Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bothersome Pregnancy Symptoms During the First Trimester and How to Avoid Them

The first trimester of pregnancy can be a confusing and difficult time for some women. Your body is experiencing so many changes, physical and hormonal which impact you in a way like nothing else. Though most women are not showing until well after the first trimester there are massive unseen changes going on inside your body. Some of these changes can cause extreme discomfort. You have to be careful about using over the counter medication to relieve symptoms like morning sickness, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn. Normally these would be simple to cure, but now not only do you have to contend with the discomfort, they are more difficult to relieve because so many things can affect the growth of the fetus during the first trimester. Professional health care providers list the following guide lines for relief of bothersome and uncomfortable symptoms that are common during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Morning sickness: Everyone knows about the commonly experienced nausea and vomiting associated with the first trimester of pregnancy. To eliminate morning sickness don't let your stomach get completely empty. Try to eat small meals throughout the day. Ginger tea is recommended as a natural herbal remedy to relieve symptoms of nausea and vomiting and is considered safe to use during the first trimester. Sucking on hard candy can also help relieve nausea because it keeps the saliva glands active in between meals and helps reduce acid build up in the stomach. Avoiding smells and foods that increase the feeling of nausea helps as well as eating a few non salted crackers or pieces of toasted bread which help keep something on your stomach and soak up excess stomach acid.

Heartburn: The evil twin of morning sickness, heartburn is a common symptom during the first trimester. First avoid any foods that you have previously experienced heartburn with before the pregnancy. Ginger tea and lemon tea are recommended for natural heartburn relief and are considered safe to use during the first trimester. Try to avoid eating anything about two hours before bedtime since this is when most patients report the worst time for heartburn due to the fact that they are lying down prone which increase heartburn. Avoid lying down immediately after eating. Eating yogurt or milk may help relieve symptoms of heartburn. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid heartburn inducing foods such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, fried foods, garlic and onions. Also try to avoid foods high in natural acids such as tomatoes and peppers. Try sleeping with your upper half of your body slightly raised to keep acid down in your stomach. Another commonly used remedy is a tablespoon of honey mixed with a glass of warm milk. Avoiding smoking as this increases stomach acid content.

Fatigue: Many women report increased fatigue during the first trimester of pregnancy. Try to get extra rest whenever possible by taking short naps or going to bed a few hours early. Cut back on strenuous physical activity and keep a steady short exercise routine. Cut back or eliminate extra responsibilities and unnecessary social commitments. Eating properly is also a great help to fight fatigue. Some fatigue is due to improper diet while pregnant. Eat foods high in iron and protein and avoid stimulants such as foods and drinks with caffeine in them. Severe fatigue may be due to anemia, a lack of iron in the blood and the health care provider may prescribe iron tablets. Also remember to take your prenatal vitamins, they help ensure you have the nutrients you need in your body to support the fetus in its growth and help you to avoid fatigue due to nutrition deprivation.

Tender breasts: Breast tenderness is due to your body preparing itself to care for the new baby. Wearing a supportive bra or sports bra may help to alleviate some of the tenderness.

Constipation: During the first trimester of pregnancy constipation is a commonly reported symptom by many women. To avoid constipation drink plenty of clear fluids especially early in the day. Try to eat on a regular schedule and eat balanced meals. Eat foods that are high in fiber such as high fiber fruits, leafy vegetables and whole grain breads and cereals. Also ask your doctor about fiber supplements. Mild over the counter medications and laxatives may be useful but should be discussed with your health care provider first.

Lower back pain: This is almost a given for women during any stage of pregnancy, but especially so during the first trimester. This is because the body is experiencing tremendous physical change in perpetration for pregnancy and delivery. The abdomen muscles are stretching and pulling and joints and muscles throughout the body are loosening to adjust for the additional stress of carrying the baby. Maintaining good posture is important towards avoiding lower back pain. Sitting straight, walking straight and avoiding slumping helps with preventing lower back pain. Sit with your feet slightly elevated off the floor, uncrossed legs and try to get up and stretch frequently. Avoid lying on your back when sleeping. Try laying on your side with a pillow between your legs for support. This will reduce pressure on your back. Wear low heeled or no heeled shoes to avoid stressing muscles in your lower back caused by your center of gravity shifting to adjust for the newly added weight. Do not lift heavy objects and if you must lift something use proper lifting techniques by bending the knees and keeping the back straight while lifting. Avoid lifting items over your head as this may strain back muscles. Some over the counter medications that contain acetaminophen are probably OK to use while pregnant, but before self medicating always check with your health care provider and discuss the medication. Severe back pain can be treated with a visit to a chiropractor or massages and the use of certain oils. Make sure to check with your health care provider before using oils or having massage therapy.

Nasal problems: many women report nasal problems during their first trimester, snoring, runny noses, congestion, sinus problems, coughing and sneezing. This is called pregnancy Rhinitis and occurs in about 20% of all pregnant women. The nasal passages become inflamed and irritated causing symptoms that are similar to an allergy though with no apparent environmental factors. To avoid or alleviate symptoms of pregnancy Rhinitis, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration which irritates the nasal lining and sinuses, increase the humidity of your home by using a humidifier, avoid environmental irritates like cigarette smoke, try sleeping with your head propped up and exercise moderately. Over the counter nasal sprays, antihistamines and oral decongestants can be used but always check with your health care provider first to make sure the product is considered safe for use during pregnancy.

Swollen feet and ankles: Often a comment ailment during the first trimester of pregnancy, alleviate swollen feet and ankles by sitting with your feet propped up for 10-15 minutes before resting, wear low heeled or no heeled shoes and try to limit long periods of time spent walking or standing. If problems with swollen feet and ankles continue this should be discussed with your health care provider because they can be symptoms of other serious health problems.

Increased Urination: Pregnancy comes with quite a few changes to the body. One of these changes is the expansion of the uterus which puts pressure on the bladder and can cause a need to urinate more frequently. Drink fewer fluids in the evening to avoid frequent late night trips to the bathroom and urinate whenever you feel the need to avoid urinary tract infections.

Taking Care of You and Baby - Are Acai Berries Safe For Pregnant Women?

When you're pregnant, one of the first things that may come to mind is how best to care for yourself and your precious little package.  Of course you want your baby to be healthy, and you want to be healthy to care for your baby.  What should you eat?  What should you avoid?  You may have heard that acai berries are great to take during pregnancy, but if you don't know enough about them, you may be reluctant.  So what do you need to know about these berries and pregnancy?

What are acai berries?

The fruit that comes from the palm, which is found in Central and South America.  It's a fast-growing plant, but produces only two crops of fruit a year.  The fruit is similar in size and appearance to grapes, but the color is usually darker, and there is less pulp.  Usually, you can find the berries in drinks like juice, smoothies, and even sodas.  They're also found in bars, as capsules, or in powdered mixers that you can add to drinks on your own.

What are the health benefits of acai berries?

They have a lot of nutritional benefits.  The fruit has fatty enzymes and oleic acid that help lower the levels of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) in the body.  The berries also have high amounts of calcium and vitamin E, as well as high concentrations of polyphenols.  All these things make acai berries a strong antioxidant for the body.  It's also used as an anti-inflammatory, an antibacterial, and a cardiovascular system supporter.

Are the berries safe during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is known to increase oxidative stress, which can lead to reduced calcification and placental efficiency.  Antioxidants are often recommended to pregnant women to combat this oxidative stress.  The antioxidants in the fruit can help in this area.

Another benefit is the circulation-supporting factor.  When pregnant, a woman's blood volume increases to make sure the baby gets all the nutrients it needs while it's growing.  With acai berries, circulation is improved even more, which can help make sure your baby is getting all it needs to be healthy.

Of course, before you decide whether or not to take acai  during pregnancy, it's important to consult your care provider.  Different women have different pregnancy experiences, and you may need specific diet restrictions to keep yourself and your baby healthy.

Why Do People Need Disability Insurance?

Many people do not realize what would happen if they become disabled and lose their ability to work. Statistics show that approximately 43 percent of individuals between the ages 35 and 65 will become disabled for 90 days or more. If you lose your ability to work and make a living, disability insurance will help you pay your bills, save for retirement, and make your mortgage loan payments. This type of coverage will replace up to 60 percent of your gross income in case you become disabled. Supplemental plans will cover 70 to 80 percent of your salary.

This type of insurance is specifically designed for working men and women. Since accidents and illnesses occur when you expect the least, collecting disability benefits will help you maintain your standard of living and pay for ongoing expenses. Studies have shown that over 30 million Americans between the ages of 21 and 64 are unable to work because of a long-term illness or injury. In order to receive disability benefits, you need to be a benefit-eligible employee or have a disabling condition that qualifies for benefits.

Long term insurance provides coverage for catastrophic illness or injury. This type of policy kicks in once your short-term disability plan runs out. Insurance companies offer policies that vary in the length of payout. Some of these insurance plans will pay out for up to 10 years, while others will pay out benefits until age 65.

As its name suggests, short term disability insurance offers coverage for a limited period of time. The average duration of benefits is six months. The number of weeks you are eligible for disability benefits depends in how many years you worked for your current employer. Hawaii, Rhode Island, California, New York, and New Jersey require employers to provide short-term disability insurance. Short term policies usually have waiting periods ranging from 0 to 14 days. If you purchase long term disability insurance, you will have to wait 30 to 720 days before receiving any benefits. Long term coverage is typically more expensive that short term disability insurance because it covers extended health care at home, assisted-living facilities, or nursing homes.

If you are self employed, consider buying an individual plan. Many companies provide disability insurance online. All you need to do is to search for a well established insurance website and then complete a brief form with relevant details such as your age, gender, health condition, occupation, and income. Based on the information provided, you will receive disability insurance quotes from several companies. After choosing three to five quotes, compare them side-by-side. Select a policy that offers comprehensive coverage at reasonable rates. Keep in mind that many insurance providers offer discounts of up to 40 percent for buying coverage through their websites.

