Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pregnancy Over 40 - The Risks and Benefits

You must be excited to conceive a baby. It is really delightful to watch mothers having a baby; the social research data report that a person raise little children very likely to do best at school and become experts. it doesn't mean that you are unable to do a great job if you are more younger, however the possibility of "highly effective" children parenting is better with age.

However, you will still find a small amount of potential risks that may increase due to your age related to your pregnancy. The biggest will be the increased possibility of chromosome issues such as Down syndrome symptom. For your age, the possibility of a chromosome issue is 1 in 42. By having an average level 2 ultrasound, the risk might be cut down about half, to around 1 in 80. This is exactly very safe. There are 79 in 80 probabilities that your baby is not going to born with a chromosome problem, but significantly increased when you were much younger. So, some company offers additional tests to determine and see if the newborn baby carries other chromosome problem such an amniocentesis. This has a lower risk of losing your baby (about 1 in 200), but it is important to consider the health risks as well as health benefits wisely before making a decision.

Any other potential risks depend on your overall health. Some researchers have revealed a higher health risk including growth problems, preterm labor, preeclampsia, hypertension and also diabetic issues. It is actually difficult to factor out the connection between your ages alone with the elevated risks of those health problems becoming obvious when we go through our life, which will make the pregnancy greater risk just by the diseases you have. For this reason, when you are in excellent health, the potential health risks seem to be minimally increased above normal. We currently observe much more carefully for problems. However, usually you would probably have normal treatment except if an issue found during your routine visits.

For anyone who is over 35 years old and currently pregnant, a doctor might recommend to you to be of advanced maternal age group. Many women from age 35 - 40 years old have healthy pregnancies. Mainly because the majority of women above 35 are usually have an excellent health condition. Very good prenatal care and attention and also healthy and balanced lifestyle help you minimize some specific potential risks. When issues do happen for pregnant women over 35, most of them will be successfully cured. It doesn't matter how old you are, contact your doctor before trying to have a baby

For today, simply be enthusiastic about your pregnancy. You'll discover that perhaps you may be a little more tired unlike the time you were twenty year old that you'll have more pains and aches, and then there will probably be days and nights you ask yourself the reason why you did this. But the good news is, you're going to be the mature stable mom each and every child needs to have.

Help Getting Pregnant - Discover How to Beat Stress and Get Pregnant Fast and Naturally

Do you need help getting pregnant? Read and learn how to beat stress and prepare your body and mind for a healthy natural conception.

Truth to be told, amount of information can be overwhelming sometimes, especially with constant media influence. Perhaps, this is the time to consider alternate paths to get pregnant and finally move on.

Each woman's period of natural fertility is different, but in general it is about forty eight hours before ovulation and during the time she ovulates or releases her egg. Unfortunately the menstrual cycle is governed by the endocrinal system, and hormones can be adversely affected by stress. Stress can cause anovulation a condition which means that the ovaries do not produce an oocyte, and an oocyte is an immature female reproductive cell which will in time become an egg. Chronic anovulation leads to infertility.

Controlling stress is the most single powerful way to help you create the correct conditions to increase your fertility naturally. We are all aware about the long term affects of stress and the adverse affects that stress can have on our bodies but not all women are aware of the fact that stress can make you infertile. If you are having difficulty you must be able to control the levels of stress that you are under. Unfortunately infertility is stressful in itself, but unless you can effectively control your stress levels you are effectively shooting yourself in the foot when trying to conceive.

The adverse affects of too much stress are:

* Heart disease
* Depression
* Asthma
* Strokes
* Upset stomach
* Headache
* Backache
* Insomnia
* Anxiety
* Anger
* Mood swings
* Inability to concentrate
* Heightened confusion
* An inability to complete tasks
* Hypertension
* Haemorrhoids
* Varicose veins
* Infertility

Here are the essential tips on reducing stress levels naturally which can help boost your fertility:

* Exercise
Take regular daily exercise; elevate your heart rate for about twenty minutes. Low impact exercise does not need a gym or special equipment a walk around the block is fine.

* Reduce Your Caffeine
Caffeine is present in coffee and tea as well as in some soft drinks. Read the labels of your soft drinks carefully. Restrict your caffeine intake to one cup of tea or coffee a day. The healthiest drink you can replace it with is water.

* Get a Good Night's Sleep
The correct amount of sleep is crucial for physical and mental health; induce sleep by having a warm bath before retiring. Try to go to bed at the same time each night; don't have late nights or early nights.

* Breathe Deeply and Hold
Let your body detoxify itself by using deep breathing exercises which distributes the blood and brings back the toxins to rejuvenate your body.

We are talking basics here. Change of daily habits and lifestyle is one big step forward. Do you have what it takes to alter it?

Have You Considered Spices For Help With Weight Loss?

There are countless methods to help with weight loss. Many are dull and ineffective. Too often, low-salt dishes lack flavor. However, a number of natural herbs and spices can actually help you lose belly fat, while making your low-calorie dish taste absolutely delicious.

Perhaps the most well-known spice is cinnamon. All your body needs is 1 tablespoon of cinnamon a day to reduce blood sugar, and help prevent diabetes. It can also promote healthy circulation of your blood for increased energy levels. Meanwhile, the spice causes carbs to be digested more efficiently for quicker weight loss. At the same time, cinnamon can significantly lower your bad LDL cholesterol. However, don't go crazy throwing the spice over everything that you eat. Cinnamon contains coumarin, a chemical that can cause your lips and mouth to itch. On a much more severe level, cinnamon can lead to damage to your liver if too much is consumed. Regardless, it is most commonly used on pancakes, French toast and a wide variety of desserts.

Spicy cayenne peppers stimulate your metabolism, as well as your nervous system to make heat. This heat burns up calories for help with weight loss. The spice also increases energy levels and works as an appetite suppressant, causing you to eat less sugar and unhealthy carbs. At one fell swoop, it helps your digestive system, causing gas and bloating to be eliminated. Even your blood pressure can be lowered from cayenne peppers. The spice is used to add a little flavor to bland pieces of chicken and fish, such as salmon, along with bitter vegetables, like eggplant and asparagus. If you simply do not care for spicy foods, you can get a hold of cayenne peppers in pill form.

Commonly used with Asian dishes, ginger can be used as an effective diuretic. Your metabolism will be sped up, quickly burning calories from your frame. The spice also speeds up your digestive system, along with fighting off bad LDL cholesterol in your body. Both dieters and weight lifters rely on the seasoning to help their muscles make use of oxygen. It is even used to reduce vertigo and upset stomachs. In fact, many doctors recommend the spice for pregnant women to decrease morning sickness. Ginger is commonly used on chicken and tofu, as well as added to tea. Not unlike cayenne peppers, ginger can be consumed in the form of capsules to help with weight loss.

Found in just about any kitchen cabinet, black pepper is wonderful for your overall digestion. It actually assists different nutrients in getting absorbed all over your body. Meanwhile, your metabolism is sped up from the pungent tasting spice. Mustard seed has the same positive effect on your metabolism. In fact, medical studies have found that mustard seed can boost your metabolism by a whopping 25% after eating, burning off many more calories from an overweight body. Along with the other beneficial spices, mustard seed is ideal for flavor, as well as help with weight loss.

Postpartum Stretch Marks - How to Treat & Prevent Stretch Marks Post Pregnancy Naturally?

Stretch marks are white or red colored parallel fine lines that are formed on the thighs, hips, breast arms, etc. Medically they are known as striae. They are formed due to over stretching of the skin. Pregnancy and striae go hand in hand. But with some simple precautions and home remedies you can avoid or at least minimize these unwanted lines on your body. Here are some tips to get rid of the postpartum stretch marks.

How to treat & prevent postpartum stretch marks naturally?

· Massage: It is utmost helpful in preventing stretch marks. Actually these marks occur when the skin is expanded beyond its elasticity. Gently rubbing the vulnerable areas with natural elements that compensate the lost collagen (natural protein that forms new skin tissues) makes our skin more elastic. This reduces the chances of having these red colored wrinkles on your belly or the breasts.

For the massage you can apply one among the items given below:

- Olive Oil

- Almond Oil

- Vitamin E

- Aloe Vera Gel

- Cocoa Butter

- Shea Butter

- Wheat Germ Oil

- Jojoba Extracts

· Stay hydrated: You must have at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. This would keep the body hydrated and maintain the smoothness of the skin.

· Bathe with hot water: It opens the pores of the skin and allows it to breath. It helps in avoiding many other health issues as well.

· Castor oil: Apply a thick layer of castor oil on the areas like upper arms, buttocks, lower belly, etc. and cover it with a plastic sheet. Now mildly heat it with hot water bottle or a heating pad for 25 to 45 minutes. It allows the oil to seep into the skin and develop the necessary collagen and elastin.

· Eat a balanced diet: Have diet that is rich in zinc, vitamin A, C & E, proteins etc. It would help the body repair the damaged skin tissue and form new ones.

· Use stretch mark creams: You may choose to massage the required areas with one of the most effective anti stretch marks cream called Captiva. It comprise of all the above mentioned ingredients and some patented peptides. If this ointment is used regularly for the nine months of pregnancy, you would surely have little or no stretch marks. Captiva is also effective in removing the postpartum stretch marks.

Simple and Trusted Fast Safe Home Remedies For Weight Loss

With more and more people grappling with obesity issues owing to a sedentary lifestyle, cramming junk foods with zero nutrition value, various diets and therapies for weight loss has almost become an obsession. Gymnasiums, beauty and wellness clinics and mushrooming weight loss centres are all promulgating weight loss programmes and making tall claims of shedding your flab in minimum time. But beware of many such fake organizations that will not only burn a hole in your pocket but these short-cut solutions can have disastrous effects on your health as well. There are also a lot of popular fast safe home remedies for weight loss that can be beneficial for over-weight people with no adverse effects whatsoever.

