Saturday, September 7, 2013

Don't Let Maternity Leave Ruin Your Credit Score

Don't let maternity leave ruin your credit score and ability to finance the many things growing families need. In the U.S. credit scores are the primary yardstick lenders use to qualify applicants for mortgages, car loans, and credit cards. Many couples in the family formation life-stage need credit to finance their first home, the new mommy minivan, new baby furniture, and many other items. But the U.S. lacks paid maternity leave, leaving two income families in a pinch, and setting them up for a life-time of financial struggle.

Credit Scores An Important Asset

Credit scores are an important asset for any family, but more so for growing families: those beginning to have children. Your credit profile provides a history of credit use that lenders use to determine if you qualify for loans, and if so how much you must pay to use their money.

Many factors impact your score, but the two most relevant to growing families are credit utilization, and on-time payment. The first, high credit utilization, usually proceeds the second, poor payment performance. High revolving credit utilization - the ratio of outstanding credit card debt to the credit limit - is an indicator that you might be tight on funds and heading for trouble. A poor payment history shows that in the past you had difficulties handling your money, and this history stays on your report for seven years.

Importance to Growing Families

Young couples planning to start or grow their families are often at the early portion of their work careers, and may not be earning as much as in future years. At the same time they may be spending more than they will in future years of items such as houses, cars, furniture, and food and clothing for the expanding family.

It is common for a growing family to spend more than it earns. And that is where credit comes in. The need for spending and credit is often quite acute during the months that mom is pregnant. You might have recently purchased a new home, and stretched to qualify for that dream house. Now comes the time to get ready for the new baby: paint the room, buy a crib, purchase maternity outfits, etc. The list goes on.

All these purchases have to be financed somehow. For many it means buying now, and paying later using credit cards. Which in turn swells your balances, your debt to credit ratio, and puts you in a tight spot if any disruptions occur.

Maternity Leave Risk

An unpaid maternity leave presents a disruption in income for many U.S. families. Most companies do not provide maternity pay benefits. For a normal delivery most women miss six to eight weeks before feeling well enough to return to work, and resume earning an income. And when they do, child care expenses may eat up much of her take-home-pay.

Remember all those credit card balance run up before delivery? Paying down those balances just became quite a bit harder.

Now imagine what happens during a high-risk pregnancy. Mom may miss several months of income prior to delivery to take bed rest to protect her infant's health. This equates to more missed income. Plus, there may be left-over medical expenses to throw in the mix. And, if baby requires care in the NICU expenses could really pile up.

Now just making the minimum payment could become difficult. And once you are late on a payment, that history sticks around for seven years - limiting your access for credit, and costing more if you do qualify.

Buying short term disability insurance before getting pregnant is the best way to create maternity income, keep your credit score high, and ensure future access to credit when needed, at affordable rates.

Optional Benefits to Consider Adding to Your Personal Health Insurance Plan

Choosing a personal health insurance plan can be difficult with all of the different insurance companies and policies that are available. Sorting through the various optional benefits available can make it even more challenging. These optional benefits are sometimes referred to as "riders" and can be added to your basic health insurance policy for an additional premium. Let's look at some of the common options available and some of the advantages and disadvantages:

1. Dental insurance - Most dental insurance riders usually include preventative care for check-ups and cleanings, basic restorative services such as fillings and simple extractions and major services such as crowns and root canals.

Advantages - Preventative care is usually covered immediately and covers most of the cost without a deductible if a network dentist is used.

Disadvantages - Restorative and major services generally have waiting periods of 6-18 months before benefits begin. Most plans do not cover orthodontics.

2. Maternity insurance - Covers routine pregnancy as any other medical expense.

Advantages - Most personal policies provide no coverage for maternity related expenses unless this rider is added. Virginia law does require insurance companies to cover complications of pregnancy even without the rider.

Disadvantages - Most plans have a 9-month waiting period before a pregnancy can begin and the rider can be expensive.

3. Life insurance - Provides each family member with term life insurance coverage should one of the insureds die.

Advantages - Generally does not require a medical exam and small amounts of coverage can be purchased at reasonable rates.

Disadvantages - You generally must maintain the health insurance plan in order to keep the life insurance coverage. Larger amounts of coverage can generally be purchased on a stand-alone policy and can be less expensive if you submit to a medical exam.

4. Supplemental Accident Protection - Provides first dollar coverage without a deductible for accidents and injuries.

Advantages - Covering the small mishaps on a first dollar basis is important for families with children or those involved in sports. Especially helpful if you have a high deductible on your health insurance.

Disadvantages - Could be costly and may not be necessary if you are not accident prone.

5. Preventative care and immunizations - Provides coverage for well baby, well child and adult routine preventative care such as routine physicals, immunizations, vision and hearing screenings.

Advantages - Preventative care can be expensive and this particular rider would encourage routine check-ups which could result in early detection of a serious health issue.

Disadvantages - Many major insurers are beginning to cover preventative care at no additional cost, therefore, the rider may not be necessary.

6. Multi-year rate guarantee - Locks in your rates for one or more years with a guarantee that it will not increase during the guarantee period.

Advantages - Health insurance rates have been increasing dramatically in some instances and this rider would help you budget for a certain premium amount during the guarantee period.

Disadvantages - You pay more for the rate guarantee and it may be for a period of time longer than you may need or want the coverage. Rate increases at the end of the guarantee period may be dramatic.

Ways to Get Her Pregnant - A Partner's Guide

Your partner wants to get pregnant and you want to get her pregnant, so both your plans are set. However, there is just one problem: it's taking quite long for her to conceive and both of you are beginning to wonder what it is you're doing wrong. The reality is, many couples face the same problem. Fortunately, there are ways of getting around this.

It is definitely true that not only the woman should "try to get pregnant." Sure, women who are trying to get pregnant ask for tips from their mothers, share ideas about getting pregnant and even take certain supplements to help them get pregnant. However, it is equally important that the men in their lives give them support. After all, you and your partner both want a baby, and it obviously takes two to tango in this case.

The thing about trying to have a baby is that you can't just get her pregnant and expect to have a baby in the next several months. For those of us who have tried many times before conceiving, we know it can take a couple of months up to a year to conceive a child. A couple will not only need to be physically up for the challenge, but they need to be emotionally supportive of each other.

If you are trying to have a baby for the first time with your partner, the first thing to do is to encourage her to engage in activities or methods that can help her become pregnant. Women planning to get pregnant are often recommended a healthy eating and exercise plan. She should avoid drinking caffeine and sugary sodas, and instead should consume more fruits and veggies. She should also drink more water. Of course, this is easier said than done, and constantly telling her what to eat can stress her and you out. To encourage her, get into a healthy eating plan together. Also do some de-stressing exercises together like stretching, yoga and walking.

IUI - A Simple Explanation

IUI is a form of artificial insemination and there are a few factors that play into the IUI cost procedure. The fertility of both partners can have a large part as well as the overall health of the mother and the father. Another aspect is the needs of the partners and in many cases pure luck. The cost of this procedure can be hard to estimate especially when there are various factors that play into the cost. Your doctor is going to have you undergo a physical or medical exam to ensure you are in good health.

Number of Cycles

One of the biggest factors is the number of attempts you try before you actually become pregnant. Based on you and your partner's health as well as fertility of parents, the rate of success can range between 10% and 20%. This means you may need anywhere from 5 to 10 different cycles before your procedure results in pregnancy. Based on the clinic you choose to go to, you can expect to pay about $300 to $500 per cycle. Therefore, you can expect to spend about $1500 to as high as $5000 to become pregnant.


Intrauterine insemination is what many couples turn to when infertility gets the best of them. This method can be chosen over IVF. This procedure is going to consist of taking a man's sperm and inserting it into a woman's fallopian tubes. This procedure involves doctor "sperm washing" which is how they separate the sperm from the semen. This method is something that is a little more costly and can run you an extra $100 per cycle. However, one good thing about this procedure is that your rate of success can be better and greater, and there are not going to be as many cycles needed.


If you have health insurance, you may want to look into what they cover as some companies will cover the cost or partial amounts of an IUI or artificial insemination. You need to have a case of being infertile or insurance may not cover it. If your insurance is not going to pay, they will tell a reason and if there are any ways to get some of the cost covered.

Decreasing Your IUI Cost

For those who do not have insurance coverage, you may be looking for ways to make this process a little cheaper and affordable, and some of the ways to do just that can include:

• The IRS may help pay for up to 1/3 of the total cost
• Having some type of supplemental insurance that is going to refund your money once a baby is born


Any cost that you pay or charges that are incurred by this procedure are going to be tax-deductible. If you offset the amount you saved, you can help decrease your cost. A flexible spending account can help people get access to savings on taxes and therefore using it for their IUI procedure.

Supplemental Insurance

With this type of procedure, your chance of getting pregnant is often times very good. Before you begin undergoing this type of procedure, you should check into getting supplemental insurance. This insurance is going to help protect you from any complications you may have during or after your pregnancy such as premature birth and any labor or delivery complications.

COBRA Extension - Should I Extend My COBRA Benefits?

A COBRA extension can typically be granted if you have "qualifying life events" such as a birth, death, marriage, or divorce. However, at some point, your COBRA benefits will inevitably have to expire, as they approach the expiration dates as mandated by government law.

In that case, your only recourse would be to find your own health insurance. After all, the sole purpose of COBRA is to help you "bridge the gap" between the coverage offered by your former employer and finding new health insurance coverage for yourself.

