Saturday, December 7, 2013

5 Top Tips to Help Bring on Labour in an Overdue Pregnancy

After 9 months of pregnancy, most mums-to-be can't wait to finally give birth, but not all babies arrive on time! Having an overdue pregnancy can be both tiring and frustrating but there are some things you could try that may help to bring on labour.

Below are 5 of the most popular techniques for overdue pregnancies. If you are considering trying to bring on labour, make sure you talk to your midwife first. Also, it's worth remembering that different things work for different people, so some or even all of these techniques may not work for you.

  1. Move around - this is thought to encourage your baby to move into position. Try activities with a repetitive movement, such as walking, or perhaps rocking side to side on a birthing ball.

  2. Food and drink - although there is no proven link, certain foods like fresh pineapple and hot curries are commonly thought to get labour going.

  3. Gentle sex - the act of having sex and achieving an orgasm is thought to trigger the release of the hormone oxytocin, which can stimulate contractions. Semen also contains prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance which helps to prepare the cervix for delivery.

  4. Simple medical procedures - your midwife or doctor may suggest carrying out a 'membrane sweep' to stimulate contractions.

  5. Being induced - if you go past your pregnancy due date, your doctor or midwife may recommend an induction.

Although it may feel like it, your pregnancy won't last forever! Your baby will arrive when they're ready, so use the extra time you have to try and relax as much as possible before the birth.

Become an Effective Communicator in 3 Simple Steps

Communication is the cornerstone of our lives. It is how we are able to express our needs and desires to ourselves and others. It is the foundation of relationships. Relationships exist in many forms between people. Communication is key to the doctor-patient relationship, which is the focus of this article. It is the art of medicine. The extremely low birthweight premature baby in the NICU is able to use nonverbal signs to communicate his or her needs to the medical team and to his or her parents. For that premature baby, not one word is spoken, yet volumes are heard, understood, and acted upon. This demonstrates the power of effective communication when the listener is able to understand the message clearly.

Using these 3 steps allows you to connect and influence others in an effective way.

1. Know your audience.
Knowing your audience is not new information. The problem is that we seldom take the time to know to whom we are speaking. In medicine this is vital because the emotions, the perceptions, and the knowledge that a patient and his or her family have, greatly affects what they are willing to hear from the healthcare provider. Sharing test results to a family anxiously awaiting better news from the doctor becomes challenging when the news is not good. Everyone listens through filters. Awareness of the listener's filters and possible objections will allow you to address them in the conversation. Acknowledging and validating the listener's experience allows you to meet them where they are and provide the listener with what he or she really needs.

2. Know your yourself.
What is your agenda? What is the outcome you are hoping for when speaking to another? Again, this is not new information, yet it is seldom applied. When we do not take the time to become detached from the outcome, our own agenda shines through in the conversation. A truly effective communicator is able to provide the necessary information the listener needs in order to make the best decision for himself, herself, or the family member. In the medical setting, this preserves the patient's autonomy. Before engaging in a sensitive conversation with a patient, ask yourself: How are your previous experiences influencing your message? How is your agenda and the patient's agenda similar or different? What emotional response are you having toward the information to be delivered? How can you detach from the outcome to yield the best result for the listener? How can you be even more objective?

3. Know the content of the conversation.
Be prepared. This may seem like a simple step, but people often come to conversations unprepared. Do you need a few minutes to gather information to communicate effectively with your colleagues, patients, parents, and even to have more clarity for yourself? A great listener listens for what is being said and what is not being said. They are 'reading between the lines'. The effective communicator knows this and is able to fill in the lines for the listener. Mastering the content and delivering it in a confident manner builds trust and a foundation for understanding. This allows for the listener to truly hear what is being said, rather than focus on what they are not being told. When a listener is focusing more on what is not being said, doubt creeps in. When this occurs, the lines of communication are broken.

These 3 steps are the foundation to enhancing your communication skills. The steps shift the focus away from the speaker and towards the listener who is hungry for vital information and support on their medical journey. Be an effective communicator. You empower others with knowledge.

Different Ways to Have Health Insurance Maternity Coverage

It is an exciting feeling to discover you are expecting a child. You start thinking of possible names and you might buy a few outfits. However, one of the first things to do is to make sure there's maternity coverage on your insurance plan. If you don't, there is no need to start panicking. There are ways to get health insurance maternity coverage included, whether it's buying extra coverage, getting state help, or paying the hospital before delivery.

The best way to protect yourself from an unexpected present is to make sure maternity is included in your insurance plan from the start. There are usually different levels, with some taking care of all bills, while others only covering complications. If possible, a mother should have full coverage because unexpected things can happen during a delivery. Plus, there is nine months of doctor checkups, prenatal care, ultrasounds, lab work, delivery, hospital stay, etc. For those who end up having a c-section, suddenly there's a surgeon bill and a anesthesiologist bill. Without sufficient health insurance maternity coverage, bills will quickly add up.

Some women don't have to worry about maternity coverage because it's included in their insurance benefits offered by their employer. Other businesses may have health insurance maternity coverage as an optional benefit, with you picking up the extra expense. There are those who don't have maternity coverage on their plan. Some people don't have any insurance. The good news is most insurance plans cover complications during a delivery. Maybe you fall into the appropriate income level to receive state help. Sometimes hospitals have prepaid maternity, which can be close to what some end up paying their insurance company. Whatever the case, the easiest way to find quotes is to go online. This will make sure you get the best rates.

Free Medical Insurance Quote - Choosing a Plan When There is No One-Size-Fits All Option Available

Are you looking to buy your own health insurance and are in need of a free medical insurance quote? Then, unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you know that the cost of private health insurance has skyrocketed since the turn of the millennium. Premiums are going up and so are prescription drug prices.

The stark reality is that health insurance is a necessary evil that the majority of the population cannot do without. Unless you happen to be one of the fortunate people who rarely, if ever, falls ill, or has never been hospitalized, and has never been and never will get pregnant, then health insurance is a bill that you just cannot escape paying.

Even though we may not use all of our medical benefits, it's there for us when we may need it. If you think that health insurance is expensive, you should see how expensive getting emergency medical care without it can be!

In our health care system here in the United States, there is no one-size-fits-all health insurance plan. What we have, instead, is a health care industry littered with literally thousands of different plans that offer varying "degrees" of coverage for prescription drugs, maternity care, preventative care, doctor visits, hospitalization, and a myriad of other variable costs. Each one differs with respect to how much you are willing to pay for on your own and how much you expect the health insurance company to pay on your behalf.

You can get a free medical insurance quote, without any cost or any obligation, at anytime, on the Internet twenty-four hours a day, seven-days a week, instantly, on-demand, on the Internet. In fact, you can compare multiple health insurance quotes simultaneously and see which one is the best fit for your particular situation.

Rectal Bleeding During Pregnancy

Rectal bleeding during pregnancy is normally not dangerous but still it can elevate worry once first detected by mother as it can be confused with spotting. The best solution is to get you examined to rule out spotting or another serious condition.

The simplest form of anal blood loss is blood loss from a split or fissure within the anal sphincter. This form can be most times confused with spotting as the tears are generally not visible to the pregnant mother and can be further confused with spotting. Fissures sometimes happens due to the over straining caused by repeated constipation. Other most common case is the haemorrhoids caused by over straining during evacuation of stool, passing hard stool. Sometimes consistent itching through cleaning or wiping also can result in rectal blood loss.

You could yourself find whether you are dealing with rectal bleeding or not by self examining the bleeding area. Always make sure the blood is absolutely not coming from the vaginal areas. A fissure might feel as if a sharp, hurtful cut on the edge on the skin and the haemorrhoids would be a tender, lumpy swelled spot protruding from your anus. They are generally referred to as "haemorrhoids" since they resemble a group of small grapes.

Rectal blood loss is generally common in the 3 rd trimester of being pregnant and after giving birth to the child due to raised pressure on the veins of the internal pelvis during pregnancy together with delivery. Actually those women who produce by Caesarean section must be suffering from haemorrhoids throughout the pregnancy and even after carrying a child.

Some self-care things are there that can prevent you from rectal haemorrhage like:
繚 Cold compress

繚 Heating pad

繚 Ibuprofen or acetaminophen

繚 Witch hazel

繚 Over-the-counter haemorrhoid relief product

Always state any kind of odd bleeding to your doctor even if ensured that it is most certainly nothing at all to worry about. Your doctor only can make sure that there is not necessarily something other than haemorrhoids resulting in the blood loss.

The foremost side-effect connected with rectal haemorrhage in pregnancy is physical agony and pain. The most effective way to prevent or relieve the symptoms associated with rectal bleeding while being pregnant is always to maintain bowel regularity. Simple and easy solutions to do this can consist of:

繚 Take lot of water at least 10-12 glasses/day.

繚 Consume healthy, fibre-rich food such as fruits, greens and also wholemeal bread which will add roughage and ease out your bowels.

繚 Get your iron via food items and food-based dietary supplements rather than medicated ones.

繚 Cold compresses works extremely well that would sooth the pain from haemorrhoids.

繚 To aid & prevent them altogether make sure you do Kegel exercises everyday preferably early morning. These exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor and rectal muscles. To carry out a Kegel bend your pelvic floor as if ceasing a stream of urine. Hold for many seconds and then liberate. Perform many sets during a period.

繚 Sitz bath is well accustomed concept to relieve haemorrhoids. It can be done with hot or cold water in tub and sitting there in at least for 15min. Suit the temperature as per you comfort.

繚 Genital hygiene with plain water and keeping it dry with soft toilet papers.

繚 If required your doc is going to prescribe a medicated suppository.

Quite rarely, rectal bleeding during pregnancy could be indication of a more serious condition like polyps or colon cancer. This kind of cancer only occurs in rare numbers and is also curable with a good prognosis in case detected early.

