Saturday, June 22, 2013

First Prenatal Check Up Tests You May Need To Take

Prenatal care is necessary in ensuring the overall health and wellness of both mother and child. The first prenatal care visit can be stressful for women because medical practitioners usually collect a lot of data, to make sure that the pregnancy can be as trouble free as possible.

Your medical provider will normally get a detailed medical background from you. That could involve details regarding your menstrual cycle, contraceptive use, allergies, past pregnancies, and other conditions. In order for your medical doctor to effectively handle your pregnancy, it is important that you disclose even sensitive information such as abortion and use of drugs. If you were unable to discuss these with any of your family members, it is easy to request that you talk to your physician in private. The essential thing is to rule out any hazards or potential issues through your pregnancy.

Health care providers conduct a lot of exams to determine that you are not having a high risk pregnancy. Here's a list of the common tests requested by your medical doctor during the initial visit:

Physical Exam - Your doctor will check your blood pressure, height and weight. Aside from determining your all round wellness, your doctor could also particularly evaluate your heart, lung area and breasts.

Pelvic Examination - A Pap smear is done to check for cervical cancer and other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia. A bimanual internal examination is also carried out to ascertain the measurement of the uterus and pelvis. It may lead to a slight discomfort but it is essential in examining for abnormalities in the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Complete Blood Count - This test is performed to determine infection, presence of anemia and to determine clotting ability.

Serologic Test for Syphilis - Syphilis must be treated early in pregnancy to prevent fetal damage. The deformities may vary from bone and tooth deformities to nerve and brain damage.

Blood Typing - It is important due to the fact that pregnant women with bleeding tendencies need to have blood ready in case of emergencies.

Maternal Serum for Alpha-Fetoprotein (MSAFP) - This test is vital in identifying neural tube and abdominal defects in the fetus. It is usually conducted at 16 to 18 weeks of gestation.

Rubella - This test is done to screen for immunity against German measles. A lot of People are immune against rubella because vaccinations are given in their childhood. If you didn't get the vaccine, stay away from individuals with this disease. Although it may be rare, it can result in really serious complications for your baby.

Antibody Titers for Hepatitis B (HBsAg) - This test is applied to screen for Hepatitis B, which may be transmitted to the baby throughout childbirth.

Varicella - This test is used to check for immunity from chickenpox. That test is normally requested for women who have no background of the disease. An exposure during pregnancy may have dangerous effects to the child.

Urinalysis - Health professionals need to test your urine to check for kidney disorder and bladder infections. That test can additionally detect high levels of sugar which may point out to diabetes. Bladder infections are common amongst expecting women, and if kept untreated, it may lead to problems for the child.

Indirect Coombs' Test - It can determine if Rh antibodies are present. An Rh factor is a protein on the surface of the blood cells that trigger an immune system response. If a woman is Rh negative and her spouse is Rh positive, the baby's blood type may not match, and it may result in Rh incompatibility. The incompatibility will set off the mom's body to develop antibodies which may be harmful to the baby. Therefore, an injection of Rh immune globulin (Rhogam) during the 28th week of pregnancy is essential. This injection is additionally given in the instance of bleeding during pregnancy and after delivery of the baby.

HIV Test - This test in pregnancy is optional, but it is recommended because it enables a HIV positive female to start therapy with Zidovudine (AZT). AZT may minimize the chance of the infant developing the disease. Women who possess a history of using intravenous drugs, and who have a number of sex partners are encouraged to undergo testing. It may be a really important but it is by no means mandatory, so females have the right to refuse testing.

Genetic Tests - Your doctor may also order genetic tests to figure out illnesses which can be handed to the child as a consequence of defective genes. Physicians would typically prescribe it depending on your health-related history and ethnic background. People of Mediterranean descent, Blacks, French Canadians and Jews have a greater risk of getting Tay-Sach's disease, sickle cell anemia and thalassemia.

Prenatal care is a really good step in ensuring a very healthy pregnancy.Although the first visit may demand a lot of exams, these are ordered so one can have the very best possible care for the duration of pregnancy. The next prenatal visits may not be as long as the first one however, each visit is equally important. A pregnant woman needs to work closely together with her doctor to guarantee a healthy pregnancy.

Beauty Salons and Services in Baltimore

There are numerous beauty salons and services in Baltimore which are aimed to improve a person's overall health and appearance. They include hair salons, barber shops and beauty shops which offer hair styling, hair cutting and other beauty services. The nail salons offer pedicures, manicures, and foot and hand treatments. Destination and day spas offers a wide range of services for skin care such as facial, anti-aging and skin beautification techniques. The personal care and medical spas offer a wide range of health techniques to improve the appearance, massage centers provides massages and tanning salons offer either spray or UV tanning to impart a beautiful look.

One of the best beauty salons is Zina's Day Spa which is both a salon and a spa and is located in the heart of the Canton Square, a strategic place are of the downtown. It offers a wide range of services such as full hair color service, hair cuts, all skin facial types, Brazilian relaxers, wedding up-do's and styling, sunless tanning, body treatments among others. Zina's Day Spa provides full body massage, hot stone massage, maternity massage, couples massage and spa services for men. It also offers general Spa packages and other Spa packages for males, brides, and couples.

Another salon and day spa is the Studio 921 salon which is located in Fort Avenue, Suite 108 and clients can book for appointment online or walk in and get the services. The services offered include basic hairs cuts and pro hair styling for both men and women, waving and curling, color and highlights, hair straightening, eye brow shaping, hair shampooing plus conditioning, nail care, makeovers, all services and party services for brides and grooms, tanning, facials, skin treatments such as chemical peel, laser, exfoliation among other beauty services.

The Studio 7 Salon is also located in Fort Avenue and customers can obtain services by either making a call or visiting the salon. Services offered include basic hair cuts, makeup, pro hair styling, waxing hair removal, hair texturing, highlights and color, hair cleansing, makeovers and other services for special occasions.

The Nu Look Salon is located in Grove road and clients can either make a call or visit the salon to get the services. The services offered include hair texturing, basic hair cuts, facial grooming and pro hair styling among other services. The Latino American Salon is located in Conkling Street and clients can make a call or visit the salon to obtain the services. They offer services such as ethnic hair styling, pro hair styling, hair texturing, and nail services among others.

Skin Secrets Medical Spa is located in Campbell building and customers are able to obtain the services by only making an appointment. Services offered include anti-aging, facials, microDermabrasion, laser skin treatment, botox, endermologie and chemical peel among others.

Zena's Day Spa located in Charles Street is a full day operation service spa and offers a wide range of services to its customers. The clients can obtain services by either calling to make an appointment or visiting the salon in person. The services offered include hair styling, highlight and color, conditioning treatment, treatment for keratin straightening, male massage, reflexology, therapeutic massage, Swedish massage, full day wedding spas, skin treatments such as acne treatment, mini facial, enzyme facial, aromatherapy facial, body waxing and spa packages among others.

What Is Maternity Insurance?

The plan of starting a family or having a baby is one of the most wonderful and astounding news for a couple or an individual. However, the expenses during pregnancy and child's birth can easily have the parent strapped for cash. Getting out of budget during pregnancy can jeopardize the good health of both the mother and the child. Fortunately, the availability of facilities like maternity insurance can ensure a healthy and safe birth.

The average cost of a natural vaginal child birth is between $5000 and $10000, including all the expenses. But complications like cesarean section, premature births and others can easily skyrocket the cost to $15000. Astounding, isn't it! You will have to pay all of that money from your pocket if you don't have insurance. Besides that this is the time when you are supposed to save money for your child's future schooling and nurturing.

Maternity insurance is insurance for mothers expecting a baby. There are different types, including complete and partial insurance. In complete insurance the fees of hospitalization, physician's appointments, prescriptions, drugs, lab tests, delivery, anesthesia and even cesarean section, in case of complications, are covered. While partial insurance depend on the fund provider, it may only cover hospitalization and physicians fees.

There are health insurance policies that covers maternity expenses as well. These are known as maternity health insurance. Although such insurance is more expensive, it relieves you of the pressure of getting another insurance. Maternity health insurance may also be of different types, including partial and complete.

The third and the best type of such insurance is a group insurance covering all the expenses during pregnancy. Such benefits are offered by employers as employee benefit and are known as EI (Employee insurance). These cover the whole cost of health care of a family. Although, every employer should offer such benefits there are many who don't.

When should you get insured? Well this is something that matters a lot. This is because most of maternity fund providers want you to get insured six months or more, before a pregnancy is detected. For this reason many insurances comes with a waiting period of six months or more, while others demands proofs that you are not pregnant at the time of signing the insurance.

In cases the mother is already pregnant and does not have any insurance yet, there are other plans and offers that might help. Such plans are more expensive but cover about the same expenses. Therefore, it is wise to get insured in hand, because things could get serious without insurance.

Car Travel During Pregnancy

You are pregnant and you are cautious. This does not mean a road trip with your family is out of the question. As long as you have clearance from your doctor, you should be okay to enjoy yourself. Still, it is advisable to remember that traveling during pregnancy does present with its own share of challenges.

If you arm yourself with a few tricks in advance of hitting the open road, you are likely to have a much easier time of it. Some of the things to keep in mind before heading out include:

Consider your route carefully - It is a very good idea to map out a route that affords a lot of rest stops and stretching breaks. While frequent restroom breaks might not be required, it is better to err on the side of caution. Plus, it is very easy to get cramped up and uncomfortable if you do not stop frequently to stretch. Try to avoid long stretches of highway that are barren of gas stations, hotels or restaurants.

Learn to use the seatbelt right - It is much safer to travel with this on rather than off. To wear it correctly during pregnancy, put the lap belt under the baby belly. Going without a seatbelt, even during pregnancy, is illegal in most areas.

