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When you first decide to become a surrogate mother it is usually for very good and honorable reasons. Normally, you simply want to help infertile couples have the wonderful experience of parenthood. Do be warned however, there are a lot of people who will simply not understand, they do not want to hear your reasons for doing this service for others, all they need to do is judge and criticize.

These are not the only problems you may face though. There are many more risks that you need to be aware of. There are medical risks, health risks plus financial risks. Added to this, if you have a job already, you may be risking the security of your job.

First of all, let us look at the medical risks. The agency you have gone with will need to match your ovulation cycle with the intended mothers cycle that you have been paired with. The way that they do this is to put the surrogate mother on the contraceptive pill, plus steroids, such as Luprin. Hopefully, these will do the job. Before they do this there will be blood tests and different health tests to guarantee that the body of the surrogate mother will be able to deal with being a surrogate mother. Also, there is the lengthy process of making sure the cycles of the surrogate mother and the intended mother are totally in synchronization. Otherwise, when the intended mother is ovulating, the surrogate mothers body may not be ready to take here eggs. This is a very important part of the whole procedure as you can imagine.

You will need to deal with the actual insemination process. This can be a little painful. Not just that though, there are the side effects to all the different medications you need to take.. Added to that is the problems a lot of people have in pregnancy, plus the risk of depression and sleep disturbance. You may feel guilt and it may be difficult for you to remain emotionally detached from the foetus that is growing inside of you. Just so long as you have gone to a reputable surrogacy agency you will be fine with any of these problems as they should have counselors and support groups who will help you through any of these difficulties.

As well as the emotional and health risks you may have to face legal problems with the state that you live in. Also are there any laws in your state that will protect your privacy as a surrogate mother. Financial issues, normally the surrogate mother will be responsible for her own health insurance costs. You will need to be financially secure before you even think about surrogacy. The majority of surrogate mothers do have full time jobs and will be on a financially stable footing before they become surrogate mothers

Very often, it is wise to talk about any issues your spouse and immediate family may have with surrogacy. After all, your decision to become a surrogate mother will affect them and you do not want to risk your family relationships while trying to help other people have a family. You will need the support of your family, especially your partner, so it is fair to ask their opinion beforehand. You may find that the intended parents become a part of your extended family, quite naturally. A bond can become very strong between yourself and this couple, lasting for many years.

Becoming a surrogate mother is a very serious matter, one that will need a lot of careful thought. But, so long as you realize this beforehand and it is undertaken by you from a strong base, you will find the rewards of it all, more than make up for any little problems you may experience.

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Understand from the outset that there's a wise order of priorities in family-planning.

Don't find yourselves weeks out from the birth of your first child before you pause to consider the issue of pregnancy insurance. Not that it's necessarily too late; you might be one of the lucky couples - an uneventful pregnancy, trouble-free birth, normal child with its full quota of fingers and toes and, for you and your wife, never any financial worries along the way. It means that you gambled and won. The maternity insurance plan, however, is for those husbands who are not prepared to gamble with their wives' health or that of the young and defenceless life that they, after all, have elected to bring into this world.

What it means is that before you and your wife try for a family, have her supplemental pregnancy insurance already in place. If you have a working wife, you will be losing her income so there's a loss to be considered at the same time as you incur all the expenses that come with pregnancy - maternity wear, vitamins and supplements, doctors' bills and medical checks - plus your own inevitable time off work occasionally (and that will always be at the most inconvenient times, you can bet on it!).

Add in any ante-natal complications that can arise - such as arrhythmia, high blood pressure, anxiety or panic attacks - and the money you have to find on a reduced family income can be a real worry.

Once your wife is already pregnant it's too late. You won't get supplemental pregnancy insurance, as pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. So before you conceive, consider both your options in maternity cover.

Major medical insurance for doctors and hospitals

Have this sort of plan in place before your wife becomes pregnant, and your worries are over. Major medical health insurance "bulk bills", which means you receive no accounts - the bills are paid directly to the provider (doctor, radiologist, hospital and ultimately hospital or mid-wife at the time of birth).

Your group plan, through your employer, should cover everything; certainly labour, birth and any complications that might arise. If not, go to the private market, but you'll find that expensive without your committing to a hefty excess.

Supplemental pregnancy insurance that fills crucial gaps

The supplemental pregnancy insurance works slightly differently, in that the benefits are paid directly to you and it's up to you to pay the doctor or hospital. When purchased prior to conception, it helps create a maternity leave income by covering normal labour and delivery expenses. If your wife works and her employer has a plan in place, she can use these supplemental payments to see her through her time off work.

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As official figures continue to indicate rising levels of unemployment, many business owners are facing the prospect of having to make staff redundant; something which they might not have experienced before. Research that we conducted earlier this year also indicates that many are actually too afraid of going down the route of redundancy for fear of being sued.

Correctly managing redundancies is essential to avoid ex-employees returning with dispute claims. Yet a large number of businesses admitted that should they find themselves in the position of having to make redundancies, they were unsure of the correct procedures to follow.

With limits on awards for unfair dismissal and redundancy payments increasing earlier this year, the potential financial consequences could easily cripple many small businesses. Yet redundancy remains an unfortunate necessity for many companies in the current economic climate.

With this is mind, here's some guidance on how to plan and manage a fair redundancy dismissal procedure.

Explore all of your options. Once business picks up, it may be difficult to replace the employees you have lost, so it is important to explore all avenues to ensure the best decision is made for the future of the business. Some of the options to consider are reduced working hours known as 'short-time' working, where employees keep their job but earn less money; offering early retirement, which can be less stressful and disruptive; or voluntary redundancy, which means staff can choose to be made redundant.

Selecting employees for redundancy. Before you make any decisions, you need to choose which skills and roles your business requires in the future and also the criteria you will use to identify redundancies. The criteria need to be applicable across all employees, objective and fair, with the most important consideration being the individuals' aptitude for the skills needed by the business. In addition to this, you may make decisions based on employees' punctuality, qualifications, disciplinary records and attendance levels. However, be aware that maternity/paternity, sickness leave and disability cannot be considered. It is imperative to keep a paper trail of all observations during the consultation process in order to demonstrate your methods and decisions in the case of a dispute.

Plan and take advice. When employees have been selected for redundancy it is important to familiarise yourself with the rights of both parties. There are specialist organisations that can guide you through the process and advise you of formal redundancy procedure, including employment law and statutory redundancy payments. In addition, some business insurance providers offer legal advice as part of your insurance policy, which can give you extra support and guidance to avoid any disputes.

Helping redundant employees. The law supports those who suffer discrimination, so it is crucial to demonstrate you are handling all redundancies fairly and with sensitivity. To avoid unfair dismissal disputes, there are steps you need to take to ensure redundant employees are treated equally. Be aware that if in the near future any vacancies become available they must be offered to staff being earmarked for redundancy, as any employment tribunal will carefully consider when such vacancies became available. You can also demonstrate a proactive approach offering them advice for future employment, preparing references, putting them in touch with local recruitment agencies or advising on interview technique.

