Saturday, July 13, 2013

Depression - Myths and Facts

It is not a major medical condition. MYTH

Depression is a common, serious medical condition that can disrupt daily functioning.
At the extreme, people with depression may harm themselves. Brain imaging research shows that the brains of people with depression function differently than those of non depressed people. In depressed people, brain areas that regulate mood, behavior, thinking, appetite and sleep function abnormally.

Most depressed people do not seek medical help. FACT

Only 39 per cent of people with severe depression see a mental health professional. Many depressed patients remain undiagnosed or under treated. Some cases of depression are tough to treat. But the vast majority of cases are highly treatable with antidepressants and talk therapy. The earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is.

If ancestry had depression, you will get it eventually. MYTH

You are three times more likely to develop depression if your parents suffered depression, but it is not inevitable. Scientists believe the risk of developing depression results from a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.

Depression causes physical pain. FACT

Depression causes emotional symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and hopelessness. But it can also cause physical symptoms such as chest pain, queasy or nauseated sensations, dizziness or light headedness, chest pain, sleep problems, exhaustion, and changes in weight and appetite.

Only emotionally troubled become depressed. MYTH

Depression affects people from all walks of life, not just people with previous emotional troubles. Depression can strike after the loss of a loved one, trauma, or other stressful situations like the loss of a job.

Depression is most common in elderly people. MYTH

People assume elderly to suffer from depression the most. In fact, middle-aged men and women (years 40-59) have the highest rates of depression. Depression is not a normal part of aging. However, ill health, medication side effects, social isolation, and financial troubles can trigger depression in elderly people.

Back Or Lumbar Pain During Pregnancy

Back Pain during pregnancy, relief is possible.

Back pain or discomfort during pregnancy is experienced by 50-70% of women. The good news is there are steps you can take to manage the back pain. This is highly recommended as 25% of women who have chronic back pain later in life associate this pain beginning while pregnant.

What causes back pain during pregnancy?

* As hormones released during pregnancy ligaments in the pelvic area soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birthing process of your baby

* Your center of gravity changes during pregnancy and will gradually move forward as your uterus and baby grow, this causes your posture to change

* Weight increase: as your baby grows the increase in weight adds pressure to your lower back

* Poor posture, excessive standing, and improper lifting or bending can increase pain.

* Stress - stress emerges in the weakest part of your body which during pregnancy can be your lower back.

Can back pain be prevented or minimized?

Here are a steps you can take to help reduce or prevent pain:

* Exercises (even a little bit every day) approved by your doctor or midwife, that support and help strengthen the back and abdomen

* Squat to pick up something using your leg muscles vs your back (bending over from the waist is a sure way to eventually tweek a muscle)

* Avoid high heels or shoes that do not provide arch support

* Put a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back

* Wear a high quality support belt which provides lift: (we found supporters made of elastic stretch out so make sure the band is made of very durable material. some have optional shoulder groin bands for extra support.

* A quality chiropractor can realign your back (many changes occur during pregnancy)

* Rest when possible and elevate your feet at night if you have a chance.

What can you do to treat the back pain you are experiencing?

Common interventions:

* Ice your back at night with a gel pack to reduce inflammation which is causing pain

* Use a brace or back support device (there are many out there so chose wisely, make sure they are adjustable and are not made of elastic which breaks down with washing)

* Sleep on your side if possible with a support or pillow in between you legs

* Only if you are in high discomfort: Medications used to treat inflammation(often times a support band can prevent this need)

* Use a chiropractor or massage therapist (licensed of course)

When should back pain cause me to seek help?

Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing any of the following:

* Severe pain (you must judge this based on comparison)

* Increasingly severe or abrupt-onset of back pain

* Rhythmic cramping pains; this might be a sign of preterm labor

Severe back pain may be a sign of other diseases associated with pregnancy. Although not common, your health care provider will investigate other possible ailments if you are experiencing severe back pain.

What are your Next Steps:

* Talk to your health care provider about an approved exercise program to support your back and abdomen

* Try a couple times a day to get off your feet and relax(this may sound impossible if you have other children, but even sitting to read book with them can provide back relaxation)

* Find a Chiropractor in your area

* Purchase a support belt

* Purchase a sleep aid pillow or just use a thin regular pillow between or under your knees for side and back sleeping

The Truth About Vitamin A Safety in Prenatal Vitamins

The most common question that pregnant women ask me is "My obstetrician says that it is very dangerous for me to take vitamin A while I'm pregnant. As an expert in nutrition, what is your opinion?"

No doubt, there is a lot of fear and confusion on this topic. So let's get right down to the truth of the matter. As usual, the truth is to be found in the middle of two opposite points of view. One point of view is that pregnant women should avoid taking any vitamin A. The other point of view is that pregnant women do not need to be concerned at all with their vitamin A consumption because the risks are minimal.

So let's clarify the issue so you can make the most informed choice for yourself and your baby:

In 1995, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a study that showed strong evidence that approximately 1.7% of pregnant women in the U.S. consuming greater than 10,000 International Units (IUs) of vitamin A (retinol) per day during the first 7 weeks of their pregnancy gave birth to children afflicted with some form of birth defect. This was one out of every 57 women. This created a wave of fear in obstetricians and their pregnant patients that continues to this day.

The good news about this study is that it alerted doctors to strongly caution their pregnant patients that consuming over 10,000 IUs of vitamin A per day for the first 7 weeks of her pregnancy can be risky. To my way of thinking this should also hold true for women of childbearing age who are actively trying to become pregnant. Women who are given very high dosages of vitamin A for acne treatments should avoid becoming pregnant until their blood levels of vitamin A are well within the normal range.

The bad news about the effects the NEJM vitamin A study is that it made far too many obstetricians and obstetrical nurses overly cautious, even paranoid, about women taking anyform of vitamin A, even supplements containing beta-carotene. Obviously no pregnant woman wants to put her developing baby at risk, so when their obstetrician tells them to avoid taking all vitamin A they listen.

The other side of the truth is that developing babies need somevitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can cause fetal and infant growth retardation. It is well known that plant scientists have been trying to perfect modified strains of rice to contain beta-carotene (orange in color) for third world countries. Why? To help prevent the large amount of infants born blind every year because their mother's bodies did not have enough vitamin A to donate an adequate amount to their developing eyes!

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 250,000 and 500,000 children are born blind every year. WHO also estimates that 13.8 million children have some degree of visual loss related to vitamin A deficiency.

Carotenes and carotenoids are natural pigments that give colored fruits and vegetables their bright colors. Carrots are a good example because their orange color is reflective of an abundance of carotenoids and carotenes. There are over 600 carotenoids/carotenes and less than 50 seem to be able to be converted into vitamin A. This conversion is essential, however, because the human vision is dependent upon these pigments.

The conversion of carotenes to vitamin A depends upon a number of factors including adequate zinc, vitamin C, protein status, bile salts, pancreatic enzymes and optimal thyroid gland health. So women with inadequate levels of these necessary co-factors have more difficulty converting high pigment foods into vitamin A.

One International Unit (IU) of vitamin A (retinol) does not equal one IU of beta-carotene because only between 40%-60% of beta-carotene is absorbed and converted into vitamin A. Also, the absorption of beta-carotene is self-limiting. This means that beyond a healthy level, the more you take the less you absorb. Beta-carotene taken in supplement form absorbs better than beta-carotene from foods. Betacarotene is safe and necessary.

On average, a healthy daily intake of vitamin A for pregnant women is approx. 4000 IUs. This means that if you have been told by your obstetrician to avoid taking all vitamin A and you are receiving less than about 8000 IUs of carotenes from your prenatal vitamin and your diet combined, there is increased risk that your child may suffer some degree of visual loss or growth retardation. The risk of pregnant women receiving too little vitamin A is just as unacceptable as too much vitamin A.

As previously stated, the truth tends to be found right in the middle of the two opposite points of view. Too much vitamin A brings a small but significant risk of birth defects. Too little vitamin A brings a risk of visual loss or growth retardation.

So what do you do when you become pregnant?

Here are some guidelines:

(1) To be on the safe side, it is best to avoid prenatal vitamins that contain any of the retinol form of vitamin A.

(2) Try to make sure that your daily intake of vitamin A does not exceed 6000 IUs during the first 2 months of your pregnancy.

(3) Avoid eating foods very high in the retinol form of vitamin A on a daily basis, especially beef liver (43,900 IUs/3.5 oz serving) and calves liver (22,500 IUs/3.5 oz. serving).

(4) Make sure that your prenatal vitamin contains at least 3500 IUs of betacarotene.

(5) Try to obtain 4000-5000 IUs of carotenes and carotenoids from your diet. You can do this by eating lots of colored vegetables like carrots and green leafy vegetables.

(6) Eat brightly colored fruits.

(7) If you cannot eat enough colored vegetables, find a good tasting vegetable powder that can provide you with 4000-5000 IUs of these essential precursors to vitamin A.

(8) Do your best to take this middle ground and try not to worry.

Getting Pregnant - Artificial Insemination Vs Natural Procedure

When sperm is put in a woman's uterus to try to make a pregnancy, the process is called insemination. The majority of women undertake sexual intercourse to get pregnant. Nevertheless, a number of women could also become pregnant through treatments of fertility like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or artificial insemination.