Bring snacks and water - It is a good idea to stay well fueled and hydrated during a road trip, especially during pregnancy. Having healthy snacks along can help you resist the urge to stop at fast-food places. This, of course, is always better for the baby. When you do stop for meals, try to choose wisely. Too much junk food on a road trip can make you feel terrible, no matter your condition.

Dress correctly - Long road trips call for comfortable clothes. This is especially so if you are pregnant. Wear comfortable shoes, pants and a loose-fitting shirt.

Avoid sitting too close to the air bags - Unless you absolutely have to in order to drive, scoot your seat back from the air bags as much as you can. Air bags provide built-in safety, but you do need more clearance from them when you are pregnant.

Bring medical information along - It is not a bad idea to have your medical information along with you just in case. Your current prenatal record and insurance card can come in handy if an emergency does arise.

Pace yourself - Traveling while you are pregnant can be a big challenge. Do not expect to make it halfway across the country in a day. Build in time for plenty of rest stops and pace the trip accordingly. This will take stress off you and help you enjoy the ride a whole lot more.

Bring pillows - It is a good idea to have travel pillows along for the ride. You can use these to slightly elevate your feet while you are riding as a passenger. You can also use them to lessen lower back pain if this has become an issue.

Traveling during pregnancy is generally just fine to do. If you plan on going by car, prepare in advance to make the journey more enjoyable.

Overcome Infertility - How to Treat Infertility With Over the Counter Medicine - Guaifenesin

As we mentioned in previous articles, infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It effects over 5 millions couple alone in the U. S. and many times more in the world. Because of an unawareness of treatments, only 10% seeks help from professional specialist.We have spent most of the time in this series discussing the conventional and Chinese medicine in treating fertility. I believe, it is the best time to change the subject by discussing how to treat infertility with over counter medicine-- guaifenesin.

I. Definition
Guaifenesin is also known as glyceryl guaiacolate, it is one of the ingredients found from the over counter medicine syrups and has been used to assist the bringing up of phlegm from the airways in acute respiratory tract infections.

II. How over counter guaifenesin helps to treat infertility
1. Cervical mucus
Some studies show that guaifenesin can improve the rate of pregnancy, because it promotes the secretion of friendly cervical mucus, thus enhancing sperm invasion for egg fertilization. There was a report that some women in their 40 were able to conceive after 6 months of continuing of taking the medicine. In fact, most of the trials have proven that guaifenesin increases the chance of fertility.

2. Analgesic use
Besides helping to normalizing the menstrual cycle by reducing pain during menstruation, guaifenesin also helps to improve nervous tension caused by inflammation, resulting in lessening the risks of nervous disorder, including over active uterine muscles and depression.

3. Anticoagulants
It is said that guaifenesin also decreases the coagulant effects in the arteries that help the blood to get thinner, thereby increasing the blood flow to the reproductive organ, leasing to enhancing the chance of fertility.

III. Risks and side effects
Over dose of guaifenesin may cause
1. Nausea,
2. Vomiting
3. Formation of kidney stones of uric acid

Feeding Tiny Tummies and Picky Preschoolers

There is something I've learned as a mom that being a dietitian couldn't teach cannot force a picky eater to eat! Truly, as a nutrition professional, I thought I could get my oldest to eat whatever I wanted her to eat. I would provide her with only the most nutritious foods and make sure that the others (grandparents) abided by my strict rules. As you can guess, life didn't turn out that way. We played all the games in the world and even made her sit at the table until she decided to eat her dinner, but inevitably it lead to meltdowns and headaches. In the end, we found a balance that worked for her and for us and we now have a preschooler whose nutritional habits far outweigh her knowledge of food.

When feeding young children, it's important to realistically think about how much food they should be eating. As babies reach toddlerhood, their nutritional needs slow down dramatically and food becomes less important for a busy, active toddler. A toddler's stomach is about the size of her little fist. And, most little children only need about 1200 calories each day. Like all aspects of nutrition, we have focused on super-sized portions and force these habits on our children. A serving of food for a child in this age group, is 1 tablespoon, per age. So, a three-year old would need 3 tablespoons of vegetables at dinner. By incorporating more realistic visions of how much your child should be eating, this should help to ease frazzled parents.

If you have a child like my daughter, who is very picky, mealtime can be a stressful situation. The first step to getting a picky preschooler to eat her veggies (or any food for that matter) is to relax! It's important as parents not to make food an issue at any age. If you grew up in a house that had parents who were strong enforcers of the "clean-plate club", than it's time to scrap those games. Studies have shown that when we bribe kids to eat certain foods, they begin to like those foods less and less. We want to raise kids who have zest for trying new foods and experimenting with different tastes and textures. Remind yourself that many of these little ones are just asserting their independence. Most kids will begin to "catch-up" with good eating as they get older. It is also important to be a good role model for your kids during these years. If they see you eating healthful foods, than they too will be more likely to try new things.

Another helpful suggestion is to be mindful of what your child is eating during the day. If she is filling up on fishy crackers and apple juice, that may be the answer to the hunger strikes at mealtime. My kids love to snack and would do so all throughout the day if I let them. It is important for a child to have planned snack times, but limit what is offered and make those snacks count as nutrition power-house foods. Cheese and crackers, peanut butter on apple slices, a pita and turkey wrap are all good choices. And, limit the amount of juice your child is getting to 6-ounces a day. A whole orange or apple has less calories and sugar and has more vitamins and fiber than its juice counterpart. Make healthy snack food accessible. If you have a pantry, place a basket on a low shelf with healthy snacks, and do the same in the refrigerator so little kids can pick and choose healthy options. As always, if you are concerned about your child's nutrition, talk to your pediatrician or a registered dietitian.

It's also important for toddlers and preschooler to have fun with their food and be involved in the process. Take little ones to the grocery store and have them help choose healthy food options. Give your child her own grocery list with pictures of the foods to pick. The grocery store is also a great place to teach children about numbers, colors and shapes. Little kids also love to help in the kitchen, so have your little chef plan and prepare a meal with help from mom or dad. Another fun family activity is to plant a vegetable garden. This is a great way to teach kids how plants evolve into food. The responsibility of a garden is a good way to show children how to reap the benefits of something when you take good care of it. If you don't have a lot of extra space, plant tomato plants in pots on your porch.

Lastly, make food fun for everyone. Give silly names to healthy foods, like apple moons, cheese blocks, avocado boats, and banana wheels. Use skewers for fruit and cheese or turn yogurt and fruit into a cool smoothie. When in doubt, serve it with dips. Children love to dip foods into ranch dressing, salsa, ketchup, or low-fat cream cheese. Instead of sneaky tactics and forceful meals, make food fun for everyone and teach good nutrition during these important years.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Health Insurance - Celtic

Celtic Health Insurance Company is one of the companies that specialize in affordable private individual health care plans that fit offer top notch benefits to fit a wide variety of needs. The availability of affordable health care plans that provide needed protection against medical costs associated with illness or injury is important to consumers everywhere. Insurance is necessary to help offset the rising costs of medical care today. By covering individuals and families against financial ruin because of medical care costs, Celtic Insurance Company is doing their part to ease the burden of the ever rising costs of health care.

insurance is something nobody should gamble and go without these days, for one serious illness or accident that results in injury can compromise the financial budget for a long time to come. With adequate health insurance, such as plans from Celtic, there is help for medical costs and therefore peace of mind from day to day in knowing that things are taken care of. Most insurance companies have plans from basic to comprehensive that will cover a variety of medical costs. Some plans even cover quite a few preventative services such as wellness doctor visits as well as hearing and vision screenings.

Celtic Health Insurance Company strives to provide their customers and prospective customers with cost effective health care plans that fit the customers' needs. By listening to what consumers are saying is needed in the health insurance coverage world, Celtic is learning how to better serve clients everywhere with varying needs. The inclusion of many doctors and a variety of health care professionals ensures that each customer can find the medical care needed at an affordable rate.

Quality health insurance plans like the ones offered by the Celtic insurance company cover doctor visits, both wellness and sick visits, hospital stays, maternity care for both prenatal and postnatal needs as well as baby care, screenings such as hearing and vision tests, and the list goes on. Covering the day to day medical needs of consumers is what they do at Celtic. By providing good health insurance plans and peace of mind along with it, Celtic helps to boost the quality of life for consumers everywhere. In the event of serious illness or injury, the insured person does not have to stress over the medical bills but can instead focus on getting well and returning to full and optimal care.

If you need assistance in locating certain coverages please feel free to visit our website at and leave your contact information so we may respond to your request.

Pregnancy and Bed Rest: How Will It Help?

So, you've recently been informed by your doctor that you've been experiencing pregnancy complications and need to be put on immediate bed rest, but I'm here to tell you not to fret young mother. Pregnant women are put on bed rest all the time, and have been since the beginning of time. Consider yourself lucky that you're not living in the 1800s!

In an effort to clear up any misconceptions, concerns, or questions that you may have about your pregnancy complications, I've put together this little FAQ for you.

Q: Why was I put on bed rest?

A: Unfortunately, there are several reasons why your doctor might prescribe a nice, lengthy, stay in bed when you're pregnant. Rest assured, however, that all reasons are sound and will ensure you a healthy pregnancy.

Here are some of the complications that lead to bed rest:

繚 Premature Labor

繚 Vaginal Bleeding

繚 High Blood Pressure

繚 Gestational Diabetes

繚 Multiples

繚 History of Miscarriages

繚 Poor Fetal Development

繚 Placental Issues

繚 Cervical Incompetence

Q: Will being put on bed rest really help my pregnancy complications?