Increase Chances of Getting Pregnant - Tips and Tricks to Help You Conceive

Unlike the common notion that pregnancy is a breeze as proven by the high number of teenage pregnancies every year, many couples do not actually succeed after the first attempt at conception. Furthermore, the number of couples who are faced with conception problems is numerable with stories abounding the Internet.

If you have been trying for many months to have a baby to no avail, you can try these tips and tricks to increase chances of getting pregnant:

1) Mark your date of ovulation by using an ovulation prediction kit and calendar method.

2) Do not practice douching. Aside from decreasing your chances of getting pregnant, it can cause health problems such as overgrowth of harmful bacteria and fungi.

3) Take vitamins and minerals. Add herbal supplements to the mix such as ginseng and royal jelly. There are many supplements that can increase chances of getting pregnant.

4) Be physically active to keep your hormones at bay and to stay stress-free. However, do not overdo this as it will bring about negative effects instead.

5) Have sexual intercourse every other day; better if you time this to be at least one to two days before ovulation. Have fun when having sex and use positions which will facilitate the deposition of sperm as close to your cervix as possible, such as the missionary and doggie-style positions.

6) After having sex, you can also raise your hips and lie down for a bit to aid the sperm's travel toward the fallopian tube. It is quite normal to have the semen spill from your vagina, and this does not affect the outcome in any way.

How to Look After Min Pin Pregnancy

Min pin pregnancy should be handled with care. For one, the small size of the min pin and its temperament may lead the dog to become overly playful. After all, the dog is curious and playful in its surroundings. The most ideal time for breeding is when the dog is already about 2 ½ years old. By this time, most, if not all of the necessary tests have been performed on the min pin.

The mini pincher is small. As such, you need to look after it very carefully. When you have consulted your vet about the min pin pregnancy and the due date has been set, you need to take the temperature at least once everyday. The reason behind this is that labor is usually preceded by a drop in the the dog's temperature. When the due date has arrived, choose a whelping are for her that is quiet and cannot be easily disturbed. If people came and went from this area, the delivery of a min pin may be severely affected. The puppies that will be delivered need heat because they do not have fat reserves yet and their coat can barely keep them warm. You need to heat the room for this purpose.

Inform your veterinary about the labor of the the dog's pregnancy so that if anything happens, the vet can come over right away. Because of the small size of the dog and their small pelvis, they may have to be brought to the caesarian section. Otherwise, the heads of the puppies may barely get out of the birth canal. If it is your first time to breed one, don't attempt the whelping by yourself as you might commit fatal mistakes. So call your friend or your vet who has experienced whelping before.

During pregnancy, make sure that your dog is not obese as this may cause complications during labor. It is important, however, that your min pin is a little fatter than they are that are not pregnant because she is also nourishing puppies inside her womb.

If everything goes well and the puppies shall have come out, you will have to secure food designed for breeding dogs. After min pin pregnancy, your dog will also need more meals everyday to compensate for the milk she gives for her puppies. If the number of puppies she has is more than three, then she needs help in feeding other pups. Every 24 hours, the pups should be fed to ensure that they grow healthy and strong.

You can consult your friends who also love min pins or better yet you can always visit your vet and consult about the pregnancy. You may have trouble in setting up the whelping area and in actually whelping your dog. But after all the trouble and difficulties you went through, when you see the pups as a result of the min pin pregnancy, you will realize that the efforts are all worth it.

Infrared Sauna Use During Pregnancy Period

Saunas are known even from the high antiquity as establishments for carrying out many public health and treatment procedures. Many different types of saunas were developing through the centuries in many countries, but all of them were intended for one major purpose - purification and health improvement of the human body and its organs. Each of such saunas had its advantages and beneficial factors for the entire health system.

As now we're living in the modern world so we expect that sauna will bring some modern and advanced technologies for our own needs. And thus, here we have an infrared saunas developed by Japanese scientists to meet all our requirements to be able to perfect our health.
Well, the advantages infrared saunas provide women are enormous. They say that "Sauna steams, sauna heals, sauna will correct everything".

For many nations sauna was and still is the place where children were born and where old people died. The custom of ancient women to give birth in the sauna is still actual nowadays. An infrared sauna, especially your own infrared sauna, is a sterile room from the bacteriological point of view . Sauna has perfect conditions for giving birth in it: there are a lot of warm water, beneficial air temperature not only for birthing mother, but for the new born as well.

In case during the whole period of pregnancy the woman correctly followed all the rules of infrared sauna use, the act of delivery is happening significantly easier and in the matter of time the whole period is shorter. Pregnant women suffering from varicose veins of lower limbs, who have had infrared sauna session during pregnancy period, notice the reduction of this disorder, that is connected with the hypersthenia of the vascular system, and what also helps to reduce tendency to collapse. Birthing mother experience less pains that happens due to the increased elasticity of ligamentous apparatus, reduction of muscles strains, the beneficial influence of infrared sauna over the vegetative nervous system. Nursing women have increased lactation activity.

NotaBene!!! Be sure to consult with your gynecologist before using infrared sauna while pregnancy, in your particular case. Contra Indications: Avoid using any saunas and any procedures in case of abnormal pregnancy!

If you want to know more about "Pregnancy and Infrared sauna" visit the site "" here you can find detailed information about infrared saunas.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Acupuncture and Fertility: Why Is Acupuncture So Effective In Treating Infertility?

With the success rates of acupuncture in treating infertility so high it's a wonder why every women who is struggling wouldn't consider it. Acupuncture studies have proven acupuncture to increase IVF efficacy rates to 50% and for those who have tried everything, acupuncture has fulfilled the dreams of many once childless couples. Acupuncture has been used for fertility issues for thousands of years. The Emperor would employ acupuncturist to come to the palaces and ensure the wife and concubines produced healthy heirs. In the 21st Century we are seeing both an increase in fertility issues and women choosing to conceive later in life. Many couples who struggle to get pregnant eventually seek out professional help and are advised to employ fertility drugs or other Assisted Reproductive Technologies namely IVF and IUI. The question is what is acupuncture's role in helping a woman conceive?

When we learn the intricacies of the female reproductive system and understand the gentle cascade of rhythmic hormonal flows that must occur in perfect orchestration, we realize conception truly is a wonder. In this beautiful primal process it doesn't take something serious to throw it off. It can be that the hormones in the meat you are eating are altering your estrogen and testosterone levels. That in turn can begin to alter the levels and cycles of other hormones necessary for normal follicular, ovulatory and luteal cycles. Or it can be that the stress you are dealing with at work is altering pH levels of your cervical mucus and making it hostile to sperm. Or it can be that you are dealing with unknown food sensitivities that are creating a compromised immune system making it difficult for your body to support a pregnancy. There are a myriad of other possibilities. Acupuncturist who treat reproductive issues are trained to detect underlying issues in both the Western and Eastern Medical perspective.

Acupuncture understands how to detect even subtle imbalances. More importantly it knows how to address those imbalances so that the body is restored to homeostasis and conception and pregnancy can occur. In an example, by observing a woman with a pale complexion, puffiness of the face and complaints of tiredness and poor digestive health an acupuncturist may assess that the spleen qi is deficient which affects proper blood production and quality. This in turn can affect the quality and thickness of the endometrial lining which is needed for successful embryo implantation. An acupuncturist can detect how a yin imbalance in the body is not allowing for sufficient fertile cervical fluid which is needed for the proper transport of sperm to egg. Having an understanding and way to address subtle and not so subtle imbalances can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of natural conception or that which is aided by IVF.

Couples who are regularly treated with acupuncture find that their health often greatly improves. Because Acupuncture is a system of medicine that works to bring balance to the entire system there is an overall improvement on the physical, mental and emotional level. The stress that accompanies fertility issues can be quite taxing on couples. This anxiety and worry gets addressed and benefits greatly from acupuncture with its calming effect on the nervous system. With IVF treatments the health and thickness of the endometrial lining can be addressed and treated with acupuncture which in turn significantly increases (50%) the chance of proper implantation of the embryo. Acupuncture increases blood to the ovaries which improves their functioning and nourishes developing follicles. Acupuncture helps with implantation by reducing uterine spasming. Acupuncture prepares the body for conception and supports the body during pregnancy by treating morning sickness, excess edema and works to prevent possible miscarriage; and is used to aid in a healthy delivery and is a wonderful postpartum support.

In conclusion, acupuncture and an Acupuncturist's role in reproductive health is a vital one. An acupuncturist who treats fertility issues will teach you when your most fertile time is and give you diet and lifestyle advice. The acupuncture will be increasing blood flow to the ovaries, thickening the endometrial lining, addressing hormonal imbalances, healing PMS and giving the body a better foundation in which to have a healthy and thriving pregnancy.