Health Insurance Maternity Package - A Must-Have

Getting pregnant is one of the highlights of any woman's life. She finds a new sense of purpose now that she shares the next nine months of her life with her child. This is the most important time that a woman has to take care of her health. She has to make sure that she is fit in all respects, from the way she eats, sleeps, exercises, to even how she feels. In order to do that, she must get a health insurance maternity coverage as soon as possible. For more information on how to get one, read on.

The first tip that women should know is that they must get a maternity insurance package even before they would get pregnant. This is one of the most vital times of a woman's life, so being prepared both emotionally and financially must be of prime importance. Getting pregnant is costly, so having an insurance plan that covers most of all expenses will surely help the woman and her family.

Now that a woman has chosen a health insurance maternity coverage, she must not stop looking for complimentary insurance packages. These complimentary packages will help cover the other services that the main insurance package would not cover. Normally, packages have a limit or maximum amount; these complimentary insurance packages will help in covering the other services.

The expenses of pregnancy must not be a challenge for any woman. She must concentrate all her attention to making sure that she is in her best health for her baby. The insurance package will do just that.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Important Facts About Wearing Maternity Support Hose

There are many term of words that are used when searching for maternity panty hose, maternity panties hose, maternity panty and maternity panties. For a women expecting a baby, will be needing one of the following of maternity support hosiery, maternity support stocking, maternity support pantyhose, maternity support panty hose or maternity support hose. An expert on hosiery products, carries a large selection of maternity hosiery products. Read on to get expert advice on maternity hosiery!

Wearing maternity support pantyhose is an important way of taking care of your body during pregnancy. Wearing strong maternity support hose and maternity body shapers will aid circulation problems in the legs, reduce swelling and potentially aid in preventing future varicose veins and other ailments. Varicose veins are swollen veins that may bulge near the surface of the skin. These sometimes squiggly, blue or purple veins are most likely to show up in your legs although sometimes they do appear in other places. Many women first develop varicose veins or find that they get worse during pregnancy. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on the large vein on the right side of your body (the inferior vena cava), which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins. Veins are the blood vessels that return blood from your extremities to your heart, so the blood in your leg veins is already working against gravity. By wearing maternity support hosiery, with doctor's guidance, it will help prevent varicose vein swelling.

The changes in your body and extra weight by the growing infant's body may cause you to have leg problems including edema, varicose veins, circulation issues, and leg pain. Wearing maternity support hosiery during pregnancy will prevent or ease varicose veins, a common effect of pregnancy and edema. Depending on pre-existing conditions, maternity support pantyhose comes in different compression strengths.

Leg cramps during pregnancy can be caused by calcium deficiency and/or poor circulation. The pressure of the baby on blood vessels and nerves that lead to your legs may also be a factor in leg cramps. Wearing support stockings, maternity support hose, resting with your legs elevated and exercising moderately will help decrease your leg cramps.

Pregnancy also increases the risk of vein inflammation with formation of blood clots (thrombophlebitis). This can destroy valves (leading to varicose veins). It would be a good idea to ask your doctor to prescribe a maternity support pantyhose or maternity support hosiery to assist with your leg blood circulation.

Most leg problems are due to poor circulation since your blood and veins need to work against gravity to get the blood back up to your heart. During pregnancy, though, your expanding belly, coupled with the extra pressure your baby puts on your body causes your veins to dilate and work much less efficiently. As your pregnancy progresses, you've probably learned to accept that your feet and ankles will always be swollen by the end of the day, your nightly leg cramps will routinely wake you up and those varicose veins may just be unavoidable. While all of these discomforts of pregnancy are normal, imagine if you could stop or even prevent them just by wearing maternity support pantyhose.

Maternity support hosiery, known as graduated-compression stockings, work best and are available from maternity stores, or online. These maternity stockings are twice as thick as normal pantyhose. Tight at the ankle, they get looser as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward your heart. As a result, they help prevent swelling and may keep your varicose veins from getting worse. Put on maternity pantyhose before getting out of bed in the morning, while you're still lying down, to prevent blood from pooling in your legs, and keep them on all day. Wearing graduated compression stockings has been clinically proven to effectively prevent varicose veins and blood clots. It even relieves many uncomfortable symptoms, which occur in your legs during pregnancy. Maternity support hose may also avoid fatigue and heaviness.

Maternity compression stockings are not your typical pair of nylon stockings. A medically accepted way to treat a host of leg discomforts, medical compression hosiery is a great alternative to surgery when it comes to relieving minor to major leg issues like leg cramps, varicose veins and swelling. Regular support hose don't help the efficiency of the calf muscle pump. Non-graduated compression may actually cause more harm than good by creating a tourniquet effect. Maternity support hosiery provides a safe and effective pregnancy support.

Made of soft, breathable fabric, comfortable compression stockings will help keep your legs healthy all through your pregnancy. Maternity support hose work by promoting circulation and the return of blood back up to your heart through the venous system. They apply gradual amounts of pressure to your leg, with the most compression occurring at your ankle and lessening the further up the leg you go. While maternity compression hose may sound similar to a tensor bandage, it is not the same thing. In fact, using a tensor bandage to relieve swelling or leg pain may actually make the problem worse by cutting off your circulation completely.

If you have a family history of varicose veins or if you develop them during pregnancy, the best course of action would be wearing maternity support stockings. It would not be possible to depend on the over the counter maternity support tights or maternity support hosiery.

If you need a maternity support stockings personally fitted, then you will need to see a vein specialist.

Maternity support stockings and maternity support hosiery are recognized as a medically accepted device. Therefore, many insurance companies will cover the cost of the stockings as long as you have a doctor's prescription. Although support hose are a much cheaper and more convenient form of treatment compared to surgery for varicose veins, they are typically much more expensive than regular pantyhose.

Feel free to browse around in our maternity support hosiery product page by visiting LegLuxe and you will also find maternity compression hosiery in that group as well.

Prenatal Exercise - Why Pregnancy and Exercise Can Help You Have the Best Maternity Experience

The experience of bringing new life into the world should be cherished and prenatal exercise can help facilitate this. Sometimes the changes your body goes through can dim the light a bit. The prospect of labor and delivery can also further diminish the experience. The benefits of prenatal exercise during the pregnancy, for labor, delivery and recovery and post-delivery are profound. Good news for expectant mothers who were not active before pregnancy; you too can begin a prenatal exercise program. Regardless of your pre-pregnancy level of activity, it is important to keep safety in the forefront so that exercise will be the catalyst for a joyous pregnancy that it can be. Let's explore some of the factors to consider to get the most out of your prenatal exercise.

The benefits of prenatal exercise range from minor to extreme. On the low end, exercise fosters an overall sense of well being and improved self image. Mid range, you can look forward to relief from pregnancy aches, pains and other discomforts such as nausea, back strain, leg cramps, bloating, etc. On the upper register we have control of pregnancy induced disorders such as hypertension and diabetes. Another tremendous benefit of prenatal exercise is that a fit mother stands a fantastic chance of having a quick, trouble free labor. And you already have a head start on getting back in shape after the baby is born. Oh, and there is much evidence to support the theory that exercise during pregnancy also benefits your baby. Even if you were not a 'fitness buff' before your pregnancy, you can still have a good prenatal exercise experience.

Newly 'fitness aware' expectant mothers should start out slowly. Of course regardless of whether you are newly active or already active you should consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Remember to consider any pre-existing conditions which may limit your activity. That said, 15 to 20 minutes a few times a week should be a good start. Every other day, with a 'rest day' on the alternate days is a good idea. An excellent 'organic' exercise to start with is walking. Swimming is also an excellent prenatal exercise which boasts the added benefit of having your 'extra' weight supported by the water. Yoga and low-impact aerobics are also good options. There are some excellent prenatal yoga DVDs out there. To ensure you get the most out of your prenatal exercise experience it is imperative that you keep safety in mind.

The doctor consult is the fist line of defense in staying safe while exercising. It should go without saying (but I'll say it anyway), high risk (extreme) sports are at the top of the 'No-No' list for pregnant women. Biking and jogging should not be started when pregnant although the jury is still out on whether to continue if you were already doing them. Generally the consensus seems to be that they are alright in moderation in the first trimester. Sit-ups, air bicycle and other exercises that require you to lay on your back, if done at all, should also be discontinued after the first trimester. Don't use saunas, hot-tubs, spas or other apparatus designed to alter your body temperature. Wear loose clothing, stay hydrated (lots and lots of water; before, during and after exercise) and don't exercise in heat or humidity. Never exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you can't speak normally while exercising, stop. Take frequent rest breaks and stop immediately if you experience pain especially in your middle (i.e. abdomen and back), fatigue, dizziness or other signs that your exercise is having adverse affects.

Well, I hope I have provided a good starting point of info for you to enjoy exercise during your pregnancy. I wish you a fit and healthy pregnancy, an easy-peasy labor, a smooth sailing recovery and many blessing with the new family member(s).

Herbs for Infertility - How Herbs Can Help Women Over 35 Get Pregnant

There is a new trend in our society in which us women are delaying childbirth and waiting longer to start our families. As a result of this fact, an increasing number of women over the age of 35 are now realizing having a baby is not as easy as they thought it would be.

After more than 1 year of trying to conceive, many women find they are dealing with infertility issues and are now seeking professional help and looking to available assisted reproductive technologies. These methods can be extremely costly, invasive, and are not guaranteed to work, although some women have great results.

For others dealing with infertility issues, they prefer to try the more gentle natural route of herbal therapy and healthy diet.

Herbs for infertility have been used by the eastern civilizations for thousands of years. Herbs for infertility address underlying imbalances which are produced by our polluted environment, processed foods, pesticides and unhealthy lifestyles to name a few.

