Saturday, January 18, 2014

Need Help to Get Pregnant? - Simple Tips to Help You Get Pregnant Fast

Getting pregnant is not as simple for some as it is for others. For those who need a little help in the fertility arena, here are some simple tips that may give you that extra boost you need for conceiving the child of your dreams.

Eat Healthfully

Not all junk food has to be eliminated, but it is important to be in optimal shape when attempting to conceive a child. Both men and women should cut back on caffeine and alcohol intake should be kept to a low as well. High fiber foods that are rich in nutrients are best, and don't forget to take a daily vitamin.


Just as the body needs healthy food in order to function properly, it also needs healthy activity. Exercising for just 20 minutes each day can help a body to be more likely to conceive.

Studies have shown that women who are overweight and lose ten or more pounds are more likely to conceive than those who do not attempt to lose weight. Please note: women who are underweight are also unlikely to achieve a healthy pregnancy.

Keep a Chart

Starting on the first day of a menstrual cycle (that is, the first day of bleeding), every morning, before rising, a woman should take her temperature using a special thermometer that gives a basal body reading.

Keeping track of these temperatures throughout the month will tell the couple when the woman is ovulating. Ovulation occurs when the temperature drops, usually mid-cycle. Timing sexual intercourse around this temperature curve gives the couple the highest odds of conception.

How Broccoli and Smoking Cause Goitres

Goitre refers to the swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck caused by an iodine deficiency. This can also be caused by regularly eating foods that can encourage goiter growth. There are reportedly 200 million people around the world who are suffering from this condition.

There are certain foods that contain goitrogens which stop the body from using iodine to make thyroid hormones. These foods actually produce thiocyanate and interfere with the iodine absorption by the thyroid glands. When these goitrogens are regularly consumed, the thyroid glands have to work overtime to function normally and this in turn results in the thyroid glands getting enlarged and thus resulting in a goiter.

The most common foods that are goitrogenic are broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, kohlrabi, radish, rapeseed oil and peanuts. This does not mean that one should stop eating these things, because these products may otherwise be very healthy. If they are cooked and eaten in small quantities, then the goitrogenic activity gets lowered and no serious harm is done.

It is not only important to take care of the foods that are eaten; it is also to take care of our lifestyle and the habits thereof. Habits like smoking can also cause goiter even in the absence of the above food products. This is because cigarette smoke contains goitrogenic derivatives and also something called thiocyanate which also acts as a deterrent for iodine conversion in the body.

Iodine consumption needs to be monitored closely because not only does the absence of iodine cause problem, if it consumed in excess that can also be equally troublesome.

Comprehensive Private Medical Insurance: How Do You Find It?

Many people living in the United Kingdom who are accustomed to having mediocre services and have become acclimated to the long waits, poor facilities, less than qualified doctors, and stress that goes with it all, have probably started looking into some kind of private medical cover for them and their family. However, based on this paradigm, most people search for a new plan that just covers their basic needs and then go no farther. Let's take a good look at how you find comprehensive private medical insurance in the UK.

What many people living in the UK do not realize is that there is comprehensive private medical insurance available for them, and with it you are guaranteed to have everything but the NHS experience. Surprising, I know, but let us try to break away from that paradigm and really try to see the big picture. It is easy to push it off for another day, but we never know when someone in the family is going to fall sick with a serious illness, or when you break you will break your tooth and be waiting in line for days just to receive attention. It is hard to envision the stressful (and painful) situation you find yourself in when these health emergencies arise, but then again, maybe you have been there and this is exactly why you are switching over to a comprehensive plan.

So what is a comprehensive private medical insurance plan, and are there any offered in the UK? It seems a little good to be true? You will be happy to learn that it is a dream come true. Having full coverage means that you will get full impatient care, unlimited outpatient cover, MRI as well as CT scans, psychiatric coverage, travel insurance, dental, maternity benefits, infertility problems, home nursing costs, chiropody, recuperative care, and even incidental hospital expenses like late night phone calls and newspapers while you sit around and wait. Could it get any better than that?

What it comes down to is that most people do not even consider such a plan because it is so different than what they are used to, and most just assume that it would be for an outrageous price and that as much as the NHS sucks, at least it is coverage. Unfortunately people need to push a little farther and do the research to discover that having comprehensive cover is affordable, and that aside, could be worth more than any printed currency in your life depending on what circumstances befall you or a loved one. Lives are at stake here. Yes, you can fall back to the default that the nation offers every citizen, but urgency and personal needs are not taken into account. Most people wait until it is too late. I know too many people who have fallen into that category and that is why I am such an advocate for this new option.

If you are still unsure of the financial responsibility of such a plan, look around online for different quotes. Compare plans and budgets, but keep in mind that there needs to be a balance between the two. Yes, you could get a basic private health plan that just scratches the surface, but in most cases it can be better to get the whole package. Often discounts are offered to online shoppers as well, so keep that in mind as you continue your search for a good alternative to the NHS in the UK. So to answer the question in full, the best way to find comprehensive medical insurance in the UK is to go online and do a search for an online broker that can help you find the best plan for you.

Provider Choice in International Medical Insurance

Private international medical insurance is hugely important for providers, particularly around the end of the year - those who do not provide this option are encouraged to read ahead and research this option further.


If you already represent a number of sectors, you might wonder how the addition IPMI could make any kind of impact on your existing numbers.

The IPMI market, especially in Asia, is one of the last growth areas for health insurance. With five out of the top 10 countries in the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2011 located in Asia, there is a clear signal that Asia continues to be a favoured location for IPMI's classic target audience. Many providers are now also able to offer cover to local nationals as well as expats, which widens the target base even further.

The products and regulatory framework are relatively simple, which means that it's a quick process to learn and get any of the necessary approvals.

Retention rates for this market remain high, with the market average around the mid-to-high 80% range, so customers are likely to stay once they've bought.

Commission rates start at around 15% for new business and are also payable on renewal, so a USD 100,000 book could earn USD 60,000 in four years.

Assessing your customer's needs

So with an existing book of customers to review, what's the best way to assess if your customers have a need and what kind of plan would fit the bill?

There are three simple steps to take:

Review any existing cover already in place
It's likely that many of your clients will already have some kind of health insurance in place and it's important to start with an assessment of the current cover.

If your client has a local plan in place, a review of the annual maximum benefit limit, the sub-limits and any excess or deductible, against their current lifestyle and expectations is the best place to start.

Expat or local national?

Expat clients often have a clear need for IPMI because they want the option to return to their home country for treatment.

The most recent development within the IPMI customer base is the addition of local nationals to the mix. Many providers are now able to offer customers resident in selected locations the opportunity to buy. Assessing the demand for this segment is not as clear-cut, since the desire to seek treatment internationally is driven by more emotional needs such as wanting better quality care and more choice and control over treatment plans. A good way to start with this segment is reviewing any second homes or international business travel.

What kind of product?

There are three basic elements in assessing your clients' needs:

• Do they need access to out-patient care or is in/day-patient care sufficient?
• Do they need access to routine and complex dental care?
• Do they need access to routine maternity care?

It's worth noting that dental and maternity benefits are always subject to waiting periods before the benefits can be accessed. If you have a client on a similar plan however, they may be transferred onto a new plan with no break in cover and all waiting periods removed.


Of course, your client can tell you that they need top-end out-patient, dental and maternity benefits but if the premium is out of their range, there are a number of things you can do to maintain the levels of cover without breaking the bank.

Many providers provide a wide range of excesses on plans to reduce the premium. These can be anything from zero to USD 15,000 or more.

There are also co-insurance options, where clients pay a portion of costs with the insurance provider, which can also provide significant cost savings.

Some providers also offer significant discounts if they are prepared to seek treatment in a semi-private hospital room as opposed to a private one.

Choosing a provider

So once a full assessment of the client's needs has been completed, who are the best providers in the market and what's the best way to choose them.

Making sure that you ask the right questions is key. Common complaints in this market are mostly claim-related. The time it takes to reimburse claims, the instance of declined claims, getting underwritten at the point of claim, are some of the most common.

A checklist for finding the right provider could be:

- Are they a big insurer with an international division or a specialist?
- What are the maximum limits on their plans, especially the sub limits?
- How do they underwrite customers? Full medical underwriting or moratorium?
- What are their turnaround times? i.e. how quickly do they pay claims and make decisions?
- What claim tracking tools do they have in place?
- How extensive is their medical provider list?
- Do they manage claims from one location or are there on-the-ground experts?

Massive opportunity

What is true about the IPMI market is that it is one of the last insurance segments that can demonstrate continued and sustained growth with solid retention rates and margin-rich commission levels.

You could make important gains with IPMI with relatively little effort - why wait?

Panic Attacks During Pregnancy - Can Pregnancy Hormones Cause Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

When a woman gets pregnant her body goes through many different kinds of changes. Hormone levels will be on the rise as the body prepares to sustain life for both the mother and the fetus.

It is typical for women to experience fear and worry when they are pregnant. They will fear for the health of their unborn child. They will worry about the possibility of having a miscarriage if they don't do everything just right. All of these fears are common, although usually unfounded. Nature has a way of taking care of the innocent and keeping them safe. A miscarriage is usually a sign that something is seriously wrong and the fetus is not healthy enough to live.