Security measures. When redundant staff leave the company, it is crucial to ensure all ID badges, passes, swipe cards and keys are collected for security purposes, as well as business owned mobile telephones and laptops. It is also essential to have formal procedures in place to change all electronic and manual codes in order to prevent un-authorised access. This may include codes for the safe and alarm system, computer passwords and remote access log in details.

The future of your business. During this difficult process, it is easy to simply focus on the formal procedures and forget about the employees that are staying. Employees are more likely to stay loyal to the company if you demonstrate that redundant staff have been treated fairly and given advice for the future. To sustain staff morale, ensure you help them to focus on the future of the business and support them throughout the difficult period, making sure productivity remains at its full potential.

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Women who are unhappy with the shape, the size or the firmness of their breasts have two main options: they can have breast enlargement surgery or they can try the safe, natural program called Breast Actives.

Although the advantages of breast enlargement surgery are obvious, there are some risks that should be taken into consideration by women who choose this method to improve their looks. First of all, the surgery is very expensive. You need an average sum of $6,000 to perform this operation, and not many women have this kind of money. You need to save money on the long term or to take a loan to pay for it. But even if you make this sacrifice, breast implants are not permanent, they will have to be replaced from time to time, and this involves several other operations. Breast implants look unnatural and they change the overall body shape. Surgery can affect your sexual life, as it reduces the sensitivity of your breasts, making you feel less pleasure. The scars will never totally disappear, and for one year after the operation they will be quite visible. Your health can also be affected, as the implants make it difficult for the doctors to detect breast cancer, the risk of death from cancer being increased.

New mothers can suffer from not being able to nurse their babies because of the implants and this can accentuate on the postnatal depression and can have consequences on the health of the newborn. If, despite all these drawbacks, you decide to go ahead and perform a breast enlargement surgery, you should make sure that you are on good hands, since not all plastic surgeons are expert surgeons.

On the other hand, women may choose Breast Actives. This is a safe, natural method to improve your looks and safe-confidence. Breast Actives is a program which uses cream, tablets and exercises which make your breasts firm and enlarges them. The breast enhancement cream is natural, inexpensive and safe. The Breast Actives Program focuses on providing your breasts with the natural supplements missing from your body, especially if you are not having a balanced diet. Breast Actives has many other benefits, some of which being: there is no surgery required; the product is safe and natural; there are no side effects; it causes a decrease in the PMS symptoms; the shipping and billing worldwide is discreet; you do not have to visit doctors.

Breast Actives works fast, women can notice that they have bigger breasts in about 45 days and they can accomplish their target size in less than 90 days. The herbal formula is very easy to use. All you have to do is to take the pills daily and to apply the cream onto the breast twice a day. If you are not satisfied with the results, Breast Actives gives you the money back. You have nothing to lose, on the contrary, if the method works, you will have saved a lot of money and suffering.

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We all have days now and then when we feel like nothing is going our way. It is as if one thing after another is coming at us and there is no escape. Fortunately, this is a normal part of life and just as our problems come, they usually get resolved and we resume our normal lives. Here are a few tips to help you avoid letting the blues dominate your life and to help shake them off when they get the best of you.

1. Documentation - Keeping a journal can be very helpful for identifying patterns by reviewing your feelings, sleeping patterns, and health concerns. Maybe you end up feeling down every time you go to a certain place, or see a certain person, or maybe when the moon is full. Having a record can help you determine what changes might make a difference in your life.

2. Companionship - Who consistently helps to lift your spirits and work out your problems? Think about which relationships keep you moving in the right direction. It may be only one or two individuals, but it is important to maintain relationships with good companions who help you stay on track.

3. Exercise - When you exercise, your body releases hormones that not only make you feel good mentally, but actually improve your health and extend your life. You don't have to become a fitness enthusiast; just a half an hour a day of simple exercises in your living room can greatly improve your mood and energy level. Why not give it a try?

4. Listen up! - Who do you find insightful and energizing? Why not spend some of your time listening to motivational or inspirational recordings? Be careful with your time. Try to fit in lecture or book on tape that will help you learn more about a way of life that will give you new hope.

5. Nature - Something about fresh air, sunshine and nature soothes us. Taking time to look at the details of flowers in the park or leaves on a tree in your neighborhood is a great way to distract yourself from the troubles of the day and it acts as a reminder that we are a small part of a larger system.

6. Take turns - When you are feeling overwhelmed, why not go out and sit somewhere with your close friend? Just having the opportunity to talk about your issues with another person can be all you need to resolve an issue you once felt was too big to tackle.

7. Help others - This tip is 100% guaranteed! When you do something to help someone else, it will make you feel fantastic. There are so many possibilities: from helping your neighbor paint the house to cleaning up an elderly couple's yard, or helping an illiterate person learn to read, just spending a few hours of your time here and there can make a all the difference to you and to them.

8. Redirect - What types of situations bring you down? Too much noise, more work than you can manage, or even more challenging: dealing with a difficult relationship in your life. One way to better manage these situations is to consistent direct or redirect conversations to safe topics (such as the weather, your pets, or cooking). By sticking to safe topics, we can avoid minimize difficult situations.

9. Fun - Do you have a hobby that you really enjoy? Identify a few activities that lift your spirits and make time for them regularly. When we maintain a balance between our life's responsibilities and pleasures, we can begin to see our cup as half full more often than not.

10. Good food - You can barely get through the day without seeing some type of message that tells you to maintain a healthy diet. If you have not yet jumped on this bandwagon, consider working your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables into your current mix. Whether it is a veggie dip or a Caesar Salad, increasing the amount of foods that come straight from the garden is a sure way to increase your energy and improve your overall health.

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Fish oil is a natural and rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oils, commonly known as omega 3 oils, provide essential fatty acids in the form of DHA and EPA. Both these nutrients are not found in adequate amounts in our body, mainly due to genetic deficiencies and improper or inadequate diet. In order to address this deficiency, doctors recommend either directly drinking fish oil in its pure form or using omega 3 oils in the form of capsules available on the market as supplements.

DHA and EPA are important for the prevention of so many diseases that it's difficult to mention them all here. These diseases are very common among men and women alike. The most notable of these diseases are cancer, mental illnesses (mainly psychological including postpartum depression), arthritis, coronary heart disease, respiratory problems (especially asthma), complicated pregnancies, abnormal infant growth, premature birth, improper functioning of the nervous system, and problems related to the stomach and the digestive system.

Omega 3 oils are becoming increasingly popular among people because they are easy to intake and provide long-term nutritional benefits. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind that omega 3 fatty acids reduce swelling throughout the body. Oily fish like herring, salmon, trout and tuna are high in omega 3 oils. In addition to essential fatty acids, pure fish oil also contains some levels of toxic substances like mercury, and high levels of vitamin A and D.

Because of this reason, it's very important to consider how the fish oil you are about to consume was processed and whether it conforms to the rules of the Food Standards Agency in the UK or not. For this purpose, always find a supplement product that has been molecularly distilled and made from pharmaceutical grade fish oil.