It is advisable to always consult your physician to delve into the root cause of the problem causing obesity, and then deal it with scientifically rather than relying on hearsay and applying self-prescribed medications. It is seen that most people go for crash diets and other extreme options in reaction to social ridicule and banter that over-weight people are exposed to. But it is not only the physical appearance of a person that should instigate him/her to lose weight but over-all health that takes a toll due to obesity.

Obesity can lead to various health complications and chronic ailments like high cholesterol levels leading to cardio-vascular problems, blood pressure, hypertension diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea or even heightened risk of cancer to name a few. It can also be the causal factor of infertility, pre-natal and post-natal complications and psychological anomalies like clinical depression with self-esteem hitting the nadir in most cases.

Obesity was earlier tagged as a First World syndrome as abundance is directly proportional to indulgence. But recent statistical findings alarmingly reveal that the malady has percolated down to the Third World as well and affecting people irrespective of country, race, age, gender etc.

Although worldwide researches indicate that the chances of getting afflicted with the disease grows manifold with age, about 27% women and 28% men are obese in the 16-24 age group as opposed to a whopping 68% women and 76% men in the 55-64 age band. But the number of children suffering from obesity has increased in leaps and bounds over the last decade owing to children engaging in less physical activities and getting engrossed in computer games, video games and the zillion other attractions that make them a couch potato!

There are a lot of medical treatment, therapies and even surgeries that helps in weight reduction. Traditional weight loss programmes like Atkins Diet which aims at checking the intake of calories through a diet regimen, popping obesity pills with short-term benefits and the final resort of Bariatric surgery or gastric reduction surgery in cases of severe obesity issues are some of the common ones.

Alternative medicine has also gained ground in the last few years with yoga, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, Hypnosis etc having miraculous effects on patients suffering from obesity. Drinking organic green tea which has detoxifying characteristics, lemon juice with a dash of honey, lots of water in general helps cleansing your system. Eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables with high fibre content, avoiding oily, fatty and processed foods, abstaining from alcohol with regular exercise are some great fast safe home remedies for weight loss which can work wonders in curbing obesity.

So there's hope on the horizon for all plus-sized individuals who can cut the excess flab out and fight obesity to lead a healthy life increasing your overall life expectancy.

Unsettled Baby in 2010

In 2010 parents face many issues and obstacles that can lead to an unsettled baby. Any parent caring for an unsettled baby who will not sleep or feed properly will understand how distressing and exhausting both physically and emotionally this can be. I would like to briefly outline some of the areas that could be causing unsettled behaviour in a baby which may shed some light on what parents could do to help. I will break this into four age groups for easy reading:

0 - 4 months

• Maternal anxiety and emotional challenges which could lead to maternal postnatal depression. This fragile emotional state is reflected in a baby's behaviour.
- readjusting to home life after leaving employment
- isolation from a partner working away or no extended family support
- confusion from the abundance of 'helpful' advice
- relationship breakdown with the added pressure of a baby
- over conscientious personality with a high needs baby
• Overstimulated baby
- too many visitors
- too many outings
- bright lights
- shopping centres (some personalities more than others)
• Personality mix of a mother and her baby (Dr Sears)
• Intolerance
- wrong formula
- maternal diet imbalance if breast feeding (commonly high sugar or dairy intake)
• Colic or reflux pain and discomfort
• Digestive disturbances from spinal subluxations occurring at birth (Paediatric trained Chiropractor can assist with relieving this)
• Hungry
• Over fed
• Not ready to self settle and sleep

4 - 9 months

• Food intolerance and imbalance in a baby's diet
• Preservatives
• Increase in carbohydrates to protein and fats ratio
• Hungry requiring either more milk feeds or solids
• Overtired, rushed or overstimulated (media imaging)
• Recovering from or suffering from an illness
• Situation
-returning from holidays
-moving house
-dad works away
-too many trips in and out of the car, drop offs and carers
• 'sleep associations' that do not suit individual child or situation
• Lack of suitable and consistent routine

9 - 18 months

• All of the above age group suggestions
• Parents trying too hard to get things right or comparing their baby to others without recognising individual development. This can lead to maternal anxiety, tension and depression
• A baby not having enough activity and stimulation to adequately prepare them for sleep

18 months onward

• Fears developing from what is seen or heard in books, media and situations witnessed or experienced at Day Care
• Night terrors occurring in the earlier part of the night
• Nightmares occurring in the earlier hours of the morning
• Lack of consistent and predictable routine
• Poor diet

Not all sleep issues or babies are the same, therefore different strategies maybe required. Some of these a parent will be able to fix themselves while others may require professional help.

First Period After Pregnancy - Helping You Understand It And Deal With It

The experience of first period after pregnancy is not the same in every woman. Some women will have their first period four to six weeks after delivery, while other women will have their first period four to six months after delivery. There are a number of factors that affect the return of the ovulation cycle. Your understanding of these factors will help you deal with your first period after pregnancy.

Breastfeeding And Periods

Every woman who is breastfeeding or is going to breastfeed her child must understand that breastfeeding is going to affect her ovulation cycle. Some women who are breastfeeding will not experience any period while they are nursing their child. On the other hand, some women will start bleeding after four to six months of delivering.

Breastfeeding can cause irregular periods in nursing mothers. When your body is producing milk, your pituitary glands will produce more prolactin, a substance known to suppress ovarian functions. However, some women will not experience irregular periods while breastfeeding, while some will find that they are ovulating in some months and not in others. So there is no need to worry if you are having irregular period after pregnancy. If you are still confused you can always consult your doctor for more information.

Your First Period After Pregnancy

While the first period after pregnancy varies in women, most women will find their first period weird. You have not been ovulating during your pregnancy period, so when you start bleeding vaginally you might feel a little strange. Your first period is likely to be heavy and painful. Remember that your body has not been ovulating for the past nine or more months; therefore the first period is going to be heavy on your body.

However, you must not confuse your vaginal bleeding after delivery with your first period. After delivery your body will discharge the blood, tissue and mucus that had formed the lining of your uterus. Bleeding would start heavy and red in color. You might even see few small clots on your pads or in the toilet. There is nothing to worry; however, if you see large clots you must consult your doctor.

Your first period after pregnancy might signal the return of your fertility, but is not always the case. However, if you do not wish to get pregnant during this period you should use start using contraception.

Life after pregnancy is going to be different for sure. You have your bundle of joy and you also have to think about other factors in your life, like caring for your body, the right time to resume work after pregnancy, etc. Read as much as you can on life during and after pregnancy as this will help you a great deal in dealing with various issues. The more information that you have the better you will be in dealing with your first period after pregnancy and other post pregnancy issues.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Review Of Pregnancy Miracle To Help You Get Pregnant Naturally

Are you trying to get pregnant, but having no success? There is a system called Pregnancy Miracle which has been designed to combat infertility using ancient Chinese techniques. It is 100% natural and has proven success with women over the age of 40.

There are lots of couples who believe that they're infertile and can only dream of having a baby boy or girl. If this sounds like you, then Pregnancy Miracle can in reality make your dreams come true and make you happy parents.

This Chinese, ancient system that aids in how to get pregnant is actually a fraction of the cost compared with other non-natural pregnancy products like medication or IVF.

With the help of professional Chinese medical researchers, nutrition specialists and couples who have used the product to overcome infertility, Pregnancy Miracle is now extremely effective in natural get pregnant methods.

Below are a list of problems that the product maybe able to end - allowing you to become pregnant safer and faster in most cases.

Common Problems Which The System Is Designed To Provide A Cure

  • Struggling with a higher degree of FSH.

  • Uterus Scarring or Fibroids

  • You've Endometriosis also as PCOS.

  • Tubal Obstruction.

  • Multiple miscarriages.

  • Lazy or affected by Ovarian Cysts.

  • The male partner's sperm count is lower than the needed count.

Below you will the key benefits that the Chinese system provides

  • Fewer complications which will lead to a pleasant, natural pregnancy.

  • It works with nature so the idea is to have you pregnant within 2 months. This also applies to women over the age of 40.

  • The team who developed the system has the proven skills to remove all infertility aspects whether it's the man or woman. All their research is based on getting pregnant naturally.

  • Focused on getting rid of any negative infertility thoughts which then allows you to improve the quality of life. Again, for both the man and women.

  • Because it's 100% natural there's no nasty side effects in comparison with processes such as IVF or any medication.

  • Your dream of turning out to be parents can actually come true within 2 months. Their experts can prove this terrific point.

  • The problems of infertility are reversed through which a woman can become pregnant fairly quickly and can give birth to a healthy baby with less any complications.

  • Pregnancy Miracle is proven to help a women over the age of 40 to get pregnant far easier. Testimonials from pleased customers are shown on their website.

How To Save On The Cost Of IVF Medicines And Fertility Drugs

The Cost of IVF

The cost of IVF is almost prohibitively high for most people. A young couple that finds out they have fertility difficulties and will need fertility treatments to begin building their family generally has very little in the way of savings. As well, any savings they do have will generally already have been earmarked for something like buying a house, or other such large and pre-planned, expenses. Finding out that one must embark on the path of fertility treatments is going to turn one's life around completely. And that is even before they find out about the cost of IVF and other fertility treatments!

In the United States, where IVF treatments and IVF medicines are not generally covered under the average health insurance plans, the cost of IVF is astronomical. The average cost falls within a range of about $10,000 to about $15,000, with the possibility that it could cost much more. The cost of IVF is dependent on many factors; the state and city in which you live, the particular clinic and doctor involved, the type of medicines the doctor prescribes, and how much, along with how many cycles of treatment it takes for any particular couple to see a successful pregnancy.

Cutting The Cost Of IVF

There are some ways that can be employed to help a couple cut down on the costs of IVF and to help make it more affordable. There are some organizations that help out with the funding, for families that qualify under their terms. One can compare clinics and doctors, and the prices charged, and save a little money by selecting a doctor or clinic that is not the most expensive.