Artificial insemination presently also is called as intrauterine insemination (IUI). A lot of couples utilize it particularly when the woman has an allergic reaction to the sperm of her partner. A lot of women also choose it from a donor due to some motives. It takes plenty of endeavors to be successful.

You must be conscious of the high price connected with several medical practices before you start the procedure of getting pregnant with no sex. Although you possess medical insurance, there is the likelihood that these practices are not included.

After the procedure, there are even more considerable measures that could be made to assist you to get pregnant with no sex. The sperm and egg could be united in a laboratory and afterward the fetus could be inserted into the uterus, if required.

The rates of success through this procedure differ. Some factors that minimize your possibility of success consist of woman with older age, poor quality of egg, poor quality of sperm, severe endometriosis and severe damage to fallopian tubes.

Actually, artificial insemination doesn't look hopeful if you would like to conceive. What's more, the charge is high which makes it unreasonable for numerous couples. Even though all treatments of fertility have pros and cons, the best method to conceive is making use of natural processes that don't charge too much. You need to find out little well-known ways for getting pregnant naturally that have been overlooked by a good number of medical specialists.

Depression and Self-Harm

About Depression

Moments of depression or sadness are quite common and part of living. Depression becomes clinical, and a problem to varying degrees, when it continues for many months or even years, becomes crippling and makes it difficult or impossible to work/go to school, or occurs for no reason at all.

When a family member dies, a pet is lost, you lose your job or your marriage falls apart, it's natural to be depressed. These things happen, and recovering from the depression is part of becoming a stronger person.

But depression can be crippling. Some of the symptoms are constant sadness, bouts of crying for no reason, inability to sleep oversleeping, losing interest in activities that you've always loved, not wanting to do anything at all, hating everyone and everything, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, et cetera. These things can all be symptoms of something else, but if you've got more than four of these symptoms you should do some research of your own and take some psychiatric testing.

I personally am BiPolar and have actively struggled with depression for four and a half years. I may have shown symptoms of depression before that, but I am not aware of them as symptoms of depression. The depression became serious when my Dad was diagnosed with kidney cancer and was going through his treatments. I was always Daddy's little girl, and it hurt to see him crippled by the pain of his cancer, and slowly wasting away.

Depression runs in my family as well. It is not completely a genetic disorder, and can be triggered by circumstances and a variety of other things, but having family members who have struggled with depression does increase the risk of getting it yourself.

Depression can be painful. It can be fatal, or near-fatal, as is my case. It can manifest in any number of behaviours. I was lucky in that I never lost a passion for my writing when depressed-in fact, when struggling with depression I have written more poetry than at any 'stable' or 'manic' time in my life.

There are many ways to help a family member or friend who is depressed, and to identify depression in yourself and others, but these are not the focus of this article.


Self-harm is the general term, and the politically correct one, for a variety of behaviors, including cutting, burning, anorexia and bulimia, hair-pulling, scab-picking and other such things. Some of these we do not commonly recognize as self harm, and are not as dangerous as others (scab-picking mostly), with the most infamous forms of self-harm being anorexia and cutting.

Self-harm and cutting may or may not be related to a depressed state. Anyone you know may be someone who self-harms in any one of a number of ways. People who self-harm are not usually suicidal, using the self-harm as a method of releasing their pain. There are many misconceptions about self-harm and I hope to eliminate some of these with my work.

People who self-harm are not usually doing so for attention. They usually go out of their way to hide the scars, wearing long sleeves even in the summer or self-harming in ways that are easy to hide, such as cutting the stomach area or upper thighs and pulling small amounts of hair. Even scab picking can be easy to hide to an extent. There are some who do this for attention, as it has, sadly, become somewhat of a trend, called 'emo'. This is a very small percentage of those who self-harm and mostly applies to cutters.

Many self-harmers have been abused at some point in their lives, and some self-harm internalizing the idea that they are bad and need to be punished. In this way self-harm can stem from insecurity and self-hatred, which can lead to depression or come from depression.

More self-harmers are female than male, possibly relating to a higher number of abused women than men. The average self-harmer is a woman between the ages of 13-30, although it could be anyone, male, female, young, old, with or without a family. Some who are happily married and have children continue to cut, as it helps them alleviate the stresses of their life.

The Relationship Between Depression And Self-Harm

Depression can commonly lead to self-harm, as it did in my case. I was clinically depressed for most of three years before I began cutting, and while the original incident was not out of depression but out of curiosity, I soon discovered that cutting distracted me from the mental pain, blocking it out while I took care of the physical pain.

You will find this to be a common thread amongst many cutters. It distracts them from their daily struggle with life and perhaps depression, and gives them a rushy feeling. Some like the sight and even the taste of their own blood. There are many different reasons people self-harm that I cannot describe all in one place.

Not everyone who is depressed self-harms, and not everyone who self-harms is depressed. Many people who are depressed, who often can't quite understand why, are either afraid of pain both mental and physical, or love their bodies and do not want to hurt themselves. Many who self-harm do so as a way to escape every day life and prove that they are brave, having the bravery to hurt themselves.

Many who self-harm are ashamed of the fact that they self-harm, and so they hide it from their friends and family. The same stands for many who are depressed. Depression and self-harm are both things more likely to occur when someone has been abused in their past, in any way, shape or form.

Depression and self-harm are related, though one thing does not always signify the other. Many of the same people who are likely to experience depression are likely to self-harm.

A person struggling with depression could be anyone, even the person you think of as being the happiest person you know. A person who self-harms could be anyone, even that same person you think of as being the happiest person you know.

This is not a fully comprehensive article, but the beginning of a series of articles about depression and self-harm from the point of view of someone who is BiPolar and has struggled with both depression and self-harm in the past.

The Cost of Having a Baby

When planning a family, one of the many important things to think about is how much it will cost to have a baby. Depending on what you may or may not have heard you may be surprised to hear what it may cost to raise a child, and it is important to get ready ahead of time for the amount of money you will need to have a baby. The necessities like food, clothing, and shelter need to be taken into account by themselves. Their educational needs, medical insurance and treatment, and of course recreational materials and activities may cost a lot as well.

Common wisdom may state that it costs 300K or 500K to raise a child to age 18, but if you look at your typical American income and the size of a typical American family, those figures do not add up. The 2010 Bundle Report showed that married couples with children spent an average of $6000 dollars a year more than their childless counterparts. A detailed chart showed that the age of a child made a difference in the amount that was spent also.

Before starting a family it is definitely worth your time and money to look into your health insurance benefits to be certain you are covered for maternity. You also need to look at how motherhood will impact the family income coming from the wife. When you are having your baby, the mother at least will have to take some time off of work by taking a maternity leave. This will cost you some of your income since paid maternity leave is very rare. Make sure you have enough money saved up ahead for emergencies before you decide to have a baby and go on leave.

After delivering the baby and bringing it home, you will have to spend a lot on baby diapers and milk. New babies usually require around 300 diapers per month though this amount is reduced over time, and this can add up to quite a lot every month. Add to that the amount of money you will need for milk and baby food. One family I know made an agreement that the husband would provide the disposable diapers if the wife provided the milk. The fact that she was a stay-at-home mother with plenty of time to nurture a breast milk supply made this a very economical plan.

Once your maternity leave ends and you need to go back to work, you will need to pay to send your baby or child to daycare. It will probably be expensive as well, especially if you have more than one child to be looked after. It is best to look for places nearby your home or your work place so you spend less time and money on travel. Another option is to economize strictly until the youngest child in your family is old enough for all day kindergarten in public school. The cost of after-school care is much lower than all day.

No matter how much you end up spending for your baby, you should know that it is all worth it. A child is a bundle of joy and a miracle of life, and it is worth all of the time and effort you put into raising your child. They bring so much happiness and meaning into one's life. Remember this when you are raising your child to be a great member of society.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Locating the Best Medical Underwriting Option for Employees

The purpose of international health insurance is to cover relocated employees and their families for conditions that occur after the policy has begun. It is therefore important to understand what is, and isn't covered before joining.

If you have a medium or large number of employees to be covered, you might be able to benefit from something called 'Medical History Disregarded' which can mean that your employees don't need to go through an underwriting process and if you're transferring from another policy, that cover can continue uninterrupted with waiting periods for things like dental and maternity benefits waived. If you have a small number of employees to be covered however, then it's likely that your group will need to be underwritten. Group sizes where underwriting is imposed vary between providers but generally if your group is under 10 members, then some kind of underwriting process will be required. Underwriting is the process whereby an insurance carrier examines the medical records of a prospective insured in order to decide what they can be covered for, and at what cost.

The two main ways insurance providers assess applications for cover are moratorium underwriting and full medical underwriting. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and there is some debate among providers as to which is better for the customer.

Moratorium underwriting is where only three or four questions are asked about medical history. These are as straightforward as 'Have you been to a doctor in the last two years?' If you state that you have been free of symptoms, treatment and advice for a medical condition in a given period before the policy starts (usually between two and five years), you'll receive cover for it.

There is no need to fill in a detailed health assessment questionnaire, and any pre-existing conditions for which you have received treatment or advice are automatically excluded. However, cover for these conditions is usually reinstated after two continuous years from the start of the policy, should you remain symptom, treatment and advice-free in that time.

