Saturday, April 6, 2013

Maternity Stockings Give Pregnant Women a Leg Up on Varicose Veins

From back pain to heartburn to insomnia, the physical discomforts associated with pregnancy plague many expectant women. Because pregnant women experience increased blood volume and weight gain, they're prone to developing varicose and spider veins. Fortunately, there's a simple, inexpensive, easy solution to pregnancy varicose veins: Maternity stockings.

What are they?

This type of supportive legwear squeezes the leg veins and helps blood flow more easily in the lower extremities. As a result, pregnant women are less likely to develop bulging masses of swollen veins known as varicose veins. The legs are not the only place these itchy, painful bulges occur. For example, when the veins in the rectal area bulge and swell, they're known as hemorrhoids.

Some pregnant women are at increased risk for developing varicose problems, especially women who are overweight or obese, who are carrying a multiple pregnancy, or who have family members who suffer from varicose veins.

What brand should I choose?

There are many brands of maternity compression socks for pregnant women, even those who want to look fashionable in their maternity clothes. There are several popular retailers that make patterned, colored maternity compression stockings that are perfect for wearing with skirts or professional attire.

Where do I get them?

Drugstores, pharmacies, and medical supply stores all carry stockings that pregnant women can use. Maternity support hose comes in different levels of tightness, or compression. The higher the level of compression, the more the stockings squeeze your leg veins. Depending on your risk factors and history of varicose veins, your health care provider may suggest supportive legwear that requires a prescription.

Diets For Pregnancy - A Must For All Mothers

As mothers, the welfare of your baby solely lies in your hands and how well you are able to take care of yourself before pregnancy, while pregnant and of course after pregnancy. These three stages are very important for all expectant mothers and, therefore, require certain diets. While diets for the first stage will help prepare your body for conception, diets for the second stage will help retain conception till birth and keep both mother and child healthy, then diets for the third stage will help both the mother and baby adapt to changes after the first and second stages.

For all mothers, especially if this is your first time, the following tips will guide you through selecting a healthy diet for pregnancy especially before conception, during pregnancy and after child-birth.

Pre-pregnancy Diets

Eat Folic Acid-Friendly Foods: studies prove that the earlier you start taking foods rich in folic acid before conception, the lower the chances that your baby will develop neutral tube effects. Most whole grains and leafy green vegetables are naturally rich in folic acids.

Drop Junk Foods: this includes refined sugars, Danish, cakes, doughnuts, and refined white flour. A high intake of junk foods will increase the risk of vomiting and severe pregnancy nausea.

Increase Your Intake Of Pregnancy Friendly Foods: increase your intake of foods that will create a healthy environment for your baby. Foods like green veggies, nutritious yellow carrots, papaya, mango and apricots, heart-friendly whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal and low-fat dairy.

Diets While Pregnant

During the first three months of being pregnant, eat foods that are rich in protein, this will provide your baby with building blocks for cells and is critical since your unborn child develops its organ during the first three months of your pregnancy.

Mothers who are non-vegetarians can take turkey, tuna, chicken and beef; these foods are high in protein and will supply you and your baby with an adequate amount of protein when you take just one ounce. Fruits like almonds, papaya, apricots and cinnamon are packed with pregnancy-friendly vitamins and minerals. Mothers who are vegetarians can get an amazing supply of protein from beans, eggs and peanut butters and can also take fruits to supplement the supply of other necessary nutrients.

Post Pregnancy Diets

Meals taken after pregnancy are usually for three reasons, the first is to help the body adapt to changes after child-birth; the second reason is to help the body provide the baby with all the necessary nutritional needs, while the third reason is to help the mother stay in shape physically.

A good post pregnancy diet is one that has the right mix of protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrate and takes into account the calorie needs of the mother keeping in mind that the baby will be breast-fed. After pregnancy, the metabolic rate of a woman may fall temporarily, so it is advisable to maintain diets low in fats and carbohydrates.

Where To Find Medical Secretary Jobs In Canada

The best place to look for Medical Secretary or Medical Office Administration jobs would be the internet. Most employers that you would be working for, be it hospitals or small offices, are computerized and now post all available jobs online.

Some websites to browse for Medical Secretary job listings and to post your resume would be:

You should Google your job search and check as many websites and job listings as you feel necessary. Be sure to also check your local online classifieds such as and for job postings. It is not recommended to post you resume with your personal information on these sites but you could certainly post a listing giving some basic information about the job you are looking for and your skills without using identifying information.

You can often find Medical Office Administration career listings on hospital specific websites such as (Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, ON), (made up of six hospitals including McMaster University Hospital and the Children's Hospital, a renowned Cancer Centre, and an Urgent Care Centre all located in Hamilton, ON), (St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton, ON), and (comprised of seven acute care sites in the Niagara Region of Ontario including the Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls, ON and the Hotel Dieu Hospital in St. Catharines, ON). There are all sorts of listings on sites specific to your province or state so use the web search tool of your choice to hopefully increase the number of jobs available to you.

Do not overlook the classified ads in your local newspapers as well. There are still a few offices that are seriously old school and are not computerized so they do not advertise online. They will only submit a job listing to their local newspaper. These can provide very good leads that you would not find anywhere else and sometimes they are a little less "crowded" for interviews since they are not advertised online and not all applicants take the time or opportunity to further broaden their career options.

Many jobs may be listed as part-time or as a one-year contract or temporary full-time. These are often positions that are available because that office's receptionist is off for a maternity leave. Jobs like this are great for building up your experience that will land you those jobs in the hospitals that will potentially pay you more and have better benefits.

Remember to apply for jobs at local retirement homes and long-term care facilities. With your Medical Secretary training you would also be able to apply for jobs with your local government healthcare office, alternative health offices such as chiropractic or massage or physiotherapy clinics, and insurance companies to name a few examples for you. You have quite a few options available to you if you are looking for something other than a hospital or doctor's office specifically. Although some of these options do not utilize all the skills that you acquired during your Medical Office Administration training, they can certainly be fulfilling careers or just the thing you need to gain some experience to get that next level position in your new career.

If you are ever having difficulties finding employment you could always offer your services on a volunteer basis mostly to gain experience. This also looks appealing to an employer since it shows you are dedicated, ambitious and diligent.

How Can Chiropractic Help With Pregnancy?

Any pregnant woman can confirm the fact that pregnancy brings in a lot of changes in the body. As the baby increases in size and grows, the body of the pregnant woman changes. The belly becomes bigger and the back gets into a curve so as to strike a balance in the change in the weight. The pelvis gets widened to prepare and be ready for the birth procedure. At times, it so happens that the body does not handle so much of physical stress very well. The nervous system of the pregnant woman can get injured from all the stress. This might result in many problems. Chiropractic care can help in pregnancy.

Back pain and misalignment are the common problems that happen due to pregnancy. This is the reason why many pregnant women are turning to chiropractic care for relief. There are many different methods by which chiropractors help to correct these problems. Chiropractors are trained to handle these type of problem and hence can realign the spine and take the pressure and stress off the spine and at the same time cause no harm to the body. It is a very safe method. There are chiropractors who specifically handle peri-natal and pre-natal care. This type of care helps women during pregnancy as well as after it. There are many ways and techniques that are used at different stages of pregnancy. In order to ensure healthy pregnancy and prevent back pain, chiropractors teach postural and stretching exercises.

There are many advantages of getting this type of treatment and care and hence once a woman learns that she is pregnant, she should go for it. This will make sure that the pregnancy and the delivery both are healthy. Neck pain and back pain can be avoided with this. This type of treatment can help in reducing the changes of undergoing c-section. At times, the body of the woman might not be able to cope up with the stress that labor puts on them. This interferes with the child birth as the bodies tend to tense up and block the passage of the baby through the birth canal. Chiropractic treatment can help by providing proper alignment. There are many other advantages that chiropractic treatment provides for a woman who is pregnant or in labor. It is completely a safe option as it is natural and does not have any type of side effects.

Vitamins That Can Help You With Fertility

In the realm of natural and organic supplements, there are currently vitamins that can help with fertility but none that directly address it. Medications that claim to increase the chances of pregnancy often use invasive hormonal methods in order to do so. Vitamins and supplements, on the other hand, enhance the body's functions in a natural way, increasing the conditions that might facilitate pregnancy. There is a big difference between the two.

If you are having troubles with fertility, it is a good idea to pinpoint any physical or hormonal problems that might be inhibiting your chances. There will most likely be a supplement or vitamin that can help your body in a gentle and natural way. Here are some of the fertility vitamins that can help facilitate pregnancy without harming the body' normal functions.

Proper zinc levels are essential for fertility in both men and women. Zinc helps to balance the production of estrogen and progesterone, allowing the fetus to develop and grow in a healthy environment. Hormonal imbalances can decrease fertility levels while simultaneously increasing the likelihood of miscarriage. In men, zinc is directly tied to the quality and amount of sperm that is produced. If a man decreases his zinc intake, the likelihood of him developing subpar and effective sperm drastically increases. It is therefore very important that both women and men take zinc supplements when attempting to get pregnant.

Folic acid is important not only for fertility but also for fetal development. It helps with the production of genetic chromosomes that can ward off diseases like spina bifida and Down's syndrome. Furthermore, it keeps the genetic codes in your baby intact, ensuring a healthy and trouble-free pregnancy.