The one method to cut down on the cost of IVF is by finding an alternate source for purchasing the fertility drugs. Some people have tried to search the Internet for the various IVF medications at cheaper prices, and have had some success in buying them at cheaper prices. One can find people selling their unused fertility drugs, such as Follistim or Menopur, on eBay or other such sites, at discounted prices. The problem with this is that when you buy the fertility drugs from random people on the Internet, you have no idea what you are getting. You might be buying expired drugs or you might be buying the remnants of an opened package of fertility drugs. If you are already spending so much money, and even at discounted prices it is not cheap, you don't want to be buying drugs that will lessen your chances of a successful cycle of IVF treatment.

What you can do to cut down the cost of the fertility drugs to find an online pharmacy that specializes in IVF medications and fertility drugs. The online pharmacies, even if they are based out of a bricks and mortar pharmacy somewhere, all sell the IVF medicines for cheaper prices than what they are sold for in the actual drugstores.

The Online Pharmacy Selling Fertility Drugs

If you search out for a reputable online pharmacy that has a division concentrating on fertility drugs, you can rest assured that you are buying, at discounted prices, the same exact top quality drugs you would be buying at your local neighborhood pharmacy, while saving up to 30% of the cost, and sometimes even more, of the fertility drugs.

While the cost of fertility treatments is still high, even after these savings, finding a way to save a few hundred, or even thousand, dollars, depending on the IVF medications prescribed, can be a big help to such a young couple trying to start their young family, making it that much more affordable.

10 Things Not to Say to a New Mom

So you've just experienced the miracle of birth. Isn't it wonderful. And now you are the proud and exhausted mum of the cutest little angel in the world. Family and friends come over to coo. Everyone is smiling and celebrating this new life.

Well, everyone that is except certain individuals, who for reasons known only to themselves, are incapable of being supportive and can't resist saying the most insensitive things.

Why these people feel compelled to steer away from the customary, "what a cutie," "well done new mum," and "is there anything you need?" remains a mystery. But they do. And more often than not, we've all had to endure at least one such person.

So here are ten asinine comments that no new mom wants to hear:

1) "You look so well and relaxed."
Actually I've lost a ton of blood, have stitches down below, my nipples feel like they've been through a cheese grater, I haven't had a bowel movement in ten days, and I've slept less than three consecutive hours in the last two weeks. I am NOT well and relaxed, and the fact that you can't see that only serves to increase my feeling of isolation. I can't believe I ever chose such a self-absorbed person as a friend.

2) "You need a break. Leave the baby with your mum and I'll take you out to dinner."
Thanks but when my mum takes the baby off my hands, I'll relax by SLEEPING!

3) "Aren't you just absolutely and insanely in love with your new baby?"
Actually right now I am in the process of bonding with my baby. Yes believe it or not, bonding is a process.

4) "I can't believe you didn't hear about that hurricane in....?"
Well believe it! Because right now, current events are not a priority.

5) "I can't talk to you like we used to. All you talk about is babies."
Why don't you bear with me for a few weeks?!. As soon as I get the hang of this insanely steep learning curve, I'll be back to my old self. Though I might reconsider whether I'll still want YOU as a friend!

6) "Have a glass of wine."
Looking after a new baby is hard enough. I don't need the added challenge of doing it with a hangover!

7) "It's selfish not to breast feed."
Get your own baby and mind your own business!

8) "I remember when my son/daughter was that age."
I don't want to hear from people whose son/daughter is no longer that age. I want to hear
only from people who are suffering the sleepless nights, lack of freedom and steep learning curve. The fact that you went through it and now have your freedom back is not something I need to hear at this particular point in time.

9) "I lost all the baby weight in the first week."
There is no civilized response to this.

10) "Are you planning another baby?"
I've just squeezed out this one. Right now I'm not even planning another bowel movement, let alone a baby. What is even going through your head?!

I'm sure there are many more insensitive no no's out there. So feel free to share some of the outrageous 'advice' to which you have been subjected.

Occasionally though, someone will surprise you with advice that will resonate and carry you through the toughest times. I'd like to share the two most important pieces of advice that I ever received, and that repeatedly kept me sane in those times of doubt.

1) Always bear in mind that everything your child does is a phase. So if he won't eat this week, he'll probably be over it by next week. If he throws a tantrum, he will grow out of it. If he likes to fling food on the floor, he won't still be doing it years from now.

2) All babies develop at their own rates, so just because your best friend's precocious little thing is up and running at 8 months of age, while yours isn't even showing signs of crawling, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your baby. Chances are your friend is exhausted and jealous of your super chilled little angel.

So moms don't worry about baby's fluctuating appetite, bowel movements, size of baby, time to grasp, time to crawl or time to walk. Your aim in that first year is to effectively sleep train your baby and to show him / her lots of affection.

Oh yes, and try not to strangle those insensitive people who simply, for the life of them, can't bring themselves to say something intelligent.

Overcome Infertility - Endometrial Lining Causes of Infertility

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. In this article, we will discuss the endometrial lining causes of infertility.

I. Definition
The endometrium is the inner membrane of the women uterus. It helps to support the fertilized egg. Under influence of the high levels of estrogen at the early part of the menstrual cycle, the endometrial lining become thick then become soft once ovulation occurs when progesterone is produced with high amount to support embryo implantation.

II. Endometrial lining Causes of infertility
1. Adenomyosis
Adenomyosis happens most likely in the late of woman life and who has had several pregnancy. It is classified as a medical condition of endometrial cell grows within the muscular walls of the uterus causing symptoms similar to those of endometriosis. It may interfere with the embryo implantation if the uterine tissue extends through entire region of the uterine wall resulting in infertility and miscarriage.

2. Endometrial hyperplasia
Endometrial hyperplasia is defined as overgrowth or thickening of the uterus lining as resulting of high levels of estrogen and insufficient levels by of progesterone leading miss ovulation and infertility.

3. Endometriosis
Endometriosis is defined as cells of endometrium grow somewhere else other than in the endometrium. Normally, endometriosis not travel far but around the uterus region. It interferes with the ovulation and embryo implantation leading to infertility and miscarriage.

4. Endometritis
Endometritis is defined as infection or inflammation of the uterine lining caused by pelvic infection or sexual transmitting diseases leading to miscarriage for pregnant women.

Help! I'm Pregnant and Constipated

With my first pregnancy I was so paranoid about every thing so I ended up being really careful not to get constipated. However, with my second, I was more preoccupied, with a toddler, and so I found myself constipated on more then one occasion.

If you are like I was and suffering from constipation while pregnant then I may be of assistance to you. There are things you can do to help, however, it is better to do them before you get constipated rather then waiting until you are.

1. Eat high-fiber foods. Fruits, vegetables and certain cereals are high in fiber. I also purchase Wheat Germ and Bran and added it to just about everything I ate including cheeseburgers, meatloaf, eggs and cereal. Normally adding 1-2 tsp to an egg or two is plenty and will keep constipation at bay.

2. Water, water, and more water. During pregnancy so many women neglect drinking water. I understand, having the bathroom become you main scenery is not fun, so cutting back on fluid intake seems like the right thing to do. However, it isn't, not only will it cause constipation but by not drinking enough fluid your bladder will actually weaken and then cause you to go more often.

3. Exercise can also be very helpful. Getting regular exercise can help your bowels work properly. If you feel like you need to go, taking a walk can sometimes help.

4. Do not take laxatives unless your doctor has okay-ed it. Laxatives can cause stomach cramps which can send you into preterm labor. If you need something over the counter to help then try a stool softener. If you are really desperate talk to your physician, he may have you take a light laxative and stay for observation.

Pregnant in Prison - A Recipe for High-Risk Pregnancy

As a mom who was unaware of the issues surrounding these moms-to-be, I was troubled when I read that women are "the fastest growing segment of the prison population."1 Over a 30 year period, the number of imprisoned women went from 11,212 to nearly 113,000 women.1, 2

Within this population are huge state-to-state and regional disparities. In 2004, more than 10 times more women were imprisoned in Oklahoma than in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.1 Though the reasons for such differences are beyond the scope of this article, those states with high female imprisonment rates need to prepare for the very real issue of pregnant women within their system. More women= more moms-to-be in jail.

So, why the rise in women calling prison their home? According to The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, "Women have borne a disproportionate burden of the war on drugs, resulting in a monumental increase of women who are facing incarceration for the first time, overwhelmingly for non-violent offenses."3 When compared to men, the crimes of incarcerated women are typically non-violent offenses, and often the result of alcohol, drug, and property offenses.4

The Reality: Pregnancy and Incarceration

Six to ten percent of women entering jail are pregnant.5 The nature of this population means the majority fall within the classification of "high-risk." Medical problems that negatively affect pregnancy outcomes are common. These include: diabetes, epilepsy, HIV, hypertension, cardiac and renal diseases. Also, many of these women have not received adequate medical care prior to their imprisonment. They are more likely to smoke, be heavy drinkers and use illicit drugs.6 These factors have a significant impact on their requirements for increased (often specialized) prenatal care, as well as their need for education, counseling and substance abuse treatment programs throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Prematurity: A Difficult and Complex Problem in Obstetrics

A racial disparity exists, not only within the prison population where 67% are non-white6, but also in preterm birth (PTB) where Black women have the highest rates (17.5%), followed by Hispanics (12.1%), then Whites (11.1%).7 Research has shown that Black women are three to four times more likely to have their babies very early (between 20 and 24 weeks), in part because of their predisposition to infections.8 Many of the problems discussed mirror the risk factors for PTB (a birth occurring at less than 37 weeks gestation). PTB is a major global issue, where sadly the US ranks worse than most other developed countries. The conditions described in this article all contribute to prematurity.