With the drastic change in hormone levels many women find that they suddenly suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. You may have never had an anxiety attack or a panic attack in your life until you become pregnant and all of a sudden you find that your fears are out of control.

There is no way to know how your body will react to the increase in hormones. Everybody reacts differently and until you have been there you just can't tell how it will go. Increased levels of hormones are making all kinds of changes in your body but these changes are necessary for a normal pregnancy and delivery.

If you find that you suddenly experience anxiety and panic attacks during pregnancy you should immediately discuss this with your doctor. For nine months your body will be undergoing changes and that is a long time to deal with severe anxiety and panic.

Now, more than ever, it is important for you to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. The delivery process is called labor for a reason. Your body needs to be in good physical shape to endure this process. This will also help the fetus grow strong and healthy if the mother stays healthy. The things you eat will also go to feed the baby so you need to take care to eat foods that provide nourishment to the baby.

If you experience a lot of anxiety and panic your doctor will probably recommend that you give up caffeine entirely. Caffeine is a stimulant that flows through the bloodstream and into the bloodstream of the baby. It is possible for the baby to feel stressed at the same time the mother does.

Avoid taking pain killers or other types of medicine unless your doctor approves it. Remember, everything that enters your bloodstream will also enter the baby's bloodstream.

Do something you enjoy every day. This could be a long soak in the tub or a shopping trip to look for baby items. If it makes you feel good it will help you relax.

If you follow these simple guidelines you will probably not have any reason to become anxious or panicky. Remember that pregnancy is a normal process that women experience every day. You may have to learn a few techniques to help you get through those hormonal periods but when you look at the end result you will know that it is all worth it.

In this article we have explored panic attacks during pregnancy. This information is but a tip of the iceberg when it comes to panic attacks during pregnancy. In my free eCourse - The mystery of the 7th cure, I show you deep strategies that will eradicate your panic attacks and anxiety disorders fast!

Pregnant And Allergies - Definitely No Fun

While having to deal with allergies for anyone is uncomfortable, having allergies while being pregnant can make you feel truly miserable. While many medications have been used with no harm to the baby, no medication should be considered completely safe from side effects and opting out while during the pregnancy is completely understandable. But having difficulty breathing and not getting a lot of sleep because of allergies, while not good for the mother isn't good for the baby either. So, how can a mom keep her baby safe while controlling the misery of allergies?

Any mom looking for options in managing allergies during pregnancy will be happy to discover there are plenty of choices in both avoidance and control.

Avoidance of Allergens - Whenever it's possible, avoiding to take medicines during pregnancy is preferred. In allergy maintenance, this is best done by avoiding triggers as much as possible. Take steps like these to help reduce your allergic reactions:

• Using barriers like dust mite covers on pillows, mattresses, and covers protect from one of the most common household allergens.
• Air purifiers using HEPA filters help manage indoor allergens.
• Water filters are effective in reducing the effects of chlorine, another very common allergen.
• Having HEPA or water based filters on the out ports of vacuum and steam cleaners are a good way to reduce the dust disturbance and removing it in a room during cleaning activities.
• Consult air quality reports before planning outdoor activities. Limit outdoor exposure during times when your triggers are at their highest.

Control of Allergies During Pregnancy - Unfortunately, it's virtually impossible to avoid all allergens so finding ways to manage the effects is a necessary alternative. Here are some great options in finding allergy relief:

• Check with your doctor to see what medications are safe to take while pregnant.
• Consider dietary changes. Eating vegetables high in vitamins C and E help the body fight the damage caused by free-radicals, Omega-3 helps reduce inflammation, and reducing your intake of dairy can reduce mucus.
• To increase blood flow and to thin mucus, eat more spicy foods.
• Eating raw local honey introduces your body to the area's pollen and may lessen the impact of airborne pollen.
• Natural remedies such as Stinging Nettles, Goldenseal Root, and White Pine treat different symptoms effectively.

Being pregnant and having allergies doesn't have to mean you'll have to be totally miserable this allergy season. Following a few simple tips in avoidance and managing symptoms effectively will make sure that there is nothing left to do but enjoy the pregnancy.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Three Things Your Pregnancy Diet Plan Should Avoid

The health of the baby inside is always related to a pregnancy diet plan. Pregnancy is perhaps the time where women should be cautious about their diet for the little one inside. The diet should have top priority because it is the only source of nourishment the baby will get.

Nine months could indeed be too long an ordeal. The mother could have a preference towards certain foods her doctor advises not to eat. For the baby, it will be a lifetime of suffering should the mother not pay attention to their doctors instructions.

When pregnant, there are three things that an expecting mother should follow to make sure that their pregnancy will run smoothly and be safe for the baby's transition from the womb to the world at large.

Avoiding Salty Foods

The salty foods are actually not directly affecting the baby but, of course, anything that will affect the mother would also influence the baby as well. Eating salty foods is the most common cause for water retention that causes swelling of the feet and ankles. This is actually observed on about 50% of pregnant women, and can usually cause a feeling of tiredness giving them the impression that it's the pregnancy that is giving them the discomfort when it fact it was the salt.

Avoiding Over the Counter (OTC) Medicine

Now, putting in medicine to the body should and always come with a doctor's go signal. Sometimes, a plain-looking OTC paracetamol tablet could be enough to cause dislodgement of the baby from its hold on the fallopian tube. This is really the tricky part of any pregnancy because the mother should at all times try their very best to stay healthy. Choose not to drink any sort of medicine, especially those OTC drugs that can be handily bought from any drugstore.

Avoiding to Many Sweets

Sweets are perhaps the hardest thing to avoid. Like salty foods, there is really nothing outwardly problematic about this as a lot of expecting moms are guilty of this. The only reason doctors would be against this is that it will make the baby grow so large and the probability of having a normal delivery would be compromised. Shying away from sweets is very much for the sake of the mother. A mothers craving for sweet foods would make them bloat and would only be felt mostly after giving birth. Sometimes, the weight will not return to pre-pregnancy weight levels without a proper pregnancy diet plan. Often times, postpartum depression is caused by the physical changes brought about by giving birth.

Needless to say, smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages should not be consumed at any time of the pregnancy period. Most of the abnormalities that have been found on unfortunate babies have been correlated to smoking and alcoholic mothers during their pregnancies.

Yeast Infection During Pregnancy and How to Treat It Naturally

Yeast naturally exists in the vagina and our intestinal tract and occurs when you have an overgrowth and ultimately the yeast takes over causing an imbalance which then results in yeast infection. Pregnant women are even more prone to this because their bodies are producing extra estrogen and other hormonal changes are taking place. If you have diabetes or high blood sugar or if you have taken antibiotics, then that exasperates the situation even more.

Please do not take any oral anti fungal medications over the counter or prescribed. They are generally not safe for pregnant women. Consult your doctor on what is safe and use some tips below to help treat it naturally.

Ways you can treat yeast infections during pregnancy naturally.

1. Wear only cotton underwear, avoid taking baths, only use natural unscented personal care products, and avoid sugars and refined foods.

2. Eat foods rich in Lactobacillus acidophilus, a friendly bacteria that exists naturally in our body and helps fight excess yeast among other benefits. L. Acidophillus boosts the immune system, provides the correct balance in your gastrointestinal tract, helps with urinary tract infections, reduces chances of ulcers, and helps balance cholesterol. It is a great supplement to take even if you are not pregnant. Foods rich in this friendly bacteria are yogurt, fermented pickles like sauerkraut and kimchi, miso soup, tempeh, kefir, and fermented cheese. Kefir, traditionally popular in certain regions of Europe is quickly gaining popularity in the US. It is basically fermented milk and has stronger beneficial bacteria then yogurt. You can also make or buy kefir made from coconut water or juice.

3. In addition to eating foods rich in L. Acidophillus, taking a probiotic supplement is very beneficial especially if you have been on antibiotics. You can also use a liquid form of a probiotic and use it as a suppository to naturally help treat vaginal yeast. Saturate a light tampon with the liquid probiotic, insert and leave it in for 2-3 hours. This is completely safe for pregnant women as a means to treat vaginal yeast during pregnancy. I do not recommend douching with commercial products but you can do a douche with dissolving powder form of probiotic in water.

4. Using anti-fungal extracts and oils to use as natural suppositories can also be very helpful. Tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are powerful and effective. Make sure you do dilute it in water. You can add about 10-20 drops of oil/extract to 2 cups of water.

5. One midwife has treated many of her pregnant patients with hydrogen peroxide. It safely kills the pathogenic organisms that exists in the vagina. You can buy 3% hydrogen peroxide at any drug store, it comes in a dark brown bottle. Place small quantity in a small cup and fill a syringe with it. You can dilute the hydrogen peroxide with 1 or 2 parts water if you are experiencing extreme irritation, otherwise no need to dilute. In a shower or over the toilet, take your time slowly and gently to insert the hydrogen peroxide into the vagina. You can do this safely once a day for a week.

If some of the natural therapies are not working for you (some women have deep rooted issues like diabetes and other health problems where recurrence continues despite many natural effective therapies), then i highly recommend working with a naturopathic doctor to come up with a natural solution.

If you found this article helpful or have something to add, please take a moment to leave some comments and suggestions.

Omega 3 Fish Oil And Its Effect On Mood And Mental Function

If you have lost your joie de vivre, then there is every chance that you are deficient in the essential fatty acids required for regulating mood and for efficient functioning of the brain. It is now well documented that insufficient Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet not only leads to an increased risk of developing physical health problems like heart disease and atherosclerosis, but also to mood and learning related disorders.

