed, and have a positive effect in up to 70% of its applications in medium to severe cases of postnatal depression. However, some antidepressants are transmitted through breast milk, lithium, clozapine, and lamotrigine for example, and as such can't be prescribed to new mothers.

For less severe cases of PND, talking treatments have been found to be just as effective as antidepressants. Counseling sessions with a psychologist or other mental health specialist can be really helpful, and may be prescribed over medical treatments in some situations.

There are three main types of talking treatments being practiced in the UK today. The first is 'cognitive therapy', and it's based on the idea that your thoughts and emotions can directly affect your physical well-being. The second kind is 'cognitive behavior therapy', and it involves changing any behavior that is harmful, as well as incorporating the ideas in cognitive therapy. The third kind of talking treatment includes 'interpersonal therapy' and 'problem solving therapies'. Any combination of these treatments might be prescribed and all depend on the severity of the depression and the patient herself.

To supplement any medical or psychological treatment, taking regular exercise can help in all sorts of ways.
As we mentioned, the earlier the condition is identified, the easier it is to treat. But, now we know what post natal depression is and what can be done when it's diagnosed, why don't we consider a few pointers on

Preventing Post Natal Depression
No one's really sure if PND is inevitable for the unfortunate women who develop it, but there are a few steps that pregnant women can take to reduce the likelihood of developing the condition.

* First, and perhaps the most obvious of all the following points and one that should apply regardless of the worry of PND, don't smoke, don't take drugs, and don't drink.
* Sleep well, relax and rest whenever you can.
* Low blood sugar levels can make you feel pretty down, so make sure you eat a balanced, healthy, and varied diet.
* Support that diet with a multi-vitamin supplement.
* Take gentle exercise and keep yourself occupied.
* Budget your time and pace yourself: while you may be able to multi-task efficiently most of the time, you should try to take things one step at a time in the lead up to the birth.
* Open up to friends or family, or especially your partner, about your concerns. It can be really dangerous to try to bear the burden of concern alone, set let other people help.

These tips won't necessarily prevent PND, but they will help. You know that phrase, 'healthy body, healthy mind'? Well it works the other way, too, 'healthy mind, healthy body'. Keep your mind active and lively and keep your body relaxed but healthy.

The Partners of PND Sufferers
It can be almost intolerable to have a partner suffering from postnatal depression. But for a while, you may have to endure a lack of sympathy while she gets better. She will need you, but she may be reluctant to ask. She may even try to push you away. In these instances, try to relieve some of the pressure on her by holding the baby for a few hours so she can get some sleep. Do chores that she would normally do, but try not to step on her toes, she may resent feeling like she's being pushed out.

It's essential that the new mother feels understood and supported. To facilitate this, try to make yourself available as often as possible, and don't feel abandoned if she needs to confide in someone other than you. The last thing needed for the sake of her mental health as well as your own is for your self-consciousness and insecurities to cause further friction. Be patient, she will eventually come to appreciate the space you have given her, as long as you are still there when she needs you.

Learn as much as possible about her condition, but don't act like you know more than she does about it, or even pretend to know what she's going through. Use your knowledge to adapt how you act, not to teach her how to act.

Further Information on Post Natal Depression:
For further information on Post Natal Depression or the Baby Blues visit these websites: The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPSYCH), Mind, NHS Direct.