The human body is incapable of producing DHA and EPA itself. However, alpha linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in fish oil and some plant oils as well such as canola and flax seed, can be used by the body to manufacture other fatty acids important for long-term health. In order to ensure adequate amounts of all these nutrients in the body, omega 3 oils supplement products should be consumed.

However, these supplements should be used with care since overdose may have many harmful side effects associated with it. Especially, people with diabetes and high blood pressure need to be extra cautious with too much intake of DHA and EPA to ensure proper health and well-being.

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The fetal Doppler is mainly used for monitoring fetal heart rate, and it is offered by general maternity hospitals, while these fetal equipments adopt Doppler ultrasound technology, which is also known as the fetal Doppler.

The aim for fetal heart monitoring is to audit whether the fetal quickened abnormally, and then make the appropriate adjustments according to fetal position.

The supervision time for fetal Doppler is generally the 28th weeks after gestation, while the subjects are pregnant women with abnormal and normal fetal movement.

The heart Doppler monitors the sympathetic and parasympathetic regulation of fetal and describes the curve formed by instantaneous fetal heart tracings, and you can understand the response of fetal heart with fetal movement during contractions to infer whether the intrauterine fetal is anoxic or not. The Doppler technique can monitor your baby at all time by listening to fetal heart tones, therefore, your baby can grow up healthily.

Moreover, there is a player inside it, and you can download suitable music and stories for prenatal care depending on different periods of pregnancy. And it can also serve as the story machine after the baby is born!

The heartbeat Doppler can link to your home recorder or computer to record fetal heart sounds as a permanent memory. A few months before baby born, recording mothers' heartbeat can play a very good role for babies. What is more, the special microphone for prenatal care allows the baby to hear the voice of parents more clearly, while the father can also involve in the prenatal care to make your baby smarter!

The heart Doppler adopts the ergonomic design, which is consistent with the curve of pregnant women. The monitor applies the principle of ultrasound Doppler, so you can carry out fetal heart monitoring at home continuously with high sensitivity, high - quality, and it is durable, simple, economical and easy to use, which is an article of very good home medical equipment. It is the only one which can be used at home for pregnant women, and it can be operated by single hand to listen to fetal heart by professional speaker with the whole family and enjoy the fun brought by future baby!

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Pregnancy and childbirth can make moms-to-be swing between euphoria and anxiety in turns. Getting as much information as you can and keeping yourself well informed about the changes in your body, the right pregnancy diet plan, pregnancy exercise, kind of childbirth etc. can help you enjoy this wonderful time in your life with confidence.

Here are ten tips to motivate you:

1. Be well informed, reading books and articles. Watch videos to know the changes in your body, as your baby grows inside you. Communicate with friends, family and other pregnant women to listen to their own experiences about pregnancy and childbirth. This will reassure you. Enroll for early pregnancy childbirth classes.

2. Now is the time to think about whether you want hospital childbirth, go to a birthing center or have your baby at home. Your doctor can help you decide. Discussing this in advance will boost your confidence.

3. Work on your pregnancy diet plan now. Refer to the nutrition guide for pregnant women, which recommends drinking more milk and adding extra protein to your diet. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables. Get your doctor to prescribe a prenatal vitamin with folic acid. Drink plenty of water and switch to fresh fruit juice.

4. Now is the time to drop your smoking habit. Also consider avoiding alcohol and drug use. If you are on any medication, talk to your doctor about what to do.

5. Be active. With the advice of your doctor, you might want to adopt a pregnancy exercise regimen that includes yoga, swimming, walking etc.

6. Work in sufficient rest via short breaks through the day. You may also want to sleep a little longer than usual.

7. Enjoy the feeling of your baby inside you and establish an early bond as you chat with your baby. According to studies, babies respond to your touch as early as from the tenth week of pregnancy. Now is the time to pick out your favorite music and share it with your baby.

8. Avoid allowing stress to develop and learn how to tackle them, should such a situation arise. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques are all useful ways to de-stress.

9. Make a note of all the questions you have about pregnancy and childbirth and your pregnancy diet plan. Consider enrolling for Lamaze classes that can help you understand the right positions, movements etc. through labor.

10. Make the most of this lovely time, feeling confident as your baby grows.

Pregnancy and childbirth are a memorable time in your life. Be happy, be informed and give birth to a healthy baby.

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The pre-divorce process is a rough period of time. It's the three to thirty-six month period in a rocky marriage where one or both spouses are considering divorce. A lot can happen in a day let alone three years so the confusion, chaos, concern, and back and worth wavering of the pre-divorce process is to be expected. However, when you add the possibility of pregnancy to an already troubled marriage, is it time to make some strategic family size decisions? Yes, it is.

A lot of the mistakes made in the pre-divorce process come from not fully considering the long-term post divorce consequences. Pregnancy is no different. Far too often, couples look to a possible pregnancy as a marital fix. The thinking is if a new baby comes into the picture, the marriage will take on new significance, meaning and there'll be more reason to "try harder" to save the marriage. However, what's not being thought of here are all the additional stressors, financial burdens, and additional responsibilities that can make a rocky marriage go from bad to worse.

Here's the truth: Children don't save marriages; spouses do. Here's another truth: Having a new baby will not make a person fall in love with someone they've chosen not to love anymore. Here's a hard but necessary point: The more children a person has, the less time he or she has to spend quality time with his/her spouse and other children so the idea that a new baby will increase closeness and intimacy, at least for a long time or without a good nanny, is not likely. Whatever is going on in the marriage right now will be exacerbated when adding a new baby to the mix.

There's more to pregnancy and the pre-divorce process than the ill-advised and very selfish route of conspiring to have a baby to 'save' the marriage. In many cases, a pregnancy occurs unplanned. Neither person wanted to add another person to the family but, for whatever reason (lack of consistency, follow-through or sheer disregard for what's going on in the marriage), a pregnancy pops up and now two people who really don't like each other have to deal with the fact that one night of forgotten anger and unbridled passion has led to a new life and an added complication to what was looking like a divorce.

In this situation, a number of factors need to be considered:

1) Can this marriage, by any means, be saved?
2) How does each spouse feel about having a new baby and possibly getting divorced?
3) Has a petition for divorce been filed?
4) What are the custody rights of each parent to the unborn child if divorce is likely the way that things are going?
5) If there are other children in the marriage, how are they feeling about a new brother or sister given the current home climate?

It's important to understand just how complicated a pregnancy makes the pre-divorce process if divorce is definitely the way things look like they're heading. It's one thing to talk about custody of children who are walking, talking, engaging human beings with faces, smiles, and personalities. It's a whole other situation to discuss custody with a child who, for the next nine months, will be completely held by the mother and, thereafter, could go any which way. Complicated? Yes. Messy? Yes. Not fair to this unborn baby? Absolutely.

Many states see unborn children as being under the jurisdiction of both parents, whether the wife/husband want to keep the baby or not, whether either spouse has decided to go for full custody or not. The situation can get even more complicated if there's a question of paternity. If, for some reason, the wife separated from her husband, moved to another state with the kids, fell in love with another man, got pregnant, and is now filing for divorce, even though the baby is not the husband's, in a legal sense, he still has custody rights (in many states) to that child because the child was conceived under the umbrella of the marriage. I'm no legal expert and this is not legal advice but if anyone is facing this situation, the number one thing a person needs to do is get an attorney involved. It could get very messy very fast.