When it comes to fertility, men can benefit from vitamins just as much as women. Vitamin C helps with the development of high quality and fully functioning sperm. It does this by improving the genetic integrity of the sperm, reducing the chances of chromosomal damage during conception. The healthier the sperm is, the better the fetus will develop and grow. It also helps that vitamin C enhances the sperm's mobility, increasing the chances of conception.

When it comes to fertility vitamins, the three most effective ones are zinc, folic acid, and vitamin C. While there are other supplements that can also help with conception, these three are the foundation for any healthy pregnancy. Adding a few supplements on top of the three basic ones can ensure that your baby develops and grows to its full potential.

Nausea During Pregnancy: What Do I Do?

Nausea during pregnancy is quite common. Though a lot of women experience it during the first trimester, there are many who experience nausea during the entire term. There are also a fortunate few who never experience nausea during pregnancy. You should know that are a few things that will help overcome the unpleasantness of this condition.

Firstly, having a full stomach at all times can alleviate nausea. This can be achieved by frequent snacking throughout the day rather than having 3 large meals. Granted, eating is not so pleasant when you are feeling sick and it may be the last thing on your mind. However, not eating causes your body's sugar levels to drop significantly, which can prolong the nausea. Instead of simple carbohydrates, sugar and refined foods, try and consume complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and protein which will stay in your stomach for a longer time and keep your blood sugar level constant.

Secondly, drink plenty of fluids to prevent nausea throughout your pregnancy. Hydration is extremely important during your pregnancy. Dehydration is often the cause of nausea and can worsen the feeling of nausiosness you are already experiencing. Also, stay away from coffee, sodas, and juices and limit yourself to caffeine free teas, unsweetened juices, and good old water.

There is no doubt of the stress and anxiety present in Pregnant mothers. Trying to calm your nerves can help relieve your nausea. Sharing your feelings and worries with your spouse, other mothers, and friends often alleviates the feeling of isolation which leads to anxiety and nausea during your pregnancy. It is quite common to be worried about the pending labor and delivery and it often helps to read and educate yourself about the birthing process. This will cause you to be less anxious throughout the pregnancy.

Prenatal massage can also help with nausea. Whether from a professional or your spouse, a massage has been known to help pregnant women relax and calm their nerves.

Another common cause of nausea is exhaustion and lack of sleep. Try and get as much rest and sleep whenever possible. A restful sleep has been known to magically alleviate nausea and help you feel better overall.

Hopefully the above steps will relieve most of your nausea throughout pregnancy. Just know that you are not alone, nausea during pregnancy affects most pregnant women at some point and the important thing is that you follow the above tips to bring you some relief. However, please remember that if your nausea persists and causes extreme discomfort, do not hesitate to seek the care of your family doctor or physician, there is no substitute for a trained professional.

Friday, April 5, 2013

How Can I Find the Most Affordable Health Insurance?

Many people are finding themselves in situations where it is difficult to obtain affordable health insurance.  If you are one of these people, don't lose hope.   There are ways that you can find low cost health insurance, even when it may seem impossible.

Here are a few scenarios that I have recently run into with clients.  Maybe the advice I gave them will be helpful to you as well.

1.  I just lost my job...should I take the COBRA coverage?

This is a tough situation to be in, and unfortunately, has become more and more common lately.  If your employer has recently let you go, or you've been told that your job will be eliminated soon, you need to decide what to do about your health insurance.  You have to option of staying on the employer sponsored plan under the COBRA rules, which began in 1986.  You have 60 days from the date of your termination to decide if you're going to elect for COBRA continuation coverage.  Part of the stimulus package recently signed by the President included a temporary reduction in premiums that certain people have to pay for COBRA coverage.  If you were involuntarily let go from your job between 9/1/08 and 12/31/09, and you elect COBRA, you qualify for this reduction.  You only have to pay 35% of the COBRA premium for up to 9 months, and the government will pick up the rest.

If you do not qualify for this stimulus plan premium reduction, then you may want to shop around to see if you can find some better low cost health insurance on your own.  Many employer sponsored health insurance plans can be very expensive because they are required by law to include coverage for things you may not want or need.  For example, most states require that employer sponsored health insurance plans include coverage for maternity care.  This increases the cost of the plan dramatically.  If you are not planning on having children, you can have much lower premiums by customizing your own policy through an independent agent.

2.  My employer offers health insurance, but it's too expensive!

Many health insurance plans offered by employers include all the bells and whistles and are very costly.  In addition, employers are trying to save money by cutting back on how much they contribute to the premiums for you, so you end up paying the difference.  You may be able customize your own low cost health insurance plan for much less.  Again, working with an independent agent who represents many different companies could save you a lot of money.

3.  I've been declined by insurance companies already, or it's just too expensive...Now what?

This scenario is all too common today.  More and more people are getting turned down for health insurance due to medical conditions and/or history.  If this applies to you, you should consider a limited benefit health insurance plan that has guaranteed issuance.  This means that they don't ask any medical questions, and everyone pays the same premium no matter how old you are.  These plans are much better than having nothing at all, and they are very affordable.  But you want to make sure it's real HIPPA certified insurance, not just a discount plan.  Again, check with an independent agent who represents many insurers so that you can find the best health insurance available.

Nurses and Unions - Changing Times

Since the days of Florence Nightingale, the profession of nursing has been viewed as a career consisting of self sacrificing individuals who, with caring and compassion have devoted their lives to easing the pain and suffering of those in need. Such noble and honorable individuals would surely never strike for what ever reason, right? Wrong! So, what has happened over the centuries to the profession of nursing?

To begin to understand what has taken place in the arena of nursing, one needs to understand what the nurses of today are faced with in the hospital settings. First, many nurses are required to care for more patients than they can handle safely. This is to say that a patient care load of seven on a medical surgical unit can go up to eleven during the afternoon and midnight shift.

Depending on the acuity (level of care needed) of the clients, the nurse may not be able to safely attend to all of the clients needs, and need to forego certain aspects of care just to be able to get the majority of their responsibilities completed by the next shift. This situation of patient overload can result in very serious health consequences for the patient and ultimately, death.

The direct consequence of patient neglect for the nurse involved would usually entail a law suite being filed by the family naming the nurse and the hospital as well. Patient overload is just one of the many reasons that nurses have sought to form a coalition and be represented by their own organizations. Another reason for nurses to organize is due to the policy of pulling nurses to other floors where the patient acuity care process requires specific knowledge to be able to practice safely as a nurse. An example would be a maternity floor nurse being pulled to a medical surgical floor and being assigned a patient load consisting of newly admitted pre-operative patients and others that require suctioning and vent care.

The maternity floor nurse would not only be unsafe to work on the medical surgical floor, but could also put patient's lives in jeopardy due to her inexperience. So, what is that nurse supposed to do if they decide to decline being pulled to another floor? Many nurses feel that they may be reprimanded by the shift supervisor and perhaps written up for insubordination. But are they not in fact, declining for a valid reason? Also, shouldn't quality patient care be the utmost priority as well as patient safety? The answer to both of these questions is of course a resounding, YES!

However, many nurses are faced with these dilemmas day in and day out. They leave at the end of the day feeling as if they haven't been able to give proper nursing care. They would be correct. It is an unsafe practice to float nurses that are unfamiliar with a particular floor to work there. The fact is, that it is done on a regular basis. Would this be a sufficient reason to strike? Many nurses think so. The list could go on and on. How safe would you feel with a nurse caring for a loved one who was on the sixteenth hour of a double shift? Not very, right? Approximately 60% of nurse in practice are providing care in hospitals (Work-Place issues, 2005)

In 1946, the American Nurses Association's House of Delegates unanimously approved a resolution that opened the doors to nurses to engage in collective bargaining. Then about thirty years later the legal precedent that determined that state nursing associations are qualified under labor law to be labor organizations is the 1979 Sierra Vista decision. The important consequence that affected nurse was that they were free to organize themselves and not be organized by existing unions. Currently, it is the American Nurses Association that is in the forefront of establishing coalitions and bargaining for nurses nation.

Altruistic Surrogacy Vs Commercial Surrogacy

Surrogacy requires one to be high on moral and ethical standards basically because of the large amounts of money involved in the whole process. It should also be noted that intended parents who are without children are asking a lot by requesting a total stranger to get pregnant and carry there child through the nine month period and surrender the child to them when the time is due after a successful birth. Further more, due to the infertility of the intended couple; the surrogate mother will take the place of the intended mother by carrying the infant through the nine month period.

There is the traditional aspect of surrogacy where by the sperms of the father will be artificially inseminated to the surrogate mother which will technically make the surrogate mother the biological parent by law. On that note; it is considered as a fact that will cause problems with some people moral ethics and standards. In cases whereby you will find that the couple in fertile a sperm donor has to be used to make the intended surrogate mother pregnant.

In the gestational method, the surrogates' mothers' egg will be artificially fertilized with the intended fathers' sperm in a lab and later placed in the surrogate mothers' womb to be nature until the pregnancy term is completed to the final month.

The third method is mainly used when the mother can not sustain the infant in her womb for the nine months pregnancy term. The above can also be due to medical reasons that may hinder the mother carry the baby to term. During this period the surrogate mother will be receiving some money for expenditure or reimbursements for her for any cost incurred from her own pocket during the nine month period caring the infant. This money can also be referred to as the base fee. Due to a high possibility of a miscarriage in the first three months which are very sensitive, the base fee is usually paid in installment so as to avoid excess or over paying the surrogate mother in case the baby does not make it through the in tended labor period.