Help Getting Pregnant Using Art

Couples who need help getting pregnant can benefit from assisted reproductive technology (ART). ART is, in the broadest sense of the term, any Western medical treatment that uses artificial means to achieve pregnancy. ART procedures are used to treat male and female factor infertility including but not limited to ovulatory problems, tubal factor infertility, ejaculatory problems and unexplained infertility. Every year, ART is responsible for the successful birth of 200,000 babies in the United States, Europe, and North America. ART procedures are not for everyone. They can be financially, physically, and emotionally challenging and should only be considered after simpler forms of infertility treatment have failed. Have you been diagnosed with a serious fertility disorder? Are you feeling a lot of pressure as more and more time passes and your biological clock continues to tick without that baby you so desperately want in your arms? If you answered yes to either of these questions then this may be a good time to begin a discussion with your doctor about ART. Perhaps this is a way for you to become pregnant when natural techniques alone have, in your case, not been enough. Here is a brief rundown of some widely-used ART treatments:

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is among the least invasive ART procedures. Also known as artificial insemination, this procedure can be done two ways. The first approach is called an unstimulated cycle or natural cycle, where no fertility drugs are used. The second approach is called a stimulated cycle and involves giving the woman a fertility drug to stimulate the production of multiple follicles. In both approaches, the man submits a sperm sample to a lab, where a technician separates the sperm cells from the semen. The IUI procedure starts around the time of the woman's ovulation. During an unstimulated cycle, a woman will be asked to use an ovulation predictor kit to pinpoint the time of ovulation accurately. For stimulated cycles, a doctor will use an ultrasound to detect ovulation. The IUI will then take place once ovulation is confirmed. Sperm cells are introduced directly into the uterine cavity via a tube inserted through the vagina and cervix. Sometimes, the sperm cells may be mixed with a large amount of fluid to help carry it to the fallopian tube. This additional technique is known as fallopian sperm infusion. Like other methods of ART, the success rate of IUI depends on the couple's age, and mostly that of the female partner. Generally, a woman under the age of 35 has a 10-15% chance of conceiving with an IUI; however, the success rate of stimulated cycles is higher at 30%.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most popular and successful ART procedures. Every year, 48,000 IVF babies are born in the United States alone. IVF can help couples get pregnant by overcoming a diversity of fertility issues like severe endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, ovulatory problems, and even male factor infertility. During an IVF cycle, you will be closely monitored by your doctor during all phases. Treatment begins with a course of fertility drugs which are administered by injection prior to ovulation. The drugs contain hormones that stimulate the production of more than one egg. You will be scheduled for ultrasounds so that your doctor can determine when the follicles have matured to a stage when retrieval of your eggs can take place. At a very precise time, your doctor will instruct you to administer an injection of a specific hormone that will trigger ovulation. As soon as you ovulate, the retrieval procedure will take place. The eggs will then be combined with the partner's sperm with the hope that the sperm will fertilize at least some of the eggs. In a few days, the fertilized egg cells will start dividing and form embryos. The embryos will then be transferred inside your uterus by inserting a thin tube through the vagina and cervix. Normally, only two to three embryos are placed in the uterus; the rest, if any, may be cryo-preserved in case the eggs that were transferred fail to implant. In two weeks, you will take a blood test to determine if pregnancy has occurred. If the treatment is successful, the embryo will attach itself to the uterine wall and continue to develop normally.The success rate of IVF treatments varies according to the couple's age, general health issues and specific fertility challenges. Women younger than 35 have healthier eggs and generally have a 48-50% chance of conceiving with an IVF. Over 30% of IVF treatments result in a multiple pregnancy.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was first introduced in 1992 and is now the leading method of ART for male factor infertility. Every year, 24,000 babies are born in the United States through the assistance of ICSI. ICSI is the preferred treatment if the male has low sperm count, poor sperm motility, irreversible vasectomy, or a damaged vas deferens (the tube that brings the seminal fluid from the testicles to the penis). Unlike IVF, ICSI is not a stand-alone treatment; rather, it is a complimentary treatment that is only performed together with an IVF or ZIFT treatment. The man will have to provide a sperm sample by either masturbation, or if there is not enough healthy sperm in the ejaculate, the physician can obtain the sample surgically from the testicles or the passages that hold the sperm. The sperm sample may in some cases be collected in advance and frozen until the mature eggs are ready. Once the sperm and egg sample are obtained, the physician will inject a sperm cell into an egg cell using a microscopic needle to manipulate fertilization. (In an IVF without ICSI, the sperm are placed in close proximity to the egg in a petri dish without any medical intervention to stimulate fertilization.) When the fertilized eggs become an embryo, they are inserted into the woman's uterus through the same procedure used in a conventional IVF. In two weeks, the woman can take a pregnancy test to see if the procedure was a success. Some studies show that ICSI increases the pregnancy success rates of IVF procedures as opposed to IVF procedures without ICSI.

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) is a less popular approach, making up less than 1% of ART treatments. GIFT is an option for women with cervical or ovulatory problems, or where male factor infertility is present. A woman must have at least one healthy fallopian tube for this technique to have a chance at being successful. The initial phase of the procedure is similar to IVF in that fertility drugs are used to stimulate egg production and a sperm sample is obtained from the male partner. The egg and sperm are then combined in a petri dish, but not long enough for fertilization to occur in that environment as it would in an IVF procedure. The combined egg and sperm are then inserted into the fallopian tube through a laproscopic technique. Some people are drawn to GIFT over IVF for ethical reasons because through this form of ART, fertilization is allowed to occur naturally inside the fallopian tube, rather than fertilization taking place outside the body in a petri dish as happens with IVF. The success rates vary but generally speaking, couples have a 21% chance of a successful pregnancy after a GIFT cycle. The risks of this procedure include multiple pregnancies and ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy where the egg implants itself onto the fallopian tube).

Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is used even less than GIFT. ZIFT is a very similar procedure to GIFT, the difference being that the sperm and egg are allowed to fertilize outside the body in a petri dish before they are inserted into a fallopian tube. For this reason, the success rate of ZIFT at approximately 26% is slightly higher than that of GIFT. Thirty-five percent of ZIFT pregnancies result in a multiple pregnancy.

Increasing your chance of success with ART

Although factors beyond your control can affect the outcome, there are things that would be beneficial for you to do to help improve your odds of becoming pregnant with ART. These simple steps should be part of everyone's basic pre-natal care and can boost your chances of success, especially if started months before the procedure.

Stay well-nourished

A quality pre-natal vitamin contains nutrients that are essential to producing healthy eggs and a nutrient-rich uterine lining. But just because you take vitamins, doesn't mean that you should start neglecting your diet. A fertility diet filled with nutrient-dense organic foods can also really boost your fertility potential. Avoid refined carbohydrates, trans-fats, and caffeine. These foods consume a large number of nutrients before they get converted into bio-available energy.

Take supplements

Studies show that COQ10 and L-arginine can improve the pregnancy rates among IVF patients. COQ10 protects eggs from free radicals whereas the amino acid L-arginine improves ovarian response and endometrial receptivity. Ask your doctor's advice on the right dosage of these supplements.

Quit drinking and smoking

Researchers from Harvard Medical School discovered that women who drink at least two large glasses of wine a week have lowered chances of conceiving using IVF. Alcohol reduces the chances of an IVF pregnancy by 18%, where as men have a 14% reduced rate of successfully fathering a child using this procedure. Although the researchers could not determine exactly why alcohol consumption lowers the success rate of an IVF, these findings are strong enough to show that unhealthy lifestyle habits have a serious impact on fertility. If you are trying to conceive, your chances will increase if you quit drinking and smoking.

Try acupuncture

It may be an unconventional way to boost fertility, but research shows that acupuncture can increase the success rates of fertility treatment. A study by researchers from the University of Maryland and the VU University Amsterdam discovered that acupuncture increases the success rate of IVF by as much as 65%. Acupuncture is thought to stimulate the production of endogenous opioids to induce relaxation and make the body receptive to an embryo. The procedure is also known to increase the blood flow to the uterus. Consider starting acupuncture treatments as early as you can before your ART procedure. At the very least, get a treatment just before or right after the embryo gets transferred into your uterus.

Career in Payroll Management

Payroll management requires specially trained people to handle the work. If currently available data can be relied upon, it is a field that is expected to grow by almost thirty percent in the next five years. Such growth gives rise to a number of career opportunities. There is a constant requirement of qualified personnel in companies that cater to the back office needs of various small and midsize enterprises by offering payroll management services.

They require competitive individuals who are able to maintain professional business relationships. Customer service and problem resolution are part of the job. Other desirable attributes are excellent soft skills in phone etiquette, presentation and networking skills together with qualifications in accounting, payroll fundamentals, management and support systems.

Employment Levels

There are managers, supervisors and clerks working at their respective levels in payroll management. They work as a team and execute payroll management functions to ensure that employees receive their paycheck at the right time. They ensure compliance under the various provisions of the law in force, relating to taxes, insurance, sick pay and maternity pay.

The duties and responsibilities involved in payroll management are to key in and process a company's payrolls and employee changes. Preparation of weekly reports for production stats, and change of status forms are made on a regular basis. It is not an easy task, taking into account the different levels of employees having different pay.

Required Qualifications

Payroll administration skills for lower level employment can be acquired through a combination of on-the-job-experience and informal training. Most employers prefer a high school diploma. Computer skills are highly desirable. People with a professional certification have a much greater chance of employment and a higher salary.
Training Courses

The American Payroll Association provides comprehensive training through a three-course instructor led learning series. This training program is offered at colleges and universities all over USA with a certificate awarded on completion.

The first course, called Primary Payroll Skills, covers those needing detailed basic knowledge of preparing payrolls and related calculating and applications. The second course titled Essential Payroll Skills provides advanced training on federal payroll law and regulatory compliance. The course on Advanced Payroll Skills is for those who wish to gain advanced knowledge and application skills on payrolls, essential for functioning at supervisory or managerial positions. Completion of these courses provides a proper foundation for successfully clearing the FPC or CPP, which are certification examinations in payroll management.


The American Payroll Association provides professional certification credentials in payroll management. The certification is valuable because it helps the individual demonstrate their payroll expertise and get promotions in order to advance in their careers.
For payroll beginners, the certification credential is the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC). For FPC, you are required to have thorough knowledge of terminology and concepts related to payrolls. The other related knowledge areas would relate to accounting principles, classification of pay and customer service.
For those who have managed to gain some experience in payroll administration, there is the advanced certification credential called Certified Payroll Professional (CPP). The examination for this covers different employee categories, statutory benefits and implications related to taxation. The examinee would also require an in depth understanding of penal provisions for non-compliance of statutory obligations and errors related thereto. Questions about management and support systems for payrolls are also given.

At lower levels, the average annual earnings of payroll clerks per 2004 statistics were between $28,000-$32,000. For professionals engaged in supervisory/managerial positions, the salaries are much higher.

Should Cashless Facility Be the Only Criteria for Buying Health Insurance?