The upside of moratorium is that it's fast to implement. The downside is that the policyholder will most likely get underwritten every time they make a claim, which is not a welcome prospect for overseas assignees.

The fundamental selling point of any kind of insurance is peace of mind. An employee in unfamiliar territory will sleep easier knowing that they have done everything they need to at the time of purchase, and that should they require treatment, their insurer is ready to take care of it promptly and without issue.

Full medical underwriting is arguably the preferable option in such circumstances. This is where the insurance provider asks detailed questions about your medical history at the time of application. This process can take some time - generally up to a week to gather all the information. They then make a decision on what will and won't be covered on the policy.

The advantages here are numerous: you know exactly what you are and aren't covered for; the process only happens once when you apply; when you claim it is processed quicker and with the minimum of fuss. In short, full medical writing provides employees with peace of mind and allows them to put health concerns at the back of their mind, regardless of location.

This is not to say that full medical underwriting is entirely free of drawbacks. As the name implies, it is comprehensive and therefore takes longer. This also means that the insurance provider will want to know lots of intimate details about your employees.

However, health insurance is too important a purchase to be made in haste, and the more the insurance provider knows about the insured, the better for them. By taking the time before relocating to provide the necessary information for the most efficient cover possible, they can focus on their assignment without the niggling worry that any medical claim they make will require further underwriting.

Both underwriting options have a similar outcome, and moratorium is not without its advantages, but peace of mind is crucial in new and potentially volatile surroundings and full medical underwriting goes a long way to deliver this.

How to Lose Belly Fat Naturally and Quickly

If you want to lose belly fat naturally, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind. First of all, dieting is not a natural solution to your weight problems.

Your are not supposed to diet. You are supposed to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Dieting can put your body into the starvation mode and slow down your metabolism which can make burning fat even more difficult.

Weight gain is more of a lifestyle issue and it needs to be solved with the help of a lifestyle based solution. What I mean to say is that it is not just your diet and the level of physical activity that has to be taken care but also various other factors such as your sleep pattern, stress levels and other issues like drinking, smoking etc.,

Lack of sleep and chronic stress are also some of the factors that can make you obese.

Secondly, there is nothing like spot reduction. If you want to lose excess fat from your tummy, you must plan to lose overall body fat. You can go on doing crunches and sit ups without any benefit.

One of the first initial signs of losing fat from your body appears on your chin and neck. These are the two areas which indicate that your fat loss program is working.

Abdominal vacuum exercise

This is one exercise that can be a great help in tucking your tummy in. I am sure you have seen those Arnold pics with his stomach tucked inside making his body frame look really huge. It is an exercise that can help you get a flat midsection.

Here is how you do it:

Sit tall on the edge of a chair and exhale completely. After exhaling pull the navel in towards the base of the spine. Try to pull in very tight. Continue breathing through the nostrils and hold the contraction for at least 40 seconds. Just a few repetitions is all you need. The goal of this exercise is to train your abdominal muscles to stay tucked in and the beauty of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere.

Skipping for Losing Weight

Jumping rope is another exercise that is an excellent way to burn your overall body fat. You can vary your movement while jumping rope. For instance, you can tap both your feet together or one at a time. Another kind of variation requires you to tap one of your feet twice and so on.

Varying speed is also important to ensure better results.

Fat Burners

In addition to the above, there are some fat burners that can also be a great help in ensuring quick and fast weight loss. Good quality ones are made in FDA approved labs and not only ensure faster fat burning but also reduce your appetite. Such a fat burner can help you get a flatter tummy by making you lose 3-5 pounds a week.

Check out the Best Fat Burn Pills that can make you get a flatter belly in no time!

Postpartum Relaxation Tips For New Mothers

Even new mothers need time for themselves and between trying to get in some postpartum exercises and taking care of your new baby you sometimes forget that you need to nurture yourself as well. You need to relax in addition to getting plenty of rest and exercise, but relaxing doesn't have to mean sitting down all of the time. Relaxing simply means taking a break from the chores of being a mother for just a little while to replenish yourself.

Easier said than done? Sometimes, but there is no rule book or child rearing manual that states you have to be on duty twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, especially the first few months of your babies life when babies are the most demanding. You need a break as well and its all right to ask someone you trust if they would watch the baby for a few hours so you can indulge in a long postpartum relaxation session of your own. Depending on how you gave birth and if you are cleared by your doctor, that relaxation session could be a long soak in the tub, a professional massage, or just a trip to the salon to get your hair and nails done.

Take The Time To Really Think About Your Postpartum Life:

Stop and contemplate on the things you used to love to do before you got pregnant. What made you feel good? What fulfilled your day? What can you work back into your now slightly more hectic schedule of feedings, laundry, and other daily chores that you do? Once you figure that out, find a way to do them again. Start out with one and see how it works out. For example, if you loved to write or journal, spend ten or fifteen minutes of your baby's nap to do that. It may not be as intricate or detailed as what you used to do, but you feel good about yourself when you do it and that is the main focus.

Get The Family Involved In Order To Get Your Postpartum Time In:

Postpartum relaxation could be aided by having someone help out around the house doing some of the things you simply hate, such as the dishes, dusting, cooking and laundry. If you're really lucky, you can get your significant other to do it. Otherwise, look into hiring a maid and or taking up a friend on their offer of 'if there is anything I can do call me'. Go out and have a good time with your significant other and leave the baby with someone you trust. If there is not a significant other call a friend or family member to spend some time with.

The idea behind postpartum relaxation is to have some 'me' time. Don't feel guilty about it. By being able to pamper and indulge yourself, you will become stressed and the smallest thing will make it worse. If you are going to be a working mom, those first few months spending time with your new baby will mean everything to you. Children, even newborns, can pick up on your stress levels. Be stress free for both you and your baby. You'll both be much happier.

Which Service Types Are Classed As Acute Services by the Care Quality Commission?

One of the first steps to complete when commencing down the path to registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is to determine exactly which service-type your particular organisation falls within. Once you have determined your service-type you can then begin to gather all of the necessary evidence to allow you to demonstrate compliance with the CQC's essential standards

One of the possible service-types that your company or organisation could fall within is Acute Services. This heading encompasses a wide range of diverse and complex care provisions, however, in general they relate to those services that provide medical and/or surgical investigations, diagnosis and treatment for a physical illness, condition, injury or disease. Within this definition Acute Services can be delivered to the whole population thus including adults, children or indeed both.

The CQC's definition of acute services dictates that these healthcare provisions can see patients on an outpatient basis as well as take admissions of inpatients and day case patients. Additionally, these admissions can be made at short notice or in an emergency, rather than long term planned admissions. Acute Services may also provide services such as:

- Surgical operations
- Specialist medical treatments
- Emergency investigations or treatment
- Maternity and neonatal care
- Termination of pregnancy
- Complex dental procedures
- Liaison psychiatry

The range of healthcare provisions delivered and the numbers and types of clinicians employed within an Acute Service can be extensive, and this is often the necessary situation in order to ensure that the needs of all service users are met adequately and conveniently within one location. Service users of Acute Services are generally referred or admitted as a result of the actions of another medical professional or clinical practitioner, for example a GP referring a patient on for immediate specialist treatment.

Types of providers that are classed as Acute include:

- Acute NHS hospitals
- Acute independent hospitals
- NHS Community hospitals
- Independent Sector Treatment Centres
- Cosmetic surgery clinics
- Haemodialysis units
- Minor Injury units

This is just a small sample of some of the healthcare types that fit into the Acute Services (ACS) category but there are many other ways in which a service can be deemed to be delivering Acute Services. Once you have correctly identified your provision's service type, whether it be ACS or an alternative, you can then review the requirements placed upon you by the Care Quality Commission in relation to the evidence you must present to demonstrate compliance with the CQC's regulatory standards. As each CQC outcome has specific prompts relevant to each service type, you must ensure you get the correct categorisation for you service before you commence your preparation for registration.

Taking Your Baby Home

The joy of taking your child home can be offset by many challenges. Several years ago, to minimize costs, health insurance companies began limiting the hospital stay for new infants and mothers to less than 24 hours. Although studies have differed in their findings on how these "drive-through deliveries" affect patient health, legislation has been passed prohibiting this practice.

Nevertheless, families should not expect to be in the hospital for more than a couple of days. Most hospitals have developed sensible criteria for discharge. Criteria for the baby would include, for instance, full-term healthy baby, normal exams, normal lab values, and sufficient parent skills and confidence to care for the parent.

While early discharge unquestionably causes problems for some infants and is frustrating for many parents, it remains an option. If you feel that you would like to leave early, discuss this with your physician. Although there are better places to be than a hospital, the support provided by maternity care nurses is a valuable service.

With the advent of earlier discharges, we have seen a disturbing number of emergency room visits. Not because of more health problems but because of the greater parental anxiety that comes with having had less time learning how to look after their infant before going home.

If you leave the hospital early, inquire about home nursing visits. Many hospitals and health plans offer such visits. They save money for you and your health plan while providing valuable services. Following are some of the things you should prepare for when leaving the hospital.

In the hospital, paperwork must be completed. Generally the father attends to this, but many hospitals now have someone from the financial office drop by the hospital room so that the mother can make the arrangements herself

Most hospitals permits unlimited visiting by fathers, but young children are usually not allowed on maternity wards. The mother is usually provided with a wheelchair when leaving the maternity ward (like it or not) and generally is not allowed to have contact with her older children.