Is it more cost effective to seek a COBRA extension or to buy your own health insurance? As you know, COBRA requires you to pay for 100% of your own medical insurance premiums, whereas your employer was paying a significant percentage of your premiums for you, on your behalf. Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to find a better deal if you buy your own health insurance than if you maintain your COBRA coverage.

When comparing health insurance plan, you have the freedom and flexibility to choose how much you want to pay for your premium for whatever the coverage you desire. Under COBRA you really only had one or two choices. There is a much wider array of options out there when you shop for private health insurance.

How much deductible do you want to pay? How much you can you afford to pay in premiums? Or do you prefer your expenses to be variable and pay a higher deductible instead? Do you need maternity coverage or prescription drug coverage? You have greater flexibility to choose the type of plan that specifically suits your needs as well as your budget.

So you need to weigh your options: Are you really better off seeking a COBRA extension?

Reflux in Infants - Symptoms and Treatment

Reflux in babies occurs when the muscle at the top of the baby's stomach does not work effectively and therefore that muscle does not work in stopping the contents from the stomach going back up and spilling out of baby's mouth.

Sometimes you may notice that your baby isn't their 'self' but you can't quite work out what is wrong with them, most parents find it hard to determine the cause of this and later discover that their baby has been experiencing reflux for some time before they were able to pick up on it. Don't distress over it as reflux can be quite difficult to pin point if you haven't experienced it in an infant before.

The symptoms from reflux to watch out for in an infant include:

o Refusal to feed

o Crying during and after feeding, and especially when lying down (ie. When changing nappy or sleep time)

o Vomiting/posseting

o Crying and/or screaming

o Disrupted sleeping patterns

o Congestion

o Poor weight gain

Some babies with reflux may experience discomfort or pain with it, while other babies with reflux may be quite happy and content but will vomit or posset without any of the associated discomfort or pain. Other babies may not vomit or posset at all, but experience the discomfort from reflux, this is known as 'silent reflux', it is where the food in your baby's stomach only makes it part of the way up the oesophagus.

You can minimise the discomfort or pain associated with reflux by your baby through:

o Elevating the head of your baby's mattress

o Keep your baby upright during a feed

o Keep your baby upright for about 20 minutes after a feed

o Use a thickener to thicken up baby's milk, this can sometimes reduce vomiting or posseting

o Medicines (prescribed by doctor, or over the counter natural medicines)

Once your baby is able to sit upright unassisted, you may find that the symptoms of reflux may reduce. In the meantime try to ease the discomfort as mentioned.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Group Insurance Benefits - Section 125 Plans

What are Section 125 Plans?

One type of group insurance benefits that may be offered by an employer are Section 125 Plans. These Section 125 Plans are also known as cafeteria plans, flexible benefit plans or mini-flex plans. The Internal Revenue Code Section 125 outlining these plans first appeared in the tax code in 1978, but didn't gain popularity until tax laws changed in 1986 and gave employees greater tax advantages.

The purpose of the code was to allow employers to have a separate written plan for their employees that provided them with an opportunity to receive certain fringe benefits on a pretax basis. All plans are strictly regulated by the IRS and must meet specific requirements and regulations that can and do change. The written plan must specifically describe all benefits and establish rules for eligibility and elections. Because of the stringent guidelines, many employers offering these plans have them administrated by an outside source.

How do Flexible Benefit Plans Work?

Each payroll through a deduction from their paycheck, the participant contributes money to a Spending Account. This money is not taxed. The participant is then reimbursed from this account by their employer (or outside Administrator) for those health care expenses not covered under a health insurance policy or by a health care provider.

The participant's expenses are reimbursed in full up to the maximum amount of their annual election at the time the claim is submitted. The expenses must be incurred during the plan year while they are covered by the plan. Any funds left in the Spending Account at the end of the plan year will be lost.

These plans run for a year at a time. At the beginning of the plan year, the participant chooses how much they are going to contribute - called the annual election. A participant can have two Spending Accounts; one for themselves (called the Health Care Account) and one for their dependents (called the Dependent Care Account). The Health Care Account and the Dependent Care Account are treated separately and so funds from one account cannot be transferred to the other account.

In deciding what the annual election should be, a participant should look at their health insurance deductibles and copayments, as well as uninsured medical, dental, vision care and hearing care expenses. The uninsured expenses covered must be "medically necessary" as determined by a doctor or healthcare service provider.

You may see some generalized expense categories listed when people talk about what expenses are covered. These may include things like:

> Non-reimbursed medical expenses resulting from charges due to hospital, physician, dental, orthodontia, vision, and prescription drug expenses incurred.

> Deductibles and copayments resulting from charges due to hospital, physician, dental, orthodontia, vision, and prescription drug expenses incurred.

> Rehabilitation services over a long-term period to include drug and alcohol addiction.

> Health care expenses that meet medical expense requirements for federal income tax purposes.

There is actually a lot more to the eligible expenses. Please see the detailed list at the end of this article for this year's eligible expenses.

Why are Flexible Benefit Plans Good?

From the employer's point of view, you are offering your employees an added benefit and helping them to save money on their taxes.

From an employee's point of view, you save taxes and you pay for health care expenses not covered under a health insurance policy or by a health care provider with money that has been set aside for you through payroll deductions. Thus, when these expenses come due, you don't have to pay for them from your daily cash flow.

Without a 125 Plan, you have no pre-tax deductions for premiums, child/dependent care or other out-of-pocket medical expenses.

So say you made $26,000 a year. Without the pre-tax deductions allowed by a 125 Plan, you would be taxed on the full $26,000. At a Federal Income Tax Rate 15%, a State Income Tax Rate of 3% and a Social Security Tax of 7.65%, you would be taxed a total of $6,669.00 on your income of $26,000 if you didn't have a 125 Plan.

If you had a 125 Plan and paid $1,000 for premiums, $5,000 for child/dependent care and $500 for out-of-pocket medical expenses for a total of $6,500 you would be taxed on $19,500 instead of the full $26,000.

At the same tax rates mentioned above, you would be taxed a total of $5,002.00 if you did have a 125 Plan.

And don't forget without a 125 Plan that you would still have those premium, child/dependent care or other out-of-pocket medical expenses of $6,500 to pay.

So what does that all mean to your net take-home pay?

Without the 125 Plan:

$26,000 = $12,831

With the 125 Plan:

$26,000 = $14,498

By participating in a 125 Plan, you would bring home an extra $1,667.

Finally, as promised, here is a list of this year's eligible expenses:


Alcoholism treatment

Ambulance service

Artificial limbs

Artificial teeth

Body Scan


Birth control pills

Braille books and magazines

Car expenses for the installation of special hand controls or other special equipment for the use of a person with a disability


Christian Science Practitioner

Contact lenses, solutions and insurance


Corrective surgery to improve a deformity arising from or directly related to a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma or a disfiguring disease



Dental fees

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment

Eye exams


Eye Surgery when performed to correct visual acuity; (example: laser vision correction)

Guide dog or other animal trained to assist persons with physical disabilities

Hair transplants as a result of a medical condition

Hearing devices and batteries

HMO copayments

Home improvement or special equipment installed in the home for the main purpose of medical care

Hospital bills


Inpatient confinement for mental or physical illness or injury

Insulin and glucose testing equipment and supplies

Laboratory fees

Lead-based paint removal from walls to prevent lead poisoning

Lifetime care fee for medical care only in a retirement home

Lodging expenses when primarily for and essential to medical care

Medical doctor fees

Medical information plan

Medical supplies prescribed for treatment of a medical condition

Medicines prescribed by a medical doctor, osteopath, dentist, chiropractor and/or optometrist

Mentally handicapped persons' cost of special home

Nurses fees

Nursing home medical care fees

Obstetrical expenses



Orthopedic shoes


Over-the-counter medications such as allergy medicines, pain relievers and cold medicines, etc.



Prescriptions (see Medicines)




Smoking cessation program participation and prescribed medication only

Special schools and education for a mentally or physically impaired person

Special telephone and television equipment for a hearing-impaired person

Surgical fees

Therapy treatments for a medical condition

Transplant expenses including payments for surgical, hospital, laboratory and transportation expenses for a donor or a possible donor of a kidney or other organ

Transportation expenses primarily for and essential to medical care

Tuition at a special school for the handicapped


Weight loss program if prescribed by a physician (excluding the cost of food and/or supplements)

Well-baby and well-child examinations


Wigs required as a result of a medical condition


You should also be aware of the ineligible expenses:

Cosmetic surgery and dental expenses incurred for the general improvement of appearance including face-lifts, hair transplants, hair removal (electrolysis), liposuction, teeth whitening (bleaching)

Custodial care in an institution

Funeral expenses

Health club dues, fitness centers, YMCA membership, spas, massages, etc. for general health improvement

Household and domestic help

Illegal operations, treatment or drugs

Insurance premiums for Life, Accident and Long Term Care coverage

Maternity clothes, diaper service, etc.

Over-the-counter medications, herbs, vitamins and nutritional supplements purchased for overall good health.

Rogaine, unless prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure

Social activities such as dance lessons or classes (even though recommended by a physician for general health improvement)

Special school for a problem child for anticipated benefits child may receive from the course of study and disciplinary methods


Section 125 Plans are definitely a good benefit for employers to offer their employees and a good benefit for those employees to take advantage of.