The risk factors for early birth, the leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality, are those with8:

•A history of pregnancy loss or PTB ( #1 risk factor)

•Womb abnormalities or carrying multiple babies

•A family history of PTB


•Periodontal disease*

•Bacterial vaginosis (BV)*, and other genital infections like trichomoniasis, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea.

•High stress*

•A history of cervical surgeries (including multiple D&C/abortions)*

As well as:

•Black women (who have a higher risk if they are underweight or overweight)*

•Obese women with a BMI of 35 or more or those with a low BMI


•Heavy smokers*

•Those taking certain antidepressants

•Unemployed women*

•Heavy drinkers, cocaine or heroin users*

* These factors are highly likely in incarcerated pregnant women.

Of Special Concern for Prison Healthcare Personnel8 (Edited excerpts from the book High-Risk Pregnancy- Why Me?)

Based on risk factors of women within the prison system, certain conditions and issues are likely to be encountered in this environment. The following are probable pregnancy issues medical personnel may be faced with when working with this special needs population.

Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes (PPROM)

Who's at Risk? Women who:

* Have had a previous PTB

* Are at an economic disadvantage

* Have a low BMI

* Have had a cerclage or biopsy procedures to their cervix

* Are experiencing early contractions

* Have a urinary tract infection or STD

* Are experiencing vaginal bleeding

* Are smokers

Women with suspected early ruptures should immediately be provided specialized care and confirmation using NitrazineTM paper and/or observation of "ferning." An appropriate management plan under the direction of a perinatologist should be devised depending on the type of rupture (remote from term, near term, etc.). (Women with term ruptures should also be evaluated/monitored immediately.) Other management options will likely include hospitalization throughout the duration of the pregnancy, antibiotics, antenatal corticosteroids and routine monitoring for infection/contractions. Important: care should be taken to limit (preferably avoid) internal examinations to reduce the risk of infection/inflammation. (This is the largest problem faced by providers when managing PPROM, along with preterm contractions.)


This condition only affects women and their unborn babies during pregnancy, typically after 20 weeks, or during the six-week period after birth. Preeclampsia is present in about 5-8% of pregnancies. Since imprisoned women are more likely to suffer from hypertension, it is extremely important to monitor these women for this condition. (The #1 risk factor is having had this before, followed by women with a high BMI, a history of chronic hypertension, diabetes, or a kidney disorder, as well as those over 40 or under 18.) Regular prenatal visits are mandatory to track and manage the possible onset. If detected, specialized care must be sought to develop an appropriate monitoring program for the health and safety of mom and baby. (Note: Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) has been shown to provide a significant reduction in the incidence of severe preeclampsia, hypertension and IUGR. Magnesium sulfate is another common drug used.)

Warning signs all providers working with pregnant women should be aware of:

* Hypertension of 140/90 or greater, observed twice within a six-hour period. A rise in the diastolic of 15 degrees or more or a rise in the systolic of 30 degrees or more is cause for concern, especially with other symptoms.

* Edema, especially in the hands and face.

* Protein in the urine. A 1+ or higher could mean the start of preeclampsia, even if blood pressure is below the threshold. A 2+ is a major red flag.

* Sudden weight gain of more than two pounds in a week or six pounds in a month (though, this isn't the most reliable detection method).

* Migraine-like headaches that don't go away, even when treated.

* Nausea and/or vomiting in the second or third trimester (not to be confused with a stomach bug or food poisoning).

* Changes in vision, such as temporary loss of vision, a sensation of flashing lights, heightened sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or spots before the eyes. This is a very serious symptom and should be checked out immediately.

* Stomach pain beneath the ribs on the right side of the body and/or right shoulder pain. This can be mistaken for heartburn, indigestion or kicking.

* Sudden and specific lower back pain, different from the normal aching in the lower back. This is a possible sign of HELLP or other liver problems, especially if patient is displaying other symptoms of preeclampsia.

* Hyperreflexia.

Placental Abruption

This occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus due to internal bleeding, sometime between the twentieth week and when the baby is born. A hematoma further separates the placenta from the uterine wall, causing compression and compromise of the blood supply to the baby. Though quite rare, only occurring in 1% of pregnancies, it is included here since women with hypertension (the most common cause, occurring in 44% of all cases), diabetics, heavy smokers and/or drinkers, or a history of cocaine use are at a higher risk.

Tests to determine this condition include: abdominal ultrasound, complete blood counts, pelvic exams, fibrinogen levels, partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time. Placental abruption should be suspected when a pregnant mother has sudden localized abdominal pain with or without bleeding. The top of the uterus (fundus) may have to be monitored, as a rising fundus can indicate bleeding. Early recognition and proper management are key.

Symptoms of Placental Abruption

* 80% have vaginal bleeding.

* 70% have abdominal or back pain and uterine tenderness.

* 60% of the babies show fetal distress.

* 35% have abnormal uterine contractions.

* 25% experience premature labor.

Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

Newborns are considered to have had restricted growth when their birth weight and/or length is below the 10th percentile for their gestational age and they have an abdominal circumference below the 2.5th percentile.

This is a complex issue with multiple etiologies. There are, however, several well-known risk factors including: alcohol abuse, drug addiction, poor nutrition and smoking. Ultrasounds for diagnosis and delivery of the baby at the right time, not too early and not too late, are necessary for the effective treatment in pregnancies affected. (Fundal height monitoring can also help to detect growth restricted babies, but ultrasounds are more accurate/ideal.) If IUGR is identified, monitoring should then include vessel analysis and biophysical testing every week or two, depending on the situation.

Short Cervical Length, Preterm Labor, Incompetent Cervix (IC), Infection

These are complex topics within the Obstetrical arena with thousands of studies and just as many opinions. They are either directly or indirectly related to each other, so due to space constraints, I bundled them together. Below is a brief summary of the recent research, treatments and strategies.

Risk Factors for Short Cervix (and IC) and the Chance of a Premature Baby

* Previous cervical surgery, including laser cone biopsy, cold-knife conization, or Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP)

* Damage from a previous traumatic birth

* A malformed cervix or uterus

* Previous trauma on the cervix from D&C, multiple abortions

* Deficiencies in cervical collagen and elastin

* Genetic susceptibility/environmental factors (infection, inflammation, uterine activity)

A preventative cerclage, a piece of "string" which is looped in and around the cervix to reinforce it, should be considered for all women with a history of spontaneous second trimester losses, those who've had large portions of their cervix removed, etc. Prison medical providers should seek the guidance of a specialist in these cases.

Cervical Length - A Preemie Predictor

There's general consensus, which is backed by the research, that the shorter the cervix, the greater the risk of an early delivery. (A short cervix is commonly defined as ≤2.5 cm prior to 24 weeks gestation.)

Transvaginal sonography (TVU) - has increased the ability to predict and even treat women at risk of a premature baby by measuring cervical length.

Suggested TVU Screening Scenario:

* One check at around 18-22 weeks in low-risk women

* For high-risk women - e.g., those with a prior preterm birth - two checks, one at 14-18 weeks and another at 18-22 weeks

* For extremely high-risk women - i.e., those with a history of a second-trimester loss or very early spontaneous preterm birth - TVUs are recommended every two weeks from 14 until 24 weeks.

Understanding the Numbers:

* A length of less than 2.5 cm is best for predicting an early birth. The earlier a short length is seen, the higher the risk.

* A cerclage should be considered in high-risk women with a cervix shorter than 2.5 cm (prior to 24 weeks). The reduction in preterm birth following a cerclage has been shown to be about 30%.

* Cervical length of greater than 3.0 cm at 24 weeks = low risk of an early delivery.

Provider Options to Managing Early Birth

•In situations of preterm labor, providers need to consider whether there is an underlying problem, such as infection, triggering it. There are many side effects, with the use of tocolytics, to both mom and baby, so experience in this area is required. Research has shown promise in the ability of these medications to extend pregnancy to allow for transfer and steroid administration, as well as stopping a bout of preterm labor (specifically, Nifedipine due it's overall safety profile and Indomethacin).

•17 Alpha-Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate (aka 17P or progesterone) is a hormone which is shown to reduce PTB by 33% in women with a history of a prior early birth. Every woman with a history of a spontaneous early birth should be prescribed this medication during pregnancy. (Low-risk women with cervical shortening of ≤2.5 cm vaginal progesterone has demonstrated a substantial decrease in delivery before 33 weeks, as well as reduced neonatal morbidity and mortality.9)

•Fetal Fibronectin (FFN) swabbing is a test used to help "predict" the likelihood that the patient will deliver within 7-10 days. A negative equates to a >90% confidence that the woman will not deliver during this period. There is a huge range of variability with positive results, meaning only about 9-46% confidence. When swabbing of the cervix confirms the presence of fetal fibronectin (FFN) after 22 weeks, a link to PTB has been shown to exist. (Combined FFN swabbing and cervical length determination is the ideal approach when determining management plans for symptomatic women.)

•Steroids should be considered for women being treated for preterm labor between 24 and 34 weeks (dexamethasone or betamethasone).They are given as a series of shots in the muscle, two shots 24 hours apart, or 4 shots 12 hours apart. The use of steroids has drastically reduced preemie death rates, respiratory distress syndrome and intraventricular hemorrhage.

Make Adequate Prenatal Care, Nutrition and Education a Priority

Though an extremely complex issue, it's important to provide these moms-to-be proper care and nutrition throughout imprisonment to meet their additional needs during the antepartum period and to help ensure healthy outcomes for mom and baby. This would ensure they "are not further compromised by poor care during imprisonment."6 Pregnant women with specific problems, such as diabetes or hypertension, need to have access to specialist care.