Although there are many compelling arguments against these rules, your hospital may enforce them, and you should be prepared to deal with their effects on your other children.

Many hospitals provide a package of goodies for the parent to take home for their new child. These goodies are supplied by the companies making the products and not by the hospital or your doctor. They are advertising samples.

Some of them may be useful, but many are not. Although they are free, they can cost you money inn the long run and get you started on some bad habits. A typical package will include the following:

Infant formula: this is very often a prepared liquid or liquid concentrate and is fine if fine if you're going to bottle-feed. These are handy and have a long shelf life. If you do choose to use it, remember that powdered formulas are more economical than liquid.

Check at your local supermarket to see which is most cost-efficient. There are no clinically significant differences between the major commercial products now on the market.

Lotions, creams and oils: use these on yourself if you wish, but most infants do not need such preparations. It is not recommended the routine use of any skin preparation for children

Powders: these have been used for centuries to keep babies dry, but the best way to dry a baby's bottom is to dry it. As soon as the child urinates, the effect of the powder is gone. Powders do help dry the perspiration that occurs underneath a warm diaper.

If you choose to powder your child's bottom, place the powder in your hand and then place it on the child's bottom. Shaking powder from a distance will spread a cloud of dust and the baby can inhale it. Powders containing talc have been cited as a course of serious lung disease. Use these powder cautiously or avoid them.

Cotton-tipped swabs: these can be used to clean a newborn's umbilical stump with alcohol, but should never be used to clean inside of children's ears. Wax is produced within the ear canal for a purpose. It usually becomes a problem only when it's pushed into the ear canal with a swab. Never put anything smaller than your elbow in a child's ear

Vitamins: all infant formulas are supplemented with the vitamins needed for your child's proper growth and development. Infant's who are breast-fed need only vitamin D supplement

Weight Loss After Pregnancy - 5 Quick Steps to Help Get You Back in Shape

Now that you've just had your beautiful baby, you look in the mirror and want to loose the extra baby fat that was being stored during your pregnancy.

Don't fret, it's actually very simple to lose those extra pounds after giving birth. Here are 5 simple ways to lose pregnancy weight.

1. Breastfeeding - You'll burn many calories when breastfeeding. As a result, you'll lose weight. Make sure not to eat less, because some of those calories need to be replenished.

2. Take smaller portions when eating. Split your meals into smaller meals. This will help you from being hungry while still burning fat.

3. Eat healthy foods. Keep everything in moderation. Balance out your carbohydrates, proteins, and fats evenly. Make sure you drink plenty of water. A recommended amount is between 10-12 glasses of water per day.

4. Sleep. Your body is working hard and you should give it extra time to recover. You're burning many calories taking care of your baby and exercising.

5. Stay active and exercise daily. Try some exercises you couldn't normally do while pregnant. A good example of a fun exercise is to take your baby for a walk. You have to wait six weeks after vaginal birth and eight weeks after c-section. Both you and your baby will enjoy the outdoors and you'll lose weight at the same time.

Try out these simple tips [] to help you get back in shape.

Don't listen to those who say it's impossible to lose weight after pregnancy. It is entirely possible to not only lose your weight after pregnancy, but you can actually look better than you did when you got pregnant.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Natural Unorthodox Methods To Cure Infertility Really Can Cure Infertility

Last year, Americans spent almost $1.4 billion on over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs and IVF procedures aimed at improving their infertility and increasing their chances for getting pregnant, and to treat other Infertility related symptoms.

The Infertility industry reaches billions in sales each and every year. and there are hundreds of manufacturing companies that produce thousands of different products which are consumed by nearly 12 million women in the United States alone who have Infertility issues!

With billions at stake, these pharmaceutical companies will tell you anything to get you to buy their products. They deceive couples with statistics and so called advances in research just to keep you buying what they are selling so becoming pregnant this way will take a miracle.

Taking these drugs and paying for all these ongoing fertility procedures, all mean a lot of money for your doctor, the hospital, and the drug and pharmaceutical companies. The potential complications from the surgeries along with all the side effects caused by the drugs you've been prescribed are also translated into a huge profits.

If you have been trying to get pregnant and have been experiencing what I just described, then you may need to ask yourself, is our doctor really trying to help us to conceive or is he just trying to keep us coming back to make more money from our insurance company or is he using us for research purposes.

Getting pregnant should be a very exciting and positive experience for all couples who want to have a baby, but the stress and frustration of infertility can actually cause a couple to break up rather than grow closer. Emotions of guilt and anger will eventually take a toll if the lines are communication are not kept open. Making sure both partners have a clear understanding of how far they are willing to go and what they are willing to do in order to conceive a child is critical to surviving the entire process and staying together. Couples absolutely need to research what is involved in fertility procedures before agreeing to the process. Ask yourselves can we handle the costs, can the husband handle producing sperm samples whenever requested, can the woman handle the painful injections and high levels of hormones which cause extreme mood swings in many women, can the woman or wife handle being poked and prodded and investigated like some sort of a science experiment, and most of all can the marriage hold up through the entire process and possibly have to accept the same diagnosis and prognosis of infertility after going through all the tests, and surgery, etc.

The information in this article only scratches the surface as to what is actually experienced and involved in fertility procedures. There are so many mental and physical sacrifices which have to be made than are mentioned in this article.

With all this being said, would it not be a wonderful reality to experience pregnancy without going through such a stressful and negative life changing and emotional process. If you have been trying without success to become pregnant now you can, there is a cure for infertility, and you can experience a pregnancy miracle.

Even though modern medicine has made great progress in the area of infertility and has helped many couples to conceive by way of surgery and medications; however, in many cases the results are still the same and couples are left feeling helpless and hopeless. For those couples, there is an answer which does not involve more medicines, more surgeries and more visits to the doctor's office.

If you have been diagnosed or have experienced any of the following issues of infertility there are answers and solutions to reverse or remedy all of them. YOU CAN CURE YOUR INFERTILITY.

1. Tubal Obstruction
2. High Levels of FSH
3. Endometriosis
4. Uterine Fibroids
5. Ovarian Cysts
6. Have has a miscarriage
7. Male has low sperm count
8. Are in you late 30's or 40's
9. Uterine Scarring
10. Have PCOS

Do not give up on becoming pregnant. There is a natural, safe, and effective way which has been proven over and over to cure infertility, and the proof is in the testimonies of the women who suffered with infertility for years but now have happy and healthy babies. If you have tried everything else, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Midwife

Liza Janda has valuable experience as a Certified Fitness Instructor for 27 years, Bradley Method Certified Childbirth Educator for 11 years, and Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor for 5 years. Her dedication to helping women during pregnancy, labor, birth and post-partum is a top priority. Liza is a wife and mother of two children, born naturally, one in a hospital, and one at home with a midwife.

You and your baby deserve to have a midwife for your prenatal care, labor support, and postpartum care. The Midwives Model of Care is a fundamentally different approach that includes safe, health-promoting and effective "natural" maternity care that avoids harmful and unnecessary drugs and interventions. Midwives believe in allowing women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies. Midwives are trained to view childbirth as a natural process and not as a medical problem.

1. Women have shorter labors.

According to the World Health Organization women who give birth with a midwife often have shorter labors.

2. Women:

o Have fewer Cesarean sections,

o Receive less anesthesia,

o Have a much lower rate of episiotomy

As a result, low-risk patients who choose nurse midwives for their obstetrical care experience fewer complications. This is safer for both mother and baby.

3. Birth is less expensive.
Because there are fewer interventions, women incur less expense, compared to similar women who choose physicians for their care.

4. Women are successful breastfeeding past the first six weeks. One major focus of midwives is to provide the mother with individualized education, counseling, and postpartum support.

5. Mothers are satisfied with their maternity care and their birth experiences.
Only 1.7% of the mothers who experienced midwife-attended homebirths said they would choose a different type of caregiver for a future pregnancy.

Pregnancy Miracle Can Help You in Overcoming Infertility Problems

Infertility is the most insecure feeling for a woman. It takes away all the charm of her life and leaves stress and despair. There are many physiological as well as hormonal defects that lead to several infertility problems. Some common causes of infertility problems include: tubal obstruction, high levels of follicle stimulating hormone, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, uterine scarring, ovarian cysts or lazy ovaries and pituitary gland disorders.

No matter what type of infertility problems you are facing, Pregnancy Miracle offers natural and holistic solutions for overcoming the infertility problems. The Pregnancy Miracle guide has the ability to make things possible. It reveals all the mysteries and truths regarding pregnancy. It explains the problems with the help of facts and evidences rather than opinions.

Pregnancy Miracle is based on the expertise of a nutritionist, coupled with her personal experiences of infertility for many years. Therefore, the guide pays required attention to every aspect of infertility. In its beginning, the book helps to detect the reasons behind infertility. After diagnosing the problem, the book suggests workable and natural solutions for the problems.

Additionally, the Pregnancy Miracle also offers solution to women having a history of miscarriages. It suggests ways to complete the full course of gestation. It is also a ray of hope for the over-age women who want to conceive near the age of menopause.

Pregnancy has an entirely new definition of infertility. Contradictory to the western infertility concepts, it takes it as some sort of imbalance. Working on this definition, the guide strives to help you in regaining your balance. Pregnancy Miracle focuses on rebalancing your energies and prepares you mentally, physically and spiritually for the conception of the baby.

