Saturday, August 17, 2013

How To Finance A Tubal Reversal Procedure

You had a tubal ligation several years ago but now you'd like another child. Well, you can. All that's required is a procedure called a tubal reversal. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that your insurance probably won't pay for it. Fortunately, there are a few insurance plans that will. For example, Blue Cross/Blue Shield has covered some reversal procedures. However, this varies depending on where you live and your insurance plan. So, if you want the procedure, be sure to talk with your insurance company first.

If you believe your insurance will cover the procedure, some tubal reversal centers will help with the paperwork by filing it for you. Others will not even accept insurance. In this case, you will have to pay before the procedure, do the filing yourself after the surgery and then hope you can collect what you've spent.

If you're lucky, you'll have a plan that covers all or at least some parts of the procedure. But, be prepared to pay for it yourself.

What a tubal reversal costs

Depending on where you have the procedure done, it can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. The national average cost for a tubal reversal is around $9,000.

If you have your procedure done in a hospital, the conventional way - as abdominal surgery, you will probably have to stay for several days. This is why the cost gets to be $9,000 or more. An alternative to this is to have your tubal reversal done in a clinic that specializes in these procedures where the cost might be as little as $4,995. It could take just an hour and would not require an overnight stay.

How to finance your tubal reversal

There are a number of ways to finance a tubal reversal. The most popular is probably to put it on a credit card and then pay for it over a period of time - maybe 18 or 24 months. Of course, you will have to have a large enough credit limit to accommodate that $5,000 or $10,000 charge.

A second alternative

If you can't use your credit card for tubal reversal financing, you might be able to get a personal loan. One company, OneMain Financial, advertises that it will work with you to provide a personal loan solution specific to your needs. It further states that it offers fast approval, fixed interest rates and a 14-day guarantee (you can change you mind and cancel anytime within the first 14 days). Other institutions that provide loans for tubal reversals include CapitalOne Health Care Finance, MediCredit, MedProva, Reliance Medical Finance, Care Credit and SurgeryLoans.

Other possible solutions

If you or your partner have a flexible spending account (FLEX plan) you could use money from it to pay for the procedure. A FLEX plan allows you to set aside pretax dollars into an account and use these funds to pay for medical expenses. If you are unsure as to whether you or your partner has such a plan, contact your or your partner's company's personnel department for more information. If it does offer a FLEX plan, you should be able to take money from it to finance the procedure, assuming you have set money aside in it. If you currently aren't enrolled in a FLEX plan, you should be able to sign up for it during open enrollment for benefits and start setting money aside for the following year.

Also, some of the clinics that specialize in tubal reversals offer payment plans. If you decide to go to a clinic that specializes in this procedure, be sure to ask if it offers such a plan.

Expensive but worth it

As you have learned in this article, getting a tubal reversal is not cheap. But there are alternatives in tubal reversal financing that can help you make that dream come true - to have another child.

Individual Health Insurance: The Maternity Coverage Gap

Individual health insurance with maternity coverage has become an oxymoron in the United States. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms such as: dark light, living dead, etc. The terms have become contradictory because of market forces: the only people willing to buy maternity coverage plan to use the benefit. Insurers respond by eliminating coverage from basic plans and creating maternity riders designed not to appeal to couples planning a pregnancy; which leaves many couples with very limited options. Fortunately, a hybrid option exists.

The costs of covering a planned normal pregnancy are quite high: $6,000 to $12,000 depending upon the type of delivery. If you have group health insurance your plan likely covers normal labor and delivery as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires group health plans to cover normal pregnancy. But there is no such law governing plans issued in the individual market, and insurers have grown wary of offering plans that cover normal delivery in this market: the only people buying coverage plan to use the benefit.

Maternity Insurance Riders

Insurers have responded to this market based dilemma by eliminating maternity coverage from base plans and introducing maternity riders. The rider structure allows them to market competitively priced plans to the majority not planning on having children, and the option to upgrade coverage for those who are. However, the population segment interested in the rider plans to generate $6,000 to $12,000 in incremental claims (and far more if complications arise). A rider priced at the mid point - $8,000 in additional annual premium would be outrageously expensive.

Long Waiting Periods

So instead they offer riders with long waiting periods and/or long deductibles. These features limit the benefit to almost zero, but do minimize the sticker shock. The insurer has found a way to offer coverage without losing money on a planned event. But the potential customers (couples planning to have children) are left scratching their heads about the value.

A long waiting period forces couples to pre pay premiums in advance of using the benefit. But many couples decide to start a family right away. Waiting twelve months BEFORE getting pregnant is just not an option for many. Waiting an additional twelve months makes matters worse if a couple is nearing the end of their age based fertility window.

Large Deductibles

Deductibles are structured in an insurers favor. Should you pay an additional $300 per month for a maternity rider with a $5,000 deductible? If you have a simple delivery the policy may cost more than you receive in benefits. But that's the idea behind insurance. It's there to cover you in case of the unexpected, not something you are planning to do.

Supplemental Insurance

Supplemental insurance sold as a voluntary employee benefit offers a hybrid solution to the maternity coverage gap. Because they are sold through employer groups, normal labor and delivery is covered. Because they are voluntary, there is no direct cost to employers to make the option available to all employees. Couples can purchase individual health insurance for basic needs, and add supplemental insurance instead of a devalued maternity rider.

Supplement Suggestions For Getting Pregnant With a Girl

Supplements, which may include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and even over-the-counter medicines, can help you get pregnant with a girl. The range of choices available and what "really works" or not is confusing, however. This article will cover some common supplements to consider. Remember, do careful research any time you consider adding a dietary supplement to your day.

You want to look for supplements that make the body more acidic and lower testosterone if you'd like a girl. It's also good to have your husband take supplements for the same reasons.

Supplements to Consider for a Girl

Cranberry is one of the most recommended supplements. It has been shown to help make the cervical fluids more acidic, which is favorable for a girl. You can get cranberry by taking a standardized supplement or by drinking unsweetened cranberry juice. The calories from the juice quickly add up, so the supplement may be better for you. Some women find it hard on their stomach, so adjust your dosage if you have this problem.

Another favored supplement for conceiving a girl is Saw Palmetto, which is an herb. Many women trying to conceive have found saw palmetto helpful because it can help overcome the effects of polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS). Testosterone is a major culprit in PCOS and it's where saw palmetto shines. The herb helps to lower testosterone levels in both men and women -- what you want for getting a girl.

You may want to consider some of the traditional "girl" vitamins and minerals. There's some debate about supplementing heavily with vitamins and minerals. Research suggests that high vitamin and mineral levels increase boy conceptions all around, so some are recommending against high supplementation if you want a girl.

It's definitely advisable to get these nutrients via a supplement rather than food -- foods come with calories and a lot of other nutrients which will boost the chances of a boy. It's best to eat a bland, low-fat, low-calorie diet.

If you'd like to supplement the "girl minerals," though, you can take them in a sensible pill every day. Calcium and magnesium are what you want to look for, and fortunately there are many cal/mag blends available to give you a small, balanced daily dose.

B-vitamins have also been thought to increase the chances of getting a girl in the past, but raising vitamin levels too high may be counter-productive. All women trying to conceive should take vitamin B6 and folate (folic acid). These are vital for your baby's health and may help with morning sickness.

Morning sickness doesn't indicate baby gender -- you'll get it regardless of boy or girl. If you have issues with it, the B6 should help.

You can take a B-complex with moderate levels of the B vitamins, and you should if you've had a history of depression, especially during and after pregnancy.

There are some other herbal supplements, like Vitex/Chasteberry and Lydia Pinkham that may increase your chances of getting a girl. These potent herbal blends can influence your menstrual cycle, so watch very carefully how your body reacts to them. You generally only use them before ovulation, then take a break until your next period.

Peppermint is a final herb to consider. Like saw palmetto, peppermint may lower testosterone levels. It makes a delicious tea to sip on throughout the day.

Types of Maternity Clothes and Your Options

Maternity fashion has come a long way in recent years - gone are the pinafores, smocks, and gigantic dresses. These days' maternity clothes are figure hugging and flattering to show off your gorgeous belly and suit your mummy curves.

The basics of maternity clothes include the following:

1. Maternity tops and t-shirts. Designed with a good fit across your shoulders and stretch over your bump, generally slightly longer in length than standard pre-pregnancy t-shirts. Many designs are also suitable to be used as nursing tops when baby is born. Look for maternity clothing in easy care fabrics.

2. Maternity tunics are very practical, as they can easily accommodate your shape. These go great with leggings and boots. Team them up with maternity tights - these are specially designed with a wider belly gusset and don't gut across the top of your bump.

3. Maternity jeans and pants, and summer shorts: these clothing items are designed with either a stretchy waistband or extendable elastic. Maternity pants with stretchy waistbands are so functional! You can wear the waistband pulled up over your belly which is a great way to bridge any skin gap that might be showing below your t-shirt, and it also provides gentle support. Alternatively you can fold the waistband lower and wear it over your hips. This functionality ensures that the pants can last you throughout your entire pregnancy.

Maternity jeans with extendable elastic - these are made with elastic that you can access in the waistband and you can pull tight or loosen, and fasten through a specially placed button at the fly opening. This means that you can adjust your pants as your belly grows.

4. Maternity skirts are popular - wear with tights and boots in winter, or sandals in summer. These are generally also made with stretchy waistbands that you can roll up or wear down. Bright bold patterns are a great way to feel fantastic.

5. Maternity dresses are great for special occasions such as attending a summer wedding. Maternity dresses usually have a fitted effect across your belly.

Even if you are a larger plus size women - wearing fitted maternity clothing is more flattering than wearing looser garments which will tend to exaggerate your size.

The one piece of crucial advice to remember when it comes to buying maternity clothes is DO NOT wear your partner's t-shirts. They won't be flattering at all, and you need to cherish your new body shape rather than hiding under his baggy t-shirts!!