Herbal therapy promotes hormone balance, improves sperm and egg quality, regulates the menstrual cycle, enhances secretions, tones the uterus, nourishes the endometrial lining and maintains a healthy pregnancy.

In the treatment of infertility, herbs are used to promote optimal fertility health.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM herbal therapy) generally uses combinations of herbs to get optimal results. The combination of different herbs in a fertility formula can be made into teas, pills, powders, or even added to delicious recipes. Herbal therapy combined with fertility foods and healthy lifestyle living has enabled women over the centuries to get pregnant and start the family they've been dreaming of!

Chinese herbs offered to women suffering from infertility include dong quai, chaste tree, damiana, ginseng and hachimijiogan. Keep in mind these herbs are extremely powerful and may be harmful or even fatal if taken in inadequate quantities. A herbalist who has extensive training or a professional who is experienced with herbal therapy should always be consulted.

Many women over 35 experiencing infertility issues have a great success with herbal therapy. They were able to treat their infertility effectively with fewer side effects that result with modern-day fertility drugs.

If you are planning to start a family or increasing your family size, regardless of your age, there is no time like the present to take control of nurturing your body and stimulating your reproductive organs. Herbs for infertility can provide your body with exactly what is needs to make your conceiving and pregnancy safe, natural and fun!

Ways to Get Pregnant With a Boy Baby

If you're trying to conceive a baby boy, you should know that there are several things that you can do at home to help you accomplish this goal. These things are not that difficult, but they do require planning, patience, a bit of diligence, and the correct tools. Luckily, many of them are things that you will already be doing any way in an attempt to conceive. You'll just be tweaking them a little bit to tip the odds in your favor of having the boy that you want. So, let's get to it.

Timing Your Conception To Occur At The End Of Your Fertility Cycle To Conceive A Boy: Most people know that timing your conception will influence your baby's gender, but not every one understands why. The sperm that produces a male baby and a girl baby are very different from one another. The girl sperm are the slow, poky, but unwavering and hardy warriors, while the boy sperm are very quick, but are also just as quick to burn out and die off, making them much more vulnerable.

So, if you want a boy, timing becomes extremely important. Because, if you are too early, the boy sperm are vulnerable to weakness or dying off if they have to wait for the egg. In the best case scenario, the boy sperm are fresh and ready to go when the egg is released. This is most likely to occur on the day of or the day following ovulation.

Many people are content to guess at this, but don't. Because this step is just too important to ignore. I recommend using saliva ovulation predictors, but urine works too. Find a method that gives you a warning of when ovulation is approaching so that you can be prepared to pounce when the time is right.

Ways To Have Intercourse To Get A Boy Baby: So, we've discussed when to send the boy sperm to the egg, now we'll discuss how to do this and why it's important. Again, remembering that the boy sperm are extremely vulnerable, you want to make their exposure between release and the egg as short and as quick as possible. The best way to do this is to use sexual positions that allow for deep penetration. (Remember to do this on the day of ovulation, or at most on the day after. Even a day early or a day later can make all the difference.)

How (and Why) To Alkalize Your Body (Lowering Your PH And Acidity) To Get A Boy Baby: I've covered when and how to get the boy sperm to the promised land of conception. Now, I'll cover the last, but equally important, step. This is creating an environment that is not going to kill of these guys before they even have a chance. Because the sperm that will give you a son can not thrive for very long if your vaginal PH is too high. Most women will need to lower it, however one way to be sure is to use PH testing strips. This will tell you how alkaline you naturally are and how much you'll need to tweak this before you are ready to conceive a boy.

How do you tweak? There are a few ways. You can go on a low PH or alkalizing diet and / or you can douche with solutions that lower acidity. A friend of mine who has interstitial cystitis (bladder sensitivity) told me that the boy diet was actually pretty close to the low acid diet she is on because the acidic foods irritate her bladder.

The douching part is typically not as bad as you might think either. The solutions are more than baking soda and water, but usually you don't have to do this for too long (especially if you use the diet concurrently) until you are at the optimum level.

Putting It All Together: Hopefully, you can see that none of these steps are too difficult. The key is to methodically address each of them, because doing so will give you the best chance (as high as roughly 94% if you play your cards right) of success. It's really just a matter of having a plan, having the tools, and having the discipline to follow through.

Causes of Thyroid Nodules

The thyroid gland consists of two lobes that look similar to the wings of a butterfly. The thyroid is able to absorb iodine from food you consume. It is the only gland in your body that can do this. Your thyroid takes the iodine and uses it to produce two main hormones, triiodothyronine also known as T3 and thyroxine known as T4. These are the hormones that regulate the rate that your body uses carbohydrates and lipids or fats. The thyroid also helps control body temperature, heart rate, as well as the creation of proteins. Calcitonin, yet another hormone the thyroid manufactures, is a hormone that regulates calcium level in the blood.

Though we have no definitive knowledge as to the cause of most nodules and their onset, it has been found that there a certain factor that are associated with the onset. The list includes:

- Low amount of iodine in the diet

- Hashimoto's disease, associated with hypothyroidism

- Genetic defect in the receptors responsible for releasing TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone

- Radiation treatments that were undergone at an early age such as in child hood to the head or neck area

Various Nodule Types

There are different types of nodules that may develop in the thyroid gland:

Colloid nodule - The type of nodule is noncancerous or benign. It manifests itself as an overgrowth of normal thyroid tissue. It is possible to have one colloid nodule or several. Though it is possible for these nodules to become larger in size, they do not spread to other parts of the body and are contained only in they thyroid gland.

Follicular adenoma - This nodule type is also noncancerous or benign.

Thyroid cyst - These can be benign or malignant depending. These are fluid-filled areas of the thyroid glands that can differ in size. They can measure from less than 1/3 of an inch in diameter to over one 1 inch. Thyroid cysts are usually filled with fluid. Some thyroid cysts have solid components. These are called complex cysts. Fluid-filled cysts are generally benign. Complex cysts can at times be malignant.

Inflammatory nodule - This nodule type may at times develop resulting from chronic inflammation of the thyroid. This condition is called thyroiditis. There is a rare form of thyroiditis called subacute thyroiditis, which is accompanied by severe pain within the thyroid gland. There are other types of thyroiditis that are painless and sometimes happen after pregnancy. This is called postpartum thyroiditis.

Thyroid cancer - There is only a small chance that nodules are cancerous if a physician determines that you have any. If you have a family history of thyroid cancer or any endocrine cancer, you will be at higher risk. Also, if you are a man younger than 30 years of age or older than 60 years of age, with a history of head or neck radiation, you would also be at risk. Cancerous nodules are generally large in size and firm to the touch often causing neck discomfort and/or pain.

Multinodular goiter - "Goiter" refers to any enlargement in the thyroid gland. The appearance of several nodules can lead to a goiter. This is referred to as multinodular goiter. This condition causes tightness in the throat accompanied by difficulty in swallowing and breathing.

Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodule (toxic adenoma, toxic multinodular goiter, Plummer's disease) - TSH is released by the pituitary gland, which regulates the production of thyroid hormones. Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules that become larger and actually produce thyroid hormones separate from the influence of TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone. Hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules create a situation where there are high blood levels of thyroxine accompanied by low or even nonexistent levels of TSH. A genetic defect of TSH receptors may be a reason for overactivity of nodules.

The Risk Factors

Thyroid nodules are quite common. In fact, up to 50% of people may have one. The exact cause of thyroid nodules is still unknown although there are some factors that seem to increase the risk of having one. This includes:

Heredity - Family history such as the existence of nodules in parents or in siblings tends to put an individual at a higher risk of developing nodules.

Age - The chances of developing thyroid nodules grow higher as you increase in age. Changes may happen in your thyroid as part of the aging process.

Gender - Statistically, women are more likely to develop thyroid nodules when compared to men.

Exposure to radiation - In the 1940s and 50s, many persons were often treated with radiation for conditions that were noncancerous such as in the case of acne or enlarged tonsils. If you, as a child, experience this type of treatment or experienced any therapy employing the use of radiation to your neck or head for the conditions mentioned above, then you have a higher risk of developing thyroid nodules. You would also be at a higher risk if you were exposed to radioactive particles that became airborne during any atomic weapons testing or if you were exposed to radiation resulting from a nuclear power plant accident.

Specific thyroid conditions - If you've had thyroiditis or a chronic inflammation of the thyroid gland, this would also put you at higher risk.

What Are The Complications?

In general, thyroid nodules are non-cancerous or benign, but at times, they can lead to serious problems. Larger nodules or a number of nodules appearing together can lead to multinodular goiter. This condition can interfere with swallowing or breathing. In can become even more of a serious problem when these nodules or goiter produces thyroid hormone, which can lead to hyperthyroidism.

Along with assorted symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, muscle fatigue, intolerance to heat, and high anxiety, hyperthyroidism can lead to other complications:

Heart-related complications - This type of complication includes a rapid heartbeat, heart rhythm disorder and even congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is the condition of the heart being no longer strong enough to circulate blood throughout the body.

Osteoporosis - This is when your bones become weak and brittle due to a lack of calcium. The overall health of bones depends to a certain extent on the amount of calcium and minerals found in them. An excess of thyroid hormone or hyperthyroidism, can disrupt the incorporation of calcium into the bones. In the situation where a patient develops hyperthyroidism, the bones are the first to display the sign or symptoms of the disorder before anything else. This is the case with postmenopausal women who are in the group of individuals with a high risk of developing osteoporosis.

Thyrotoxic crisis - This is the term used to describe the sudden and possibly life threatening intensify of the above signs and symptoms. This requires immediate medical care should this occur.

Pregnancy Blessing - Ways To Get Pregnant - Natural, Fast and Effective Solutions

Natural Ways to Get Pregnant Successfully - Seeking the Blessing in Life

Being 35 and pregnant or 40 and pregnant - is it actually possible to experience the bliss of pregnancy, even at the age of 35 and 40? Well, why not? Seeking natural ways answer the question how can you get pregnant successfully.

