目前日期文章:201311 (182)

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Belly band support garments are, as the name would imply, bands of flexible material that are used to support a pregnant woman's belly. In addition, they provide lower back support and relieve pain and pressure by redistributing uneven weight. They also help with balance and posture, a great benefit for those women who find it difficult to get around, especially during late pregnancy. Currently, they can found in a number of colors and patterns, so they can be used in conjunction with other stylish maternity clothing or even pre-pregnancy garments.

Many women end up purchasing multiple belly support bands due to their low cost and versatile uses. The average band costs around $20 or so, but can sometimes be found on sale for less. Also, because the material is so durable, they may borrow or be given used bands from friends and relatives. And since many women find it useful to wear their bands on the outside of clothing, having several in different colors is handy to coordinate with existing outfits. For example, if a woman wants to wear a blouse that has grown increasingly short due to her expanding belly, she can wear a band beneath it for coverage and control. She can chose a color that compliments or contrasts her outfit, depending on whether she feels like being subtle or vibrant.

There is also other belly support clothing available, such as skirts, leggings, and blouses. They can be worn with the belly band for extra comfort and control, or alone if desired. They are usually made of the same materials as belly bands, making use of soft, flexible fabric blends such as cotton or nylon mixed with spandex or Lycra. All clothing is meant to stretch and conform to the woman's body as she grows.

Over the last few years, belly support garments have become very popular among pregnant women of all ages and sizes, due to their comfort and multiple functions before and after pregnancy. After pregnancy? Yes! One of the great benefits of these bands is that they can be worn postpartum, as belts to hold up maternity pants, or as tops to provide extra coverage during nursing. And because they are conforming, the correct size will also render light control over the weeks or months that it takes the woman to transition back to her pre-pregnancy figure. Belly band support clothing has quickly become a staple of pregnant women's wardrobes everywhere.

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Rib pain during pregnancy can be a persistent problem, especially during the third trimester. Your rib cage may feel mildly sore or extremely tender and bruised. You may have discomfort on either side, or both sides, though it is commonly worse on the right side of the ribs. Pain occurs in and under the ribs as your uterus grows. Later in pregnancy, your abdomen becomes stretched, and your uterus stretches upward as well as outward. Your pelvis and abdomen are becoming full, and your baby is beginning to press up under your ribs and chest. This upward pressure from your baby may also make you feel short of breath. This pressure on your ribs and diaphragm may also result in shoulder pain, because there are nerves in the diaphragm which can refer pain into the shoulders.

This pain can be very sharp! It may also result in indigestion or acid reflux as your baby puts the squeeze on your stomach. Additionally, as your breast become larger, they also place pressure on your ribs. During pregnancy, your breasts may increase by one full cup size or more. The extra weight pulls your shoulders forward and down, and places strain on the upper back, neck, and often results in pain around the rib cage. As your body prepares for the delivery of your baby, your hormones are hard at work loosening your muscles and ligaments. This loosening can allow your ribs to shift and move in ways that were not natural before, causing discomfort. Your ribcage is not only loosening, but expanding as well, not only to make room for your baby, but also to help increase your breathing and lung capacity. Even though you may be feeling short of breath, your body is taking in about forty percent more air than it did before you became pregnant.

Rib pain during pregnancy can cause the greatest discomfort when you are in a sitting position. Practicing good posture is especially important. Try to make sure that you sit up straight with your shoulders back. Slouching will compress your abdomen and result in more pain. Try to wear loose clothing so that you do not add any extra pressure to your belly. Try getting a new bra. It is especially important to have a supportive bra that is not too tight. Under wire bras may put too much extra pressure on your ribs. Now may be a good time to invest in a good nursing bra. They usually offer nice support without being too tight and will be useful once your baby is born. Holding your arms up over your head can take some pressure off and provide temporary relief from rib pain by lifting the ribs away from the uterus. Practicing doorway chest stretches can also be helpful because they, too, will help rotate the shoulders up and back, which can also help lift the ribs away from the uterus.

Stretching and prenatal yoga are great for keeping your body long and loose. The less compressed you are, the less your rib cage will hurt. Breathing and relaxation exercises may also be effective. There are a variety of hands on techniques that can help to gently stretch and lift your ribs away from the uterus. Applying these techniques to your breasts, chest and abdomen, can really relieve a lot of pain and pressure from your body, though you will need a friend or partner to help you. Scheduling a visit to your massage therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist, may also help provide relief from rib pain during pregnancy. If you are having rib and flank pain that goes through to your back, and or burning or pain with urination, you should contact your health care provider. This could be an indication of a urinary tract infection.

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Clare was addicted to the Home Shopping network. After she maxed out her remaining credit cards following her divorce, she then started ordering goods and charging them to her daughter's credit card. Her daughter Molly almost has a coronary when she saw her next bill. A frugal young woman, she was expecting only $42.97 for an online purchase she had made herself.

Instead, her card sat at $258.22 over its $5000 limit.

Thinking she was the victim of stolen identity, Molly went to call the police. At this point her mother, who had moved in with her after Molly's recent return to the province, confessed. There was a row, with tears on both sides, but the next day, Molly hugged her mother and said she knew Clare had been compensating for her husband's abandonment. Molly would pay off 70% of the monthly charges until the account was cleared, and her mother could chip in the other 30%, since there was no divorce settlement in Clare's favor.

That's when things took an ugly turn. Clare kept compulsively ordering from the shopping channel faster than Molly could pay her card down, until even her "back up" credit card was declined. More tears and rows followed, and a phone call with Molly's ex-stepfather revealed that bankruptcy caused by Clare's compulsive spending was the main issue in the divorce - not the stories Clare had told her daughter.

A Hard Step To Take

Mo finally had to ask her mother to leave and find a place of her own. She felt really wretched at this step, since she knew her mother's only option was to go on Social Assistance: But that was when things began to change for the better for both mother and daughter. An astute Social Assessment Worker noted much more about Clare than her financial problems, and convinced her to visit a doctor, who promptly referred her to a psychiatrist.

Clare was diagnosed with Bi Polar disorder. "The spending and the poor judgment was a big red flag, only we didn't see it," says Mo. "We didn't know what we were looking at. Brad and I just thought mom was dishonest and selfish, and had gone off the deep end over the divorce."

There are many misconceptions about Bi Polar disorder. Not everyone indulges in spending sprees like Clare. Instead, some show very poor judgment in sexual relationships instead; and what is dismissed with disgust as over-the-top, dangerous promiscuity can actually be an indicator of Bi Polar disorder.

Some exhibit neither symptom, and would be outraged at any suggestion that either may occur - but in the depressive phase, may be prone to self harm and suicidal thoughts.

The truth is, there are several types of Bi Polar disorder. There is even a type that exhibits no manic phase at all - just depressive. Auditory and visual hallucinations can be involved in Bi Polar disorder - particularly at times of stress. There is a seasonal type too, as well as a mild form where people truck along for years, with no more noticeable symptom than insomnia and rapid speech, punctuated by occasional depression.