Causes of Postpartum Depression - When and How It Happens

Postpartum depression (or postnatal depression) is a very common experience for new mothers, usually caused by varying hormone levels. After the first joy and excitement over the birth, almost all mothers have feelings of depression, resulting in weepiness, feeling inadequate and unable to cope. This mild form is known as baby blues and soon wears off.

One in ten women suffers from PND more severely, beginning from three weeks to six months after the birth. They become moody, easily distressed, reject their partner and child, cannot sleep, have a poor appetite and feel anxious and guilty. This condition needs medical counselling. Drugs may be prescribed but simpler treatment, such as kindness and understanding from friends and relations, going out, taking up hobbies and discussing the problem, will often be valuable.

One in 500 new mothers suffers a much more severe depression known as puerperal psychosis, which needs emergency remedies involving psychiatric care. The Infanticide Act (1938) states that a woman cannot be found guilty of the murder of her child within twelve months of its birth if she is suffering from severe postnatal depression.

Organisations that can help include the Association for Postnatal Illness, Parents Anonymous, the Samaritans, and the Meet A Mum Association.

Postnatal check-up

This should take place about six weeks after the birth. This six-week period is known as the puerperium, and by the end of the six weeks the reproductive organs should have returned to their proper size. The check-up can be carried out by the woman's own GP, or at the hospital where the baby was delivered.

At the check-up the doctor will:

  • check the mother's weight, blood pressure and urine.

  • if an episiotomy was needed, check that this is healing.

  • give a routine smear test.

  • offer contraceptive advice.

  • check on the mother's emotional condition and any signs of post partum depression.

It is an opportunity for the mother to discuss any problems she may have, physical or mental. It is an important check-up and mothers should insist that it is thorough.

Giving Birth in Water - Benefits and Methods

For many soon-to-be parents around the world, giving birth in water is still not a top choice but there is a growing interest in this birthing method because of its many mother and child-friendly benefits.

Water birthing may have just started to gain popularity in the west, but the idea is not new. Traditionally, women in Romania have been giving birth in warm natural pools (usually in the summer) for a long time with few complications even before 1960, when Igor Tjarkovsky, a Soviet researcher and swimming teacher had scientifically pioneered the idea of giving birth in water. Tjarkovsy has facilitated the births of hundreds of babies in a warm tank of water using his method since then. Seventeen years later, Michel Ordent, a French obstetrician, started the use of the warm tub. The technique proved to be highly popular and spread rapidly. By the 1980s, more than four thousand babies in the USA had been born through water birth.

To start birthing, the mother in labor is placed in a tub with warm water. The baby is monitored by a special underwater device. The mother stays in the tub while she labors and she can choose whether to give birth while submerged or give birth outside the tub. If the baby is submerged when it is delivered, it is perfectly safe because babies do not breathe in air until they are exposed to air. An attendant quickly takes the baby out of the water and hands it to the mother. This process must always be under the supervision of trained medical personnel and should not be attempted on your own.

Despite its unconventional nature, many nurses and healthcare practitioners say that water birthing has many benefits. The mother is not overtly stressed or anxious because the water soothes her muscles and there is less pain than conventional birthing because water stimulates the body's natural pain inhibitors. The water also provides buoyancy which makes it easier for the mother to change positions and it also provides privacy for many self-conscious or first-time moms. The water also provides a less traumatizing environment for the baby because it is similar to the womb's environment and shields it from sound and light, thus preventing over stimulation at birth. Many midwives, obstetricians and birthing experts say that water birth can also minimize fetal complications.

If you choose to deliver your baby through water birthing, look for a hospital or birthing center that allows water birth and has medical personnel trained in the process. It is also recommended that you inspect the tub and the birthing equipment before you give birth, as well as their prices. Renting a tub may be an option too. If you are going to give birth at your nearest hospital, review their policies on water birth (some do not welcome it yet). Also, check on your insurance company to see if they will cover the expenses of your water birth.

Despite its many benefits, water birth is not for everyone. It cannot be performed for breeched, premature and multiple births. If you have had a risky diagnosis during your pregnancy (e.g. susceptibility to bleeding or an infection), talk to your doctor first. Having herpes, which is transferred through water, is also not ideal for water birth. If your body is quite inflexible, you may also have to resort to the conventional way.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage and Seeking Help By Eating Right

Experiencing miscarriage is both a physical and emotional challenge for the mother. To try getting pregnant after miscarriage again would mean accepting the harsh reality that another miscarriage might happen the second time around. Don't let yourself down, though. Help yourself improve your chance of getting pregnant by eating right.

There are many causes why you had a miscarriage then. It could be because of a dreadful disease, an infection, an abnormality, or just plain misfortune. But you can reverse the negative thing that has happened to you by eating right. Your lifestyle affects the healthiness of your body. The healthier you are, the more ideal your body becomes for a developing fetus.

Generally, eating healthily like having more vegetables and fruits and lesser fats in the diet will be helpful. You can try a better diet also--a diet that is ideal for those who try getting pregnant after miscarriage. Here are the important nutrients for that diet:

- Zinc. Researches have proven the connection of zinc to healthy pregnancy. Experts suggest that taking enough or more than enough zinc will promote a conception-ready body. Make sure you don't have deficiency in zinc because if so, your ability to get pregnant will be impaired. The father should also have enough zinc so he can produce healthier sperms. You can take zinc supplements or eat foods rich in zinc like whole grains, egg yolks, and lean meat.

- Vitamin C. Whether you try getting pregnant after miscarriage or not, including Vitamin C to your diet is very important. For pregnant women, Vitamin C strengthens the womb lining, making it stronger for getting pregnant and staying pregnant. Citrus fruits like berries, lemons, grapefruits, and limes are great sources of Vitamin C. You can also take Vitamin C supplements as an alternative.

- Folic Acid. Chromosomal damage is one of the common reasons for miscarriage. By correcting this, you will dramatically improve your chance of getting pregnant after miscarriage. More than helping you get pregnant, folic acid will assist you to stay pregnant, too. Doctors usually recommend taking 400 micrograms of folic acid everyday. You can also eat foods rich in folic acid especially the green leafy vegetables.

These three nutrients are must-haves to a diet of trying-to-get-pregnant couples. Aside from folic acid, Vitamin C, and zinc, you should consider eating sensible foods, too. Sensible here means no to sugary or oily foods. Stick to a balanced diet. Everything should be in moderation and you will have balanced diet.

Health Reimbursement Accounts - How They Work

Health reimbursement accounts (HRA) are part of a program set up by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is designed so that an employer can reimburse an employee for certain medical expenses. This helps defray the cost of medical expenses. It also helps the employer save money on taxes. Like a health savings account, funds in health reimbursement accounts can roll over from year to year. The employer decides the amount that rolls over. Unlike a health savings account, only employers can contribute funds to a health reimbursement accounts. The funds cannot come out of an employee's salary, voluntarily or involuntarily. There is no limit on the amount of funds an employer can put into an HRA.

Since the IRS sets up this program, employees need to turn in receipts with itemized descriptions of what they paid for. These receipts are for record keeping purposes. The IRS will not allow tax deductions if the purchases were not qualified medical purchases. Qualified medical purchases must be outlined to the employee before a health reimbursement account is opened. This usually comes in the form of a plan. The employer sets up the plan. The employer decides what he will and will not reimburse the employee for. The reimbursement plan can be very flexible, and cover nearly everything. It can also be limited and cover only co-pays or premiums. This is up to the employer.

There are advantages and disadvantages to health reimbursement accounts. The advantages for the employer include knowing how much of their money is going to be tax-deductible. The advantages for the employee include a bit of potential relief in regards to medical expenses. Disadvantages include possible vague dialogue or stipulations in the coverage plan. It is important to ask if a procedure is covered before going to get it done. Many people have made the mistake of getting something done, such as a lab test, only to find out later that it is not covered by their health reimbursement accounts.

You do not have to have health insurance in order to participate in a health reimbursement account. Some employers may even reimburse you the cost of your health insurance coverage from your HRA. Health reimbursement accounts can also be used in conjunction with health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts. If you are self-employed, you cannot have a health reimbursement account. If your salary is high, you may have one, but your coverage may be limited. If you need assistance in locating particular coverages at a pre-determined price, we can help save 50% on health insurance.

Is Your Hospital Baby Friendly?

Are you planning to breast feed your newborn infant? If so, there is a designation given to hospitals that you may want to be aware of: Baby Friendly.

In 1991 The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched. This initiative is an international program sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization to encourage maternity care centers and hospitals to become fully supportive of breastfeeding. The BFHI gives special recognition i.e. a Baby Friendly Designation to facilities that provide a certain level of breast feeding support and meet certain criterion. Baby-Friendly USA oversees the United State's BFHI.

The ten steps to receive the Baby Friendly Designation are:

1. Maintain a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6. Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
7. Practice rooming in-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8. Encourage unrestricted breastfeeding.
9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic

There are some facilities that may advertise a certificate of intent. It is important to distinguish between a facility that has received the full Baby Friendly designation versus one that has simply received a Certificate of Intent. According to BFHI: "Certificates of Intent are given out on an honor system... Receiving the Certificate of Intent is not equivalent to receiving the Baby-Friendly designation, but rather recognizes those US hospitals and birthing centers that are working toward applying the Ten Steps."

As of December 2009, there were 86 Facilities in the United States with the Baby Friendly designation. Most people already know that there are many benefits to breast feeding. Research also shows that there are many benefits received from using Baby Friendly Hospitals. To learn more about the benefits, and to see if the hospital where you plan to birth has been given the Baby Friendly Designation visit the BFHI official website:

How Phototherapy Units Can Save Life Of A Neonate?

It is estimated that most of neonate birth are affected by a disease of one kind or another. These diseases can arise due to various reasons, some of them being: premature birth, lack of lactation, jaundice and other major diseases.