It should be noted that studies have shown that there may actually be a beneficial effect for babies when mom is imprisoned, by providing food (leading to higher birth weights), shelter, protection from abusive partners, access to prenatal care, and moderation/elimination of alcohol and drug use.6, 10, 11 Though, there still appears to be much needed improvements within many state systems in order to meet the needs of this specialized population. The Rebecca Project reported that 38 states received a failing grade in prenatal care, which include inadequate policies, prenatal care, nutrition, screening and treatment for women with high-risk pregnancies.3

Providing education, with a combination of written through the library and on-site classes are ideal and should be a priority. Women should be provided the opportunity to educate themselves about pregnancy, what they can expect, body changes, potential risk factors, signs, symptoms or issues they should be aware of (such as the signs and symptoms of PTB, PPROM or preeclampsia), the importance of proper nutrition, etc.

Steps for Medical Personnel to Help Ensure Healthier Pregnancies

•Every incoming female should be tested for pregnancy as soon as possible to identify those who will need antenatal care. An ultrasound should be performed on all pregnant inmates to determine gestation. (Note: First trimester ultrasounds are more accurate for pregnancy dating than later ultrasound testing.)

•All pregnant women should take prenatal vitamins with folic acid as soon as they arrive in the facility or are identified. Along with preventing neural-tube defects, it has also been shown to reduce PTB. (Education about the benefits to the baby's development may help with compliance within this population. Explaining to mom that her baby could be severely disabled or die as a result of not taking vitamins may help her to better understand the needs of her developing baby, hence, improve her willingness to participate.)

•Programs within the system should include smoking cessation, as well as comprehensive alcohol and drug programs. These behaviors are linked to not only PTB, but low birth weight, IUGR, PPROM, placenta previa and placental abruption.

•A FULL and DETAILED medical history should be obtained for every pregnant woman by a trained obstetrical provider (including detailed discussions around risk factors). This evaluation should be used to determine the specific needs of each woman and the likelihood of pregnancy issues and early birth. (Sadly, actual access to prenatal care has been shown to be sparse and inconsistent within the prison system, which was designed to meet the needs of males.3)

•Women should be screened and treated for sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

•Programs which meet the specific nutritional needs of pregnant women must be implemented (and followed). (Proper nutrition reduces the risk of PTB, certain birth defects and low birth weight babies.)

•As stated previously, education materials and one-on-one discussions to help women better understand their situation/needs and pregnancy/birth in general should be mandatory.

The Doula Perspective - Birth and the Confined Mom

As a doula (a woman who assists women and families during the birth process, physically and emotionally), I couldn't let this article go without a mention of labor and delivery for imprisoned moms.

•Thirty-six states received a failing grade for their shackling practices of pregnant women.3 Shackling should ONLY be reserved for the most violent of offenders (so a very small fragment of the female prison population) or those with a previous escape attempt. This practice is not only a health and safety issue, it is inhumane and falls under cruel and unusual punishment. (I couldn't imagine giving birth while tied up.)

•States should evaluate the use of prison nursery programs which help foster the bond between mom and baby. (Thirty-eight states failed for not offering this to new imprisoned moms.3)

•Pregnant inmates should have a plan for their birth in a hospital or birth center. Under no circumstances should a woman give birth in her jail cell.

•Every mom-to-be should receive education regarding the labor and birth process, help developing a birth plan (her choices for pain relief, etc.) and should be allowed to have someone there for support during her birth (ideally family, significant other, or a doula for non-violent, low-risk offenders). Prison doula programs should be considered to help support and educate incarcerated pregnant women.

•The basic needs of pregnant women should be met, even during imprisonment (adequate beds, pillows and clothing to manage body changes and back pain).

Even Small Changes Matter

The complexity of issues regarding pregnancy and prison must be overwhelming to those who work within and manage the prison system. Even baby steps can lead to great change. Each in turn, will make a positive difference and impact within the population you serve. Providing mothers and babies with a healthy start trickles down to shape a better future for children born to imprisoned women.


1. Frost NA, Greene J, Pranis K. HARD HIT: The Growth in the Imprisonment of Women, 1977-2004. Institute on Women & Criminal Justice (The Punitiveness Report) May 2006

2. Guerino P, Harrison PM, Sabol WJ. U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2010; Dec. 2011, NCJ 236096

3. Saar MS, Bisnott B, Mathon-Mathieu F, et al. The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, National Women's Law Center, Mothers Behind Bars: A state-by-state report card and analysis of federal policies on conditions of confinement for pregnant and parenting women and the effect on their children. Oct 2010

4. Hotelling BA. Perinatal Needs of Pregnant, Incarcerated Women. J Perinatal Education 2008;17(2):37-44.

5. Clarke JG, Phipps M, Tong I, et al. Timing of conception for pregnant women returning to jail. J Correct Health Care 2010;16(2):133-138.

6. Knight M, Plugge E. Risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes in imprisoned pregnant women: a systematic review. BMC Public Health 2005;5(111).

7. Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary Data for 2008. National Vital Statistics Reports 2010;58(16).

8. Whitehead, Kelly. High-Risk Pregnancy- Why Me? Understanding and Managing a Potential Preterm Pregnancy. A Medical and Emotional Guide. McAfee, New Jersey. Evolve Publishing, 2012.

9. Romero R, Nicolaides K, Conde-Agudelo A. Vaginal progesterone in women with an asymptomatic sonographic short cervix in the midtrimester decreases preterm delivery and neonatal morbidity: a systematic review and metaanalysis of individual patient data. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2012;206(2):e1-124.

10. Tanner R. Pregnancy outcomes at the Indiana Women's Prison. J Correct Health Care 2010;16(3):216-219.

11. Knight M, Plugge E. The outcomes of pregnancy among imprisoned women: a systematic review. BJOG 2005;112(11):1467-1474.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tips on How to Locate the Best Wholesale Apparel Suppliers

The key to a successful retail clothing business is providing the latest clothes to customers. Whether your retail business is aimed at catering to the male or female audience, you need to make sure that you provide the latest and the best clothing in men's, women's, kids or teens wear. In a retail clothing business, suppliers play a very key role in providing fashionable clothes in a timely manner. Therefore, you should focus on partnering with reputed apparel exporters who are capable of meeting your requirements on time.

How to Find a Reliable Supplier?
Internet is the best place to locate different types of apparel manufacturers, suppliers and exporters. Before you choose to conduct business with any of the business contacts that you may find online, you should first perform a background check on the wholesale apparel suppliers of your choice. Interact with them personally to understand their knowledge, capabilities, business terms and conditions, etc. Select at least two suppliers and compare their service procedures as well as pricing. Give a small order to know whether they are able to understand your business needs and provide timely delivery of orders.

Important Factors to Consider While Searching For Suppliers
The type of apparel supplier you hire will largely affect your business prospects and hence you have to make a very careful but informed decision when choosing apparel exporters. Determine the audience that your store caters to. Decide on the category of clothing you want to provide such as formals, casuals, party wear, ethnic or a combination of all. Check whether the supplier of your choice will be able to cater to your requirements. Consider the location of the exporter, quality of his products, customer service and support reputation, payment policies, insurance coverage, terms and conditions.

What Types Of Suppliers Can You Find On Online Directories?
Online directories feature a variety of industries which are further categorized according to their products and services, thus simplifying the whole search process. There are different types of wholesale apparel suppliers listed in online directories, each of them specializing in different types of apparels for different age groups. Some of the suppliers listed in these directories specialize in formal dress suits, tuxedo, wedding and evening dresses, leisure wear, sportswear, jackets, skirts, tank tops, winter wear, adult foot wear, lingerie, maternity clothing, nightwear, children's clothing and foot wear, head gear, neck ties, scarves and fashion accessories. Some of these exporters also offer variety of raw materials for shoes and belts, design services, shoe machinery and tools and a whole lot of other services.

Sexual Positions to Help You Get Pregnant Faster

Believe it or not, certain positions can help you get pregnant faster. There are actually some positions that help the sperm meet the egg faster. As you know, a woman's egg can only live for twenty-four hours while a man's sperm can live for a few days. So, if the sperm does not get to the egg immediately, the egg may not live long to be fertilized. Hence, no pregnancy will take place. If you want to get pregnant soon, you need to avoid having sex while sitting down or standing up. These positions will not expose your cervix to your partner's sperm. It is also advisable to prevent the sperm from flowing out of your vagina. In addition, you must position your hips in a way that your partner's released sperm is kept inside. This is to give it sufficient time to swim up to your cervix.

Anyway, you can do the missionary position. This position is, in fact, the best position for getting pregnant. It allows very deep penetrations; hence, letting the sperms go nearer the cervix. Then, you can also try raising your hips during sexual intercourse. You can place a pillow beneath your buttocks to serve as support and cushion. This will enable you to expose your cervix to as much semen as your partner can discharge. You may want to try dog style, as well. This rear entry position in which your partner will enter you from behind is also great. Experts also recommend it because it will allow your partner's sperm to deposit close to your cervix. Thus, your chances of getting pregnant will increase.

Another good sexual position is the side-by-side or the spoon. If you lay side by side with your partner while having sex, you will be exposing your cervix to more sperms. So, it will be possible for your egg to become fertilized much sooner. Furthermore, you have to make sure that you have fun during sexual intercourse. While this may seem like a no-brainer, some couples actually treat sex as a task rather than a pleasurable activity. Also, studies have shown that orgasm can lead to contractions that can push the sperm higher into the cervix. So, you can enjoy having sex while increasing your chances of getting pregnant.

Malay Massage Postnatal Care: Taking Care Of Mommy

Caring for your newborn might be your first concern after giving birth, but you should also learn to take care of yourself. As a mother who just gave birth, you have a number of challenges to face - physical, psychological, and wellness hurdles that Malay massage can help you overcome.

Physiological Postnatal Care

Even before you were pregnant you always took care of your body and your physique - and this task is more significant now that your body just underwent one of life's most perilous and strenuous processes. You could be experiencing aches, pains, and tumultuous internal changes caused by lingering hormonal imbalances.