Studies show that people who are suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, ADD, postnatal depression, PMS, dyslexia and many other mood and learning related disorders have low levels of the essential Omega 3 fatty acids in their blood. High levels of the equally essential but over abundant Omega 6 fatty acids have also been found. This imbalance can turn out to be extremely debilitating for some, or it could simply mean low moods, an inability to concentrate and focus, irritability and a general feeling of malaise for others.

Over the past 70 years or so, we have dramatically increased our consumption of Omega 6 and all but annihilated our intake of Omega 3 and the staggering reality is that very few of us are actually getting the amount of Omega 3 we need. Fish oil contains the Omega 3 fatty acids Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are vital for healthy brain development and function. Putting physical health problems aside, those of us who have low blood levels of Omega 3 are more likely to adopt a negative outlook on life, to behave impulsively and to feel depressed according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.

It stands to reason that if we increase our intake of Omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil, then we might be able to improve mood and reduce, eliminate or even prevent many of the symptoms associated with a lack of these fatty acids. And this is exactly what researchers have found.

What the research says...

o According to a study led by Lawrence Whalley, a mental health professor at Aberdeen University, fish oil appears to help the brain to work faster, it increases IQ scores and slows down the ageing process by reducing inflammation.

o The Durham trials led by Dr Madeleine Portwood have consistently shown that fish oil with a high EPA content improves behaviour, concentration and learning resulting in better grades at school. o Adelaide University, who also used high EPA fish oil, claimed it to be an effective treatment for ADHD.

o Research led by Dr Andrew Stoll looked at the effect of Omega 3 fatty acids on Bipolar disorder and found that fish oil reduced the severity of the symptoms.

o Hibbeln et al found a direct link between lower fish consumption and the risk of developing postnatal depression and that research spanned 22 countries.

o An Italian study by Fontani et al concluded that Omega 3 supplementation improves complex cortical processing with improvements in mood and a reduction in anger, anxiety and depression

These examples represent only a fraction of the studies conducted but they demonstrate just how effective fish oil can be in positively influencing mood and mental functioning.

But one of the biggest studies to date on the effect of Omega 3 fatty acids on depression was conducted by Malcolm Peet at Sheffield University who found that ethyl-EPA, a highly concentrated and purified form of the Omega 3 fatty acid EPA, dramatically reduced depression. He, along with a growing number of others, now believe that EPA is the fatty acid primarily responsible for the profound effect on mood and brain functioning and not DHA as once was thought.

EPA versus DHA

Although we need both EPA and DHA equally, as Ralph Holman, an expert on fatty acids once said "DHA is structure and EPA is function". We need DHA for the proper development of the brain during pregnancy and through the first few years of life, but the rest of the time we need EPA for the brain to function efficiently. Some research has also indicated that the presence of DHA might actually interfere with the beneficial properties of EPA making it somewhat less effective than fish oil with a very high EPA content.

How EPA works

No one yet knows exactly how EPA works, but it is believed to reduce inflammation, thin the blood, increase serotonin levels, and improve blood flow to the brain leading to greater inter-connectivity in the neural networks. EPA and other fatty acids we consume compete with each other to be converted into eicosanoids. These hormone-like compounds will either be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory depending on the type of fatty acid that dominated at the time, for example, Omega 3 or Omega 6.

As EPA is constantly being used up as it were, we need to replenish our supplies in order to inhibit overproduction of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, which is known to put us at greater risk of depression and other health problems. Conclusion

Fish oil may not be a panacea for mental health problems, but there is little doubt that supplementing with fish oil high in EPA has the ability to improve mental functioning and to make a profound difference to the symptoms associated with mood related conditions like depression.

Copyright 2006 David McEvoy

Kinds of Food to Get Pregnant - Simple Tips to Help Get Pregnant

Conceiving is not easy for some people, which is why they need to know the importance of getting the right kinds of food to get pregnant to improve their chances of getting pregnant. This is a guide for the kinds of food you should be taking in every meal.

You are going to need to start revamping your diet if you find it hard to conceive. This is a fact that most people take for granted. What you need to do is discipline yourself and start eating much healthier because having a healthy body and eating all the right stuff will help you condition yourself and improve your chances of having a baby.

There are lots of kinds of food to get pregnant, but we'll start with what you have regularly for breakfast. If you usually eat just a few pancakes, the occasional buttered toast or even just cereal, it may not be enough. You have to make sure you have a well balanced and hearty breakfast that contains a source of iron, calcium and of course folic acid. Make sure your meals consist of a type of enriched wheat bread, grains or even just your run of the mill cereal. You should also have fruits on the side, like some apricots or oranges. Milk or yogurt is also an essential addition to your breakfast.

For lunch, the kinds of food to get pregnant are similar to the ones above. You have to focus on this triangle because these are the most helpful for helping you conceive. You should have some meat, and again with enriched bread and a source of calcium like cheese or broccoli. Have a lot of vegetables and add variety to your meals. It would be to your advantage if you take vitamins that are rich in these nutrients during the day as prescribed to supplement your meals.

When you have dinner, you are going to need seafood - mussels, shrimp, salmon - these are amazing and rich sources of iron that you're going to need. Have some pasta with a tomato based paste or some steak. All you really need is a meal that satisfies you and gives you the three essential nutrients without blocking your arteries. Having a body that is healthy will help you feel better, more relaxed and consequently eases the pressure on having a baby, making the process more fun and increasing your chances of getting pregnant. This doesn't mean you are forced to neglect all other kinds of food though, but it does mean you have to watch what you eat and prepare yourself for conceiving.

Fish Oil and Conception - Help Getting Pregnant?

Recent scientific studies reveal that consumption of increased amounts of fish oil can actually improve fertility both in men and women alike. This recently discovered connection between both of these can help a great deal for those who have been trying to get pregnant.

Of course, the whole issue of fertility and conception can be oftentimes complicated, and a wide range of factors seem to be at play. However, it seems that omega 3 fatty acids in this supplement play a significant role in the biological processes and promoting chemical balance that are important for fertility. But what is it about omega-3 in this that helps increase your chances of conceiving a child? Let us take a look at the relationship between these two in men and in women.

Fish Oil and Fertility in Men

DHA is one of the most potent omega-3 fatty acids. It appears that DHA plays an important role in promoting sperm mobility and development of healthy sperm cells in men. As you know, sperm cells have it tough and they need to be able to go through a long journey before it penetrates the ovum and successfully unite with an egg during conception. DHA assists in the formation of healthy sperm - the more produced, the more chances of pregnancy. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids have also been discovered to increase blood flow to the male genitalia for proper performance and sperm production.

Fish Oil and Fertility in Women

Female fertility seems more complicated than that of males. There are issues of hormones and menstrual cycles to think about. One of the important factors to achieve to increase chances of fertility is a regular menstrual cycle. The more predictable your ovulation periods are, the higher chances you can have in getting pregnant. Fish oil are not magical potions that guarantee pregnancy right there and then, but what omega-3 fatty acids do is that they allow women to have regular cycles. They enhance the body's natural ability to conceive by the process of natural regulation. With normal cycles, the ovulation process becomes predictable and couples will have increased chances of knowing when they will have the highest chances of conceiving a child.

It is also important to ensure that your diet is rich in omega-3 fatty acids as these essential fats have the ability to restore the normal balance of eicosanoids in the body. This results to increased blood flow in the uterus of females to ensure that the endometrial lining is fully developed every month, which in turn optimizes the chances for implantation to occur when the egg cell becomes successfully fertilized.

Omega-3 fatty acids can go a long way as far as conception is concerned. So if you are having troubles getting pregnant, bank on the connection between these two. Supplement your diet with enough omega 3 fish oils today, and get closer to conceiving the baby that you have always wanted.

Guide to Employment Law in China


1. What legislation governs employment law in China?

Employment law in China is governed by a relatively comprehensive set of laws, more recently supplemented in late 2007 to strengthen workers' rights.

Major laws include:

- Labour Law of the People's Republic of China (1994) ("Labour Law")

- Labour Contract Law of the People's Republic of China (2007) ("Labour Contract Law")

- Labour Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Law of the People's Republic of China (2007) ("Labour Arbitration Law") (effective May 1, 2008)

- Trade Union Law of the People's Republic of China (1994)

These laws and then supplemented by a myriad of national and local laws, regulations, measures and circulars.

2. Are there different laws which govern foreign-invested employers and domestic Chinese employers?

The Regulations on Labour Management in Foreign Investment Enterprises (1994) governs employment by Sino-foreign equity and cooperative joint ventures, along with Sino-foreign joint stock companies. The Regulations very much mirror that of the Labour Law. Additionally, as any inconsistency with the Labour Law will be resolved according to the higher-level law, little reference is made to these Regulations.


1. What are the different types of employment contacts?

Employment in China, like most other jurisdictions, is divided into full-time and part-time. According to the Labour Contract Law, part-time employment is defined as a labour relationship in which the employee works, on average, no more than 4 hours per day and no more than the aggregate of 24 hours per week.

Employment relationships which exceed the hours in this definition are termed full-time employment, which is further divided into 3 types:

1) fixed term: expiry date agreed upon at outset;

2) open-ended / non-fixed term: no expiry date stipulated; or

3) project-based / completion of defined task: contract to expire on completion of pre-defined project or task.

