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Did you know that depression affects approximately 18.8 million American adults in a given year? The holidays can be particularly difficult. Those who have struggled with depression say that they'd rather be physically sick than depressed, those who've never been depressed should count their blessings! But I can guarantee that you still have felt its icy fingers of impact, because someone you love is probably suffering from depression right now.

One of the fastest-growing markets for anti-depression medication is for preschoolers, it is estimated that at least four percent of preschoolers-that is over one million-are clinically depressed. It's as if they are catching a virus of depression from their teachers, parents, older siblings, or caregivers. The rate of increase in depression among school-age children is even more astonishing at 23 percent.

Just last week I was sitting on the couch looking at my Christmas tree. I wanted one more look before I started to take it down, so I turned on the lights and sat there for a few minutes. It's just an artificial blue spruce, about six feet tall, with tiny white lights and white garland. It really is nothing but a bunch of "bling."

I thought about my older daughter's question on Christmas Eve. We'd gone to her house and the first thing she asked was, "did you put up a tree?" What a strange question for a grown daughter with a family who has two trees in her own big house, why would she wonder if we'd put up a tree?... And then I'd remembered my younger daughter's question earlier in the month, she was checking on our house while we were away and she wanted to know if she could turn on our Christmas tree lights. She, too, has a lovely family with their own tree. So, what was so important about their parents having a Christmas tree?

I continued to think about the tree and all the memories it conjured up. I really do have an excuse to be a little depressed, I thought. I've lost my job, a job I really loved, and I miss my friends and associations from that job, and the income. But, in spite of the memories, and no assurance for the future, I feel joyful; it's explainable only in the fact that I have faithfully followed my eight-question depression-busting plan. Using these questions to check my attitude and behavior I put myself back on track every time I feel the slightest twinge of depression.

Eight-Question Depression-Busting Plan

1. Nutrition, am I eating the right things? Things to avoid are sugar, preservatives, and highly-processed food. These foods may y let you down, leaving you with food cravings, and feelings of guilt for eating too much.

2. Exercise, am I getting enough exercise? Exercise gives your brain an opportunity to rejuvenate. This actually will elevate your mood and give you a sense of well being.

3. Water, am I drinking enough water? Water carries necessary nutrients to all parts of your body and flushes out toxins.

4. Sunlight, am I getting enough sunlight? You may be a borderline seasonally-affected depressant; it is hard in the winter with shorter days to get enough sunlight. Taking additional vitamin D and using a light; box may help.

5. Temperance, am I being temperate in all that I do? Another word for temperance is balance. Am I being balanced in all that I do? Am I working too hard? Am I eating too much? Avoid harmful substances altogether.

6. Air, am I getting fresh air? Air that is full of mold spores and dust can precipitate illness, which leads to cold remedies and pain killers; it is now believed that acetaminophen may cause feelings of depression.

7. Rest, am I getting enough rest? Sleep, often hard to come by in our fast-paced lives, maybe the most important activity you're missing. Known to help control appetite, you can loose weight just by getting enough sleep. So avoid too much stimulus (exercise, exciting TV shows, caffeine), and establishing a bedtime routine, even if you don't sleep, stay there for eight hours.

8. Trust in your Higher Power, am I spending time in the word? Am I filling my soul with faith or fear food? Until you make feeding your spirit the same priority as feeding your body you will struggle with depression. It is a natural response to the unpredictable world in which we live.

Try this plan and you too, can stop the spread of depression.

References and Further Reading

National Institute for Mental Health, The Numbers Count: Mental Illness in America, Science on Our Minds Fact Sheet Series

Study published in Psychiatric Services, April 2004. Reported in our health news archive: Pill-Popping Pre-Schoolers and Even Toddlers Get the Blues.
Harvard University study reported in Harvard Mental Health Newsletter, February 2002.

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Does Your Risky History Put You At Risk for A Sexual Affair?