Today, about 80% of the pre-term and 50% of term babies get affected by Neonatal Jaundice as there are numerous bloods cells present in the body that forms huge amount of bilirubin. Babies born before 37 weeks, weight less than 2500 gms, blood type compatible with mothers are some of the other reasons to get affected by the disease. Some years ago, the major problem was the Polio, which is now decreased to some level by giving proper medications.

However, the main reason that causes neonatal death is improper neonatal care. That's why the born babies are kept in hospital at least 2 days, which mean 48 hours, in neonatal care center.

Neonatal Death Rates:

All over the world, major changes are taking place in both maternal and neonatal. The results prove that about 4 million babies die during the first 4 weeks of life and 3 million deaths in the early neonatal period.

The risk of death is 6 times greater in developing countries compared to the developed countries. And this is primarily because the developing countries do not have proper awareness about the neonatal care.

Steps taken for Neonatal Care:

Compared to the elders or grown children, neonatal require more care. They tend to catch up any disease easily, esp. during the early months.

Organizations all over world including WHO are more concerned about the neonatal care today. They give recommendations to the medical institutions about the maternal and neonatal care. The training is given to improve the health and survival of both the mother and their babies. In fact, the medical staff working in every hospital is given special training to take care of neonates.

Neonatal Care Equipments:

Special neonatal care equipments are arranged in every hospital. Some of the equipments include maternal care, neonatal phototherapy, open care infant warmer, infant radiant warmer and more.

The most important equipment used for neonatal care is the phototherapy unit. The phototherapy unit includes Neonatal phototherapy unit, neonatal phototherapy unit (blue) and LED phototherapy.

How Phototherapy Unit can help?

Phototherapy is considered to be one of the best treatments for curing infants jaundice.

Phototherapy units are generally used for PUVA therapy. The phototherapy unit is used in the treatment of various skin conditions using ultraviolet lights.

The neonatal phototherapy units are well designed that provide neonatal hyper-bilirubinaemiacare. Some of the features include blue light, compact design, easy to operate, separate white lamps, specially designed heat vents, phoenix infant bassinet, noise-free operation and low energy consumption.

The LED phototherapy system is designed based on the fiber-optic based technology that is used for the treatment of indirect hyperbilirubinemia in newborns. One such phototherapy unit that features increased surfaced area, high spectral radiance and LED light is Phototherapy Units by Medicaid, India.

The Medicaid Photo-therapy Units, LED NEO BILI-300 and CFL PT-22 are simple, energy efficient and easy to use. Their LED light based phototherapy unit is very useful in the treatment of newborn jaundice. With a compact design, high performance and energy efficient phototherapy unit, these models have the arrangement of LED lights to allow illumination of the whole surface area and noise free operation.

Phototherapy Units are essentials for any medical facility. If the proper Neonatal Care is done, lots of neonatal death can be avoided every year worldwide.

Importance of Good Maternity Wear

There are many things you need to take care of when you are pregnant like diet, exercise, maternity clothing, being happy, meditating, and looking after your self in general. This article deals with the importance of maternity clothes for an expectant mother and what she should look for.

Maternity clothes are today being made by many young and fashionable people who understand the need of mixing fashion and sensible and practical maternity clothes. Who says pregnant women can't be fashionable? You can today indulge in the latest trends in maternity wear and rock the natural glow that is associated with pregnancy.

Mommies to be often ask why it is important to wear maternity clothes. Why can't they just wear their old ones in larger sizes the answers are here:

Change in Size

Most maternity clothes can be bought in the same size as your normal clothing. It is just that maternity clothes are cut in the same way as normal clothes, with the difference being that the belly area is cut in a different way.

You will need Expandable Waistbands

Today you get many different types of waistbands like scoop under the belly, V belly under, over the belly, flat front or fold over instead of the traditional big rib pouch. As your waist expands with the progress of the baby you can't wear your old pants and jeans. You get stylish maternity jeans which look very stylish and smart.


Every pregnant women needs to be as comfortable as possible. Pregnancy is not all easy as there are times when you are overtly emotional, or there are days when you are feeling unwell, you feel bloated and swollen. In such cases you need comfortable maternity clothing which allows you the movement and freedom of space that you need. It is important that you don't buy tight maternity clothes as they will only get tighter and won't allow your skin to breathe.

Maternity Bras

Your breast size will change after the 3rd month and you will require a maternity bra from the 5th-6th month. You need the extra support that only maternity bras can give you. Some even are cross back. Some ladies even need to wear bras to keep their breast pads in place as there can be pain and discomfort in the region of the breast and these pads offer a cool relief. Women after delivery especially need to wear maternity bras of breast feeding bras for convenience and easy access.

Feel Good About Your Self

It is very important to know that you are a gorgeous women who is responsible for bringing a new life into this world. And what better way to celebrate this than to show off to people with smart and attractive maternity wear. There is nothing like a pretty dress and compliments that follow to boost your morale and ego, so why not indulge in the best maternity clothes you can find?

If you are interested in some great maternity wear in Brisbane then you could consider the name Maternity Revolution. For more info please click here

When You Know the Stork is Calling, it is Also Time For Maternity Health Insurance Coverage

The birth of a newborn in the family can be an occasion for unrestrained rejoice. Everyone knows that good news is just around the corner and therefore gets on to preparations to welcome the little one in to the world.

While you as an expectant mother or father would undoubtedly be overwhelmed with joy at the prospect of having a child of your own, you also need to prepare yourself for any unforeseen situations, however unlikely they may seem, to actually occur. Often, birth related complications are seen to happen with even the healthiest of women, and therefore it definitely makes adequate sense that you avail of maternity health insurance coverage.

The benefits of such a coverage are definitely plenty; apart from the obvious hospital expenses which you are invariably going to incur at the time of delivery, maternity health insurance coverage will also provide for all check-ups that you are very likely to have to undergo, prior to the delivery. It will also provide for the costs of medicines that you will have to take, in addition to lab expenses as well as fees for examinations and other tests.

While considering going in for maternity health insurance coverage, it would be wise to do so, even before you have actually begun your pregnancy; there are a lot of insurance companies that do not provide maternity health insurance coverage, once you have already begun your pregnancy, so it will be wise to go in for cover prior to that.

Having said that, there are various government and other state funded agencies that provide insurance coverage even after you have begun your pregnancy; therefore, do not make the wrong choice of not going in for maternity health insurance coverage at all, just because your pregnancy has already begun, and you are under the impression that you can no longer avail of maternity health insurance coverage.

Instead, initiate the process of dialogue with a well informed, qualified and experienced insurance broker who will give you objective information on all the policy options that you have at hand, and give you solid pointers towards the policy that will suit your requirement as well as your pocket, the best. It is vital that the benefits which you foresee from availing maternity health insurance coverage do not exceed the costs of getting the aforementioned coverage in the very first place.

Researching on the Internet would also be an excellent proposition for getting the requisite information that you require; there is no dearth of comprehensive information on all the various maternity health insurance coverage policies, as well as on the costs and benefits of each. While doing so, make sure you also look at the fine print of all these policies, as there might be various circumstances under which the specified benefits may not accrue to you. Also, do look up independent websites that offer unbiased information on maternity health insurance coverage policies as well as companies so that you are also informed about the opinion that others have on them, as well as about the experiences that others who availed similar policies, had.

Finally, once you have got your maternity health insurance coverage, it is time to sit back and wait for the little one to come into this world and bring joy to everyone around!

Before Taking Fertility Drugs - Research Tax and Insurance Plans

Before taking fertility drugs keep in mind what often happens soon afterwards: you get pregnant, have a baby, go on maternity leave, and take on expenses for raising, feeding, and clothing your child. It pays to research tax impacts of your decision, and get the right insurance plans in place. Once you are already pregnant, your window of opportunity will be closed. Pregnancy is a preexisting condition for most insurance plans.

Tax Considerations

Many couples find that their insurance does not cover many fertility drugs and other forms of treatment. The IRS tax code allows you to deduct these expenses, or at least those un-reimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. If your planned infertility drug and treatment expenses are not expected to be that high, consider using your health care flexible spending account at work instead. You will get immediate tax savings on these expenses.

Get the Right Insurance Coverage

Double check your health insurance plan to verify what is and is not covered by your plan. Most plans will not cover infertility treatments of any kind, and depending upon your state of residence you may find large maternity related deductibles or co pays, and in some cases you may need to purchase a maternity rider to insure your basic medical needs are covered.

In addition, consider purchasing supplemental insurance which will help create maternity leave income, and provide added security during your pregnancy in case of complications. But be sure your coverage begins before you begin taking any fertility medications. Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What Employees Health Insurance Can Offer Its Clients

All employees health insurance are considered as additional benefits offered to the employees of a certain company. Almost all employees think it's important to secure their future devoid of any fear through choosing among a variety of health benefits. For someone to organize a business or a company, it is essential to offer employees a healthy working condition. Almost all employers provide their employees health insurance benefits for them to produce their optimum performance without any troubled ideas and fears. It is very crucial that all employers must recognize the importance of a healthy working environment, as this is usually what makes employees perform better.

Generally, employees health insurance benefits improve the total wellness and safety of company employees by providing them primary medical and insurance benefits and programs. The medical plan intended for employees are offered to them through various health programs. Included in this plan is an annual medical check up, an assurance that all employees are served with the healthiest foods and that each of the employees is working in a setting where their safety and health is not at all risked or gambled.

Also, these benefits serve as a preventive measure for the future. Under an employees health insurance coverage, every company assures that their first aid boxes are always checked for their essential contents. Each company must be able to develop and establish a well-equipped occupational program and facilities for the treatment of all types of injuries that their employees might incur during their working hours. It is stated in almost all employees health insurance programs that an employee must be attended to at once and that he must be provided with pressing attention by a local first aid trainer or by anyone who is facilitating the occupational therapy ward.

Furthermore, employees health insurance benefit offers a healthy and safe working environment. All insurance programs provided to employees will significantly produce a much safer and hygienic environment that will ultimately enhance work productivity. It contributes greatly in creating ideal job satisfaction and inspires employees to work in a safer manner, devoid of any worries or fears. Providing your employees with medical benefits at the right time during any accidents will help to prevent any premature deaths. It also considerably boosts the morale of your employees.