2. What are the requirements of a labour contract?

According to the Labour Law and the Labour Contract Law, other than part-time employment, all labour contracts must be in writing and contain the following terms:

- name, address and legal representative of the employer;

- name, address and identification number of the employee;

- term of labour contract;

- job description and work site;

- working hours, rest and vacation;

- labour remuneration;

- social insurance;

- labour conditions, working conditions and occupational hazard prevention; and

- other matters stipulated by laws and regulations.

If the labour contract contains a probationary period only (sometimes called "a probationary period contract"), then the probation term set out therein is deemed to be the term of the labour contract and the probationary period is invalidated.

3. What are the penalties associated with not signing a written employment agreement?

A labour relationship commences on the date on which the employee commences work for the employer, and by law, it is required that a written labour contract be concluded within one month of this time.

If a labour contract is not concluded within the one month of commencement, the employer will be liable to the employee for double labour remuneration, of up to 1 year. After 1 year with no written labour contract, fixed-term labour contracts are deemed to be open-ended.

4. What is the maximum probationary period allowable by law?

Maximum probation periods allowed by law are as follows:

- less than 3 months: no probation period;

- 3 months to 1 year: 1 month;

- 1 year to 3 years: 2 months; and

- 3 years or more or open-ended: 6 months.

5. If I am in the process of establishing a company in China, however, need to hire employees in the interim, what can I do?

Technically, as your China company cannot yet contract, it cannot hire employees until it meets all the formal registration requirements. However, as business requirements dictate that you will need staff immediately or soon after you get started in China, many foreign companies contract with a labour services provider such as CIIC or FESCO to hire the employees and then second them to their start-up operations. They then, either transfer their employment contracts when established or continue to maintain the labour services relationship.


1. What are the components of wages or salaries?

According to the Provisional Regulations for the Payment of Wages (1994), wages or salary are composed of:

- wages based on time;

- wages based on piece-work;

- bonuses;

- subsidies;

- allowances;

- overtime payments; and

- wages paid under special circumstances.

According to the Minimum Wages Provisions (2004) and based on the minimum wage standards promulgated locally, employers may not pay their employees less than the current minimum wage standard.

2. What are the standard working hours and when am I required to pay overtime?

The standard working hours in China are 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, for a maximum working period of 40 hours, with 2 rest days (typically Saturday and Sunday). Any additional requirements by the employer must be compensated according to the standard set out below:

- Working days: 150% standard wages;

- Rest days: 200% standard wages; and

- Holidays: 300% standard wages.

3. What are the national public holidays?

National public holidays (as of 2008) are set out below:

- New Year's Day (January 1): 1 day;

- Spring Festival (lunar new year, typically January or February): 3 days;

- Women's Day (March 8): half day for women;

- Qingming Festival (April 5): 1 day;

- May Day (May 1): 1 day;

- Dragon Boat Festival (5th day of 5th lunar month): 1 day;

- Mid-autumn Festival (15th day of the 8th lunar month): 1 day; and

- National Day (October 1 - 3): 3 days.

4. What are the social security payments required by law?

Employers are obligated to provide the following benefits and social security payments to employees:

- Basic old age insurance;

- Unemployment insurance;

- Medical insurance;

- Maternity insurance; and

- Work-related injury insurance;

The employee and employer jointly contribute to the first 3 types of insurances, while the employer alone contributes to the latter 2, with rates varying based on location of employment.


1. Can all employees be subjected to non-compete obligations?

Not all employees can nor should be bound by non-competition obligations. The Labour Contract Law limits employees who may be bound by non-compete obligations to:

- senior management;

- senior technical personnel; and

- those employees who have access to business secrets of the employer.

It is required that the employee and employer conclude a written agreement, either separately or in the labour contract, with regards to term, scope, territory, compensation during the non-compete period and liquidated damages for employee breach.

The maximum term for the non-compete is 2 years.

2. What are the typical compensation requirements for non-competes?

Although it is required that compensation be paid on a monthly basis to the employee during the non-compete period, the law does not state a standard amount. In practice, it is common to pay at least 50% of the employee's wages.

3. Are liquidated damages permissible for breach of non-compete obligations?



1. Under what circumstances can an employee be terminated without notice?

An employer may terminate an employee without requirement for notice in the following situations:

- during the probation period, if the employee is determined to be unfit for the position;

- employee materially breaches employer's rules and regulations;

- employee engages in serious dereliction of duty, graft or corruption causing substantial damages to the employer's interests;

- employee has established an employment relationship with another employer and that relationship affects the completion of his tasks and he refuses to appropriately remedy the situation after employer notification;

- employee used fraud in concluding the labour contract; or

- employee is subject to criminal investigation.

2. Under what circumstances must an employee be given notice of termination?

An employer must give 30 days' prior written notice or payment in lieu thereof, if it terminates the labour contract under the following situations:

- the employee is unable to perform his original duties or re-assigned duties, after returning from medical leave or non-work-related injury;

- the employee is incompetent and remains incompetent after training or adjustment of position; or

- the occurrence of a major change of objective circumstances which were relied upon when signing the labour contract, and the employee and employer are unable to agreed on modified terms of the labour contract.

3. Under what circumstances may an employee terminate the labour contract without notice?

An employee may unilaterally terminate the employment contract without requirement for notice in the following instances:

- employer fails to provide labour protections and working conditions in accordance with the labour contract;

- employer fails to pay remuneration in full and on time;

- employer fails to pay social security payments in accordance with the law;

- employer's rules and regulations violate laws and regulations, harming the employee's rights and interests;

- employer uses fraud, coercion or the employee's unfavorable position to conclude the contract; or

- other situations set out in laws and regulations.

4. In what instances is compensation required and how much?

Severance compensation is due in a number of situations, which are summarized below:

- termination by employee under situations which result in his right to terminate the contract immediately (Item 3, discussed previously);

- termination by employer under situations which require 30 days' prior written notice (Item 2, discussed previously);

- the employee is terminated due to restructuring or difficulties in business operations;

- the labour contract is terminated after being proposed by employer and there is mutual agreement on termination;

- a fixed-term labour contract expires (except where employee refuses to renew the contract on terms equal to or better than previously concluded);

- termination of labour contract due to revocation of employer's business license; and

- termination of labour contract due to bankruptcy.

Employers must pay severance in the amount of one month's salary for each year of service, with half a month's salary for each partial year.

If the employee earns more than 3 times the average monthly wage of the locality, then the compensation will be capped at 3 times the average monthly wage, up to a maximum of 12 months.

5. Can employees be 'laid off'?

Under the following circumstances, labour contracts may be terminated due to business difficulties:

- restructuring due to the Enterprise Bankruptcy Law;

- serious difficulties in production or operations;

- a staff reduction is necessary due to changes in production, technical innovation or adjustment of management operation style; or

- other major changes in economic circumstances relied upon at the time of conclusion of the labour contract, rendering them non-performable.

For large-scale layoffs (20 or more employees, or in smaller organizations where employee layoffs are less than 20 employees but this accounts for 10% or more of the total employees), the employer must first explain the circumstances to the trade union or all employees (where there is no trade union) 30 days in advance, and may reduce the workforce only after consideration of the opinions of the trade union or employees and reporting the restructuring plan to the labour administration.


1. How are labour disputes resolved in China?

Like most jurisdictions, mediation is the preferred method of dispute resolution, however, this is a voluntary process. The Labour Arbitration Law provides that mediated settlement agreements for salaries, medical fees for job-related injuries, severance and penalties may be entered into court for enforcement.

Labour dispute claims, according to the Labour Law and the Labour Arbitration Law, must first be submitted to the local labour arbitration committee located in the jurisdiction of the employer. The labour arbitration committee must then render its award within 45 days after the dispute has been accepted.

Arbitration decisions are final for employers in the following instances: salaries, medical fees for job-related injuries, severance, and penalties, where the disputed amount does not exceed an amount equal to 12 months' local minimum wage.

Employees and employers (with the exception of those instances set out previously) may within 15 days of the arbitration award submit the dispute to the people's court for hearing.

2. What is the statute of limitations for bringing a labour dispute claim?

The limitation period is 1 year after the employee knew or should have known that their rights have been infringed, however, if the dispute occurs under an existing labour contract, the limitation period does not start until the labour contract has expired or has been terminated.

Stress Reduction Techniques - 3 Proven Techniques to Reduce Your Stress

Everyone needs to use stress reduction techniques. Since we live in such a fast-paced world, I wouldn't be surprised if even ten-year-olds are feeling stressed out now. Our lifestyles haven't exactly been the healthiest in the last 50 years either. There's hardly anything we can do to reverse the situation. However, there are some practices we can do to help lessen stress in our daily life.

So what options do you have? Luckily, there are simple everyday stress reduction techniques you can use to minimize stress' effects. These suggestions are quite simple and applicable to anyone regardless of age or gender.

Stress Reduction Technique # 1: Put some relaxing music on.
Music has a lot of relaxing qualities, depending on the person you are. If you feel most relaxed listening to ballads, then why don't you pop your favorite CD in your CD player? These days, there are also special CDs made for relaxation. These CDs mimic the sound of soft rain or the sound of waves. I highly recommend these nature sounds to help you combat stress. If you have an iPod, you can easily look for these kinds of sounds on the Internet.