Getting pregnant is a dream comes true for most women. A blessing in life, pregnancy however does not touch its magical wand over every woman in the world. There are couples in the world aiming to reach out for the blessing, falling out in the midway and there are women who take years to experience the bliss. For most women, familial or professional responsibility takes such a toll in their dream that they are left with the question how can I get pregnant?

Why opt for the Natural Way

The drive of being pregnant often influences women having a tough time conceiving to rely upon medication. Well, you need to know that the medications available in the drugstore is not one of the convincing ways to get pregnant, as it seldom will do any good to you or the baby to come. If experiencing a healthy pregnancy is your wish then, going natural stands the smartest option.

Tips on Getting Pregnant Naturally

One of the most convincing natural ways of experiencing pregnancy signs for women is to develop the right knowledge on being fertile. All that you need to do is welcome a lifestyle change and induce some calculations to be pregnant naturally.

  • Lose Weight - obesity in women often blocks their dream of having a baby in life. Lose weight to stay fit and maintaining a healthy body allowing a better cooperation.

  • Avoid Stress - a woman who tends to get to bed with lots of stress and lives a depressing life also experiences a slowdown in pregnancy. Reducing stress prepares the body for the change opening the doors to the cause.

  • Quit Smoking - women who tend to smoke also fails to experience the bliss of being pregnant, as the nicotine and other toxins hinder the reproduction cycle reducing the possibility.

  • Go for Acupuncture - being on acupuncture enhances fertility in a natural way. Though, it is usually less prescribed by doctors, the method is far more benefiting than being on medication.

  • Calculate Ovulation Period- being aware of your menstrual cycle helps in better determination of the ovulation period. In case, your menstrual cycle is not regular, you can seek help from ovulation kits and menstrual cycle charts for better prediction. This is important, as the ovulation period is said to be the most productive period that offers an ear to your plight of help me get pregnant.

  • Maintain a Good Positioning - to experience the bliss of getting pregnant, it is essential that you give considerable importance to the positioning. the missionary position helps in better interlocking.

Well, the ways of inducing pregnancy in you naturally are multiple. Women, be it at any age need to follow the tips effectively to maximise the opportunity of coming across the symptoms of pregnancy and reaching forward to the blessing in life. To get a better insight on the natural ways, you can consider referring to some highly effective resources focusing upon fertility enhancement tips.

The good news is that there are effective and proven methods to get pregnant even against all odds.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Are You Particularly Prone to Depression Or Anxiety During Pregnancy?

Here are some common risk factors:

o Depression or anxiety runs in the family. If you have experienced depression or extreme anxiety, (to a lesser extent is that someone in your family had a history of depression), then you are more prone to suffering from depression when you are pregnant. Even if you did not win first prize of depression or anxiety, but only in certain tension or uncertainty when frustrated or worried, now you are more vulnerable to be attacked by depression.

o The relationship between husband and wife. If you are suffering from relationship problems with your other half and can not be solved through normal communication, you can try to consider a common trust to do a mediator. If there is a marriage advisory service near you, you can also find professionals for help. Do not mistakenly believe that the arrival of a newborn baby will solve all problems. The emergence of a newborn baby will only make your relationship tenser, especially when you are the victim of domestic violence.

o Infertility treatment. If you have had infertility problems, you may feel great pressure. If you had a number of infertility treatments, the months or even years of waiting for the treatment could affect your mood and cause anxiety and depression. In addition, even if you are pregnant, for fear of losing the hard-earned baby, it is also a very common sentiment. All of these will make you prone to depression.

o Previous experience of abortion. If you had abortion before, it's natural to concern more of the baby inside you. If the abortion happened recently, or in the past year, or you had several abortions, then your body and spirit will need long time to recover. Like the treatment of infertility, if your physical health not good, you will be more vulnerable to depression and anxiety attacks.

o Pregnancy problems. If you have pregnancy complications or high-risk pregnant, your mood may also be affected, in particular, you need to stay in bed for many weeks or multiple checks.

Pregnant women who carry twins or multiple births often fall into this category.

Stress from complex inspection process, combined with concerns about the safety of the baby, you will find it difficult to cope with. In addition, not working or doing normal things will make you feel more difficult to maintain a healthy state of mind.

o Stress from life events. You have to worry about the financial situation? Moving house? Changing a job? Becoming a full-time mother after many years of working? Similar to a major event or turning point in life, such as divorce, a close friend or family member's death, or unemployment, and so on, can all make you feel depressed and low.

oA history of abuse. In the emotional, sexual, physical or words, have been subject to ill-treatment of women will not have their own self-confidence and a sense of helplessness or a sense of isolation - all of which will increase your risk of depression. During pregnancy, they will recall the painful history of abuse, which will once again make them suffer from depression, anxiety, and panic attack.

o Other risk factors. If you are young, single, or unwanted pregnancy, your chances of suffering from depression and anxiety will be much higher.

For more information on how to stop anxiety during pregnancy, please click here.

Help! Holidays During Pregnancy?

It is that time of year again and every girl wants to look great on holiday, whether that is at home or abroad. Not everyone feels as confident as they should. Wearing swimwear often makes us feel uncomfortable and many women choose to have a suitable cover up to give them added confidence. This can be more true when you are pregnant. You want to celebrate your curves at this special time as well as stay cool comfortable and relaxed.

Here are some tips to help you feel great on holiday, whether you are walking, on the beach or in the pool.

What kind of holiday are you going on? There is a big difference between a sightseeing and beach holidays, means a different wardrobe. For sightseeing holidays, loose adjustable linen trousers or skirts can help keep you cool and can be placed under the bump or grow with your bump. Cool cotton tops that are fitted but not tight are also flattering. Avoid buying summer dresses that are not fitted and just expand to fit your bump. These can be really unflattering and look like you are wearing a tent.

Beach holidays require well fitting maternity swimwear and beach cover.
Maternity swimwear is a good investment every time as it will be more flattering to your new shape as well as give you the support that you need. A good cover-up needs to flatter your curves as well as be cool and comfortable. also try to find fabrics that dry quickly and do not crease, that way you are always sure of feeling great.

Whatever type of clothing you need don't underestimate how jewellery and accessories can really make an outfit. Maternity clothes can be expensive, try investing in a few simple pieces that can be worn for a variety of occasions and fit really well, accessories can then dress up or down the pieces you choose and can still be worn after your baby is born.

The Pregnant Cat Health Care Plan

Your cat is pregnant and you need to administer proper nutrition and fluids so that she can have a normal and easy labor. The pregnant cat health plan requires a birthing room. A cat usually picks a place away from people and other animals. This place is where the kittens are born and cleaned. A mother may move the kittens to a new area when they are about one to two weeks old. If you do not want this to happen, you may have to pick a place that confines her during labor and nursing.

Proper exercise is needed for the pregnant cat and monitoring of all activities with other pets must be done to prevent miscarriages. The first sign your cat is pregnant is about three weeks after conception, the nibbles appear pink and will be tender. Now is the time to feed a healthy diet that will nutritious the unborn kittens as they grow to term. If the mother cat is healthy, the kittens should be born healthy.

A pregnant cat health plan does not include rabies shots or distemper shots during pregnancy. This can harm the unborn kittens. The only things a vet will do are check for heartbeats and recommend the proper food and maybe some vitamins. A Blood test is done to check the mother's health. By nine weeks, you need to monitor the mother closely as she will deliver anytime.

The pregnant cat will require some help from you, the owner, if complications happen during the birthing process. Try to read up on some simple birthing mishaps that might require your help and learn the proper way to do them in case the need arises. A veterinarian's telephone number should be in place in case something serious happens either to the mother or to the kittens.

Once the mother delivers, she will clean her new kittens and start to nurse them. Keep her litter box clean and supply her with plenty of water and plenty of food during the next six weeks. Pregnant cat health does not require a lot of work as the mother usually does everything. You want to make sure the birthing area is cleaned up after the mother has done the necessary cleaning.

The pregnant cat health does not stop after birth; you must keep the mother in perfect health to care for her kittens. These means checking the nipples from time to time to see if they look healthy and have no problems or sores. The cat must be kept away from other male cats and left to nurture your kittens. Once the kittens start moving around, the mother will be busy trying to control them and eventually, she will get sick of them bothering her. She needs to wean the kittens by about five weeks. This is when you need to supply the kittens with kitten food. The mother will reach them to use the litter box, but in some cases, the mother does not and you will have to train them yourself.

Tips on Preparing For an IVF Cycle

Infertility is termed as failure to conceive after months of trying for pregnancy without the use of any contraceptives. When you are diagnosed with infertility then the first thing you need to find out is the reason behind this infertility. IVF treatment is pursued once other treatments have failed to achieve pregnancy. Starting IVF treatment can be an exciting but nerve wracking experience. IVF treatment is the very first treatment tried when an egg donor is being used, there are severe cases of male infertility or a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked.

IVF treatment is often successful, though, it may take more than one try. Studies show that the potential for success with IVF treatment is the same for up to four cycles. IVF treatment is quite stressful. Just looking over the schedule of ultrasounds, blood work, injections and so on can make you feel fragile. Even the fertility drugs may change your moods.

Infertility and IVF can be pretty stressful and at times you may feel sad and worried; you and your partner may even struggle in your relationship together.

Following question and answers will help you to easily manage your IVF treatment.

What is the history and success of IVF?

The first successful IVF pregnancy in the world occurred in England in 1978 by Doctors Step toe and Edwards. Now, almost thirty years later, IVF is accepted as a standard treatment and in many cases as a first-line treatment for infertility, resulting in the birth of more than one million babies worldwide.

Is IVF treatment required for you?