Health Insurance/Medical Insurance is one of the most important products in the non-life insurance sector. A health insurance policy covers the risk of incurring medical expenses by an individual. It covers and individual and his family against any financial constraints arising from medical emergency. In case of unforeseen expenditures in the form of sudden hospitalization, illness or accident, medical insurance takes care of the hospitalization expenses, medicines, doctor's fees, nursing charges, oxygen, blood and almost all other costs involved during hospitalization. A hospitalization would mean that the person has to be admitted in the hospital for at least 24 hours. In addition to this health insurance also covers day-care procedures like X-ray, Chemotherapy and other tests, which do not require being admitted in a hospital.

Medical Insurance needs to be purchased only after analyzing the requirements of the individual and/or the family. There are many factors that need to be considered before purchasing a health insurance policy. Details like complete policy benefits, the network of hospitals covered by the insurance company, availability of cashless benefit, provision of accidental cover, critical illness cover, etc. need to be reviewed by the buyer. He/she should discuss the same with family and then chose the right health insurance policy.

Pre-existing diseases - Certain things like pre-existing diseases and maternity coverage are only covered after a certain waiting period of 3 to 4 years and hence should be carefully considered. If a person switches on to some other company then the accumulated benefits cannot be transferred. Therefore staying continuously insured with the same insurance company becomes important as far as medical insurance is concerned so that these benefits can also be availed.

Claim process - Most importantly, the claim payment history and procedure of the insurance company needs to be easy and efficient. No one would prefer to follow up with the insurance company to process claim in tough times of illness / injury or even during recovery phase.

Thus all such factors are important while purchasing medical insurance as it comes handy when your loved ones are at the hospital and you do not wish to fret about the expenses at that time. Rather you would spend your time taking care of yourself and family. Though, cashless facility is an important factor to be considered while purchasing a health insurance policy, it is definitely not the ONLY criterion that needs to be considered.

Pregnancy - Pregnancy in the Eighth Week

Everything that is present in an adult human is now present in the small healthy embryo. The ears are continuing to form externally and internally. The bones are also beginning to form. The embryo is about 1 inch long and is approximately the size of a bean in the 8th week of pregnancy. Some pregnancy complications include bloating and indigestion. So, your pregnancy diet should include eating small, frequent nutritive meals. A few healthy tips to follow include good protein and calcium like cottage cheese - also fiber in oatmeal.

Other healthy tips during pregnancy are avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. Eat healthy meals and avoid excessive coffee. Following a well thought out pregnancy diet that includes fruit, vegetables, milk, protein and calcium will help the development of the baby and at the same time counteract pregnancy complications. Most often, nausea will abate after the 8th week of pregnancy, but not always. Fatigue, hormonal changes in your body may give you a persistent feeling of being run down and very drowsy.

Your body is continuing to grow and develop at a very fast pace. As pregnancy is such a joyous occasion, we often tend to ignore the possible pregnancy complications that may arise and harm an otherwise healthy baby. Learn what the symptoms are of the complications and attend to them. A few healthy tips include eating vegetables, fruits and doing a few simple exercises. A pregnancy diet that has plenty of protein, calcium and milk is a good way of maintaining your health.

Your waistline is likely to have expanded a bit by the end of the 8th week, but the changes are gradual. You may have indigestion and feel bloated. Follow a few healthy tips in order to ensure that you keep to a pregnancy diet - this means eating small, meals at frequent intervals. Keeping yourself healthy is important, so check your weight, blood pressure and have a physical examination to avoid any pregnancy complications. Take care of yourself and the baby inside you, and most of all, enjoy your pregnancy.

Tips For Getting Pregnant With a Girl Baby

If you've found this article, it's probably a pretty safe bet that you're trying to conceive a girl baby and are looking for tips to help you accomplish this. I'll offer these tips below, and I'll also tell you why they work.  Finally, I'll explain a few things that can make this process a bit easier.  

What's Required To Get A Girl Baby: If you want to conceive a daughter, there are a few variables that you will need to successfully manipulate for this to happen.  That's because the sperm chromosomes that will produce a girl and those that produce a boy are quite different.  Boy producing sperm are extremely fast, but is comparatively weak.  Girl producing sperm is extremely strong, but comparatively slow.  To get your baby girl, you'll need to take advantage of the girl sperm's hardiness, while downplaying their slow speed.

Briefly, you will need to send the sperm to the egg at precisely the right time and in the right way.  But, neither of these is a sure thing unless you first create the environment that is going to be friendly to the sperm you want to reach the egg (female), and will weed out the sperm that what produce the gender you'd rather not conceive at this time (male).

When To Send The Sperm To The Egg If You Want A Girl: Ovulation And Conception Timing: Most people know that every future mom to be has a "fertility window" in which you have the highest chances of becoming pregnant.  But, not every one knows that different days in this cycle will favor one gender over another. 

If you conceive early in the window (three days before ovulation), you will then up your odds of getting a girl.  If you conceive late in the window (the day of ovulation) you increase your chances of getting a boy.  The reason for this is that the female producing sperm can easily wait for the egg because of their strength.  But, due to the boy sperm's weakness, these little guys start to die off pretty quickly.  The clock begins to tick for them almost immediately.

This process is a bit easier if you use a reliable ovulation predictor.  I prefer the saliva models.

How To Send The Sperm To The Egg To Conceive A Girl: Intercourse Positions That Will Get A Daughter: We've already established that the girl sperm can easily wait to fertilize the egg.  We'll use the same idea here when we discuss sexual positions. The sperm that produces a daughter can easily navigate a long trip to your reproductive tract.  Son producing sperm can not.  So, it's best to use shallow penetration to ensure that the Y (boys) chromosomes have a long trip - at the end of which they likely won't make the destination.

Creating The Environment That Is Friendly To Girl Sperm And Hostile To Males: Raising Your PH:  So far, we've discussed how we can manipulate the sperm and the egg before they meet and before the sperm begins to make it's trip down the reproductive tract. Now, we'll discuss what happens when the sperm enters the vagina on their way to the egg.  Y (boy) sperm which meet with a high PH and a high amount of acidity will begin to deteriorate and weaken even quicker than normal.  (Luckily, this hostile environment doesn't affect the daughter producing sperm).

So, if you want to produce a girl, it's a good idea to raise your PH and acidity.  You can do this by douching and through a high PH diet.  One tool that helps with this is PH test strips that you can get at most health food stores.  Using this will allow to see your baseline acidity and will give you an idea of how much work you need to do.  Then, you will begin to douche and / or use the diet until the continued testing shows the results that you want.  There are food lists and douche recipes that make this process easier.

I know this has given you a lot to think about, but there is no reason to become overwhelmed.  Just look at this as three things you need to master: the right timing; the optimal sexual positions; and the correct PH.  If you correctly address each of these, it's said that your chances of getting a girl can be over 94% - not bad for a little bit of tweaking what your probably already doing.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bounce Back After a Baby

Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts and Cate Blanchett have unveiled post-baby bodies in the past that have surprised women worldwide.

Squeezing back into your favourite little black dress so soon after childbirth may not be a realistic option for new mums who don't have the luxury and expertise of a full-time dietician, nanny and personal trainer, on hand, 24/7. Especially, if you are a more mature new mum, being part of the strong, modern trend of having kids later in life.

New mums, at any age, are often overwhelmed with their changed body shape and extra baby weight. According to fitness expert Angela Houseman, the average woman should not use celebrities as role models. "It's inevitable that women will envy superstars who go from being 9 months pregnant to a size 6 overnight," said Ms Houseman.

Angela Houseman has had two children and understands the pressures that are placed on women who have just given birth. "When I had both my children, I suffered envy when I read magazines of celebrity mums who had given birth and looked terrific. But the reality is, the average person does not have a host of staff to help out with everyday living."

According to Embracing Motherhood, an organisation that supports mums after giving birth, most new mums will go through dramatic changes both emotionally and physically before, during and after the birth process. The more mums look after themselves, the greater their chances of a recovery in both areas.

It is the norm in our culture for the attention to move away from the mum and onto the new born baby after childbirth, often to the detriment of the mum. In traditional cultures within Asia, South America, the Middle East and India there is recognition that mums will need a longer period of time to rest and recover after childbirth. This can be anywhere from a few weeks up to a few months for their rest and recovery.

"A woman's body can take as long to recover as it does to make a baby: but in particular, the six week postnatal period is extremely important for supporting new mums back to health," says Ms Flack from Embracing Motherhood. "Women who give birth go through a complete physical and emotional change and require enormous support during the postnatal period. Unfortunately, often society does not acknowledge this need."

Six facts for new mums:

o Up to 20% of women have postnatal weight retention.
o Up to 76% of new mums report ongoing fatigue in the postnatal period. Fatigue is a major contributor to depression.
o At least 15% of Australian mums suffer Postnatal Depression.
o 83% of new mums initiate breastfeeding and less than 18% of mums continue to breastfeed after 6 months.
o Approximately 50% of new mums report ongoing backache.
o More than 40% of women have caesareans leading to longer recovery times.

Amy Hopes, wife of Grinspoon drummer Kristian, recently undertook the 30 day postnatal recovery program with Embracing Motherhood, after giving birth to her first child in September last year. The aim of the postnatal recovery program is to support mums in getting their body and mind back to a full recovery. Amy feels her inexperience is typical of most first time mums. "I had the perfect pregnancy and presumed I would have the perfect birth. But I was in for a big shock. I had a terrible, gruelling 36 hour labour. In the end, the doctors had to break my waters and use suction to get the baby out. I was very traumatised by it and can really only now, after 4 months, start to re-live it in my mind."

Amy found it shocking that professionals encouraged her not to talk about her traumatic birth, suggesting that she would upset other first time mums. "When I went to see the midwife I burst into tears, I was so overwhelmed. The midwife said, "Don't tell other mums, you'll only put them off," which was completely shocking to me. I think mums really need to know and understand what can happen both physically and mentally. It is not focusing on the negative, but preparing yourself for what might happen."