Sometimes a severely traumatic event - like the bankruptcy Clare caused and her subsequent divorce - can flip someone with "mild" Bi Polar disorder into an out-of-control episode.

The important lesson to learn here is... no matter what you believe about natural remedies, even the best ones won't work, if you don't first proactively get a solid diagnosis. In fact, in some cases - especially a complex genetic psychological condition like Bi Polar disorder - playing guessing games with natural substances can do more harm than good.

If you suspect a loved one has Bi Polar disorder, see your medical professional for proper diagnosis.

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If you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time (or what seems like a long time), you are probably ready to run to a doctor crying, "Help me get pregnant!" Although a checkup with your regular doctor is always the first thing you should do when you are trying to get pregnant, there are simple things you can do right in the comfort of your own home - things that can make getting pregnant much easier and more natural.

Ensure you are in Good Health

Every day doctors see frantic females that are having difficulty getting pregnant. They are very familiar with women asking for help conceiving. One of the first things your doctor will do is give you a routine checkup to ensure that you are in good health, which is extremely important if you want to have a healthy pregnancy.

Once your checkup is out of the way, you will be given advice to relax and just let it happen. Sound frustrating? It is for many women. While relaxation is very important in your goal of becoming a mother, there are things you can do and use that will increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

As calculating as this may sound, time your sex so it is during your most fertile time. There are simple tests you can do to determine when you are ovulating. The best time to have sex is when you are ovulating.

Think Positive

Use mind control. Unbelievably, positive thinking really can make a difference in every part of your life, even with getting pregnant. When you are in a positive frame of mind your body will relax. Being relaxed can make it easier to conceive.

Take Care of Yourself

If you smoke, drink or do drugs, now is definitely the time to stop. All of these things can actually prevent you from getting pregnant. In the case that you would still get pregnant, you are putting your health and the health of your unborn child at risk by continuing to put these unhealthy things in your body.

Maintain a good weight. One of the first things doctors do when they hear the plea, "help me get pregnant" is to make sure the woman is in good physical condition and this starts with maintaining good weight.

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I know what you are probably thinking when you see the photos of Jillian Barberie in a bikini or Marie Osmond wearing a dress with a cinched, tiny waist, because I think the same thing. Both women have lost over 40 pounds on the Nutrisystem program. And, I want so badly to be happy for and inspired by them. Really, I do. But sometimes I can't help thinking that these celebrities probably have chefs and trainers and all kinds of folks to help them through this - which are luxuries that I just don't have.

But, one recent day after I had a particularly nice weigh in myself, I started to think about this a little more deeply. The truth is, no chef is needed to prepare nutriystem food. You are really only assembling it and this takes about two minutes. If you can use a microwave and blender, this is all you really need.

Now, everyone saw Marie Osmond shaking it on "Dancing With The Stars," so we know she had a strenuous work out regimen. Jillian Barberie has said that she never really worked out until she had trouble losing postpartum weight following the birth of her baby. So, she did take up power walking and lifting weights, and if you've seen the photos of her in a bikini, you know that she's been quite successful. She's thin all right, but she's also very toned.

Admittedly, it's really easy to look at these celebrities and feel a slight bit of envy and discomfort. But, if you think about it, it really comes down to eating less calories and carbs (Nutrisystem takes care of this and the "celebrities" have no advantage here, as we all eat the same food) and moving our bodies more.

Sure, Marie Osmond got to have all kinds on fun on "Dancing With The Stars" and Jillian made friends with some hand weights, but couldn't we normal folks also work out more? If we enjoy dancing, we shouldn't need "Dancing With The Stars" to dance a mean mambo. If we'd like to hit the weights like Jillian, we can do so pretty easily. Hand weights are readily available and quite cheap.

I think the major difference is that celebrities are being watched and are therefore under intense pressure to follow the plan to the letter in order to succeed. If I am honest with myself, this kind of immediate pressure would likely kick up my efforts.

So, maybe it is not the celebrity pampering we need to emulate, but the spotlight. Because, if I knew someone was going to be zooming a tight lens in on my body for all the world to see, I'd be much more motivated to get moving.

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LIFE AFTER BIRTH: THE FIRST 6 WEEKS

Life after birth can be chaotic, especially if this is your first baby. Taking care of your newborn is hard work and won't be much fun until he or she develops a personality. In case you didn't know, a newborn doesn't laugh or smile, it can't play or even hold its own head up without a supporting hand. All it can do is eat, sleep, dirty diapers, pass gas, throw up and cry. Despite all of this, you will - believe it or not - love your little tot more than anything else in the world. Moreover, you will learn a lot about yourself and your partner as you both navigate through these initial days of parenthood.

Sex (or lack thereof)

You should know that sex is off-limits for at least 6 weeks after your partner gives birth. Don't forget that she just delivered a fair-sized human through a very tiny birth canal and her body will need time to heal. Your gal's doctor will ask to see her about six weeks after delivery for a full physical and emotional post-baby follow-up. At this visit, the doctor will check to see how her wounds are healing. If everything is good, your partner will get the green light for sex. However, this doesn't mean that she will be as keen and eager to get back into the game. She'll likely be tired from the whole pregnancy ordeal and from the added responsibilities of caring for a newborn. Help out as much as possible and be patient. Her interest in sex will return...just don't push her too hard.

Sleep (or lack thereof)

The good news is that babies need a lot of sleep - about 15-16 hours a day. Unfortunately, newborns don't have regular sleep patterns and don't sleep for long hours at a time. This means that you won't have regular sleep patterns either. Get used to napping throughout the day. And if that doesn't work for you, then get used to sleep deprivation. You and your partner may feel like you are losing your minds as you quickly realize how cranky and dysfunctional you can be after several nights of disrupted sleep. Hang in there. After about 8 or 10 weeks, your baby will start to sleep through the night (approximately five consecutive hours) and your sleep-deprived, zombie-like state will be a thing of the past.

You may with to alternate night shifts to maximize the amount of uninterrupted sleep each partner gets. There really is no need for both of you to get up every time the baby needs to be fed, coddled or changed.

Caring for Your Tiny Tot

After your shopping spree for nursery items, layettes and strollers, you may have thought that you were fully ready for your baby. While these purchases were necessary, they are only a small part of what you need to survive postnatal care. There will be many new and strange things for you and your partner to learn. The ins-and-outs of feeding, bathing, diapering and umbilical cord care are in no way intuitive. Don't get scared or discouraged by your new-found incompetence. Chances are that your partner is also incompetent in this area. It's okay to make mistakes; every new parent does. The good news is that the parental learning curve is steep. You and your partner will quickly develop the skills needed to care for your tot. To give you a helping hand, here is are a few pointers on baby care basics:

Feeding

The first step is to decide your method of feeding - breast milk or formula? There are many benefits of breastfeeding, including nutritional and emotional advantages. Breast milk is a complete food source that contains hormones and disease-fighting compounds that are absent in formula. Nursing also helps build a special bond between mother and baby. Studies show that babies thrive on the skin-to-skin contact, cuddling and holding that occurs during breastfeeding. However, there are a variety of reasons why many women do not nurse. They may not be able to produce enough milk or they may have to return to work soon after birth and are not available to nurse the baby throughout the day. Whatever the reason, your gal should not feel guilty or uncomfortable with deciding to bottle-feed. There are many excellent formulas available which are highly nutritious. Speak with your partner's physician or pediatrician about recommended formulas.