IVF is recommended for women with blocked tubes or missing fallopian tubes and it is the best treatment available. It is also used when other conditions are present, including endometriosis, male factor infertility and unexplained infertility in which no medical cause for infertility can be found.

What is the age limit for women to undergo IVF treatment?

Successful pregnancy outcome with treatment is largely related to female age, particularly when using the woman's own eggs. Most clinics have a certain upper age limit after which they will not perform in vitro fertilization (IVF) with the woman's own eggs. The age limit for ivf treatment is somewhere between 42 and 45 in most programs. When donor eggs are being used, the age of the egg donor is the important issue. With egg donation, the age of the recipient does not seem to affect the chances of success. There are instances of pregnancy with the age above 60 also.

What's involved in IVF?

IVF is a complex procedure. That is why prior to undergoing IVF treatment, patients have an IVF orientation with their physician who will fully explain the IVF process, including pre-IVF investigations and processes. All IVF patients will receive instructions on the proper timing and administration of the fertility medications involved in the IVF treatment cycle.

Whether to transfer one embryo or more than that?

It is in the hands of the patients to decide how many embryos to transfer. It cannot be ensured that each embryo transfer will become a baby. One easy way of improving the chances of achieving a pregnancy in an IVF cycle is by transferring more embryos. However the risk of having a multiple pregnancy also increases with more embryos transferred. Normally the number of embryos to be transferred should be decided based on patients age and how many times they have tried IVF previously. If you are under 35 and have never tried IVF before, then transfer of 2 embryos is suggested.

How can you improve the chances of IVF Treatment?

If a success is required in an ivf cycle one should avoid alcohol and tobacco, medications, lose weight and maintain BMI, avoid caffeine or control its consumption, follow balanced diet and take folic acid supplements. IVF treatment should be started early as the age plays an important role.

When to go for pregnancy test after IVF Treatment?

About two weeks after embryo transfer blood test is carried out to find whether the treatment has worked. If the test is positive, first pregnancy scan is taken two weeks later. If the test is negative, you need to talk to your doctor and decide whether to try the treatment again.

How long should one wait after failure of IVF Cycle?

Medically, you can usually start up again immediately in your next cycle. Many clinics advise to take break for 2 or 3 months.

Is hospitalization required in IVF procedure?

A patient undergoing IVF does not require admission in the hospital. The patient has to visit the center 3-5 times during monitoring cycle. On the day of egg collection Patients can go home after the effect of anesthesia weans off which takes about 2-3 hours. After the embryo transfer, which again takes about half an hour patients are free to go home after resting for one hour.

Is in vitro fertilization treatment expensive?

This price will vary depending on where you live, the amount of medications you're required to take, the number of IVF cycles you undergo, and the amount your insurance company will pay toward the procedure. Compared to the UK and USA, IVF treatment is much economical in India, and the quality of the treatment is excellent. This is because doctor's charge very less as compared to the developed western countries. As per international standards, IVF in India is very cost-effective and more and more foreigners are travelling to India for availing ivf treatment.

Studies show that the potential for success with IVF treatment is the same for up to four cycles. Generally, the live birth rate for each IVF cycle is 30 to 35% for women under age 35, 25% for women between the ages of 35 and 37, 15 to 20% for women between the ages of 38 and 40 and 6 to 10% for women after age 40. (When an egg donor is used, however, success rates remain high even at age 40, with a 45% success rate.)

Know all about IVF Procedure, IVF Cycle, IVF Cost and Starting treating infertility today by contacting Rotunda Clinic:All Appointments are scheduled according to your convenience at Rotunda Fertility clinic.

You can contact for further assistance at or email at or simply a phone call at +91 22 2655 2000 or +91 22 26405000.

Moods - The Key to Understanding Yourself and Others

Most conflicts occur when the people are in low moods. We don't realize the connection between low moods and relationship problems. Once you realize how to deal with low moods, you can learn how to avoid damaging your relationships.

It's important for you to support your partner when feeling low. The best way to help a person in a low mood is to be understanding and overlook the effect the mood has on his or her behavior. Never try to talk or reason someone out of a bad mood, you will probably make them angry - to the person, a mood is a self-validating, complete reality.

As weather changes from day to day and hour to hour, so do our moods. We may be sitting on a park bench pondering the beautiful possibilities of life. Moments later we are depressed and thinking about problems. What changed? Who knows? Change is the nature of being human.

Understanding how moods affect our thinking protects us from being conned by them. It is our thoughts about our moods that cause us distress. We fear the moods are "real" that they will last forever. When people don't realize they have moods, they are hoodwinked into thinking reality is changing, not just their thoughts. What is the proper response? Be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low.

Everyone's moods travel up and down, all day long - our perceptions of life go along for the ride. Nothing in the world looks identical from one minute to the next.

HIGH MOODS - we feel relaxed, energetic, in good humor, patient, carefree and compassionate.


  1. Mental activity-or thinking-increases.

  2. Thinking gravitates to problems, dissatisfaction and pessimism.

  3. We experience a heightened but distorted sense of immediacy. For example, we think we must do something right away about our circumstances.

  4. We have a pessimistic outlook. We notice limitations and are blind to possibilities.

  5. We entertain many negative thoughts, emotions and concerns.

How we experience low moods differs from person to person.

  • Some get aggressive and belligerent.

  • Others become quiet and distant.


  1. Low moods contribute to our lives.

  2. They tell us to slow down and recover our bearings.

  3. Low moods offer us humility, when we realize we don't know as much about life as we thought we did.

  4. When low moods end, we realize that our thoughts and fears were blown out of proportion.

Quick Reminders and Tips on Moods

  • They come and go on their own. The less attention we give them, them the better.

  • When you are in a low mood, don't make important life decisions. Your thinking is not as sound as it is in a higher state of mind.

  • When others are in a low state of mind, put everything they say or do in that context. Don't hold it against them or try to argue with them.

  • Keep your spirits up and be understanding will help others to feel better.

  • As you begin to see others moods, you will see how to stay out of their way when they are low. You will also learn to what extent you can trust what they say and do.

  • Resist the temptation to either fight moods or resign yourself to them. Stay open to the possibility that your mood might change at any minute. Realizing you are "in a mood" usually raises your spirits

Infertility and IVF in New Jersey - Know Your Insurance Law

New Jersey is one of only fifteen states with an infertility insurance mandate. If you work for an employer headquartered in the state of NJ, you may be one of the lucky few whose health insurance will cover some of your infertility treatments. Beware the New Jersey Family Building Act does not apply equally to all NJ citizens. Understand how the law works, and how it applies to your insurance plan before beginning your infertility treatments.

NJ Family Building Act

The New Jersey Family Building Act is one of fifteen state laws mandating some form of infertility treatment coverage for people who work for employer groups subject to the regulation. The key to unlocking how this law applies to you is to understand who is subject to the regulation, what it covers, where the holes lie, and how to fill the gaps.

Where are the Holes?

The New Jersey law applies to employer groups of fifty employees or more, for employer groups headquartered in the state. If you work for an employer with less than fifty employees, or for a branch location that happens to be in NJ but headquartered elsewhere, then you may be out of luck. Also, employers who self insure are not subject to the mandate. Many larger employers take the self insure route, and are therefore not subject to the mandate either.

The NJ law is unique in that is specifically describes a variety of infertility treatments that must be covered. But don't assume that there is no limit to the coverage. Infertility treatments don't come with guarantees of success. Most insurance plans will cap the number of cycles you can try in your lifetime.

How to Fill the Gaps

Remember that your unreimbursed infertility medical expenses may be tax deductible and you may get a bigger tax benefit by using your flexible spending account. Also, supplemental insurance is a great way to create maternity leave income, and provide extra protection in case of complications.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What is the Best Exercise For Pregnant Women?

A lot of women are scared to put on weight during pregnancy. Actually its very natural to put on some weight when pregnant and almost all women gain weight in pregnancy. However the amount of weight gain is varied from person to person. But it is very much possible to stay in shape during and after pregnancy if you take care of your diet and do some exercises regularly. The intensity of exercise for pregnant women is not very high but it does help a lot in keeping the weight in control.

You have to take care in choosing any exercise during pregnancy as you do not want to discomfort yourself or the baby in any way. So what is the best exercise for pregnant women. The best exercise for pregnant women should be able to burn some calories while keeping the energy levels high.

Exercises for pregnant women can range from simple stretches to squats and lifts. However the techniques of these exercises vary from the way they are done normally so that they do not put any kind of pressure on the baby. The movements have to be softer; you can have a good workout even with soft movements. Any kind of jerky bouncy moves should be avoided. These exercise will also strengthen you for easy labor.

Using the right technique is very important here which not only will make safe exercise but also give you a full body workout. Such exercises will keep you fit and energetic throughout your period of pregnancy and even post pregnancy so that you do not have to worry about getting out of shape.

The link given below will give you the exact way to enjoy your exercise including diet tips and detailed techniques which you can follow easily to have a fit and a healthy pregnancy.

What to Expect When You're Expecting: Symptoms and Doctor-Approved Cures

No advice is better than speaking directly with your doctor when you have a symptom in your pregnancy that concerns you, but there are plenty of physical changes you can prepare for and mild symptoms that you can handle on your own. Since your body will go through nine months of creating a new person, arm yourself with this brief guide for what to expect and what are common, over-the-counter-cures that your doctor would approve.

First Trimester - Weeks 1 through 12

In your First Trimester of pregnancy, you likely realized you were pregnant when you missed a menstrual period, showing hormonal changes. More hormonal changes will continue, creating such symptoms as fatigue, breast tenderness, increased urination, fullness or mild aching in your lower abdomen, nausea and vomiting (that is, typical "morning sickness").