Malay massage is a traditional eastern massage reserved for postnatal care, where it is used in conjunction with other traditional practices such as postnatal wraps. It effectively soothes sores and helps the body relax and heal itself - and used alongside oils, herbs, and other wellness tools, you can be certain your physiological postnatal care basics are covered.

Postnatal Stress Relief

Aches, sores, and pains are not the only discomfort you will experience after giving birth, however. Your still raging hormones will lead you to become more easily stressed as you are more easily tired in your current state. This stress can accumulate with devastating results, such as postnatal depression.

The art of Malay massage - being a holistic wellness practice - helps reduce stress levels within the body. Better yet, as its traditional roots are tailor suited for postnatal care, it can potentially work better than other wellness massage therapies.

Psychological Postnatal Care

After taking care of your body's pains and you're the stress your mind is under, there is one more item in the itinerary that most new mothers are greatly concerned over: getting back in shape. Being a mother does not entail being less beautiful or confident than you once were, and most mothers are challenged with the task of getting their figures back after childbirth.

The core function of traditional Malay massage along with the many other traditional implements that accompany it is to prepare for postnatal fitness, with one focus being the re-acquisition of a mother's "pre-baby" figure. It is one of few massages designed specifically with this endeavor in mind.

Birthing a child into the world is a rewarding experience, but it is also a very strenuous process that has long- lasting effects. Caring for the mother as a woman is important after birth, when bodily changes from within and without cause great discomfort and stress.

Pregnancy - An Introduction to Pregnancy Health Care Issues

It feels so great when you are about to become a mom, especially when you are expecting for the first time. It is such a good feeling, yet a delicate situation of your life. Some of the pregnancy health issues include what to do, how to do, what to eat, what exercises are right, and so on. That is why a pregnancy magazine is important for you. These health care magazines not only guide you with pregnancy health problems, but also prepare you for welcoming the new one in your life. These magazines equip you with right knowledge that can help you deal with yourself and the growing changes in you.

Though pregnancy is a great feeling, with all these concerns at hand, it becomes difficult for a mother to enjoy the bliss that motherhood can offer. The feelings and the bonding that blooms between the two connected individuals is unparalleled. And with the various tips and the featured articles in these health magazines, you get to know all that you want to know and more. Certain topics dealt with in these pregnancy magazines might be completely new for you, while others may not be. Whether it is about creating a birth plan, or guiding you about what to do when having contractions or breaking of the water bag, or how to feed the new-born, you'll find every pregnancy health care issue covered in there. There are special sections too, that may tell you about preventing birth defects, planning nutrition, immunization, intercourse, air travel, and so on for different stages of pregnancy.

Planning for child-care calls for education and counseling so as to be able to handle different aspects of pregnancy health. These health care magazines feature the latest news and developments related to maternity, thus turning out to be pregnancy health care guides for expecting parents. In fact, these pregnancy magazines also feature special columns for addressing the woes of a mother. And, that is why these magazines have become a must have for the mothers to be.

With great tips at your disposal, you'll surely be able to handle the problems and complications that come with pregnancy, and enjoy the feeling that only a mother can get.

How Can I Get Pregnant Fast? Best Natural Remedies to Help You Conceive

I looked for answers to this question on the internet when I was not able to conceive after trying for 6 months. Looking back I honestly feel that fighting with infertility is a stressful and frustrating experience. The frustration only adds up when things do not work out month after month.

Here in this article I am going to share with you some of the things I did which help me in conceiving naturally. These played a crucial role in my getting pregnant. Although I am not sure, I sincerely hope these work for you too!

a)Color Therapy

This is a form of holistic healing. This therapy heals the body and stabilizes the energy through light and color. It is used by alternate medicine practitioners to help cure infertility, encourage ovulation and conception.


Two herbs red clover and Dong quai are used by herbal medicine practitioners to treat a whole lot of women's issues. Red Clover is especially useful for women over age of 40. Dong quai helps in regulating the monthly cycle and ovulation. It is best to take these herbs under the guidance and supervision of a qualified alternate herbal medicine practitioner.

c)Body weight

Overweight women often find it difficult to conceive. Hence it is essential that you maintain your ideal body weight and engage in some form of moderate exercise at least for half an hour each day to keep yourself fit and healthy to bear a child.


Inability to conceive causes frustration and stress. Stress complicates the issue further and hampers fertility. It is therefore very important for you to stay happy and stress free while trying to conceive. Yoga and meditation can help you achieve inner calm and stay stress free to a very large extent.

e)What to Avoid?

You will be surprised to know that when I scouted the internet trying to find an answer to the question- how can I get pregnant fast, there was a whole lot of information on what one must avoid while trying to get pregnant. In many women irregular ovulation is caused by intake of refined carbohydrates which influence the insulin production directly. Caffeine present in coffee and chocolate etc can also impact fertility. Alcohol destroys essential nutrients in the body. Similarly smoking both passive as well as active is harmful. Hence it is best to stay away from drinking and smoking while trying to conceive.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Will California Health Insurance Look Like In 2012?

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed several new laws that are geared to expand consumer protection for consumers shopping for California health insurance. The census data indicates that almost one in five Californians need health care coverage. With the new health care laws ready to be implemented, they are predicting that these laws could make 2012 a memorable year.

New California Health Insurance Law For Women

In 2012, women will gain more protection whether they choose to get coverage through employer-provided health insurance plans or buy an individual healthcare plan. Brown signed three bills into law in order to provide maternity services for pregnant women and new mothers. According to Brown, this is will give children the "best possible start."

Another date women should watch for in the next year will be on the 1st of July. SB 222 requires individual California health insurance plans to provide maternity services. Also beginning July 1, AB 210 will provide maternity services to group health care plans. Employers will be required to pay for coverage under group health plans for women on maternity leave under SB 29.

Are Small Businesses Affected Too?

According to the chief executive of the advocacy group Small Business Majority, small business firms with employees less than 50 will find that healthcare coverage is more affordable under the new laws in California. That is very significant because approximately 718,220 small employers in California make up 99.2 percent of California's employers in 2006, as stated by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce: Bureau of the Census.

Whether Californians get coverage through their employer or buy individual policies, they could be eligible for "rebates" next year. To comply with federal reform, SB 51 requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums from individuals and small firms on health care for members. As for group policies, 85 percent of premiums must be spent on members' health care.

Blue Shield Of California Will Distribute Rebates To Consumers

Just this summer, Blue Shield of California announced that it would cap its net earning at two percent of revenue and return the excess to their policy holders in the form of rebates. With more than three million California insurance plan holders, Blue Shield posted a profit margin of 3.1 percent last year. This included income derived from investments. According to a press release from Blue Shield, individual consumer credits range from $25 to $415. Businesses should receive approximately $110 to $130 per worker.

Subsidies For California Health Insurance Made Easier

Gov. Jerry Brown also signed bills that will make it easier for Californians to apply for subsidized California health coverage via the online state health insurance exchange. However, we have to wait until 2014 when it will be fully implemented. Under AB 1296, the forms and procedures needed to get subsidies through the state based exchanged are tackled.

Maternity Coverage

One of the biggest medical care cost events is maternity coverage, for the medical costs incurred during this period are already high and can vary depending upon the needs of the mother and the unborn baby. Insurance companies often put limits and restrictions on just what they will cover under maternity insurance coverage. The maternity period covers prenatal care and postnatal care for both mother and baby. Once the baby is born, he or she is placed under the typical health insurance coverage the family carries.

This coverage is important to have because not only will it help pay some of the expensive medical costs associated with having a baby, but it will also guarantee a high quality level of medical care. It is a well known fact that there are levels of care in the health care industry and those with quality insurance and ability to pay out of pocket expenses will be able to afford top notch health care services. This coverage ensures the needs of the mother and baby will be met and optimal care will be provided.

It is important to check the insurance policy's maternity coverage before pregnancy in order to be sure the coverage is present. If it is not, there are a few ways to get maternity coverage but most of them are in the form of expensive add ons or riders to the health insurance policy. Check the policy's maternity coverage before it is needed just in case there is a waiting period or added restrictions that could affect the amount of medical maternity coverage the policy will provide. Even with the added expense, it is beneficial to have maternity coverage on the health insurance policy.

Health insurance coverage for families is a very important part of protecting the family. Quality health insurance will ensure that families get top notch medical care and will safeguard the family finances from being drained to pay for medical care costs. This coverage is important to ensure the best possible medical care with many options is available to the expectant mother and the unborn baby. The overall cost of having a baby is expensive and there will still be significant out of pocket expenses to pay, but maternity coverage will offset a big portion of those costs. With good health insurance maternity coverage, quality care and affordable medical bills can bring peace of mind and the occasion can be enjoyed instead of worried over.

If you need assistance locating these types of special coverages, please visit our website at and provide your contact information so we can respond to your request and help.

Abdominal Pain After Having an IUD Fitted

Some women suffer from terrible abdominal pain after having an IUD (intra uterine device) fitted. Others don't have a problem at all.

But IUDs can cause more than abdominal pain. Because they also have a slow release of a synthetic hormone that may not suit you, you may also suffer with a hormonal imbalance. If that is the case, your best option is probably having it removed.

Take away the cause and the effect will vanish.

It's common for doctors to think there are no pain sensors in the uterus. In which case, they reason, you shouldn't suffer pain when the device is inserted.

But many women do suffer terrible pain afterward. And for a prolonged time, often going on for months.

If you still want to keep the device and just resolve the pain, then the homeopathic medicine Bellis perennis will do a great job. Bellis perennis is an injury medicine par excellence, which is particularly (but not exclusively) suited to the hormonal problems of women.

Problems such as any deep abdominal pain from injury - pregnancy, after birth, after hysterectomy, after a D & C, after a miscarriage, after an abortion. And it's a great medicine to heal injury to the delicate breast tissue.