Here's the bottom line: Babies are blessings. They don't ask to be here but with each and every one comes unlimited number of miracles. However, if there's even a 10% chance that divorce is the route being chosen, do not complicate the sorting out of the pre-divorce process by adding another person to the mix, someone who did not ask to be brought into a rocky marriage or a chaotic family. There's enough collateral damage in a rocky marriage to go around. Do not add another child to the mix.

If the above advice is too little too late and a pregnancy is now in place, here are some key pre-divorce strategy points to consider:

1) A lawyer is necessary the moment that divorce becomes more of a certainty that working things out. Custody, even if it isn't much of an issue before the birth, will become an issue right afterwards. Be prepared.
2) Time the "I want a divorce" conversation appropriately. Whether it's the husband telling his pregnant wife or the pregnant wife telling her husband, be sure that those words aren't uttered or spoken about until there is a clear understanding of what the game plan is for custody and child rearing.
3) Know where the health insurance will come from once the divorce is final. Far too often, women have their health insurance through their spouses. If the marriage is on the brink of divorce and a baby is on the way, health insurance becomes a necessity and it's critical to know how that will be provided post-divorce.
4) Go to all prenatal appointments, take the prenatal vitamins and be a diligent, conscientious parent. Nothing looks worse to a judge than a pregnant woman who isn't taking care of her body (and thus her baby) or is abusing the baby by using drugs, alcohol and/or not taking proper prenatal care. Cover all the bases and be sure to keep documentation that of all the proactive prenatal care steps taken.
5) Last but not least, if, for any reason, the pregnancy is a result of a marital affair (whether it's the husband who got another woman pregnant or the wife who got pregnant by another man), a serious plan for establishing paternity/maternity and separating that child's future from a custody battle need to be made in advance. This requires a highly qualified attorney who specializes in child custody so be sure that there is enough money to cover that expense and there's enough time (i.e pregnancy is only 40 weeks) to plan for the consequences of this affair and pregnancy.

Maybe this topic sounds soap opera-like, a new episode of Jerry Springer or Maury Povich. The reality is that this kind of stuff happens every day and it happens to people from all walks of life, all education and income levels, whether they've been married six months or forty years. Never say never. At the end of the day, the wisest pre-divorce strategy to use when it comes to pregnancy is abstinence. The second wisest is birth control and the third wisest (especially if the deed's been done and a baby is on the way) is having a great lawyer who will look out for the best interests of all children involved (including the unborn child).

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Whether she's always gone to a chiropractor or she's contemplating going for the first time, a woman who is expecting has special concerns about whether a chiropractic adjustment is safe for her baby; after all they are dealing with her back and spine, the main mechanism that is supporting her and her baby during the time that the most stress is being put on her body. She probably also has questions about whether there are any specific benefits or risks in pregnancy. The good news is that all chiropractors receive training specific to caring for pregnant patients, learning techniques that avoid putting too much pressure on the belly; many have taken additional courses in fertility, prenatal and postnatal care. Some chiropractors even have special treatment tables that provide extra room and support for the pregnant belly. Seeking chiropractic treatment during pregnancy is one of the most beneficial steps a woman can take to ensure a comfortable pregnancy and easier delivery.

There are many reasons why having chiropractic treatment during pregnancy is a great idea. Spinal manipulation can increase overall wellness for everybody, but a pregnant patient has special needs and concerns, as pregnancy makes tremendous demands on the spine and the growing baby puts new stress on bones and joints. Chiropractors can resolve nausea, help improve posture (which makes carrying the extra weight up front easier), relieve joint and back pain, and can even reduce the amount of time spent in labor and delivery, as a misalignment reduces the chances of the baby being in the right position for birth, making a caesarian section a real possibility. Not only can regular manipulations increase the chance of a natural birth, there is even a special manipulation called the Webster Technique that can only be done by a chiropractor to prevent and right a breech or posterior birth.

Whether under the care of an obstetrician or any other health care provider, pregnant women will find that most pregnancy professionals encourage the use of chiropractors. Chiropractors help their patients overall wellness, often eliminating undue stress. Chiropractic manipulation treatments are able to relieve much of the pain and lack of balance that the growing uterus has put on her joints and spine, and a specially trained chiropractor may be able to offer specific stretching exercises for use between treatments, and adjustments designed to help problems of sleeplessness, which is a fairly common problem in pregnancy.

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Understanding Health Insurance

This article is written to assist consumers sift through multiple options, plans, exclusions and summaries of benefits and understand what Critical questions you should ask when researching health coverage. Finding the most beneficial health insurance plan to meet your unique and individual needs is difficult. This guide will help consumers understand the basics of health insurance and what to look for when comparing plans.

14 Costy Mistakes You'll Want To Avoid

1-FREE - Do You Have a "30 Day FREE Look Period?" Can you get your $ back if you are not happy?

2- DEDUCTIBLES: How many deductibles do I have per year? Some plans will have more than 1 deductible per person per year!

3- NETWORK RATES: Prior to your deductible being met, will your insurance company extend their discounted network rates to you? Example: Insurance Company A - 5 stitches to finger - Total cost $2000, patient responsibility, $800, or Insurance Company B - 5 stitches to finger - Total cost $2000, patient responsibility, $2000. (no network break).

4- NEGOTIATED RATE: What is the AVERAGE negotiated rate? (Sometimes referred to Network Rate - very very important!)

5- UNCLEAR TERMS Is your $100 "co-pay" for an Emergency Room visit REALLY $100? Some companies the $100 copay is more like a fee AFTER your deductible, and you'll still pay the co-insurance and the $100.

6- LIMITS on benefits, for example: $500 limit or $250 limit on Emergency Room expenses. $50 limit on Dr. Visits. Once the Limit is reached, YOU pay everything else out of pocket. $500 limit on hospital expenses per day (quick way to bankruptcy!)

7- PREVENTATIVE - Will you have to meet your deductible, or do you have a 1 year waiting period for preventative? Do you want to wait 1 year before you can have your female exam, or a mammogram?

8- TRAVEL - If you are out of state, are you covered for illnesses? If you eat something that doesn't agree with you and become very sick and need a doctor, will you be covered? (Not just life threatening emergencies.)

9- RATE INCREASES - I am buying a "fixed rate". Ask yourself if it makes sense to pay extra over the next 2 - 3 years for a fixed rate? Make sure your rate is set for at least 12 months but does it make sense to pay in advance for a fixed rate? Sometimes plans will naturally go down in price, so does it make sense to pay extra to have a fixed rate?

10- SUPPORT - After I buy this plan, MAY I CALL MY AGENT'S DIRECT LINE with billing issues, or plan questions, or technical problems, or claims questions or concerns of any kind?

11- EXCLUSIONS - Read the "Exclusions" in your plan. Are the exclusions available for you to read? Is there an exclusion that you cannot live with? For example: exclude well baby visits. Is this an exclusion that you didn't catch in the plan details?