There are numerous medical benefits that an employee might derive from employees health insurance programs. Life Accidental Death benefits, dependent life benefits, disability benefits, and dental benefits are some of the most common health insurance benefits provided by a company to its employees. It also includes a leave or a holiday for sick employees. There are also maternity benefits that can provide an employee with 100% payment.

Qualities Of A Good Pregnancy Pillow

Pregnancy is a very difficult stage, especially for first-time mothers and if you are looking for things to make your life a lot easier, then you can start looking for the best pregnancy pillow. There are different types of pillows and if you are looking for the best ones, you may try getting a Comfort-U Body pillow (since it's one of the most reputable ones in the market) or you might want to read some pregnancy pillow reviews to help you find other nice buys.

Naturally, you would want to get the best bang from your buck. For you to do so, here are some of the qualities that you should consider when considering getting one of these specialized cushions:

Size - These specialized cushions come in many different sizes. It is important that you choose one according to its size so you would be able to use it properly. Look for one that can accommodate your belly or even your entire body. This is definitely going to make you feel a lot better when you sleep.

Components - There are different filling materials that pillow manufacturers use in making their products which is why it is important that you know these things. Of course, the prices also vary depending on the type of filling that's used in the pillow. You have to pick the filling that you are comfortable with or look for hypoallergenic ones in case you are sensitive. This might be a lot expensive but it is always worth some extra cash.

Level of Comfort - The main reason for buying of these is because you would want something that could provide enough support on your belly or back when you sleep. The U-shaped ones are becoming a favorite among pregnant women since they no longer have to switch their pillows in case they switch positions. This is definitely something that you might want to take a look into.

Dual-Purpose -This means that you should get one that would provide you support when you are pregnant and even after you have given birth. This is definitely something that you might want to check out. You can certainly find different types of pillows so be sure to consider this quality.

These are the main qualities that you should look for when considering on investing in a pregnancy pillow. Make sure that you also consider the brand as this plays an important role in providing you comfort and support.

Getting Health Insurance If You're Pregnant

I guess you already know that it is a lot easier to find health insurance well before you get pregnant. A typical job related group policy should cover maternity very well. If you can obtain group medical coverage from an employer, HIPAA laws may protect your access to the plan even if you are pregnant. If you already have a job, and did not take the insurance, call your HR department to find out what your options are. If you need to find a new job with group benefits, this situation will get a lot more sticky. While employers should not discriminate, trying to get hired while pregnant is not an ideal situation. Of course, a spouse with an employer based group medical plan that covers maternity would work too.

Keep in mind that not everybody qualifies for this HIPAA protection. For one thing, you usually have to be able to prove you had prior coverage within a certain time limit. The laws were intended to protect people, but not to allow people to just run out and get insurance when they needed it. This is not how insurance works. You do not buy car insurance after you have an accident.

If a group policy is out of the question, individual insurers will not be likely to insure pregnant women. In fact, in many cases, they will not even insure anybody in the household where a woman is pregnant.

If you have bee recently terminated, pregnancy is one good reason to keep your COBRA benefits as long as you can. If your old employer had maternity coverage in their group plan, and you can extend those benefits for several months, this may be your best option. COBRA benefits are not cheap though, so this is not always affordable for every unemployed person.

Public Health Insurance Options

If your family meets the income guidelines, consider applying for Medicaid or CHIPS. Medicare is the federal health insurance program for very poor people with few assets. CHIPS is the federal and state children's health insurance program for low to moderate income families. This children's insurance program has been extended to also include pregnant women. You can search the internet for local contact information.

Your county hospital system may also provide low cost clinics and deliveries on a sliding scale based upon income. There are also private foundations and charities that provide financial aid. The website is a good resource to find local financial aid and resources.

What If Your Income is Too High For Public Insurance?

Your family could make too much money to qualify for any public programs, but you could still have trouble paying for everything out of your pocket. A normal maternity could cost a few thousand dollars. Any complications, like a C section, could run up much higher bills.

In this case, you can search for payment programs. I have seen hospital and doctor's programs which allow you to make payments for routine care and deliveries. You would simply pay out the cost of office visits, tests, and your delivery in the same way you make car payments.

Maternity Health Care Is Important

The important thing now is to focus on the health of the mother and child. Some people may feel to proud to apply for public health programs, but I think these feelings should be put aside for now. In the long run, if you get proper care so you can have a good chance to have a healthy mother deliver a healthy child, you will be doing the most good for society.

Healthy Brain Supplements - The Most Effective Supplements That Protect Your Mental Health Revealed

There are many, many healthy brain supplements around these days and all sorts of remedies too. Although some have proven benefits, none have the power of omega 3 fatty acids, especially as they help your overall health too.

The reason why fish oils rich in omega 3 fats make the best healthy brain supplement is simply because these fats are abundant in your brain, with the main one being DHA.

About half of your brain is made up of fats and over half of them are DHA. They keep it healthy and ensure the proper transmission of the neural signals, improving their speed and clarity. This helps you to think more clearly and avoid depression and anxiety too.

For children they are essential for their development, helping to improve cognitive awareness, language ability and even their coordination. For pregnant mothers, it has long been established that taking distilled fish oils help to give the unborn child the maximum help with future development and helps to mother to avoid postnatal depression too.

These oils are also proven to be helpful in preventing and treating many serious degenerative mental health conditions like Alzheimer's and schizophrenia. In fact it was found that the symptoms of schizophrenia could be reduced by over 25% by taking daily oils rich in DHA fats.

As well as being the best type of healthy brain supplements, these oils can also cut your risk of premature disease by 40%, boost your immune system and have anti-cancer properties too.

Their powerful anti-inflammatory powers also stem from the DHA fats which are the only ones converted by the body into a powerful anti-inflammatory chemical called Resolvin D2.

To enjoy the maximum brain and health benefits, look for an oil that has been distilled. This process is expensive for the manufacturer and as a result not many are distilled in order to increase profits.

What this process does is remove all the harmful toxins like PCBs, mercury, arsenic and lead from the oil to leave it pure and safe.

High DHA levels are also essential and you want to get at least 27% DHA fats in each capsule or soft gel. Unfortunately most oils today have more of the other less effective fat called EPA, as it is cheaper to use. Check the label to see the individual amounts.

As you can see, not only do fish oils make the best healthy brain supplements, they also protect your overall health and future well-being too.

If you would like to find out more about the pure DHA fish oil supplements I personally take, visit my website below.

Maternity Leave Pay - When to Apply For Short Term Disability

Short term disability insurance is a great way to create maternity leave pay, while also protecting your income in case of complications, accidents, and illnesses. Your benefit for normal delivery can greatly exceed the premium you pay when you time the start of coverage properly. Unfortunately, most women wait until it's too late to apply for coverage, and miss out on a golden opportunity. Consider your projected date of conception, the possibility of pre-term labor, and the chances of suffering an accident or illnesses.

Use Disability to Create Maternity Leave Pay

Short term disability insurance is a great way to create maternity leave income. It pays a six week benefit for your normal vaginal delivery, and an eight week benefit for your normal c-section delivery - less the elimination period. Your benefit for normal delivery can greatly exceed the premium you pay, thereby creating maternity leave income. For example, a woman earning $54,000 per year qualifies for a $3,000 per month benefit. Her benefit for a c-section delivery would be $4,100 compared to a monthly premium around $150. A pretty sweet insurance bargain for something you were planning to do anyway: have a happy healthy pregnancy and new baby!

Apply for Coverage at the Right Time

Coverage needs to begin before getting pregnant in order to qualify for the benefit for normal delivery. Most policies contain a nine month exclusion for normal delivery. Plus, pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. If you wait until you are already pregnant to apply for coverage you will miss out in two ways: you will not qualify for the benefit for normal delivery, and any missed work due to pregnancy complications will not be covered. Avoid missing both of these important benefits by applying for coverage before conception. Don't wait until it's too late.

Another nuance that many women overlook is the possibility of pre-term labor and delivery. As mentioned above, most policies contain an exclusion for normal delivery during the first nine months of the policy effective date. It is possible for your policy to begin before getting pregnant, but for your normal delivery to occur inside the nine month exclusion. If this happens you may miss out on your benefit. For example, you conceive during the first week after your policy becomes effective, and you deliver two weeks early. Your normal delivery just occurred inside the nine month exclusion - no maternity leave benefit. Avoid this dilemma by applying for coverage several months before your expected date of conception. Your return on premium paid will still be well into the positive range.

Remember Accidents and Illnesses

The amazing part of buying short term disability insurance to cover your pregnancy and maternity leave is that it also protects your income in case of accidents and illnesses. You could get sick or hurt at almost any time. Should this happen, you will be very happy that you applied for coverage.

So if you think you may be getting pregnant anytime soon, apply for coverage now. An accident or illness could occur to any of us at any time. Don't wait until after getting sick or hurt. Not only will you miss out on the income protection benefit, you may no longer qualify for coverage.

Your Online Gynec - 7 Essential Care Tips For Pregnant Women

You just discovered you are pregnant. While this is an exciting time you need to remember that your body and your emotions are going to be going through many changes over the next several months. Taking proper care during this time can help you to feel better and stay healthy and help your baby to be healthier as well. With that in mind here are 7 essential care tips that will help you to achieve those goals.

1. Eating a proper diet. While eating properly is essential for overall good health at any time it is especially important for pregnant women to eat healthy and this may mean some changes in your normal diet. You are going to want to eat a diet that is high in Iron and calcium, not only is this essential to maintaining your health but is necessary for the babies growth and development. In addition you will need to eat proteins, plenty of red and yellow vegetables and drink plenty of water.

Avoiding fried food and those high in fats will not only help you to feel healthier but may help in cases of morning sickness.