The best thing about the guide is that it keeps you away from the risky surgeries and nasty drugs. Rather, it uses natural and harmless Chinese medicines to solve the problems. Though it is not a very quick solution but has the ability to root out the main causes of infertility.

Pregnancy Miracle guides you about the foods that boost up fertility and foods that decrease fertility. It tells about the diet and vitamins that are essential for the normal working of your reproductive system. The book explains how the food rich in vitamin C, D, Zinc, calcium and antioxidants help in increasing the fertility. The guide has some food charts to set a diet that aids in conceiving.

Pregnancy Miracle tells those things which most doctors do not. The book tells you about your most fertile period. During this period, the chances of conceiving are increased manifolds. It teaches you how to keep an eye on the events during the menstrual cycle. Pregnancy Miracle uses many other methods and techniques to overcome the infertility problem. The recommended alternative methods include acupuncture, aromatherapy, fertility yoga, and more. After conceiving successfully, the book guides and supports you till the birth of the healthy child. It is like your home doctor that helps you in overcoming the infertility problems.

A Look At Foods That Can Help You Get Pregnant

Down through the ages, advice and tips have been given to women on what foods will help them get pregnant. This has caused many hopeful mothers-to-be rushing off to eat whatever has been advised. Actually, women fall pregnant everyday without a thought to what they are eating. But many do swear by some foods they call fertility boosters.

Apparently, oysters are not only known as an aphrodisiac, but also as a fertility booster. They are chock full of zinc, an essential nutrient in conception. When the body lacks zinc, the menstrual cycle is disrupted and the egg production slows down. For those that are not into slurping on oysters, they can choose chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, or nuts to get their zinc.

For years, the world has heard how vitamin C is good for the body. Well, studies have shown that it is vital in conception too. It is especially important for women already on fertility medication and in helping women who already have ovulation problems. However, women are not the only ones that benefit, when a man lacks vitamin C their sperm may clump, decreasing the chance of conceiving. Smokers especially benefit from this vitamin, as the antioxidants are essential if they want to conceive.

One thing many look forward to at Thanksgiving is the yams. Now, those trying to conceive have another reason to enjoy those Thanksgiving yams. Researchers believe that there may be ovulation-stimulating substances in yams. They offer as proof the fact that many women who consume wild yams seem to have a much higher rate of twins than those who do not. Even though store bought ones are not wild, they still have lot of fertility-friendly vitamins and just may be the key to conceiving.

Lean meats such as beef, chicken, and turkey are all great providers of a very important fertility-boosting nutrient: iron. It has been found that women with an iron deficiency have a harder time falling pregnant than those who do not. The trick here is not to overeat protein, as that may decrease fertility. Try for three servings a week and replace one animal protein with beans or tofu at times.

Packed full of antioxidants to protect the body from cell damage and cell aging, berries are essential in conception. Protecting cells in the body includes the eggs. Blueberries and raspberries top the list as the best in berries. However, blackberries and strawberries are fertility-friendly also. These are perfect to snack on, in desserts, and as toppings in the morning.

While stuffing your body full of good for you fertility foods, you have to learn which ones to avoid. Trans fat is the biggest culprit. Too much trans fat in your diet increases the chances of ovulatory infertility, which decreases your chances of conceiving. Caffeine is another culprit, in all forms. It has been linked to low fertility and while it includes coffee and strong tea, chocolate is also in that equation.

It is important to eat healthy whether you are trying to get pregnant or not, so it just makes sense to eat fertility-boosting foods if you are. Not only are you giving your body the healthy nutrients and vitamins it needs, you are increasing you chances of conception at the same time. And, since you will need a well balanced diet when you fall pregnant, it just makes sense to start prepregnancy with fertility-friendly foods.

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave - Ways To Make the Transition Easier

Returning to work after maternity leave can be one of the hardest times you will face. You will probably go through the stages of feeling guilty about leaving your child, feeling despair about the changes in the coming weeks and feeling anger at the fact that you have to go back. Although balancing work and your baby will eventually become the norm, here are a few steps you can take to make returning to work after maternity leave a little easier on both of you.

Returning To Work After Maternity Leave: 4 Steps To Make The Transition Easier

1. Set Priorities: This sounds like a no brainer, but many people find it hard to accomplish. Getting back into the swing of things at your workplace is not easy. Time will make this transition easier, but in the beginning your priorities at work and home are very important. At work, make your priority work. Don't focus on your guilt or anger and try not to spend too much time "checking in" on your little one or worrying. At home, make family your priority. Leave work at work and dedicate time off to your family. If you have to bring work home, save it for after your baby goes to bed. When you are home and baby is awake, make that your priority. Bottom line: work is work, home is home.

2. Teamwork: If you have a spouse or significant other, ask for help. Divide up household chores and mealtimes. It can make a huge difference when everything doesn't fall on you. If you are a single mom don't be afraid to ask for help from family when you need it.

3. Self Care Time: This goes hand in hand with setting priorities. Always make sure to set some time aside for yourself. This is so important when returning to work after maternity leave. The busy life you are about to lead will leave no time for you, unless you schedule it in. Just an hour or two here and there can make a significant difference in your mood and the way you interact with your family.

4. Strive For Work Flexibility: Before returning to work after maternity leave check to see if your employer can offer you a more flexible working situation. This can be done through flextime, telecommuting or a compressed workweek. All of these options will allow you to maintain your full time income and be home with your baby more.

What If You Really Don't Want To Go Back To Work?

Returning to work after maternity leave is difficult no matter how you look at it. If you are having a hard time getting motivated to go back to work why not look into other options like working from home. It has never been as easy as it is now to work from home thanks to the Internet. Many are choosing to run an online home business which allows them to work when they like and as much as they like. An Internet home business leaves you and only you in charge of your time and income. Not to mention you get to be home with your baby all day long!

Childbirth Increases Risk of Stroke

Childbirth increases risk of stroke, this is according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) who conducted a study to determine the risk of stroke during pregnancy.

The NINDS study showed that the risk of stroke during pregnancy is highest in the postpartum period or 6 weeks after childbirth, that ischemic stroke is 9 times higher after pregnancy, and that hemorrhagic stroke is 28 times higher for postpartum women.

NINDS also cited in their website that other studies have also demonstrated pregnancy and childbirth as risk factors to stroke for women in as much as 13 times. This actually increases over time, after each childbirth.

"Pregnancy and childbirth cause strokes in approximately eight in 100,000 women. Unfortunately, 25% of strokes during pregnancy end in death, and hemorrhagic strokes, though rare, are still the leading cause of maternal death in the United States," the NINDS website said.

Though the cause of this phenomena is undetermined as of yet, NINDS notes that a possible factor is the hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy and childbirth and at the end of the childbearing years (menopause) that can increase the risk of stroke.

A study conducted by the Medical College of Georgia could also give enlightenment to this issue. The study notes that in every pregnancy, the blood volume increases about 50% to accommodate the increased demands from the placenta and baby alongside with the increase in heart rate to help circulate the extra blood. It is probable that during this time, the sudden pressure in the volume of the blood pushes for the occurrence of hemorrhagic stroke.

In a similar vein, a study, lead by Dr. Byung-Woo Yoon, investigated the underlying reasons between childbirth and stroke risk over a woman's life. Conducted at the Seoul National University Hospital in Korea, the study showed that multiple births further strain and stress the blood vessel and other body systems causing stroke risk to be higher in women during pregnancy and childbirth.

The study showed hemorrhagic stroke risk increased by 27% with each additional birth over time. It also revealed that women who had four or more childbirths had nearly a threefold higher risk of stroke as compared to women who have not had a child yet or had only one childbirth. Dr. Yoon's study shows hard evidence that childbirth influences the hardening or weakening of blood cells.

Childbirth increases the risk of stroke over time for women. These are some of the consequences that come with the beautiful miracle of childbirth that shows how much a woman sacrifices for the love of her child.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hospital Confinement Indemnity

Hospital bills can create financial difficulties for the best of families and they are usually expenses we are not expecting, or can be prepared for. When people are confined to the hospital they also lose wages unless they still have vacations or sick days left. Lost wages on top of medical bills cause even more financial strain. What can families do to protect themselves against a crisis like this?

One way to protect your finances from being depleted by unpaid hospital bills is to purchase a hospital confinement indemnity policy. A hospital confinement indemnity insurance policy is a supplemental policy that can help with unpaid expenses. And they don't necessarily have to be medical expenses.

A hospital confinement plan pays a lump sum to the policy holder and the policy holder can spend that money any way they choose. It could go to cover the out-of-pocket expense, and deductibles left over from the regular heath insurance, or it can be used to buy groceries. The whole purpose is to have money to meet needs during this time.

When you purchase a hospital confinement indemnity insurance plan you will see there are set amounts paid for each hospital confinement, so you know how much money you are going to get. You can also purchase policies that will cover outpatient surgery and ambulance transportation.

It is important to have a supplemental policy so that your medical bills always get paid in full. If they are not, unpaid medical bills can hurt your credit score. The more bills that are listed on your credit report, the lower it goes. These bad marks stay on your credit report for seven years.