Family situations and personal challenges are unbelievably influential in whether or not someone is going to cheat, but what about personal risk? Does depression increase the possibility of your husband cheating? What if he loses his job, or someone close to him dies?

According to Christian relationship expert Dave Carders, situational factors definitely influence a person's potential to cheat on their significant other. "Often there are situational factors that weigh heavily into the initiation of [infidelity]," he writes in his bestselling book Close Calls. "Two of these areas are high-risk times and high-risk behaviors."

High-Risk Times

High-risk times refer to great times of stress and change in relationships. Many times, these times are life-altering and require major adjustment on one's part in order to fully absorb the changes that are made to their routines.

Death or Loss

Death of a loved one is a common high-risk time for people. Research has indicated that spouses and couples actually experience an increase in their sex life following the death of a loved one.

Many times, both parties in the marriage or relationship will experience difficulty connecting because they're both in mourning during this period. They may preserve their energy in order to work through the day instead of expending effort in consoling one another.

As we've discussed before, men have a real pattern of using sex to comfort themselves. If they're not getting emotional support and care from their wives at home, there's potential for them to seek outside refuge in the arms of another woman, as having sex will still release oxytocin, which comforts them and makes them feel less "alone" in times of need.


There are several reasons why pregnancy carries an increased risk of infidelity in men. First and foremost, a man is adjusting to the fact that the relationship isn't all about him anymore; he now has to share the spotlight with another person, his own child. Second, he has to spend an extra amount of time catering to the woman carrying his child for the approximately 9 weeks or so that she's carrying the child.

To add to this, women usually go through a lot during their pregnancies. Hormones shift and change, and women can become emotionally unstable, sensitive and possess lower libidos, resulting in a lack off sexual desire. In turn, the changes which take place in the female's body, such as weight gain, make her less visually appealing to her husband, and therefore divert his sexual desire away from her.

Once the baby comes, pressures of being a new parent add strain to the relationship. Many women experience postpartum depression, while others become completely consumed with the baby and lose desire to connect with their partners. Resentment, stress and the need to "get away from it all" can cause an otherwise great man to cheat - all because he wants attention that he feels is no longer readily available to him.

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In my work in family medicine, I see a lot of expectant mothers. I'm often surprised at how much misinformation is out there about proper nutrition during pregnancy, and in particular about Essential Fatty Acids during pregnancy.

Essential Fatty Acids are so-called because they move oxygen through our blood, they help in cell and brain development, and they keep organs and tissue healthy. One of the most crucial Essential Fatty Acids for fetal development is Omega 3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This Omega 3 (not to be confused with Omega 3 EPA or ALA) is the primary structural component of brain tissue.

What follows are five important tips for fetal development:

1. DHA is a basic building block for your baby's brain. The Omega-3 DHA is a critical component n the development of your baby's brain, spinal cord, eyes, and nervous system. Adequate amounts of DHA help to prevent allergies in children who are at risk for them, and also increases birth size and weight. It also increases your baby's coordination and motor skills.

2. Your body naturally gives all its DHA to your fetus. It's part of the miracle of birth - your body instinctively gives your fetus all the resources it needs for optimal fetal development, even if that means that it robs you of the nutrients you need. For most mothers who are deficient in DHA, this manifests itself as postpartum depression, or in brain shrinkage (also known as 'mommy brain'.)

3. Mothers who got more Omega 3s in their last trimester had smarter babies. A recent study of over 11,000 pregnant women in England showed that mothers who got more Omega 3s during pregnancy had babies with higher IQs and better social development, including fewer incidences of ADD. Infants who had insufficient supply had lower fine motor skills, less developed communication skills, and social behavior issues that could be measured for years after birth.

4. Baby's development continues through breastfeeding. If you choose to breastfeed, you are the only source of nutrition for your baby. Since your baby's development is continuing rapidly at this time, it is critical that you are getting enough DHA to supply your baby with enough for optimal growth, without depleting your reserves to critical levels. If you are deficient, discuss using an Omega 3 enhanced baby formula with your physician.