While nausea and vomiting will be an early symptom, they can possibly continue throughout pregnancy. Suggested treatment is having small frequent meals in lieu of three large meals. Eat bland foods such as dry toast, bananas, rice, applesauce and plain tea. Cut out greasy, fatty and spicy foods. Room-temperature foods and drinks are easiest to tolerate. Drink as much water as possible and carbonated beverages are okay, especially as they are better tolerated when nauseous. The approved self-treatments for nausea are 50 mg of Vitamin B6, Mylanta, Maalox, Unisom, Pepcid, Tums and Zantac, and approved devices are Sea Bands.

Dizziness and a light-headed feeling are common during the First Trimester since your blood pressure normally lowers in pregnancy. The dizziness may also be due to low blood sugar which can occur in pregnancy. To alleviate your dizziness, eat small frequent meals and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also, don't make any sudden moves, especially avoid bending your head down and lifting it quickly. In work or exercise, change your head positions carefully.

Headaches can show up in the First Trimester and they are usually produced by increase in circulation that is experienced during this phase. Unless you have a history of migraines which you should discuss with your doctor, most headaches can be prevented. The treatment is much the same as for nausea and dizziness, that is, eat small frequent meals and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day. This avoids headaches from hunger and dehydration. Your doctor-approved self-medication for this symptom is Tylenol.

Second Trimester - Weeks 13 through 27

During the Second Trimester of pregnancy you start to look pregnant as the "baby bump" shows! For many women, the Second Trimester is the easiest period. Breast tenderness and morning sickness ease or disappear. Even the pressure on your bladder may ease as your uterus grows and moves up out of the pelvis.

Nonetheless, throughout the Second Trimester you may feel a great assortment of symptoms such as breast changes, leg cramps, back pain, pelvic ache and hip pain, hemorrhoids and constipation, heartburn from gastro-esophageal reflux disease, also called GERD, nosebleeds and bleeding gums, hand pain, numbness, or carpal tunnel syndrome. You may see stretch marks and some skin changes, and you may even have Braxton Hicks contractions which are called "warm-up" contractions that don't lead to labor.

Heartburn can be treated by avoiding greasy, spicy foods, caffeine and chocolate. Avoid eating from 4 to 6 hours before going to bed and sleep with your head propped up with pillows. Your doctor-approved medications for this symptom are Mylanta, Maalox, Tums, Pepcid AC and Zantac.

Hemorrhoids can be avoided by preventing constipation. Here again treatment is assuring that you are drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day and adding more fiber in your diet. Your approved self-treatments for hemorrhoids include Tucks, Preparation H and Annusol Cream or suppositories.

Third Trimester - Weeks 28 to Birth

Possible symptoms from the Second Trimester can continue into the Third Trimester, such as the Braxton Hicks contractions, fatigue, heartburn, hemorrhoids and constipation. However, many bodily stresses develop from expansion of your baby and swelling of your body from fluid building up in your body. You will experience swelling of your feet and ankles, called edema, due to the extra pressure that your uterus places on your legs. Also, since your uterus is now just below your rib cage, your lungs have less room to expand and you likely will experience shortness of breath. In addition, you will have to urinate frequently due to your enlarged uterus and the pressure of your baby's head on your bladder.

Discomfort comes from your belly getting bigger and the fluid build-up in your body. This discomfort manifests as an assortment of aches and pains, pelvic ache and hip pain. You may even have hand pain, numbness, or hand weakness such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Back pain is your most common pain. It may be experienced throughout your pregnancy but likely will be more noticeable during the Third Trimester. Whether lower back or upper back pain, self-treatment includes keeping yourself well hydrated. Stretching exercises are useful and there are pregnancy belts that can help support your back. Hot water bottles, heating pads and massages also provide comforting relief. Doctor-approved medications include Tylenol or any acetaminophen product, and approved devices for self-treatment include heating pads (used on low settings) and maternity belts.

Take care! Back pain that occurs every 5-10 minutes may indicate pre-term labor and you should call your doctor immediately. Or, if your back pain is accompanied by a 100.4 F fever and you have some burning when you urinate, you may have a urinary tract infection and should call your doctor.

Often Insomnia is a result of the discomfort and back pain from the Third Trimester swelling. You will have difficulty finding a comfortable position for sleeping. Lying on your back interferes with blood circulation and lying on your stomach isn't an option. You will have to sleep on your side and use pillows to support your belly and place between your knees. Doctors suggest that it is best to lie on your left side, since lying on your right side and on your back increases the weight of your uterus, and this increased weight can partly block the large blood vessel in front of your backbone. Your doctor-approved self-medications for Insomnia include Tylenol PM, Benadryl and Unisom.

How to Deal with Common Illnesses During Pregnancy

If you are one of those women who don't approve of taking any medications whatsoever while you are pregnant, none of the over-the-counter measures will do for you, even if "doctor approved." You will refuse to take anything even for a common cold during pregnancy. Nonetheless, here are common ailments and over-the-counter medications which most doctors easily approve, and most women will find tolerable for themselves and their unborn baby.

Allergies and Sinusitis

Doctor-approved medications for pregnant women having allergy problems include Benadryl, Claritin, Claritin D, Tylenol Sinus, Actifed, Sudafed, Chlortrimetron, Zyrtec and Zyrtec D. If your nasal problems are due to sinusitis, take Saline Mist Nasal Spray, Benadryl, Chlortrimetron, plain Sudafed, Actifed, Tylenol Sinus or Vicks Nasal Spray.

Cold or Flu

While pregnant, if you have a cold or flu with accompanying sore throat, stuffiness, congestion, aches and sniffles, your doctor-approved medications include any cough lozenges, Tylenol Cold and Flu, Mucinex, Robitussin DM, Sudafed, Actifed, Dimetapp and Vicks Nasal Spray. Keep your thermometer handy and take your temperature often. If your temperature goes over 100.4 F, call your doctor. Sore throats, colds and coughs are due to a virus and most of the approved medications will ease the symptoms. Antibiotics will not help cure a cold or flu. However, if your nasal discharge turns a greenish color, or you have a temperature of more than 100.4 F, these indicate a bacterial infection. You likely need to take an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor.

Constipation, Diarrhea or Gas

If you develop constipation, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Eat fiber-rich foods like high-fiber cereals, crackers, beans, vegetables and fruits. Prunes and prune juice are always helpful. The doctor-approved supplements for pregnant women are Citracil, Metamucil, Colace, Konsul, Perdiem and Fiber-con. Approved medications are Milk of Magnesia and Ducolax pills or suppositories.

For diarrhea, it is important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Diarrhea usually lasts less than 24 hours but if it persists or is accompanied by fever greater than 100.4 F, call your doctor. Approved medications are Imodium AD or Kaopectate, not Pepto-Bismo.

Excessive gas can be treated with Simethicon or Gas-Ex.

Medications not approved during pregnancy are Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Motrin and Pepto-Bismo. Also diabetic pregnant women need to consult their doctors before taking any medications and check for sugar-free products. While medications change and new ones come on the market, it is always good to check which ones are approved for pregnant women. As your body goes through its nine months of changes, it's excellent to know what to take and what not to take. Then anticipate and have common home cures and over-the-counter, doctor-approved medications ready for your aches and pains, common illnesses and bodily stresses that will accompany carrying your little bundle, or "bump," of joy.

(c) 2012 Elizabeth McMillian

Social Insurance for Foreign Employees in China

Foreign employees in China can participate in Social Insurance after going through employment procedures and obtaining corresponding employment certificates.

Both the company and the employee shall contribute to the payment. The contribution is calculated based on the monthly salary received by the employees and the rates for different types of insurance varies.

On September 6, 2011, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued the Interim Measures for the Participation of Foreigners Employed in China in Social Insurance (the Measures) which came into effect on October 15, 2011.

The Measures specifies that employers who employ foreigners shall, within 30 days of the date on which the employment certificate is handled, make arrangements for the foreigners to participate in social insurance. Foreigners employed in China, after going through employment procedures and obtaining corresponding employment certificates, shall participate in social insurance for employees, including basic endowment insurance for employees, basic medical insurance for employees, work-related injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance.

The payment of the social insurance for foreigners shall be made on a monthly basis according to the monthly salary received by the foreign employee. Both the company and the employee shall contribute to the payment.

The rates are as follows:

- Basic endowment insurance
Company contribution = 22%
Employee Contribution = 5%

- Basic medical insurance
Company contribution = 12%
Employee contribution = 2%

- Unemployment insurance
Company contribution = 2%
Employee contribution= 1%

- Work-related injury insurance
Company contribution = 0.5%
Employee contribution = 0%

- Maternity insurance
Company contribution =0.5%
Employee contribution = 0%

The contribution from the foreign employee will be deducted from his monthly salary by the company and paid to social insurance bureau. In addition, the basis of contribution for foreign employee, mostly like local Chinese employee, possibly is capped at triple of the average local employee's salary which is issued by local authority every year.

In the event the foreign employee leaves China, he can choose to keep the social insurance account and the payment can be continued if he is back to China for work in the further again. However, if he does not want to keep the account, he can apply for cancelling. In that case, the balance in his personal social insurance account can be withdrawn.

Foreigners employed in China refer to people without Chinese nationality who have obtained the Employment Certificate for Foreigner, the Certificate of Foreign Expert, the Certificate of Permanent Foreign Correspondent and other employment certificates and residence certificates for foreigners in accordance with the law, possess the Permanent Residence Certificate for Foreigner, and have been employed in China in accordance with the law.

Clarins Offers Tremendous Pregnancy Help

Pregnancy is one of the most amazing experiences you will have in your life. However, it can take an enormous toll on the body. Unsightly stretch marks are just one of the potential effects of pregnancy. While the rewards of pregnancy are incredible, you will require a bit of assistance to keep your body healthy and beautiful afterwards. This is where pregnancy skincare products from Clarins enter the picture. These products offer amazing advantages to you, helping to ensure that your body is as beautiful after pregnancy as it was before you gave birth.