A: Absolutely; it's essential to ensure the normalization of whatever is currently going wrong. When you're stressed, straining yourself with work, or participating in activities that exert you, you're changing physical attributes of your body that might provoke unwanted side effects during pregnancy. Being pregnant, alone, is already a huge strain on your body.

Q: Should I be resting in any particular position?

A: Possibly. This is a question to bring up to your health care provider as your situation may dictate that you maintain a certain position while on bed rest. The best resting position is the "side-lying" position and definitely not on your back. Lying on your left side is optimal and best for circulation for you and baby. But you can also lie on your right side too.

Q: Bed rest sounds really uncomfortable; how do I best deal with that?

A: There are plenty of ways to soothe the sore muscles and aching joints that tend to accompany bed rest; however, you must be sure to clear anything and everything with your doctor.

Once you have the green light, here are a few things you can try:

繚 Change from side to side often; alleviate pressure and stimulate muscles

繚 Squeeze a stress ball!

繚 Turn your arms and feet in circles; get the blood moving

繚 Tighten muscles, then release; repeat

繚 Take an occasional warm bath in Epsom salts.

Through all exercises, be sure to avoid using your abdominal muscles, and again, please check with your doctor before trying any of these!

Q: What is the most important thing for me to do when I discover I'm going on bed rest?

A: In my opinion, the best thing that you can do for yourself is find out exactly what your limitations are. This is a conversation to be had with your doctor and you want to make sure you ask a lot of questions. You don't want to be doing less than you're able to do, and you certainly don't want to do more than you should be doing.

Here's a starter list of activities to ask your doctor about:

繚 Am I able to cook?

繚 Can I take care of light chores?

繚 Am I able to go for a walk?

繚 How should I handle bathing and showering?

繚 Can I drive?

繚 What forms of exercise can I perform?

繚 Am I able to have sexual intercourse?

Q: How will I ever survive the boredom of being stuck in bed all day?!

A: While I know it seems daunting, boring, and miserable, I'm here to tell you that bed rest can actually be a lot of fun! You can get a ton accomplished that I'm sure you haven't even considered yet.

Here are some great ideas for making the best of your pregnancy complications:

繚 Connect with Friends

繚 Create a Blog

繚 Make Baby Preparations

繚 Pack a Hospital Bag for the Big Day

繚 Make Medical Preparations

繚 Establish a Routine

繚 Catch Up on Organization

繚 Research Parenting

繚 Become a Tweeter

繚 Take a childbirth class online

Being pregnant shouldn't be an energy draining hassle; research as many ways as possible to make the best of your pregnancy complications!

10 Tips to Help You Get Pregnant Fast

Listed below are 10 easy tips to show you how to get pregnant. Chances are you are already doing a few of them but hopefully the list has some tips you have not thought of or tried before.

How to get pregnant tip #1: Use a fertility monitor. A device like the Clearblue Easy fertility monitor can be a big help in trying to get pregnant. It gives a very pinpoint idea of what day is the best day for intercourse. The drawback is cost. The Clearblue Easy can be expensive and the daily test sticks are not cheap either.

How to get pregnant tip #2: Make your man excited. Often time's couples turn the pregnancy pursuit into a scientific process rather than hot and steamy sex. If the man feels like its "work" his ejaculation will be far less than if he feels like he is superman. Ask him what his fantasies are, initiate sex, and seduce him. The more you can arouse him before sex the more he will ejaculate and the higher your chances are.

Tip #3: Exercise, The chances of conceiving are much higher if both of you are getting regular exercise. Even if it is just a daily walk do your best to get in shape. You will need the extra energy when the baby comes anyway.

How to get pregnant tip #4: Eat right. It goes without saying a good diet tells your body that life is good and it should reproduce.

How to get pregnant tip #5: Then man should avoid excessive drinking. Alcohol reduces the body ability to create sperm.

How to get pregnant tip #6: Get a preconception check up from your doctor. Both of you! I recommend that the man get a semen analysis as early as possible. Low sperm count is easy to fix and you might as well catch it early and address the issue if there is one.

Tip #7: Give it a rest. If you try too often you are just going to use up his ability to fertilize you. Give it a little time in between try's, maybe every other day and make sure you get him as excited as you can before hand.

How to get pregnant tip #8: Don't pick a position. The key is to enjoy yourself so don't commit to a certain position that you think will work best, just have fun.

How to get pregnant tip #9: Lay flat after sex. The woman should lay flat and relax for a few minutes after sex.

How to get pregnant tip #10: De-Stress if you are stressed you body will put the breaks on, so relax have fun and de-stress whatever way you can.

The Adrenal Glands and Your Mental Health

Hormones are major links in the mind body connection. They are chemical the chemical messengers that can turn on and off a variety of genes in every cell in your body-including your brain! All known hormonal imbalances may manifest as psychiatric disorders, such as depression, mania, anxiety, ADD, memory disturbances, dementia and even psychosis. On the other hand, bearing the burden of any of these disorders, over time, will affect your hormonal function as well. Hormonal imbalances also mimic the side effects of anti-depressants by causing weight gain, brain fog, sexual problems, and depleted energy levels. It is clear then, that hormonal problems go hand-in-hand with depression, and sorting out "hormone triggered" depression from clinical depression is not always easy. Most patients have a mixture of the two. For this reason, in the practice of Whole Psychiatry, a detailed assessment of the hormonal systems should be a routine part of every psychiatric evaluation.

A hormone called cortisol (made by your adrenal gland) is part of the body's shock absorber system. We all drive down the road of life. and we hit real or imagined pot holes. If our shock absorbers are functioning well, its like we are driving a Cadillac. We feel the pothole, but only briefly and then we make a quick recovery. If we have poor shock absorbers, we feel like we are driving an old pick-up truck over a dirt road. We hit a pot hole, are stunned by it, and may even veer off the road.

What determines how our shock absorbers work? Some of it is genetic, and some of it is set by the time we are 11 or 12 weeks of age! In addition, chronic stress, nutritional and chemical factors, social environments, attitudes, perceived sense of control, spiritual orientation, and interpretation of the meaning of events play an important role.

Your body's glands take their cues from your brain. When an event is perceived, a meaning is assigned to the event, and a hormonal response appropriate to the assigned meaning occurs. Thus your brain determines the exact timing and amount of cortisol that is released into your blood stream: too much cortisol at night, and you can't fall sleep, too little cortisol in the morning, and you can barely peel yourself out of bed!

By the same token, your brain then gets a message from your adrenal glands via the cortisol in your blood stream, which provides a status update on hormone production and release. The constant relay of information between your brain and your adrenal glands keeps your brain, immune system and stress response functioning normally.

But this system's equilibrium can be upset when you take a blow from, say, depression, manic depression, anxiety, chronic stress (such as a divorce or chronic illness), chronic pain, or recurrent bouts of low blood sugar. In fact any of a number of hormonal imbalances (e.g., adrenal, thyroid, reproductive hormones) are one of the major reasons that many anti-depressant treatments don't work, or why patients with bipolar disorder are not stabilized.

In summary, if you have a mood disorder, check into your hormonal status, looking at adrenal function, thyroid function (check a TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, body temperature), blood sugar regulation, reproductive hormones, and melatonin.

Give the wide variety and effect of pesticides and hormone interrupters in our world, I strongly advocate for organically grown foods. Aside from the superior nutritional content, and health benefits seen in experimental animals, there is growing concern that the chemicals we accept in our environment cause significant hormonal problems in the population at large, by mimicking or blocking the functions of our own hormonal systems.

Right Diet During Pregnancy

It is very essential to eat the right food at the right time. One needs to eat nutritious food too at this time. Everything you eat should have some good food value. One should eat for two but not twice as much. The body takes the nutrients it requires, regardless of whether you have enough or not.

The food you need to take should be rich in iron, calcium and proteins. Body needs iron for the formation of baby's blood. Then it takes calcium from mother's body to form baby's bones and teeth. Iron is present in green leafy vegetables. You may keep pudhina and dhania chutney handy, just make small quantity and store in a bottle in refrigerator. Two spoon of chutney meet a good part of your daily iron requirement. Iron is present in kishmish or raisins. It is present in gur or jiggery, powdered brown sugar, soyabean, kabuli channa, kala channa, whole Bengal gram, horse gram, rajma, green gram and sprouted moong are rich in both iron and calcium.

If you don't sieve the atta or flour before making chapattis you will get iron from it. Calcium is there in milk and milk products. You must drink three glasses of milk in a day. You can have milk in whichever form you like - curry made curd, cheese, paneer, custard, lassi etc. Eggs and lemons are good source of calcium. Lack of calcium will make you weak. It can also cause severe backache. It is a good idea to take a cup of hot milk before you sleep.

Protein is the body's building material. You need protein to build baby's body and it is also needed for the maintenance of your body too. If you eat pulses, dals and an egg a day you get enough proteins. If you are a pure vegetarian and do not eat eggs, you can have dals which is a very good source of protein. For non vegetarian who eat meat at least thrice a week the protein intake is adequate. Nuts like peanuts or moong phalli, almonds or badams, cashewnuts or kaju are also good source of protein. Channa, channa dal or roasted channa is also very good source of protein. You can keep channas mixed with jiggery to eat when hungry. Channa will provide you protein and jaggery will provide you iron. In this period of time you must take a good care of yourself.

Give Birth a Chance

In our culture, birth is unfortunately presented as a scary illness where something can go wrong at any second. If you buy that then you should know that many elderly people die on the toilet due to straining while, well, you know why people strain on the toilet. (This is a result of stimulating the vagus nerve, which causes a big drop in heart rate; not so good if you've got a bad ticker). Why then are people over the age of 65 not strongly advised to go to the hospital or their clinic whenever they have to poo? Because it's ridiculous, that's why. Because it's a normal, natural process...