2. Exercise Women who get a reasonable amount of exercise through out their pregnancy report easier labors than those who get little or no exercise. Getting sufficient exercise will also help you to feel better overall during your pregnancy. Unless your doctor says otherwise get some exercise daily, walking can be a great exercise for pregnant women.

3. Get Plenty of Rest. Getting sufficient rest while pregnant is important in maintaining both your physical and emotional health. Many women feel the need for afternoon naps when they are pregnant and this is fine. You will need more rest than normal as carrying a child puts extra stress on your body and more rest helps your body deal with this stress.

4. Avoid Undue Stress. Some situations are simply more stressful than others and added stress while pregnant is one thing you don't need. Whenever possible avoid those activities which makes you feel unduly stressed.

5. Look Your Best. As your body changes many women begin to feel less than attractive. Looking your best helps you to feel your best so spend a few extra minutes each day caring for your skin and hair. This isn't vain it is simply allowing you to look and feel as good as possible each day.

6. Regular Check ups. Getting regular medical care during your entire pregnancy is the best thing you can do for both your baby and yourself. Follow your doctors advice and discuss any problems or worries you have with your health care professional. Many times pregnant women worry about all sorts of things and your doctor is the best person to reassure you that all is going right with your pregnancy as well as identifying health problems early enough to correct them before they harm you or your baby.

7. Avoid Harsh Cleaning Chemicals. We all like a clean home, but pregnant women and the babies they are carrying are especially susceptible to the fumes of harsh cleaning chemicals. Now would be a great time to change to cleaning agents that are more environmentally friendly as well as healthier for you.

Following these few simple tips can lead to a healthier, happier pregnancy.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to Treat Postpartum Depression - 5 Steps of Treatment

Postpartum depression is a condition that many new moms go through. 80% of moms will go through something known as the "baby blues" shortly after giving birth. There is no problem with this; it is just from the dramatic change in the hormones. However, 20% of new moms will develop postpartum depression, which continues weeks and months after the baby is born.

This condition is very serious and can put the baby and the mom at risk. Because of this, it is very important to treat it as soon as possible. Whether you are the new mom looking for a way to help yourself or a partner or friend looking for a way to help the new mom, this is a five step treatment process to help with postpartum depression.

1. Support. Having the support from family and friends is extremely important. This is not just about having someone to talk to - although that will help - this is also about having someone who is willing to help around the house or with the infant. The new mom needs her rest just as much as the new baby will but that's unlikely to happen without the help from friends and family members. A friend folding laundry will give the new mom a chance to grab a few minutes of shut-eye, which can really help.

2. Talk. This is not always from a friend of family member. In fact, many people do not feel comfortable opening up to someone that knows them and will prefer to open up to a professional instead. There is nothing wrong with wanting to talk about your problems; it's a good way to stop them from building up.

3. Emotional Freedom Technique. This is a popular process for many women suffering from postpartum depression. The benefit is that the acupuncture will help to take the mind of the negative thoughts while the talking will give the new mom a chance to get everything off her chest and work out a better way of dealing with the problem.

4. Healthy Eating and Exercise. Staying healthy will help to improve your energy levels. Rather than opting for the quick cup of coffee to boost the energy temporarily, snack on fruit and nuts and eat healthy meals that are high in protein. These will release the energy slower, which means you'll feel energized for longer. The exercise can also help with the release of endorphins, which will help you feel happier.

5. Antidepressants. As none of the above proves to help with the postpartum depression, many doctors will decide to opt for the antidepressants. These can help many women get over the slump in hormones and their anxieties about being a new mom. Antipsychotics are used when the depression becomes more serious and life threatening, for both the mother and the baby.

Prenatal Diagnosis - Pros And Cons To Consider

Every parent waits with nervous anticipation to see if his or her child will be born healthy. Today, with the advent of advanced prenatal diagnosis and testing, the wait in many cases, is over. Genetic screening now allows parents to find out before birth if their child will have certain genetic disorders.

Testing is comprised of two common tests, Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) which is performed at 11 to 12 weeks gestation, or amniocentesis performed at 15 to 19 weeks, screens for a wide range of diseases and disorders. The CVS procedure involves testing the cells from the maturing placentas. Taking a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby and testing it is what happens with the amniocentesis procedure.

The decision to have these test is not straightforward, although the testing process is fairly clear-cut. For many, there are many pros and cons that must be weighed before making a decision. Here are a few of the most common pros and cons of prenatal screening:


• Having foreknowledge of any problems can allow parents to prepare for caring for the child.

• Advanced early knowledge may lead the parent to terminate the pregnancy. should they choose.

• In case any emergency treatment should be needed, parents would be at an advantage by having advanced knowledge of certain disorders.

• Knowledge of any disorders prior to birth can give parents time to find specialists.

• Genetic testing may identify a problem that can be rectified before birth.

• Testing may be an advantage in that doctors may choose a delivery method that minimizes risk to the mother and infant.


• CVS and amniocentesis carry some risk of miscarriage.

• Testing is not as precise as many parents believe them to be. Even for the problems that have been specifically tested, there is no guarantee that they don't exist.

• Tests may indicate a problem where none exist or may not detect a problem, giving false security.

• Not all diseases or disorders are covered by testing. Many diseases have numerous complex forms that cannot all be covered in a generalized test.

• The tests raise issues with limited and uncertain safeguards against insurance discrimination.

Although prenatal diagnosis and testing is routine, it is an issue that is s tricky and is a matter of debate among many members of the disability community and parents alike. It involves deeply felt beliefs toward abortion, the beginning of life, faith, fate, disability, social responsibility and quality of life issues. The decision it ultimately up to the parents even though the decision to test or not to test is not an easy one to make.

Massage for Pregnancy: What Is It and How Can It Help You?

Unless you're familiar with a range of massage techniques, the term "massage for pregnancy" may seem a little unclear. What exactly is it and how is it different from "regular" massage? The short answer is, pregnancy massage is a program of therapeutic treatment including both prenatal massage and postpartum massage that is designed to support, promote, and improve the health and well-being of mother and baby. The specifics of the treatment will vary from client to client, but the overall benefits--reduction of pain, stress, and discomfort--are shared by all.

In light of all the changes that a mother's body undergoes during pregnancy, pregnancy and massage are a natural combination. Pregnancy puts a whole new set of physical demands on your body and fundamentally changes the way you move. Even in the most physically aware and active people, these demands can cause a fair amount of strain, stress, and discomfort. Specially trained massage professionals can help alleviate these symptoms through a safe and non-intrusive program of massage. These experts know how to property position and support the expectant mother's body for optimum relaxation and safety during massage treatment and can focus on the specific areas of distress described by the client. Many pregnancy massage clients report finding relief from back pain, joint discomfort, and even sore feet and swollen ankles.

In terms of what benefits can be gained from a massage pregnancy program, the physical relief already described is a major component. However, the mental and emotional rest and relaxation achieved through massage is equally important. Numerous research studies testify to the connection between mind and body, and to the importance of cultivating health and balance both mentally and physically. This balance is especially important during pregnancy, when one's emotional and psychological state is changed so much by both hormonal and situational factors. Massage treatment provides a structured time and place for an expectant or new mother to relax and let go of both mental and emotional stressors in a safe and supported environment. With prenatal and postpartum pregnancy massage, many women describe lowered anxiety levels, decreased stress, and an all-around improved feeling of well-being following their treatment sessions.

Massage and pregnancy are a natural combination. When practiced by a knowledgeable professional, pregnancy massage is a safe and effective way to alleviate the physical and emotional stress of pregnancy in a way that benefits both mother and baby. Offering a natural solution for relieving the discomforts of pregnancy and facilitating lowered stress and increased relaxation, pregnancy massage therapy provides a non-invasive route to a healthier, happier pregnancy and even into the postpartum period.

Risks And Benefits Of Hospital Procedures

In spite of all the advertising touting "home-like" birthing rooms in hospitals, for most women, a hospital birth will be nothing like a home birth. Interventions are routine in the hospitals in my state. Every laboring woman will be hooked up for some period of time to an electronic fetal monitor, given vaginal exams, and be told where and in what position she must give birth. If her membranes are ruptured, she will be required to deliver her baby within a certain time period. If her labor is moving too slowly, she will be given pitocin to augment it or have her water artificially ruptured. She will be told how many companions she may have with her. If she has other children she may or may not include them at the birth. How long she is kept in the hospital will vary depending on her physician and the particular hospital. How soon her baby will be released also will depend on the baby's pediatrician and hospital policy. Some of the more common interventions that take place during hospital births are discussed below.


Artificially breaking the amniotic sac is done routinely at many hospitals to speed labor up, get labor going, to test the fluid or to get it out of the way so that an internal monitor can be screwed into the baby's head. It was believed that breaking the water would speed up labor by 30 to 60 minutes but the only randomized control trial done disproved this. This procedure causes cord prolapse, a serious complication for the baby and increases the chances of an infection. With less amniotic fluid in the uterus during labor, the baby has a greater risk of cord compression problems leading to fetal distress and malpositions of the head. 1, 2


Nearly every woman giving birth in a hospital will receive a drug at some point during her stay. Pitocin is frequently used to induce or augment labor. Because it causes abnormally strong contractions, many women receive a pain-relieving drug such as a narcotic. Unfortunately, narcotics also are received by the baby and can affect the condition of the baby at birth and for years after. Some of these side effects are respiratory problems, impaired muscular, visual and neural development in the first week of life and in the following years, lower reading and spelling scores, difficulty in solving problems or performing tasks when they pose a challenge.

The new drug of choice at many hospitals is the epidural. It must be administered by an anesthesiologist and requires the mother to remain in bed afterward. She must be flushed with an IV fluid prior to getting it to keep her blood pressure up. A needle is inserted into the woman's back and small catheter is left in place where the medication is injected. It numbs the woman's body from the ribs to the toes. Many women ask for this drug because they do not want to deal with the pain of childbirth and believe it is safe for themselves and their babies because the physician who administered it, their obstetrician and the labor and delivery nurses all encourage the use of it and give no information regarding side effects.