When a trauma is not healed at an energetic level, depression can set in. I suspect that many cases of post natal depression stem from the lack of deep healing that should be available at all birthing centres.

Keeping Bellis perennis in your homeopathic first aid kit may ensure your potential at resolving more than your IUD pain.

Is Being Pregnant Considered a Pre-Existing Condition for Health Insurance?

If you find out that you, or your wife or girlfriend is pregnant, one of the first things that expecting parents are concerned about is health insurance. If the expecting mother does not have health insurance, but is ready to start a new job, or is transferring to a new company during pregnancy, there may be concern of the pregnancy being considered a "pre-existing condition", and the woman was pregnant prior to receiving the insurance. This can present a problem as insurance companies are becoming more and stricter about pre-existing conditions and denying many people the opportunity for proper health insurance and thus, proper health care.

Fortunately, thanks to the Department of Labor's HIPAA Act of 1996, pregnancy is not considered a pre-existing condition, and thus an expecting mother cannot be denied health insurance. However, there are loopholes to this law depending on whether or not the insurance is a group or individual health plan. Group health plans tend to consider pregnancy as not being a pre-existing condition. Individual group plans will most likely not take a pregnant applicant, or the husband of a pregnant woman.

Many states offer individual health insurance plans for those who have a pre-existing condition that cannot be covered by another insurance source. If you are pregnant and cannot locate proper health insurance during and after your time of pregnancy, consider speaking with your state health department to discuss your options.

There is no reason that a pregnant women go through 9 months of stressful labor to have to worry about insurance in the end. Make sure to reach out to any and all resources or even a friend or family member to help you find the insurance for the care you need.

Various Ways to Reduce IUI Cost

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves the donor sperm deposition in the uterus of the woman by other means other than the natural way. Many couples find IUI cost more affordable and the procedure is not invasive. The process is usually useful when:

• The woman has a problem with the mucus in the cervix making the environment hostile for sperms
• When the man is unable to ejaculate
• The man suffers from retrograde ejaculation. The semen instead of exiting the penis it goes back
• Infertility that cannot be explained
• The man has antibodies that work against his sperms

The IUI cost could be intimidating especially if one has no insurance. On average IUI and sperm washing cost around $200- $300. Other procedures done raise the IUI costs. They include ultra sound, blood work and fertility drugs. If you have a natural cycle, you could spend only $200 but those that are using injectables spend almost $5000 -$6000. If you want to make the process more affordable especially with no insurance, you need to find ways that you can cut the IUI costs. This may include:

• Having a supplemental insurance that would refund your expenses once you deliver
• The IRS fund one third of the total IUI cost


The costs you incur with IUI are usually tax deductable. Therefore, by offsetting what you have saved in taxes you can reduce this cost. Flexible spending account (FSA) helps one to access their tax savings on the first expenses of IUI. In addition, one is able to reduce the taxes they pay on FICA. FSA can help you to acquire a tax saving of more than one third.

IUI Supplemental Insurance

Chances of conceiving are usually high with IUI treatment as compared to others. Buy supplemental insurance before you get pregnant or soon after and create income for maternity leave. With this insurance, it protects you from pregnancy complications delivery issues and premature delivery. The benefit of normal delivery usually exceeds what you pay as premiums.

The IUI costs also vary from one clinic to the other due to the different treatments that they use. Consult with your doctor to see where you can find relatively cheap clinics and one with a history of good results to avoid too many expenses.

Some of the clinics also give you a treatment plan for the procedures and medications that you will be using. In case you decide to stop treatment, they can deduct what you have spent on the treatments and give you a refund.

The most expensive part of IUI is the medications. You can reduce this IUI costs by having a flexible spending account for the medications. The flexible account can also provide you with an interest free loan. Some of the states also make it mandatory to have to a certain degree an infertility health insurance cover. Research and see if you fall in the category and drastically reduce you IUI cost for the treatment.

What You Need to Know About Nausea in Your Third Trimester

During the expectant mothers third trimester, which lasts from the 28th week until birth at approximately 40 weeks, her unborn child will grow and develop at a very rapid pace. As a result of this increased weight and development, the fetus' requirements for nutritional needs will have also grown. This will include the baby's needs for more calcium, more protein and more iron.

Due to the baby's greater size, the mother will often begin to experience an array of symptoms that can result in great discomfort for her. While most of the signs of late pregnancy are normal and not a threat to her health or her unborn child's health, it is important that a woman have an understanding of what to expect during the last few months. Just as there was great differentiation in experienced symptoms during the early stages of pregnancy, the same also holds true for the third trimester.

Many women will find that the nausea that they experienced in early pregnancy will return as they approach the end of their pregnancy. Pregnancy nausea in the third trimester is actually a common occurrence and is thought to be due at least in part to the fact that the baby is now placing a great deal of pressure on the mother's stomach. This added pressure often causes not only nausea but also heartburn. There is also the opinion that the nausea in the third trimester results due to the fluctuating hormone levels of the mother.

Just like the first trimester, it is common for women to feel very fatigued during the third trimester. There are several factors that most likely contribute to this fatigue. The greater size and nutritional needs of the baby place a great demand on the mother's body. Additionally, despite being tired, many women find it difficult to sleep as they near the end of their pregnancy. The pressure the baby is now placing on the mother's bladder can mean frequent interruptions to her sleep due to the need to urinate more frequently. Many women also face the problem of not being able to find a comfortable sleeping position because of their increased size.

Another symptom that can occur because of the baby's larger size is shortness of breath. As the fetus grows, there will be added pressure placed on the woman's diaphragm; this can then cause the mother to have some difficulty with breathing. Additionally the baby's larger size can also begin to affect the woman's posture, which can contribute to the back pain often experienced in the last months of pregnancy.

A condition known as edema frequently affects women in the last months of their pregnancy. Edema is caused by fluid retention and it results in a mild swelling of the feet and hands. While edema is not a concern for alarm, it should be monitored carefully to make sure that the swelling does not become marked; pronounced swelling could be indicative of the serious condition known as preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is defined as pregnancy-induced hypertension and it can place a serious risk on both mother and child. It requires the immediate attention of the woman's health care provider.

During the last trimester of pregnancy it is common for the woman to start feeling occasional, mild contractions. Some women will actually experience these contractions as early as 20 weeks. These contractions are referred to as Braxton Hicks contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are not a problem; however, if the contractions should become more regular and increase in strength, it is advisable for the mother to contact her doctor.

Some of the other side effects caused by the rapid growth of the fetus in the third trimester include spider and varicose veins, constipation, diarrhea and leg cramps. These symptoms are also a normal part of the last months of pregnancy for many women; while they can result in discomfort for the expectant mother, they are not a cause for alarm. Nevertheless, if at any time the expectant mother has either concerns or uncertainty about any symptom that she is experiencing, it is always best to consult with her health care provider.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pregnancy Weight Gain - How Much Should I Gain

Congratulations! You're having a baby. This is the most wonderful time of your life. Soon you will have a new child to love and take care of. Nothing beats this feeling, believe me.

Pregnancy is indeed a wonderful time, but it is also a risky time. You have a responsibility not only to yourself but also to the growing child inside of you. One of the unwholesome aspects of pregnancy is weight gain. It is only natural that you gain weight during your pregnancy; after all, you have a living baby inside of you. But gaining too much or too little can be dangerous to your health or the health of your baby. It can also leave you overweight after delivery.

How much should you gain during your pregnancy and what makes up a healthy weight gain?

Your overall weight gain is made of these elements:

1. Your baby - 6 - 8 pounds.

2. Your breast tissue - 1 pound

3. Fat deposits for breastfeeding - 7 pounds

4. Placenta - 1 pound

5. Amniotic fluid - 2 pounds

6. More Blood - 3 pounds

7. Uterus - 2 pounds

8. More fluids - 3 pounds

Overall, you should gain around 25 pounds all together. This isn't the same for every woman, of course. If you were overweight before your pregnancy, you should gain around 15 pounds, while women who were not overweight should gain 25-32 pounds.

If you are carrying more than one baby, your weight will increase by more than the figures I had written above.

You should take care of your diet throughout your pregnancy and also engage in safe exercise. Taking care of yourself is also taking care of your baby. Good luck.

Maternity Nurse Jobs on Call

A maternity nurse job is one of the most highly-paid nurse jobs around. The reason for this is the twenty-four hour workday. Maternity nurses are nurses dedicated to provide primary care and assistance, in every possible aspect, to mothers who have recently given birth and to their newborn babies as well. Apparently, such a responsibility requires them to stay with the mother and the baby at all times and all throughout the term of their service. Mostly, the service is up until the mother has fully recovered and is already able to take care of her baby completely. The duration can change based on the mother's specific condition. Some mothers may recover faster from childbirth, and some may be exhausted for longer periods. Mothers who have undergone caesarean operation also need more time to recover, and in such cases, maternity nurses play a very important role.

Maternity nurse jobs comprise a totally different area of discipline. It is not about caring for the sick. The needs of new mothers and newborn babies are different. Most of the time, maternity nurses are usually experienced nannies or registered nurses. Although it is not always considered as an area of specialization, maternity nurses require different knowledge and skills than that of practice nurses or clinical nurses. Maternity nurses are also required to invest more dedication and commitment to their charges. This is because they will be required to stay with their patients twenty-four hours a day. This is not typically required from other forms of nurse jobs.

But of course, the higher level of commitment that is required from maternity nurses is balanced with the right amount of compensation. Maternity nurses are highly paid. The compensation for being a maternity nurse depends on her level. Maternity nurses usually go through a training period, before moving on to an experienced stage. As can be expected, the experience maternity nurses get paid more than the maternity nurses under training. However, the compensation of maternity nurses, training or experienced, are quite competitive as compared to other nurse jobs. Of course, the financial benefits can also change based on the case that a maternity nurse is handling. Some maternity nurses may be assigned to a mother who just had twins. In such cases, the maternity nurse will be paid more.