The surrogate mother is handsomely paid for the period she carried the infant for the nine months till the babies' successful delivery. Do note that the amounts paid in installments gradually increase as the pregnancy advances in it later stages thus the base money will result to a larger amounts of money through the nine month period. This may leave many people wondering why it costs a lot in the United States of America but the attorneys and the legal systems in general may ask for a lot more than any judge will agree but if it did happen it would due to the agreement made in the draft contract between the surrogates and the intended parents. You will find in different countries the cost is much less but basically its all comes to the interest of money.

Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations and Reclaim Your Happiness

Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.
Charlotte Bronte

Becoming a mother, for me, was not a simple transition. I went from being a successful corporate professional who juggled 10-15 multi-million dollar projects at any one time to being at home with a baby who became hysterical when breastfeeding, failed to thrive and who had severe sleep regression for 16 weeks straight.

The pregnancy that produced my daughter Ava was in every way unplanned. She was very wanted and is much loved but it turned my life upside down. Suddenly nothing was really in my control anymore.

I found myself at home, one week after Ava was born, alone (for the most part) and my life from that point onwards was the exact opposite of how I had designed it to be -uncontrolled and unplanned. I read every baby sleep book under the sun convinced that there was something I was doing wrong. I drove myself crazy trying to work out what that one thing was.

When my daughter was 18 months I went to see a sleep psychologist still convinced that 'something could be done' about the fact she wouldn't self-settle, that every meal time was a battle ground and that we were up for hours with her in the middle of the night. Interestingly at my first appointment the psychologist quickly realised that in fact it was not Ava who needed help it was me, her stressed, anxious, sleep deprived mother who had lost her own identity.

Over a number of weeks I worked with this psychologist to realise that my expectations of a 'normal baby' were completely unrealistic, for example that at 12 months only 38% of babies sleep through the night and 49% of babies between 1-2 years wake at least once a night. I had similar unrealistic expectations of how well my daughter should be eating based on what I saw from a handful of friend's children.

So learning this I made some choices:

  • I chose to let go of unrealistic expectations of my daughter and stop comparing her, and myself, to others;

  • I chose to let her eat 6 month old puree if that is what she wanted;

  • I chose to accept that she wasn't self-settling and sit with her reading a book till she fell asleep;

  • I chose to be a lot calmer and let go of needing everything to be planned and organised; and

Interestingly since making these choices my relationship with my husband is the best it's ever been, my daughter is self-settling and sleeping well and eating a range of foods and I have achieved my dream and established a life and career coaching practice for working mums. I have never been happier and am no longer plagued by stress and anxiety.

So how do you let go of unhelpful expectations?

  • Accept that everyone in your life has different strengths and qualities to bring to the relationship and allow them to express this in different ways. Some people may be exceptionally supportive in a crisis, others amazing fun to hang out with and others provide great advice;

  • Understand that yours is only one version of reality shaped by your experiences and core values. Communicate your needs and expectations but also seek to understand theirs and find a middle ground;

  • With regards to your children remind yourself that the "normal" range for developmental milestones are wide and that they are little people with little personalities. Allow them to express themselves and celebrate their uniqueness rather than comparing them to other children;

  • Be kind to yourself, set goals and work towards them but equally be flexible and allow yourself to relax and have fun. The worst expectations are the ones we inflict on ourselves.

  • Choose to let go of those unhelpful & unrealistic expectations. Ask yourself what if I didn't expect this of myself/my partner/my friend - how would my life be different?

Aetna Insurance: Company Information

Aetna is a health care company that offers a good and wide range of products, such as medical, dental, and disability plans. Aetna is one of the major health insurance companies in the US whose services are used by businesses, organizations, workers, and students across 50 states. This long-standing company first came into the scene in 1850, during which a volcano in Sicily, Mt. Etna, was active. It was first established as Aetna Insurance Company, but became Aetna, Inc. in 1996, following the merger of Aetna Life and Casualty Company and US Healthcare. In the last ten years, this company has handled health care services of many organizations. It has then placed more emphasis on its health care operations.

The company is composed of Health Care, Group Insurance, and Large Case Pensions. The Health Care department deals with a wide range of health plans (medical, dental, and pharmacy benefits). More than 15 million people are holders of Aetna's medical plan. There are more than 13 million dental members. The pharmacy benefits management section has about 10 million members. The Group Insurance segment, which has 15 million members, includes disability and long-term health insurance products. The Large Case Pension segment includes a number of retirement products, although their business does not actively promote this segment.

Aetna has an extensive network of health care service providers, including doctors and health care insurance carriers. The clients of their products range from employers to single customers. Their business is also attempting to increase the number of its members by advancing its product offerings. They also have sales personnel that sell health care products. Independent brokers and consultants also sell Aetna insurance products.

The health care products are offered to employers, who, in turn, present them to the employees. However, the employees have the privilege to choose the products of their preference. So, the scheme is that the employers pay the sum of monthly premiums of employees to Aetna. The premiums are deducted automatically from the salaries of the employees. On the other hand, some Group Insurance products are sold straight to the employees. This scheme happens if the employer does not subsidize the premiums for these products. In fact, the covered employee can pay directly to the company itself.

Aetna does have its pros and cons, despite being one of the leading health insurance providers in the United States. It is just like any other insurance company, whose schemes and services have some flaws. Some people may not get optimum benefits from their chosen company. For instance, most do not provide maternity coverage, so pregnant women may have to look for another insurance provider. Nevertheless, Aetna covers expenses for complications that occur during pregnancy. Aetna also covers infants within the first month.

Another known limitation in the insurance policy offered by Aetna is its age cutoff. They do not provide coverage for people 65 years and up.

Competitive insurance cost and extensive coverage, however, make up for the identified disadvantages.

Customers, on the other hand, should consider certain factors before buying an insurance policy. These factors include affiliated hospitals and doctors, prescription benefits, cost and premiums, and lifetime maximum coverage.

Pregnancy - The Top Twenty Things You Should Know

Pregnancy is an exciting stage in a woman's life. It is the time when a woman undertakes a big responsibility to care for a new life that grows inside her. This whole journey lasts for 40 weeks, thus every woman should know the top twenty things about pregnancy. Whether it is your first time to get pregnant or you have been pregnant, it is a must that you know these things because these will greatly influence your ability to bring about the best for your baby.

Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms

If you are pregnant, you will experience some of these pregnancy signs and symptoms: nausea or morning sickness, headaches, dizziness and fainting spells, mood swings, fatigue, food cravings, tender or swollen breasts, and missed period.

Pregnancy Test

Once you have experienced those signs and symptoms, you can undergo a pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy. You can do this yourself since various pregnancy test kits are available over-the-counter or you can go to a clinic that offers this test.

Prenatal Visit

After you confirmed that you are pregnant, you can schedule an appointment with your preferred obstetrician. During your first prenatal visit, information like the first day of your last menstrual period and your expected date of delivery will be given to you. Pregnancy vitamins will also be prescribed and you will be scheduled for a monthly prenatal visit to monitor your baby's development.

Other Tests and Procedures

Aside from the pregnancy test, you will also have to undergo other tests and procedures like urine test, complete blood count, blood type, Rh factor, and antibody screening, hepatitis B testing, ultrasound, and fetal monitoring.

Pregnancy Stages

There are actually three stages that you will have to go through during the entire course of your pregnancy: the first trimester, the second trimester, and the third trimester. In each stage, you will notice some changes in your body as your baby develops inside and you will even experience pregnancy discomforts.

Nutritional Needs

As a pregnant woman, you have to know your nutritional needs. Take note that birth complications and abnormalities can arise from pregnancy malnutrition. So, you should eat a well-balanced diet and make sure that you take the vitamins prescribed by your doctor.

Family Medical History

It is also important that you know your family medical history to enhance preparedness. This can help you prepare for the possible illnesses and birth abnormalities that your baby can be at risk of. This can also help you determine if there is a chance for you to conceive twins or triplets.

Present Medical Conditions

You should also discuss your present medical conditions to your doctor like high blood pressure and diabetes. This can help you prevent pregnancy complications.

Pregnancy Hazards

If you are exposed to environmental hazards at work or at home, this can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and deformities in your baby. So, make sure that you are not exposed to any of these like paint vapor during your pregnancy.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is expected during pregnancy because of your baby's development. However, it is not advisable that you exceed the recommended weight gain because being overweight can increase your risk of diabetes and hypertension.

Pregnancy Discomforts

You will experience pregnancy discomforts all throughout your pregnancy. These however, vary from woman to woman, so make sure that you are aware of these and know their corresponding remedies.

Potential Problems and their Symptoms

Although most women have normal pregnancies with minor discomforts and no complications, it is important that you know the symptoms for potential problems like vaginal bleeding, pelvic or abdominal pain, swelling of the hands and feet, and no fetal movement. These symptoms could lead to miscarriage, ecclampsia, and stillbirth if ignored.

Pregnancy Do's and Don'ts

The do's and don'ts are different for each woman and each pregnancy. It is best that you discuss this with your doctor.


Exercise during pregnancy is recommended for most women, but only at a moderate speed. Walking, in particular, is highly recommended because this can help your body withstand the rigors of labor and delivery more easily.