Regardless of your method of feeding, you should know that most newborns eat about 8 times a day (approximately every two to three hours). However, you shouldn't try to set scheduled eating times during the first few weeks after birth. Let your baby eat whenever he or she seems hungry.

Bathing

Because your baby's umbilical cord will need to heal, it is very important that you keep it dry to prevent infection. After about two weeks, the gross looking stump (i.e., remnants of the umbilical cord) will fall off and your baby will be left with a cute little belly button. In the meantime, take extra care not to wet the umbilical cord during bathing. The best way to do this is to give your tot sponge baths until the cord heals.

To give a sponge bath, you will need a stable surface, a soft washcloth and lukewarm water. Make sure that you test the water temperature before applying the cloth to your baby to prevent scalding him or her. Your elbow or the inner part of your wrist is a good place to test water temperature. Your hand is not a good guide since it is not very sensitive enough to tell how hot or cold the water really is. Now you can begin wiping your baby gently with the moistened washcloth. Begin by wiping your baby's eyes (from inside to outside), ears and under arms. Then you can move onto legs and genitalia. When washing the bottom, make sure you wipe from front to back to avoid bringing any feces near the genitals. If you have had your baby boy circumcised, then you will want to speak with your pediatrician about caring for the penis while it heals.

The most important thing to remember when bathing your baby is to NEVER leave him or her along - not even for a second. Babies squirm around a lot, so you should always keep your eyes and one hand on your little one during bath time. The same rule applies when you are changing your baby's diaper.

Changing Diapers

Don't avoid this responsibility because it you have never changed a diaper before. Because babies pee and poop so often, you will spend a lot of time changing diapers. Take advantage of this precious time with junior. You may also have to develop silly and immature techniques to comfort your baby if he/she does not enjoy the diapering process. As ridiculous as you may feel, this is actually an important part of establishing a parent-tot bond.

While it may be dirty work, diapering is not rocket science. For easy to follow instructions, make sure to read our article on How to Change a Diaper at http://www.thefunkystork.com.

Caring for Yourself and Your Partner
As flighty and silly as it might sound, self-care is important. Neither you nor your partner is doing your tot any good by neglecting yourselves. Try a shift-work system where you schedule an hour or two during the day where one parent will care for the baby alone. This way, the other parent can practice self-care - taking a long, warm bath, going for a run, doing yoga, reading or just going for coffee with a friend.

You will find that self-care will also help maintain civility in your relationship with your partner. By making time to do something for yourself, you will find that you won't feel as overwhelmed by your initiation to parenthood. And don't forget that this rule also applies to your partner. In fact, she will likely need more time for self-care than you since she will also be recovering from both 40 weeks of pregnancy and hours of childbirth. Also be aware that your partner is particularly vulnerable to postpartum depression during the first weeks after birth.

Postpartum depression, which is a more serious case of the baby blues, can begin as early as a few days after delivery. Experts don't know the real cause of postpartum depression, but they suspect that it has something to do with changes hormonal levels. Stress, disturbed sleeping patterns and changes in daily routine can all contribute to postpartum depression. Signs and symptoms include restlessness, irritability, changes in appetite, sadness and anxiety. If your partner is experiencing any of these symptoms or if you sense that something isn't right with the way your partner is behaving, you should consult your physician immediately. Untreated, postpartum depression can develop into postpartum psychosis, which is a serious mental illness that requires medical intervention. Both you and your partner should take her postnatal psychological state very seriously.

On a lighter note, you and your partner make an extra effort to keep the romance in your relationship. While your baby will require a lot of your time and attention, he or she will also be taking a lot of naps. Nap-time may be the perfect (and only) time for your and your partner to romance each other. Snuggle, watch a movie, make dinner or enjoy a glass of wine together. Whatever you decide to do, take a minute to set the mood with candles and relaxing music.

Another important factor to consider is how involved you want your parents or partner's parents to be. Parental intervention can add some seriously unneeded stress to the situation and unnecessary strain on your relationship. That said, you shouldn't reject offers to help. Being a new parent is not going to be easy and you will need all the help that you can get. Just remember to set limits and don't be afraid to tell your relatives what you need (and don't need). The last thing you want is to have one overbearing relatives overstepping their boundaries and overstaying their welcome.

Now What?

Things change after about 6 weeks of caring for your newborn. You and your partner will be different people, your relationship will be redefined and your tot will begin to act more like a baby than a squirmy alien. Life will get easier from here on out. Your tot will become a toddler and will begin roaming around the house. Make sure you are prepared for junior's curiosity by baby-proofing your home early.

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Being a new parent is one of the best things in life and with this bundle of joy, there comes a whole bundle of bills such as legal fees, doctor visits, and nursery and so on. The beginning of being parents also means turning over a new leaf and you want the best for your new family.

When a baby comes along, there are so many things to worry about such as the basic need in life, health, childcare and education. Having children means sacrificing everything including eating at home, changing into a family car and the balance in your account is low.

Before committing anymore bills, consider your budget and change your will when your children are off to college. You can start by buying insurance for your child when you know that you are going to be a parent. In order to avoid over-spending list out on the things your family needs. Then, you will know where most of the money goes and how to save up bit by bit.

Plan years ahead about having children as health insurance with maternity care has only two years coverage. So, you would not want to have kids after those two years. Some employer provides a 20% of maternity benefits. With this the burden of cost will not be as bad.

The first thing to save up is not for college as there are other expenses such as emergency fund for half a year. Only after that plan how much money you need for your child's education and your retirement. The best way to save for a college fund is to reach at least 60% of the amount and this can be done by investing in stocks and so on.

Other than that, choose a guardian who will look after your children when you die. This is because that guardian will be managing the assets and you would not want someone who dislikes children raising them. Or worse come to worse is stranger raising your children. This should be put down in a will so that, your will is the law for your children.

You can also create a trust to hold your children's inheritance. Thus, you can let your children use this inheritance for what purposes and at what age can they use it. But, check with your state to see if it is allowed to give a large amount of money to a minority? Maybe at the age of 18 or an adult but it is sure that your children will get the inheritance if there was a law claiming that it is yours and is passed down to them.

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Barrier types of birth control places a physical impediment to the movement of sperm into the female reproductive tract. The most popular barrier method is the male condom, a latex or polyurethane sheath placed over the penis. The condom is also available in a female version, which is made of polyurethane. The female condom has a flexible ring at each end - one secures behind the pubic bone to hold the condom in place, while the other ring stays outside the vagina. Read how to use a female condom here.