Surprising for Amy, it was the psychological impact of childbirth that was most challenging. "Physically, I recovered well and my postnatal program was instrumental in that smooth recovery. I was very healthy and fit before I gave birth too, doing yoga exercises each day and I think this helped."

For a new mum, a feeling of isolation is inevitable. "The most important thing is knowing that someone is looking out for you and you are not on your own," says 32 year old Amy. "The problem is that if you do gain a lot of weight and you don't bounce back easily, you are stuck at home and can't get out to do any exercise. Then your weight gain can start to spiral. I think how fit and healthy you are before the baby comes has a lot to do with it."

Weightwatchers Australia recommends that you gain between 11-16 kilos during your pregnancy and advises that too much weight gain affects your ability to bounce back after birth. "On average, after the birthing process it is around .5 to 3 kilos that women struggle to lose, although some hold on to a lot more weight. Coming into pregnancy with excess weight and gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy can make it harder to lose weight afterwards." Weightwatchers suggest that achieving a healthy pre-pregnancy weight, not gaining too much weight during pregnancy, making wise food choices and getting plenty of exercise in the months following delivery, are all useful strategies for maintaining a healthy weight throughout the child-bearing years."

"If you put in the effort, you will see your post baby body start to take shape again," says personal trainer Adriana Solorzano from Optimum Personal Training. "Much of the recovery process is tied in with the mum's body type and her level of fitness and health during the pregnancy. If you've really embraced the 'eating for two' concept, it is likely you have developed some bad eating habits during your pregnancy. Many mums think the weight will fall off but bad eating habits will make it hard to lose weight, especially when you are at home with your baby and are unable to get out and exercise. The isolation and uncertainty can make new mums comfort eat too. When I get new mums to keep a food diary, they are often shocked by how much their eating habits have changed."

Physically and mentally new mums need to allow themselves time to recover and adjust after giving birth. It's important to remember that YOU are just as important in the post birth recovery process, as your precious new baby. There is plenty of support available here in Brisbane so spend some time researching and tapping into this before your baby arrives. A happy and healthy mum will be the best carer of a new born.

'Me time' for Mums in Brisbane:

Spas: Mummabubba beauty spa in Windsor allows mums to have some serious pampering time while their baby is being minded.

Coffee Break: There is an increasing number of child-friendly cafes, such as Cafe Mama at Windsor and Breathing Space at Kenmore, combining the much deserved coffee break or lunch experience with childminding in a 'kid friendly' atmosphere, so mums can relax.

Movies: 'Babes in arms' has become very popular in Brisbane for mums still wanting to be able to go to the movies and enjoy some relaxing time without having to worry about disrupting other movie goers. In Brisbane, Babes in Arms sessions are run regularly at Palace Centro in The Valley, Palace Barracks at Paddington, Birch Carol and Coyle Cinemas Carindale, Chermside, Garden City, George Street and Loganholme.

Gyms: Most gyms in Brisbane now offer childcare facilities, so check your local gym or find one close by that offers this.

Staying in touch: The Bub Hub ( is an online information centre for new Brisbane parents. The site is endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives, the Australian Lactation Consultants Association and the Playgroup Association. It now has 40 000 registered users.

Playgroups: Check out to find a local playgroup for you and your baby. It is a great way to get you out of the house and meeting other new mums.

Benefits of Yoga For Pregnant Women

Yoga can not only help you stay fit through a pregnancy, but also boost mind and body, helping to keep your pregnancy hassle-free. As an ancient Indian practice, tracing its roots back almost 5000 years, yoga is a tried and true means of dealing with your overall well-being, both mind and body. Each yoga pose, or asana, is tied to breathing techniques, or pranayamas, and focuses on specific parts of the body to ensure a complete body effort. Specific to pregnant women, yoga asanas helps to open muscles of the pelvis, reducing pressure on ligaments and easing lower-back pain. Additionally, it promotes flexibility, strength and stamina, as it focuses the entire body on releasing and relaxing. No activity does better at centering the mind and relieving stress, while gently toning the body. Not only does the mother benefit from yoga, but the baby does as well by receiving increased levels of oxygen and endorphins. The benefits of yoga for pregnant women are described in detail below.

One of the most common benefits of yoga for pregnant women is to help stay in shape throughout the pregnancy. Regardless of your fitness level or skill level, yoga is a gentle, but highly effective way of toning the muscles throughout the pregnancy. Additionally, many yoga instructors are trained and certified in yoga for pre-natal women and can help to customize your yoga workout to ensure the greatest level of safely and the most effective workout possible. Yoga can help to target specific trouble areas for pregnant women during pregnancy, such as helping to strengthens abdomen muscles and pelvic floor.

One of the benefits of yoga for pregnant women is that it can help to boost circulation and help with fluid retention. This is extremely important as you are doing the work for two during pregnancy. Additionally, asanas help to relieve aches and pains. Working with your instructor, you can tailor your workout to focus on specific areas of pain and discomfort. As many asanas focus on proper alignment of the body, yoga will help to improve posture, helping to ease back pain, which is common in pregnant women.

Another one of the benefits of yoga for pregnant women, and for people in general, is that spending time focusing on the combination of body position and breathing, you begin to obtain an increased awareness of your body. Through this greater awareness, you are able to better understand what is happening to your body throughout pregnancy. Some aspects of pregnancy, such as weight gain, morning sickness and decreased sexuality, can bring about feelings of depression and low self-esteem. Yoga can help deal with these feelings by allowing you to refocus and balance your energy, helping to shift into a positive mindset.

As a safety precaution when starting yoga, always remember to check with your doctor if you are unsure of a safe level of physical exertion for yourself during the pregnancy. When looking for the right class, make sure to take both the style of yoga and instructor into consideration. Certain styles of yoga are better for pregnant women, such as Ananda, Hatha, Kundalini, and Iyengar, are better for pregnant women as they are more focused on proper alignment of the body and breathing than on a high intensity workout such as Power or Bikram yoga. If you are unfamiliar with yoga or the specific style of yoga you will be taking, make sure to take a supervised class, at least initially. Good instructors will be able to help you customize your workout to meet your unique needs. Additionally, make sure your instructor is certified in prenatal yoga though an accredited yoga institute.

Regardless of your skill level, make sure to start slow to best understand your bodies capability during this time of change. The best rule to follow when practicing yoga is, if it doesn't feel good, don't do it. As you get comfortable with the asanas, feel free to practice on your own, but again, talk to your instructor to discuss poses that will provide the greatest benefit and that are safe to practice alone. Many yoga books and videos are also available that are focused specifically for pregnant women.

Avoid strong back bends or asanas requiring strong use of stomach muscles as this can cause undo stress on the body. Use your best judgment when doing balancing poses, especially those done on one foot. If you want to perform these poses, make sure to use a chair, wall or another individual for support. Make sure to not to overstretch the body as the ligaments around the joints become loose and soft during pregnancy. Be care not to overheat when practicing yoga as it can be harmful to the fetus. For this reason forms of yoga that involve turning up the heat in the room should be avoided; this includes both Hot and Bikram Yoga. As stated above, make sure to listen to your body and stop if you begin to feel the slightest bit of pain or discomfort. A gentle approach over time yields the best results.

Outside of the workout element, one of the benefits of yoga for pregnant women is social atmosphere it provides for pregnant women. In yoga classes specifically tailored to pregnant women, mothers-to-be are able to share stories and discuss issues and concerns. Often, the relationships built during these yoga classes, build into playgroups for the children after birth and long term social groups.

Yoga can be practiced until late in the pregnancy. As your body changes, make sure to modify your workout to ensure personal comfort. Yoga can provide benefits even during labor. The focus and relaxation achieved during a yoga session can be mimicked during labor by using pranayama techniques to center yourself and helping to open musculature and quiet the mind. After child birth, yoga can help to maintain a proper body shape, as well as strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Additionally, the focusing techniques in yoga can be helpful for those facing post-partum depression. You can start practicing yoga six to seven weeks after delivering delivery.

With both physical and mental benefits that can last throughout the pregnancy, yoga can prove to be a valuable tool to pregnant mothers.

Trying to Get Pregnant? - 5 Natural & Herbal Tips You Can Immediately Use Which Are Often Overlooked

An estimated 14 to 20 percent of couples will suffer with some form of infertility. There are numerous causes for infertility in women including blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis or ovulation problems. In men, a low sperm count or low sperm motility could also contribute to difficulties in getting pregnant.

Here are 5 Natural tips that are often overlooked and provide you with effective herbal remedies and suggestions on how to get pregnant.

1. Organic Fertility Teas

There are delicious herbal teas designed especially for trying-to-conceive women. They are designed to support overall reproductive health, encourage hormonal balance, and optimize your chances of conceiving. Chasteberry (Vitex), Green Tea, Ladies Mantle, Nettle Leaf and many more natural remedies are often overlooked in western civilizations but are still very much practiced in eastern societies.

2. Sperm Friendly Lubricant

Some over the counter lubricants are not fertility-friendly. In many cases they act as a barrier and prevent sperm from reaching their destination for conception. There are now companies which offer lubricants specifically designed for trying-to-conceive couples. They work as well as other lubricants but actually mimic your natural fluids to create a helpful environment for sperm.

3. Folic Acid

Folic acid is important if you are planning to become pregnant. It has been observed that folic acid is one of the best stimulants of sex hormones in women. This will enhance your chances on a healthy pregnancy. Although folic acid can be found in many foods such as fortified cereals, citrus fruits, beans, spinach, broccoli and collard greens, it is difficult to achieve the 400 micrograms (mcg) or 0.4 milligrams (mg) per day which is usually recommended. A diet high in folic acid will not only help you conceive, it will also help you deliver a healthy baby.