By purchasing a supplemental hospital confinement indemnity plan you can rest assured that you will have money for everything you need when you, or someone in your family is hurt or sick.

A hospital confinement indemnity insurance plan is not meant to replace regular health insurance, it should be in addition to health insurance. Supplemental policies are less expensive than full blown policies and make a nice addition to your health care package. If you don't have enough savings to live on for six months, if incapacitated, then you really need to look into purchasing a supplemental policy.

How to Stay Calm and Positive During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, people will give you all kinds of advice about what to do--some of it good, some of it not-so-helpful. While the list of things you have to get organised is long and detailed--everything from nappies to maternity wear and birthing classes--it's important to take this time to reflect, relax, and take care of YOU. After all, the next 18 years are going to be dedicated to taking care of an extra little person, so enjoy the time you have with yourself. Here are three ways in which you can get in touch with some inner peace and remain positive and content throughout your pregnancy.


Yoga not only has a multitude of health benefits for the practitioner, but it has proven time and time again to help with stress and focus. There are specific prenatal Yoga classes you can attend, or otherwise just choose a very gentle and relaxing kind--Hatha is great--and do as much as feels comfortable. This isn't about becoming the most flexible person in the class or even keeping your figure--it's about learning to connect with your mind and body, release tension, and take a much-needed break from the stresses of daily life. If you prefer, you can do Yoga in the comfort of your own living room, making sure of course that you and your baby are comfortable throughout.


You may or may not have had a lot of experience of meditation in the past but pregnancy is the perfect time to embrace this practice. There's no hard or fast way to meditate--you need to find what works for you, but one suggestion is to light some candles, play some relaxing music and sit still for about 10-15 minutes. Try to clear your mind of all the worries and stresses that have been running through your mind and watch your thoughts come and go. This takes a bit of practice--'watching' our thoughts is difficult to do without letting them sweep us up in shopping lists and daily chores--but if you can learn to detach a little bit from your thoughts you'll experience a profound relaxation, and your mind will be rejuvenated for the rest of the day.


Many believe that repeating positive affirmations is an excellent way to achieve happiness and a calm, relaxed outlook. Try repeating this one while you're in the shower:

"I am happy, healthy and capable. All is well and my baby is growing healthy and strong."

This is just a suggestion, you can replace this with any affirmation you like--as long as it is positive. Visualise what you want to happen--if you want more focus, don't say: "I will not get distracted", because then what you visualise is the distraction, not the solution. Instead, affirm to yourself "I remain calm and focused throughout the day" Saying your affirmation as if it is already fact tricks your subconscious into believing it--and you'll start to implement the procedures you need!

In the often frantic world of maternity dresses, baby name books and crib-shopping that is pregnancy, remember to take a little time out to work on your emotional health and well-being. You--and your child--will be grateful you did.

Getting Ready For Pregnancy

Pregnancy is that wonderful time in a woman's life that is memorable, whether it is the first one or second, or even third. Each pregnancy is a whole new experience. No matter how prepared the mother-to-be is, she needs to know whether she is ready for the amazing changes it brings mentally, emotionally and physically.

Naturally, the first thing you would look for if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant is a comprehensive guide to pregnancy that can be your best friend throughout those critical nine months. But let us first find out whether you are ready to get pregnant. We can categorize this into being ready emotionally and physically so that you are mentally prepared.

Being emotionally prepared for pregnancy:

It is no news that parenthood is a 24-hour job. Having a child brings with it changes in lifestyle that you must accept cheerfully most of the time. You might have to make sacrifices like giving up on free time, sleeping late on holidays, etc.

Your partner and you must basically agree on a variety of issues. If there are disagreements, now is the time to talk about them before you conceive. Unless you do this, you cannot prepare yourself emotionally. After all, pregnancy is a major decision and you don't want to have any concerns about it later.

Do not get pressurized into pregnancy simply because your partner is keen. It is important for both your partner and you to look forward to being parents. Suppose you are not in a relationship, you need to be emotionally ready to be a single parent. If you happen to be studying, think about where your baby will fit in.

Another issue to think about now is religious differences if any, since these affect your baby. You also want to be emotionally prepared to be loving parents to a child who has special needs. Think about childcare if both you and your partner go out to work. Discuss all this with your partner.

Being physically prepared for pregnancy:

You definitely want to be in good shape through your pregnancy. To do this, you need to understand that the health of your baby will depend on your health as well as your partner's. Did you know that your baby's organs start forming in the first four weeks of pregnancy even before you realize you are pregnant? So before you conceive, there are many things you can do from your side to ensure the best for your baby. These are:

  • Take folic acid daily before your pregnancy

  • Get a thorough check up both with your physician and dentist

  • Make sure you eat healthy

  • Give up smoking and this includes passive smoke

  • Stop alcohol

  • Stop non-prescription drugs

  • Stay healthy, avoiding infections that can harm your baby

  • Discuss your family health history with your physician

  • Be relaxed and avoid stress

A large part of getting ready for pregnancy lies in your control and your guide to pregnancy can tell you how. Also remember to discuss finances with your partner and plan ahead so that you are well prepared. Start saving now - in fact make it a habit to save. Make sure your health insurance is up to date.

When you are prepared for your pregnancy, it can be the best time of your life!

Note: The information here is not intended to replace your doctor's advice. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, please contact your doctor.

DHA Prenatal - The Best Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement That is Safe For Mum and Baby

Studies have shown that it is very important for women to take DHA prenatal supplements during pregnancy. This is because dha has been proven to be beneficial to both the mum and fetus and deficiency in this vital nutrient can be disastrous to both.

To start with, the human brain is 30% dha; hence regular consumption of DHA prenatal supplements have been proven to help the brain of the fetus to from properly. It also helps in the overall development of the baby: it helps the eyes of the baby to develop well and also helps to prevent the baby from developing allergies in the future.

Regular consumption of prenatal DHA supplements during pregnancy also help to prevent miscarriage, preterm and stillborn. Research shows that when a woman is pregnant, the fetus draws from and depletes the mother's dha; so, if the woman does not restore the depleted amount by regular intake of DHA prenatal supplements, she will most likely suffer from post natal depression.

There are lots of benefits of DHA prenatal supplements; however, care should be taken when choosing a brand. Fish oil is the best source of dha but fish contain impurities such as mercury, pesticides and other heavy metals. These contaminants are toxic to both mother and child especially at that critical stages of their lives.

Hence, the best prenatal DHA fish oil supplements are those that are molecularly distilled; molecular distillation is the only purification method that ensures that the toxins are removed form the oil, thereby making it pure and safe for even an unborn baby.

It is also important to note that most of the supplements on the market contain synthetic vitamin E as a preservative; synthetic vitamin E is not as effective as the natural version. Therefore make sure that the fish oil supplement you are taking contains natural vitamin E.

The brand I personally take contains natural vitamin E and Rosemary extracts as preservatives. The combination of these these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent help to increase the potency of the supplement.

You need to regularly take prenatal DHA fish oil supplement for your health and that of your baby; however make sure that it is purified by molecular distillation.

Discover the best DHA prenatal supplement.

Key Documents for International Travel

If you don't have a passport, you can appear in person at any of more than 5,000 U.S. courthouses and post offices that are specifically authorized to accept passport applications. If in doubt, call the general access number at the courthouse or post office in question and ask if that location is approved for passport applications. If you need your passport urgently (if you plan to travel abroad within the next two weeks), you can contact any of the thirteen U.S. passport agencies that accept applications by appointment. As of 2005, these offices were located in Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Norwalk, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC. You will need to call the passport agency in advance and you may be asked to provide proof of the urgent need for the passport, such as a ticket showing travel within fourteen days.

If you were born in the U.S., you should bring an official certified copy of your birth certificate. If you do not have one, you can request a copy from the agency that records births and vital statistics in your state of birth, usually for a small fee.

If for some reason you cannot obtain a copy of your birth certificate, you will need a letter of no record issued by your state of birth with your name, date of birth and a statement showing the years that were searched for your birth record and the fact that there is no birth certificate on file for you. Along with this, you need to bring as many different proofs of birth as possible, including baptismal services, hospital birth records, census records, early school records, or even your doctor's record of postnatal care. You can also use a notarized affidavit of birth signed by an older blood relative who has personal knowledge of your birth, though this will carry less weight than an official document.

If you were born outside the U.S., you will need a copy of the consular report of birth abroad or certification of birth, your naturalization certificate, or your citizenship certificate as proof of your U.S. citizenship.

You will also need to provide proof of your identity - a valid driver's license, a government or military ID card, or a certificate of naturalization or citizenship. If these are not available, you should bring other signature documents such as a Social Security card or credit card, along with a person who can vouch for you who does have valid ID. Finally, bring two identical 2" x 2" photographs taken within the past six months, color or black and white, front view, full face.

You should plan at least 90 days wait time to receive your passport. State officials say 6 weeks but you should plan longer. Expedited service (two weeks' turnaround) may be available but can cost as much as $60 extra. If you plan to travel abroad a lot, you should request a larger, 48-page passport for no extra charge.

Do IVF Loans Make Infertility Treatments More Affordable?