Need Health Insurance Coverage? Learn how to Choose your Health Insurance with Confidence and Ease

Four Steps to Help You Get the Most from Your Health insurance Coverage Finding, buying, and understanding health insurance coverage options aren't always easy tasks. Here are some easy tips to follow on how to start your journey through all of the online healthcare madness.

Step One - Make a list of your current health conditions, medications, and any other current health related issues. You'll also want to make a note of your primary concerns and questions about choosing adequate health insurance.

Step Two - Get information from several health insurance providers. Not all health care plans are the same. It's well worth the time and effort to review more than once health insurance policy. It can save you time, money, and improve the quality of your healthcare in the future.

Some of the big names in Health insurance may be a great place to start your comparisons such as: Golden Rule Insurance, Celtic Insurance, American Medical Security Insurance, Time Insurance, UNICARE Insurance, Humana Insurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Insurance just to name a few.

Those of you looking for Michigan Medicaid and Medicare help must first meet the requirements for qualifications. Each county may have different requirements such as income and more. Check with your local health department for more information.

Step Three - Review each health insurance plan making notes of benefits provided for these basic coverage sections: physical exams, specialists' care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, dental care, vision care, emergency care Ob-Gyn care, preventative care, and alternative care coverage. Remember to evaluate using the notes you made in step one.

Pay careful attention to co-pays, spending limits, and deductible amounts in each section for each health insurance plan you're reviewing. The goal is to do what's called "comparison shopping." As you go through this process, most likely one or two health care policies will seem to meet your needs better than the others.

Step Four - Once you've picked out two or three possible health insurance plans, make notes of questions and concerns about each. Now it's time to get your questions answered and make your decision.

It's important to make sure you're speaking with a qualified, licensed health insurance agent. Don't hesitate to continue to ask questions until you feel you have all the information you need to make a good choice.

Other Helpful Information

Compare Health insurance Plans Online and Save Time

Take your time to find what you need at a price you can afford. What is great about looking for Health insurance options online is you can compare plans and benefits first on your own, without talking to different representatives. Most Health insurance companies offer FREE online services and FREE online instant rate quotes. All that is required is for you to quickly fill out a secured application. In the matter of minutes you should have your results in front of you. Just in case you have questions these companies have licensed Health insurance professionals waiting for your call.

Keep it Going! Who Can Benefit From Temporary Health insurance?

Temporary health insurance or short-term medical insurance is also available in Michigan and will allow you to have coverage for a temporary amount of time. This type of insurance isn't right for everyone. Inquiries of this form of health care usually comes from those who are between jobs, seasonal employees, laid-off and can even benefit young adults recently coming off of their parents' health plan. Plans tend to last somewhere between six months but some have been known to go twelve months.

Temporary Health insurance forms are much more simple than permanent insurance. Coverage on a short-term plan can begin as quickly as twenty-four hours. This insurance caters to unseen accidents and illness. Because it is temporary, they do not typically cover preventive care, vision, dental or pre-existing conditions. For pre-existing conditions you may want to check your COBRA benefits. There Are Other Ways to Keep Your Health insurance after Losing Your Job

Don't let recent un-employment keep you from the care that you need! For instance if a loved one is expecting, the last thing you want is to lose your maternity insurance. There is another alternative called consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act or COBRA. This type of insurance normally last longer than temporary or short-term insurance but it is still a type of temporary insurance. Normally COBRA policies can last for approximately eighteen months. For more detailed information on COBRA's extended policy plans talk to your employer about their specific Health insurance carrier's plan. Many people don't know about temporary Health insurance coverage. In fact, people take chances between coverage all the time because of lack of knowledge. The advantage of temporary Health insurance coverage is to fill a gap in coverage. Although this is temporary coverage is great to have, it does not replace permanent coverage. Michigan HIPAA Laws and How They Could Effect You

If you currently have pre-existing conditions and are looking into short-term Health insurance coverage WAIT! You may be buying health coverage that will not cover you and then make you ineligible for the care that you need. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA plans are mainly for those who have pre-existing conditions and may have trouble getting health insurance. These plans can be extremely expensive. The HIPAA Federal law gives a person immediate access to comparable coverage when leaving employment that provided coverage.

Get familiar with your rights and consult your benefits advisor to discuss the best options for you. You can take back your health with Health insurance companies where there is a plan to fit everyone's need. Reading up and doing your homework on plans that pertain to your needs can help eliminate useless information and help you find the right Health insurance plan much faster.

Copyright 2006 Lisa Ip

Introduction to Group Health Insurance

In a group insurance the employees are provided insurance coverage by their employers. Insurance policies are very affordable these days and providing coverage is easier than ever. Insurance policies are provided at a discount and its cost is spread out among all of the employees in the company. Mostly group coverage is less expensive when compared to individual health insurance policy. Some of the benefits of this type of insurance is it can boost the morale among the employees. Two types of Group health insurance are comprehensive and consumer directed. Comprehensive group Health plans are Preferred provider organization, Health Maintenance organization and Point of service plan. Consumer directed group health plans include Health savings account (HSA) plan and Cafeteria plan.

Preferred Provider Organization encourages you to use a family doctor, specialist or other provider from within Preferred Health care's network of providers. Members can also choose from non-network provider. If you choose a network provider, you will receive the maximum level of coverage. But if you choose to use a non- network provider, you are responsible for the portion of the provider's charges which exceeds the plan's allowed amounts, plus the deductibles and coinsurance. The benefits that it includes are inpatient and outpatient hospital services, Maternity care, Infertility treatment etc.

In a Health Maintenance Organization one must choose a primary care physician from a list of participating doctors. You can visit doctors only within the HMO network. HMO health plans have lower health premiums for both the employee and the employer. Because of the lower cost, these plans are very attractive and a large amount of employees will choose them. Another monetary advantage is there is no deductible for the patient. The only thing that is required is the prescribed co-payment for services that may run between $15 and $20 a visit.

Point of service (POS) plan is a combination of HMO and PPO. These are called as 'open ended HMO' or 'open ended PPO. A point of service plan is a managed care program that provides different benefit levels for in-network and out-of-network services. All services must be rendered or referred by a primary care physician (PCP) to be considered in-network, except specified self referral services, such as routine eye examinations, routine maternity services and annual gynecological exams. Each participant must select a network primary care physician to act as the patient's medical care manager. In this way, PCP can direct the patient to the most appropriate type of service for a given condition.

In a group insurance all the policies cover emergency and routine medical procedures such as regular doctor's appointments and hospital treatment for accidents. But group insurance may or not cover employee's spouse or dependents. Some other benefits include vision care or dental work, and mental health. Prescription drug expenses often fall under group insurance benefits. Many employees see group insurance coverage as a major perk for faithful company service.

10 RV Tips - Save Money While Enjoying RV Living

Great American humorist, Kin Hubbard once said, "The safest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket."  But when RV living is your way of life, saving every penny may not be as easy as you might expect. The following RV tips are sure to help you save, and even earn, money while enjoying the RV way of life.

Ways to save money

1. Get more bank for your tank. Enjoy better gas mileage by practicing these simple driving tips:

  • Slow down - The faster you drive, the lower your fuel economy will be

  • Inflate - Proper tire inflation is a sure way to improve your gas mileage

  • Lighten your load - Eliminating excess RV weight increases your fuel efficiency

2. Stop and shop. Forget about stocking up on everything you need for your entire trip by buying in bulk beforehand. Instead, shop often and locally. You'll not only reduce the weight of your RV and get better fuel economy, but also save money by skipping the national chains and shopping for produce, meat, dairy and other items at local discount and dollar stores.

3. Eating in is in. Skip the restaurants and eat in. Your meals not only will be more affordable, but also they will be healthier than those bought at the fast food restaurants and old-fashioned diners along the highway.

4. Go green. Use plastic, not paper. Although paper products are easy to use, and even easier to throw away, why not go green while on the road? While the initial investment of purchasing a set of washable and reusable dishes may cost more upfront, not having to continually purchase paper plates, cups and utensils will save in the long run.

5. Try "boondocking." According to Jack and Julee Meltzer, authors of The Smart RVers Guide to Saving Money: Have More Fun RVing For Less Money, boondocking, or "dry-camping," usually entails staying somewhere that offers no hook-ups (water and sewer) at little or no cost. Whether it's a parking lot or in the desert on public land, some RVers only boondock. Most RVers, however, stay at a campground every few days in order to empty their tanks, do laundry and fill up on fresh water.

6. Make house calls. If boondocking isn't your style, why not turn your RV road trip into an opportunity to visit with family and friends? Be sure to be respectful and always ask before showing up; however, most close friends and family would be delighted for an impromptu visit that doesn't involve clean sheets and extra towels. Parking your RV in the driveway shouldn't be a problem; just make sure to ask if there are any city ordinances requiring parking permits in the neighborhood.

7. Join the club. RV membership clubs like The Good Sam Club, KOA, Passport America, Camp Club USA, Happy Camper and Escapees offer a wide range of benefits to their members, including substantial discounts on campground fees. Do your research before embarking on your journey to see what deals and discounts you can find for the road.

8. Get online. RV forums can be found on numerous websites. And while you're surfing, try finding online coupons, codes and discounts for all of your other necessary RV purchases.

9. Save money on storage by selling your stuff. Save that monthly storage unit fee and make some money at the same time. Before embarking on your road trip, hold a sale and eliminate all of your unused belongings, then donate whatever is left to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. In addition to a little extra income, you'll receive a deduction on your taxes.