Birthing Class

Birthing class, which is considered a ritual of modern pregnancy, gives you and your spouse a chance to prepare together for the big day of labor.

Birthing Option and Place

Prior to your due date, you should discuss your birthing option, whether vaginal or caesarean delivery, to your obstetrician. You should also check the place where you will deliver your baby and see if it will be comfortable for you.


As your due date draws near, you would want to know exactly when labor will start. It would be best that you understand the whole process of labor and its different stages.

Baby's Name

Before the arrival of your baby, perhaps you already have a name in mind. If you still don't have, you can check books or online for babies names or ask your relatives and friends for suggestions.

Baby Things

During your pregnancy, you can keep yourself busy by preparing all the baby things that you need. Shopping for these items with your husband would be better because this would be a great bonding time for both of you.

Basic Childcare

While taking care of the unborn child is important during pregnancy, this time also gives you the best opportunity to learn about basic childcare. You should know beforehand the best possible care and nutrition that you can give to your baby.

Pregnancy is indeed a challenging stage characterized by both anxiety and excitement. However, by learning these top twenty things that you should know about pregnancy, you can have the best of this journey and be on your way to a fruitful motherhood.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Surviving a Relationship During Pregnancy

Pregnancy. A time of intense hormones, unpredictable moods, rapid bodily changes, and high stress. Not exactly the ideal time to have relationship problems, especially with the future parent of your child. So how do you deal with it? In this article I will explain not only that, but how to keep yourself from falling into the pitfalls and traps of an intense or unhealthy relationship while pregnant.

Ideally, if you are experiencing a "planned pregnancy", you have discussed and worked on many of your relationship issues already. These could include but aren't limited to; communication, intimacy, trust, financial, and sexual problems. In this article, I would like to focus on only one, communication.

Obviously, if this issue was present before your pregnancy, it is going to be present and more troublesome during your pregnancy. With that said, how do you deal with this issue while pregnant, even if it is present to a lesser degree?

First of all, there are what I call "predictable" , and "unpredictable" pregnancy symptom triggered behaviors in relationships. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses by saying that behaviors and actions are "pregnancy symptom" triggered, I am just explaining the facts. When you are pregnant you will generally experience, (although each woman is different), the following; morning sickness, low energy, sore back and joints, variable moods like increased sensitivity, loss of short term memory, increased/decreased sex drive, low self-esteem, strange food cravings, sore breasts, weight gain, irritable bowels, and an increased desire to sleep. These negative symptoms, will obviously effect how you interact and communicate with others. I suppose this was how the "moody" pregnant woman stereotype came into effect.

So, if you know for sure that these symptoms are going to happen, then you can better prepare for their effect on your psyche, and thus how you will choose to project their effects onto others (specifically your partner).

For example; if I feel a loss of energy coming on or like I just want to take a nap, I know for sure that I will not have much patience to make serious decisions. So instead of coming home and telling my husband, "Hey honey I'm ready to discuss the financial part of that remodel that you want in the kitchen." I say something like; "Honey, I just wanted to let you know that I'm not 100% today, it has been a rough pregnancy day, and I would really appreciate it if I could just go to bed. Could you make yourself something to eat?" What this does is avoid a "predictable" argument that would be the result from my "lack of energy and patience", during our discussion. Basically, the idea is that you are thinking ahead of the game. Planning for the worse. Sound pessimistic? Let me explain.

What if an "unpredictable" pregnancy symptom like spontaneous crying happens? What am I talking about? Well, sometimes pregnant woman get a sudden unpredictable urge to cry because they feel emotional. It could be triggered by something as stupid as a beer commercial, or as unrelated as a cool breeze. How do we deal with that? What if your partner is sitting on the couch as you start to cry? Let's say they don't comfort you at just the right moment, and in response you say something like; "You just aren't there for me, I have to do everything; carry this child, clean the house, and handle the bills!" Your partner begins to feel rejected and angry and the interaction spirals downward from there.

How could an "unpredictable" and "spontaneous" situation like that be avoided? Well, by doing what I call a mind, body, and soul check in. First of all when you are pregnant you need to take responsibility for your emotions and behaviors by constantly checking in with yourself. Ask yourself where you are at emotionally and psychologically. Rate yourself on a scale of one to ten. One being that you are feeling; tired, emotional, or insecure. Ten being that you feel; energized, happy, or excited about your pregnancy. Since you can go up and down daily in your pregnancy moods, you need to monitor yourself several times throughout the day. This way, when an "unpredictable" pregnancy symptom like constipation creeps up on you, you know that you are not going to be able to handle much on your plate. Your best decision in that instance, would be to avoid over stressing yourself. For example, limit the amount of things you do that day, get extra sleep, and avoid stressful discussions with your spouse.

There are other things in addition to monitoring yourself, in order to decrease your pregnancy symptoms like; exercise, naps, eating nutritional snacks, pampering yourself with a pedicure, or reading yourself positive affirmations.

In addition, it is really important to communicate with your partner and utilize him/her as a support. For example, ask him/her for a foot massage, words of encouragement, or if he/she could do one of your house hold chores for the day. If you don't ask, you won't get your needs met. Many pregnant women try to be Super Heroes and do everything themselves. It is just not reality. You are functioning on low gas in your tank, don't ride on empty it will not benefit you in the end!

Lastly, how you support your partner will make a difference in how you survive your relationship during pregnancy as well. Utilize "I" statements and "reflective listening". Your partner's needs will be different then yours during pregnancy. Remember, they don't "feel" the same as you do during your pregnancy-although people say they do experience some similar pregnancy symptoms. Your partner might be going through a whirl win of different emotions and feelings like; nervousness, uncertainty about being a parent, fear, worry and concern for you, financial stress, insomnia, eating disturbance , weight gain, and loss of previous identity. If you communicate with him/her and find out where he/she is coming from, it might help you support him/her better. This in turn will lessen the overall stress within your relationship and make your pregnancy a more positive experience.

Here is a quick communication exercise to practice with your partner. Sit next to each other and look into each others' eyes. Now pretend that you have switched bodies and you are the non-pregnant person, and they are the pregnant person. Take about a minute to answer the following questions as "the other person." Tell me about your pregnancy thus far; how many weeks along you are, how do you feel, what is partner feeling during your pregnancy? You will find this interesting being in the "other person's shoes", for a bit. After you complete the exercise, check in with each other. Were you accurate about each other's feelings and thoughts? If the answer is no, then you know that you have to work more on your communication.

Remember, pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful time for a couple, but it can put a lot of strain on a a relationship. Working on your communication as a couple before you decide to get pregnant, is your best bet. But if you can't, start today, heck start yesterday! Good luck and remember, when in doubt and in the middle of what seems impossible argument, laugh! Have a happy and healthy pregnancy.

-by Andrea Guzman, LMFT

Identifying the Types of Depression

There are only 2 types of depression, they are -
1) brought on by something that has happened in your lifetime or
2) one that has no obvious reasons(most popular)

Number 1

Is easier to beat as you know what caused it. Firstly, deal with what ever caused the depression. A setback, death, divorce or accident may have caused it. Try to find it and thats where you start.

Number 2

Is a a tricky one as you don't really know what started the said depression. This is the most common type and it varies from a strong feeling of being down to the thought of giving up on life.

Important :

- does it affect you much

- how long has it affected you

This is more challenging as people arent as easy or soft with you because there is no known cause for your acts.

Winter Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

This is pretty regular where there is a cold climate, clouds and little or no sunshine. Its not nice and its simple for this type of depression to be contracted. Again it is different from person to person.

Postnatal Depression

Is seen in about fifty percent of mothers within the first week after birth. Usually stays for about a week and is because of your hormones, peace after the stress of the expected baby and other things as well that come with the duties of having a little baby. Ten percent of women with this suffer from restlessness, being tired all the time, are unable to handle things and even become aggressive towards the baby.

Bipolar Disorder

Is a mood disorder with difficult episodes. It differs with each person and research has proven that there is a possible genetic tie. It usually begins early on in your teens or twenties and remains
through your life. Its extremely serious that someone with this type of depression is helped.

Manic depression

Involves mood swings which are excessive or abnormal, they last a week at a time and goes hand in hand with strange behaviour as well-as strange thoughts, which makes life a bit more of an effort. If you are one of the unlucky people who struggle with either of these previous 2 depressions then you must find a doctor soon and begin your steps to recovery. Psychologists are a great help in these cases.

Male Depression

Described in two ways - namely covert or overt. Overt depression is easy to pick up on. Covert depression is difficult. You will see the tiny hints that a man uses to avoid it.

It is much, much more common to be covert. Abusive husbands are usually victims of this type of depression. Women sufferers are more likely to be overt as they seem more comfortable with looking for help. I hope this helped and makes things easier for you when looking for your type of depression.

5 Helpful Tips For New Parents

When becoming a new parent, there are just some things that baby books and family advice cannot prepare you for. Whether it is paying attention to the signs that a newborn's health is failing or learning how to properly clean her ears, there is always something new that draws a question mark and sends parents into a frenzy. While you may receive numerous tips on how to care for your baby, dealing with the emotional and mental stress of being a new mother or father is often overlooked. Below, you will find a few tips regarding both the concern and care for baby and parent:

Take Time For Yourself

When a baby enters your life, chaos may develop because your normal behavior, sleep, and lifestyle patterns are disrupted to adjust for a newborn. If you don't find time for yourself to release built-up tension and stress, then you won't be in any good shape to take care of your little one. Plus, children have a way of sensing when their parents are stressed, which in turn may cause them to react accordingly.