Cervical barriers are devices that are contained completely within the vagina. The contraceptive sponge has a depression to hold it in place over the cervix. The cervical cap is the smallest cervical barrier. Depending on the type of cap, it stays in place by suction to the cervix or to the vaginal walls. The diaphragm fits into place behind the woman's pubic bone and has a firm but flexible ring, which helps it press against the vaginal walls.

Spermicide may be placed in the vagina before intercourse and creates a chemical barrier. Spermicide may be used alone, or in combination with a physical barrier. Condoms are the most common types of birth control using barrier.

Hormonal methods
Hormonal types of birth control include all contraceptives that use synthetic female hormones as birth control. The oldest of these is the pill, which includes combined oral contraceptive pills and the newer estrogen-free mini-pill. These same hormones used to create the pill are also used in the OrthoEvra patch and the Nova vaginal ring. Lunelle, a monthly injectable form, is another type of hormonal birth control.

The different hormonal types of birth control are comparable in that they are all highly effective and all are reversible. However, none of the hormonal methods of birth control protect a woman against sexually transmitted infections.

Long Term Birth Control
Long term types of birth control, including the intrauterine device (IUD), contraceptive implant, and sterilization.
IUDs are inserted by a doctor or nurse through the vagina and cervix, into the uterus. Most are made of molded plastic and have a string that you can feel in the vagina.

An IUD is an ideal method if you do not plan to become pregnant for at least one year (or longer) or you want a method that is highly effective and does not require daily or weekly attention. IUDs are also appropriate for women who do not want to or cannot use estrogen.

IUDs have relatively few side effects, and are reversible. If you decide you want to become pregnant, you can do so by having the IUD removed. IUDs do not affect your chance of becoming pregnant after the IUD is removed.

A single-rod progestin implant, is available in the US and elsewhere. A doctor or nurse inserts a small device under the skin in the upper inner arm. It is effective for up to three years, and can be removed sooner if you want to become pregnant.

The implant protects you from pregnancy within 24 hours of insertion. Irregular bleeding is the most bothersome side effect. You can become pregnant quickly after the implant is removed.

Sterilization is a types of birth control that permanently prevents a person from becoming pregnant or able to have children. Tubal ligation (for women) and vasectomy (for men) are the two most common sterilization procedures. Sterilization should be considered permanent, and should only be considered after a careful discussion of all available options with a healthcare provider.

Behavioral methods
Behavioral types of birth control involve regulating the timing or methods of intercourse to prevent the introduction of sperm into the female reproductive tract, either altogether or when an egg may be present. The methods include withdrawal, fertility awareness (also known as the Rhythm Method), outercourse, and continuous breastfeeding.

Withdrawal (also known as pulling out) is the behavioral action where a man pulls his penis out of the vagina before he ejaculates. Withdrawal is not as reliable a method because a male ejects pre-ejaculate fluid while he is aroused and still inside the vagina - this fluid can contain at least 300,000 sperm (and it only takes 1 to fertilize an egg)! Plus, the withdrawal method relies on complete self-control. Finally, even if the man ejaculates outside of the vagina, sperm can swim, so semen anywhere near the vagina can still lead to pregnancy (this also means that you can still get pregnant even without penile penetration if a male ejaculates on or near the vagina).

Fertility awareness involve a woman's observation and charting of her body's fertility signs, to determine the fertile and infertile phases of her cycle. Charting may be done by hand or with the assistance of software. Most methods track one or more of the three primary fertility signs: changes in basal body temperature, in cervical mucus, and in cervical position. If a woman tracks both basal body temperature and another primary sign, the method is referred to as symptothermal. Other bodily cues such as mittelschmerz are considered secondary indicators.

Outercourse is any type of sexual play without vaginal intercourse. This includes kissing, erotic massage, manual stimulation (with one's hands), masturbation, frottage (rubbing against each other), oral sex, fantasy, anal sex, and/or using sex toys (like vibrators). Although this method is usually 100% effective, pregnancy can occur if semen or pre-ejaculate fluid gets into the vagina (by the man ejaculating too close to the vagina or the woman rolling onto it). Plus, this method may not fully protect against STD's due to there being skin-to-skin contact or the exchange of bodily fluids during oral and/or anal sex.

Continuous breastfeeding is a method of avoiding pregnancies which is based on the natural postnatal infertility that occurs when a woman is amenorrheic and fully breastfeeding.

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Appropriate pregnancy exercises are beneficial to both moms-to-be and the fetus. Firstly, it helps to maintain muscle tone and make the progress of labor easier; Secondly, it helps to control body weight within a healthy range, and helps postpartum mothers recover their body shape easier as well. However, pregnant women should keep in mind that you can only exercise during certain stages of pregnancy, providing adopting suitable exercises for different stages and individual physical condition. In this article, we will discuss the ways that are not suitable for moms-to-be.

(1) Fit pregnancy - exercises that are not suitable for expecting mothers

If you are in pregnancy 3 months to 28 weeks, you should pay attention to the exercise types you choose. It is wise to do some leisure exercises such as swimming, tai chi, walking, yoga and other relatively simple sports. Do avoid strong abdominal exercises, or movements that require lots of jumping or sprinting such as badminton, tennis, horseback riding and scuba diving. Among these, diving is the most dangerous as it can easily make pregnant women in hypoxia state and thus cause fetal malformations.

Moreover, exercises that cause fatigue or over-sweating are not suitable to pregnant women. In addition, you should drink plenty of water during exercise, and it is best to add some fruit juice instead of drinking plain water. Cola and sports drinks are definitely a big no-no to a healthy pregnancy.

When you experience vaginal bleeding, fluid flow, unusual pain or sudden pain, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, severe or persistent headache or dizziness and other issues, you must stop exercising immediately and visit your doctor.

2) Fit pregnancy - exercises for different stages of pregnancy

You must be very careful in choosing exercise types during the first trimester. Strenuous exercises must be avoided during this period. In pregnancy for 3 months to 28 week period, pregnant women can do some appropriate exercises. But after 28 weeks in pregnancy, it is not advisable to do sports because the fetus has grown very large at this time, and inappropriate body movements may cause allergic contractions, leading to premature delivery and other issues.

(3) Fit pregnancy - how to exercise during pregnancy

Breathing exercises are often the best for pregnant women as it can help pregnant women relax, being present and also help in the delivery process with the contractions.

Shallow breathing: sitting on the floor, crossed legs in the front, back straight, exhale with mouth breathing.

Deep breathing: sitting on the floor in a comfortable position, crossed legs in the front, keep your back straight, deep breathing and then slowly exhale, repeat the exercise.