10. Investigate your policies. Research your insurance policies to ensure you are getting what you need at a price you can afford. Whether you're looking at your RV insurance options or trying to find discount RV insurance coverage for your vehicle, sometimes changing your provider or premiums can save you money.

The RV lifestyle is one of the most affordable ways to travel and experience all that the country has to offer. Utilize these helpful tips for RVing on a budget, and make every dollar stretch for miles.

Single Embryo Transfer: Financial Pros and Cons

Single embryo transfer has become a hot topic for couples trying to conceive, and presents a challenging set of questions to consider before completing an IVF cycle. There are many factors to consider, and money often plays a big role. With an uncertain outcome, financial considerations hinge on probabilities. This article considers three possible outcomes and examines financial considerations for each: single transfer success, multiple single transfer attempts, and the hidden costs of multiple-birth.

Single Embryo Transfer Success

Single embryo transfer for IVF works best for couples with at least one healthy embryo, and a high probability of achieving life birth. Single embryo transfers greatly reduce the chances of multiple-birth as only one embryo is implanted. Multiple pregnancies are often high risk, and multiple-birth is associated with a greater chance of pre-term delivery, cerebral palsy, and other birth related conditions.

But transferring a single embryo may increase the costs need to get pregnant. For couples with insurance that covers In Vitro Fertilization there are often limits on the number of cycles that might be covered. The majority of couples have insurance plans with no IVF coverage at all, and they must pay all costs out-of-pocket. So extra IVF cycles drives up the costs of getting pregnant.

The surest way to drive down IVF costs is to minimize the number of cycles needed to get pregnant. Transferring multiple embryos increases the odds of conception, and lowers the cost of conception for couples who must pay out-of-pocket.

So why transfer just one embryo? The cost of getting pregnant is not the whole story. When the cost and probability of multiple-birth are taken into consideration, a far different picture emerges. Couples with at least one health embryo and a high probability of success may find single embryo transfer a very cost-effective alternative.

Multiple Transfer Attempts

The immediate downside from a cost standpoint to single transfers is the greater need for additional cycles. Each cycle needed to get pregnant increases costs. Two healthy embryos have a greater chance of conception than one health embryo. These costs are very visible and come at the beginning of the process. The costs of multiple-pregnancy are hidden, very uncertain, and occur sometime in the future, making the single/multiple embryo transfer question a very difficult choice.

Hidden Costs of Multiple Pregnancy

Most couples are unaware of the hidden costs of multiple-pregnancy, and are unprepared as a result. Compounding the problem, many couples exhaust savings and/or take on debt to pay for the infertility treatments needed to get pregnant. When these hidden costs arise, they find themselves in a financial bind. Some hidden costs include but are not limited to: lost income prior to delivery, extra hospital bills for a NICU stay, lost income after delivery to care for premature infants after hospital discharge, and un-reimbursed medical expenses to diagnose developmental delays.

Single embryo transfer helps minimize these hidden costs.

Postpartum Complications - They Aren't All About Depression

As a first time mom-to-be, the biggest question in your head is which crib will look prettier in the nursery? The wooden one or the white one? I'm sure you're also having trouble picking out only seven of the ten baby outfits to buy!

But, if you're a single mom, your situation probably goes a little more like this: "Will I have the money to buy a stroller and car seat before the baby is born?"

All the information online for pregnant women seems to be about taking care of yourself during pregnancy. Eating healthy, exercising, writing a birth plan, hiring a doula; but does anyone ever prepare you for the physical complications you may face after? A good gynecologist may do this, but don't even depend on that. Family members and friends are so proud of you because you made it through the delivery; they leave you on your own and say everything is back to normal now. But, pay special attention to the small signs telling you it isn't.

If you are a single mom, the best thing you can do for you and your baby is set up a support team before the baby arrives. Not every woman's body naturally falls back into its pre-pregnancy state. Postpartum thyroid problems and hormone imbalances are way too common. Unfortunately, your gynecologist may never make you aware of these possibilities. If you develop one of these postpartum complications, you may not even recognize it; a strong support person will notice the things you miss.

Postpartum complications aren't all about depression; but sleep deprivation, a hormone imbalance, or thyroid problem can actually cause it! All of those physical complications can cause a brain fog; add the challenge of being a first time mother to the list and your thinking is going to get as foggy as an early morning drive on the highway! This is why it is extremely important to have a supportive person who you regularly communicate with; be open with them about anything happening physically or emotional difficulties you are experiencing. Once you experience sleep deprivation, it quickly hinders your ability to make decisions and think clearly; your support person will need to be knowledgeable.

Choosing a support person is like a game of "Red Rover": deciding who you want on your team. The person you pick will ultimately make you stronger or weaker. The only difference is your choice in "Red Rover" results in merely a win or loss; your choice in a support person effects much more.

For instance, it may not be wise to choose the person who sits through an entire television show and the next day cannot remember anything they watched! You may also want to pass on the arrogant family member who suggested the possibility of a miscarriage after learning of your pregnancy. Also, someone who is hardheaded and makes quick assumptions based on their own knowledge or lack thereof (ignorance) will only want to fight during a crisis. Please do not choose a support person who does not take what you say seriously.

Characteristics of a strong support person are someone who is smart, insightful, researches things, assertive, wants you to succeed, listens, encourages you to face your fears, and takes charge. A strong support person also seeks to understand and will hear what you are saying without making their own assumptions. A great support person would be someone who thinks for them self and tends to question those in authority rather than blindly accepting something at face value.

You have wanted to be a mother all your life; you had that beautiful baby for a reason. So you could raise her, of course! I want to insure you can do just that! Here are some of the symptoms both you and your support person should watch for which may indicate a postpartum hormone imbalance or thyroid problem:

o INSOMNIA (Waking up many times during the night for no reason, trouble falling asleep initially, trouble getting back to sleep, or waking early, suddenly inability to sleep during the day anymore. Before you were pregnant, it was normal to sleep the whole night through without waking. As long as your baby is sleeping through the night, that is still considered normal! Something else besides your baby is causing you to wake up- and that means something isn't right.)

o Frequent urination (don't write this off thinking it is a bladder infection)

o Night sweating (Waking up drenched in sweat)

o Inability to tolerate the cold (Inability to get warm with many blankets, need more winter jackets than those around you in cold weather and still cold, freezing feet at night, always seem to be colder than those around you. Pay extra attention to this if it used to be normal for you to go without a jacket in 50 degree weather)

o Allergies (morning sneezing, runny nose, etc.)

o Pressure in neck (may feel like swollen glands)

o Neck is tender when someone touches it

o Lose postpartum weight extremely fast or just rapid weight loss without dieting

o Extremely dry hair (you wonder if you need a new Chi since it isn't making your hair smooth anymore. Here is a clue: It might not be the Chi!)

o Skin suddenly becomes very dry and starts peeling

o Hair loss (Women generally lose hair postpartum. If you are aware of that fact and have a gut feeling you are losing way too much, don't ignore it.) Especially if you are losing so much you're getting bald spots!

o Diarrhea


o Bruises

o Memory loss and word finding difficulty (Continually talking about your baby while calling her another family member's name throughout the course of a day could be a clue! This is a sign of low estrogen or a thyroid problem.)

o Frequent sore throats

o Anxiety

o Depression

o Unusually long or short menstrual cycles

o Pain behind the eyes

o Swollen cheeks/face

o Gaining weight while exercising and eating healthy

o Trouble swallowing

o Brain fog

o Trouble making decisions

o Hoarse voice

If you are experiencing any of those symptoms and have a gut feeling something isn't quite right what do you do? Make an immediate appointment with a gynecologist you trust. Also ask each of your family members if they ever had any difficulties with their thyroid. If so, this is important information to give your doctor. What else should you do during your visit? Ask if they are skilled in treating thyroid disorders; even slight ones. Insist on full thyroid blood tests and hormone testing.

What is the next step? If your gynecologist tells you everything is normal, ask for a referral to an endocrinologist or find a natural doctor. Your blood tests can show your thyroid is within normal levels but the standard levels may not be your norm. A good doctor who understands the thyroid will acknowledge your symptoms along with your test results.

Don't listen to anyone who tells you just wait to see a doctor until you have insurance coverage; would you wait to take your baby to the doctor if she was sick? Postpartum hormone imbalances and thyroid problems are not to be taken lightly; the symptoms they cause are many and can quickly escalate. Get together with your support person and find a way for you to see the doctor now; the more sleep deprived you become, the less clearer your thinking will be.

Sleep loss should not be brushed off; sometimes the remedy isn't as easy as counting sheep! A postpartum hormone imbalance or thyroid problem can make it impossible for you to sleep nights at a time; leave the support people behind who don't believe something is possible just because they have never heard of it happening before. Especially if they don't take the time or make the effort to do the research to find out if it is possible! Ignorance and narcissism is egotistical and can easily hinder your health and future.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Know About Georgia Health Insurance

If your employer is not giving you proper health insurance means that you will have to take health insurance on your own. Health insurance has become a necessity with medical care costs touching the ceiling. For an average family man paying medical bills out of your own pocket is a distant dream. It is imperative to give the cover of health insurance within your budget.

This means a lot of spade work and then clinching a health insurance deal that meets your budget and covers your family the maximum. If you are staying in Georgia, many options are being provided so become aware of the options of Georgia health insurance. Georgia health insurance has options and you will need to differentiate between managed care plan and indemnity plans.