4. Relaxation and Meditation

Many women are sceptical when advised to implement relaxation and meditation into their daily routines to improve their fertility. We all lead very busy lives and find it difficult if not impossible to carve out quiet time. Our body needs to relax and find peace within for everything to be in balance. This includes our reproductive organs and hormonal balance. The additional stress you are putting on yourself worrying about when you will conceive, or why you are not conceiving is working to your detriment, not your benefit. Make time to relax and meditate and you will find your mind and body will reward you.

5. Don't Wait Until The Day You Ovulate To Have Sex

Having sex before ovulation can greatly increase your chances of pregnancy. Many women wait until they are ovulating thinking they have a small window of opportunity each month to get pregnant. After a woman ovulates, the egg will survive approximately 24 hours. Sperm, on the other hand, will live for up to three to five days. This is why having sex two to three days before ovulation can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

The Best Ingredients For Hair Products

It can be difficult to choose the right hair care products, but if you try to focus on the ingredients contained within the products, you can choose a hair care product which satisfies all your needs. Whether you need moisture to combat dryness or a protective coating to help with damage control, there are certain ingredients which seem to be better than others.

Coconut oil is a natural solid oil which has been used for centuries in the sub-continent of India. It is an excellent natural conditioner and moisturizer because it penetrates the hair shaft and optimizes moisturization. Coconut oil can be found in hair and beauty products because of its great conditioning properties and it is also brilliant for the skin.

Sunflower oil derives from the seeds of sunflowers and it is very rich in vitamins and fatty acids. Having a thick and creamy consistency, sunflower oil is also beneficial for making detangling and combing easier, adding luster and shine and beautifying hair of all textures.

Another product for hair care is aloe vera, which is known to be either a juice or gel and has often been used to combat hair loss and stimulating hair growth. Its texture allows this plant to work as a natural alternative to gel or curl defining products.

Even if it is limited in supply, because of the rough procedure of extraction, argan oil is believed to have multiple benefits for hair, reducing frizz and improving the condition of damaged hair. Like many natural oils, it is rich with essential fatty acids.

Shea butter originates from the shea tree nuts of West Africa and it is known to be a natural and creamy butter. It has many fantastic properties for the hair, such as luster, shine and seal and it is also a brilliant moisturizer for the skin, because once applied to the scalp, prevents flaking and dryness.

If you want to be the next celebrity in the world, than try to use only the products which are recommended for your hair type, so choosing the right hair care company means getting professional results.

About 30 Discounts You'll Receive On Momentum's Wellness Programme

As one of South Africa's leading medical aid schemes Momentum Health's primary wellness programme, Multiply, will not only guarantee South Africans optimal health as its sole benefit, but will also let them receive more than 30 other benefits. This is apart from the massive HealthReturns (up to R5 400) that they may earn as an incentive for signing up.

Multiply, understands the importance of providing the best health benefits at an affordable price to each and every client in South Africa. Hence, they only work with the best providers to give you the best in fitness and overall wellness.

Of course, when Momentum says optimal health benefits, they mean that they only partner with the best in travel, leisure, shopping and health. More than 30 providers in these categories can offer you great discounts upon becoming a member of Momentum's wellness programme, Multiply. Here's a closer look at some of the great benefits that these affiliates may offer you.


Planet Fitness: This fitness club offers edgy fitness equipment and tailored programs to help you achieve the body and mindset that you would love to have. Be a member of Multiply and get discounted membership rates here. Depending on the type of membership, you might even get to use the gym for free!

Virgin Active: After paying a minimal activation fee, you can enjoy discounted membership rates at this fitness center with state of the art fitness equipment and facilities.

Wellness Coaching Network: Of course, how can you possibly know what will work best for your health without knowing your overall health condition first? Being in the wellness industry for 15 years, the Wellness Coaching Network can give you discounted assessment fees once you sign up for Multiply.


Mango: Depending on your Multiply membership type, you can enjoy 20-50% discount on domestic flights with Mango which covers trips from Johannesburg and Durban, Durban and Cape Town, Johannesburg and Cape Town, and Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

Low Cost Domestic Airline: Should you have any travel destinations not covered by Mango, you can also enjoy the same discount benefits with Low Cost Domestic Airline.

Virgin Atlantic: If you're up for international travels to Europe or the North Atlantic, then you can enjoy a 15-40% discount on international flight airfare at Virgin Atlantic upon signing up for Multiply.

Protea Hotels: Multiply members can maximize their stay in their destination through enjoying 25-45% discount rates at 3-5 star hotels, lodges and country houses from Protea.


Canon: Capturing and sharing moments has never been this affordable! Be a multiply member and enjoy 10-40% discounts on selected Canon products.

Bushnell Sports Optics: Noted for its tagline - "A Better Way of Seeing the World", Bushnell has been in the Optics industry for more than 50 years. With its continuous innovation and established credentials, who's to say that you won't enjoy its 10-40% discount rate on selected products like binoculars, range finders and sports eyewear?

NuMetro: If you are quite the movie buff, then you will enjoy the discounted rates at Nu Metro simply by showing their Multiply membership card at the ticket counter.

These are simply some of the wonderful benefits that you can enjoy upon choosing to work with Multiply. Among other affiliates include Virgin Life Care, Health 24 and Money Sense for your assessment needs, as well as Momentous Baby and Preggi Bellies Training for Two for those who have maternity needs.

Maximize your medical aid health benefits and enjoy these great discounts at the same time; sign up for your membership and take a step closer to attaining your optimal health condition.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Look Like Yourself Again - Not Like A Mom - 21 Simple Tips

Ah, it starts slowly, doesn't it? You used to get up, shower, dress for work and then head out the door. A coworker would compliment your shoes, a man at lunch would glance over and then pretend he wasn't just checking you out, and in general you felt like you had it together.

And then one day, you saw those magic lines on the pregnancy test, which is where it all began. And then the baby was born. And then life became a bit more challenging. And then, one day you looked in the mirror and were a bit, um, surprised.

When did this happen?

It happens to the best of us. For me, that first trimester was enough to make me forget caring about makeup or looking nice at all. If I felt this bad, who cared what I looked like? Of course I only became worse when my daughter was born. When you aren't sleeping, and you are covered in spit up, how can you possibly care about looking cute? I just wanted to survive.

Four and a half years after it all began, I find myself recognizing the person in the mirror again. I may have had two kids, but I still feel pretty good about myself when I walk out the door. It's been a long road to get to this point though, and I've learned a lot along the way.

Here are 21 simple ways, from pregnancy on, that you can look and feel like you again - not just "a mom."

1. If you're having a rough first trimester, remember that taking care of yourself will help you feel better. Even if you are sick as a dog in the beginning, try to take a shower and put on some makeup. Yes, if you had the flu you would lay around in sweats and forget about washing your hair. But this is a flu that won't go away in a few days, so do what you can to hang in there. Even if you don't feel like yourself, looking like yourself (instead of the sick, worn out version of you) will help.

2. Don't be too cheap when it comes to maternity clothes. Don't get me wrong - I love a good deal. I also love borrowing clothes from girlfriends, and I'll lend my maternity collection to my friends gladly. What I mean is that you should not be cheap in the sense that you just stop caring. If you need to buy clothes, don't feel guilty about buying something nice instead of the funky stuff on the clearance rack. Yes, you'll wear it for a shorter time than your regular clothes, but it's important over the next few months that you still feel good about yourself. Enough is changing; don't let your style change drastically as well.

3. Pedicures are awesome. You can't reach your feet anyways, so go ahead and waddle on down to the salon. If you prefer to save a buck, I suggest Wal-Mart. The pedicures I've gotten there have been awesome, and they are a fraction of the price you'd pay at your haircutter.

4. Do not chop off your hair. Yes, pixie cuts are in style, but wait until after the baby is born if you really want one. Remember that pregnant women tend to be emotional, so avoid making drastic decisions like cutting your hair short while you are pregnant. Your body is changing every day, so keeping your hair the same may help you feel more in touch with your old self. Now is not the time for a big change - you have one coming on your due date.

5. Highlight the great parts of pregnancy. Along with pregnancy comes thicker hair, nails that grow faster, and the need for a bigger bra. Highlight your best features and focus on the things that are nice little side effects, rather than dwelling on your ever increasing belly or your swollen ankles.

6. Try to keep good posture. I don't mean to sound like your mother here, but it's worth the risk. You'll be tempted to lean over, slouch, etc. With a huge baby belly, it's only natural. Sitting up straight will do you a world of good and will not only make you look better, but it will help you feel more confident and attractive.

7. Stay active while you are pregnant. Don't exercise because you want to somehow slow your weight gain, but do it to feel good. Try prenatal yoga, prenatal Pilates, or walking. Some of you may be exercise buffs who still jog around the block when you're nine months pregnant, but I know that I struggled with staying fit when I was pregnant. I didn't want to do very much physically, but when I did manage to exercise I felt great. Even if I looked the same to the rest of the world, I felt much more like myself after a good brisk walk.

8. Take advantage of the fact that most people find pregnant women adorable. The cards are already stacked in your favor, believe it or not. Even if you feel like a planet, most people think you're cute as a button. Remember this, and feel encouraged.

9. Once the baby is born, invest in attractive nursing bras. Gone are the days when nursing bras were these huge, white, scary looking contraptions that made husbands run away screaming. Plenty of stores carry nursing bras in black or in various patterns (leopard, polka dots, etc.).

10. Just because you are still carrying baby weight doesn't mean you have to give up. Don't say to yourself, "I'll get some new clothes when I lose the weight... these sweats will do for now." I was tempted to do that, but I felt so down about my post-baby body that I wanted to do something to feel stylish again. Hit the clearance racks, or borrow clothes from a friend if nothing else fits. Dressing like "you" again will help encourage you to get back to your normal self, rather than getting stuck in a post-partum rut.