Reduce Stress By Saving Money

For some parents, a new financial strain is created with the addition of a new member to the family. Sometimes any penny saved can go a long way in the future. When you get into the habit of clipping coupons and requesting free samples, you can save money that can go towards other aspects of the household. If you call baby food and other baby product companies, you can ask for coupons and other discounts. Sometimes you can accomplish the same goals by visiting their website.

It's OK To Accept Help

When parents take the attitude that they can do it all (baby, house, and work) on their own without any help from family and friends, burnout is inevitable. The daily tasks that come with changing diapers, warming bottles, and burping baby reach overwhelming proportions in a short amount of time. With new mothers, the risk of postpartum depression will increase. When family, friends, and even neighbors extend a helping hand, it is highly suggested to accept it.

Be On the Lookout For Jaundice

More and more newborns are seen developing jaundice, meaning a yellow pigment appears in the skin of the baby. When certain chemicals build up in the body, the baby's liver has to work overtime to break it down and release it. The condition often goes away on its own, but if not diagnosed in time, brain damage may occur. It is important to know that around 60% of newborns will develop jaundice.

Get Enough Sleep

If you do not get enough sleep, how will you ever be able to keep up with the erratic patterns of a baby, especially if he or she suffers from a medical condition, such as colic? Parents who are deprived of their sleep become exhausted and suffer from lapses in memory, mood, concentration, as well as the ability to deal with the new parent responsibilities.

Less sleep also means the body can break down and illness may settle in. The worst thing to deal with is a cold that threatens the health of your child. Taking turns with another with the baby or dividing your time between shifts is a good way to make sure you get the sleep that you need. Single parents might have to call upon the help of their siblings or parents during the first six weeks, which can be rather difficult without assistance.

Thousands Now Consume Aloe Vera Products to Treat Depression - Here's Why

Aloe Vera And Depression

Depression is quite common in today's society. Many people often get depressed for various reasons and causes. Note that there is a fine line between real depression and clinical depression. Real depression happens to all individuals like when a loved one passes away or when suffering from a broken relationship.

Depression may happen to people and lead into anxiety attacks. This is because their minds ponder and focus on their worries and problems too much. There are other instances that a person will feel depressed and lack energy because of health, mainly because of nutritional deficiency.

To alleviate depression, it is common practice for people to consume various kinds of food and beverages to get them into a better mood. Many choose to indulge in food that is high in sugar such as cakes, ice cream and chocolate. There are others that opt to drink alcoholic beverages as a suppressant.

Many doctors prescribe anti-depressant medication. There are a lot of different kinds of anti-depressant medication that can even be bought over-the-counter. Numerous people have become dependent on these kinds of medication to enable them to function normally.

If you are one of the many millions of people that are suffering from depression, take the time to assess why you are depressed and where the depression may be coming from. It is very possible that it may be time to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Detoxification is a great way to cleanse the body and get rid of the toxins that have been stored for years. It is a known fact that body cleansing aids in mental health and you can get numerous other benefits from regular detoxification. One of the most common ways to detox is to consume specific kinds of food and beverages made from plants.

You can also get better overall health and eliminate any nutritional deficiency by consuming natural health food products. Since these products are made from plants, when it is consumed, it is easily digested and quickly absorbed by the body, giving almost immediate nutrition.

Thousands of people consume Aloe Vera products daily to aid them keep away depression by giving their body it vital nutrition needs. The amino acid content of Aloe Vera is nearly complete for our daily requirements. One vital amino acid that Aloe Vera contains is tryptophan which is a precursor of serotonin, which is used to as preventive treatment for depression and anxiety.

Some of the other amino acids in Aloe Vera stimulates the production stimulates the production of blood cells that balances our metabolism. Aloe Vera is known as a pure plant-food source and can give a body a natural based detox. Aside from the amino acids, Aloe Vera contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals.

Aloe Vera Plant is a safe, natural alternative to dangerous prescription drugs. As always, seek the advice of a medical doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

6 Quick Acupressure Points to Relieve Labor Pain - Pregnancy Massage Therapy

Pregnancy Acupressure has been in use for centuries. It allows you to begin labor at home, safely and naturally, easing yourself into the contractions and dilation that will result in the birth of your baby. But the time you get to the hospital, your labor will already be half over. This leads to shorter delivery times, and an much easier birthing process. Maternity acupressure techniques also help increase blood flow, eliminate pain, and reduce stress on the mom-to-be, while at the same time aiding in contractions, dilation, and providing extra oxygen to the baby. All of these benefits to reflexology for pregnancy have made it increasingly popular in delivery rooms across the world.

Massage during labor includes using the body's various pressure points to stimulate other parts of the body. Learning how to do maternity acupressure is easy, and requires no prior experience. It consists of gentle pressure applied with fingertips, the ball of the thumb, and sometimes the palm or elbow. These pregnancy massage therapy techniques are both safe and natural, and can be used even after childbirth for continued stress and pain-relief benefits. However, these points should not be used during the developing stages of pregnancy - on a pregnant woman this type of acupressure to induce labor should be reserved for helping to start contractions and for aiding in childbirth only.

* Hand (to aid with contractions) - Place your own thumb on the meaty web between your partner's forefinger and thumb. Close your middle two or three fingers upward to rest in her palm, and begin gently squeezing, concentrating on applying downward pressure with the ball of your thumb. This pressure point is important in pregnancy reflexology in that it can be used to aid in strengthening contractions. By timing your pressure with each contraction you can help the baby descend, pushing along with mom to move the child through the birth canal.

* Palm (to release endorphins for pain) - Look at your partner's hand. In the center of the topmost crease on the palm, there's an acupressure point that can be used to force the body to release it's natural painkillers: endorphins. Gentle pressure to this region will produce anesthetizing feelings in the brain, but overly pressing it can cause pain so be careful how much pressure you use. If you have trouble finding this spot, tell your partner to close her fingers until the tips of each finger are touching the palm, almost like a half-fist. The place right below where her fingers are touching is where you want to apply pressure.

* Foot (to release tension and relax the body) - Beneath the ball of the foot is a depression just as the arch of the foot begins. By placing your thumb here and wrapping your fingers around the top of the foot for counter pressure, you can begin pushing gently inward and upward, rolling your thumb toward the big toe. Reflexology and pregnancy go hand in hand, and this massage will have the effect of soothing and calming your partner. With the right pressure, and the right direction, you can use this technique well into childbirth to relax and keep your partner free from excess anxiety. It also makes a great technique to use months and years afterward, any time you or your partner both need to relieve stress.

* Hip (for pain, and to promote contractions) - Your partner will need to be on her side for this one. Find the top of the buttocks crease, then move in a perpendicular line toward her hipbone. When you've gone about two-thirds this distance, press gently inwardly and upward toward the spine. This acupressure pregnancy point should be immediately felt, and it should feel pretty good. Pressing and rolling this point will accomplish both pain relief and the inducing/strengthening of contractions. You can use this to both induce labor, and to aid in contractions once the onset of labor has occurred. After childbirth, you can use this point at any time to help break up trapped pelvic stress and relax the lower body.

* Lower back (to release endorphins for pain) - For this acupressure point, your partner will need to be pressing back against a firm object. Find the halfway point between the spine and the dimples of your partner's gluteus. Pressing downward with a slight twisting motion, do some probing until you find the spot where your partner feels a very pleasant sensation of relief. This spot works wonders for pregnancy pain, and it can also dissipate pent-up stress in the lower back and gluteus muscles.

* Shoulder (to stimulate contractions) -Find the bump at the base of your partner's neck - this is her C7 vertebrae. Now trace a line to the other bump at the end of her shoulder. Right in between these two areas is another pressure point on the shoulder muscle itself, and applying pressure to this one can help greatly with uterine contractions (and it can later be used to stimulate milk production as well). Stimulate this point during initial stages of labor to help begin and promote these contractions.

These are the six most popular techniques of acupressure during labor, but note that most of them can be very useful beyond childbirth. Pregnancy massage therapy methodology has been proven to have radical benefits in the delivery room and beyond. Massage during labor itself can dramatically decrease the chances of unwanted medical intervention or C-section during the birthing process. Learn these techniques for a safer, faster delivery... and then use them on each other in the years to come to relieve stress, pain, and pent-up tension in the body.

Weight Gain In Pregnancy - Some Ways To Help You Deal With It

For women that experience weight gain in pregnancy, many wonder what they can do to help them feel better about themselves. Women are under immense pressure by society to look a certain way. When pregnant, the way a woman looks gets out of their control as the pregnancy naturally makes a woman's body gain weight. So what are some ways to help you deal with weight gain in pregnancy?

The first thing is to remember what the extra weight is for. That extra weight is for the little baby growing inside of you. If a little extra weight means a healthy baby, then bring it on! Most women gain between 20-50 pounds during pregnancy. This is completely normal as weight gain is essential to keeping mother and baby healthy.

One thing you can do to help you feel better about yourself is to do some light exercising. Exercising helps to release endorphins which will help you to feel better about yourself. Exercise will help you to feel like you are doing all you can to stay in shape, which will help you to deal with the natural weight gain in pregnancy.