Stress Reduction Technique # 2: Goodnight and sleep tight.
Sleep has always been a reliable method to overcome stress. Getting sufficient sleep does wonders for the black rings under your eyes and for your stress levels. However, different people have different sleep needs; some may need only 6 hours or less of shut-eye, while others need around 8 hours or more. You should therefore try out different sleep routines, and discover for yourself the optimal hours of sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Sleeping gives your body time to recuperate. If you're feeling overly stressed, why don't you go home early one day and make sure you get a good night's sleep? It's one of the cheapest luxuries you'll ever experience.

Stress Reduction Technique # 3: Take your vitamins.
Taking multi-vitamins is good for your health and well-being. Vitamins help strengthen your immune system which makes you less vulnerable to stress. Vitamin B Complex, for example, fortifies your nerves and helps you deal with stress better. Antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins C (citrus fruits) and E (found in nuts and whole grains) do a great deal to keep your body in top shape. Fruits and vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants. If you don't like to take vitamins, you can also substitute them with natural herbs. Ginseng, for example, is known to help reduce stress without any harmful consequences to your body.

These everyday stress reduction techniques are easy enough to include in your everyday routine. Don't take your body for granted. Always take good care of it and it will serve you well in the long run.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Some Considerations of Low Cost IVF

How to Find Affordable or Low Cost IVF

The ability to have children is pretty straightforward for most people, but for others, couples who wish for a child have been unsuccessful even after a year of unprotected sex. Each and every year, couples who have unsuccessfully tried to conceive will spend thousands of dollars on in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, treatments. While IVF treatments often have a very high success rate, most people simply don't have $10,000 sitting around to afford the costs of these treatments, which are often not covered by health insurance. Due to lackluster healthcare insurance, more and more couples are looking for low cost IVF, and more and more doctors are willing to accommodate. Therefore, if standard American IVF treatment is out of your budget, you do have a few options available:

1) Apply to a refund program.

A refund program is a very viable for those in need of low cost IVF. These programs will allow you to pay a single discounted fee for a specific number of IVF cycles or embryo transfers. If you do not successfully have a baby in a certain time frame, the program will allow you to take home 90% of your payment. Refund programs are often available for those with limited or no infertility insurance coverage, though many are willing to work with your specific financial situation.

2)Consider opting for treatment abroad.

One cycle of IVF/ICSI can cost as low as $1725 in Europe as opposed to $12,000 in the United States. Even after figuring medicine and travel expenses, you still save as much as 50%. Indian clinics are also extremely reputable for low cost IVF treatment. One doctor commended Indian Med Guru, a widely known company in India, as "simply the best in the world" in terms of low cost IVF and quality healthcare. IMD also arranges financial aid for international patients who plan to have IVF abroad for very low cost. If traveling abroad is not an option, even simply buying IVF medication from European or Indian pharmacies can significantly slash your costs.

3)Some insurance plans will cover the IVF costs in whole or in par

Contact your employer's human resources or current health insurance to find out if fertility treatments are covered. The following states are required by law to cover or offer to cover some form of infertility diagnosis and treatment: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and West Virginia.

4)Provided your credit is in good standing, you may be able to get a loan or a new line of credit to help pay for IVF treatments.

You may even discuss the matter with your lender (after all, lenders are people too and can often relate) to work something out. If you are approved, use your credit for the sole purpose of paying for IVF. As always, make sure you can make payments on time.

Combining a few or all of the above will help perhaps already low cost IVF even more affordable for you. Thoroughly research insurance companies in your area, and become aware of your local and state laws regarding fertility and its coverage. Finding affordable, low cost IVF may seem like a great challenge, but many have found solutions in the past, and others will find them again.

Is a Healthy Pregnancy Possible After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

When a woman in the child bearing years undergoes gastric bypass surgery to lose weight one of the first things she will hear from the nay-sayers is that after surgery she cannot have a healthy pregnancy because of presumed nutritional deficiencies. The contrary is true. Morbid obesity results in a high rate of complicated pregnancies and a high rate of miscarriage. Women who become pregnant after achieving weight loss with gastric bypass generally have lower risk pregnancies than morbidly obese women.

The United States Surgeon General lists several reproductive complications associated with pregnancy in women who are obese. Complications include an increased risk of death in both the baby and the mother and increases the risk of maternal high blood pressure by 10 times. In addition to many other complications, women who are obese during pregnancy are more likely to have gestational diabetes and problems with labor and delivery.

The Surgeon General concludes that Infants born to women who are obese during pregnancy are more likely to be high birth weight and, therefore, may face a higher rate of Cesarean section delivery and low blood sugar (which can be associated with brain damage and seizures). Obesity during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of birth defects, particularly neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

In a study by Dr. Alan C. Wittgrove, past president of the American Society of Bariatric Surgery and pioneer of the laparoscopic technique, post-gastric bypass pregnancy indicates fewer risks than commonly reported by women who are obese during pregnancy. His study was conducted with nurse-practitioner Leslie Jester who had a low-risk pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby after gastric bypass surgery.

The Wittgrove Center has an active patient list of over 2000 people. The patients are informed to contact the Center when they become pregnant. In the study 41 women in the patient population became pregnant. Using personal interview, questionnaire, and review of perinatal records, pregnancy-related risks and complications were studied.

The study found less risk of gestational diabetes, macrosomia, and cesarean section than associated with obesity. There were no patients with clinically significant anemia.

Dr. Wittgrove concluded, "Since the patients had an operation that restricts their food intake, some basic precautions should be taken when they become pregnant. With this in mind, our patients have done well with their pregnancies. The post-surgical group had fewer pregnancy-related complications than did an internally controlled group that were morbidly obese during their previous pregnancies."

Man With Private Insurance Paying For Maternity Care

Fred, a confirmed bachelor and still single, was shocked to discover upon receiving his monthly statement, that his health insurance premium had nearly doubled one month. Upon further investigation, when he called his agent to complain, he learned that for more than two years he'd been paying an extra $104.00 per month, and that this resulted from maternity coverage.

"That should be easy to fix," he confidently told his agent, "I'm single and a 59-year-old male. When do I start getting the lowered rate, and maybe money returned to me retroactively?"

"Not so fast," Fred's inadequate agent blithely replied, "You failed to correct it."

"I failed to correct it?"

"That's right. It's your responsibility."

"How is it my responsibility?"

"I can explain it to you."

"Please do," whimpered Fred, now shaken to the core of his being after realizing that for two years he'd been categorized by his trusted insurance carrier as having the potential to become a pregnant woman and never so much as eaten a pickle. Recovering a bit of his dignity, he started to become indignant, something that the agent could instinctively sense.

The agent realized in the nick of time that explaining how the mistake had come to be was not only prudent but the right thing to do.

"Here's what happened," he began blithely spouting, "when you first joined up with this health insurance plan, we sent you a booklet describing coverage in every particular. The maternity coverage clause was mentioned in that. You should have chosen a plan that excluded maternity coverage to begin with. The plan you picked had maternity coverage in case you became pregnant."

"But I'm a guy."

The agent softened a bit hearing that. "You had ten days to examine the coverage. We never heard from you about maternity coverage."

Fred won't get his money back, but it's not too late to find a competent California Health Insurance Agent. Don't let this happen to you.

5 Things To Look For When Buying Health Insurance

The comfort and security of knowing you can see a doctor whenever the flu strikes or when you've broken your leg on the ski slopes is a privilege that many take for granted. Whether you have to select health insurance through your job or need to choose an independent company, there are plenty of factors that can affect your final decision. Weighing the pros and cons of various options is the best way to choose the health insurance that will accommodate your needs as an individual or family. Below are a few points to consider as you search for the best health insurance plan for you:

Know Your Choices

There are many different kinds of health insurance plans offered to the public. Knowing the various options you may qualify for will help satisfy your needs in the future. There are five type of health plans to consider: traditional indemnity, health maintenance organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Point of Service Plan (POS), and Health Savings Account (HSA). You should familiarize yourself with each option.

Know the Advantages and Disadvantages

Out of the five main types of health insurance plans, each one contains their own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, with a traditional indemnity plan, individuals seeking complete freedom in the medical providers they can select should choose this option. But freedom comes with a price; the insurance plans produce higher rates and costs. This means individuals will face few restrictions, but also have to cope with no financial incentives that lessen patient financial responsibility.

Coverage and Benefits

An important factor to consider when choosing a health insurance plan includes the type of benefits offered and whether or not they will accommodate your needs. Some of the coverage capabilities to ask about include maternity, prescription, childcare, immunizations, emergency visits, and annual checkups.


Seeking information on the premium or employee contribution associated with a particular health insurance plan is important to make an effective decision. The cost you are responsible for will depend on the type of plan you choose; the deductible, coinsurance and co-payment; lifetime maximums, and the limitation of plan benefit coverage.

Are You Considered "Hard to Insure?"

If you are labeled as a "hard to insure" case, you may not find the most cost-efficient or accommodating health coverage. A few things to keep in mind include: avoiding lifetime maximums of less than $500,000, straying from plans that only offer hospital and surgical benefits, seeking out an HMO plan that tend to be the least expensive, and researching health insurance coverage provided by professional organizations, school alumni programs or unions.