The known complications are many ranging from requiring EFM, IV, immobility, urinary catheterization. An epidural also may allow no sensation of labor or the pushing urge, lower blood pressure, abnormally relax the pelvic muscles which may encourage the baby to adopt malpositions of the head, may decrease the production of oxytocin at critical times, and increase the need for forceps and cesarean section. Epidurals cause some serious complications such as heart attack, spinal damage, and spinal headache. After the birth, chronic backache is a common complaint as well as backache.
The baby may be exposed to narcotic drugs given to enhance the effect of the epidural and which if given alone can compromise the baby's respiratory efforts as well as require the newborn to metabolize the drugs. We do not know the short or long term effects of the epidural or other drugs on the baby. Some claim that the baby is unaffected unless the mother becomes hypotensive.
Some non-interventionist birth attendants recognize that occasionally epidurals may be useful for certain situations. Some examples when an epidural may permit a normal birth are for maternal exhaustion, severe back labor, certain malpresentations or psychological dystocia.
Although the FDA approves drugs as safe or unsafe, they have no definition of safe and do not guarantee safety of drugs. Many who work with brain damaged children, wonder if the disability is due to obstetric drug use. They also question if women would make the drug choice if they were given complete information about side effects. The American Academy of Pediatricians discourages the routine use of obstetric drugs. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


This procedure is still done routinely at many hospitals, although no research proves any benefits for the mother or baby. Home birth and natural birth advocates recognize that for the vast majority of women, the process of labor will empty the bowels. 8, 9


Although many believe that an ep[isiotomy is necessary to have a baby to prevent damage to the baby's head, prevent trauma to the mother's perineum and the cut will heal faster and prevent 3rd and 4th degree tears, no research supports these myths. Shiela Kitzinger writes that 9 out of 10 American women will have an episiotomy with her first baby although in Holland, only 2 or 3 out of 10 will. The facts are that episiotomy is a cultural phenomena. Research shows that episiotomy is done because the doctor was trained to do it, not because it was a necessary procedure. It can be avoided by using more physiologic positions to give birth (not lithotomy), pushing only when mom feels need to, giving birth gently, slowly to the head, preparing for the birth by doing perineal massage and Kegel exercise, avoiding forceps delivery. 10


Forceps are obstetrical tools which are shaped like large spoons have been in use since the 1500's. Years ago, forceps were used for many problems which are now handled by cesarean section. Today, most forceps deliveries are low forceps, which means they are applied when the babies head is low in the pelvis and birth is imminent. According to Henci Goer, "There is no research to support the elective use of forceps."

The risks to the mother are perineal trauma, extensive episiotomy, possible extension tearing from episiotomy, hematoma and nerve damage. Lasting effects of forceps or vacuum extraction to the mother may be anal incontinence in spite of a repaired third degree tear.
The baby may have damage to the head, eyes, the nerves that lead to the face and neck and arms. However, an article written by a physician which appeared in Parents magazine claims, "Medical studies comparing outlet forceps deliveries with spontaneous (no forceps) deliveries have shown that there is no difference in risk to the baby." (Emphasis mine)

Vacuum extraction is a newer technology that sometimes takes the place of forceps. As with low forceps, the baby's head must be very low in the pelvis before the suction cup can be attached. It has the benefit of not requiring an episiotomy and maternal perineal trauma is less than with forceps, but the baby still has the possibility of trauma to the head and face.
Chiropractors also recognize that pulling a baby out by the head changes the spinal alignment, although this is not recognized in any medical texts. 6, 11, 12


Along with the lithotomy position comes immobility. It is impossible to move around when you are flat on your back. It's even more difficult if you have internal and external fetal monitors attached to your body, an IV running into your arm and after a narcotic drug was given to "take the edge off." It goes without saying, that if you had an epidural, you would not be going anywhere at all as your legs would have no feeling.

Some hospitals encourage walking and moving around. Others do not like you to be out of your room, which may be quite small and loaded with equipment, making any real walking about nearly impossible. Studies have shown that moving about and being upright can shorten labor as well as changing positions. 13


According statistics from the health department in Wisconsin, one-third of all births in that state are the result of induction, the artificial starting of labor. Most inductions are accomplished using pitocin in an intravenous solution or artificially rupturing the amniotic sac. The reasons for doing this are many. One of the most common for healthy full-term women, is fear of going too far past the "due date" and having a baby with postmature syndrome or meconium staining. Another reason is fear of having a big baby.

Benefits of inducing would seem to be avoiding postmature syndrome, attempting to deliver a baby that had grown too big for the mother and bypassing meconium staining. However, studies fail to confirm this line of thought. The actual amount of time needed for a baby to grow to term varies and figuring an exact due date for each baby has not yet been done. Ultrasounds have at best a 10 day window of error if done in the first trimester. The phenomenon of postdates, is poorly understood. Macrosomia occurs prior to postdates as does"postmature syndrome." (p. 181) The entity of postmature syndrome is based on a single physicians "subjective evaluation of 37 babies." Research seems to indicate that watchful waiting is the more prudent course of action for healthy women. 14


At a great many U.S. institutions, one of the first items of care to be rendered to the obstetric patient will be her IV, "just in case." Just in case she needs drugs or surgery or her veins collapse making insertion of an IV impossible. Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois Estner interviewed many labor and delivery nurses to find out how frequently a laboring woman's veins collapsed. They learned that this does not happen. This is not the way birth happens in other nations, where a laboring woman is permitted to eat and drink lightly. This cultural warping began in the 1940's when anesthesia was being given to nearly all birthing women by mask and vomiting and food aspiration were risks associated with this. Eliminating food and drink, they felt would eliminate this risk. Today, however, anesthesia methods have improved and this is no longer the problem it once way. Improved intubation techniques make this problem virtually a thing of the past. Doris Haire, a maternity care writer, in looking at 20 years of medical literature on aspiration during surgery found that the cause was not eating or drinking prior to the surgery, but caused by incompetence of the anesthesiologist.

General anesthesia is given to approximately 4% of those who undergo cesarean section. Approximately 0.3% cesarean surgeries will require intubation that will be difficult to do yet not all women who require intubation will aspirate. This translates into denying all laboring women food and drink because 1 cesarean sectioned woman out of 10,000 may aspirate.

Although IV's are supposed to keep the stomach empty, a glucose IV actually works to slow down the emptying of the stomach. It also may encourage tissues to swell so that it makes it more difficult to intubate, if that becomes necessary. IV fluid accumulates in the bladder and that may slow down labor. Some women may have sensitivities to the IV and have a reaction from one. It restricts the woman's mobility. The needle in the arm is painful and inhibits free movement. The baby also may suffer from the mother's IV, as studies are being done to determine if the excessive sugar administered through a glucose IV may harm the baby. 14, 15, 16


This used to be the position of choice for physicians doing hospital births. The mother lies flat on her back with her knees in the air. It is a most unphysiologic position for mom and baby, but it does give the physician a good view of the mother's perineum. While in this position, the mother must push the baby out uphill. It is known to cause fetal distress due to the baby lying on the mother's arteries and veins. Most women will not choose this position if given alternatives.

Dr. Roberto Caldeyro-Barcia is considered an expert on this position for labor and delivery. He and his researchers found that this lithotomy or supine position is the worst one for laboring women because it adversely affects every facet of birth: makes labor more painful, reduces uterine activity, and can dangerously lower blood pressure. He says, "Except for being hanged by the feet, the supine position is the worst conceivable position for labor and delivery." 17, 18


Electronic fetal monitoring is required at nearly every hospital for at least a short time. When it was first available, it was used only for the most high risk situations. However, it is now used for everyone regardless of risk status. A large reason why EFM is used so extensively is that staff is in short supply and this technology allows for fewer care-givers.

There are two kinds of monitors: external and internal. The external monitors are attached to a heavy elastic band that is strapped across the mother's abdomen. She must lie quietly so the monitors do not slip. The baby's heart beat is recorded on a machine that documents the moment to moment heart rate on graph paper along with the mother's contractions. The internal monitor does the same things, but it is attached directly into the baby's head by a metal screw. The uterine contractions are monitored by a probe that is inserted into the uterus. Some feel that this is a more accurate reading.
During most labors and deliveries, no other method of monitoring the baby's heart rate will be used. However, EFM does not reduce infant deaths, improve outcomes or give information that permits potentially bad situations to be corrected or avoided. The strips are frequently mis-read. One study found that 71-95 % of babies diagnosed by EFM as distressed were not. Additionally, studies have shown that most causes of brain damage are not related to actual distress during the birth process but rather due to distress prior to labor. In spite of near universal use of EFM, little evidence exists that any change has taken place in the numbers of brain damaged babies being born.

Auscultation with a fetascope, stethoscope, pinard horn and other low-tech devices for listening to the baby have been found to be as effective for monitoring most laboring women.

The risks of using EFM are well known: higher intervention rate of all kinds due to misinterpretation of strips leading to a misdiagnosis of fetal distress. The use of EFM may increase the risk of cerebral palsy by increasing the risk of infection. More babies have abnormal fetal heart rate patterns when monitored by EFM than by auscultation, and it may be that this finding is caused by EFM rather than simply being detected by it. Mothers may report not remembering parts of their labors due to anxiety that was created by using the monitors.

One of the greatest risks to the baby who receives an internal monitorying electrode is that of infection at the insertion site. The woman with a history of herpes may be wise to forego internal monitoring our of concern of passing this disease on to her baby via the scalp electrode.

191. Cohen & Estner, Silent Knife, page 168.

2. Korte & Scaer, A Good Birth, A Safe Birth, pages 108-109.

3. Korte & Scaer, pages 119-124.

4. Birth Gazette, "On Epidurals: Pros and Cons", Vol. 9, No. 1, Winter 1992, pages 19, 21.

5. Davis-Floyd, Robbie, Birth as an American Rite of Passage, 1992, pages 113-116.

6. Hillard, Paula Adams, "As they Grow Pregnancy and Birth, Forceps Delivery," Parents magazine, July 1990, pages 94, 97.