The managed care plans are the typical health care insurance plan with deductibles and co pays, all that is needed is paying premium. While the second option in Georgia health insurance is indemnity plans in which you need to pay the medical costs upfront and only after that you can file a claim for medical insurance. They will pay back a portion of the expense or reimburse a portion. People on a tight budget can find that very difficult to swallow and they will not be able to get proper medical care.

Don't go on the lower payment plans but also look out at the end result - what are you actually getting beneath the glam and the discounts. Look at your requirements and make sure that your Georgia health insurance covers costs of prescription drugs, in patient hospital fees, necessary surgery, and preventive healthcare, dental and maternity care. You need to look carefully at all the extra cost that you might incur like co pay, co insurance costs and deductibles.

You might want to reduce your cost while taking a Georgia health insurance, while getting the maximum out of it. The best way to go about looking for a good plan is through online quotations on Georgia health insurance providers. You can fill in the information on the site and then their insurance agent will contact you. You can take multiple quotations so that you can bargain for the lowest premium with highest advantage from a good insurance provider.

Help Getting Pregnant - How to Achieve a Healthy Pregnancy Fast and Naturally

For most women who need help getting pregnant, amount of advice can be overwhelming sometimes. As we know it, pregnancy should be time of great anticipation and joy, time of change. So, do you know to listen to your body signs and read its language?

Sometimes, conception is not proving to be as easy as so many people have preached about. If this sounds like you, there is no need to feel discouraged or give up trying to make a family with your special someone.

How To Achieve A Healthy Pregnancy Fast and Naturally - pregnancy needs planing!

If you need help getting pregnant, there are a lot of people that will probably steer you towards different fertility clinics and tell you about different fertility medications that you can consume in order to conceive. Especially, today's vast media influence.

However, if doctors are not your cup of tea, and you simply want to be able to get pregnant and not have to worry about persistent doctor visits there are other avenues that you can explore when it comes to conceiving.

Try to take a natural approach when it comes to preparing for pregnancy, before you attempt to try evasive procedures that western doctors are reluctant to get you started on. One of the first things that you should do in order to begin your pregnancy journey is transform your current diet.

You want to attempt to live a healthy lifestyle. This lifestyle will consist of consuming fresh fruits as well as vegetables and ensuring that you maintain enough vitamins and minerals in your body in order to be considered healthy. You need to work on your health, before you can ever think about conception.

Exercise, such as Yoga has actually been accredited to being able to substantially increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Yoga forces you to endure different postures and practice breathing techniques. These techniques have actually been linked to regulating hormone levels and improving the supply of nutrients to your reproductive organs.

You should also try different de-stress activities. Our emotions can actually prohibit conception from occurring. By undergoing massages and femoral massages you can learn to control the stress in your life, and have an easier time conceiving.

Using Traditional Chinese Medicinal practices such as acupuncture/acupressure and herb therapy can also increase your chances of conceiving. These practices have been utilized for an elongated period of time in eastern countries, and are now making their way over to the western way of medicine.

Quite rightly so, but, do you have what it takes to change your lifestyle and move on?

Hypnobirthing Birth in a Hospital or Birthing Centre - A Guide of What To Pack

Each hospital or birthing centre varies in what equipment it provides for your comfort during birthing. It is important to find out before your birthing day, exactly what equipment your hospital provides so you can be prepared. The more prepared you are for your birthing day, the more time you have to commence relaxation and Hypnobirthing techniques once your labour starts.

Below is a packing checklist to assist with labour and post birth comfort for you, your birthing companion and your baby.

Check List

Medical details - Government Medicare card and or private health insurance card.

Administration - Hypnobirthing birth plan and any hospital paperwork.

Beauty products - Lip balm, moisturiser, facial cleansing wipes, hair bands (x 3), hair brush, face washers (x 3), shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, tooth brush, tooth paste, any make up (remember the days after the birth and leaving the hospital) and breath mints.

Comfort - Massage oil (to assist with your light touch massage), birthing ball (if not already provided by your hospital), Ural (assists with reducing the sting in your urine post birth), ear plugs and your own pillow.

Technology - Mobile phone, phone charger, camera, camera charger. It is important to note many hospitals no longer allow video cameras (check with your hospital's own policy in advance to avoid disappointment should you intend to film your birth).

Music - IPOD or CD with Hypnobirthing recordings. Speakers or IPOD docking station if one is not available at the hospital. General relaxation music.

Hypnobirthing - All Hypnobirthing handouts required for the labour (particularly the balloon trip script, rainbow relaxation, birth companion's guide and birthing prompts handouts).

Hydration and Nutrition - Iceblocks, water bottle, sports drinks or coconut water and light nutritional snacks (muesli bars, fruit juice boxes, clear soups etc).

Hygiene - Face washers, thongs or flip flops (for the shower), maternity pads (available from the pharmacy - do bring your own as the hospital ones tend to be bulky, uncomfortable and matronly) plastic bags for dirty clothes.

Clothing - Loose singlets or night dresses, swimmers (if you are modest when showering or in the tub relaxing), socks, spare clothes for you and your birthing partner (remember a nice set for leaving the hospital and potential photo moments). Black men's underpants (these are to wear after birth with maternity pads). Loose pyjamas or night gown's for easy access for breast feeding. Maternity bra's and nursing pads, dressing gown, slippers, loose comfortable clothing (you will loose weight immediately after giving birth but you will not loose all of it -the size of clothing you should bring should be what you were wearing at approximately 6 months pregnant).

Entertainment - 3 x Books - (one stimulating light hearted book for you, one breast feeding book and one book for your birthing partner).

Money - Small change is always handy in hospitals (should you want a snack from the vending machine, make a phone call or buy a cup of coffee).

Baby Equipment and Clothing - Nappies (cloth or disposable), 3 x singlets, 3 x romper suits, (000 and 0000 depending on what size they come out) beanies, bunny rugs, muslin baby wrap, socks, large tub of baby wipes, disposable nappy bags and pacifier.

For travel after birth - Remember your baby will need to leave the hospital in a correctly installed baby capsule that passes the required safety standards for your country. It is a good idea to have this fitted a week or two before your estimated due date to avoid the last minute rush.

Early Pregnancy Back Pain - Onset of Discomfort

In addition to morning sickness and cramps, early pregnancy back pain is also one of the symptoms experienced by women during pregnancy. There is nothing to worry about back pain during pregnancy as it is quite common among pregnant women and is in fact unavoidable.

Weak Body Frame Causes Back Pain

A weak skeletal system and weak muscles increase the chances of early pregnancy back pain. During pregnancy there is a continuous change in the position of the baby inside the mother's womb. The mother's body also continuously adapts itself to such changes. Proper exercise can make this adaptation much easier for your body. Abdominal muscles require proper exercise to build strong joints around the pelvic region. As abdomen is the place where baby grows, a weak skeletal system can exert a lot of pressure on the muscles in lower back. This extensive pressure can cause pain in the back.

If neglected, this pregnancy back pain, can sustain even after childbirth. The severity of back muscle pain during pregnancy may vary from one person to another. It is seen that strong and healthy women have a better resistance towards back pain in pregnancy. A strong body frame reduces the pressure on back muscles.

Proper Care Required

You can follow the given tips to reduce the severity of your early pregnancy back pain.

  • Take proper care while performing your daily chores.
  • Make a point not to over- exert or over- stretch your body.
  • Be careful of your movements while getting out of bed, sitting in a chair, picking things, etc.
  • Yoga and meditation can also help you fight a backache during pregnancy.
  • Following a correct posture and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can treat a mild backache.
  • Nutritional food is also helpful in reducing pregnancy backache.

The sole purpose behind maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a regular exercise regime is to build a strong body frame, which would ensure a smooth pregnancy and normal delivery. You must take back pain seriously and also take appropriate measures to handle such challenges, which are an inevitable part of pregnancy.

Final Words

Be well prepared to face the challenges which come along with the beautiful experience of being pregnant. Be well informed about the changes taking place in your body and ensure proper care. It is advisable to take necessary measures, to avoid and cure an early pregnancy backache. Do not neglect the backache or else it might want to stay with you for the rest of your life!

Tips on Breast Care During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnancy and breastfeeding, both are the wonderful experience for a woman. They give the feeling of satisfaction and completeness to the woman. But breast care is important during pregnancy and lactation in order to keep it healthy. Here, in this article you will find some useful tips on breast care during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

First let's know the period of pregnancy and lactation. Pregnancy refers to the period beginning from the moment the woman conceives till she gives birth to the child. Lactation refers to the period during which a woman is breastfeeding her baby.

Normally, after pregnancy and delivery there is a danger of the breasts becoming loose and drooping. There are certain pills and massage oils, which help the breasts to come to their normal form and shape and regain firmness and roundness. Physical breast care is very important. Active and regular participation in sports helps a woman to maintain a distinctive and smart look. Youthful breasts not only add to the grace of the woman but also enrich her sex life as well.

In order to breastfeed the baby successfully, a pregnant woman should be prepared for it mentally as well as physically. It is also useful to seek the guidance of a person who has successfully breastfed her baby. Such person can give good practical advice. It is also advised that a woman should share her thoughts on this topic with her husband, or with any other women close to her.

During pregnancy eat more than the normal diet roughly eat equal to one extra meal in a day. This will help build enough energy, to be used when you start breastfeeding your baby. Pregnant women should eat foods which are rich in iron and assist in producing more blood. This will help to prevent anemia. Do not exhaust yourself physically (especially during the last three months) when you are pregnant. A nap or rest in the afternoon is essential during the last three months.