How can Clarins offer these benefits? What products are available to you? How do you find them? To answer the last question first, you will need to find a high quality retailer that gives you access to the full line of products. The number of powerful solutions to your skincare needs during this marvelous time is simply amazing and can be a bit overwhelming. However, with the right retailer on your side, you will be able to make better sense of the options you have and determine which Clarins products will be right for your needs. What does this company offer you?

You will find Clarins body shaping cream, which helps eliminate stubborn fatty deposits and ensure that rough skin is smoothed and conditioned. It also makes an excellent massage solution, as well. Clarins smoothing body scrub is another powerful solution to your skincare needs during and after pregnancy. Created with the aid of bamboo, this scrub is gentle on the skin but helps to exfoliate and smooth your skin to an incredible degree. Clarins bust beauty extra lift gel is able to help ensure your skin remains firm and toned, without sagging or slackness and can help you maintain the figure you want.

As you can see, Clarins offers a tremendous range of products to help you maintain the skin tone, figure and physique that you crave. All products are created with a fusion of natural plant extracts and beneficial scientific formulation, which ensures they are safe to use during and after pregnancy. Of course, there are many other Clarins products available, both for pregnancy and for general use. Finding the right products is a simple matter when you find the best retailer. This solution will ensure that you have the information you need about each product to make an informed decision and attain the look you want.

Overcome Female Infertility - How to Treat Infertility With Cinnamon

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

I. Definition
Cinnamon is also known as Cinnamomum verum. It is a small evergreen tree that belongs to the family Lauraceae and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine in treating kidney yang deficiency.

II. How cinnamon effects women's fertility:
1. Kidney yang
Since it is a hot herb, it helps to improve the yang qi in the kidney and increases the chance of fertility, if the infertility cause is diagnosed as yang qi deficiency. By increasing the kidney yang, it also helps to enhance sexual desire.

2. Digestive system
It also helps to improve appetite and the digestive system in vitamin and mineral absorption that are essential to maintain a healthy menstrual cycle and enhance the normal process of conception.

3. Blood flow
Cinnamon also contains certain chemical agents which help to stimulate the blood flow to the reproductive regions, leading to lessening the risks of menstrual disorder and infertility caused by blood deficiency of the reproductive organ. It also helps the spleen in regulating the production of insulin, resulting in lessened risks of blood sugar in the blood stream, causing diabetic-like symptoms of infertility.

4. Immune system
As an antioxidant, it helps to improve the function of the immune system in guarding our body against the invasion of bacteria and viruses that decrease the risk of overactive immune disorder, causing the production of certain proteins binding to sperm and asking other immune cells to attach to it.

5. Dysmenorrhea
It has some chemical properties which help to calm the reproductive organs during menstruation, resulting in lessening the menstrual pain caused by qi and blood stagnation in the region and increasing the chance of fertility.

III. Side effects
Since it is considered as a hot food in traditional Chinese medicine, overdose may cause
yin qi deficiency( toxic effects).

Very Early Signs of Pregnancy- Explained

There are certain and varied symptoms that you can look for if you feel that you might be pregnant, or are hoping to become pregnant. The tell-tale signs of early pregnancy are not always there for every woman, and each woman experiences her pregnancy differently than others.

  • Missing a Period - This is one of the classic symptoms of being pregnant - missing a monthly period. If your monthly period is not regular, you may not notice it as soon as other women who get their period regularly. Many home pregnancy tests facilitate to women who have a regular period, though, and it can in some cases be a little misleading if you do not.

  • Fatigue - Almost all women feel extreme tired during their first trimester, although no one is quite sure as to why this is. It is commonly thought, though, that the increase of hormones in the body is the main cause. B12 vitamins and natural, safe energy supplements would help perk you up, but check with a doctor first to see if you are pregnant, in case the supplement you hope to take would hurt your baby.

  • Gagging Because of Odors - Often, pregnant women will feel a high sensitivity to certain smells - for example, the smell of a cup of coffee in the morning might make you feel so sick you can't stand to be in the same room as it. Even foods you used to enjoy may become repulsive and utterly disgusting to you.

  • Got to Go Right Now - Having to urinate often is a very common symptom of being pregnant. Even before your uterus expands to accommodate a child, the amount of fluid rises in your body, causing you to feel the need to urinate more often. It is one of those symptoms that does not go away with most women until you have actually given birth, the reason for this is because the uterus expands and it presses against the bladder.

A home pregnancy test will almost always tell you for sure. But refrain from using one until a week after your missed period, though, because no matter what the box might say, it is likely not to give you a definitive answer if you use a pregnancy test too early.

If you do get a positive result, or believe you are pregnant, call your doctor and make an appointment to discuss what your options are, and what is best for you and the baby.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

7 Quick Confidence Boosters

Sometimes even though we grow in confidence as we get older we do have times where we lack confidence. This might be when meeting with new people, going to a job interview, presenting to a group of people, meeting with people you haven't seen in a while and even when making decisions.

Confidence is not something we have or don't have it is state of being; it is a state we attain and can have control over once we know how.

Confidence is what makes us feel good; when we feel confident we can produce excellent results in whatever we do. This is due to confidence giving us the right frame of mind, focus and passion to help us complete the tasks we set ourselves. Lack of confidence affects our results negatively and is usually caused by a negative emotion or limiting belief about ourselves. Having a lack in confidence can lead to negative self talk and self doubt which will really limit the quality of our day to day life as these are all unresourceful and can drain our energy.

So, how can you instantly boost your confidence? By practising the seven confidence boosters so they become second nature to you. Read, practice, get the feeling and apply for instant confidence!
Quick confidence boosters

1. Power stance

Stand straight and with your shoulders back with feet at shoulder width apart. Ask yourself how would you breathe if you were feeling confident right now? Then as you are breathing take three deep breaths in and out. Then notice how different you feel when you are standing in the Power Stance.

2. Adjust auditory SubModalities

This is a quick fix for negative self playful and change the voice of the negative self talk into the voice of Donald Duck. You can also triple the speed or make the voice really really slow

3. Look through the eyes of the new you.

Stand, breath, talk, play as if you are totally confident. This behaviour will be enforced over time

4. Afformations

These are empowering questions that we can ask ourselves out loud three to four times a day. By asking these questions our unconscious mind will look for the answer. For example
'Why am I so confident?' or 'Why do I feel confident all the time?'

5. Just do it!

Think I'm going to do it anyway and enjoy it! Did you know there are many different ways to do things right and not so many ways to do things wrong? Getting out of your comfort zone will reward you with more confidence instantly

6. Achievement diary

Write down three things everyday that you have done well, they do not have to be big things.

7. Gratitude

Practice the attitude of gratitude! Every morning thank the universe for what you have. Write it down or sing it out aloud which ever you prefer.

What if you started using these tips today? We can utilize the tips quickly and effectively anytime and in any given situation. Where will instant confidence take you today and tomorrow? Enjoy the new instantly confident you!

Sally Pettitt
The Mother Factor

What to Do If You Are Pregnant and Have Lupus Or RA

The excitement of the positive pregnancy test, for most expectant mothers, can be clouded with concern for a healthy pregnancy and baby. But, if you have RA or Lupus, it can be multiplied. You also have to worry about if your pregnancy will cause a flare-up, what medicines are safe for your baby, and whether or not your condition will affect your growing fetus or your own long-term health.

This article addresses the issues of two, out of many, rheumatic conditions: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus).

RA and lupus are autoimmune diseases and in autoimmune diseases the immune system, which is suppose to protect your body from any foreign substances that may harm it, malfunctions and attacks your own body's tissues. If you have RA or lupus you are probably taking medication that reduces the immune systems activity to a greater or lesser degree. But pregnancy has its own impact on the immune system and your system must make some adjustments so that your body won't attack what it perceives to be foreign, the genes that come from the father of your baby. These adjustments make it possible for your baby to grow safely. But there are other effects which can impact your rheumatic conditions such as RA and lupus in different ways.

Something to think about.

It can be hard to determine whether the changes in the way you feel are from the pregnancy or your RA or lupus. Unfortunately when you are pregnant you can become anemic, which can cause you to be tired and have a lack of energy, this also happens when you have RA or lupus. Your pregnancy will also affect certain markers of inflammation, doctors use blood test to measure your inflammation called a erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR, which is often high if you have RA or lupus. These markers can also be high when you're pregnant so measuring ESR may not be the best way to gauge how active your RA or lupus is. Also, your pregnancy may make blood clots more likely, but if you have lupus, there is also an increased risk that you will have blood clots because there is a protein called antiphospholipid antibodies in your blood, and these proteins is what increases your risk.

Your pregnancy can also cause musculoskeletal problems because as your baby grows, your ligaments will relax to allow the pelvis to stretch. You will also put on weight, which is a healthy thing but this can cause your posture to change which can result in joint aches and back pain. Another thing is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which causes wrist pain and numbness, is a common complication of your pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters but is is also associated with RA and lupus. All these things can make it tricky to figure out whether or not they are problems with the pregnancy or are a part of your rheumatic conditions.

Things to do if you have RA.

RA mainly affects the joints and it will make them stiff, painful, swollen and sometimes, unstable and deformed, but it can also cause fatigue and you may have problems with your heart and your eyes. There is between 1% and 2% of the United States population that have RA, and it is most common among women than men. It will usually appear when you are in your twenties or thirties, the child bearing years, so finding women with RA who are considering pregnancy is not all that surprising.