You desperately want a baby, and are considering In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), but your insurance does not cover the treatments, and you don't have $20,000 in spare cash. There are banks who may loan you the money. Should you consider financing to pay for your IVF treatments? Not without hedging your bets. If your IVF treatments work, repaying that loan may be much harder than you think.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 per treatment cycle. Many couples have major medical insurance, but most plans do not cover IVF at all. Fifteen states mandate some level of infertility treatment coverage, but some state exclude IVF, and each law has plenty of loopholes. Then there are those couples who work for employers headquartered in one of the thirty five states with no mandate at all.

With IVF insurance coverage so hard to find, most couples must pay IVF expenses completely out of their own pocket. The majority of U.S. households are living check to check. They spend all or most of what they make, and have little in savings. This is even more common with couples looking to start a family. They may have recently entered the workforce, have yet to hit their peak earning years, and have had little time to accumulate assets. Then they are faced with a huge bill for IVF.

Should you take out a loan to pay for your In Vitro Fertilization treatments? You are playing with fire if you do, but there are ways to mitigate the risks with supplemental insurance. If your IVF treatments fail, you repay the loan over time. The bank qualified you for a certain amount based upon your credit score and income, and you handle the payments comfortably. No sweat.

Suppose you conceive and deliver a healthy baby! Mom missed twelve weeks of work for her pregnancy and maternity leave, and now you have the extra expenses of feeding, clothing, and raising your child. When the loan payments come due, where does the money come from?

What if you conceive, but experience pregnancy complications, and your baby is born premature? Mom may be hospitalized and/or miss significant time from work before her delivery. Your baby may spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), leaving you with lots of left over medical bills. Then you have the extra expenses of feeding, clothing, and raising your child. Now you are in real trouble when the loan payments come due.

Supplemental IVF Insurance pays cash directly to you when your infertility treatments work, and provides extra benefits in case of complications.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Discover Ways To Make Your Pregnancy More Enjoyable

There are a lot of things about pregnancy that can make a woman feel like she can't possibly do anything right. The tips below will help you learn more about pregnancy and become more relaxed and less overwhelmed.

Quit caffeine as soon as you become pregnant or when you're trying to become pregnant. This will keep you from sleeping well. Saltine crackers can be very helpful as you battle nausea and morning sickness. Having a good diet is helpful for getting proper sleep.

Eating bland foods such as crackers throughout your pregnancy is a good idea. These foods keep your stomach balanced and help to cut back on pregnancy-related nausea. Be sure to avoid heavy, greasy or acidic foods since they can add to your nausea and also create heartburn.

Cats are carriers of toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that is found in their feces. Allowing another person to change the cat litter is the safest option.

Learning your monthly cycle is important when you are planning on getting pregnant. By learning your cycles, you will be more in tune to knowing the best times to try to conceive. Also, it will help you figure out when exactly you conceived so you can determine a due date that is more accurate. ?

If you happen to be pregnant, make certain you drink enough fluids if you develop diarrhea from getting an illness, or from eating a certain food. Being dehydrated while you are pregnant can result in a hospital visit, which is expensive and unnecessary.

If you feel cravings, perhaps you should not fulfill all of them. Both you and your unborn child have particular nutritional requirements. Not all craved foods will satisfy the nutritional needs of your child, so continue to be conscious of what you're eating.

Eliminate or reduce your caffeine intake. Caffeine may cause problems for your developing baby. This is why it is important to avoid consuming caffeine during pregnancy. ?

Don't let heartburn symptoms ruin your joyful pregnancy. There are certain foods that can trigger the heartburn so do your best to avoid these. Caffeine, chocolate and spiced foods are known contributors of heartburn. Eat several small meals a day, and break them down into small bites, chewing thoroughly before swallowing. ?

Ask your significant other to work with you to eat a healthier diet and make healthier lifestyle choices. It will make it easier for you and less stressful. ?

During your pregnancy, it is critical that you totally eliminate some foods from your diet to ensure that your child stays healthy. You should not eat raw seafood, soft cheeses or unpasteurized milk.?

A common woe among pregnant women is morning sickness. There are many options available to you to help alleviate some of your morning sickness. Rather than allowing yourself to feel hungry, you should eat smaller meals more frequently. It is important to drink all the water your doctor recommends, plus other drinks like milk. Take prenatal vitamins with food. If there are foods which make you feel bad, don't eat them! Exhaustion can play a role in how you feel so take it easy and rest when needed. ?

During pregnancy, you should always ensure that your body is fully supported during sleep. Many stores sell body pillows made especially for pregnancy. If you cannot afford or find one, you can try using a normal pillow instead. Try sleeping with the pillow below your stomach and another under a knee. ?

With being pregnant, there is lots to know. By applying the advice you have learned in this article, you can make sure that your pregnancy goes smoothly.

Learning More About Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression, also known as postnatal depression usually occurs after childbirth. In rare cases, it may also occur during child bearing. This condition makes pregnant women irritable, sad, depressed and worried. Some women also experience extreme mood swings and anxiety. They become cranky and cry for no reason at all. Such symptoms should be dealt with very carefully. It is important that the family members provide all the required support. Doctors suggest that spouses and their families should learn how to deal with such situations. Counseling family members can help them cope with irritable mood swings and depression. This condition is primarily caused due to hormonal changes. It is a sensitive issue that is difficult to handle. Care and understanding is required. There are some other treatments and solutions for this condition.

Treatment And Solution For Postpartum Depression

o Counseling - This is the best treatment available. Psychotherapy sessions help a pregnant woman deal with their situation. She learns to handle her emotions and thereby control such extreme swings. The counseling is offered on a one-to-one basis to the woman and her family members. Several support groups arrange interactive sessions to deal with such pregnancy symptoms. It is advisable to consult a psychotherapist if the signs of irritability go beyond control and the pregnant woman feels melancholic all the time.

o Nutrition - Deficiency in nutrition may also lead to postpartum depression. However, there is no proof of good nutrition being instrumental in reducing this kind of depression. Nevertheless, a good and balanced diet will be beneficial for the mother as well as the baby. Pregnant women must include Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, B vitamin and calcium in their diet. Consult your doctor for a balanced diet plan.

o Hormone Therapy - This is another solution for postpartum depression. The hormone Estrogen is responsible for such complications among women. A hormone replacement therapy may be the ideal solution. However, this treatment has some risk factors involved hence, it is important to consult your doctor.

o Medicines - There is medication for this condition if it becomes severe. Sometimes, the mother becomes extremely depressed and is not in a position to take care of the baby. This kind of situation requires the administration of anti-depressants. However, self medication can be dangerous. It is advisable to consult your doctor for treatment.

Sometimes postpartum depression can lead to suicidal tendencies in the mother. This condition needs urgent care and treatment. Read the warning signs and symptoms and start the treatment at once. Co-operation and care from family members can help the woman overcome this problem and lead a happy life.

Postpartum Hair Loss - How To Stop Hair Loss After Pregnancy

Postpartum hair loss is what is commonly known as post pregnancy hair loss which this can last from six to twelve months after childbirth. There are several things you can do to Stop Hair Loss After Pregnancy.

Have your doctor check you out to ensure that you are no longer experiencing hormonal imbalance. If the hormonal imbalances continues after childbirth, you might be experiencing other types of medical conditions which could have occurred during pregnancy and extend thereafter like thyroid disorder in pregnancy.

If you are given a clean bill of health, you should start on a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables high in antioxidants, helping you to enhance hair growth and strengthening the follicles.

Intake of the right amount of supplements in terms of vitamins and minerals is an important part of the regimen. You may wish to continue taking prenatal vitamins as the chemical components of zinc, vitamin H, silica and calcium can help enhance hair growth. Fish oils containing omega, flaxseed oil, avocados and nuts can also help with the hair growth.

Scalp acupuncture and massage is also effective in stimulating the blood flow through the scalp and hair follicles. You may do the massage yourself or us a bristle brush. Be careful not to rip the remaining amounts of your hair.

Create a soothing, safe, healthy and happy environment at home to avoid emotional trauma and postnatal depression as this will give rise to more stress and hence intensify your postpartum hair loss.

As you trying to coax new hair to grow, never use harsh chemicals on your hair or scalp and this include thick moisturizing creams, harsh shampoos, hair coloring and highlights etc. Avoid using strong hair dryers, heated curlers just in case you might further aggravate hair loss.

While you may not be able to totally stop hair loss after pregnancy, there are some things you can do to camouflage it. Trying different hair styles or going for a shorter crop enables easy hair management and can in fact stimulate hair growth to a certain extent. You might wan to use headbands which can easily cover up certain areas, especially along the hairline or higher.

Always remember, post pregnancy hair loss is temporary and you will have a full-grown head of crowning glory again very soon, especially if you do not fuss over it every moment of the time. Anxiety and stress can affect it growth too.

A Loving Gaze Builds Trust

I love watching parents and babies interact, especially the gazing that goes on between mother infant pairs. It is like a secret, intimate language between lovers as each looks at the other as though they are the most wonderful person in the whole world. And this is exactly how it feels when mother and baby are perfectly attuned to each other.

Sadly though, many parents and particularly mothers, are being given advice that interrupts this exquisite bond. I have had mothers call me knowing intuitively that something is amiss as they say, my baby won't make eye contact. At first I was baffled the baby concerned looked directly at me and smiled (so, thankfully, nothing was intrinsically wrong). I then discovered that the mother had a normal drug-free birth and no separation afterwards, so bonding at birth had been optimal mothers and babies are biologically, hormonally primed to fall in love after a natural birth. Apart from distress about her baby's lack of eye contact, the mum wasn't exhibiting any symptoms of chronic postnatal stress or depression. So what, I wondered, had happened to create a breakdown in the connection between mother and child?