Many women ask a very common question - Is suckling of breasts by the husband during pregnancy harmful? No. If the husband wishes to suck the breasts, he should not be discouraged. This is a natural and helpful exercise for the nipples and the breasts.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Copyright © Nick Mutt, All Rights Reserved. If you want to use this article on your website or in your ezine, make all the urls (links) active.

Immigration Solicitors - Entitled For NHS

The UK immigration law has strict rules and conditions concerning who are entitled for NHS services. The law states that only the UK residents are permitted for a free treatment in any recognized National Health Systems facilities, clinic and hospitals in the UK. The UK healthcare services are the envy of the world that is why there are rules governing the spouse, children, fianc矇, or civil partner's access for NHS treatment. Also included are the student or visitor visa holders. The free treatment is under the hospital's discretion whether or not to provide medical services for eligible individuals.

The hospitals must determine that the one seeking medical attention is a UK resident, meaning he is able to provide documentation that he legally lives and settle in the UK before seeking healthcare services and emergency medical intervention. If you are a UK resident, you are entitled for NHS free medical care. There are special circumstances however, that anyone can be entitled for a free treatment, see the conditions and categories below:

v You will be entitled for a free medical treatment or surgery if you have an accident and or requiring any emergency medical treatment
v If you are seeking family planning services but excluding maternity services
v Treatment of communicable diseases acquired while you are in the UK
v There is a need for psychiatric treatment due to psychotic episodes or any mental illness
v Selected non visa or overseas residents gets free medical treatment

There are citizens that are entitled for a medical treatment if they are in agreement with the United Kingdom healthcare including the Switzerland, the European Economic Area and the European Union even if they are not UK residents, any one else, pays. There is an underlying rule that exempts this category; any resident who comes to the UK with the sole purpose of seeking medical health because of these provisions will be denied. The doctors will determine if the disease has been with you since long before you arrived in the UK. If you are puzzled by these regulations, contact your UK solicitors to help explain things to you and help you with your concerns if you are denied of medical treatment exclusive of the category clauses and or a case of discrimination or violation of your human rights. You can also discuss about the reciprocal agreement if you are under this category.

But what if you are pregnant and on the process of joining your spouse, fianc矇, or civil partner who is a UK resident? You are entitled for free medical treatment if you are eligible to come to the UK before child birth. Again, if you come to the UK with a singular purpose of giving birth to a child and then go back to your own country after that, then you will not be entitled for free NHS treatment. You will be given treatment and give birth of course but as a paying private patient. After you give birth, you will be billed accordingly then you will be released from the hospital.

Postnatal Depression - The Facts

According to research, postnatal depression occurs in as many as 10 to 15 mothers for every 100 women giving birth. Its symptoms are similar to depression in which a person may feel low mood and aversion to different activities which could last for two weeks. This is very common but sometimes, mothers don't recognize the symptoms and instead wait for the symptoms to disappear but this could be more difficult for them.

Every mother is at risk for having postnatal depression. It is different from "baby blues" which is not treated and is often shorter. Having unresolved issues from your own childhood and a family who had a history of depression could be a risk for having the illness due to genetic factors. Unresolved issues from childhood could be a cause of depression and since there's a history, there is a greater chance that the illness would be triggered and go back after giving birth. Having an under-active thyroid may also be a cause of depression. However, the real cause of having this illness is still unknown.

A mother may be diagnosed as having postnatal depression when she cries very frequent for small upsets or for no obvious reason at times, longs for sleep but feeling unsatisfied every time she wakes up, has difficulty in sleeping even when the baby is asleep and has a feeling that she is not a good mother but sometimes hates herself or her baby. She easily gets irritated, has no sexual drive, has a feeling that she will not be able to cope up with activities such as housework and feels anxious most of the time. She may also lose appetite, think of negative thoughts of her unresolved childhood issues and feel tired, angry or hopeless most of the time. In serious cases, she may have suicidal thoughts and psychotic symptoms which could be very alarming.

Postnatal depression can be treated in the same way as depression. Drug treatment using antidepressants, counseling and involving in social activities are the different ways in treating postnatal depression. Talking to a doctor, midwife, health visitor or somebody about the problem is a great help. However, self-help medications can also relieve postnatal depression symptoms. Mothers can try to get enough sleep, eat and exercise regularly, relax, ask other persons to help them in doing their housework and they should never be afraid to tell their partners and family members about how they feel and if they have unresolved childhood issues. A lot of people are always ready to help.

Remember, people can and do make recoveries from depression and go on to lead their best lives imaginable. Seek help.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How to Get Affordable Health Insurance for Your Family

Parents want nothing more than to provide affordable health insurance for their family. It's a comfort knowing that in case there are any accidents or health issues, they will be able to bring their children to get the proper treatment. It's always best to get insurance after you study the different modes of coverage so you know what's right for you and your family. There are managed health care plans which give you the best care, allow you to see the best doctors, and charge you an affordable price as well. You can get your insurance through a Health Management Organization, or HMO, a Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, or Point of Service, or POS.

The HMO is the best choice for the family who can't afford to pay so much for insurance. Doctors are provided to those covered so this means that you'll not be able to get another opinion if you need one. This is one of the few downsides, though. With the PPO, you have more of a choice of doctors, which would be best if one of the family members has special needs. The POS simply combines the two, giving you a company doctor for your primary care yet allowing you to choose another doctor for special needs. Or, you can choose Fee for Service coverage. This simply means that you choose the doctor and hospital you want then the insurance company either covers all or part of your costs, depending on the amount, or simply reimburse what you spent.

The best type of healthcare for a family would be Preventive Care. This allows the child to have regular check-ups, shots, and physicals. The plan may or may not include maternity care, depending on the parent. After you've come to understand what is available to you, you'll be able to find a plan which allows you the best coverage you can afford, which could include dental care, medical care, visual care, and other types of options which would make it right for you. Take advantage of those free health insurance quotes so you can compare the prices of what is offered by each insurance company and what you are qualified for. Then, after you've narrowed down your choices, study the small print in depth so you know which one is perfect.

What Are the Earliest Possible Signs of Pregnancy?

Women who are planning to conceive would be keen to know about the earliest possible signs of pregnancy. Usually you can make out the difference between a normal life and the life when you conceive.

Few important and basic things you should keep in mind are:

You will know about your pregnancy only when the menstrual cycle stops, you conceive within 24 hours of ovulation, the suggested time to go for pregnancy test should be two weeks after ovulation. Apart from these, there are ten signs of pregnancy.

Essentially the earliest possible signs of pregnancy can be discovered with these ten signs of pregnancy, which are the common signs. You will be still in a dilemma about your pregnancy, even after menstrual cycle stops.

As the reason for menstrual cycle getting late can be different which could due to less hemoglobin, weakness and so on. What are the earliest possible signs of pregnancy differs, as the woman body is different and do not match with the other, some women start getting such symptoms from the beginning and few do not observe any symptoms.

All the pregnancies may not have the same symptoms. The symptoms observed in first pregnancy cannot be the same during your second pregnancy. Each symptom during pregnancy is unique. Online sites also provide ample amount of information about the possible indications of pregnancy and how to identify it.

Signs of possible pregnancy may include fatigue, breast changes, frequent urination, cramps, morning sickness, aversions, implantation spotting, high temperature, etc. to name a few.

Overcome Infertility - How Mineral Selenium Helps to Treat Infertility

As we mentioned in previous articles, infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It affects over 5 millions couple alone in the U. S. and many times more in the world. Because of an unawareness of treatments, only 10% seeks help from a professional specialist. Nutritional supplements pay a vital role in treating all kinds of disease, in this article, we will discuss how selenium effects fertility.

I. How selenium effects fertility

1. Antioxidant

It is one of antioxidants that helps to strengthen the immune system system, thus guarding our body against the bacteria and virus invasion and preventing the immune system abnormal function in recognizing sperm as foreigner and in producing antibody antigen to attack them.

2. Miscarriage and birth defects

Selenium is proven to prevent chromosome breakage that causes miscarriages.

3. Reproductive enhancer in men

Good levels of selenium are also essential to maximize sperm formation. A study conducted at the University of Padua in Italy shows that selenium helps to prevent oxidation of sperm cell , thus increasing the sperm quality and quantity.

4. working synergistic with vitamin E

Study shows that selenium works together with vitamins E not only can prevent the forming of free radicals but also increase it' s effectiveness in preventing and inhibiting the development of breast cancer.

5. Hypothyroidism

Selenium is essential for maintaining the thyroid glands in secreting thyroid hormone. Deficiency of selenium causes hypothyroidism, leading to abnormal weight gain that increases the risk of insulin fluctuation, leading to poor egg and sperm quality.

6. Intra cranial pressure symptoms

Intra cranial pressure is the pressure in the cranium, selenium helps to maintain the right levels of pressure exerts on the brain's intra cranial blood circulation vessels, thereby decreasing the intra-cranial pressure symptoms such as headaches, nausea, speech disorders, Jacksonian seizures, etc. thus reducing the risk of the nervous system causes of infertility.

II. Side effects and risks

1. It is toxic, if overdose
2. If over dose. it causes
a) Gastrointestinal disorders
b) Hair loss, sloughing of nails
c) nervous tension such as fatigue and irritability
d) Neurological damage.