I Can't Get Pregnant With a Boy Baby - Tips and Advice That May Help You Conceive a Son

I'm commonly emailed from couples who believe that they are unable to conceive one gender over another either because girls or boys run in their family, or because, in the past, they've only been able to conceive one specific gender. (For example, they have a house full of girls, but no boys.) Yesterday, I received such an email from a very nice woman who basically asked: "I have conceived three girls and I love them with all my heart, but this time around, I really want to conceive a boy and give my husband a son. Is this possible since I seem predisposed to conceiving girls?"

I responded that it is very possible. Using the right techniques and tools, there is no reason you can't conceive either gender. If girls run in your family or you believe that you are unable to conceive a boy, there are a few things that we can look at and change to greatly increase your odds of a son. I will discuss these things below.

Why You May Be Predisposed To Conceiving Girls: Natural gender selection really comes down to one thing - which sperm chromosome makes it to and fertilizes the egg first. If you keep getting pregnant with girls, either the cards of fate could be dealing you daughters or, there may be a specific reason that the X sperm chromosomes (which produces baby girls) keeps winning out.

There are basically three variables that determine whether the X or the Y chromosome win: the timing of your conception; the sexual positions that you use to conceive, and the PH / acidity of the mother. In my experience, most women who have been unable to conceive a boy typically have a high PH. This scenario will greatly favor girls because boy or Y sperm can not survive in an acidic environment. Many times, I've seen women drastically change their PH and then be able to get a boy baby. I'll discuss these variables - one by one - below.

A Look At The Calendar For A Baby Boy Conception: I often have people email me and ask what part of the month is best to conceive a son. When I make mention of the timing of the month corresponding with a time in a woman's fertility cycle, I'm sometimes met with a bit of confusion. I know it sounds very basic, and please bear with me if you already know this, but what the calendar says really doesn't matter. What ultimately matters is when you conceive in relation to when you ovulate.

If you are trying to conceive a male, it is vital that you do not try to conceive too early. As I've alluded to before, boy sperm are weak by nature. This is not anything that you did wrong. It is just the characteristic that nature gave the Y sperm to balance things out. To compensate for this, the boy sperm are also very fast, which you can use to your advantage.

For a baby boy conception, you'll need to conceive on the day of ovulation. And, if you've had trouble with this, ask yourself how well the ovulation prediction methods you've used in the past have worked. I firmly believe that techniques which require guessing (rhythm method, basal temperature, and cervical mucus charting) should be abandoned for methods that spell it out for you with more accuracy - like saliva or urine ovulation predictors. (I prefer saliva over urine since you can test at any time and you can reuse the saliva models.)

Consider Changing The Sexual Positions That You've Been Using To Conceive: Remembering that the boy sperm are weak, you need to use sexual positions that place the sperm as close to it's intended destination as you can. This means deeper penetration. Often, I find that couples will try to conceive using the intercourse positions that worked to get them pregnant the last time. This is fine if gender is not important to you, but if you want a boy, use rear entry or positions in which the woman angles and elevates her legs to allow for a deeper deposit. Using a pillow under your pelvic area can help also.

It's All About Your Acidity: Of these three variables, I believe that this is the most important one. I truly believe that if you've only conceived girls in the past, the first culprit that you should check is your PH. Boy sperm will quickly deteriorate and die off if your PH is too high and checking this is as easy as getting PH testing strips and then conducting the test as directed. This will tell you very quickly if you are naturally acidic (and most women are, but women prone to conceiving girls are usually even more so.)

Don't be discouraged if this bears true for you, because you can change your level with a bit of diligence. There are basically two ways to go about this, but if your reading is very high and you want fast results, consider using both methods at once. You can either go on an alkaline / low PH diet or douche with solutions meant to lower your PH. There are food lists and douche recipes that can outline this. Baking soda is usually not enough. I know it's very commonly used, but if you use baking soda and then use the testers again, you'll usually see that your reading did not change all that dramatically. What usually does bring about the most dramatic changes is using the the douching and diet as sort of a one / two punch, used aggressively at the same time.

I know this can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't need to be. Use the tools available to you and approach this very methodically, addressing each variable until you're at the level or at the timing you need to finally conceive your son.

Your Babymoon - How to Plan Your Postnatal Recovery

A babymoon is the period of time parents spend with their recently born child, bonding and getting to know their baby. Your babymoon is an important occasion where you and baby are getting to know each other on the outside. It is also a time of rest and recovery for the parents.

Somewhere along the way we seem to have lost the art of mothering a new mother. The perception appears to be that you need to be a supermum and back on your feet looking after your family within a week or two after the birth of your baby. Yet in other cultures, a new mother (whether it is her first or fourth child) is looked after by family and friends and her only job is to eat, rest and feed the baby for anywhere up to 40 days. She doesn't have to cook or clean, just enjoy those first precious weeks with her child. So what can you do to give yourself a much deserved babymoon?

Make a plan for your babymoon. Discuss with your partner or support people how you are going to get enough rest, how you will feed the family, who can support you with breastfeeding or looking after older siblings, what is your plan for visitors? I can guarantee it will make a difference. Put as much thought into your babymoon as you do for your birth plan or in decorating baby's room.

Start to build your village of support. New mothers aren't meant to go it alone. Look for friends and family who will come over and pop on a load of washing, bring you a meal, grab a few groceries for you or take an older child to the park for an hour. A few people contributing an hour of support here and there adds up to a well rested mumma. You don't want someone who is going to come over and expect a cup of tea and biscuits while they cuddle your baby. There will be plenty of time for everyone to meet your new family member after your babymoon. You may even want to consider not having visitors for the first week or two, limiting visits to 15 minutes or only having one visitor at a time. It is okay to cocoon your little family for a while!

A postnatal doula is someone trained in the care and support of the mother and her family during that time of transition. She will make sure you are rested, have nutritious food on hand and can help you with breastfeeding or be on the lookout for signs of postnatal depression. Don't ever let cost get in the way of you getting the care you need. Ask family and friends to contribute instead of babyshower gifts or speak to your postnatal doula about a payment plan. Most are happy to work something out.

Make a list of jobs or errands people can help you with to send out with your birth announcement or beforehand. Many friends are willing to help but don't know how or feel awkward asking. There is a great post on Gloria Lemay's blog called "After the birth, what a family needs" Use it as a starting point for your own list

The practice of consuming your placenta has been around for centuries and is beginning to become better known. The benefits include:
• Increased breastmilk supply
• Reduced postnatal depression/baby blues
• Increased energy
• Reduced lochia
• Decrease in mum's stress levels

There are many ways to consume your placenta such as a fruit smoothie, disguised in chocolate truffles or encapsulated. Encapsulation is often seen as the most palatable option for many and has the added bonus of increasing the shelf life. If you don't want to practice placentophagia, perhaps you could honour this amazing organ by planting it under a special tree for your child.

Your babymoon is such a short, wondrous time best spent getting to know your newborn, recovering from birth and gently easing into your new family dynamic. By putting a little thought and planning into your babymoon you are well on your way to eliminating feeling stressed, overwhelmed or isolated after your baby's birth. If you can, spend the first few weeks of your baby's life at home focusing on absolutely nothing but bonding with your child and adjusting to your new family. Plan for plenty of skin-on-skin contact, cuddles and sleep - all the really magical things about having a newborn and getting to know each other

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Health Insurance Plans Covering Maternity

Many families are in search of affordable health insurance that will provide maternity or pregnancy benefits. Health carriers offer such plans, but they vary in the amount of coverage provided. Many insurers will not provide benefits to the insured for at least nine months.

As with all things insurance related, you must plan ahead. Occasionally, consumers are interested in maternity policies once they are already pregnant. They are disappointed to learn insurance cannot be purchased to cover a pregnant spouse - pregnancy is a preexisting condition. Insurers simply will not take on this risk. However, a health plan can be purchased for a healthy mother and child after delivery.

When is My Pregnancy Covered?

Generally, policies will provide benefits for maternity after the insurance has been in force for nine months, but some carriers offer plan with limited benefits that begin day one. However, if you were to purchase a plan with a nine month waiting period, your pregnancy would not be covered if the child was delivered before the nine month window had expired. Again, it is prudent to plan ahead and purchase a policy with a maternity rider some months before conception.

It might be helpful to look at this from the insurance provider's point of view. Typically, when a couple desires and pays for a maternity plan, then they are likely to use it. The insurance company is relatively certain that a claim will come in the near future. Thus, they will build the cost into the premium for the insured (you) and mandate a waiting period. That being said, some companies are offering plans that are more attractive than others.

A Popular HSA Maternity Plan with a Reasonable Deductible

One insurance company offers a Health Savings Account (or HSA) with a maternity rider and a low $1,500 individual deductible. Once the deductible has been reached and the nine month waiting period has been satisfied, the plan would cover the balance of the pregnancy. In this example, you could fund the HSA account with at least the $1,500 and write that off against your income. The $1,500 could be withdrawn tax free to satisfy the deductible and then the policy benefits would kick in. Currently, this HSA plan is one of the more popular policies available.

Another popular plan has no waiting period and provides more benefits the longer the policy is held. The maternity rider will cover $2,000 toward a pregnancy in the first two years. During years three and four, the policy will pay up to $4,000 and years five and on the policy provides coverage up to $6,000.