5. Prenatal vitamins generally do not contain Omega 3. It is a source of unending frustration to doctors, but prenatal vitamins rarely contain DHA. With more than 98% of women not getting enough Omega 3 in their diet to properly support themselves and their developing babies, it is very important that women are aware of this lack and are looking to make up for it through diet or supplementation.

Most women are conscious of the FDA's recommendation that expecting mothers and children avoid certain types of fish. This is because of a risk of mercury contamination, found especially in large fish that feed on other fish.

One way to avoid mercury contamination during this critical time of development is to take an Omega 3 supplement. It is vital that you ensure you are getting a molecularly-distilled supplement that is certified by independent parties to be pure and free of toxins.

Also, ensure that you are getting the recommended dose of Omega 3 for expecting mothers.

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It has been the tradition for contractors to refuse efforts to make them into regular PAYE employees. Contractors enjoy additional earnings and a more flexible working schedule (should they choose of course) However, they haven't had the same benefits given to full time, permanent employees. That is where an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) steps in. Umbrella companies offer statutory benefits to contractors, which include:

  • Holiday pay

  • Maternity and paternity leave benefits

  • Statutory sick pay commensurate with regular employees

  • Guaranteed minimum wage or above and minimum weekly hours

  • Redundancy payments

  • Contractors may have no employee rights with their clients, but an umbrella company (EBT) that genuinely employs its contractors provides the full range of employee's rights.

All umbrella companies are not the same. The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) model sees the worker as an employee for income tax purposes. The agency deducts National Insurance Contributions and income taxes before payment to the contractor, even though the contractor isn't an actual employee. Other companies claiming to be umbrella companies provide the contractors an employee benefit trust paid into an offshore account. Neither offshore accounts nor agency PAYE models may give contractors employment rights. Many companies offering EBT style solutions claim to save contractors money.

Legitimate umbrella companies such as Parasol, Equity Incentives, Streets LLP, etc., which do provide an "actual" employment model for their contractors, follow all employment benefits specified by statute. They are usually members of recognized trade bodies and regularly pass vigorous membership compliance requirements. Those companies under trade body membership, provide contractors ongoing holiday pay.

Legitimate umbrella companies act as a "regular" employer. Now when a contractor needs a mortgage reference, he has a company that can give one, and an HR department to process the request. Support for grievances and disciplinary procedures are also provided if questions come up between the contractor and the client.

Quality employee benefit trust companies have stringent requirements for their contractors. This ensures that the contractor hasn't gone beyond expense limits with past clients or left tax bills unpaid. After working with an umbrella company for a period of time, that company will increase minimum payments to the contractor at times when they aren't in statutory redundancy pay or in a contract.

Reputable umbrella companies make benefits available, provide stability, and support for the contractor that regular contracting doesn't. This arrangement still offers higher earnings and a more flexible schedule than a permanent, full-time job. The contractors needn't worry about office politics, or fighting for the next promotion.

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California has the nation's richest pregnancy and maternity benefits. Four separate laws combine to provide up to seven months of partially paid, job protected leave should the need arise. But the partial pay of 55% means a 45% pay cut during this time. You can better survive a seven-month job hiatus by purchasing supplemental disability insurance before getting pregnant.

Four separate California laws combine to create up to seven months of job protected, partially paid leave. The California pregnancy disability protects your job for up to four months before your delivery should you experience complications. The CA Family Rights Act provides a fresh set of twelve weeks (nearly three months) of job protected leave after your delivery. The California State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave provide partial income replacement during your pregnancy disability, and maternity leave.

Both the state disability and paid family leave provides a maximum of 55% income replacement up to a hard dollar cap of $987 per week in 2010. At minimum you will be facing at least a 45% pay cut during this time. If your income exceeds $93,316 annually, you will hit the hard dollar cap and your pay cut will exceed 45%.