I firmly believe that healthy pregnant women have the right to have their babies at home or in birth centers attended by midwives. Why is that? This is how they do it in many other areas of the world. But just because everyone else does something doesn't mean we should follow suit, right? Wrong. The United States has higher fetal and maternal death rates than some third world countries and since only 1% of babies are born at home, one can only deduce that this is happening in the hospital. How can this be when we have so much wonderful technology available? It's that technology that gets us in trouble. Women are no longer taught to trust their bodies. We are given the message that we need a machine to tell us when we have contractions or when the baby is ready to come out. Trust me, you know.

Continuous electronic fetal monitoring keeps women strapped to the bed when the only conclusion that has come from numerous studies is that EFM leads to many unnecessary c-sections. Not to mention the fact that all these wires keep women stuck in bed to labor on their backs, which is the MOST uncomfortable position to have your baby in. The only worse position would be to do it upside down. However, if someone were able to profit from it, I'm sure it would be suggested that women give birth that way.

There are other reasons for our terrible statistics: hospital-acquired infections, inducing too early, induction period that causes way too much stress on the baby with harder and faster contractions. Using Cytotec, an ulcer drug used to soften the cervix that has been proven to rupture a woman's uterus and cause fetal death. This of course leads to more epidurals earlier in labor, which leads to exhaustion and higher vacuum and forceps use and c-sections. Not to mention the fact that women aren't allowed to eat when they are about to face the most grueling work their bodies can do. Would you set off on a cross-country road trip on an empty tank of gas? Didn't think so. This used to be done to prevent women from aspirating during surgery but today most women are awake during a c-section and fully aware of when they will be sick.

The domino effect of medical intervention is staggering considering that most of them are completely unnecessary. Birth is a normal, natural process. Women have historically tended to other women during labor and birth. It wasn't until male practitioners came along that everything took a turn for the worse. Don't get me wrong. Doctors are great. Women with high-risk pregnancies need those doctors and the technologies that the hospitals provide. But most women aren't high risk. And the ones that are told they are should really do their research and be fully educated on the reasons for their high-risk classification before they take anyone's word for it. A woman has the right to decide how she wants her birth to go. We need to throw the fear out the window and give birth a chance.

Resources include: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin. Misconceptions, by Naomi Wolf and The Business of Being Born, produced by Ricki Lake and directed by Abby Epstein.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

IVF Loans - Save Your Credit Score With Supplemental Insurance

If you are considering taking out a loan to pay for your IVF treatments consider using a portion of your financing to purchase supplemental insurance. Not only will you protect your credit score, but you will gain peace of mind and some extra income to enjoy bonding with your baby.

Many couples find themselves in a tough spot: In Vitro Fertilization gives them the best chance of finally having that baby, but their health insurance will not cover the treatments. Many of these couples don't have a large enough nest-egg built up to cover the costs of IVF treatments - so they borrow money and hope to pay it back over time. Some couples can find financing specifically for IVF, while others use credit cards or borrow against the equity in their home.

Dangerous Gamble

Borrowing money to pay for IVF treatments is a dangerous gamble for many couples. The added expense of the IVF treatments is often just the tip of the iceberg. What many fail to consider is that finances can change dramatically when In Vitro Fertilization works: you conceive and deliver a baby.

Getting pregnant and having a baby adds extra expenses for food, clothing, furniture and more. Plus, there is mom's lost income to take into account. At minimum she may be losing six weeks of income for her normal labor and delivery.

What should be a happy time sometimes works out the opposite: mom experiences pregnancy complications, or the baby is born premature and spends weeks in the hospital. Sometimes this translates into months of lost income for mom's disability, and then an extended family leave to care for your infant at home.

When this happens the regular bills start piling up, and then the extra loan payments start to kick in - just when you are taking a big income hit. Your credit score starts to plummet making it more difficult to find additional financing.

Supplemental Insurance Protects Financing

Use some of your loan proceeds to fund the purchase of supplemental insurance before starting IVF. Your benefit for normal delivery may greatly exceed the premium you pay helping you offset your IVF costs.

Plus you are also covered in case of pregnancy complications and premature birth giving you the financial freedom to get healthy without worrying about your bills and your credit score.

Understanding Teenage Pregnancy

Over half a million teens become parents every year in America. Teen parents can range in age from as young as 12 years old to 19 years old. Teen pregnancy constitutes 20% of all unplanned pregnancy every year. And despite the massive campaigns carried out by the government and various health and social groups, more and more teenagers have become "unexpected" parents.

When teens become parents it is critical to their well-being that they find adequate resources to support their emotional, educational, parental development. The most important factor to consider is that you are now responsible for both your life and your child's life. Your awareness of this two-fold responsibility will improve the likelihood that you and your child will experience a better quality of life.

One barrier young parents face to improving their quality of life is not having access to the resources they need to support their emotional, physical, and mental growth and development.

Many teen parents experience feeling of shame and regret after they discover that they are pregnant. Some experience isolation from their friends and resentment for the loss of their teenage lifestyle. It is also very common for teen parents to feel afraid and alone. You must remember however that while your feelings are valid they may not be healthy for you or your baby.

Teenage mothers who don't get support from their former partners and family are less likely to finish their college education. Statistics also show that only 38% of teenage mothers are able to finish high school and only 2% graduate from college. Further, it can be predicted that a child born of a teenage mother is more likely to live poorer when they become adults and continue the same cycle.

However asking for support and researching resources can help teen parents turn these statistics around. Your parents are a great source of support. Your parents can give you advice on how to care for your baby during and after pregnancy. Your parents can also share some of the financial burden of becoming a teen parent by allowing you to continue living at home.

A high school guidance counselor can help teen parents process the feelings and stress that will arise during pregnancy and after the baby is born. In addition, there are several books that discuss best parenting practices. These books can provide teen parents with a wide range of solutions on how to discipline, feed, and raise a child.

The final point is that there are authoritative resources like HelpTeenParents that provide resources for teen fathers and mothers to get the information they need to build a better life for themselves and their children. Teens should be well informed about the outcomes of their actions and web resources can do a better job of helping teens to understand what to expect when they are expecting a baby.

Natural Ways to Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn is considered as the most common complaint of pregnant women. The severity of the condition may vary from one individual to another, and some may experience symptoms of the condition while others do not. The condition is due to the pressure put on the stomach by the growing child inside the mother's womb, thus causing the lower esophageal sphincter to fail to function properly.

Aside from that, there are other reasons that can also trigger the condition, such as indigestion, relaxed esophageal sphincter or increased progesterone level in the body. However, heartburn during pregnancy can be easily controlled using some natural remedies and OTC medications, as well as prescription medications. Most pregnant opt for natural remedies, as it does not come with any side effects. These remedies may include the following:

* One of the most recommended home remedy that pregnant women can opt for when dealing with heartburn are dietary changes. Pregnant women should avoid the consumption of greasy or spicy foods, as these can aggravate heartburn conditions. Following a heartburn diet is highly recommended and this includes the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grain products. These types of foods can be easily digestion or help improve the process of digestion. Consumption of smaller meals instead of larger ones is also advised to prevent indigestion.

* Consuming lots of water other fluids, such as fruit juices or cold milk, can also help provide relief against the symptoms of the condition. These types of fluids can help neutralize the gastric acids in the stomach, thus relieving heartburn conditions.

* Another effective remedy for the condition in pregnant women is to chew mint leaves, drink chamomile tea or asafetida tablets. These are helpful in improving digestion and in relieving the symptoms of condition during pregnancy.

* Drinking aloe vera juice at least three times a day can also help relieve the condition in pregnant women. Aloe vera juice can provide the stomach a soothing effect and reduce its acidity.

* Yogurt can provide the body with sufficient amount of probiotic cultures, which is effective in neutralizing the amount of acid in the stomach and in relieving heartburn symptoms in women.

* Drinking warm milk or water with honey is also helpful against the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy.

* A few OTC antacids can also be opted for against the condition. However, before opting for any kind of medication, make sure that a health care professional is consulted first to make sure that it is safe for you.

* Aside from the remedies mentioned above, maintaining proper posture while sleeping, doing mild exercises and going for a walk after eating can also help prevent heartburn attacks from recurring.

These are just some of the remedies available for pregnant women against heartburn. In case the symptoms of the condition persists even after trying the remedies mentioned above, it would be best to consult a physician or a gynecologist for the proper diagnosis of the condition and to obtain relief against it. Take note that pregnant women should not experience such conditions during the course of pregnancy, as it may not be good for her. That is why it should be avoided as much as possible.

Pregnancy - Should You Switch Health Care Providers?

There are a variety of reasons for women to change health care providers during pregnancy. Maybe you got pregnant and just continued to see the gynecologist that you have seen for years. Maybe you went with a recommendation from your sister or best friend. Maybe your philosophy of birth has changed and your current doctor doesn't seem like a good fit. For whatever reason, women sometimes opt to make a switch at some point in the pregnancy.

Reasons to Switch:

For most women, the decision to switch comes after getting to know the doctor and realizing that they just aren't compatible. This may come during routine conversations or in the answers to questions you may ask. For example, if you want to avoid an episiotomy and the doctor goes on a diatribe about how they are needed and all his patients get them with no problem; this may set off warning bells. The catalyst can be any of a myriad of situations.

When you write a birth plan, you will likely review it with your health care provider. If she is not receptive to many of the things that you have listed and you are unwilling to compromise, it may be time to change. For many women, the discussion about the birth plan is a key time in care and can make or break the relationship. In the end, it is your body and your birth, so find a provider that will work with you as a partner and respect your opinions.

In some cases, the problem is just a difference in personalities. We don't click with every person in our lives and health care professionals are no exception. This doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the provider, just that you are not compatible. It's important for you to feel comfortable with your doctor or midwife.