11. Don't feel bad if you still need to wear your maternity clothes. A lot of women I talk to feel embarrassed about wearing maternity clothes after their baby is born. Don't be. It's part of life, and everyone has been there. I was in maternity clothes for what felt like forever after my second daughter was born. If the choice is between maternity jeans and pajama bottoms when you're leaving the house, just put your jeans on. If your shirt is long enough, no one will even notice that they're maternity clothes.

12. Shower every day. Even if it's hard, find the time somewhere. It is way too easy to say, "I'll shower tomorrow," and then tomorrow stretches into an embarrassing amount of time. I know that being up all night with a baby makes the days blur into each other, but getting a shower each day will help you stay sane.

13. Enjoy wearing jewelry before your baby learns to grab it. Wearing earrings or a cute necklace is an easy way to look like you took some time getting ready, even if it only took an extra ten seconds to throw it on.

14. If you can swing it, get highlights in your hair. When my second daughter was about six weeks old, my husband took her for a couple of hours so I could go and get my hair highlighted. I didn't do anything drastic, but some warm brown tones in my hair made me feel like I had lost ten pounds.

15. Go for walks. I felt ridiculously frumpy after my second delivery. I still had a "baby belly" (minus the baby inside), my clothes weren't even close to fitting me, and I felt too exhausted to shower most days. Going for long walks with my neighbor several times a week was the absolute best thing I could have done. I was out of the house, getting fresh air and exercise, and forced to take a shower afterwards.

16. Make sure you have at least one friend who does not have kids. This may seem very random, but it's good for perspective. Going out for dessert or drinks with a girlfriend who is in a different stage of life than you will remind you of the wide world around you, and it helps to keep you balanced.

17. It's just as easy to slip on casual heels or cute flats as it is to wear flip-flops. I wore my favorite wedge heels to a pediatrician appointment the other day, and the nurse noted that I was "dressed up" for a stay-at-home-mom. Her compliment made my day, and it also surprised me a bit. Honestly, I was rushing out the door that morning, and slipping on my wedge heels was faster than having to tie sneakers!

18. Try wearing your hair a different way each day to vary it up a bit. I don't mean anything fancy or time consuming, either. My hairdresser fusses at me when I confess that I've been wearing my hair in a ponytail for a month, so I try to limit my ponytail days (although I have my hair in a ponytail as I'm writing this). The key is to feel like you have some sort of variety in your life. I tend to rotate between wearing my hair down, half back with a clip, or in a ponytail. All three are effortless, but doing something different each day makes me feel like I look more stylish for some reason.

19. Keep a travel-sized perfume in your purse or diaper bag. My favorite is "Amazing Grace" by Philosophy, and I keep a tiny little bottle of the eau de toilette in my purse. It's so easy to just spray it on before I head to a friend's house, dinner with my husband, or even a trip to Target. Why not smell nice if it's easy enough?

20. Dress your age. I see plenty of women out there who are either dressing too young for their age, or too old for their age. Remember that even though you're a mom, you (a) don't have to prove anything to anyone regarding "looking young," and (b) you don't need to throw in the towel and dress like "a mom" should dress. I'm 28, so I dress like I'm 28.

21. Find an exercise routine you enjoy, and stick with it. Even if you've lost the baby weight, it's still important to find something to do for yourself that keeps you feeling good. I'm a big fan of Pilates, and I always feel stronger, lighter, and more confident afterwards. When your days are spent taking care of other people, remember that it's important to find the time to take care of yourself as well.

Being a mom is awesome. I absolutely love it, and wouldn't trade it for the world. It can certainly be rough though, and one of the tough things about it is feeling like you've lost yourself. Just a few of these simple tips could make a world of difference between feeling like yourself again, and feeling like you're "just a mom." Trust me, it feels good to look at your reflection in the mirror and recognize yourself again.

Should Paid Maternity Leave Work Like Auto Insurance?

In 47 states, drivers are required, at minimum, to carry a compulsory auto liability policy. The rules and potential penalties vary by state. Homeowners insurance is not required by law. However, if you finance your home through a mortgage lender, the lender usually requires homeowners insurance. Five states require employees in the private sector to purchase short term disability insurance. Should this requirement be expanded?

The purpose of compulsory auto insurance policies is to protect the public from the high costs of injuries and property damage resulting from vehicular accidents. Most states establish a minimally acceptable level of coverage to guarantee medical and property costs will be met. The states put these requirements in place because it realizes many consumers will choose to roll the dice. They will opt out of coverage to save money, only to leave them exposed in the event of an accident.

State Insurance Mandates

Should more states require workers to purchase short term disability insurance as they require auto insurance, or as lenders require home owners insurance? Break down the reasons behind these rules to reveal arguments for and against.

With auto insurance there are often multi-car accidents. Often the accident results from an error on the part of one driver: speeding, running lights, driving while impaired. A requirement for all drivers to have coverage protects the innocent parties in accidents: passengers, and drivers operating safely.

In the home owners insurance market the lender requires coverage in order to protect their interests. If a homeowner puts makes a 20% down payment, the lender has a much greater exposure to loss than the homeowner in the event of a catastrophic loss; hence the requirement for coverage.

Paid Maternity Leave

Paid maternity leave gets plenty of negative attention in the U.S. Many European countries have laws mandating maternity leave pay and job protection benefits. Meanwhile the U.S. has no federal maternity pay law, but does provide unpaid job protected leave via the Family Medical Leave Act. Five states have mandated short term disability coverage, which creates six to eight weeks of partial income replacement for maternity leave.

Mandated short term disability insurance protects workers who miss work due to accident or illness. Pregnancy is the leading cause of short term disabilities - despite the fact that only half the population is biologically capable of delivering a baby. Working women of child bearing age clearly benefit from these mandates the most; they gain maternity pay and income security in case of complications.

Should more states join the fray and require workers to buy coverage so that more women can have maternity pay? Unlike the Auto Insurance example, an uninsured mother does not harm any innocent parties. And unlike the Homeowners Insurance example, she does not jeopardize a lender's interests.

Give Working Women the Choice

But her ability to cover expenses during her maternity leave may be greatly impaired if combined with an extended leave before and/or after delivery because of complications. A mandate in all fifty states would help avoid these difficult circumstances.

Or we could do a better job of letting employers know how voluntary short term disability can be offered at work, and purchased by employees to cover illnesses, accidents, and pregnancies as well. The option exists today. Women should know about the value, and ask their employer to provide them the option to pay for coverage themselves, and enroll before getting pregnant.

Using Feldenkrais for a More Comfortable Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman's life. The baby inside you grows and develops and your body and mind go through amazing changes. During pregnancy the belly expands, the bones of the pelvis soften and widen, the organs shift, and there is weight gain. On an emotional level your brain is responding to radical shifts in hormones and is preparing you for the psychological changes necessary for motherhood.

Being pregnant can be challenging both physically and emotionally. Even an uncomplicated pregnancy can be disrupted by the changes created by your growing child. Some very common physical complaints during pregnancy include heartburn, constipation, and urinary frequency. Muscular and skeletal complaints are also common, for example

  • Back pain caused by a change in your center of gravity

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by fluid retention

  • Pelvic pain caused by hormonal softening of the skeleton and cartilage and weight of the baby

  • Swollen feet and ankles, again caused by fluid retention

Feldenkrais for pregnant women can help reduce pain and discomfort while providing an overall healthier pregnancy. The Feldenkrais Method teaches simple movements that make everyday tasks such as getting up and down, sleeping, rolling over and breathing much easier. It is an innovative approach to movement that helps to alleviate your pain during pregnancy by teaching you to use and move your body in more effective and efficient ways. The movements you learn are completely safe for both you and your baby during all stages of pregnancy. In fact, it's been proven that reduced stress and pain can create a happier, healthier overall pregnancy experience.

When practicing the Feldenkrais Method, you should expect:

  • Improved mobility, posture, sleep and comfort during pregnancy

  • A deeper sense of trust in your ability to give birth

  • A more rapid return to health after delivery

Feldenkrais increases your energy and improves your quality of life, while helping you adjust to the common side effects which occur through each stage of your pregnancy. And while pregnancy seems to become more challenging as it evolves, you will be amazed at how easily you'll be able to do everything from rolling over in bed, getting in and out of a chair or the car, and simply moving more freely throughout the day.

Want to find out more about how the Feldenkrais Method can help you move more easily through your pregnancy? Please check out Pregnancy and Feldenkrais for more information.

What Does a Confinement Nanny Do?

While you might have heard of a confinement nanny, you may not be entirely sure of what they do. These are individuals who will come in and will help you during the period after you have had your child. They will do a number of tasks that will help you to ensure that the mother fully recovers and that both mother and child have all their needs met at the same time.

Typically, the confinement nanny will take care of the baby and feed and change them on a standard schedule. This will give the mother a chance to relax and start to heal up from the stress of childbirth. Along with this, the nanny will take the time to keep the clothing and locations where the infant sleeps both safe and warm as well.

As part of their training, this individual will take the time to monitor you and your baby and watch out for any signs of complications that you might be facing. If there is a medical concern, they will bring it your attention and ensure that you receive the best possible treatment from an approved doctor or hospital that you and your family agree on.

In some cases, you are going to find that these individuals will work to help ensure that you are following your doctor's orders at the same time. Many women find that trying to listen to the doctor can be very complicated and it will take some time for you to address all the issues you face, without the help of someone else being there. Because of that, this individual will sit down and ensure that all your needs are being met.

Keep in mind that during this process, the new mother will be able to help more with the infant as she is able to. The overall goal is to ensure a perfect bond between mother and child and this can take a little time to work up towards. However, the overall care of this individual will be placed on the confinement nanny until the doctor has determines the mother is physically capable of handling the child on their own. This helps to reduce anxiety and a considerable amount of stress in this process as well.

While many new mothers find the most benefit in these individuals, established parents can get a level of benefit from them as well. Not only are you receiving an additional level of help, but you are also having the chance to obtain new information and techniques that may have been learned to help you raise your child in a better manner.