The last thing to do is to stop worrying about it and checking your weight too often. Don't obsess about your weight as you will gain weight in pregnancy. One trick is to only step on the scale once a week, or better yet, once every two weeks. It's important to remember that its inevitable you will put on weight and vital to give your baby the best start in life.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Aromatherapy to Treat Postpartum Depression

The majority of women do not suffer any kind of adverse reaction after childbirth, except to be emotional, easily upset and overtired. For a minority, however, it can be a very different story with a change of mood some time after the initial excitement following the birth. This usually coincides with the sudden change in hormone levels due to the commencement of lactation. New mothers can be highly sensitive, prone to weeping and possibly become irrational and suffer from depression. Loss of sleep and fatigue lead to anxiety, panic attacks and unnecessary worry. This is now recognized to be post-natal depressive illness, which can vary from a mild form to very severe cases which are quite rare.

Fortunately for sufferers, there is treatment for all forms of post-natal depression and a full recovery can occur. Aromatherapy is known to be helpful in preventing cases of post-natal issues. By using essential oils they can make life more pleasant and counteract any negative feeling that one might have.

How Aromatherapy Can Help

There have been numerous new mothers who have successfully used aromatherapy treatments to manage and assist in their fight against depression. There is hope out there in the form of natural treatments which do work. Having the assistance of a supportive aromatherapist can be of great help, as someone who listens and eases the new mothers concerns and answers her questions. It is a good idea to begin treatments before giving birth for maximum benefits but starting post birth is acceptable also. Having regular aromatherapy massages are very relaxing and beneficial to the mother. It is advisable to have a weekly massage. If you can't get to a massage therapist, self-massage is an alternative.

To feel uplifted and elevate your mood, use rosemary, cypress, bergamot or lemongrass. To feel calm and relaxed use lavender, chamomile or ylang ylang. Please note these essential oils should only be used diluted in a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond in massage after childbirth, not whilst pregnant. Due to the potent nature of oils, tangerine oil is the only acceptable choice during pregnancy. The selection of the essential oils used during the massage can impact on the desired outcome. As cases of post-natal depression differ from one individual to another it is best to consult with your aromatherapy massage therapist as to which oils will meet your needs.

Improve Your Relationships Through Mindful Listening

One of the goals I have is to become a better listener. My own perception is that I am a good listener, however my daughter has recently told me otherwise. Our relationships can be a source of comfort or stress and often times both. We're all affecting each other whether we are aware of it or not.

Do you ever get impatient while other people are talking? I do. Sometimes I feel impatience and sometimes it's enthusiasm to share a similar story. Other times I notice how while the other person is talking, my mind is busy thinking of solutions or advice for them. Has this ever happened to you?

When we actually listen, we are less likely to misunderstand someone and to have an argument. We are more likely to walk away from a conversation feeling energized rather than frustrated. When we listen well, we solve problems more quickly and feel less stressed.

When you're having a conversation with someone you can practice mindfulness. While they are talking, you can pay attention to your breathing. You can notice the thoughts that are going through your mind as they are speaking. Practice being patient. Don't interrupt.

Notice any feelings within yourself as you are listening. Don't interject your experiences. Wait, breathe, and listen. Notice any sensations in your body as you are listening. The idea is to listen with your whole be fully present without the need to change, solve, or fix anything.

When the person is finished talking you can respond with a comment like, "it sounds like you had a really tough day" or "it seems like you got just what you wanted". That shows the speaker that you've heard them and this feels good for both them and you. This kind of response might encourage them to talk even more, building confidence and trust in your relationship.

The objective is to listen and notice what's happening within yourself rather than to jump in. We usually interrupt because we've had a similar experience or because we think we have the answer to the problem. The truth is that each of us has the answer within.

Being a good listener helps the other person to eventually access the answer. The more the person talks, the more he/she comes up with their own insights and solutions. The more one can access his/her own wisdom, the more empowered they feel.

We all need and appreciate being listened to. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another.
May you bring a mindful presence into all your relationships this month. I look forward to hearing from you!

How to Avoid Maternity Insurance Mayhem

The birth of a child should be a time of enjoyment and celebration, one that should not be interrupted with unpleasant surprises regarding the payment of medical bills. Maternity insurance with excellent benefits will go a long way towards helping with the financial aspects of preparing for baby. If at all possible, it's a wonderful idea to have maternity health insurance coverage in place before the test results come back positive.

You may say at this point that you are on a group plan at work, so there should not be any problems. That's super, but I would encourage you to dig the policy out of the filing cabinet and take a look to see to what degree pregnancy is covered under your plan just to be safe. If the phrasing and terminology contained in your policy has your mind spinning, have the insurance clerk at your place of employment go over the portion of the policy that deals with pregnancy and explain it to you in words that you can understand.


Before choosing a provider, check the names of in network providers listed in the latest directory provided by your insurance company. There are big benefits in choosing a doctor and hospital that are in the network. If there is a network provider that you feel will work for you, the portion of the medical bills that you have to pay out of your pocket may be substantially less than if you choose an out of network provider.

Make certain that the directory of providers is up to date because doctors and hospitals are constantly being picked up by and dropped from insurance lists all the time. As a final precaution, when you decide on a hospital and provider, call each one as well as your insurance company and verify that they are in-network and that they will accept your insurance.

Another helpful bit of information that you may want to document is the date that your chosen provider's contract expires with your insurance company. The insurance clerk at the doctor's office or hospital may not have these dates in her files, but don't let this stop you from getting the facts. To get this vital information, a phone call to your insurance company may be necessary.

Compare the contract expiration dates that your insurance company provides to you with your baby's expected delivery date. If the contract date of expiration falls before your due date, this is an indication that you may need to explore other service providers in the network because there is no guarantee that this provider's contract will be renewed. It would be an unwelcome financial surprise to start out with an in-network provider only to find yourself out of network when it counts the most!

Predicting Diabetes - Pregnancy As a Crystal Ball

At this point in my life, I have had the honor of helping many women have happy, healthy pregnancies. Good maternity care is essential, but sometimes pregnancy itself acts like a crystal ball.

Okay. This may sound a bit like voodoo, but please hear me out.

Scientists have known for some time that high blood pressure in some pregnancies can be a predictor of future heart issues in certain women. Now it seems that gestational diabetes can also be an indicator of who will get the full blown diabetes disease later in life.

Best of all, if it can be predicted... we may be able to avert the onset of this terrible disease.

Is it possible that those unique nine months of unprecedented nausea, hormonal changes, and emotional roller coaster rides, will hold even more clues to help save women's lives? Think about this as you kiss and hug your newborn as a new mother... or as you watch your own mother play with her grandchildren, hopefully as a still-vibrant and healthy senior. It goes without saying that the health of mothers is incredibly vital to the health and well being of their offspring.

What is Gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is defined as any type of glucose impairment that is initially detected during pregnancy. The incidence of Gestational Diabetes in the United States is about 4% and rates are increasing over the last few years. High risk factors for the development of the condition include:

What are the risk factors for Gestational diabetes?

  • Age over 25 years

  • Obesity

  • Family history of diabetes

  • Previous history of gestational diabetes

  • Certain ethnic groups (Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, African-American)

What are the screening recommendations for Gestational diabetes?

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that all pregnant women be screened for gestational diabetes. The most common diagnostic test is the 50 gram 1-hour glucose challenge test that is given between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation. An abnormal result is defined as blood glucose of 130 mg/dl or greater or 140 mg/dl or greater, depending upon the criteria used. If abnormal, the patient then undergoes a 100 g 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test in which 2 or more abnormal values confirm the diagnoses.

What are the treatment options for Gestational diabetes?

Various treatments during pregnancy including dietary modifications directed by a certified nutritionist who specializes in diabetes, physical activity and possibly medications, depending upon the level of severity. The medications may include oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin, depending upon the glucose values obtained as the pregnancy progresses. Increased resistance to insulin occurs as pregnancy progresses, stressing the pancreas and making more demands on the pancreas to manufacture insulin.

Why is it advisable to treat gestational diabetics?

Controlling glucose levels in pregnancy reduces the risk of congenital anomalies, miscarriage, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, macrosomia (large babies), polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid), stillbirth, Cesarean sections, difficult or traumatic delivery, and infections postpartum.

Immediately after delivery, miraculously the diabetes disappears!!! Resistance to insulin resolves within hours and patients often return to their pre-pregnancy normal state.

Does the end of pregnancy close the chapter on Gestational diabetes?

Some women, whose diabetes was not diagnosed prior to the pregnancy, have been found to have long standing diabetes that was uncovered with the routine screening that is performed during pregnancy. Even if it is a new onset of disease, detected during pregnancy, it is a known fact that women who have had gestational diabetes are at major risk for developing Type II diabetes later on in life. Some articles (Callaghan, 4/10) report that approximately one-third of women with gestational diabetes continue to have evidence of diabetes immediately postpartum. Other estimates range at about 50% chance of developing diabetes in the ten years following the pregnancy.

How should these women be followed after their pregnancy ends?

  1. All women who have had gestational diabetes should have a repeat oral glucose tolerance test (75 gm 2 hour test) at their 6 to 12 week postpartum visit or after breast feeding has been discontinued.