When to Switch Providers:

Ideally, the earlier in your pregnancy you make the switch, the better. The new doctor or midwife will have more time to get to know you and your history. You will have more time to get to know the doctor and will feel more comfortable as labor approaches. However, there may be circumstances that require a later change. In this case, you can really change providers at any time.

When selecting a new provider, choose carefully. You really won't want to change more than once during your pregnancy. Ask friends and family members who have a similar philosophy of child birth for a recommendation. This is important because if you have vastly different philosophies, her doctor may not be the best choice for your pregnancy. For example, if you want a natural birth with a minimum of interventions and she loves her doctor and was happy with her epidural, episiotomy and pitocin, the two of you may have very different ideas about excellent care in pregnancy.

Narrow the list down to two or three providers and proceed as you would when choosing any doctor. Make an appointment to speak to the doctor or midwife. Bring along a copy of your birth plan and ask questions specific to your plan. This will help you get a feel for how compatible this doctor is with your plans. Does he dismiss your plan or does he seem willing to be a real partner in executing the plan, barring any unforeseen complications?

Pregnancy Planning Checklist - The Road To A Healthy Motherhood

When you are planning a pregnancy, you should consider a pregnancy planning checklist and at the same time consult a physician to ensure safe pregnancy. This is one of the most important phases of every woman's life. It is the endeavor of every parent to provide the best environment and facilities to their children. This same sentiment should drive us to excel during the phase of pregnancy.

Some Tips On Pregnancy Planning

  • Pregnancy planning checklist starts with a visit to a physician to pass the elementary tests to prove your fitness for motherhood and fatherhood. These tests help you to know if you have some weakness in your body, which is a hindrance in the development of the fetus. The physician will help you to regain a healthy body if you have had any history of illness, if you were using birth control pills, if you have low sperm count or if you have any deformity in your reproductive organs. Inform your doctor if you have had contact with teratogens. Your doctor will inform you if you need genetic counseling. It is required if you are in close relation to each other or if the woman is more than 35 years old. There are some other reasons as well.

  • Visit a dentist to ensure that both of you have fine teeth.

  • You should always make love when the woman is most fertile. Make a chart of your menstruation cycle and find out the ovulation period. The ovulation periods of every woman starts from the 14th day once the menstruation period is over. Usually, conception is much easier during this period. Else, you have to take a fertility test.

  • This is an important point of pregnancy planning checklist. The woman who desires to become a mother should start taking multi vitamins pills and folic acid. Women who do not have a healthy body should take more doses of folic acid. Folic acid removes the defects of the pregnancy and helps in the formation of skull and brain of the baby. Calcium should also become a part of your daily diet. Calcium is necessary do develop strong bones for the body of the baby. Your daily intake should include green leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts, juices and milk, milk products and fortified cereals. Avoid uncooked or grilled food and fish rich in mercury. Also, avoid red meat and junk food.

  • Physically fit and healthy parents give birth to healthy babies. All the rest just give birth to babies. Try to gain proper weight if you are under weight or over weight. Follow a fixed routine of exercise and abstain from smoking and alcohol, both are harmful to healthy growth of baby.

  • If you are working in an environment, which is risky, then consider changing your work or take a long leave from work to avert any mishap in your pregnancy. Avoid taking any medicines or herbs on the advice of unrecognized practitioner lest you jeopardize your pregnancy.

  • Plan your finances so that you do not feel the pinch of money at the nick of time in case of any emergency. Consider all options; always add some more money for contingencies. This should top your pregnancy planning checklist. A health insurance cover can provide you relief if you have planned your pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy is the period when every woman should enjoy her womanhood. Give a lot of room to yourself. Indulge in doing what you have dreamt to do the most. Read books, decorate your room and house, find time for some meditation, listen to music, watch TV, be close to nature, go for morning and evening walks, in a garden if possible, the works. These items should be the top agenda on the pregnancy planning checklist of every woman.

    Control Weight Gain During Pregnancy - 12 Tips to Help Expecting Mothers Look Great

    Are you trying to find the answers to control weight gain during pregnancy? It is possible to look great during pregnancy and quickly lose your baby weight after your child is born.

    Weight gain is a good thing

    Remember that for a healthy and safe baby and pregnancy, weight gain is natural and necessary. Our culture is so bent on weight loss that even pregnant women are sometimes mistakenly swayed to think that they shouldn't put on weight at all. This can be dangerous so you need to be informed on all matters relating to pregnancy.

    Tips on how to control weight gain during pregnancy

    Knowing what to do in advance will prevent pregnant mothers from putting on excess weight so prevention is key.

    Here are some tips on how to manage your weight:

    1. find and follow a healthy diet and exercise program

    2. get a list of high-nutrition foods

    3. know which foods to avoid

    4. avoid fast food restaurants

    5. learn how to eat sensibly at regular restaurants

    6. resign yourself to eating low-fat only

    7. eat moderately

    8. manage cravings

    9. eat only healthy snacks

    10. weigh yourself regularly

    11. be aware of your ideal weight for your height and build

    12. be under a doctor's supervision

    These are by no means all you need to know to safely control weight gain during pregnancy. You'll need details and creative ideas to help you. The answer?

    Find a healthy eating and exercise program

    You already know that eating healthily is vital, but do not overlook the importance of exercise. It's essential that you know what moderate exercise entails and that you get in the habit of getting physical exercise suitable for pregnancy.

    Connect with a good eating and exercise program designed for pregnancy that will provide you with all the info you need to direct you. What do you do? Make it your goal to go online and find a good resource guide or website that comes highly recommended and rated with sound ideas, tips and techniques in knowing how to manage your weight during pregnancy.

    The advantage of joining a program

    You will be given ready-made diets and easy-to- follow daily exercises to keep you on track and healthy. This will positively take away any excuse to not do what it takes to keep well naturally, without any complications or accompanying medical conditions, and with the best happily-ever-after story: a safe delivery for both mother and child.

    Best of all, you'll now know the steps to control weight gain during pregnancy.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    Can IVF Help Me Get Pregnant?

    No matter what sort of fertility problems you've been diagnosed with, like many couples, you may be considering IVF. Help from this highly technical procedure has been shown to increase the odds of pregnancy for a variety of fertility problems. Here are just a few ideas of how it can help you become pregnant sooner than you thought possible.

    Female Factor Problems
    Some of the most common female infertility problems include tubal blockage or removal, lack of quality eggs to fertilize, PCOS, and endometriosis. All of these problems severely limit your odds of getting pregnant naturally, and some may even totally preclude a natural pregnancy. Another problem that is becoming more common is simply maternal age, but if you're trying to conceive over the age of thirty-five, IVF can more than likely help out.

    There are a couple of reasons that IVF can help bypass some of these issues. Many of them, such as PCOS and low quality eggs are actually solved in part by the medications that go along with IVF. You see, when you start a round of IVF, you'll be given several types of medications and some hormones that will increase the number of eggs that you produce as well as their quality, more often than not. This simply means that there are more eggs to become fertilized than you would naturally have.

    IVF can also bypass tubal problems because it totally skips the tubes. Normally, an egg is fertilized in the fallopian tubes on its way to the uterus. So, if the fallopian tubes are blocked, the egg simply dissolves, unfertilized, or maybe ends up in a dangerous ectopic pregnancy. With IVF, though, the eggs are taken directly from the ovaries and inserted into the uterus as fertilized embryos, making the problem of tubal blockage practically disappear.

    Male Factor Infertility
    Infertility that is a problem with the male is common, to, especially issues with things like low sperm count and low motility. Sometimes this creates an issue of the sperm simply being unable to get to the egg, so IVF can definitely help with that. Basically, the eggs will be harvested, and then the male will donate sperm, either through the natural process of ejaculation or, if problems are more severe, through extraction. The sperm are washed to weed out the weaker ones, and then they are combined with the eggs to fertilize them. By the time the eggs are inserted into the womb, they are already embryos ready to grow into healthy babies.

    If male factor infertility problems are very bad, there is an added procedure called ICSI that can help overcome these problems. During this delicate procedure, sperm are individually inserted into eggs, so there is no chance of eggs going unfertilized, even if sperm count is particularly low.

    Unexplained Infertility
    This is probably one of the most heartbreaking of infertility problems because no one knows just how to fix what can't be explained in the first place. However, IVF has very good success rates for couples who have infertility that just can't be pinned down. Sometimes in the process of IVF, you'll find out what the problem actually is. Other times, you'll simply overcome the problem without ever figuring out what its cause was!

    Review of the DreamGenii Maternity Support Pillow

    The DreamGenii maternity support pillow sells for around 瞿45, so it's not the cheapest pillow around, but if you're pregnant and having restless nights you're probably willing to spend many times the amount if it gives you a comfortable night's sleep. So, how does the DreamGenii pillow compare?

    The pillow is designed to provide support starting from the second trimester onwards. The unusual shape is one of the first things you'll notice. The pillows are designed to support your knees, tummy and back all in one without taking over the whole bed. It should be noted that the layout encourages you to sleep on your left side (in what is known as the recovery position). This position can encourage your baby to get into the preferred position for birth. DreamGenii does state that this pillow is OK if you sleep on your right hand side.

    Considering that the product won Practical Parenting Best Buy and Pregnancy Product of the year 2007/08 hopes are high for this pillow.

    Reviews from pregnant mums are generally positive. The product averages four stars on


    The pillow has some good reviews here, and a number of people have commented that the stitches tend to hold together well even when being used over a few months. Of concern though, there a more than a couple of reports of the fabric tearing or coming apart, so in this respect the product may need extra care. If you opt for the fleecy cover this can help protect the product further whilst providing additional warmth for you.


    The two main areas a maternity pillow should address are supporting your bump and improving back pain. The improvement in back pain has been well noted across a range of mums so it appears to meet expectations here.