Other than breathing exercise, pregnant women can also do some muscles exercises including pelvic muscle and thigh muscles exercises. Pelvic muscles are likely to be weakened during pregnancy. Strengthening these muscles is very important for pregnant women to have a smooth delivery. You can do pelvic muscles exercise 300 to 350 times a day. This exercise is very simple, you just need to hold back as hard as possible to tighten the muscles (just like holding back when you feel like urinating) and then relax. Repeat this exercise 30 times and take a break when you feel tired.

Thigh muscles exercise is quite simple as well: sitting straight on the floor, keep soles of your feet tight and opposite to each other. Use your hands holding the ankles, and try to move them closer to your body. Then use your elbows pressing down your thighs, keep this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 15 times.

Overall, it is advisable to keep your doctor informed if you want to engage in any regular exercise. For pregnancy exercises, warm-up activities are very important. Aerobic exercises such as walking and gentle stretching are good exercises for a full warm-up.

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Regular exercise after giving birth provides so many health benefits to the new mother. One of the most important is that it makes you feel good. A happy woman is likely to be a happy mother. Some muscles in your body are directly affected more than others during pregnancy. In order to bring them back into good shape, you will have to start doing some physical exercising.

You may be wondering how to begin a fitness program or what kind of exercises will help you get back into your pre-natal shape. The good news is that you can become fit and healthy by doing little and low-impact exercises. Below are three physical activities that can help you rebuild your good shape. A word of warning before you continue, consult your doctor before you begin any exercise program. Your doctor will advise you on the time to begin, and at what pace to do it.

1. Brisk Walking
This is one of the more simple forms of exercising. You may see it as a normal activity that you do on a daily basis but its health benefits are wonderful. To begin this exercise, get a good pair of fitness shoes that fit you perfectly well and some comfortable fitness clothing. You can either do the walking on a treadmill at home or you can do it around your neighborhood. Walk for about 10-20 minutes daily. Take it easy with yourself by doing your activities slowly. Include stretching in your workout to help improve your muscles. You can do this before and after the brisk walking. Let your breathing be natural and through your nose. To make your walking interesting and fun, go out with your baby in a stroller. This will inspire you to stick to your exercises after giving birth.

2. Bicycling
Riding is another form of exercise that can help you get back in shape after giving birth. Like brisk walking, you can do your riding around your neighborhood for about 10-20 minutes daily. Remember to begin at a slower pace before you increase the intensity. Alternatively, you can use a stationary bicycle in the comfort of your own home.

3. Swimming
This exercise will help improve your cardiovascular system, relax your body and also help reduce post-natal depression and stress. When swimming, don't dive into the pool. Swim slowly from one point of the pool to another. Increase the rate at which you swim when you get used to this activity.

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Female patients of mine often ask whether having a child will affect their ability to undergo Lasik eye surgery. Actually, pregnancy can affect the eyes in many ways so it is important to understand what considerations should be made for pregnant women who are considering Lasik. These things should also be considerations even if a woman is not pregnant at the time but may be planning it in the near future.

First, it is always important to establish the total medical and structural health of the eye prior to proceeding with any kind of eye surgery. Pregnant women are known to be at risk for the development or worsening of diabetes and can develop significant blood pressure problems such as preeclampsia. These blood pressure or diabetes related problems can manifest in the eye, and therefore a complete dilated exam of the eye to look for any changes or pathology in the retinal blood vessels is extremely important. Patients can potentially present with bleeding or leaking blood vessels which can cause distortion of vision. Any changes of these kinds need to be handled very carefully to prevent long-term damage to the eyes. These conditions can lead to an acute medical or surgical situation and the patient would definitely be precluded from having Lasik eye surgery. Other rare pregnancy related eye disorders can occur that induce swelling of the optic nerve or retina and can also be detected with a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist.

But not all eye changes during pregnancy are necessarily pathologic. In some otherwise healthy women, it has been observed that their glasses prescription actually changes during pregnancy. Similar changes can also occur after the baby is delivered while the woman is breast-feeding her child. In some cases, these changes may be temporary but in others they can be permanent. Unfortunately there is no way to distinguish which cases are temporary. Actually, the majority of women never have these prescription changes during pregnancy at all. The exact mechanism of action is unknown although it has been shown that changes in the corneal thickness and curvature occur, possibly due to swelling. Some have postulated that the same hormonal changes which allow for bodily changes to accommodate for growth of the baby within the woman's body also allow for growth of the eye as well. Usually, growth changes of the eye leading to nearsightedness come to a conclusion when a person stops growing in their late teens or early twenties, but perhaps the hormonal changes of pregnancy allow for some of these changes to re-occur later in life.

Of course, when this situation arises, the woman's glasses prescription and nearsightedness are no longer stable and predictable. Performing Lasik on someone like this is unwise because the exact final prescription cannot be known. It's like shooting at a moving target. It is a general rule that a patient should have a stable glasses prescription for about one year prior to having Lasik eye surgery. If my patients go through pregnancy and experience no changes, then I feel it is okay for them to proceed at any point thereafter when they feel ready. However, if changes in their prescription have occurred, I do advise them to wait on Lasik surgery until we have observed that it does not change any further. This waiting period applies to the postpartum breast-feeding time as well.

I also talk to many of my patients that are young women who are not planning on pregnancy in the near future but feel they may have children in the distant future. In these people, there is no way to predict if a future pregnancy will change their glasses prescription. I advise these people most women have little or no change during pregnancy so it is reasonable to proceed with Lasik as they have no immediate plans for having children. They should be aware of the small possibility of developing regression of their near-sightedness in the future in the event they do become pregnant. In those cases, it is possible to do additional treatment after pregnancy is completed and once their prescription is stable. However, if the visual changes are small, many women feel that their vision is adequate and may not need additional treatment or might choose to wear glasses only under certain conditions, eg night driving. Those are personal decisions each individual must make for themselves.

The bottom line is to make sure that any health issues of the patient which can be related to pregnancy are stable and that the overall glasses prescription is stable and predictable prior to proceeding with Lasik eye surgery. Once all of these things are stable and the pregnancy is complete, that is the best time to proceed with the procedure. Although performing Lasik just prior or during pregnancy is technically possible, there remains the small chance of a prescription change induced by the pregnancy which might require additional treatment later. To avoid multiple procedures, I recommend waiting until after the baby is delivered and breast-feeding is completed.

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Endometriosis and pregnancy are two inter-related health conditions that millions of women of child bearing age struggle with every year. The simple fact is endometriosis can and will make conceiving a child more difficult in most instances. This does not mean a woman cannot get pregnant but it can throw a monkey wrench in the process.

Exactly how endometriosis affects a woman's chance at pregnancy is not fully known but studies that have been conducted into the issue show that she is less likely to conceive then a woman who does not suffer from this disease. These studies have shown that about twenty percent of women with endometriosis will be unable to conceive and that of all infertile women twenty one to forty four percent have this disease.

What isn't known is why endometriosis affects a woman's ability to conceive a child. Is it the endometriosis itself or is there something else at work in conjunction with it. It does not mean that a woman cannot successfully conceive a child and carry it to term.