Pregnant Teens

Today, the United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the world. By the continuous effort of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this rate has been considerably decreased in the last few years. Despite this decline, teenage pregnancy is one among the country's most critical issues.

Recent studies reveal that around 5% of teens - especially between 17 and 19 years of age - get pregnant every year. One in every eight births is to a young teen. Most of these cases end up in abortions. Apart from the personal impact, teen pregnancy can cause substantial financial burden to the society. Around 90% of the pregnant teens live on state benefits. The federal government offers approximately $7 billion annually to handle teenage pregnancy.

Teenage pregnancy can occur due to a number of factors - poverty, poor quality family relationships, lack of education, low-self esteem, negative outlook regarding the future, and non-voluntary sexual experiences.

In pregnant teens, the chances for complications are more. Premature delivery is the most severe issue. Low-weight-birth is 2 to 6 times more in teens. Toxemia, placenta previa, anemia, and pregnancy-induced hypertension are other related complications.

When compared to pregnant women, teens are more likely to engage in smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. This can adversely affect both mother's and baby's health. Further, most pregnant teens get poor antenatal care. Another problem is that most teens do not follow a proper diet and so will not gain adequate weight during pregnancy. Some teens even seem to counter the normal pregnancy weight by doing excess exercise. In both cases, the baby is at risk.

Children born to young teens often receive poor nutrition and health care. Most of them are exposed to neglect and abuse. It is estimated that around 22% of girls born to young teens become teenage mothers.

To stop out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies, many effective programs are conducted by HHS. These programs support abstinence education and also the use of contraception.

Tissue Salt Homeopathic Remedies for a Pleasant, Not Painful Pregnancy, Delivery and Birth

Homeopathic Treatment can be a wonderful, fulfilling and quite a mystical journey. These words are often used to describe pregnancy. So, it makes sense that using Homeopathic Medicine during pregnancy is ideal. Your body is going through so many changes after you become pregnant. They are the types of changes that affect your whole being.

Hormonal shifts, morning sickness, nausea, fatigue, poor digestion, hemorrhoids, pelvic and back pain, varicose veins, and heartburn can all be helped with Homeopathy. Seeing a Homeopath during pregnancy can help create the type of pregnancy that resolves many lingering health concerns instead of potentially creating more of them in the future.

Even if all you are looking for is to ease the pain of delivery, Homeopathic Treatment is a good choice. To prepare your body to give birth, there is a series of nutritive Homeopathic remedies that I recommend to be taken during each trimester that help the specific tissues in the body to develop and support the development of your baby. These are commonly known as the Homeopathic Remedies called Tissue Salts.

I've formulated three separate combinations for each trimester to support what your body is working towards in each trimester. Some of the Tissue Salts that are included in my Pregnancy Protocol include the following:

• For bone development and elasticity of connective tissue (helping to prevent stretch marks), Calcarea Fluoraticum is the tissue salt to use. It also is helpful in preventing circulatory problems, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

• For nerve and muscle development, which will reduce the chances of heartburn and cramps, use Magnesium Phosphoricum.

• To prevent a tendency towards anemia by increasing blood oxygenation, use Ferrum Phosphoricum.

• For supporting nerves and muscles (including the heart) and to help control fluid balance (swollen hands or ankles) preventing and high blood pressure (and putting on that extra weight), use Natrum Muriaticum.

• Silica (which is one of the most ubiquitous substances on earth and in our bodies) made into a Tissue Salt Homeopathic Remedy helps to build strong teeth, bones and hair of the fetus plus pubic bones and the supportive conjunctive tissues for your delivery.

If you are looking for emotional support and meaning within your journey towards motherhood, then seeing a Homeopath is a perfect choice for you. Emotions that rise up during pregnancy are important to consider. Homeopathy works great on this level because it is a very holistic medicine that works with your whole system to help you feel like you can respond appropriately with strength and balance.

If this is your first pregnancy, this may be one of the last times you have the opportunity to indulge in healing sessions focused on yourself. Seeing a Homeopath means that you spend quality time thinking about your emotional and physical health and tendencies. The process of the Homeopathic Consultation facilitates an understanding of yourself that help you to resolve old patterns or emotional tendencies and maintain your overall well-being. This is an exceptional way to enter your journey into motherhood.

By Elena Cecchetto CCH, RSHom(NA)
Certified Homeopath
CEASE Therapist
Access Natural Healing

The Healing Power of Adjustable Beds

An adjustable bed is more than just a luxurious bed frame. Electrical beds allow users to sleep at semi-elevated levels that align the body in a position of least resistance to gravity. There are many health benefits that result from this position, including a reduction in snoring, acid reflux, muscle tension, and arthritic pain. Based on studies that have been conducted, there are numerous ways to use these high-tech beds to deliver effective and safe healing benefits. Because of these studies, adjustable beds are now commonly seen in healthcare facilities such as hospitals and elderly care facilities.

The Therapeutic Effects Of An Adjustable Bed
The benefits one may attain from an adjustable bed are derived primarily from the device's ability to change shape. Both the head and foot ends of the bed may be either raised or lowered, helping individuals to adjust their sleeping position in such a way that provides maximum comfort. In a medical context, the ability of these unique beds to be raised or lowered delivers additional benefits that help patients to recover from surgical procedures quickly and comfortably. Some of those benefits include:

  1. Resting in an Upright Position: Adjustable beds can be manipulated so that the upper portion of the bed could be raised up to 90 degrees. This bed position may help increase maximal lung expansion for patients who have difficulty breathing. This is accomplished through redistributing the weight of the body so less pressure is exerted on the lungs and ribcage.

  2. Health Benefits of Sitting Up: Resting in an upright position could also help people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The raised position will make it more difficult for stomach content to flow back in the esophagus. Furthermore, these beds could also correct snoring problems. When we go to sleep, the tongue tends to relax and blocks the oropharyngeal opening making it hard for air to flow freely. This causes a vibration in the tissue that causes a loud snoring sound. Because adjustable beds could be raised, the tongue can be put back to a neutral position to eliminate snoring.

  3. Resting in the Trendelenburg Position: If a patient is going into shock, the whole body of adjustable bed could be tilted with the head part lower than the foot end by about 15 to 30 degrees. This floods blood towards the upper body and head areas, increasing oxygen and nutrient flow to the brain to effectively combat shock.

  4. The Head Flat / Foot Elevated Position: A bed configured with the head portion flat but the foot portion elevated can assist those people who have a problem with the cardiovascular and circulatory systems. The Heat Flat/ Foot Elevated position helps by encouraging blood to return to the heart more easily. Fluids may cease to circulate and gather in the extremities if the patient is not sleeping with the feet elevated, resulting in edema. Elevating the lower body while leaving the head and body flat brings blood back to the heart with the help of gravity, helping to increase circulation overall.

  5. Enhanced Comfort and Rest: There is no doubt that electrical beds, and particularly beds with massage features, are created with the comfort of the user in mind. Rest and sleep is vital component of making a healthy medical recovery, and these beds deliver unparalleled quality of both rest and sleep.

Adjustable beds assist patients in recovering from medical procedures by positioning the body at specific angles that promote blood circulation, reduce stress, and increase tissue regeneration. Adjustable hospital beds have a long time tradition of increasing both the quality and effectiveness of recovery time. These beds are undeniably an indispensable object for the welfare and benefit of many patients.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Find The Right Health Insurance To Cover Your Needs

Investing in a health insurance is a wise decision to make. However there are so many different kinds of insurances to choose from that it can be confusing to pick the one that suits you the best. Consulting a professional person may get you some clarification on how to select the right insurance that fulfils your needs.

People seem to live longer these days and maybe that is because we are more health conscious than we use to be. The average person tends to go for a traditional health insurance where you make a payment to the insurance company every month. If you should get sick or have an accident and require health treatment then you pay a certain amount first and the insurance pay the remaining of the bill.

However, because of the big demand health insurances companies are beginning to look for ways to cut the cost of the health insurances. There are plans that will cover the majority of your medical fees but you then have to use a special group of physicians and hospitals. The insurance may pay some of your expenses if you seek treatment outside of this special group but it will be a reduced rate.

It will pay you to do a bit of research to find out where you get the best coverage. You want your general physician visit fees covered as much as possible by your health insurance and it is also important that you have hospital expenses covered. It is really a matter of choice and you should sit down and make a list of what kind of things you need covered the most.

If you are more likely to need glasses and contacts than anything else you should make sure that this is covered rather than other things you do not need. Or if prescription drugs is something you often need then that should be your priority coverage for your health insurance. If you are a young woman who plans to have children in the future then it is a good idea to join a health insurance well ahead and make sure you are well covered for maternity care and what is involved in having a baby.

When you have made your list of preferred things you want covered then you are much more prepared to start looking for the right health insurance plan. Remember that your health is important so make sure it is protected in the best way possible.

Nursing Career Options and Job Outlook

We are currently facing a nursing shortage in the United States and it is predicted that this need for qualified nurses is only going to increase. Through advances in healthcare people are living longer than ever which has produced an increased population of elderly people who are in need of medical care. There is also a great need for nurses in non-hospital settings. Another factor in the shortage is that current nurses are growing older as well and choosing to retire. A new crop of nurses will be needed to fill these positions. This makes nurses today, especially nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN), are just about guaranteed to obtain a job directly after school. They can also count on there never being a shortage of need for their skills.