    This pillow does an adequate job of bearing the weight of the bump, which is the overriding purchase factor for most women.

    It is also sold as helping to prevent mothers rolling onto their backs. Here, experiences have varied with some mums commenting that it hasn't prevented them rolling over to their back, in part due to the pillow being a little soft. However, even where this is the case it does seem to have assisted with comfort and, in some cases, breathing.

    One shortcoming that does appear is with the leg support. The stuffing itself is not quite firm enough, not always producing enough support. Furthermore, failings in this department appear to be more noticeable with taller women, as this element of the pillow simply is too short. Some women have started placing another pillow between their ankles.

    As an alternative for separate pillows, the DreamGenii maternity pillows does appear to be an improvement. Many users are happy with the purchase, and as pregnancy pillows go it appears to be one of the better thought out makes. It isn't perfect though, and it may not be entirely suitable for the taller women; much does depend on your personal requirements and body shape, so overall all things considered it appears to be a reasonable product for the amount it costs, but investigate the competition prior to purchase.

    Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction - SPD

    Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, often referred to as SPD for short, is a pain in the ar*e. Well actually it is a pain in the groin, hips, back, stomach and ar*e. It is caused during pregnancy by the production in the body of the hormone Relaxin which softens the ligaments in your pelvis in order to make your baby's passage through your pelvis as easy as possible. Although it is unsure why, some women produce too much of this hormone. This causes the ligaments to soften too much which allows for increased movement in the pelvis. This can lead to a great deal of pain and discomfort.


    * Pain in the pubic area and groin (the pubis symphysis) is the most common symptom.

    * Many women also suffer from lower back (sacroiliac joints) pain, pain in buttock area (posterior pelvic pain), lower abdomen and hip pain. It can also radiate down the inner thigh.

    * It is common to feel a grinding or clicking in the pubic area when walking.

    * The pain is often made worse by separating your legs, walking, getting in or out of a car, going up or down stairs or moving around in bed.


    Fortunately more GP's, midwives and obstetricians are recognising and diagnosing SPD. It is usually diagnosed from your own description of your symptoms. They may also exam you to look at the stability, movement and pain in your pelvic area. Once diagnosed you should be immediately referred to a physiotherapist who has experience dealing with SPD.

    Some women do find it a struggle to be taken seriously but it is important you persevere. If your GP or midwife is unhelpful ask to see someone else. Take along information on SPD and explain your symptoms in detail. It is vital you get a fast diagnosis so treatment can start as soon as possible.


    During pregnancy the influence of hormones and the weight of the growing baby pressing down means a 'cure' is often not possible, however much can be done to ease the pain. It is important that the first thing that happens is that the alignment of your pelvis is checked and manipulated if necessary. A physiotherapist can do this but make sure it is one with experience of SPD. Exercises can be given to strengthen the muscles around the joints to offer better support. A support belt can help hold the pelvis together and in more extreme cases crutches or even a wheelchair is necessary to limit painful activities.

    Painkillers can be prescribed if the pain is bad but they are limited during pregnancy. A GP will find a suitable medication for the particular patient. Other treatments such as TENS and acupuncture have been found to be beneficial.

    Long term surgery is sometimes offered in extreme cases but this doesn't always bring a positive outcome and should be discussed at length with health professionals.

    There are many things that can be done to help ease the symptoms by the individual. SPD is not a condition it is recommended you push so it is important sufferers know there limits and get help where necessary. Other helpful suggestions include:

    * Plan the day to avoid unnecessary trips up/down the stairs. Use a backpack to carry things down in the morning needed for the day.

    * Online shopping might be hard work at first but saves so much time and effort in the long run.

    * Have a baby changing station upstairs and downstairs to avoid frequent trips up and down stairs with a baby.

    * A cordless phone or extension means you can keep the phone close by.

    * Cleaning can be difficult. Accept offers of help and allow your standards to adapt to your SPD - the house doesn't need to be spotless!

    * A perching stool in the kitchen can make cooking easier.

    * Keep snacks and flasks of drinks upstairs to avoid unnecessary trips.

    * Try not to sit in one position for too long as this can cause stiffness and discomfort. Take regular short walks (even just round the room).

    * Get a seat you are comfortable in and surround it with all the things you need for the day (phone, book, remote control etc).

    * Sitting in bed with your legs straight can put extra pressure on the Symphysis Pubis. A chair is better.

    * In bed: Get into bed carefully, sit on the edge of the bed and keeping you knees together, and lay on your side. Then keeping your knees and legs inline roll onto your back/ side. Keep you knees together at all times (a dressing gown cord can help insure this in your sleep.

    * Satin or Silk Pyjamas make turning over in bed so much easier.

    * A folded towel or cushion between the legs can help make sure the pelvis is properly in line. A V shaped cushion can be used to support your growing bump at the same time.

    * When dressing sit down to avoid standing on one leg. Slip on shoes reduce the amount of bending you have to do.

    * Using a shower to wash may be easier to avoid climbing into the bath. A shower seat will make showering easier.

    * If you do use the bath, sit on the edge and swing your legs over together if you can, or step over carefully holding onto something to avoid putting weight on one leg. Use your arms to take a lot of your body weight when coming out of the bath. Try to bath when someone else is in the house so you can get help if you find it difficult getting out.


    A birth plan can help you during labour. Write one before hand explaining briefly what SPD is and how it affects you. (i.e. SPD is pain in the joints of the pelvis caused by pregnancy. I cannot lie on my back or walk without crutches). Measure your pain free gap (taken by lying on your back with your knees bent and measuring how far you can open your legs without pain) this distance should not be exceeded during delivery and should be considered particularly during an epidural or instrumental delivery when you may not have control over your legs. Include your wishes for pain relief both during labour and postnatally.

    Different positions for labour and internal examinations should be considered to avoid hip abduction (legs opened too far). These include all fours, lying on left side, or kneeling. If stitching is required the midwife may be able to do this without putting legs into stirrups (lithotomy position). If the lithotomy position is used ensure both legs are moved together and are up for as short a time as possible.

    Talk it all through with your partner before hard so he can help remind people of your needs.

    Once Baby is here

    A lot of women notice a difference to the symptoms almost straight away but don't expect miracles. It takes a long time for your body to get back to normal after having a baby and the pregnancy hormones are floating around up to 6 months after baby is born. Carry on the exercises even if you are feeling better and get as much help as possible.

    There is a common misconception that breastfeeding increases the recovery time for SPD but there is no evidence based research to back this up. Many women find it a wonderful way to bond with their baby and is a way to be involved even if mobility is restricted.

    If you are bottle feeding plan ahead and make up bottle in advance. I night and day feeding system or even just a travel kettle and jug upstairs to heat bottles can reduce night time trips up and down stairs to collect bottles.

    Some women find when there periods return the SPD symptoms recur. This is due to the hormonal changes and pain killers and limiting painful activities can help ease this time.

    Many women with SPD also experience Post-natal Depression (PND) because of the physical problems suffered postnatally combined with the changes involved with a new baby. Around 1 in 10 women experience PND and women who have had difficult pregnancies or deliveries are more likely to experience it. It is important to seek help early as it is treatable.

    If you have had SPD in one pregnancy it is lively, although not inevitable, that it will recur in subsequent pregnancies. If left untreated the symptoms can appear earlier and be more painful so it is important to start actively treating SPD from the start with physiotherapy. It is best to leave further pregnancies until your body has recovered and a gap of 2 - 3 years is usually recommended to reduce likelihood of the SPD flaring up again.

    If you have had SPD it can appear that everyone has an opinion on whether you should have another baby but the decision is yours and your partners only. Having a baby is not just about pregnancy, birth and the early months and most women with SPD eventually regain their mobility. The memories of the pain and problems subside but the joy of the child remains.

    Back Pain - For What Reasons Do These Pregnant Women Get Chiropractic Care?

    * Her back starts to sway more. * The abdomen increases. * Changes occur in the pelvic area. * Posture changes happen. * The abdomen enlarges. * Changes occur in the pelvic area. * Posture changes happen also.

    Many pregnant women suffer low-back pains the whole time they are pregnant, because of the above changes. Then others could have a hard time with alignment and balance. The chiropractic treatments can correct these problems and help the pregnant women have a more proper posture, which does not harm the body as much. A misaligned pelvic area could adversely affect the baby's growth in the womb.

    Any professionally-educated chiropractor knows how to use certain procedures that are gentle and safe on women that are pregnant.

    Women can also find the chiropractors who specialty is pre-natal treatments along with the peri-natal treatments too. A pregnant female should make sure that the chiropractic doctor she goes to has gotten this extra training for her and the baby's sake. These doctors know how to adjust the to make them less intense for the pregnant woman no matter which stage she is at. Chiropractors may also tell the pregnant woman to do some exercise and stretching routines to help her have a healthier and safer pregnancy.

    Advantages of Having Pregnancy Chiropractic Treatments

    Prior to the pregnant female going into labor, the chiropractic treatments helps her body in many ways. Some of the ways are:

    * It makes the woman have a better pregnancy including making her healthier.
    * It helps women take charge of the condition and/or symptoms they are having with their pregnancy.
    * It even makes delivery go easier and quicker.
    * It offers pain relief in the back, joints, or neck.
    * It can even prevent a woman from having a c- section to give birth.

    How this Impacts Labor

    On top of the benefits that have already been mentioned, chiropractic treatments provide the women benefits in managing pain during their labor. If a woman wants to have a better delivery, she needs to have some chiropractic treatments, which will help her have it.