The primary responsibilities of a maternity nurse if to provide care and assistance to the new mother or the mother undergoing recovery, and to take care of the baby while the mother is unable to do so. Maternity nurse jobs involve assistance while the mother learns how to breastfeed, and knowledge when it comes to bottle-feeding, bathing, handling of the baby, and other like tasks. Maternity nurses usually stay long after the birth of the baby, especially when their charges are first-time mothers. This is because mothers are usually exhausted both mentally and physically after childbirth, and are expectedly worried about the new responsibilities of child-caring that they are now faced. Having an expert at hand will surely help a lot to ease those tired nerves and to make the mothers feel assured and at ease.

Aside from providing care, the maternity nurse is also responsible for the maintenance of the primary environment of both the mother and the baby. This entails washing and sterilizing the bottles, organizing the things that belong to the baby, and preparing meals.

Maternity nurses should also be emphatic enough to understand what the mother is going through. They should be sensitive enough to handle the mother's needs, especially during the sensitive time that follows childbirth. Maternity nurse is, in every way that you look at it, a job that calls for total dedication.

Where to Find Money For Single Moms

If you are looking for money for single moms then there are plenty of grants and other federal and state sponsored programs available. These programs are usually designed with certain needs in mind such as food, housing, medical care, college, and so on. The following is a brief overview of a few of the more commonly used programs that are an excellent place to start on your search.

While school lunches are not typically expensive, every little bit of money for single mothers you can get your hands on is a help. This is why you should apply for the National School Lunch Program. This will provide your child with nutritious lunches, afternoon snacks, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Now there is even a School Breakfast Program and a Special Milk Program that will help you keep your child fed while they are at school.

If you are looking for other ways to provide food for your children you may want to look into the many government and private sponsored programs available. There are many institutions out there that are willing to give money for single moms as long as they will use it to purchase food. The Food Stamp Program is perhaps the best well known. It was developed in order to provide low income families with the food they need in order to stay healthy. Benefits are now provided on electronic debit cards which are easy to use. To apply you simply fill out your state's application form.

Another program which provides money for single mothers which you may be interested in is WIC, a USDA sponsored program for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC provides Federal grants to individual states in order to fund a whole host of programs including foods, health care, nutrition education for pregnant and postpartum women, and young children who may be at nutritional risk. To find out more about these programs and to see which ones you may qualify for, simply visit the official government Web site for WIC, This site will provide you with information on over 1,000 different programs that WIC has to offer.

One final program that we will look at for money for single moms is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP. This program provides low income families with financial assistance in order to help them pay for their heating and cooling costs. In order to qualify for this one you can't have an income over $20,535 for a single income household. Each state has its own guidelines and qualifications however, so make sure you do a little research before applying. In some cases they will even pay to weatherproof your home, so make sure you don't pass up this excellent opportunity.

Women in Therapy

What do Women Want?

...everywhere women want to be whole together
make stew, simmer all that is true
in the broth of human goodness, invite

every man, woman and child to toss in
a favored spice, a wish, a way to rebuild
our fractured world and with tomorrow
in our wombs, we will carry bowls of peace
from hearth to each table, however remote...
- 穢Perie Longo, from What do Women Want?

Women want peace, respect, self-esteem, and healthy ways to express anger. Women want to love, be loved, be heard, dance, wear red dresses, and feel safe in the world and with our families. What else do we want?

As women we may:

care a lot about what other people think
have trouble saying "no"
worry about being seen as "mean" or a "bitch" as opposed to being "nice"
try to take care of things at home and at work -try to do it all
like to connect with others
gather strength from our connection to others
find self esteem in small clothing sizes

What's good about being a woman

I'm going to talk about the challenges women face in today's world, but I want to start out by stressing how much is good about being female. The beauty of the body and mind connection and the inclination in humans to reach towards health and healing are both very apparent in women. Women's bodies are miracles of motherhood, creation, and healing. Women's minds and emotions, at their best, are paragons of empathy and compassion. As Perie Longo says in the excerpt of her poem above, women are child-bearers, healers, and peacemakers.

Our challenge is to cope with the difficulties we are born with and acquire along the way, and to find the means to strengthen mind, body, and spirit. This can be done with the support of others, through learning and developing, and through looking for ways to create fulfilling and successful lives.

What do you like about being a woman?

Do you like the permission to be emotional, peaceful, connected to the feminine, under the influence of estrogen, not under the tyranny of testosterone? How about the freedom to enjoy flowers, express yourself through clothes and jewelry, be soft, and love babies and small animals? Do you love the feminine body with hips and breasts made for having children? What about girlfriends, intimate talks, and cooking?

What do you not like about being a woman?

Do you dislike being disregarded, disempowered, disrespected, and invisible? Do you not like the idea that a woman is a "bitch" if she is just angry or grouchy? How about being discriminated against for age or marital status, or for how many children you either have or don't have? Do you dislike worrying about what other people think of you? And what about being expected to take care of household work? And how about PMS?

Women and psychotherapy

Going into psychotherapy is a way for women to understand themselves and find more empowerment, hope, and happiness. When you start therapy you will begin to tell your story to someone who has no preconceived ideas about you and who is there to support and understand you. The therapeutic process happens as you begin to feel more comfortable and safe, consider helpful changes, and find relief from shame or fear. As you talk about your thoughts, feelings, and needs, you may discover ideas or insights that can help you find new directions. As a woman in therapy with a female therapist, you can find support, connection with another woman in a helpful and self-esteem-building manner, and the experience of empathy and respect. You can understand how you may be judging yourself, and how normal many of your reactions may be.

Challenges women face in today's world

One look at the television show "Mad Men" will tell you that women's roles have come a long way in the last 50 years. There are far more opportunities and freedoms in the U.S. today. What follows are my thoughts on what the remaining challenges are for women.

How our society thinks about women and what our society expects from us

Women are supposed to be pretty, and thin, and wear make-up. If a woman has an important career, she's supposed to work out and dress well, not just to feel good, but to look the right way. Women are expected to be great mothers, lose baby weight right away, work happily outside the home or happily stay home with the baby. Women are supposed to be in couples;. Single women are encouraged to find someone and are pitied if they are alone. Older women consider surgically fixing or botoxing their faces so they won't be invisible. Women of all ages consider augmenting their breasts. Models' images are air-brushed and idealized in magazines. TV and movie stars are, for the most part, expected to be very thin and buff. This brutal Hollywood environment can be what the average woman uses to judge herself by.

Women are encouraged at times to think of life as a romantic fantasy. It's no wonder so many women feel depressed and anxious given the difference between that fantasy and reality.

In the workplace, women may be getting more promotions, but they may also feel sexually objectified when in positions of power. There is still a pay differential between men and women (women earn 23% of what men earn in the same jobs), and men still hold more positions of power than women do.

The way our minds and bodies work

If you're female, then you know the power of hormones! Men have hormones, too, but PMS, menopause, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum depression, infertility-that's the female body at work or misfiring. And women tend to get more fibromyalgia, migraines, osteoporosis, and breast cancer than men.

Even women's brains are different from men's. Although as humans, we are more similar than different, having a women's brain leads us to communicate more effectively, notice non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion, and empathy, have more creative problem-solving awareness, tend and befriend rather than fight or flight, and have enhanced language skills.

Women and girls tend to feel shame and self-doubt, especially if they express anger, have addictions or are simply being true to themselves. Women and girls also have to contend with higher rates of sexual assault. It's staggering to think that 1 in 5 women in the US today has been sexually assaulted, and some say it is more like 1 in 3. Childhood sexual abuse is an extremely damaging event in a girl's life with many repercussions over the victim's life cycle.

Sexually, women may forgo their own pleasure in relationships with men. In lesbian relationships, women may find it hard to initiate sex because women are not socialized to be sexually aggressive.

How we grow and develop through life

As girls, we hope that we will be encouraged to feel good about our accomplishments and achievements, instead of just our looks. Although there is more emphasis nowadays on helping girls feel confident in science and math, there is still a strong gender stereotype that says boys will do better in these areas. So much more emphasis is placed on girl's and women's bodies!! I have heard repeatedly in my (therapy office about women who were told they had a weight problem growing up, only to look back in astonishment when they see pictures of themselves as children with totally normal or average-sized bodies.

Sometimes women have difficulty with the transition from one phase of life to another. This problem could be produced by an expectation to be superwoman, -work, raise kids, and conduct fulfilling relationships,-or it could be caused by basic needs left unfulfilled in childhood. This insecurity can cause some women to stay in self-destructive, abusive relationships or it can produce a tendency to "lose the self" in relationships. For women who have been emotionally, sexually, or physically abused or neglected, there can be a pattern of compromise or self-doubt in relationships that may feel "natural", rather than self-detrimental. Abused women do not tend to act out as perpetrators in adult life, although sometimes this can happen when a woman who has survived child abuse is abusive to her children. Abused women are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as drinking and drug abuse/addiction, or choose unhealthy or abusive relationships.

As women age, changes in their looks and hormones can cause depression and anxiety. Some women worry that their lives and chances for happiness are over.

If these challenges ring true to you, please do not give up hope! Even if you are very financially challenged, and experience discrimination because of color, religion, sexual orientation, body size, or drug and alcohol addiction, there is help and hope available. Even in times of economic distress there are still services available in the community for women in need. In my years of working as a psychotherapist, I have seen many, many women blossom. If you feel isolated and disconnected, there is always a way to reach out.

Psychotherapy won't take away the difficulties women face, nor can it change what happened to you while growing up. What therapy can do is offer you a relationship with someone who cares and has your best interests at heart. It can give you a way to understand yourself and learn new coping skills. You can feel better about yourself in close relationships and in the world.