It turned out that this mother and others I have met with a similar reaction from their babies since had been religiously following a very strict sleep training regime that advocated avoiding eye contact with her baby. Although it is wise to keep bedtimes calm and gentle, imagine how you would feel if your partner repeatedly avoided your gaze. How do you feel when people avoid eye contact with you?

Eye contact is an important element of parent child bonding and the development of trust between parent and child: your face is the most potent visual stimulus your baby encounters, and as you and your baby gaze into each other's eyes, endorphin levels rise in your baby's brain, producing feelings of joy. Your own endorphin levels will rise and, in turn, you and your baby become emotionally synchronized.

According to Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training for the Centre for Child Mental Health in London and author of The Science of Parenting (Penguin), face to face conversations between you and your baby and the subsequent release of optimal hormonal levels into your child's brain will help develop pathways in your child's higher brain that encourage social intelligence, the ability to form relationships. Ms Sunderland says, the ability to light you up is the very basis of your baby's sense of himself as lovely and lovable.

Fortunately, with a little time teaching these mothers to read and respond to their babies cues and, with interaction such as baby massage and games that involve face to face contact, they and their babies are soon engaging with each other again. So, please be reassured, if you have been trying to follow a rigid baby care plan but feel it is interrupting the bond between you and your child, it is never too late to make changes. Above all, you haven't irreparably damaged your relationship with your child, but please, look into your baby's eyes and say, I love you. And wait for her to meet your gaze.

Getting Health Insurance For Pregnant Women

Although it is important for everyone to have a health insurance, it is particularly important in the context of pregnant women. The reason is obvious: there are many things that can go wrong during pregnancy, or could be made better if the woman is aware of certain facts. Therefore, it is essential that pregnant women periodically receive check-ups in order to make sure the pregnancy is progressing properly and there are no detectable problems with their unborn child.

Unfortunately, many pregnant women do not have health insurance. It has been statistically shown that when they deliver, their babies are more likely to have low birth weight and higher incidents of death.

Getting an insurance while pregnant has become significant today because of the towering cost of health insurance in the United States. According to the American Health Association, 41 million Americans are not insured, and around 13% pregnant women in the country do not possess any form of health insurance. This puts these women and their unborn children at risk.

Prenatal checkups can be very expensive, not to mention hospital and delivery charges which could cost $10,000 or more. Furthermore, if there are complications, such as premature birth or the woman requires a cesarean section, the costs would be much greater. Therefore, it is strongly recommended for pregnant women to find a way to obtain health insurance.

The problem is that most companies do not accept new insurance policies from pregnant women whose pregnancy has been assessed as a pre-existing condition. Ideally, if you are a woman and you know you wish to get pregnant, things would be much easier for you if you got health insurance before you got pregnant. That being said, if you are uninsured and found out you are pregnant, here are some useful tips that could help you obtain health insurance:

First, shop around - search the internet - for health insurance companies who can provide pregnancy health coverage and discounted health care coverage. It is easy to get free instant quotes from multiple providers. Some may very well be more affordable than others.

Second, there are some federally funded programs which offer healthcare coverage for low income people. Medicaid, for example, allows you to enroll in a health insurance plan even when you are pregnant. An additional program is CHIP. Some states have specialized programs for this purpose: investigate whether your state offers one.

Third, look for additional benefits provided by other agencies. WIC is a federal agency that offers health services to low income women and children under 5, and also provides food supplements.

Finally, if you are in a position where you have several options, make sure you choose your plan carefully: choose the plan which covers all the benefits you may require. For example a hospital-only plan will not cover visits to a physician's clinic.

The Surrogacy Option For Infertile Couples

For couples who decide to put an end to unsuccessful infertility treatment, surrogacy is a good option to parent a child. It's the closest to having a biological child of your own when all other options fail, with the added benefit of letting you participate closely in your baby's gestation and birth. Surrogacy, referred to as 'assisted reproduction' also benefits women who have no uterus or have a damaged one.

What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is the process where in another woman helps to carry your child in the event that you are unable to conceive or carry a child of your own. The surrogate mother is willing to be impregnated by InVitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure and then carries the resulting baby for the 'Intended Parents.' After the birth of the child the surrogate mother relinquishes all her parental rights to the child.

Gestational Surrogacy
Gestational surrogacy is also referred to as host surrogacy since the surrogate mother is not biologically related to the child, but merely acts as host for the embryo. This is a good option for women who can produce eggs for fertilization but are unable to carry a child to term. In this type of surrogacy, the sperm and eggs are provided by the intended parents or by sperm or egg donors. The surrogate is implanted with the fertilized embryo through in-vitro fertilization.

Surrogacy Cost
Surrogacy is a costly option for infertile couples. The intended parents have to bear all the expenses of the surrogate's pregnancy and related fees that would cover surrogate screening and counseling, lost wages, insurance, surrogate's transportation, surrogate agency and attorney fees. The other vital expenses include:
o The cost of fertility treatments needed to begin the pregnancy, which may include in-vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination
o Prenatal visits with health care providers
o The cost of delivery
o Food, medicines, and clothing required for the surrogate
o The initial supplies for the baby before the hand-over
Surrogate agencies charge anything in the range of $38,000 to $54,000 as fees, sometimes more or less. This would also typically include legal fees and the cost of paperwork.

Legal Issues in Surrogacy
Before the surrogacy relationship is established between the intended parents and the surrogate, it is necessary to sign a surrogacy contract defining the procedures, expenses, and legal parental rights. Legal concerns are of the utmost importance while pursuing surrogacy.

In Conclusion
Despite the significant financial burden, and the long drawn out processes, surrogacy is a satisfying option for many couples. However finding a suitable surrogate is not easy and the whole process of surrogacy itself is an emotionally-draining one. The necessary psychological assessment and detailed explanation about expectations is vital for a positive outcome of the process.

At East Bay Fertility Center, Dublin, California, Dr. Ellen U. Snowden, Medical Director and physician and her highly qualified team help realize your dream of having a family through the latest technology and most comprehensive consultation in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology. Our gestational surrogacy program is based on personalized care and support, every step of the way. Visit us at for all your fertility related queries and concerns.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Baby Feeding for One Week Old

It is difficult for a mother to know how much quantity should be required for 1 week old baby feeding pattern. A mother at times get a feeling that the milk intake by one week old baby is not much, as she does not have an experience about 1 week old baby feeding.

The interaction between the mother and a newborn during the first week will not be comfortable, as both should get adjusted with each other.

Mostly, 1 week old infant feeding should be initiated by a mother, as baby at this age would prefer sleeping all the time. The mother should wake up during nights to feed the baby. 1 week old baby feeding would be a tough task for a mother, as baby will not be in a sense to respond to mother.

It is studied that, the one week old newborn sleeps 90% of the time and will be awake only 10 per cent. One week old baby would respond only at the loud noises and look around every corner very quietly. As you cannot measure 1 week old baby feeding, you can ask your doctor for some tips to know how frequently you should breast feed your baby.

It is usually advised to feed the one week old infant for 6-10 times in a day, which comes to 2 to 3 oz approximately. The feeding consistency usually depends upon the size and the activity level of the baby, and the intake gradually increases as the baby grows.

8 Tips to Help You Losing Belly Fat After Pregnancy Fast

Your baby has come and she is the cutest baby in the world but you think that now is the time to join the 'Losing Belly Fat after Pregnancy' club. The initiation, well, you just paid it and the dues are what you want to put in to it. That does not mean that it is all down hill from here, far from it, however, your body will recover. Your body can recover more quickly when you follow a few simple ideas.

1. Make sure that you breast feed, if you are able. This helps your baby and it helps you to lose weight. Did you know that? They don't really know why, it just does. Drink lots of water. Breastfeeding makes you want to eat more and that's not what you want to be doing so drinking that water when you wake up and before each meal helps you to feel full and you will not eat as much.

2. Clean up your cupboards and refrigerator. Get rid of all those food stuffs that you know are not good for you. You don't need them and you will be doing fine with the items that are listed in any good diet book. So, eat healthy!

3. While you are eating healthier eat more often. No, I don't mean to chow down at each of 4 - 5 meals a day. You need to be thinking about eating less, more often. This little bit at a time, along with the water should keep you feeling full most of the time.

4. Take a little time when you can to learn about nutrition. Find out a little bit more about the foods that are good for you and ensure that you think through your menu items, again.

5. Metabolic enhancers turn your body into a fat burner! (Chili, for example)

6. Don't dread exercising, now. You have a buddy to go with you on your walks! You probably got a stroller at one of those baby showers, get it out! You can get your heart rate up to the proper place for your body type form the needed 30 minutes and you can have that heart to heart with your youngish at the same time. Some of the modern strollers with allow you to jog a little as well.

7. There is always safety in numbers, so if you have someone else to go with by all means do so. This can be motivating factor, as well. Take your doctors advice for all of this exercise stuff.

8. While we are talking about exercises, make sure that the ones that you do early on, say, before your 12th week after... is not high impact. You should not be bouncing and jumping a lot.