    Labor Length

    When anyone's body has to deal with a stressful event, the amount of balance it has and the capability of handling the stress, determines the impact on the body. A lot of the women, who need cesarean sections, have to have them because their body is unable to handle the stress of a normal delivery. This is mostly due to the pelvis not being aligned, which hampers the fetus moving in the birth canal properly. A pregnant woman's limited range in their motion negatively impacts the labor also.

    The purpose of the chiropractic treatments is to fix the above mentioned conditions, which will lessen the labor time.

    Position of the Fetus

    The position of the fetus can also affect the length of labor. Most chiropractic adjustments correct the position of the pelvis and can help the fetus get in the correct position as a result. Experts on health also think going through chiropractic adjustments keeps the labor from affecting the back.

    State Maternity Leave Benefits - Who Are the Winners and Losers?

    Collecting state maternity leave benefits is a hit or miss proposition. Many women assume that the federal or state government will automatically provide at least some level of maternity leave pay when they deliver their baby. In the U.S. government sponsored maternity leave benefits are the exception rather than the rule. There is no federal government program, and only five states have mandated short term disability programs in place. And some of those programs fall woefully short. Women working in one of the forty five states with no mandated state programs have to plan ahead, and find the right coverage before getting pregnant.

    Many European countries mandate a significant level of paid maternity leave benefits. Not so in the United States. There is the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides unpaid job leave protection for women during maternity leave. But of course "unpaid" means there is no income replacement whatsoever. Five states have state mandated short term disability insurance which pays a benefit for a normal maternity leave: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. That leaves forty five states with no paid maternity leave coverage at all.

    If you live in one of the states with mandated coverage consider yourself lucky - up to a point. The state programs provide a minimal amount of coverage, and it may not suffice for many women. The New York state disability program illustrates this best. New York has one of the country's highest cost of living, and along with that comes the highest per capita income level. This is especially true in New York City. The New York state disability program replaces up to fifty percent of income, and caps out at $170 per week. The $170 per week cap represents fifty percent income replacement for a woman earning $17,680 annually.

    For a state with very high incomes, the NY level of income replacement is nominal. A couple might be able to get by as long as everyone is healthy, and mom can return to work right away. But what will happen if mom needs to leave work before her delivery, or experiences delivery complications, or has an accident, or get sick?

    And what about the women in the forty five states with no mandated state coverage at all? The same questions apply as well. If they work for an employer who provides paid maternity benefits - great. But this represents a very small minority. Some may be lucky enough to work where there is a company subsidized group short term disability program that will protect them while they work for that particular employer. Others may be lucky enough to have a voluntary short term disability option which they can pay by payroll deduction, and take with them if they leave the employer.

    The largest segment has none of these options. Fortunately, they can purchase individual short term disability that covers pregnancy and maternity leave. Provided they purchase a policy before getting pregnant, an individual short term disability insurance policy will cover their normal labor and delivery - creating maternity leave pay.

    Day Spa - A Time of Pampering and Healing

    If you have ever felt that a day spa is no more than a luxury for those who do not know what to do with their money, consider the fact that some offer treatments that can relax the body, improve appearance, and relieve stress. With a service such as a comprehensive acne treatment plan, patrons can watch their troublesome acne disappear right before their eyes. The acne problem that may have caused them to spend tons of money and time on over the counter acne medications that did absolutely nothing can be a thing of the past with a few quick and painless treatments at the spa.

    You can also benefit from your day at the spa from skin treatments such as microdermabrasion and micropeels. The microdermabrasion treatment is a non-surgical, quick and effective way to reduce wrinkles dark spots, and acne spots from the skin. A micro peel treatment is used to treat wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation in addition to improving skin imperfections and dullness. You can call the offices of the day spa to learn of all the skin therapies they offer. If you are interested, you can schedule an appointment where a well-trained member of the staff will conduct a skin analysis and evaluation to determine the condition of your skin. This gives the spa specialist the opportunity to put together a treatment plan that will address your particular wants and needs.

    No day spa will be complete without offering some type of massage therapy treatment. There are massage therapies that are geared towards relieving the body of toxins, pain, stress, helping individuals recover faster from sports injuries, and prenatal and postpartum massage therapies. Many of these massage therapies will not only relieve your body of knots, pain, and muscle tension, but can also improve blood pressure, range of motion, and mobility.

    You can call the offices of the day spa and find out about student discounts and discounts for everyone so you can save on the services they offer. You can also purchase certificates for one or more sessions at the spa for a family or friend as a great gift. They too will become a believer in the benefits of visiting a day spa as they receiving top-notch services that will help improve their appearance, health, and outlook on life. When you feel better, you look better, and when you look better, it can improve your self-esteem and self-confidence, thus improving your life.

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Russian Expatriates and Cyprus Pension

    The social insurance scheme in Cyprus is based on the Social Insurance Law of 1980 with amendments and regulations issued thereafter, and has the objective of protecting insured persons from financial hardship. Some of the benefits provided by the social insurance scheme are: old-age pension, social assistance, unemployment and maternity benefits, as well as grants for marriage, childbirth and compensations for industrial accidents.

    In this article, we shall look into the old-age pension as applicable to non-EU countries nationals (say, Russia expatriates) who come and work in Cyprus for number of years, after which return in their home country.

    All workers employed in Cyprus, irrespective of their nationality, are compulsorily withheld 6.8% of their earnings as contribution to the social insurance fund. In addition, the employer and the Cyprus government, respectively contribute 6.8% and 4.3% to the fund, making the total contribution equal to 17.9%. The fund is run by the state and used to pay various social benefits (unemployment, pension, maternity etc.).

    Without discrimination, Russian expatriates and their family members can enjoy all applicable social benefits while legally residing in Cyprus and making contributions. However, when it comes to old-age pension, in the event the expatriate leaves Cyprus, social insurance contributions will not be paid in cash (or otherwise) or transferred to the Russian pension scheme. The contributions will remain in the fund until pensionable age is reached (65) and number of conditions met before payment. One of those conditions, applicable to those reaching pensionable age between 3.1.2010 and 1.1.2012, is the contribution of social insurance for at least 7 years. As from 2.1.2012 the contribution condition is increased to 10 years, effectively making it more difficult to gain Cyprus pension from temporary employment in Cyprus.

    The changing demographics and economics of the social insurance scheme make it hard to predict what will be the social insurance legislation in the next 20-30 years. Pensionable age may be raised to 70 years, contributions increased by more than currently anticipated or Cyprus and Russian may enter into a bilateral agreement extending their social benefit to those who move between the two countries.

    In most cases, social insurance contributions by Russian expatriated will be "lost" and years of employment in Cyprus not credited in Russia, representing a major drawback for those whose retirement plan is entirely based on state pension income. Therefore, depending on the case, one may need an adjustment to the retirement plan in order to adequately compensate for the reduction in state pension income. Some possible venues for putting money for the long-term and reducing taxable income at the same time, may be: contributions to approved provident fund and term/life insurances. You should contact your tax consultant for further advice.

    Female Infertility Herbs to Help You Get Pregnant

    The stress and strife of modern life take a frightening toll upon the female body: far many more women struggle to conceive than in prior generations. Western medical science (allopathy) attempts to cure infertility, with only limited success. Synthetic hormones and other prescription drugs may prove effective, however not only are they expensive, they come with side effects detrimental if not outright dangerous to the health of the average woman. A far safer way to get pregnant fast is the use of holistic infertility treatments.

    Herbalism - A Traditional Healing Modality

    The most common holistic infertility treatment comes from the scientific discipline of herbalism. Herbalism as the modern treatment modality for infertility derives from natural remedies thousands of years old. Furthermore, herbal infertility treatments have been thoroughly researched in China.

    Siberian Ginseng - A Way to Get Pregnant Naturally

    Varieties of ginseng have been used by the Chinese to promote health and vitality; the most effective of these for the woman having difficulty conceiving is Siberian ginseng. Siberian ginseng is the root of the plant Eleutherococcus senticosis. Ginsengs generally strengthen the immune system and improve cognitive function (concentration, memory, and mood), however, unlike the more common Panax variety, Siberian ginseng lowers blood pressure. Additionally, it increases the libido, supports the health of the uterus, and aligns the female hormones into balance:

    Cure Infertility With Chasteberry

    A second herb often used in traditional Chinese medicine is chasteberry, the fruit of the chaste tree, a small shrub indigenous to Central Asia and the Mediterranean. Also known as monk's pepper or vitex, chasteberry grants numerous salutary effects for female health. These include the relief of menstrual dysphoria such as PMS, the heightened production of breast milk, and the increase of fertility: chasteberry increases the body's natural production of luteinizing hormone.

    Beyond Herbs - The Mind / Body Connection

    A final yet vital concern in holistic pregnancy is the relation between the mind and the body. Emotions affect biochemistry; stress, anxiety, worry, and fatigue tax the body. To conceive and carry a healthy baby while using natural infertility cures, a woman should care for her emotional health with such tools as meditation, hatha yoga, and aromatherapy. Finally, a proper diet will augment systemic health, and provide nutrition to improve the mother's health - and that of her child.

    How To Get Pregnant: The Right Diet To Boost Your Fertility

    Once a couple is married, it is natural to expect they will have a baby or babies. Today, late marriages are the norm rather than an exception and this has affected conception. It is not a routine to get pregnant within a few months of being married. That is easy for those who marry young. However, due to changed lifestyles, even the younger couples may face delays in conceiving. While factors like stress, exercises, overall health and environment affect conception, food is just as important. The right diet will aid conception by boosting fertility. At the same time, couples planning to have children would do well to avoid alcohol, drugs and smoking and plan a diet to aid conception.

    Before planning about how to get pregnant take care of the stress factor, relax, engage in some mind-body calming and rejuvenation techniques like yoga, modify the environment to be more calming and importantly, choose the right kinds of food to boost fertility. Here are a few:

    • Eat only organic foods devoid of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.