7. Gross & Ito, "All about Anesthesia," Parents, Vol. 65, April 1990, pages 213, 218, 221.

8. Cohen & Estner, page 162.

9. Korte & Scaer, page 108.

10. Korte & Scaer, pages 127-128.

11. Korte & Scaer, page 129.

12. Sultan, A.H., "Third degree obstetric and sphincter tears: risk factors and outcome of primary repair," as abstracted in the Journal of the AMA, May 25, 1994, Vol. 217, page 15520.

13. Korte & Scaer, pages 105-106.

14. Goer, Henci, Obstetric Myths versus Research Realities, page 179-202.

15. Cohen & Estner, pages 162-168.

16. Korte & Scaer, pages 106-107.

17. Goer, page 109.

18. Cohen & Estner, pages 158-159.

19. Goer, pages 131-153.

20. Korte & Scaer, pages 1, 38-39, 64, 77, 83, 90, 109-113, 134, 150, 156, 164, 187, 199-200.

5 Tips To Survive The First 6 Weeks Of A New Baby

The first 6 weeks after the birth of your new baby is difficult. This here sleep deprivation hits you like a subway train traveling 100 miles per hour. Survive the first six weeks and you can survive anything.

Hopefully by 6 weeks your baby starts to sleep a bit longer at night. For us, our children were formula fed, at 6 weeks they started sleeping 7-8 hours per night. I want to offer you up 5 tips for making it through the first 6 weeks as a new parent and how to not just survive this period, but how to thrive.

1. Be mentally prepared - Get mentally prepared and understand that it is going to be hard. But decide right now to take it in your stride and to push through no matter how difficult it will be.

2. Make good friends with caffeine - Although caffeine won't stop you from being tired, it makes you believe that you can survive the day. You are likely going to be so tired that 20 cups per day won't help you. But a warm cup of coffee or an energy drink will make you feel 10 times better.

3. Work as a team - Working as a team will make life easier for both of you. Alternate night feeds so that you both get a little bit of sleep and if she is breast feeding get her to express so that you can bottle feed at night time. Help with the house work, help with changing the nappies and give baby lots and lots of cuddles. Be a support for your partner and work together to help each other.

4. Understand that it won't always be this bad - The first 6 weeks are the hardest, but it gets easier after that. Once your baby starts sleeping through the night it becomes incredibly fun. You will stop being so sleep deprived and your baby will start giving you more love back. They will start smiling, laughing and loving your company.

5. Eat well and exercise - Eating well and exercising will keep your energy levels up even when you are tired. Lots of vegetables and fruit and avoid processed foods. For exercise go for walks, maybe even a casual jog. Take the pram and take your baby for a walk and let your spouse sleep in.

The first 6 weeks are far from hell, you will have a great time getting to know your new baby and getting lots of cuddles. Enjoy the first 6 weeks and do you best to get your baby sleeping through the night as soon as possible. It is the good nights sleep that will help you be the best present you can be.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Who Needs HR, Anyway?

Who needs an HR person, anyway?

In a word-everyone!

At what extent should a company have a dedicated HR Department? Of course as a company grows and hires more employees, need to regulate HR functions increases dramatically. However, that does not necessarily mean they need a full office to handle the job.

Those experienced in the HR field indicate that a company ideally should have at least 20 to 50 employees before they have a dedicated HR person. Even at that point, HR remains largely a function, something that can be managed by one person.

In those cases, few employees would want to be that one person.

It is here that technology comes to the rescue, with outsourcing-or automating, as in the cases of Software-as-a-Service, HRM systems and cloud-based technology. Today, web-based programs can help with hiring, payroll, developing employee handbooks and so on. In this way, one person should be able to handle the remaining HR functions.

In business, there is a broad spectrum; no two businesses are quite alike. With SMBs in competitive markets, there could be a need for a dedicated administrator and a recruiter.

Traditionally, HR Departments are defined by tasks nobody else either is capable of doing or actually wants to do. From recruiting to onboarding, writing job descriptions to monitoring attendance, policies and benefits, there has been a need for a specialized body to support senior management to establish a structure-with the purpose of holding down administrative costs. Often the human relations authority has a title such as Administrative Manager.

If you are chosen to spearhead the HR functions, what do you need to do?

• Understand Expectations

What are the bare-bones requirements of HR? In companies of less than 15 to 20 people, the owner or most senior manager takes these duties-often listing responsibilities based on conferring with a lawyer (or group of them) and develop a job description the HR position.

• Compliance

Next, analyze any compliance issues which apply to your company. The principal subjects are: wages and work hours, COBRA (based on size), forms like I-9 and W-2, requests such as vacation and leaves-of-absence (both maternity and family), ADA, harassment and a long list of others.

Many SMBs do not think they have to have an employee handbook or approved list of policies and procedures. This is a HUGE mistake. From clarifying the company as an at-will employer, to defining perks and benefits, an established employee handbook is the best way to clarify rules and regulations. Even if a guide is in place, it must be updated regularly to remain in compliance with federal, state and local regulations, all in the best interests of the company.

Is the policy manual complete? A viable strategy is to arrange the manual by categories, like employment, disciplinary, benefits and compensation. Is there a clear delineation between the employee and company rights and obligations?

• Employee relations

Coordinate employee data-or get it together, if there is none-and set everything into logical files. The filing system, at least, should have an Employment Application/resume, a W-2 form, signed insurance forms and performance reviews. A complete file should have employment dates, dates of reviews, promotions, and changes in compensation, wages or salary.

To begin, do not be concerned that files are not computerized; that will come with a higher level of organization.

• Payroll

The biggest conflict between HR and bookkeeping is payroll-and not out of a desire to perform the task. For many, it is clear that payroll is a problem for accounting and is the most popular service to be outsourced, usually to an outside company or a bank. Even when payroll is off-site, there are many responsibilities-such as informing the service of any changes in wages or salaries, deductions to pay, and severance checks. There is a wide range of services, both in price and quality, so clearly shop around for the best deal.

Payroll services frequently offer (or at least try to sell) more than a company needs, meaning it always advisable to research.

• Benefits Administration

This vital HR function should certainly be divorced from payroll. No matter where benefits are outsourced, there will always be the need for some degree of in-house administration. Also, someone in the organization should take responsibility to answer questions about forms and insurance, provide options, and describe costs to employees.

This area is one of the greatest ways HR can keep benefit costs down, and auditing policies periodically is a smart habit, to update any increases in premiums, or decrease in benefits.

• Onboarding

One person should be responsible for onboarding and orientation. Apprise new employees of benefits and company policies, this means you will have to be the expert representative for the company.

Does the business offer a structured compensation, or is it on an individual basis? What are the job descriptions and responsibilities? Will pay be commensurate with responsibilities? How are raises handled? Is it a graduated system? Will SMBs-often less than 50 employees-have a concrete structure? It is even less clear when there are less than 15-20 employees.

First, the HR professional should be proficient in writing or authenticating job descriptions. The heart of HR is information, and it must be carefully considered.

A busy company is always in flux-with regular policy, benefits, compliance and even legal changes. These are things that are necessary to be passed on to all employees.

Major changes require formal training-sexual harassment, for example. Health insurance benefits are required to be explained to all employees affected by changes in the law. This is the most basic function of HR, as key to an organization's information cycle.

• Recruiting

For SMBs, recruiting is oftentimes an afterthought, rarely a overriding concern in smaller companies. Yes, turnover rates in stable companies can be low, some as few as a single hire a year.

However, in competitive industries, recruiting is a vital function. The process of acquiring, interviewing, selection and placement are detailed; a working knowledge of the techniques is essential. A poor hire can be extremely expensive. If recruiting is an essential function for the business, there are sources-especially HRM software and hiring services-that can do the job easily and at a much better price.

Recruiters must also be knowledgeable of company-specific benefits, policies and procedures. At its most basic, the primary purpose of recruiting is to hire the best person at a salary that satisfies both the candidate and the company.

Certainly Hr has many other responsibilities, but these are primary. For forward-thinking companies, diversity may high on a list of HR responsibilities. Unless it is the corporate culture or an issue with senior management, don't expect an emphasis on diversity. More regularly, diversity concerns appear as part of risk management.

One last thing, HR departments do not plan social functions, parties or a get together. It is better to leave those tasks to others with less to do. A formal HR professional will have too much on their plate.

Medical Emergency in Tripoli, Libya? This Is Where to Go

With a Mediterranean climate marked by dry summers, cool winters and modest rainfall Tripoli, Libya is a desirable destination for travelers. Those travelling for pleasure may be attracted by the historical significance of the city, while those travelling for businesses would most likely be drawn by the business bustle surrounding the port of Tripoli.

The Tripoli Clinic at Airport High Way Road, near Briqa Oil Company is a modern clinic that offers treatment for both general and complicated medical problems. You can visit the hospital with any health related issue and expect prompt and reliable services. The doctors at the hospital are equipped to deal with all kind of surgical problems. Additional facilities include latest diagnostic facilities, four operating theatres, X-ray departments, intensive care units and physiotherapy facilities. The clinic provides road and air ambulances for any kind of medical emergency 24/7.

Tripoli Medical Centre (TMC) is a public hospital that offers high level service at affordable prices. The large size of the hospital and a big team of doctors allow it to serve a large clientele. This health giant aims to bring the best doctors and medical intelligence to the country. The hospital specializes in orthopedic and cancer related problems. Additionally, it offers acute care, emergency care, general medicine services and maternity care.

Saint James Hospital at Tripoli is a member of a larger hospital with units in Malta and Hungary. This hospital is dedicated to providing high level, reliable medical care. The hospital offers emergency services, and is equipped with dedicated surgical theatres, a round the clock in patients' facility, state-of-art laboratory facilities, a radiology clinic and a team of doctors for a wide range of specialties. They also have resident expatriate medical officers who take care of the needs of foreign nationals. The hospital address is Wesayet El Bderi, Noufleen, Tripoli, Libya.