The path to getting pregnant for women with endometriosis varies. Many women get pregnant naturally without any outside medical help. For women who are struggling with endometriosis and pregnancy it is important that they talk with their doctor /gynecologist about medical interventions that may help increase their chances of conceiving a child.

Women with endometriosis who are trying to get pregnant naturally may increase their odds if they consider the following:

1. Get started early in life - Studies have shown that women in their twenties are more likely to get pregnant then women in their thirties and older. Since endometriosis is shown to interfere with a woman's fertility it is surmised that it will continue to make conceiving harder the older she gets.

2. Get healthy - Many women have success in managing their condition when eating an endometriosis diet. A healthy diet, combined with regular exercise, can help minimize the effects of endometrial growths and provides her body with the necessary nutrients to successfully nourish an embryo.

If after a period of six months to a year a woman has still not gotten pregnant naturally she can turn to her gynecologist or infertility specialist for help. There are several treatment or procedure options available to help increase the chance for a successful pregnancy.

1. Laparoscopic endometriosis surgery - This minimally invasive surgical procedure is done to not only definitively diagnose endometriosis but also to excise and remove endometrial growths from the abdominal organs. This type of surgery is not a cure but it can provide a window in which a woman can successfully conceive. Studies do indicate that laparoscopic surgery can increase the likely hood of a successful pregnancy.

2. Fertility drugs - The use of drugs such as Clomid and Serophene can help stimulate ovulation in women who are having difficulty conceiving.

3. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) - IVF is an assisted reproductive technique that has shown good results in women with endometriosis and pregnancy issues. It should be noted that the success rate of IVF for women with endometriosis is about half that of other women with infertility issues. A newer technique called intracytoplasmatic sperm injection seems to garner higher success rates with studies showing that success rates are equal among women with the disease and those without.

There are risk factors for pregnant women with endometriosis that can lead to serious complications during their pregnancy. A recent study by medical researchers in Sweden found that women with endometriosis are at a higher risk for the following:

1. Premature Birth -Women with endometriosis are at higher risk for having their baby's preterm. They also found that women who also underwent IVF procedures to become pregnant were at an even greater risk for preterm birth then women who did not.

2. Preeclampsia - This is high blood pressure that develops in pregnant women during their second and third trimester. Women with endometriosis are at a higher risk for developing this dangerous condition that also includes protein in their urine and an increased risk for post birth.

3. Caesarean Section - In the study it was found that almost twice as many women with endometriosis had their babies delivered via C-section. It was also discovered that these women had a higher incidence of induced premature birth then spontaneous premature birth. The exact why of this is not known but the researchers conducting the study have theorized that complications with the placenta may be at the root of it.

It is estimated that over 9 million women worldwide suffer from endometriosis. Every year a good percentage of these women get pregnant and deliver healthy babies. With the proper medical support and care it is possible to beat the odds that this disease presents. Just remember that endometriosis and pregnancy are not mutually exclusive.

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Addressing Thyroid Disease Naturally

Classic signs of thyroid hormone deficiency include fatigue, memory loss, cold hands and feet, muscle and joint pain, depression, high cholesterol, and constipation. Over the past 2 years, I have seen a large influx of patients that had been placed on thyroid hormones to treat the above symptoms. Many of these individuals responded well to thyroid hormone initially, but were no longer receiving as much benefit from its use. Furthermore, many of them continued to develop additional symptoms such as dry eyes, dry and bleeding nasal passages, and dry hair and skin. Most of them were also experiencing greater loss of hair.

What you should know about Thyroid Hormone Production:

Thyroid hormone production is under the influence of a chemical called thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH is made by the pituitary gland. When circulating levels of thyroxine (T-4) are low, TSH sends a message to your thyroid gland to start producing more T-4. The building blocks your body uses to make T-4 come from food constituents that we obtain from the diet (tyrosine - an amino acid from protein and certain minerals - iodine, zinc, etc). Once your body makes T-4, it must be activated by other nutrients (vitamins and minerals) into something known as T-31. T-3 is the active form of thyroid hormone that works to increase the body's metabolism. However, certain nutrient deficiencies and stress can lead to a reduction in T-3 and instead the production of Reverse T-3. This form of T-3 is not as effective and leads to symptoms of hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, Reverse T-3 is cannot be distinguished from T-3 in traditional thyroid lab reports and this is a common oversight by many physicians. Once T-3 is made it will attach to the nucleus inside your cells and increase the body's metabolism appropriately. Once again, however, certain nutrient deficiencies can decrease the responsiveness of our body's cells to T-3, causing symptoms of hypothyroidism. For these reasons lab reports commonly performed by physicians that look at TSH, T-4, and T-3, can be misleading. A simplified diagram of thyroid hormone production is listed below:

TSH Stimulates the thyroid gland to make T-4. T-4 Converts to either T-3 or Reverse T-3 (RT3). RT3 is inactive. Normal T-3 attaches to the cell nucleus. Once attachment of T-3 occurs the body's metabolism increases.

As if the above information were not complicated enough, there are also environmental factors that can also effect thyroid hormone production. Oral contraceptives and estrogen containing medications have been shown to reduce the conversion of T4 to T3. Many herbicides and pesticides contain estrogen mimicking compounds known to effect thyroid hormone production. Soy foods and sodas can cause a reduction in thyroid hormone. Certain food allergies and selenium deficiency are linked to autoimmune thyroid dysfunction3,4. Heavy metal exposure through air, water, dental fillings etc. have been linked to poor thyroid function.

Remember that thyroid disease is never just as simple as taking a medication whether it is bio-identical or not. Thyroid dysfunction has a cause. An astute physician will take an active roll in care and seek to perform a comprehensive exam and laboratory work up that will identify the cause. Keep in mind that your body has the ability to make its own thyroid hormone providing that all the essential nutrients necessary are present in the diet or through supplementation, providing that the environment is conducive to the expression of good health, and providing that the individual is properly educated in the care of his/her body. Many patients that come to me initially are taking some form of thyroid medication. Many were instructed that the medication was a life long necessity. And in many it is very common that the medication becomes unnecessary.

1. Moncayo R, et al. The role of selenium, vitamin C, and zinc in benign thyroid diseases and of selenium in malignant thyroid diseases: Low selenium levels are found in subacute and silent thyroiditis and in papillary and follicular carcinoma. BMC Endocr Disord. 2008 Jan 25;8:2.

2. Pansini F, et al. Effect of the hormonal contraception on serum reverse triiodothyronine levels. Gynecol Obstet Invest 1987;23:133.

3. Mazokopakis EE, et al. Effects of 12 months treatment with L-selenomethionine on serum anti-TPO Levels in Patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Thyroid 2007 Jul;17(7):609-12.

4. Negro R, et al. The influence of selenium supplementation on postpartum thyroid status in pregnant women with thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007 Apr;92(4):1263-8. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

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Before you plan to get pregnant, it is necessary to bring some essential changes in your lifestyle and food habits. You need to consult your doctor to know exactly what foods you must avoid when you are trying to get pregnant and during the period of pregnancy.