Seven months at a 45% pay cut can severely damage a family finances, especially when the additional expenses of feeding, clothing, and raising a newborn get added into the picture. Purchase supplemental short term disability insurance before getting pregnant. Your normal labor and delivery will be a covered benefit, and you will close the gap on your big pay cut should the need arise for seven months of missed work.

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Two of the major reasons why a woman has a low chance of getting pregnant is having a high level of stress and smoking too much cigarette. When you are planning to get pregnant, it is best to stay away from stressful activities and vices.

Having a high stress level can lessen the chance of a woman to get pregnant significantly. This is according to research. There is a study that shows, stressed women are less likely to get pregnant compared to calm women. So, if you try to get pregnant, you should stay away from stressful activities and do more relaxing activities like yoga.

Here are simple tips to get pregnant, relax and unwind. Do this with your partner when you are planning to get pregnant. The more relaxed you are the higher the chance for conception. You should go out with your partner for yoga, exercise, and even a good vacation. With this there will be a big chance for success when you try to get pregnant. Counseling and meditation may even be great for other people.

Eating the right food can also help lessen the stress and increase the chance of getting pregnant. Eating fruits and vegetables is advisable if you are planning to get pregnant. Drinking the right amount of water is also very helpful.

When you try to get pregnant, you should be calm. Because stress may affect some of the most vital hormones and organs in your body needed for conception. That is why increasing the sexual pleasure may also help reduce stress.

After knowing how important it is to be stress-free when planning to get pregnant, knowing how important it is to avoid vices is next. Alcohol, illegal drugs and cigarettes must be avoided in order to increase fertility.

Among these three vices, cigarette smoking is one of the leading reasons for infertility. It affects, not only the woman's, but also the man's fertility. It may also lead to miscarriage and other complications during pregnancy.

If you are planning to get pregnant, one of the most important tips to get pregnant is quit smoking. Smoking does not only affect your health, but your infant's health as well. Cigarette has many toxins that may enter your bloodstream which may eventually lead to your reproductive organ where your baby may be. The nicotine is one of the major elements of the cigarette which is very harmful to you and your baby. It can narrow down veins including the umbilical cord. This means you are taking away oxygen from your baby.

Lowering your cigarette habit is not enough, because the slightest intake of nicotine can already affect your blood vessel harming your baby or lowering your fertility. When your baby is born, there will be in bad condition. Like being underweight, having lung problems or having deformities.

If you are planning to get pregnant, you should first plan on how to quit smoking. There are many different programs that can help you quit smoking. But ultimately, it is your own decision whether you will quit or not. Just make a decision on what is more important to you, your cigarette or having a baby.

Second hand smoking is also bad for your fertility. It is also very bad for your baby. So stay away from people who smoke. If your partner is smoking, he should also be disciplined enough to quit. He must do this for his family's sake.

When you try to get pregnant, you should be healthy. Staying out of stress and avoiding vices are the best things to do to stay healthy.

Staying healthy may increase your chance of getting pregnant. All you have to do is follow these tips to get pregnant, to have a successful conception and delivery.

There are many other reasons for infertility and each has their own corresponding treatments. You may approach your doctor for more information and a more precise recommendation or advice.

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If you have ever applied for health insurance while pregnant then you have likely had to ask your insurance agent, "Why is my pregnancy a pre existing condition?" Read on to get some guidance on what you need to know about pre existing conditions, pregnancy, and finding health insurance while pregnant.

Can You Get Health Insurance While Pregnant?

Usually if one becomes pregnant without medical insurance then they are not eligible for insurance coverage until after the pregnancy. There are some situations where someone who is pregnant can buy health insurance after they are pregnant but generally speaking if one chooses to get pregnant without maternity insurance or even regular medical insurance then they will stay without insurance until they have the baby.

Why Can't Someone Get Health Insurance During Pregnancy?