The Libyan British Medical Center (LBMC) is offers both expert medical advice and the latest diagnostic facilities. They have regular visiting doctors from the U.K. and facilities such as a fully equipped laboratory, radiology unit and dental services apart other medical services.

The Brothers Clinic is a leading inpatient facility with highly qualified doctors who have graduated from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and Germany. The clinic is hygienic and comfortable and provides service to a large number of embassies, oil companies and banks. They comply with the International Standard for quality management systems according to ISO 9001:2000. The hospital provides many medical services and offers 24 hours emergency services

Al-Afia Clinic is a medical care facility offering a wide range of treatments and services at par with international standards. The staff is fluent in Arabic and English making communication unproblematic. Patients are often referred from other hospitals to this clinic due to its modern infrastructure and competent staff. The address for the clinic is Gasser Benghashir, Tripoli, Libya

Stress, Illness and Emotional Freedom Techniques

Emotional Freedom Techniques has emerged from a growing field of science with quite profound research findings and results amongst its consumers.

The work of Dr Callahan and Gary Craig may be familiar to you. The scope of application ranges from applying emotional freedom techniques to illness to proactive use of the techniques to experience greater emotional vibrancy and life.

It is widely acknowledged that in spite of the advance of technology, the stressors of a modern society have taken its toll. Workplace stress has reached excessive proportions, and has played its part in an under performing global economy.

Whilst the average lifespan may have increased, so has the incidence of chronic disease, with heart disease claiming the number one spot.

Heart disease claims more lives than the top six cancers combined. Cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease are the other common chronic illnesses.

When you consider this, the actual illnesses are usually symptomatic of a cluster of emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual threads that define our lifestyle, which when out of harmony breed these illnesses.

Whilst it is well documented that excessive stress can lead to chronic and degenerative disease, there is still a stigma attached that prevents closer attention and care.

It is somewhat ironic that many place more value on their cars than their well-being. A car gets an MOT and Full Service yearly due to the wear and tear of travel and to ensure safety on the road.

However the human body and the human life embodied is arguably a more important vehicle. Yet many do not do the equivalent of car maintenance where their lives are concerned.

One of the biggest components of health that warrants more attention is in the area of the emotions, rather than just the mind. Unresolved emotions can be as damaging to health as unhealthy thoughts, yet this is an area that remains relatively neglected.

It is fascinating that scientists can now measure the frequency of a thought and an emotion. Emotional Freedom Techniques works with the human energy field and in particular where unresolved emotions disrupt the human energy field.

Scientists can show the difference in frequency between a diseased and health cell. The way Emotional Freedom Techniques work is by tapping on certain energy areas of the body known as meridians, whilst making certain statements in relation to the issue being worked on.

The results gathered in the study of emotional freedom techniques is such that Deepak Chopra MD declared that "EFT offers great healing benefits".

In many documented cases, therapy times have been reduced with profound physical healing as well.

Another colleague Eric Robins MD went one further when he said "Someday the medical profession will wake up and realise that unresolved emotional issues are the main cause of 85% of all illnesses. When they do, EFT will be one of their primary healing tools"

The research and case studies of results have gathered so much momentum that in the last two years there has been a World Tapping Summit.

The World Tapping Summit is an online event and a good place to receive educational content on this approach, and watch inspiring real life accounts. You decide whether this is worth exploring and adding to your life's tool kit.

How Much is Your Birth and Postpartum Happiness Worth?

Recently a woman called me to inquire about my services, her first questions was, "How much is a doula?" It's hard to put a realistic price on that type of support. I have been at births for as little as four hours all the way up to 24 hours or more. So I told her I'd like her to consider how important it is for a woman to have someone who will be at the birth supporting her, encouraging her, and offering important information to ease her mind. A labor doula can help the partner experience this magical time with confidence and give him/her more time to spend with the laboring woman. A doula can run around doing things a partner usually does, or answer questions that may come up at the hospital or even during a home labor. A doula can show the partner how to help mom change positions, how to massage her. She can give the partner a much needed break during a long labor. Research has shown that with the help of a birth doula there is a much lower risk of: cesarean births, medical interventions, and the use of pain medications, and that a birth doula's knowledgeable help during delivery produces greater bonding with the newborn. [1] More research shows that with the help of a postpartum doula the risk of postpartum depression is much lower.

At home, a post partum doula can help the partner spend more quality time with mom and baby, cooking a meal, allowing them to take a nap, and helping mom with the sometimes challenging task of breastfeeding. She is a loving mentor who can show you ways to appease you baby, bathe him, burp him, swaddle her, and even play with her. A Doula is like the "village" support system revisited.

Today most women are isolated from the tribe; many have never seen a birth or seen a woman care for a newborn. Moms make the best doulas when and if they feel up to it, are around, and have the expertise to navigate hospitals. Unfortunately, up until recently most women have given birth in hospitals heavily sedated, and they were discouraged from breastfeeding. Other's were misguided by 'experts' who told them to let the baby cry and to feed only on schedule. Their ideas about birth and baby care might differ a great deal from what you want for yourself. Staying with our commitment to respect other people's right to act, we must make sure that who we ask, if not a professional, feels like helping not from a sense of guilt but from a place of confidence. Furthermore, some of us have a lot of 'emotional baggage' with our mothers and a neutral third party might be just the ticket for our labor, delivery, and postnatal help. Even back in the days were we all lived in the "village," it was often a neighbor or a cousin who helped women through this life-changing event.

Doulas work hard and for the most part this job is a vocation that comes directly from the heart. Doulas lose night so that you can rest, massage your back for hours while you are managing contractions, spoon feed you, wash you, whisper words of encouragement in your ears, help you remember your innate ability to give birth naturally and care for your child cry with you and bring you good cheer.

Ok, maybe I was preaching a bit, but I wanted her to understand the depth of the profession. Responding to the original question I asked her, "Think of how much you have spent on your wedding dress, honeymoon or the wedding reception. The investment was well worth the importance of the day. Now it's time to invest in another important time of your life: your labor, birth and the first weeks of your baby's life. You've had your honeymoon, now have your baby moon. A doula brings the village back to where it belongs".

She told me she had never quite looked at it that way.

If finances are a real challenge, help is available at a reasonable cost, birth and postpartum doulas who are going through their certification process charge little or nothing. They might not have a lot of experience but research has shown that just the presence of a compassionate woman is enough to change your birthing experience. Visit to get a list of doulas in your area. For postpartum lactation help contact your local La Leche League organization [] their counselors often work on a sliding scale.

Your baby is worth it and your investment will prove to have been money well spent.

Financial support

The U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act provides for 12 weeks of job-protected leave, but this only covers those who work for large companies.

Across the Atlantic, in Sweden, mothers can expect up to 16 months of parental leave at 80% pay. Moreover, women in Europe not only don't need as many cesareans or epidurals as Americans do, they have been empowered to stay home with their children and given the financial stability to be able to do so.

There have been several attempts at introducing paid maternity leave in the United States; the most recent was shot down by the Bush administration.

Five states - California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island - and Puerto Rico require employers to have temporary disability programs that pay benefits if the pregnancy is defined as a disability by a doctor. A few others have infant care programs that pay subsidies to low-income families for up to two years. Again, we have to be labeled "disabled," that is, un-able to be who we were meant to be, in order to obtain financial support from the government after a pregnancy.

The benefits available to you will depend very much on the state you live in. In 2002, California led the way in enacting paid family leave, and states such as Massachusetts and New Jersey are considering following suit. Not all states allow women to take short-term disability leave to cover pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery.

Short-term disability (STD) is meant to cover your salary - or a portion of it - during the time that you're unable to do your job due to illness, injury, or childbirth. Many large employers and unions offer this type of disability, as do several states. (It's generally provided automatically to all employees or residents, not as an optional benefit that you must sign up for.) As a self-employed individual, you are eligible for State Disability Insurance (SDI) if you've elected to pay for the coverage and have done so for some period of time. You can address questions about whether you're covered to your state's EDD (the State Employment Development Department, that administers SDI).

If your state provides STD, you may pay a small amount out of each paycheck to cover your share. If your employer or union provides STD, the cost may be covered for you. If none of them provides STD, or if the coverage is insufficient, you can purchase your own policy or additional coverage through an insurance provider for a monthly premium.

Private STD insurance through your employer or a provider will generally pay between 50 and 100 percent of your salary for a certain number of weeks, depending on how many years you've worked for the company. (The maximum amount you can receive is usually capped.)

Six weeks is the standard amount of time covered for a pregnancy. Some plans allow more time if you've had complications or a cesarean delivery, and many also cover bedrest before birth.
State STD benefits typically cover half to two thirds of your salary, and coverage for pregnancy usually lasts from four to six weeks, though it can last up to 12 weeks.If both your state and your company offer STD, you may be required to use the full state benefit and have your employer's coverage make up the rest. You'll still end up with the same amount of pay as if you were getting your employer's full benefit, but you'll get it in two checks, one from the state and one from your company's provider. Make sure, one way or another, that you take some time off.

Your baby will be this little person who needs your full attention for such a short while! Even if he only seems to be eating, sleeping and pooping, in reality the nature of the welcome into the world that he experiences at this critical time will be the foundation upon which his character is built. I often take care of newborn babies and spend hours having long conversations with them. Moms comment that it is the very first time they noticed their baby opening their eyes and staying alert for so long. If you don't talk to your baby he will go to sleep, but you will be amazed when you engage him by looking him in the eye and talking directly to him, how curious and attentive he can be. Do you give more attention to the foundations of a house or to its decoration? Think about it!

To find out what kind of disability or unemployment insurance and other family leave provisions are currently available or will be coming soon to your state, check with your state's Department of Labor. You can also search the Internet for your state's disability insurance policies.

For a directory of companies that offer private short-term disability coverage for individuals, contact the Health Insurance Association of America.