The first thing you will want to know, if you have RA and are considering having a baby, is whether or not your arthritis is going to flare-up during your pregnancy. The thought of carrying around an extra 20 - 30 pounds of weight on replaced joints or on joints that are sometimes swollen and sore can be a bit discerning. Luckily there are about 70% - 80% of women who have RA that go into remission during their pregnancy, another words their symptoms go away. For the rest of those women with RA who don't go into remission, their symptoms may become milder and easier to manage. It's hard to predict just who will go into remission but despite this uncertainty, some doctors will tell their patients to stop taking their RA medications when they become pregnant because of the high likelihood that they will go into remission and not need treatment. But there are some steps you can take before you get pregnant that can help you during and after the pregnancy.

Work out a plan with your rheumatologist for what medication you will take if you do have a flare during your pregnancy.

You will also have to consider the type of delivery you will have. Most women with RA can safely go through the labor and vaginal delivery, but if your RA affects your pelvis and legs extensively, a vaginal delivery may not be what you want to do. Your doctor may opt for a planned cesarean section.

For some of you with RA, you may find that after you have your baby your arthritis flares up. Because arthritis flares can make it difficult to care for a newborn, you will want to plan very carefully just how you will manage this period. By planning you can ease the adjustment of this postpartum period.

If you are planning on breast feeding you will need to discuss this with your rheumatologist, obstetrician and pediatrician ahead of time. There are some RA medications that are compatible with breast-feeding. Try to decide which one you want to take just in case you have a flare after your baby is born.

If it's possible, try to have someone to help you at home during the transition time. If you are unable to, there are some things you can do to make it easier on yourself, such as; having some extra meals stashed in the freezer so that all you have to do is to pull them out of the freezer when things get difficult.

Planning is the key and it will go a long ways to helping you ease the stress of your worst flare. The good news is that RA doesn't have a negative impact on the baby, it doesn't increase the rate of miscarriages, and it doesn't cause any problems in the baby.

What if you have lupus

If you have systemic lupus erythematosus, it's a bit more complicated. The reason it's more complicated is that lupus can affect many parts of the body, such as the skin, joints, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs. The most common symptoms are a rash on the face, pain and swelling in the joints and a fever with kidney disease being the most serious symptom. Lupus is more common in women then men and it will usually show up when you are between the ages of 15 and 45.

Doctors of the past would often counsel women with lupus against getting pregnant based on the assumption that pregnancy would always cause lupus flares, possibly serious flares, and that babies would do so well. These were and are valid concerns, but there is now a better understanding of lupus and how to treat it that has made pregnancy very realistic and a safe option if you decide to get pregnant.

There are several studies that have shown that being pregnant may increase your risk of flares and yet other studies that have found that it doesn't. This confusion in part lies with how the different researchers measure and define a flare. And also, during any nine-month period you may have a flare or flares whether you are pregnant or not, so flares during your pregnancy are not exactly related to your pregnancy. Headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath and joint pain are all symptoms of a lupus flare as well as the possibility being a part of your pregnancy. The most likely risk is that women with lupus have a slightly higher chance of having a flare-up but for many women it can be controlled with medication.

You will most likely flare and not do so well during pregnancy if your lupus was active at the time of conception. This will be the case if your lupus has affected your kidneys because pregnancy will also stress your kidneys. Most doctors will generally not recommend getting pregnant until you have been in remission from kidney disease and active lupus for six months.

The most ideal situation is if when you have decided to become pregnant, that you see your rheumatologist ahead of time so he can run blood tests that will determine just how active your lupus is. The blood test will also establish a baseline that your doctor can refer to later during your pregnancy in case there are any difficulties. If you don't get these test done before you get pregnant then definitely get them done shortly after. You will also want to consult with an obstetrician who has experience with treating women who have lupus or possibly an obstetrician who specializes in high risk pregnancies. It is also a good idea if when you become pregnant, you are taking medication to control you lupus and that you can continue to take them safely during your pregnancy. Although, if you have RA you are able to stop taking your medications during your pregnancy, this may not be the case if you have lupus. You and your rheumatologist will need to plan for what medications you can take if you have a lupus flare during your pregnancy.

If your blood tests show that you have the antibodies called anti-RO (SSA) or anti-La (SSB), you will have a small risk of having a baby born with a rare condition called neonatal lupus. The main symptom of neonatal lupus is a skin rash, and it will usually disappear in six months. There is a very small percentage of babies with neonatal lupus, about 2% to 5%, who will develop heart block, which causes the heart to beat abnormally. If you are known to have the anti-RO or anti-La antibodies, you will probably have an ultrasound at 18 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy to see if there is heart block. The doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid in an attempt to treat the heart block if there is one. Although, research doesn't show a clear benefit of doing this. It may become necessary to deliver the baby early but most babies born with heart block need to have a pacemaker implanted, wither at birth or later in life.

There are other complications that come with lupus and that includes preeclampsia, premature rupture of the membranes, which means the baby will be born prematurely, and low-birth-weight babies. In preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, you will have high blood pressure and retain fluid among other symptoms. Preclampsia is thought to be more common if you have lupus and most often it can be hard to distinguish between preeclampsia and a lupus flare. But if it's not treated appropriately, preeclampsia can damage your kidneys and liver as well as increase the risk for a miscarriage and premature birth or even cause the baby to be very small. If you have preeclampsia your doctor may recommend that you deliver the baby early, either by induced labor or a C-section.

The same advice that applies if you have RA applies to you if you have lupus as far as the period after the birth of your baby. Planning makes all the difference and having help lined up in case you have a lupus flare prevents you from taking care of your baby. As with RA, you will want to have ready-to-eat meals in the freezer and be sure to know what your options are in terms of breast-feeding and medications.

As you can see, there are some very special considerations for you if you have lupus and are considering having a baby, but if you have a clear understanding that your chances are good that our outcome will be nearly as good as someone who doesn't have lupus. Remember that the best approach is to have your health care team, your rheumatologist and obstetrician, working hand in hand and also good communication and close follow-up with this these team members is the key.

Your medications

There are many medicines that are used to treat RA and lupus that are relatively safe during pregnancy, but some of the drugs used for rheumatic conditions increase the risk of birth defects, and it's also important to remember that birth defects occur in about 3% of pregnancies where the mother doesn't take any medications. When you are considering if a medication is safe during pregnancy, you should determine if the risk of birth defects is greater than 3%. Your doctor should be able to help you figure it out.

NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs treat the pain and inflammation of arthritis. These NSAIDs include the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (Clelbrex) and traditional NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) and the many other, both prescription and over the counter. There are studies in animals that have shown that NSAIDs can cause birth defects, but there hasn't been any findings in humans. It is possible to take these medicines safely during your pregnancy up to the third trimester. Taking NSAIDs during the third trimester, will increase the risk that one of the baby's heart vessels will close prematurely, a good reason to stop taking them at 24 weeks of pregnancy. If you are trying to get pregnant you may want to stop taking the NSAIDs, including COX-2 inhibitors, from the time of ovulation until their next menstrual period because there is a hypothetical risk that these medicines will interfere with the implanting of a fertilized egg.

Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids decreases the inflammation throughout the body and these drugs are often the mainstay of treatment for people with inflammatory conditions such as RA and lupus. Prednisone and prednisolone are the most commonly prescribed drugs that your doctor will give you and you can continue to take these medicines during your pregnancy if you need to. But before you do, remember that if you take the corticosteroids during the first trimester of your pregnancy, your baby could be born with a cleft palate. This risk is still fairly low, with cleft palate happening in roughly 1 in 300 babies exposed to the drugs in the womb compared to 1 in 1,000 when there is no exposure. Babies born to mothers who take corticosteroids during pregnancy are also more likely to be smaller and born prematurely. They also will raise your risk of pregnancy induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that happens only during pregnancy, and pregnancy-induced osteopenia or bone thinning. Corticosteroids are often a reasonable choice during pregnancy for the management of both RA and lupus despite the potential side effects.

Hydroxychloroquie: It was thought that hydroxychloroquine or Plaquenil, was not compatible with pregnancy but over the past decade that idea has changed. Right now most rheumatologists in the United States and elsewhere with patients who need hydroxychloroquine to keep their condition stable will keep them on it during their pregnancy. Studies have been done to substantiate the claim that the medicine might cause problems with the development of the fetus's visual and hearing systems, but the studies didn't prove it.

Sulfasalazine: Sulfasalazine or Azulfidine, is considered to be safe to use when you are pregnant.

Azathioprine and cyclosporine: These drugs are immunosuppressive drugs that are used mainly to maintain organ transplants. Doctors will also subscribe them to treat RA and lupus. There is information from world wide transplant registries of literally thousands of babies that were exposed to these medications in the womb. This information shows that there were no increased rates of birth defects, but the babies do seem to be smaller and to be born earlier. There are many doctors will use these medications if they need to control RA or lupus activity in women who are pregnant.

Methotrexate, leflunomide, mycophenolate mofetil, cyclophosphamide: These medications can cause early fetal death and birth defects at a rate higher than what you would expect. You shouldn't take them during your pregnancy and also if you are planning a pregnancy you should stop taking methotrexate or CellCept at least one menstrual cycle before trying to get pregnant. If you're a man taking these medications then you will want to stop taking them three months ahead of time. If you are taking leflunomide you will need to to stop taking it two years before you try to get pregnant, or you could under go a two-week procedure to wash the medicine out of your bloodstream.

Biologics: There isn't enough data to conclude whether or not this newer type of drug is absolutely safe during pregnancy. However, we do know that TNF-alpha blockers, etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (Remicade), and adalimumab (Humira) may contribute to birth defects according to recent evidence. You will want to stop taking biologic drugs before trying to become pregnant.

In just about all circumstances, if you have RA or lupus, you can be sure it is safe to become pregnant as long as you are sure your RA and lupus are under control and your pregnancy is planned. If you have lupus it is particularly important to keep the communications open with your rheumatologist and that you have an obstetrician that is experienced in dealing with women with lupus or high risk pregnancies. With careful monitoring and the appropriate use of your medicines, it will be possible to successfully manage your pregnancy when you have RA or lupus.