12- MAJOR MEDICAL plans are designed to pay for MOST of your medical expenses when you become ill or injured. You'll want a Major Medical plan from a reputable company that has "Credible Coverage." Discount plans or Limited Medical Plans are NOT designed to protect your losses like Major Medical plans are. They are marketed as "Insurance," but you MUST ask, is it a Credible Coverage Major Medical plan?

13 - MATERNITY - Maternity plans. Do your homework. Does your plan have an outrageous deductible for maternity? Do you have a waiting period of 12 months, 24 months, or more? How many doctors do you get to choose from "In Network" that can deliver your baby? Are you happy with the choices of Doctors in the network that will deliver your baby? What if your doctor is not on-call the night you go in for delivery?

14- MEDICATIONS - Is there a limit on how much the insurance company will pay for medications. If you become very ill, this could be a very big problem. Do your research, ask questions. Do you have a deductible on medications?

*Did you know that key information about how coverage works is not always disclosed? *When comparing plans, is the language confusing? Why is the language confusing? *Did you know that many consumers compare prices of health insurance plans, but cannot always tell if they are comparing "apples to apples."

How to avoid Medical Bankruptcy!

According to a Harvard Law and Harvard Medical School study, they found that ½ of all bankruptcies are caused by illnesses and medical expenses. If you are a breadwinner for yourself, or breadwinner for a family or spouse, and the breadwinner gets sick, you may loose your medical coverage, and a way to pay for your day to day expenses.

When you are shopping for a health plan to protect yourself financially from medical bills and bankruptcy, there are many things to consider. Probably the most important thing is to consider is what "Type" of plan you are getting. There are several types of health plans that are available. If you buy a plan that is not "Underwritten" and is "Guaranteed Issue" you are not buying a Major Medical Plan. Major Medical plans will go through a process called "underwriting."

Some plans will pay a certain dollar amount for a procedure, or a certain dollar amount per day while in the hospital. IT IS CRITICAL you understand the implications financially if choosing a non Major Medical plan. Your chance for greater personal losses including Bankruptcy exist with non-Major Medical plans. If you are shopping price with health insurance, and you decide on a discount or limited liability plan, YOU HAD BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR RISKS ARE if you end up needing to use that "insurance."

Major medical plans are designed to cover most of your hospital expenses if you become hospitalized.

Do you have a disability plan? This type of plan will pay your day to day expenses if you loose your job due to an injury or illness. This should be a very important consideration when getting health insurance. If the breadwinner loses his/her income while injured or ill, how will the day to day expenses be paid for?

The 6 costly misconceptions about Health Insurance

1 - I don't need medical insurance, I'm a healthy person, I eat right, exercise and take care of myself. This is risk-taking. You are gambling your financial future.

2- I'm not getting insurance because There is no benefit before my deductible. Some Major Medical Plans will A) extend their network rates to you before the deductible is met, but not all. Another benefit before your deductible is met is B) the copays for Dr. Visits and C) Copays for Prescription coverage. Again, check the individual plan.

3- If I get sick, or now that I'm pregnant I'll get insurance. Once you are ill or pregnant, depending on the illness, you may or may not be eligible for health insurance. Certainly once pregnant, you will not be eligible for an individual plan. The insurance company will always reserve the right to underwrite your medical condition and elect to take you on as a risk, or not. You wouldn't expect to run out and get auto insurance after you've banged up your car and have them pay for it. For this reason, it is important to not let your Major Medical insurance lapse for more than 63 days.

4 - I will get stuck with a bill that I thought should have been paid for, or the insurance company should have paid. Here again, you must do your homework on the plan you intend to purchase. Look for Limits, deductibles, exclusions, co-pays, and understand these details. Also, if you come into a plan with pre-existing conditions and did not have continuous "credible coverage,' you can expect to pay for your pre-existing conditions for 1 full year.

5- I want excellent care at a cheap price. If you want Major Medical, shop between the competitors, and get the most for your money, but don't expect the same benefits in a discount plan as in a Major Medical Plan.

6- I'm waiting for the President to take care of this mess. It is not a good idea to wait to purchase medical insurance ever!

Important to Know:

Many People Feel That Health Insurance Companies are Greedy and Corrupt According to the Wellpoint Institute of Health Care Knowledge:

"Popular theories suggest that health insurance premiums are driven by an aging population, excessive insurer profits or medical malpractice. Objective research, however, clearly indicates that these factors have a minimal impact on the high price of health insurance premiums.

If meaningful health care reform, including health care cost containment, is to occur, emphasis must be placed on the real drivers of increased health care costs and concomitantly, health care premiums. These include the following key factors: such as

* Advances in medical technology and subsequent increases in utilization

* Price inflation for medical services that exceeds inflation in other sectors of the economy

* Cost-shifting from people who are uninsured and those receiving Medicaid to the private sector

* High cost of regulatory compliance

* Patient lifestyles, such as physical inactivity and increases in obesity."

Other Important Facts

Will they check my credit score. NO

Will they require a physical or blood work? In most cases, NO.

All insurance companies are the same. No they are not.

My Premiums keep going up. You can do very little about increases in health care costs. You may want to change plans or increase your deductible to try and save money. Try and find a company that will guarantee their rates for at least 1 year. No need to pre-pay for future rate increases.

Definitions:

DEDUCTIBLES (Phase 1)- Money that you pay out of your pocket before traditional insurance begins. Ranging traditionally from $0 to $10,000. Usually if you choose a lower deductible, your premiums will cost more, if you have a higher deductible, your premiums will be lower (you are assuming a higher risk in exchange for lower premiums).

CO-INSURANCE - (Phase 2) - After you meet your deductible, you'll pay a "co-insurance." "Co" meaning 2, two entities will share the burden of the bill; usually you'll see "co-insurance" as a 70/30, 80/20, 50/50, 60/40, 90/10. The larger portion of the co-insurance the insurance company will pay, the lesser portion you will pay.

MAXIMUM OUT OF POCKET - (Phase 3) - After you've paid your deductible, and then your portion of the co-insurance, you finally reach your maximum out of pocket. From this point on, the insurance company will pay the rest of the bill. (Major Medical Plan.)

CO-PAY - A flat dollar amount to be paid at the Doctors office. Sometimes referred to as a "first dollar benefit" (before deductible). Meaning, you pay a flat $30 or $20 or $40 dollar copay, or whatever the copay is, and the visit is paid in full. WATCH FOR LIMITS! Make certain the copay is a flat dollar amount paid BEFORE your deductible.

HMO is Health Maintenance Organization, usually a limited regional/geographical area, with a certain number of providers in the HMO. You will select 1 Dr to manage your care, and your Dr. will "help you decide" if you need a referral or not. HMO's usually have very low deductibles and copays.

PPO Insurance is Preferred Provider Organization. You may visit anyone you wish in the network, still you must know the geographical area of your Network, even with a PPO plan. If you are on vacation and become ill, will your plan out of state cover you (in network)?