The reason why expectant mothers cannot purchase maternity insurance (and why even when one does purchase maternity before being pregnant and there are waiting periods) should be pretty clear when you consider the analogy of car insurance. Just like someone cannot go without car insurance coverage and then total their car in an accident and purchase comprehensive collision coverage after the fact to pay for the already totaled car one cannot wait until they are pregnant and then decide to get pregnancy insurance. The responsible thing to do is of course to buy a maternity medical plan before getting pregnant just like the responsible thing to do is to buy car coverage before getting in an accident and not after the fact.

What Options are Available for Those Who are Expecting?

While pregnancy is considered a pre existing medical condition just like other things that will will in all likelihood require medical attention there are still some options available for those who are already pregnant and without insurance. Discount plans, community medical care, and prepaid hospital plans are all things to consider.

If you are not yet pregnant then be sure that you find great maternity medical insurance ahead of time so that you can be covered. If you are already pregnant and without coverage then don't despair because although you are not in an ideal situation there are still options available to you.

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Best Pregnancy Books
There are many pregnancy books on the market and below you will find some of my favorites along with links to access them for purchase.

As any pregnant mom will tell you these guides are designed to be there for reassurance that everything is OK and YOUR pregnancy is on track. If you are interested in understanding how your unborn child is developing each week or you want to know what is actually happening with the changes in YOUR own body than these books can be excellent resources along the way.

Read these reviews of the best pregnancy books around and choose a guide or two that will go with you on your journey from conception through labor and eventually the welcome birthing event!

What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

A perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today's 25 most influential books. It's read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book. Featuring a new look, a fresh perspective, and a friendlier-than-ever voice. Filled with up-to-date information reflecting not only what's new in pregnancy, but what's relevant to pregnant women. Detailed week-by-week fetal development section in the monthly chapters, an expanded chapter on pre-conception, and a brand new one on carrying multiples. Overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor (a pregnant woman's best friend), this new edition is more accessible and easier to use than ever before.

New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas

A pregnancy book that enables you to have the active birth you want. With this book, you can learn to develop all your body's resources to deal with the instinctive experience of childbirth. Fully updated and extended with new information - including Water Birth and Recovery After Birth. It offers prenatal and postnatal exercises with step by step photographs. It presents a detailed section covering every aspect of Active Birth at home and in the hospital.

Birth Stories by Katrina O'Brien

Share other women's birth stories with this pregnancy book that tells you like it is. From natural birth at home to unexpected birth in the outdoors to planned Caesareans, these touchingly personal and funny tales illustrate how the method of arrival is less important than the love the child finds when it finally arrives.

The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything In Between by Ann Douglas

The ultimate guide to conception, birth, and everything in between. Unlike all those other bossy, tell-you-what-to-do titles, this funny, entertaining guide presents parents with all the facts on such hot topics as pain relief during labor, episiotomy, and circumcision, and empowers them to make informed personal choices. It's packed with tools you won't find anywhere else, including:

Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke

This pregnancy bible gives you the low-down on pregnancy and birth. Lots of factual information about the babies growth, what to expect etc. Absolutely hilarious.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Mayo Clinic

Would-be mothers looking for precise, accurate information from a reputable source will appreciate this pregnancy guide from the celebrated Mayo Clinic. week by week accounts of the baby's development, entries on how pregnancy can be affected by dozens of previous health conditions (such as HIV and diabetes), self-care tips for side effects like nausea and back pain, sidebars that explain the difference between identical and fraternal twins, etc. charts that indicate how to handle "troublesome signs and symptoms" during each three-week period. Another stellar feature is the book's even-handed series of "decision guides," which help parents make those hard (and even guilt-inducing) choices about breastfeeding, circumcision and whether or not to go back to work.

Your Pregnancy Bible by Dr Anne Deans

This pregnancy book gives practical and reassuring advice during pregnancy. Written by a team of specialists, filled with everything parents need to know about the optimum environment for a developing baby and safeguarding the mother. The book contains special fold-out sections on each of the trimesters and the birth process, week-by-week images of the developing baby, sympathetically illustrated chapters dealing with all aspects of pre-natal care, labor preparation, delivery experiences and care of the newborn, as well as comprehensive reference sections on medical treatments and procedures in both pregnancy and the post-natal period.

Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Dr Miriam Stoppard

A comprehensive pregnancy guide to everything from conception to birth. Widely accepted as the definitive guide to pregnancy and childbirth. Stunning photography and information covers the latest developments in pregnancy and birth, from up-to-date research on how your stress levels can affect your unborn baby to developments in delivering your baby. Miriam Stoppard, MD is one of today's most popular medical personalities and has published over 40 titles.

Feeding the Bump by Lisa Neal

A pregnancy book that clearly outlines pregnancy nutrition. Divided chronologically into pre-conception, first, second and third trimesters and postpartum/breast-feeding. Provides women with all the information they need about their own and their unborn child's nutritional requirements and the best way to fulfill them. Tried and true remedies for common complaints such as morning sickness and heartburn, along with more than 100 easy-to-follow and absolutely delicious recipes. This is a must-have resource for all women wanting to maximize their unborn child's health, and their own, through what they eat.

Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

McCarthy applies her in-your-face manner and blue humor to the subject of pregnancy and childbirth in this little piece of fun. She recounts her journey to motherhood with utter abandon; discussing topics that those other books tend to treat too gently, such as enemas, pubic hair growth, and sex in the ninth month. Women who find these topics too embarrassing to bring up now have a place to read about them in a frank and open discussion. Like a gossipy girlfriend, McCarthy brings you in and makes you laugh; there's a certain comfort in knowing that even a sex symbol gets stretch marks and balloons to 200 pounds during pregnancy.

Bonding with Your Bump by Dr Miriam Stoppard

A guide-book about falling in love with your baby before birth. Presents advice and guidance on how to fall in love with your baby before birth. Building that special relationship with your baby starts before birth. Forming a close, early bond can make a real difference to your baby's wellbeing, your feelings as a parent and in creating a loving environment for when baby arrives. up-to-the-minute research with enlightened and compassionate wisdom explains why mother-baby bonding is so vital. Learn to understand and cherish your unborn baby. This book guides you through this extraordinary time: from hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time, to the first magical days post birth.

The Pregnancy Bible: Your Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Early Parenthood Editors: Joanne Stone MD, Keith Eddleman MD

The Pregnancy Bible covers the complete sequence of fetal development in utero week by week. Full color photography with many life-size photos which are reproduced from state-of-the-art ultrasound images. Written in an easy-to-understand style that will especially appeal to first-time parents.With 300,000 copies sold, it is the most attractive and complete guide to this important event in parents' lives. Includes authoritative information about the latest developments affecting the well-being of an expectant mother and her baby. Specifically, these include:

  • New CDC recommendations about mercury and fish

  • Update on nuchal translucency screening

  • Update on screening for genetic disorders

  • Updated information about loss rates after amniocentesis

  • New information about 3D/4D ultrasound

  • Recent trends in cesarean delivery "on demand"

  • Update on Downs syndrome screening.

The Natural Way to a Better Pregnancy by Naish & Roberts

An easy-to-follow pregnancy guide to pre-conception health. Did you know that the food you eat, the environment you live in and the lifestyle you lead in the months before you conceive a child can have a profound effect on the wellbeing of your baby? Preconception health care, as outlined in this book, can prevent miscarriage, premature and stillbirths, congenital abnormalities and has a better than 80 per cent success rate in the treatment of infertility. Did you know that by following its simple principles, you can actively help ensure your baby will be content and alert, won't suffer from colic, feeding problems or other common ailments, and will be less likely to suffer from allergies, asthma or behavioral problems? Complete, easy-to-follow guide to preconception health for BOTH prospective parents. Written by a Naturopath, herbalist, hypnotherapist and bestselling author who runs Australia's only clinic dedicated to helping people conceive happy, healthy babies naturally.