    • Try to concentrate on eating whole grain foods instead of food made from refined flour.

    • Eat food rich in zinc, folic acid and vitamin B group

    • Take in as much as you can of organically grown vegetables and fruits every day.

    • Take care to drink plenty of water to keep all the cells of your body sufficiently hydrated.

    • Maintain blood sugar levels by eating small portions spread through the day.

    • Foods containing caffeine affect fertility-reduce their intake.

    • Eat foods rich in fiber and protein, balanced with carbohydrates and fats in the form of seeds and nuts.

    • Selenium rich foods such as sunflower seeds and tuna are good anti-oxidants and aid male fertility.

    • Oysters, pumpkin seeds and nuts are a source of zinc, essential for fertility and to ensure sperm is healthy.

    • Vitamin B6 from beans, eggs and fish balances hormone levels in the body.

    • Vitamin B12 from egg yolk, cheese and mutton helps increase sperm count and cellular reproduction.

    • Vitamin C from fruits like oranges and from tomatoes is essential for sperm count and motility.

    • Vitamin E from almonds and other nuts and oils helps sperm motility and retards ageing.

    • Eat foods rich in iron and folic acid that help ovulation and enhance fertility. Try to eat fruit and vegetables that contain iron and folic acid rather than meats.

    • Insulation in women is related to fertility and pregnancy. Maintain insulin levels the right way by proper diet and get pregnant easily.

    For women to be fertile and get pregnant easily, it is essential to have the minimum body weight according to their height. Women planning to become pregnant should eat a diet that will maintain optimum weight aiding in conception. Too much or too little weight mars her chances of pregnancy. Eating the right foods in the right proportions boosts her fertility and helps her to get pregnant easily and naturally.

    Safe Treatments For Back Pain During Pregnancy

    Most moms-to-be experience back pain during their pregnancies. From conception to delivery, having a baby creates changes in the body that leave the back muscles sore and the spine unstable. Given the dangers of medications to unborn babies, pregnant women are always looking for safe and effective pain management tools.

    Causes of Back Pain in Pregnancy

    There are two main causes of pregnancy back pain, and both involve postural changes. In early pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released in the body to relax ligaments and joints in the pelvis. This will make room for the growing baby; it will also create pelvic instability. The pelvis is the seat of the spine, and therefore the spine will become unstable. This means it will be more difficult to keep your spine aligned. Unstable joints in the lower back may become hypermobile and cause irritation.

    The second cause of back pain is the shifting of your center of gravity. As the baby grows, your center of gravity moves up from your hips to your stomach. It is difficult for back muscles to support the upper body's weight, especially since the abdominal muscles in the stomach, which usually work with the lower back muscles, are overstretched and weak. The abdominal muscles begin to stretch even in early pregnancy as the body anticipates the growing baby, especially in women with weak stomach muscles to begin with.

    Safe Treatments for Pregnancy Back Pain

    Now that you know the causes of back pain during pregnancy - unstable joints, spinal instability and strained back muscles - you can begin to consider what treatments are right for your pain. Most medications are off the table, since they could harm your baby. Tylenol is the one over-the-counter pain medication considered safe by the FDA for consumption during pregnancy. That said, no medication can be considered completely safe during pregnancy.

    Some people think that natural, herbal supplements are safe to use at any time. The fact is that herbs are powerful and come with their own contraindications. Some herbs are known to be dangerous during pregnancy, while most others have not been studied in this context. It is generally best to avoid these until research is conducted to assess their safety.

    If your back pain is associated with muscle strain, consider investing in a maternity support belt. These come in a number of designs and are relatively inexpensive. One of the highest-rated belts on sells for under $30.00. These belts wrap around the lower back and under the stomach, supporting your baby bump. They may also help with pelvic and spinal stability, since proper posture is easier to attain when the back and stomach are supported. They are adjustable for maximum comfort and to accommodate the various stages of your pregnancy. It is always a good idea to compare prices and read product reviews on sites like Amazon to make sure you are buying a quality product.

    Many women experience sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction during pregnancy. These joints are located where the large hip bones meet the sacrum at the base of the spine. Due to the effects of relaxin discussed above, the joints become unstable and cause pain. A trochanter belt can be used to stabilize the joints. These belts are simpler and cheaper than maternity support belts, and may be of more benefit to women whose pain is attributed to the SI joints.

    For some women, belts are not enough. Chiropractors often help pregnant women in a couple of different ways. First, they can help to keep the spine properly aligned throughout pregnancy. Second, chiropractors can help to restore normal joint range of motion through mobilization techniques.

    There are a few simple things you can do yourself to limit back pain during your pregnancy. Make sure you take frequent breaks from standing. Avoid sleeping on your back. For tense, sore muscles, apply a heating pad to your lower back. Do this with caution; if your SI joints are inflamed, heat could exacerbate your pain.

    It is the societal tendency to pop a pill whenever something hurts. While not recommended as a long-term treatment strategy for anyone, it is out of the question for pregnant women. There are a number of safe, effective treatments for back pain during pregnancy.

    Things You Should Know Before Purchasing Individual Or Family Health Insurance

    Why Should I Review My Individual or Family Health Insurance Plan?

    The bottom line as in all insurance plans is to protect you and or your family from devastating expense should there be an illness or accident requiring medical expense. Many consumers are able to obtain health insurance through employer sponsored group plans and in many instances this may be the best route. However not all employer plans are ideal and as such many are
    to comprehensive for your entire family making the premiums much higher. Unless the employer covers the entire cost for you and your family you actually be paying a higher premium than you could obtain buying individual health insurance on your own. In other words suppose that you have a fully comprehensive corporate sponsored health plan that is fully funded by your employer.

    If you then chose to add a family member to that same health insurance plan your employer may not cover any of the cost for those members and in turn you may be grossly overpaying for family health insurance, and should at least do some shopping and compare plans from outside of the corporate sponsored plan to see if you could obtain sufficient coverage for your family for less.
    Additionally self employed workers should consider an individual health insurance plans or a family health insurance plan. In recent months many people have lost their jobs, and experienced transitions in the workforce causing many to lose their employer sponsored health insurance leaving both them and their families without crucial coverage. Many cannot afford at the exorbitant cost of a COBRA plan they are offered when the leave an employer and may go unprotected for a few or many months while seeking employment. Most insurance companies now offer Short Term Medical Insurance also know as Temporary Insurance as an alternative to COBRA these plans can be purchase from 1 to 12 months to cover the in between employment transition time.
    How Can I Determine What I Want in a Health Insurance Plan?
    There are a few variables to consider when determining what plan will work best to suit your needs. You must determine what features are important and how comprehensive you want your plan to be. Would you prefer a plan that includes co-pays for doctor visits and medications? Would you prefer a plan that pays everything from day one, or a plan that has coverage for a major medical expense but offers low premiums and tax advantages. Let's break this down a little further.
    Fully Comprehensive Plans - These plans usually have a choice of deductibles once they are met the insurer will cover the first dollar of all medical expenses these plans are usually considered the Cadillac and will have the most protection for you and your family from day one but will also be reflected in the premium cost.
    Co-Pay Insurance Plans - A insurance plan that will pay just a fixed amount of the cost of prescriptions drugs and Doctor Office visits. Some insurance carriers provide a discounted co-pay plan that limits the plan to two Dr office visits per year.

    Coinsurance Plans/ Major Medical Insurance - This is a middle of the road plan that typically has a higher deductible of your choice ranging from $1000-$5000  that requires you to pay for all medical expenses until the deductible is met then pay 20% of all treatment and the insurer pay 80%. These plans are only a good choice for those who prefer to exchange a lower premium for covering more of the initial cost of routine medical expenses (co-pays, Dr. Visits) and just want the coverage for any major medical issues or accidents.
    Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) - This plan is like a self managed insurance that offers low premiums combined with high deductibles, the insurer pays 100% of expenses after the deductible is met . The insurer sets up a tax sheltered savings account for you where the money can grow tax deferred to use for covering your deductible. The account comes with a debit card to use for office visits and prescriptions. This plan goes with you wherever you go and is owned by you. The premium savings can be huge but it is important to contribute to the plan consistently in order to cover your deductible in the event of a major medical expense. These plans are gaining popularity with self employed and even corporations as an alternative to high insurance cost. The benefits are one deductible per family per year, low premiums, tax savings, and more control over insurance expenditures.
    Keep in mind that insurance companies will combine different features of the plans above to offer different ranges of premiums. Most plans will allow for you to choose a coinsurance amount from 0 to 50% where you choose the portion of all medical expenses you will pay after you pay the deductible. Other options are deductibles themselves which range anywhere from $500 to $5000 dollars before the insurance coverage kicks in. Many rider options may be available as well such as a maternity rider, dental, life insurance and the Health Savings Account also offers an Indemnity rider should you have a major medical expense before you have accumulated enough cash in the HSA to cover the deductible.
    Where Should I Purchase Health Insurance?
    Most any reputable Licensed Agent can help you, most people research rates and options online these days and can run a spreadsheet from most agents' website. You can usually choose what features you want on the plan such as deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, and plan type this will help you narrow down the options presented to you then work backwards from there.
    Regardless of what any agent may tell you the rates are set by the carriers.
    You will find the same rates with the same providers everywhere and in fact when you apply online you are actually going direct to the carrier. You should stick with carriers that have a high Rating with A.M. Best or Standard and Poors which rate Insurance companies on the financial strength and ability to pay claims. Avoid companies that offer plans with rates that seem to low compared to other health plans, plans that accept you even if you have serious preexisting conditions or major illnesses, plans that claim to not be regulated by the state and plans that avoid calling the plan insurance. Most importantly do your homework and speak with an agent if you are unsure what plan suits you best.