CREDIBLE COVERAGE In order to cover your pre-existing conditions when moving from one plan to another, you must have a Credible Coverage Major Medical plan. It is a document given to you from your insurance company as proof that you had a Major Medical plan protecting you from a start date to an end date. You must not go further than 63 days from one Major Medical Insurance coverage to the next, if you do go beyond the 63 days, you will have a pre-existing condition clause in your new policy that states you will not be covered for any of your pre-existing conditions for 1 full year (at a minimum.)

If you go beyond 63 days without "Credible Coverage," the new insurer will look to your previous 6 months (average) health history and condition, and not cover you for any ailment you have (pre-existing.)

Now don't be mistaken, that when you want to go from one insurer to the next, if you were covered with "credible coverage" that you are automatically guaranteed a plan. This is not true. You will still need to be underwritten, and the new company is not obligated to take you on as an insured if you don't fit their underwriting guidelines.

Please Note: This Free Consumers Guide is meant to be used as informational only. The author herein will not accept liability for any circumstances in which an outside company may define their features and benefits differently than in this document. Consumers will accept this document as informational only, and not a legal document. Consumers will be held responsible for their own purchases, and not hold the authors in this document liable for any actions taken by any consumer. Consumers must verify the plan in which they purchase, and will not hold the information in this document as a specific reason to take or not to take a certain action. This document is produced by a licensed health agent. The 14 Costly mistakes you should avoid when selecting your health plan.

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Congress is scrutinizing Health Insurance for California by challenging the reasons that prevent many people from obtaining health care coverage. When the largest health insurance company in the U.S. (WellPoint, Inc.) proposed raising monthly premiums by up to 39 percent in California, Congress summoned WellPoint chief executives. WellPoint postponed its premium increases until May 1st 2010, and California's insurance commissioner will decide whether to allow the increases.

In short order, Congress expanded investigation of Health Insurance in California to look at coverage being refused and medical claims being denied as "preexisting conditions." Chief executives from three more of the country's largest for-profit health insurers (Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group) were summoned to appear before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its investigations subcommittee on March 23rd.

Congress asked the companies to provide internal documents and e-mails about guidelines, practices, and underwriting policies for the last five years. These companies have been asked to show average premiums and increases, as well as maternity coverage for individuals by March 12th. These four companies sell health insurance policies for individuals to approximately 17 million Americans without health coverage from work.

Need for Maternity Coverage in California Health Insurance Plans

Looking at maternity coverage is important because woman ages 18 to 29 are the most likely group in the U.S. to lack health insurance. With just 59 percent of these women having health insurance through an employer, these young women comprise the group that is least likely to have health insurance from work. One-fourth of these women have no health insurance at all, yet 3.5 million pregnancies occur among the 21 million women who are ages 19 to 29 each year.

As in third-world countries, lack of health care hits babies the hardest. Uninsured pregnant women are 60 percent more apt to delay prenatal care, three times more likely to suffer adverse outcomes, and their babies are 30 percent more likely to die.

Lower California Health Insurance Rates Found by Independent Agents

Premiums and benefits vary greatly between insurance companies. Even insurance companies that are raising premiums, may have alternative plans with higher deductibles and lower premiums.

Look for Websites that compare plans and offer quotes from a range of companies to get a feel for benefits and prices. Independent agents (those who work with many different insurance companies) may know which insurers have more lenient underwriting for people with back problems, for instance. Independent agents can also appeal if you are denied coverage, or are assessed a higher rate because you have pre-existing conditions.

Compare California Health Insurance Plans to Get the Most for Your Money

When comparing policies look at the annual deductible, the percentage you pay for a medical service after a deductible is met (coinsurance), and the annual out-of-pocket maximum. That maximum is how much you have to spend on co-pays, coinsurance, and other costs before the insurance company covers any expenses for the year.

Check whether doctor visits are covered, and whether hospital stays have limited coverage. Look at which doctors and hospitals are in-network, too. Some individual plans exclude maternity coverage, but separate policies deal specifically with maternity and prenatal care.

If you aren't taking prescription drugs, you can save by eliminating that coverage. If you are using prescription medications, research the cost of buying through discount drug programs at King Soopers, Wal-Mart, or other large chains.

Be careful about letting coverage lapse while you're looking for a better policy. Events during a coverage lapse might make you ineligible for coverage. For example, insurance companies may not cover birth or prenatal care if there has been a gap in coverage.

More Help for Maternal and Child Services

Maternal and child services are also available for women with low incomes who are pregnant, and have children under the age of 22. A program called Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides education about nutrition and child care for woman with low incomes, woman who are breastfeeding, and postpartum women. WIC also provides health coverage for children under five.

Even if you do not qualify for the above programs, you may still have access to care through free clinics, prescription drug assistance plans, or temporary state insurance. Your best bet may be to educate yourself about how health care insurance works, and find an independent agent that will take the time to listen to your needs and help you navigate the insurance jungle.

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After having a baby growing inside of a mother for 9 months, it can be quite overwhelming giving birth. After giving birth, approximately 50% of all mothers experience a form of mild depression, often referred to as the baby blues. Feeling emotional after a birth is completely natural for the mother and usually last anywhere from hours to at most a few days.

Typical Symptoms of the blues are having heightened emotions which are triggered for no reason in particular. Mothers will feel worried and potentially anxious, although they won't be able to pinpoint the reasons why.

Causes of mild depression after birth

The majority cause of these emotions is a change in the mothers hormones after the baby is born. Naturally, the mother's body has to adjust to giving birth and therefore there are biological changes that occur for the human body to adjust. As well as the biological causes, the emotional causes increase if the mother was anxious about the birth itself, or if the baby is born with health problems or complications. All of this results in additional stress on the mother and causes an increase in the chances of the baby blues.

How to support a mother experiencing the blues

A mother experiencing the blues will be very emotional and highly strung. The most important thing following a birth (particularly long, exerting births) is plenty of rest and some quite time to recover. This is seldom achieved as the mother is bombarded straight away with fending for her newborn as well as carrying on with day to day responsibilities. If possible, partners and extended families can help by sharing the immediate burden, giving the new mother time to recuperate and adjust to her post birth feelings.

Once mother and baby have been discharged from hospital, close friends and family can help her mood by being positive and providing plenty of reassurance. By reassuring the mother that the birth went well and that the blues are normal and a temporary phase, the mother can accept the emotional stress better, overcoming the blues as best as possible. The most powerful tool from all around a mother is empathy. The sharing of empathy will begin with hospital staff (in particular the mid wifes present during the birth) and then immediate family and friends.

If the blues continue and the mothers emotions seem to deteriorate she should consult her doctor and seek medical advice.

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In women, hair loss is commonly connected to stress, hormonal imbalances, intake of oral contraceptives and psychosomatic disorders. More specifically, women usually suffer from:

  • Postpartum alopecia: it generally appears 1-6 months after childbirth and may last for 3-6 months or more.

  • Alopecia from oral contraceptives: oral contraceptives used continuously for long periods, often causes a progressive loss of hair. This form of alopecia affects the frontal and temporal region and is usually associated with excessive sebum secretion. Hair loss occurs due to the transformation of progesterone compounds into androgens.