Remember, you want to make the most of this confinement period as it will be vital for the health and wellbeing of you and your child. Make sure that you find the right confinement nanny to come into your home and take some of the stress out of your life by working with a professional individual.

Getting Pregnant After 40 - Do You Know the Problems?

In the current society, the number of women getting pregnant after 40 is increasing. The truth is ladies are still attending college and finding their place in the working society when in their 20s. By the point these women have the opportunity to find their Mr Perfect, after a string of unsuitable men, they will quickly be in their 30s.

With the biological clock ticking, it is common knowledge that mature mums, specifically those getting pregnant after 40 experience more fertility problems compared to their younger counterparts.

However, getting pregnant after 40 with normal, healthy pregnancies and no complications can be done. It is only that statistically, ladies who get pregnant after 40 encounter increase threat of fertility difficulties and complications and are therefore put through a battery of checks that tend to be non-compulsory for younger ladies.

For anybody who is in your 40s and trying to conceive, it is important to understand the considerations and options accessible to you so that you can better your experience and maternity success.

Supply of Ovum

The natural decrease in the production of ovum is the main reason ladies take more time to achieve success in getting pregnant after 40. During puberty, women have around 300,000 - 400,000 ovum. This amount decreases by 13,000 year on year. Through the late 30s, ladies may have less than 10% of the eggs that they had at puberty. Additionally there is an exponential decline in ovum supply during early 40s and mid 40s.

The production of eggs is really at its tail end when the woman gets to her 40s and consequently the odds of getting pregnant after 40 is very slim.

Studies have observed that women over 40 have a 40-50% chance of getting pregnant inside a year of trying, as oppose to a 75% chance of success for a lady in her 30s.

Quality of Eggs

The tail end supply of ovum is also generally flawed and genetically defective. This causes implantation problems and genetic abnormality. As a result, older ladies tend to experience miscarriages, have increased possibility of having a downs syndrome child or a baby with birth defect.

Women over age 35 are offered genetic amniocentesis or chorionic villus checks in the 3rd or fourth month of pregnancy. This requires extracting amniotic fluid from the sac for genetic testing. As it is an invasive examination, there exists a minimal (.5%) danger of miscarriage involved in this kind of analyze. Chorionic villus sampling will involve the removal of a little amount of placental tissue, that can then be examined for genetic abnormalities.

You will need to look at the risks and advantages of these kinds of checks with your gynaecologist at the beginning so you have enough time to make a knowledgeable option.

Possibility involving Miscarriages and Still Birth

For women getting pregnant after 40, preconception care is extremely crucial to minimize these risks. It is strongly advised that you and your partner get examined to make sure that there aren't any genetic flaws, that you have a healthy uterus and ovaries and that most of the sperms are normal. If you are undergoing IVF cure, doctors can also screen your embryo and select just the healthy ones.

Another element of pre-natal care is to boost your way of life and diet plans. This entails abstinence from alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and caffeine, frequent exercise plans and intake of a wholesome balanced diet plan.

Once you are expecting, you must attend regular ante-natal classes to make certain that all development is advancing adequately and that and exceptions can be addressed in early stages.

Problems at Birth

Getting pregnant after 40 means that it's likely you'll have any of the following:-

• Premature delivery
• Cesarean birth
• Premature detachment of the placenta resulting in hemorrhage
• Placenta previa
• Meconium-stained amniotic fluid
• Postpartum hemorrhage
• Malpresentations (breech or other positions apart from head down)
• Preeclampsia
• Gestational diabetes

You must review your unique conditions with your specialist and make well-informed decisions and plan of prevention or action early on.

How do I Choose the Health Insurance That's Right For Me?

Types of Health Insurance

As the cost of health care is rising, it is important for everyone to obtain health insurance. The two different types of health insurance plans are: 1)A reimbursement plan and 2)a managed care plan. Reimbursement plans are also referred to as indemnity plans. Managed care plans are mainly referred to as PPOs, POS, or HMOs.

With indemnity health insurance, you choose your own doctors. The plan pays for your medical bills partially, completely, or up to a specified amount for a specified number of days. A managed care health insurance plan covers the complete cost, minus a co-pay, and generally has more extensive coverage. However, you must use a doctor that is "in network". These companies make agreements with specific doctors that you must use if you want the company's health coverage.

In choosing a health insurance plan, be sure to check for coverages that apply to your individual situation. Hospital expenses should include room, board, and any other expenses that you may incur during your stay. If you require surgery, full surgeon's fees and all surgical expenses should be covered. Also, expenses for doctor visits, whether at the doctor's office or in the hospital, should be covered.
Lastly, the majority of health insurance plans cover all major illness or injury fees.

There may be additional coverages that you may want, such as preventative care, maternity care, prescription medication, mental health care, vision care, and even a dental plan. You will want to check with various insurance providers and see if the options you want are offered.

Shopping for a health insurance provider requires a lot of consideration. You must ask yourself if a particular plan covers all the benefits you require. Does it cover needs that are specific to you, such as maternity care or dental care? Are you able to choose your own doctor or are you restricted to using an "in network" doctor? Will the plan cover only yourself or your whole family as well? What is the policy on pre-existing conditions? What about deductibles and co-pays? What is the company's co-insurance policy? Most importantly, what is the reputation of the insurance company within the industry. These are all questions that require solid and specific answers before you can make your final decision on the health insurance company that is right for you.

Since health insurance is a large investment, there are many factors to consider when choosing between managed and indemnity plans. Each insurance company is unique and requires that you study the many options and plans available before deciding which insurance company is best for your needs. Of course the best company will offer you the greatest coverage and flexibility for the lowest cost. Bear in mind, it is wise to confirm the financial solvency of the company so you know they can afford to pay out when necessary.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Utah Maternity Insurance - What Are Some of Your Options?

So, you live in Utah and you're looking to expand your family and you don't have coverage through an employer. You need to know what your options are and how you are going to afford to have this child but also not break the bank paying the premiums. We are going to cover what you can do to make sure that this baby has the best possible insurance for the least amount of dollars. One of the things to remember as we go through your options is that because Intermountain Healthcare facilities only take SelectHealth on an in network basis, if you choose a doctor that only has privileges at a IHC facility, your only real option is SelectHealth insurance unless you choose a different doctor.

The next thing we need to talk about which carriers cover maternity here in Utah and how they cover it. First we'll deal with who doesn't. Currently, HumanaOne does not cover maternity at all. The only real option with them is to use one of their HSA option plans and combine that with a hospital indemnity plan (which we will discuss later). Otherwise, they will not cover anything other than complications with the delivery.

SelectHealth will cover the pregnancy and delivery but only after a separate $6,500 deductible for maternity. But obviously with the amount of doctors in network for them and since their parent company, Intermountain Healthcare (IHC), is the largest health provider in the state, they always have to be looked at. They too will always cover complications as part of their regular health coverage. The one thing to remember with SelectHealth is that they will also only cover maternity in their own Intermountain Healthcare hospitals on an in-network basis. So, they will cover you in network at American Fork Hospital but not at St Marks in Millcreek.

Assurant will have the best coverage as far as deductible is concerned here. They have as low as a $1,000 maternity deductible. That means that after you pay $1,000 towards maternity care, your coverage will then kick in. Now, the only real problem is that your premiums are going to be very high since they know that with that low of a deductible that you are definitely going to use the coverage. Since the birth of a baby can cost anywhere between $6,000 to over $10,000 depending on complications or C-section, you can see that if the premiums weren't more, the insurance companies would go broke trying to cover it all. Same thing goes for Assurant, but opposite of SelectHealth. Their coverage is good at non-Intermountain Healthcare hospitals, like St Marks or Orem Community, but not at the IHC facilities like Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield has a $5,000 deductible for maternity coverage and also has a great network of doctors to go to. They also follow the networks of Assurant, so make sure you doctor hospital privileges aren't at a IHC facility.

Altius also offers coverage, but they have the highest deductible at $7,500.

Hospital indemnity plans are also an option. Since your health plan make not kick in until a certain deductible, how can you get covered without breaking the bank. That is where these types of plans come in handy. These plans will help cover the costs you incur while admitted to the hospital for child birth. That way, to help meet your maternity deductible on your health plan, the indemnity plan pays it for you. So, you will still incur the OB/GYN visits during pregnancy, but the real expensive ones on the hospital get covered. So, as an example of how this type of coverage would work, let's use it in conjunction with a SelectHealth plan. You get pregnant and you start your prenatal visits with your OB/Gyn. These visits will come out of your pocket, but will count towards your deductible. The ultrasounds and lab work will also be paid out of pocket and then count towards deductible as well. Then labor strikes and you are admitted to Utah Valley. The indemnity plan then would kick in and cover the charges incurred while you were there, but at the same time, the costs paid by that plan would also go toward your SelectHealth deductible. Once you reached $6,500 in expenses paid, your SelectHealth plan would kick in and cover the rest of the charges. Sounds pretty easy right? There is more to it than that, so do speak to an expert so they can walk you through what to do.

Now, what can you do if you can't afford any of the options? In the state of Utah, they have a great Medicaid program that will help cover all of the costs you incur. And with some flexible options to qualifying, it is always an option to look into. Utah's Medicaid covers everything from the prenatal visits to labor and delivery to even C-sections if needed all the way to the follow up visits with a pediatrician.

The most important thing to do is to speak to an independent health insurance agent in Utah to help you sort through all of the confusion in what might be the right plan for you. Because they specialize in only health insurance in Utah, they know what carrier and plan options will fit your situation. They will help you find out if your doctors privileges are at a Mountainstar hospital, an IHC facility or even an independent facility like University of Utah Medical Center. And best thing is that they don't cost you one extra penny to help.

Whatever you choose, good luck with the family expansion. It may be a slightly stressful time, but it is definitely worth it.