  2. Even if the values are normal, annual screening with a fasting glucose and/or HbA1C blood test has been suggested. However, at minimum, screening at least every 3 years is advisable.

  3. Encourage diabetes prevention education by encouraging exercise, weight loss, and proper diet.

  4. Women with pre-diabetes should consider medication regimens and lifestyle changes that prevent the chances of progression of their disease.

In Summary

Women have a distinct advantage of having a unique "window in time" in their life during pregnancy when potentially later in life disease complications might appear which the stress of pregnancy can unmask. If taken seriously, this can serve as an early marker of future disease and with proper monitoring and intervention can allow for possible opportunities for reversal.

Do Not Suffer in Silence, Depression is Treatable

Many people experience depression at some point in life. On the whole, women are about 50% more likely to have symptoms than men. This is most likely due in part to the significant hormonal changes women experience. Men do get this illness, but they often do not seek out treatment. Instead, they show their state of mind through anger and hostility. Men are 25% more likely to commit suicide than are women. The elderly are another population that often become despondent and who are, as a group, less likely to get help for it.

This is a real illness, not just a state of mind or something that someone can think themselves out of. There are several causes, including genetics, trauma history, physical illness (such as not making enough thyroid hormone), certain medications, chronic pain and grief.

Depression is a mood disorder in which signals are not passed between neurons normally. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that are in charge of passing the signals between neurons. Neurotransmitter signals may be too weak or there may not be enough of a particular neurotransmitter, similar to a phone line with a bad connection.

Symptoms include lack of energy, inability to sleep or sleeping too much, restlessness, weight loss or weight gain of more than 5% in one month, intrusive thoughts of suicide and death, guilt and feeling worthless and hopeless, general irritability, inability to concentrate, loss of enjoyment of favorite activities, self-imposed isolation, physical pain, headaches or even digestive upset that does not respond to any treatment. Any of these symptoms lasting more than two weeks is cause to see a doctor.

Some common forms of the illness include childhood and postpartum depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Children can be depressed and may not be able to tell you in words what they are feeling. Children most often express what they are feeling through their behavior. Be attentive to any changes in the behavior or your children. Postpartum depression occurs in the first year after giving birth. This manifestation of the illness can be very debilitating and guilt producing. The woman may feel that because she just had this wonderful child she should not be feeling the way she does. This is just not true. She needs to get help. Bipolar is characterized by extreme periods of extremely sad, hopeless moods and mania. It tends to run in families. Seasonal affective disorder most often occurs in people living in northern latitudes with short winter days and long nights.

Depression is treatable. Cognitive behavior therapy or psychotherapy in combination with medications is a more successful treatment than therapy or medication alone. Eating well and exercising, taking time to relax and regenerate and listening to your body can help ease symptoms and possibly even prevent the illness. Stress management and reduction techniques, such as visualization, meditation and yoga practice are other ways to help manage symptoms. Light therapy is often the treatment method of choice for seasonal affective disorder.

If you think you or someone you know is suffering from this illness and it has been going on for more than two weeks, seek the attention of a doctor. Depression is a real illness that can sometimes be fatal. Remember that it is not your fault. It is a chemical malfunction in the brain that you have no more control over than a diabetic has control over their own insulin production. Remember that depression is a very treatable illness and that there is no reason to suffer in silence.

7 Remedies to Get Pregnant Fast - Highlights About Homeopathic Cure to Conceive a Baby Faster

Have you been planning to get pregnant for more than 6 months without any success? Are you starting to get worried about it? Well, take it easy! There are many factors (biological, physiological, psychological, environmental etc...) that are involved to having troubles conceiving a baby. But fortunately, there are solutions too! One of them consists to follow a homeopathic treatment. Why is the principle of this soft medicine? Which are the seven most effective homeopathic remedies to get pregnant faster? Can homeopathy work for you?

Homeopathy Principle

Homeopathy is a natural medicine that takes patient's body, mind and spirit into consideration. Its main rule is based on the following Latin law: "Similia Similibus Curantur" which means 'like cures like'. For example, the very substance able to produce symptoms of sickness in a healthy person will be the right remedy for a patient who is suffering from the similar symptoms. It is something like to introduce an inoffensive disease into the patient's body (which will cause the same symptoms in a healthy person) in order to cancel the present health problem out! The idea is to match the symptoms of sickness with the suitable homeopathic remedy.

Seven Remedies to Get Pregnant Faster

1) Ovanirium - 7 C
2) Folliculinum - 7 C
3) Progesteronum - 7 C
4) Luteostimuline
5) Lycopodium - 9C
6) Gelsenium - 9C
7) Calcarea - 30C (for your mate; it helps to increase sperm count.)
Important Information
If you make up your mind to try this soft and safe therapy, it would be better to consult first a practitioner of homeopathy. Please, don't take homeopathic remedies which have not been prescribed by a competent doctor!
Can Homeopathy Work for You?
I don't really want to stir up controversy about the problem of homeopathy's reliance. But you need to understand that this therapy has been the subject of many studies in order to clarify whether it is reliable or not. As the result, any study has been able to prove the effectiveness of its remedies. Some people say that homeopathy remedies are no more effective than placebos. Others say it works very well in their case, whether it is psychological or not.
Is there a reliable plan to get pregnant fast?

To tell the truth, any plan or method can work 100%! As we have mentioned before, there are so many factors that are involved to having problems getting pregnant fast. But, some plans are more effective than the others because they take a large range of factors in consideration to treat the root cause of the problem. It is the case of Michellle's plan.

Michelle saw a lot of specialists and none of them had been able to help her to get pregnant. She thought she'd never have a baby. Fortunately, Michelle finally gave birth to a beautiful son following a plan that worked within 4 short months. Feel free to read Michelle' story in her Get Pregnant Fast review!  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Foods to Eat When Pregnant That Will Help to Boost Your Energy

Do you often feel exhausted now that you are pregnant? Fatigue, exhaustion and lack of energy are common during pregnancy, specifically during your first and third trimester. During the first trimester, your body is still adjusting along with new hormones that affect your energy level and when you reach your third trimester, your bulging belly and a bigger baby inside your womb consumes most of your energy. But you don't have to worry for there are many remedies to fight fatigue and lack of energy during pregnancy. Aside from low-impact exercise, rest and water, there are many foods to eat when pregnant that can help in boosting your energy.

With healthy eating, you can improve your energy without reaching for sweets that can temporarily give you a rush or grabbing a cup of coffee which can harm your baby. Rather, you must choose foods that don't just give you energy but also contain good nutrients needed for your pregnant body and for your growing baby. So, here are some healthy energy giving foods that you can eat while pregnant.

Never cut carbohydrates in your pregnancy diet as this food groups primary role is to provide energy. Most pregnant women stay away from all carbohydrates, even the good ones fearing that they will gain too much pregnancy weight. For healthier options, go for complex carbohydrates like brown rice, oatmeal and those with whole wheat. These good carbohydrates also contain fiber that can prevent constipation which affects many pregnant women as well as other minerals and vitamins.

Foods that contain Vitamin C and beta carotene help in enhancing your energy and can be found in broccoli and carrots while those with anti-oxidants like blueberries help in stimulating the brain, giving you full energy to face your busy day. Vitamin C which can be found in many fruits also helps in fighting nausea which can also drain your energy while pregnant. On the other hand, foods with Vitamin B6 have been proven to produce a substance known as serotonin which has a calming effect on a pregnant woman, making you more relaxed. To get enough supply of Vitamin B6-rich foods, eat chicken, bananas and sweet potato.

Lastly, it is important to take small meals and healthy snacks to get you going. Good foods to eat when pregnant as snacks that give you more energy include dried fruits and whole grain nuts. If you want fruit, choose fresh produce rather than canned or processed which only contain sugars.

Nutrition and healthy eating is very important for any pregnant woman. With healthy eating and knowing the right foods to eat when pregnant, you can control some mild health conditions during pregnancy like fatigue. Supplement these foods with rest, relaxation and enough liquid intake and you will be full of energy throughout your pregnancy.

5 Great Health Benefits Unborn Babies Get From DHA and Fish Oil

There's nothing else that a parent would want for their kids than for them to grow healthy and strong. What they may not know, however, is that they can already give themselves such assurance even before their babies are born.

Researchers agree that pregnant women should take fish oil supplements while they're still pregnant-and it's for a variety of reasons:

1. Fish oil can boost the coordination of the eyes and hands of the baby.

A body of a fish is rich with essential oils, which, in turn, contain a very useful acid called DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid. According to studies, DHA can improve and effectively develop fundamental parts of a baby, such as his eyes, hands, and the brain. In fact, it has been inferred that one of the reasons why premature babies are always at risk from brain and eye damage is because their mothers lack DHA in their bodies.

Growing up, fish oil and DHA can improve the coordination of the hands and eyes of the baby tremendously. They have sharp vision and can display exceptional motor skills even as a toddler.

2. Fish oil can help improve the IQ of the child.

Though there isn't any clear evidence that can link IQ with breast-feeding of children, there are still several researchers who believe that breast milk contains substances that cannot be found in any other type of milk, such as from cow or commercial milking brands. They believe that milk coming from mothers contain DHA which can help develop the brain of a baby. This theory is further backed by a research which found its publication in perinatology journal. It states that mothers who consumed liver oil from codfish during 18 weeks of their pregnancy and when they start to breast-feed produce babies with higher IQs.