You need to plan and prepare before you get pregnant. The couple needs to prepare themselves physically, emotionally and psychologically. The lifestyle needs to be changed in order to have a safe pregnancy.

A lot care and attention has to be given to what you eat as whatever you shall consume will be going in a direct or indirect manner to the baby before you conceive and while you are pregnant. So here you will know about what foods to avoid when trying to get pregnant and other such important things.

A baby's organs start forming about 17 days after you have conceived. Before a woman decides to get pregnant, it is essential that she meet a doctor and discuss her physical and emotional health with the doctor. The doctor might prescribe certain lifestyle changes and food habits before you become pregnant. Pregnancy is no child's play and must be handled with complete care and attention so that you have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Some of the foods that must be totally avoided when you are trying to get pregnant are mentioned below.

Avoid soybeans and foods that contain soy. Estrogen that is present in soybeans can lead to a hormone imbalance which could in turn affect the production of egg and ovulation. Hence, it is important to decrease the use of soybeans few months before you are trying to get pregnant.

Stay away from frankfurters, bologna and lunch meats as they contain nitrates and nitrites that are not good for women who are trying to conceive. One must not consume peanut butter as well as spinach as they deplete the level of calcium in the body which is essential for the development of the baby.

Refrain from soda, sugary foods and drinks as it can lead to decrease in blood sugar that can in turn upset the level of reproductive hormones. Caffeine must be strictly avoided. Caffeine is present in coffee, tea, chocolate and many other products. Having caffeine may prevent you from getting pregnant.

Other than that, it can also cause miscarriage. One must strictly refrain from smoking, alcohol and drugs. Do not take Vitamins A, C and D in high quantity. Do not eat raw meat or meat that is undercooked. Similarly do not consume raw eggs or eggs that are undercooked. Soft cheese should also not be consumed.

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You have probably heard the term "it takes a village to raise a child," but this should be rephrased to match motherhood in the modern world. It should be "it takes a nanny to raise a child," since most new mothers do not have access to a village worth of help. In many cases, new mothers do not even have friends or relatives that can help them recover from childbirth and learn how to properly care for their new babies.

The Distant past

There was a time when new mothers had built-in support when bringing home their new babies. They had neighbors bringing hot meals and pies to the door and older members of the community available to give the baby baths and make sure there were no problems with breastfeeding. If a new mother was weak and struggling to recover, she would have many women surrounding her and nursing her back to health.

These were the days when the village, or local community, did in fact raise the children right from birth. A naughty child could be punished by a neighbor then sent home to be punished again by their parent. Mothers didn't have to worry about their children when they were out to play because they knew many other women were looking after them.

You may remember these times from your own childhood. It's a shame that times have changed, but there are always some negatives that come with progress, right?

Modern Motherhood

Today, many women are too busy chasing careers and putting food on the table for their own families to watch out for anyone else's family. Women around the world now have more responsibility outside the home, which means they have less energy and time to invest inside the home. This means the surrounding village or community has disappeared. Most new mothers no longer have that constant support around the clock to make sure they recover from childbirth and care for their new babies efficiently.

Some women may still have the support of their mothers and other women in their families, but these people often cannot drop their own lives to give the amount of care needed by a new mother. This leaves modern mothers with two options: do everything on their own or hire a confinement nanny.

It is incredibly hard to take care of a newborn and recover from delivery alone. This is especially true for first-time mothers who don't know how to properly care for a newborn. It is also true for mothers recovering from a cesarean section, since they will not be able to lift their baby and move them around as much as other mothers.

Therefore, most mothers are now hiring confinement nannies to come into their homes and give a helping hand around the clock. A confinement nanny will now take care of everything that the village or community might have done for a new mother in the past. This includes meal preparation and help with older children as well as bathing, changing and feeding the new baby. The nanny looks after the health of the new mother and makes sure she gets adequate rest and food to recover from childbirth. She also looks after the baby to make sure they are properly cared for and growing at the proper rate.

It still takes a village to raise a child, but today the village has been replaced by the confinement nanny.

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Mortgage outsourcing services are preferred to internal loan processors for several reasons. Rendered by self-governing companies, these mortgage processing services are swift and perfect. Would you like to use them? The process involves the whole loan origination process or just one or two stages of it. It is important to determine the most time consuming and expensive stages faced by your company before searching whom to outsource them to. The following are seven main Mortgage outsourcing services.

• Mortgage loan processing(pre-approval)

• Mortgage underwriting(approval stage)

• Property appraisal

• Title ordering, searching and examination

• Title Insurance

• Mortgage pre-closing

• Mortgage closing

Most companies outsource everything in order to reap all the benefits of outsourcing. Mortgage outsourcing services are based on short-term or long-term contracts. This enables many mortgage firms to assign work to an outsourced company only when it is necessary. This is contrary to what happens in an office. Whether your employee works or not, he or she is legally allowed to demand a monthly or a weekly wage. Take for example when an employee is away on a sick leave, maternity leave or vacation.

Don't you pay them their salary in spite of their absence? In reality this is an unnecessary expenditure that you are forced to incur by the law. If you could use mortgage outsourcing services, and eliminate redundant staff, you could help your business grow. The more staff you recruit the higher your office expenses will rise. Each new employee will require an office space, working equipment and some sort of orientation to understand how things are done in your organization. This is both a waste of time and money. You should hire a reputable outsider with a private loan processing facility. External service providers' staff requirements are not your responsibility.

The only expenditure you are likely to incur includes the project fee that the outsourced service provider and you will agree upon. Therefore buying mortgage outsourcing services is an ideal way to control your company's expenditure. When you finally mitigate expenditures and free your time, you will begin to see constant improvements throughout the loan origination process. Are you looking for creativity and talent? There is no better way to add these qualities to your loan processing than outsourcing. Outsourced teams have more experience and creativity than your in-house staff members. They work for several mortgage firms and have dealt with both simple and difficult house loan processing scenarios.

When searching for mortgage outsourcing services, consider a company that can give you quality and speed. These are key qualities required to close as many loan files as possible. In addition you should reflect on the types of loan programs that your firm processes, as you look for the company to outsource to. Which one among Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fixed Rate Mortgage, Adjustable Rate Mortgage, VA loan, interest-only and Reverse Mortgage do you offer? Some Mortgage Outsourcing services are based on two or more of the above-mentioned mortgages. It is also wiser to consider factors such as fees charged, turn around time and years of experience.

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Virtual Yoga training, this is one of the newer training options out there. No longer do you need to find a studio close to your home with a schedule that works for you and your family, purchase generic DVDs or subscribe to an online yoga site.

A personalized yoga program especially for you can be created, it can be made to meet your needs taking into consideration any existing injuries, conditions, desires and time restraints by a registered yoga teacher. These personalized yoga programs includes an initial consultation (online, over the phone or in person if desired), a program including descriptions & photographs, sometimes video make by included, as well as online consulting for any questions or concerns while you are using this program via phone, Skype, Facebook, twitter or email is available.