The average beginning yearly pay for a new RN is about $44,600, which is more than many careers that have comparable education and experience requirements. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the yearly median earning of a registered nurse in 2004 at $52.330. While the middle percent of registered nurses took home yearly incomes between $43.370 and $63,360, with the highest earners making more than $74,760. Even the lowest earner made around $37,200. As experience is obtained yearly incomes go up. When you factor in wages made for shift differentials and over time, most nurses make well over their base incomes. Going into management and administration can add even additional income.

Nurses can be found in every area of the hospital setting. They are at the patients bedsides, in operating and emergency rooms. There are nurses that specialize in x-ray and diagnostics as well as in the labs. Some nurses focus on children or maternity care. Not only are nurses working in large hospital settings but also same-day surgery centers and as part of emergency response teams who care for patients as they are transported to the hospital.

Only about half of nurses fulfill the various positions at hospitals. The rest are split between many other places. There are also more options than ever before for nurses to do exactly the type of work they enjoy most and work for who they want when they want. They work in long-term care facilities and nursing homes. Also medical offices, clinics, schools, various businesses, research centers and in the military. They also hold instructor positions teaching nursing students. These are just a sampling of the different career options nurses have today.

RNs who seek additional education have even more opportunities to specialize their care. They can be clinical nurse specialists, who focus their energy on one particular health crisis such as mental illness or cancer. There are certified nurse midwife opportunities for nurses who feel the need to assist women through the various steps of pregnancy and childbirth. Nurse anesthetists work along size anesthesiologist in operation and emergency rooms. There is an over whelming need for nurse practitioners who can take care of most of the daily health issues and free up doctors to tackle more invasive concerns. Then there are the nurses who participate in the research for new technicians, methods and equipment.

Cramping During Pregnancy - 3 Ways to Reduce Painful Pregnancy Cramps

One of the worst things that a woman can experience is cramping during pregnancy. This is a common occurrence, but you need to know when to determine whether it is regular cramping or if it is something more serious that your doctor should know about.

Call your doctor if you have specific symptoms that are associated with cramping such as:

  • bleeding,

  • fever,

  • chills,

  • fainting or light-headedness, or

  • a vaginal discharge.

There are normal, less-serious causes of stomach cramps during pregnancy that may not require your doctor's attention.

Some of the causes of cramping during pregnancy include:

  • implantation,

  • the stretching of ligaments,

  • false labor,

  • gas,

  • constipation, and

  • the regular cramps that you get towards the end of the pregnancy that let you know the baby will be arriving soon.

There are three main ways that you can help prevent the painful cramps that you may be experiencing.

One way includes avoiding quick positional changes. This means that when you are sitting in a chair, and you possibly have an itch on your back. You should not move really quick in order to get that itch because you cannot only cause cramps in your stomach, but you could also cause a charley horse in your legs (cramp in your thigh).

Another way to get rid of cramping during pregnancy is to stretch regularly. Keeping supple will prevent injury and make your muscles more relaxed, helping to prevent any sharp cramps. You want to make sure that you do not perform any stretches that may put pressure on your stomach or require you to lie on your abdomen...this is dangerous for your developing baby.

The third way of relieving your cramps is to perform some kind of exercise or go for a walk. The pain that you are feeling could very well be gas that is caught, and exercise will help to maintain flexibility in your muscles and joints which can prevent muscle cramps from occurring.

Walking or performing some sort of non-exerting exercise could help to release the muscle tension as well as relieve the cramps that you are experiencing. There are many other tips and advice available on how to relieve and prevent cramping during your pregnancy and make you feel fitter and more energized. Getting clued up on the various types of foods that you can eat as well as the different types of exercises that you can do is a smart way to stay fit and healthy that without hurting you or the baby.

Overcome Infertility - How to Treat Female Infertility With Herb Red Raspberry (Rubus Ideaus)

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

I. Definition

Red raspberry also known as raspberry or rubus ideaus, is a edible fruit species belongs to genus Rubus. It has been used in many cultures in assisting pregnancy due to it's antioxidant properties.

II. How Red Raspberry effects fertility

1. Antioxidant

Red raspberry contains high amount of anthocyanin pigments which is one of many powerful antioxidant existed in the fruit. Beside helping to fight against infection and inflammation caused by foreign invasion, it also helps to improve immune function in regulating cell growth as well as fighting against the forming of it's antibody antigent that reduce the risk of abnormal immune function in attacking it's own tissues, including sperm.

2. Fiber

Fiber is important for the regulating the blood levels in our body. Without or not enough of it may cause fluctuation of insulin, leading to food craving, symptoms of irregular menstrual cycle that increase the risk of infertility.

3. Vitamins and minerals

Red raspberry contains high levels of important vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, B complex, folic acid, magnesium, copper and iron which is not only vitals for maintaining maintaining the regular function of our body's organs, but also helps to improve the regular menstrual cycle by providing the necessary blood flow to the reproductive organs, resulting in enhancing the chance of fertility.

4. Quercetin

Quercetin besides is a powerful natural antioxidant by inhibiting enzymes, such as lipoxygenase which cause inflammation in our body, it also helps to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood stream, leading to increasing the blood flow to the reproductive organ that are important for a regular menstrual cycle.

5. Gallic acid

Gallic acid is a colourless crystalline aromatic compound, Beside helping to fight against cell oxidate damage, it also has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties that is essential for maintaining a healthy reproductive system against infection.

6. Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins is also one of the flavonoids, besides helping to strengthen the immune system, it also helps to regulate the DNA duplication of cell in the body resulting in lessoning the risk of irregular cell growth in the abdominal region.

7. Cyanidins

Study shows that cyanidins inhibit development of obesity and diabetes, thereby decreasing the risk of fertility caused by symptoms of diabetes ( fluctuation of insulin and decreasing blopd flow to the reproductive organs) and overweight ( hormonal imbalance of estrogen and progesterone and premenstrual syndrome)

III. Risks and Side effects

There is no known risk and side effect, if not overdosed.

Nagoya Hospitals and Medical Care

Nagoya is a major city in Japan situated on the Pacific coast. It is the capital of Aichi province and one of the most important ports of the country. This beautiful city is a leading economic, trade and industrial center of Japan. Nagoya provides its visitors with many good public and private hospitals that deliver excellent treatment for any health issue. The major hospitals in Nagoya offer the services of English speaking staff. Here is a note on some of the leading hospitals in Nagoya.

Nagoya Daini Red Cross Hospital is a leading hospital in the city that offers medical care at par with international standards. This hospital was founded in 1914 and gives special attention to the rights of its patients. The 76,116 square meter hospital offers excellent medical care in every medical discipline by employing 299 doctors, 877 nurses and 6 registered dietitians. The hospital is accredited by the Japan Council for Quality Health Care is a nationally recognized center for cancer treatment, blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants.

The hospital's well-equipped surgery unit offers service in all major fields. The National Emergency Medical Center is also located on this hospital campus. A modem and spacious new emergency center include a stroke center (SCU), operation rooms, various Intensive Care Units (PICU, CCU, NICU) and a high-care unit which was opened in 2001. Telephone: 052-832-1121

Nagoya University Hospital is another well-known modern hospital in the area. This hospital was originally founded in 1871 and has since undergone many modifications to become one of the most distinguished health care facilities of the country. The hospital offers a wide spectrum of diagnostic and clinical services. The surgery department is also well equipped to carry out every type of operation including vascular surgery, gastroenterological and transplantation surgery. Effective service is offered in the departments of endoscopy, blood transfusion, maternity and prenatal care. The emergency medicine center and ICUs of the hospital have all the newest facilities including many life saving devices. The radiology department is also well equipped. The hospital has very friendly payment desk and they receive all major credit cards and bank transfers. This is a major center of medical education, training and clinical research. Tel: (052) 741-2111

Meijo Hospital situated at Naka-ku, Nagoya city, Aichi Prefecture, is another reputable health care facility that offers modern and cost effective medical service. Meijo Hospital, approved by Japan Council for Quality Health Care follows global standards on quality and patient safety. The surgery department has six operating rooms and all modern facilities. The center is located in a quiet, picturesque place and provides luxurious accommodations. TEL: 052-201-5311

Monday, September 2, 2013

11 Symptoms of Post Natal Depression

Having a baby is a major life event for a woman and in some cases may trigger Post Natal Depression.

This occurs in approximately 16% of women in Australia and usually occurs between 1- 12 months after giving birth to a baby. It can be difficult for women to cope with a major life change as well as the day to day stress of a new baby.

If you have had a baby in the last 12 months and are experiencing the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks this may be an indication that you are suffering from post natal depression. It is recommended that you seek professional medical help to have this diagnosed and a suitable treatment plan put in place.

1. Moodiness that is out of character

2. Increased irritability

3. Finding it hard to take minor personal criticisms

4. Withdrawal from friends and family

5. Loss of interest in sex, food, exercise or other pleasurable activity

6. Sleeplessness

7. Increased drug/alcohol use

8. Staying home from work or school

9. Increased physical health complaints (ie: aches / fatigue)

10. Recklessness

11. Slowing down of thoughts and actions

Symptoms of Post Natal Depression can appear suddenly or gradually. They are not to be confused with 'baby blues' which occurs between 3 -10 days after birth of a baby. The symptoms of 'baby blues' are different from that of post natal depression and are really only tearfulness and a feeling of overwhelm. These symptoms normally disappear within a few days. Post Natal Depression symptoms last a lot longer.