3. Fish oil can improve the immune system of the baby.

Codfish liver oil can promote efficient immune system for the babies. Mothers who take these supplements while they're still pregnant can minimize the tendency of the child to develop allergies to dust mite and house cat. It also reduces allergic reactions to food. Eczema, which is a common skin disease among infants, is unlikely to occur on babies whose mothers have taken fish oil supplements during their pregnancy.

4. Fish oil promotes healthy nervous system.

Fish oil, which is also rich in Omega-3, is essential when it comes to the development of a child's central nervous system. Thus, if a woman takes in fish oil supplements during their pregnancy, they are reducing the risk of cerebral palsy in their child. It's recommended, though, that this suggestion should be adhered to strictly during the last trimester of their pregnancy because the baby's brain starts to become fully develop by then.

5. Fish oil can allow mothers take care of their babies more effectively.

Indirectly, DHA and fish oil can allow mothers take care of their infants more effectively. Besides reducing the risk of increasing their blood pressure while they're giving birth or, worse, develop preclampsia, which can be very deadly, these important fatty acids can also ease the development of post-natal blues or post-partum depression.

Good Baby Nutrition Starts With the Mommy

Good nutrition shouldn't only be limited to the baby alone. Mothers too should take note of their own health. Fish oil and DHA provides a win-win situation for both the infant and the mother. Thus, make fish eating part of your diet. In fact, you should take in oily fish at least between 2 and 3 times each week. If you're not so keen of eating fish, you can look for a fish oil concentrate. Meanwhile, don't ever forget to include your doctor with your plans. Keep in mind that not all fish oil capsules available are safe. It may help you if you can ask for some recommendations from your physicians. You basically don't want to endanger your baby and yourself, do you?

Signs of Postnatal Depression

They key to finding out when a woman has postnatal depression is, of course, to understand and to recognize the signs of postnatal depression, also known as postpartum depression and when they can occur.

What is postnatal depression, though?

Postnatal depression is a type of clinical depression that can afflict women, after they give birth to their children.

Postpartum depression should be considered as a serious medical illness. It occurs because of the changing hormone levels in a woman after giving birth. The lifestyle changes inevitable after childbirth also contribute significantly.

In most cases, this type of depression can happen within the first few months after a woman has given birth. Women who have undergone either a stillbirth or a miscarriage can also suffer postpartum depression.

Women who are affected with this type of depression can experience a difficult time in their efforts at bonding and caring for their new infant.

In some cases postnatal depression can even worsen to the point that it becomes something known in clinical circles as postnatal psychosis. This is a rare and more extreme type of depression, which could result in the afflicted women potentially hurting herself or her infant.

The symptoms of postpartum depression can actually overlap with something referred to as the Baby Blues, which is a recognised type of depression experienced by women in first days and sometimes weeks after giving birth. The Baby Blues can become postnatal depression when a person suffers the symptoms for an extended amount of time.

Here are the Baby Blues symptoms:

• Mood swings

• Either mild or moderate types of anxiety

• It is usual for sadness to be present

• Unusual irritability

• Lack of ability in either focusing or concentrating on things

• Sleep predicaments like excessive sleep or difficulty in falling asleep

• Crying

• Lack of interest in the baby

Some of the usual postnatal depression symptoms are:

• A loss of appetite

• difficulty in falling asleep

• Irritability

• Loss of sexual and general interest

• Extreme mood swings

• Withdrawal from people they are normally close to

• Inability to bond with new infant

• Thoughts of self-harm or even harming the new infant

There are a whole host of symptoms that a woman experiencing postnatal depression may display. Therefore, there is again the need to be really familiar with these symptoms. Woman and men in Ireland should be aware that postnatal depression is real, and they should be on the lookout for the very real possibility of its onset after childbirth occurs.

Suicide Prevention Ireland provides resources for men and women who are at risk of suicide. Find a range of articles including women and depression, male depression, as well as common stresses, illnesses, and issues, and know that help is at hand.

Pregnant Dwarf Hamster Care and the Four Phases

Caring for a pregnant dwarf hamster is a wonderful thing. It might be hard to imagine, but there are around half a dozen baby dwarf hamsters developing inside of her belly! It's important to take good care of a pregnant dwarf hamster so that she gives birth to the healthiest babies possible. In order to do this, it's important to understand the pregnancy process from start to finish. The entire process can be broken up into four phases, conception, pregnancy, birthing, and baby care.

The first phase in the life of a pregnant dwarf hamster is conception. How does a dwarf hamster get pregnant? By mating of course, and we all know how much hamsters mate, a whole lot. But as a dwarf hamster owner, you should have control over this and be able to prevent any unwanted mating. If you're caring for your dwarf hamsters properly, it's very unlikely that you'll have any unplanned pregnancies. You should only really be getting pregnancies when you plan on breeding. By planning a pregnancy, you control every aspects of it (such as which hamsters mate, how old they are when they mate, etc.) and can ensure the healthiest pregnancy and offspring possible. Unplanned pregnancies result in a less then ideal situations and possibly unhealthy babies so you want to take the steps necessary to prevent them and only have pregnancies that are predetermined.

The next phase in the pregnancy process is the duration of the actual pregnancy, also known as gestation. One question that's often asked is how can you spot a pregnant dwarf hamster? If you are breeding it's best to consider the dwarf hamster pregnant from the time of mating. It is actually hard to spot a pregnant dwarf hamster at first but later into the pregnancy (about 10 days) you'll be able to see changes in certain physical characteristics of the pregnant hamster (such as size). The amazing part about a dwarf hamster pregnancy is how short it is. The gestation period lasts only 16 days. Imagine that! It only takes sixteen days from the time of conception to the time of birth. In this incredibly short time a litter of baby dwarf hamsters are created. Now during the pregnancy you'll of course need to take extra good care of momma hamster. Part of this is feeding her high-protein foods. Near the end of the pregnancy phase, you'll want to begin preparing for the birthing process.

The third phase of a pregnant dwarf hamster is the birthing process. During this period you want to leave your dwarf hamster alone. This also includes the days leading up to the pregnancy. You'll also want to prepare by making sure the hamster home is clean for the birthing. Now when the birthing actually begins there are a few signs that you can look out for to know when it is actually happening. One of these is the hunched position the mom will be in when giving birth. If you catch it, the birthing process is one of the most amazing sights you will see. Now it doesn't matter if the babies come out head first or feet first, some will come out one way and others another way, it is all perfectly natural. After babies are born the pregnancy process is technically over, but I still like to consider baby care the final phase a pregnant dwarf hamster goes through since it is also an important period.

The final phase of the birthing process is caring for the babies. It's important that you are very familiar with how to deal with the babies because, as babies, they need extra special care. In the beginning you need to leave the hamsters alone (and definitely don't touch them). After that we are fully out of the pregnancy process and into a new process of baby-raising. This is when you can start interacting with the babies and they will go through few different stages of growth in which they'll need to be cared for in different ways.

As you can see, a pregnant dwarf hamster goes through a lot. The entire process is very confusing to her and definitely has a major emotional effect on her. If she's a first time mom, this will be truer as she won't know what's going on so remember to take care of her well. The four phases of a pregnant dwarf hamster are conception, gestation, birth, and baby care. Knowing these four phases is important if you wish to care for a pregnant dwarf hammy.

Six Best Sexual Positions to Get Pregnant Fast

What sexual positions are the best to get pregnant fast? Before we take this further it is important to know it is possible to get pregnant in any position. This is because pregnancy always happens when the male sperm meets up with the egg when its traveling to the uterus up to the women fallopian tube. But many couples find it hard to conceive and there can be several reasons behind that, including emotional stress, obesity, drugs and of course low sperm count but what is most important in this process is to get the sperm near the female cervix close as possible.

But some agree that there are sexual positions to get pregnant faster and it makes sense when you think about it that some sexual positions can really make the difference this is because in certain positions the gravity will allow the sperm to leak out. The woman's hips should be positioned also in a way to keep the sperm inside to make more time for the sperm to swim to the female cervix.

Missionary position is always the best because the gravity will assist the sperm to travel to the uterus where the egg will be and it allows the deepest possible penetration and sex position which has the women on her back will also increase the changes of pregnancy.

The spoon position is another sex position that is helpful to get pregnant fast and it is intimate and cozy position to be in this is where the women lie on her side curled in a C and the partner facing your back and curled around you then he enters the vagina from behind while you both are lying on your sides the spoon position will help the sperm to be put in the right place which will increase the change of conceive.

Another choice is the side by side position where you and your lover lie side by side, facing each other this position can be done anywhere. He will then slip his leg over yours and enters you from an angle. You will lie on your back and he on his side. Then you put the legs that are closest to him over his legs and he can enter you from the back side and still have his face close to yours which makes this position to be cozy and intimated.

The doggy style position is one of many favorites and the gravity is the key in this position which will help the sperm to get in the right place but this might not be a comfortable position to remain in for a long time but this position is very popular.

When you are having intercourse put a small pillow under your hips this will help the sperm more easily swim up through the cervix and after sex hold still for around 20-30 minutes this will increase the chances of getting pregnant.

Finally the positions to avoid are woman on top, standing or sitting - this is because it can cause the semen to leak and it may result in fewer sperm counts reaching their way to the egg.