Another option is to simply self insure for a pregnancy. Many consumers will purchase traditional health insurance or possibly an HSA qualified plan and save each month in order to cover maternity expenses.

How are Pregnancies Billed?

At this point, clients often ask about pre-natal care and doctor's office visits. Fortunately, most Obstetricians do not charge as you go. Doctor's visits, pre-natal care and delivery are all included as part of the pregnancy and usually subject to one, pre-determined charge. Thus, the final bill can be run through your insurance company (assuming you purchased a maternity rider) and then settled up.

When purchasing health insurance policies covering pregnancy, you must plan ahead. There are several options available, but you will get the most from your policy if you do your due diligence and purchase the policy ahead of time.

Request a Health Insurance Quote with Maternity

What First Time Mothers Should Know About Pregnancy and Childbirth

For anyone who is pregnant for the first time, the idea of childbirth can be frightening and a bit overwhelming. Typically, a pregnancy takes anywhere from 38 to 42 weeks. Though many first-time mothers indicated that their babies were delivered past their due date, it is always best to be ready and prepared for what is to come during childbirth.

With the advent of modern science and technology in childbirth and childcare, many modern women are afforded more advantages with regards to having a baby than their older counterparts had, and many of these women take advantage of these opportunities. Instead of spending 38 to 42 weeks getting all worked up before the birth of the baby, learn and educate yourself on the process as well as how to care for your newborn.

Nowadays, hospitals and communities offer prenatal classes to prepare you for childbirth during the third trimester. Not only that, libraries as well as the Internet, offer a wealth of information on matters concerning childbirth and child care. Remember though, even with all the preparation every woman's childbirth is different and unique.

However preparation can equip you with knowledge and this will make you well informed. The thought of childbirth having been gone through by millions of women since the dawn of man offers little consolation to most women. This is because the fear of what is to come is terrifying.

Knowledge however can assist in that it provides a small sense of control over the whole situation. Now women are actively involved in their birthing plans and inform their doctor or midwife how they would like the childbirth to be carried out if all is well with the baby. Although complications can limit your childbirth choices, there are various options that you can choose from for your birth plan.

To prepare for childbirth you can opt to take up childbirth classes, Lamaze classes, hire a doula or labour coach, and read up on the subject. Even though the idea of childbirth and labour can be scary for a first-time mother, in the end it will all be worth it. Once the baby is placed in the mother's arm, all the pain and discomfort will become nothing but a vague memory.

By learning and understanding the labour and delivery process, you can help prepare yourself for the childbirth. There are many women who claimed that attending Lamaze classes eased their mind as they know what to expect. Having a labour coach, be it your spouse, a partner, your best friend or even a doula can greatly help you throughout the whole process.

As most women opt for natural childbirth, there are others out there who choose a water birth or a home birth. The thing that ties them all together is the fact that each labour and delivery experience will be different for all women.

While you may have had a rough idea as to the type of experiences you would likely have during the birth of your children, take note that there are many other issues and factors that could have an effect on that idea. Remember that the most important thing about all of this is the end result, having a beautiful healthy baby which will make it all worthwhile.

How Can A Chiropractor Help During Pregnancy?

A lot more expectant mothers are actually making use of chiropractic care throughout their pregnancy.

Exactly Why Do Expecting Mothers Want Chiropractic Care?

Whenever a woman gets pregnant, their entire body goes through a number of physiological as well as endocrinological changes whilst the unborn child within her womb begins to grow. Because of all these changes, the expecting mother could possibly experience cases regarding misalignment within her joints or spinal column which often leads to either one or possibly a combination of the following:

  • Far more notable curve of the back,

  • Growth of the abdomen,

  • Pelvic modifications,

  • Adjustments to posture.

Because of these types of changes, many women suffer severe lower back pain for the duration of their pregnancy. For others this could mean experiencing trouble accomplishing correct balance and also alignment. For this reason, chiropractic care can help correct them and also allow you to establish a much better posture which places much less pressure on the body. Additionally, misalignment of the pelvis could possibly restrict the baby's development within your womb.

All qualified chiropractic doctors happen to be briefed regarding using the procedures with women that are pregnant; therefore it really is typically risk-free and also gentle.

You can also find chiropractic doctors who are dedicated to chiropractic treatment for pre-natal and also peri-natal care for women. Consequently, further training is necessary to guarantee the safety of both infant and mother. Doctors who undertake chiropractic care on expectant women modify the actual intensity of their particular treatment procedures in line with how far into their pregnant state the woman is. In some instances, chiropractic doctors recommend stretching and also physical exercise programs that expecting mothers can develop to have a safer and much healthier pregnancy.

Advantages of Pregnancy Chiropractic Care

Before women even go through labor, the advice to have chiropractic care can help them in a number of ways. This may include the following:

  • It will help them enjoy a much healthier pregnancy.

  • It can allow women to have far better control over signs and symptoms related to being pregnant.

  • It allows them to deliver more rapidly and a lot more efficiently.

  • It offers respite from pain in the neck, back, and also joints.

  • It helps women steer clear of the possibility of going through a cesarean section.

Effects On Labor

In addition to the advantages previously mentioned, chiropractic care provides a number of other advantages for women during the actual labor, particularly in relation to pain management. If you need a more successful delivery, then simply make an effort to find out about exactly how chiropractic care can help you make that happen.

Duration of Labor

When the body is confronted with particularly stressful conditions, its degree of balance and also power to change is vital in identifying how the body is influenced by that condition. Many women who go through Cesarean section during delivery find themselves in that position because of their body's inability to overcome the stress associated with delivery. Almost all of it is actually due to misalignment on the pelvis which slows down the actual descent of the unborn child towards the mother's birth canal. Restricted range of motion furthermore has an effect on a woman's ability to deliver more efficiently.

Therefore, appropriate adjustments utilizing chiropractic care allows a woman to deal with the above mentioned concerns and substantially lessen the length of time spent on labor.

Fetal Placement

This is certainly one more component that will influence labor time. Almost all chiropractic treatments help to correct the pelvic positioning, and then in the process, also corrects the fetal position. This way, it will be less difficult for the fetus to get delivered effortlessly. Health professionals also feel that having chiropractic treatments assist in avoiding any kind of back strain.

Ovarian Cysts and Pregnancy: Get Treated to Avoid Complications

Ovarian cysts are small sacs filled with fluid which are located in the ovaries. Most don't cause any distress but some grows and causes health dilemmas such as rupture, hemorrhage and pelvic discomforts. Cysts are normal in women as long as they don't cause any problem. Most of them are nonmalignant and may disappear over time without treating them. Ovarian cysts and pregnancy should be discuss to expecting mothers since one risk of ovarian cysts is when a woman becomes pregnant and complications occur.

Effect in pregnancy
There are several types of cysts but two types pose a risk in pregnancy. They are the cystadenoma and endometrioma. Cystadenoma is filled with mucus and causes agonizing pain when a woman becomes pregnant because it gets larger and larger that could interfere with the growing fetus. The endometrioma grows on the lining of the uterus. It also causes pain and even hemorrhage during labor or circumstances that affect the endometrium, such as stress, contractions and hormones. Rupture of cysts could cause internal bleeding which is detrimental to both baby and mother. Any danger to the mother could affect the baby and vice versa.

During pregnancy, hormones are actively increasing to support the development of fetus. Estrogen promotes the thickening of the uterine wall, thus making endometriomas bigger. On childbirth, contractions occur to expel the baby, endometriomas could be sloughed off and cause hemorrhage. Blood loss could kill the mother in no time.

Early detection is extremely important to have a safe pregnancy. Treatment of cysts during pregnancy can already be dangerous since any maneuver to remove the cyst could affect the baby in the womb. While still not pregnant, it is better to have cysts treated. Regular visits your doctor is necessary to all women of childbearing age even with no signs and symptoms of disease. They can be diagnosed through hormonal level tests of Luteinizng hormone, Follicle-stimulating hormone and Estradiol; imaging studies such as ultrasound, MRI and CT scan; and laparoscopy.


Before proceeding to invasive procedures, most women with ovarian cysts start with medications. Usually, doctors prescribe oral contraceptives to help normalize the menstrual cycle. Regulation of cycle inhibits follicle formation and development. These follicles become cysts when affected by hormones. Formed cysts are shrunk.

When cysts aren't controlled by medications, the last resort is surgery. It may either be laparascopic surgery or laparotomy. In laparoscopic surgery, two small incisions are made in to the abdomen. A laparoscope is used which is a device with camera. When it is inserted through the abdomen, it shows the image on the screen of the inside of the abdomen into the ovary. The doctor does the incision using other instruments on the other incision. In laparotomy, one long incision is done by cutting through the abdominal layers until the ovary is reached. Both procedures are done to remove the cysts.

Medications and surgery when done during pregnancy could be harmful to the baby. Any stress felt by the mother could affect the baby. Most medications ingested by the mother will cross the placenta and will have adverse effect to the baby. Surgery entails blood loss that could deplete the blood going to the baby affecting its growth and development.

Ovarian cysts and pregnancy when occurring together can be detrimental to both mother and baby. It is necessary for all women in childbearing, especially those who are planning to conceive to get checked. Prevention is better than cure. It's better to seek treatment while still not pregnant to avoid complications.