This virtual option enables you can choose a yoga instructor based on their qualifications and specialties instead of their location because all contact can be online and at your convenience thanks to the internet.

This is a great way to experience yoga in the privacy of your own home on your own time but still do a program that is tailored just for you. Experience all the numerous and far reaching benefits from yoga that you can imagine. From decreasing stress to increasing your metabolism. From relieving back pain to raising your energy level. You can feel rejuvenated everyday.

Yoga teachers always do their best to accommodate all their students, but depending on the size of the class sometimes you just can't get the personalized attention you need or the personal guidance that you desire. Your goals, needs, current fitness level, conditions, injuries and lifestyle will be taken into consideration when creating your program. This will keep you motivated, challenged and meeting your goals.

Yoga should be a vital part of a balanced fitness program. It gives a complete mind & body work-out, using your own body weight in a non-competitive setting. There are alternatives to customize each pose for every age, ability, comfort level, condition or injury. Yoga is an amazing compliment to other activities like running, weight training and rowing.

A program can be make for any age, level and ability which includes seniors, kids, prenatal, postnatal, plus sized, or anyone else. Some other specialties are yoga for fertility, yoga for depression, yoga for cancer survivors, yoga for runners, yoga for cyclists, yoga for golf, yoga for spinal cord injury and more.

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

1. Red blood cell
Folic acid is vital for red blood cell production. Deficiency decreases the function of blood in transporting nutrients and oxygen to the body cells, resulting in increasing the risk of abnormal brain cells in transmitting information between themselves and glands, leading to over and under production of certain hormone that interferes with normal menstrual cycle and fertility.

2. Norepinephrine
it plays a dual role as a hormone and a neurotransmitter, it affects the brain in response to actions and control. Deficiency of folic acid causes imbalance of levels of norepinephrine hormone, leading to interrupting the information transmitting resulting in depression and emotional and physical stress.

3. Serotonin
Serotonin is a hormone secreted when our body under stress. Folic acid deficiency causes over production of serotonin hormone, leading to imbalance of hormone progesterone that interferes with normal menstrual cycle and disrupts ovulation.

4. Nervous system
it also helps to synthesize genetic material in every cell of the body. Deficiency causes abnormal cell growth and DNA duplication abnormality that disrupts the sperm in egg fertilization and increases the chance of birth defects.

5. Neural tube defects
Researcher found that deficiency of folic acid before and during pregnancy causes neural tube defects as resulting of abnormal genetic synthesizing.

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It is common to confuse simple "baby blues" with postpartum depression, but it happens all the time. Baby blues are very common, and happen when the mother feels conflicting feelings where she is happy that the baby has arrived and at the same time is very sad as well; this happens, even though everyone around is celebrating the new arrival.

Baby blues usually happen around 24 hours after childbirth and are characterized by feeling empty, sad and upset. One can have disturbed sleep, have difficulty sleeping at all, experience extreme crying spells, and can be exceptionally emotional with the baby blues.

Symptoms are at their worst between three to five days after the baby is born and can last up to two weeks.

However, postpartum depression is different. It lasts much longer than baby blues do, from six months to a year. Postpartum depression is also much more intense than baby blues are.

Baby blues are very common and do not interfere with the mothers' ability to take care of the baby or to go about normal daily life. However, postpartum depression can be extremely crippling and can stop normal life.

The depression itself can leave a woman emotionally fatigued and physically drained.

Following are some of the symptoms of postpartum depression, and should be watched out for:

* Having extreme mood swings and emotional fluctuations
* Being unable to sleep
* Being unable to enjoy your new baby
* Being unable to enjoy activities you did previously
* Being very fatigued
* Having fluctuations in appetite
* Feeling inadequate as a parent and spouse
* Having negative thoughts about yourself, and/or the baby
* Being suicidal, and/or thinking of harming the baby

There are times as well when postpartum depression can be severe enough that it can become postpartum psychosis. With postpartum psychosis, a new mother may become delusional, may become severely depressed, or may even start hallucinating.

Health centers in Edinburgh and Livingston have developed what is called the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale; also called the "postpartum depression scale," this scale helps to detect possible postpartum depression in mothers.

If you or your health care provider suspects that you may be suffering from postpartum depression, you will be asked some questions from the scale, such as how long you have had the depression, how intense it is, any previous history of depression you have had, any substance abuse problems you have had, any marital problems you may be having, or any other discord or form of stress you may be experiencing now, so that conclusions can be drawn.

You will also be asked to take what is called a "postpartum depression scale test."

The latter is a questionnaire that has 10 statements, each with four possible answers. If you are asked to take this test, you will be asked to identify what you have felt in the past week, that just previous to the time you take the test.

If your score is higher than 92%, it is likely that you are severely depressed. Ideally, this test should be taken between six to eight weeks after you have given birth, and it should be completed by you (or the mother who has given birth, as applicable) without first discussing answers with anyone.

In addition to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, there is also the PPD Screening Scale Test. This scale test has 35 items on it that you grade from a scale, ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree."

After the test is taken, the physician should be consulted so that proper decisions and treatment can be discussed and applied.

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The holistic development of a baby inside a mother's womb is probably one of the greatest responsibilities ever to befall on any woman. It is a task that entails a lot of sacrifices and hardships that promises a great reward at the end. Yes, being a pregnant mom could be the most exhilarating as well as the most daunting task a woman has to face and it is not one that comes without worries and fears. This is because it is always a mother's fear to bear a child that could come out with serious defects to its physical appearance as well as to mental capabilities. Mothers always dread having a child born with the worst defects of all, which are the defects of the brain.

Because of this fear, most mothers take care in avoiding things that could bring about brain defects in their children and the time that they do this is when these babies are still inside the womb. They take great care in seeing to it that they follow doctor's instructions when it comes to the proper diet and the prenatal vitamins that they must take. These mothers see to it that they take in the proper amounts of vitamin and minerals as well as other nutrients that are very essential for their babies to avoid getting brain defects.

One of the most essential nutrient that an expectant mother should take, which plays a great role in the development of an unborn baby's brain as well as his spinal cord, is the folic acid. While this nutrient could be sourced from a variety of foods, pregnant moms are always advised to take prenatal vitamins containing the prescribed amount of this vitamin. This is to ensure that the risk of acquiring neural tube defects can be avoided. These defects, which are due to the underdevelopment of the brain and the spine, can result in paralysis as well as mental retardation, which is one of the worst cases of brain defects.

Aside from the proper intake of folic acid, there are also other things that an expectant mother could do to make sure that her child is born without brain defects. One of these is to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages. This, as studies have shown that alcoholic drinking during pregnancy, heightens the risk of brain defects on babies. A baby could also develop brain damage if his or her mother use illegal drugs when she was pregnant. This brain defect could be experienced by the baby on top of other birth defects.

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