  • Hormonal alopecia: it is the most frequent cause of hair loss in women and occurs due to hormonal imbalances that may develop into a state of hyperandrogenism. It affects the frontal area and is often associated with acne, increased hair growth on the face and body, disorders of menstruation and increased sexual desire. Hormonal alopecia can also be hereditary: in this case it typically appears between the ages of 15 and 45 years. If it appears after menopause it may progress slowly and it usually affects the top of the head.

  • Telogen effluvium: it is usually caused by prolonged stress, dieting, psychosomatic disorders, iron deficiency, or metabolic disorders such as diabetes and thyroid malfunction.

  • Iatrogenic alopecia or externally traumatic alopecia may occur after taking antidepressants, anticoagulants and can also be the result of chemotherapy.

How to stop hair loss in women naturally:

To prevent baldness you must eat healthy and fresh foods. For example, raw vegetables can be very helpful. The absence or the low intake of protein, reduces the diameter of the bulb of the hair, so try to eat high quality protein every day.

Foods that can fight the problem include red or white meat and fish, which are excellent sources of protein. Obviously it is not advisable to eat red meat every day, so try to eat a lot of chicken, fish or even legumes. Beans, peas and lentils are indeed very rich in vegetable proteins and can replace red meat and provide your body with all the necessary nutrients. Fish is also rich in fatty acids, called omega-3, which are antioxidants that slow down the aging of the cells and promote the health of the scalp. It has also been scientifically proven that zinc and iron are very important for healthy hair, but a balanced diet is not always enough to provide your body with the right amount of these substances. In this case you can take supplements in the form of tablets.

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Pregnancy can be a very exciting time because a new family addition can be a joyous event. However while happiness fills your heart an expecting woman can also experience many other stresses. Here are five stressful things that a pregnant woman might encounter during pregnancy.

Morning Sickness
Many women experience changes with their bodies in the first few months of pregnancy. One that many women complain about includes morning sickness. Nausea and vomiting are common in the first trimester and it can significantly reduce the excitement of pregnancy. Be aware of this and speak to your doctor about your experiences. Also try eating a few saltine crackers or a piece of wheat toast to settle your stomach. Otherwise keep pushing forward because morning sickness usually ends once the second trimester begins.

Memory Failure
Pregnancy offers many different and new events and many women experience memory loss during this period of time. While it may not be documented research that women experience memory failure during pregnancy it sure feels that way for many women expecting babies. Be prepared that this might happen and start keeping a journal and writing down things that you need to remember.

Minimal Energy
Between morning sickness, memory loss and the added weight you are carrying around because of the baby it holds true that many pregnant women feel as though their energy is at an all-time low. When midday comes around taking an afternoon nap might be the only thing you can think about. To increase your energy eat healthy meals and go ahead and work in those afternoon naps when needed. It is important to take care of your body pregnancy.

Miserable Night's Sleep
During pregnancy you might be thinking that a great night's sleep is a thing of the past. Oftentimes it can be hard to get comfortable during the last few months of pregnancy. Not sleeping at night can contribute to low energy during the day. It is very important that an expecting woman gets enough sleep. Try getting a new body pillow or comfortable maternity pajamas to assist. Having a regular schedule and bedtime routine can also provide a better night's sleep. Get sleep whenever you can, even if it is with naps during the day.

Mood Changes
During pregnancy it is common to be happy and excited at one moment but then be stressed and confused the next. Being pregnant can cause an odd flow of emotions and mood changes and it is important to pay attention to these. If it becomes unbearable it is important to speak with your doctor about it. Keeping a regular schedule filled with exercise and healthy eating can help even this out. It is also important to get plenty of help preparing for the new baby and do something every day that makes you feel good.

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time but there are also some difficult issues that you might come across. Be prepared to face them and do the best you can do keep yourself healthy and happy during the entire nine months and beyond.

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There are no real stages of depression as it affects each individual differently, an adolescent will experience different symptoms than that of an adult. There are just to many variables involved with this mental health disorder for there to be any set stages and each individuals experience will be different.

The causes of the disorder as well can vary between individuals and what may cause depression in one individual may not cause it in another. Things such as genetics, life experiences, life styles, personality traits can all cause the illness. For these reasons as well it becomes difficult in pinpointing various stages of the illness.

Listing the different types of depression and the various symptoms associated with depression is possible. Left untreated depression can manifest and get worse. There is no need for suffering if an individual believes they may have depression because depression is very treatable. Seeking help from a health care professional can save the individual unnecessary suffering and possible physical issues that can occur from prolonged depression as well as causing those close to the individual unnecessary suffering. Depression will eventually burn itself out but this can be weeks, months and even years.

Depression is an illness that affects the body, mind, moods, eating habits, sleeping patterns and the way one feels about themselves. Depression is not just feeling blue and is not a disorder that can be willed away. It is not a sign of weakness and those suffering from depression cannot just pull themselves together. It is an episodic disorder that left untreated will eventually burn out, this may be weeks, months or years. Most of those that seek treatment from a health profession can have success in treating the depression.

There are different types of depression that can manifest in anyone at any given time for various different reasons, but usually the brain has been overloaded and illness sets in.

Major Depression - This is a clinical depression in which individuals lose interest in things and activities that they once enjoyed. They have a feeling of sadness all the time.

Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depressive Disorder - Also known as Manic Depression and is a type of depression that has subtle or extreme highs and extreme lows.

Dysthymic Disorder - This is a disorder that is ongoing but has mild symptoms.

Cyclothymic Disorder - This is a mild form of Bipolar Depression.Individuals can have mood swings that almost seem normal.

Postnatal Depression (PND) or Postpartum Depression - This disorder occurs in women who have just given birth, it's a mix of behavioral, emotional and physical changes that occur in 10 percent of new mothers. It can appear in days after birth and up to a year and symptoms can be mild to severe.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - This disorder occurs seasonally and is caused by a lack of sunlight.

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The nine months of pregnancy is a crucial period for both the mother and the fetus. It is over this period of time that a fertilized egg develops into a fully formed newborn. The pregnancy period can be broken up typically into three stages called trimesters. Each of these trimesters spans over a period of roughly three months or thirteen weeks. Though there are no hard and fast rules regarding the demarcation of the periods yet the changes that take place over the months are better described with distinctions being made between the trimesters. The mom-to-be ought to learn up certain things about the stages of pregnancy and the adequate care thereof.

Care during first trimester

The first trimester is the period when the developing embryo becomes implanted into the endometrial lining of a woman's uterus. The period is characterized by morning sickness as is observable with most women in their first trimester. Besides, changes in the size of the breasts and body mass, vomiting and nausea may also be observed. There may even be experienced excessive urination. This is the period which concludes with the fetus growing to a hazelnut's size and starts showing signs of life. Since most miscarriages occur during this period considerable caution needs to be observed. Intensive and regular medical checkups are a must during this period to take care of the health of both the fetus and the mother. It is important to keep monitoring the health during this time lest any more than usual pregnancy related symptoms can be seen. A nutritious diet and light physical exercise routine need to be followed at such time.