5 Ways That Pregnancy Pillow Reviews Help Expecting Moms

Pregnancy pillows like the Comfort-U body pillow are a very big help to expecting moms all over the world. This is because all thanks to these special cushions, expecting mothers can now be able to have a good night sleep even if they have a very big baby bump. With the many brands available in the market today, it is really a big help for expecting mothers to read up and understand their choices on pregnancy pillow reviews. Here are the five main benefits that reviews provide for expecting mothers.

It informs them how a pregnancy pillow can help them - many reviews would first start off by describing what a pregnancy pillow is and what it is used for. This is usually done because most women who look up these reviews are often women who are expecting a bundle of joy for the first time. This means they really have no idea what this handy cushion is all about. By reading a review, they are able to learn more about it.

It tells them how to identify the right pregnancy pillow that will fit their needs - these pillows come in a lot of different designs. Identifying the right designs can be quite difficult especially if you do not know anything about these things. Reading reviews can greatly help you identify the right design that fits your needs.

It helps them find the best priced pregnancy pillow that they want - if you have to work on a budget, reviews can also help you find the best available one that has all the features that you need while making sure that you are able to stick to a budget. This is one of the biggest reasons why many expecting mothers look for quality product reviews on these cushions.

It tells them how to find accessories like pillow cases - women love to accessorize. This means as soon as they find a cushion that they like, they will immediately think up ways on how to accessorize it. This includes finding pillow cases and other add-ons that will make their pillow look awesome.

It teaches them how to properly use it - in order to maximize the effectiveness of a pregnancy pillow, it has to be used properly. This means assuming the proper sleeping position that will ensure that these special pillows properly support the baby bump as well as other parts of the body of the pregnant woman.

How to Get Pregnant Fast at 45

When a couple decides to start a family, one of the immediate concerns that have to be addressed is whether the woman can get pregnant fast. A lot of women find getting pregnant seem effortless and normal. However, a good number still have trouble conceiving due to many factors.

It becomes especially harder when a woman turns 40 and above. Older women face more serious infertility issues than younger women. It is a known fact that a woman's fertility rate declines rapidly as she turns 30. Even more so, every year after that. By the time she reaches 40, it becomes even harder to get pregnant, much less get pregnant fast.

This has become a growing concern for women around the world who are in their forties and are still thinking of conceiving children. Although modern medicine has discovered innovative ways to make pregnancy possible to women with age, it's a method that is expensive and is not immediately available in many countries.

Well, worry no more. There is still hope for you and thousands of women out there who want to get pregnant fast even at 45. Here's how:

  • To get pregnant fast, be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. It can be harder to bear and raise children when you are a lot older compared to when you are in your twenties. But this shouldn't stop you from pursuing your goal. Staying healthy is key. Have a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat also foods that are known to boost fertility such as whole grain breads and full dairy products.

  • Have a regular check-up with your doctor to keep a close monitor on your health, particularly your reproductive system. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe some fertility supplements that you can take and help increase your chances to get pregnant fast.

  • Stress reduction is important to raise the possibility for you to get pregnant fast. Stress is a huge factor that causes infertility in both men and women. You need to ease you stress away by doing relaxing activities such as going to a spa.

  • Timing of your sexual intercourse is important if you want to get pregnant fast. Having sexual intercourse during your ovulation period is recommendable. However, when you ovulate, it doesn't automatically means that you are fertile. Fertility period varies from one woman to another. To be certain, check with your gynecologist.

  • To help you get pregnant fast, don't think that you alone needs to be tended upon. Your partner should also be checked by a doctor to guarantee that he doesn't have infertility issues himself.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Health Insurance

Health reform was signed in to law in 2010 and it meant to make health care affordable and more accessible to more Americans. Many provisions are meant not to start until year 2014. Current provisions have made health care plans more affordable and expanded coverage for preventative care. Here are five ways that you can save money on your health insurance today.

First is to look for health coverage the allow you to lock in your rates. Most health plans available allow you to lock in your rates for twelve months and some up to two years. When shopping for health coverage look for "rate guarantee". Once the insurance company raises your monthly rate you can you can shop again to find a better rate.

Second look at getting a health plan with higher deductible. Most health plans today offer a high deductible for major accident or illness and small copay for services that might be used more frequently. Most health plans with high deductible still cover you before you meet the deductible for doctor office visits, preventative care (physical exams, yearly check ups) and prescriptions. If you have a preexisting medical condition and would like to lower your monthly premium this might one of your best options. Since insurance companies usually let you increase your deductible without going through medical underwriting.

Third since health care reform there has been some changes made to coverage. In some cases you can get exactly the same health plan that you have not through your insurance company for less. If you have been insured with same insurance company since March 2010 then check if they have the same health plans that you have now. Then find out if you are going to save money by switching to a new health plan.

Forth, when shopping for private health insurance make sure to consider a health plan with the benefits that you need. A recent survey showed that average individual health insurance customer save $77 a month when they selected health insurance plan without maternity coverage. Excluding benefit like maternity, which is not necessary for a single male, you may see significant savings in your monthly premium. Going uninsured or limiting your benefits might be a better choice then not having anything at all.

Fifth way that you can save on your health insurance is considering coverage with generic prescription drug coverage. Find out if you can get a health insurance in your area that excludes brand name drug coverage. If you rarely use prescription drugs and do not want entirely go without that coverage you may be able to save on your medical insurance. Most health plans today offer you a choice between having a coverage for both brand name drugs and generic drugs or only generics. In-case your doctor does prescribe a brand name drug chances are you can get a equivalent generic for it.

Those were five simple steps you can take to save money on your health insurance. The fact is that health insurance is going to keep going up. Making a habit to shop for new health plan every year will allow you to stay up to date on what is available in the health insurance market.

Remove Stretch Marks with These Medicinal Herbs

Stretch marks are scars that are produced on the skin mostly due to pregnancy and childbirth. These are present as lighter lines of the skin, with a whitish hue. Though stretch marks are usually associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it is not actually true. Stretch marks can also occur due to obesity, excessive physical labor involving a particular part of the skin, bodybuilding, pubertal changes, dieting, etc. Stretch marks are called as striae distensae medically. However bad they may appear, stretch marks are always a cosmetic problem and they have no repercussions on the health of the person.

A significant part of the joy of childbirth is marred when the woman finds out that the pregnancy has brought on several disagreeable changes in the body. Stretch marks are among the topmost of pregnancy-related problems. These put a big dampener on the self-confidence of women. In fact, some women may decide not to give birth to a child just to avoid the disfiguring changing that pregnancy brings on.

But there is actually no need to despair. Through Ayurveda, Indian doctors have discovered and perfected several techniques by which women can treat their stretch marks of pregnancy; and also avoid them while they are pregnant.

Useful Herbs for the Treatment of Stretch Marks

# Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)

The holy basil, or the tulsi, is used in the prevention of bleeding of tissue, stretch marks and scarring that can occur during pregnancy.

# Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

The gotu kola is an indigenous Indian herb which is now being extensively marketed and used in foreign countries for healing stretch marks and other cosmetic problems of the skin. It is an important ingredient in several pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of stretch marks.

# Indian Madder (Rubia cordifolia)

Indian madder is popular as the manjishtha in Ayurvedic language. It is very effective in the solution of skin problems such as stretch marks. It also prevents skin ulcers.

# Indian Margosa (Azadirachtha indica)

The Indian margosa is none other than the neem, which is almost worshipped in Ayurvedic medicine. This is used to prevent itches and abscesses that can be caused during pregnancy. It takes care of stretch marks. The neem is also useful in the treatment of secondary infections.

# Sandalwood (Chandana)

Sandalwood has a cooling effect on the skin. It protects the skin from stretching extensively during pregnancy.

Dietary Treatments for Treatment of Stretch Marks

During pregnancy, women must take care of their skin. For this, their diet must contain sufficient amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E is present in several oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, walnut oil and peanut oil and in foods such as carrots, tomatoes, hazelnut, soybeans, pollards, corn, asparagus and oatmeal. In fact, oatmeal is traditionally prescribed to women to get rid of their stretch marks.

The diet should also contain good amounts of vitamin C, which is essential in maintaining the water content of the body. This can be obtained from fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, which must be taken in a minimum cooked form.

Sour and pungent foods must be avoided. Similarly, saturated fats must be avoided in excess, because they can cause excessive stretching of the skin, and also lead to obesity. Eating seeds and nuts that are rich in mineral content, especially zinc is good for toning up the skin during pregnancy.

The water content of the skin must be kept high in order to maintain its suppleness. When pregnant, the woman must drink at least six to eight glasses of water in a day.

Home Remedies for the Treatment of Stretch Marks

# Apply a cream that is rich in content on the region where stretch marks are prone to occur. This will prevent the stretch marks from appearing later on. Even if the stretch marks persist later, you can apply vitamin E containing creams on the area for removing them.

# Cocoa butter is highly acclaimed for preventing pregnancy stretch marks. This butter must be applied on the skin every night when you are pregnant. Cocoa butter has much more benefits if it is applied directly after a warm shower because it opens up the pores of the skin and helps it to permeate better.

# You can use vitamin E rich oil such as olive oil or castor oil and rub it onto the belly every night. Use some aromatic herbs like mint, lemon grass, lavender, thyme, etc., make a paste of them with the oil and apply them onto the belly for better effects. The massage must be done for about twenty minutes every night while retiring to bed. Even if this is done after the birth, it helps the stretch marks to subside after a few weeks.