The second trimester concerns

During the second trimester most women start feeling more energized and start putting on weight. The morning sickness subsides and soon is no more experienced. The developments and first movements of the fetus start getting felt within. The protrusion of the belly also starts getting more prominent at this time. Though weight gain is common during this period rapid and considerable weight gain will be an indication of multiple births. However, excess weight gain could also mean problems and it is advisable to consult a physician during this period.

Care to be taken while the third trimester commences

With the onset of the third trimester the final weight gain takes place and the fetus shows signs of regular movement. This may be an uncomfortable period for the mother and symptoms of weak bladder control and back ache can be seen. Leg cramps can also be felt. These may result in sleep disturbances and can aggravate the cranky feeling characteristic of the stage.

This period may also be looked upon as the 'preparation time' for childbirth. So, would-be moms ought to start taking breastfeeding and childbirth exercises to make them better prepared for managing delivery and post natal concerns.

The would-be mother usually gets screened for group B streptococcus (GBS) during the third trimester. Though the GBS bacterium is harmless in case of adults the babies becoming infected with it can become critically ill. So, this checking should importantly de done. Besides, vaginal examinations need to be taken up to check out the baby's position and detect cervical changes.

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Twenty five percent of pregnancies will encounter one or more complications. These complications may require you to stop working and take bed rest to protect your health and the viability of your baby. If you work in New York State you have state short term disability to replace a portion of your income. This coverage should set your mind at ease; but for most women it provides a false sense of financial security.

New York has the nation's highest cost of living and the highest average income to help pay those bills. One would expect the state mandated short term disability insurance plan to provide a correspondingly high level of income replacement. But this is not the case. The New York plan replaces 50% of income, up to $170 per week.

This represents 17% income replacement for a woman earning $52,000 per year - not an extravagant income by any measure. Short term disability insurance typically replaces 60% to 70% of income.

While only one of five states with mandated short term disability coverage this weekly cap provides a false sense of security. Women may know that there is a state plan in place, only to find out that the coverage is woefully lacking when they need it most.

Consider the email message recently received in our office from a woman in New York: "I am 12 weeks pregnant and I'm on bed rest because I have a subchorionic hematoma." This poor woman is facing nearly six months of bed rest, followed by a maternity leave to recover from birth and care for her newborn. A subchorionic hematoma is a type of blood clot found between the pregnancy membranes and the wall of the uterus. This occurs in just over 1% of pregnancies.

Consider that she may be facing seven months or more with just $170 per week. Many couples with growing families are living check to check before getting pregnant. If she needed to use infertility treatments to get pregnant, she may have borrowed money to cover some of the costs. She already has enough things on her mind, and the added stress of worrying about how to pay bills can't be good for her health.

Working women in NY need the state's short term disability coverage more than any other group. They are planning a disability for normal labor and delivery - her maternity leave. But as you see, many pregnancies encounter complications, which can mean many months of missed work.

Women in New York should consider purchasing a supplemental short term disability insurance policy before getting pregnant. They can get 70% income replacement during maternity leave, and during any time missed due to pregnancy complications - rather than relying on the $170 from New York State.

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Maternity benefits used to be automatically included with every new policy issued. If you get benefits from an employer, maternity benefits are still going to be automatically covered. However the individual and family market has changed over the last ten years to better serve the market place. Now many individual and family medical insurance plans do not include maternity benefits at all. You will not be able to get those benefits at all with most plans. If you do want maternity coverage there may be some few plans available that will offer an option for coverage at an extra cost.

The problem is in the expense for the benefit. This benefit is only important for women of child-bearing age. When the benefit was included automatically on everyone's policy, the costs were also included in everyone's premium whether or not they needed the benefit. The few plans that started offering maternity benefits as an option rider to a medical insurance plan cost much less for people who did not want the extra coverage that they did not need. As a result, everyone bought the plans without the benefits to save money each month. That caused the plans with automatic coverage to go out of business. By the time the other plans came back into the market they stopped offering the maternity benefit altogether and the cost was much lower.

Even without the benefits for pre natal and giving birth, any complications for the mother will be covered under the regular insurance plan. The only thing that will not be covered is the regular delivery costs and pre natal care like ultra sonic imaging. It is not as though the expecting mother will not have coverage during her pregnancy. If she gets injured or sick during the pregnancy, she will get all those expenses covered just like she always would.

Another thing people need to be aware of concerning getting coverage once you are pregnant is that typically you will be declined new coverage once you are already pregnant. Coverage will be available as soon as the child is delivered, but neither the expectant husband or wife will be eligible for new coverage until after the baby is born. This does not mean that you are sick, it is just a rule that most all insurance companies follow.

Most of the information provided here is for the individual and family market. If you or your spouse has a job that provides benefits, maternity will be covered even if you are already pregnant when you get the new policy. Benefits for pregnancy are very important and you need to be aware of how the insurance plans cover the different situations. Call your local insurance agent to determine if there are solutions for you, or work with your physician to make payment plans that are affordable to you.

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Post Natal Depression (PND) is a depressive illness that women experience after childbirth. PND is very common in mothers who experienced stressful life during the pregnancy, and those in whom the baby was born with complications. It occurs in one out of ten mothers. The known cause of this illness is that the hormonal changes in the woman's body after giving birth. Moreover, Post Natal Depression (PND) could be detected through the use of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. If a mother scores higher than thirteen, she is expected to develop PND. Symptoms of this depression include but are not limited to the following: sadness, low self-esteem, fatigue, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, irritability, guilt, sleep and eating disturbances, exhaustion, low energy, lost of interest in sex and panic attacks. Anxiety is the symptom that frequently occurs in this kind of depression. Normal concerns and anxieties that any mother feels for a new baby may become overwhelming. In addition, mothers may experience panic attacks which are episodes lasting for hours when they feel as if something disastrous is going to happen - such as collapsing, or heart attack.

Most women could overcome such depression within four to six months even without any treatment from the experts. But it must also be a consideration that one out of four mothers with PND are still depressed even when their child is getting older. This could mean a lot of suffering. It can obviously spoil the experience of new motherhood. Mothers could damage her relationship with her baby as well as with her husband. As a result, she could affect her child's development and behavior even after the depression has ended. So the shorter it lasts, the better. Mothers need to be taken seriously when the symptoms of PND occur. Treatment for this depression could possibly reduce the length of suffering and its severity.

Fortunately, numerous scientific studies support the idea that Post Natal Depression is treatable using variety of methods. Various treatment options include but not limited to the following: medical evaluation to rule out physiological problem, cognitive behavioral therapy, home visitor and healthy diet. The treatment depends on how unwell a mother is. She should be informed about the benefits as well as the risks of treatment so she can make the best choice for herself and most importantly, for the baby.

Mothers who suffer from PND often worry about harming or not looking after their babies properly. But generally they look after their children as any mother would undeniably do. Unfortunately, some family members do harm the babies sometimes. These people may have a history of being harmed or mistreated when they were still young but this does not relate directly to Post Natal Depression

If you are troubled that you may harm your baby, or that a mother you know may harm their child, speak to a health visitor or a doctor as soon as possible.

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