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger

One of the most celebrated British authors on the sociological and anthropological aspects of birth, breast feeding, and early parenthood. This book guides readers seeking a woman-centered birth experience through the newly researched alternatives now available. five major sections: Early Weeks, Physical and Emotional Changes, Anticipating the Birth, the Experience of Birth, and You and Your Newborn, Candid information about what mothers need to know, ranging from ways to navigate the technical landscape of hospital births to making the personal choices of a water home birth. Encourages readers to construct a birth plan, make their own space, and choose an effective birth companion. With revised appendices and 300 updated photographs, drawings, and diagrams, this guide is a valuable resource for all.

The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book by Marjorie Greenfield

Dr. Marjorie Greenfield draws from her experiences as an obstetrician and working mom and from more than a hundred interviews with mothers ranging from factory workers to high-powered attorneys, to create a unique resource for working women. This up-to-date guide addresses all the subjects you would expect to find in an authoritative book on pregnancy plus issues of special concern to the 60 to 80 percent of women who hold jobs during their pregnancies:

  • Is my workplace safe for my developing baby?

  • When should I tell my employer that I am expecting?

  • How can I handle the discomforts of pregnancy when I need to work?

  • What laws will protect me when I take medical leave?

The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy: The Surprising Unbiased Truth about Foods You Should be Eating During Pregnancy but Probably Aren't by Jonny Bowden PH.D. C.N.S., Allison Tannis MS

Eat the best foods for your baby's development! Nutrition is never more critical than during pregnancy. What you choose to put on your plate affects you and your baby's health not just in utero but for years to come. Backed up by the latest nutritional research, this guide debunks pregnancy food myths and uncovers a number of surprising food choices that are superfoods for expectant mothers. This one-of-a-kind nutrition reference guide is also packed with helpful quick-reference charts and sidebars, highlighting healthy (but no less delicious!) substitutes for commonly craved foods like ice cream and potato chips. You'll also discover the most up-to-date research regarding pregnancy dilemmas, such as how to get more omega-3s from fish in your diet while avoiding mercury. Its pregnancy nutrition made easy!

Babycare Before Birth by Zita West

A pregnancy book that shares the wisdom of a fertility expert and midwife. Bringing together fascinating new research that shows during pregnancy a woman can make a dramatic difference to her unborn baby's health, well-being, development, and all-round future potential by making small adjustments to her diet and lifestyle, this amazing book explains how to give your baby the best possible start in life.

What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

Provides moms-to-be with a realistic approach to navigating healthily and deliciously through the nine months of pregnancy-at home, in the office, over the holidays, in restaurants. Thorough chapters are devoted to nutrition, weight gain, food safety, the postpartum diet, and how to eat when trying to conceive again. 150 contemporary, tasty, and healthy recipes that feed mom and baby well, take little time to prepare, and are gentle on queasy tummies. Comes with a light, reader-friendly tone while delivering the most up-to-date information.

What to Expect Before You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff

In the same fresh, contemporary voice that has made the 4th edition of What to Expect When You're Expecting so successful, Murkoff explains the whys and wherefores of getting your body ready for pregnancy, including pregnancy prep for both moms and dads to be. Filled with information on exercise, diet, pinpointing ovulation, lifestyle, workplace, and insurance changes you'll want to consider, and how to keep your relationship strong when you're focused on baby making all the time. There are tips for older couples; when to look for help from a fertility specialist--including the latest on fertility drugs and procedures--plus a complete fertility planner.

Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today's Mothers-to-Be by Catherine Jones, Rose Ann Hudson

A volume that combines both recipes and nutritional advice aimed specifically at the mother-to-be. Balancing optimum and unnecessary weight gain with the required dietary needs for a healthy lifestyle. Addresses the requirements of diabetic, vegetarian and vegan diets. A chapter is dedicated to the vegetarian diet. Each section contains recommended pantry items for the recipes. Makes full use of convenience and semi-prepared ingredients to provide simple yet flavorful dishes. Advice on vitamins, health hazards and goals. Each recipe is preceded with the nutritional goal for baby and mother-to-be and followed by tips for cooking, storage, health, special diets as well as complete meal ideas, variations and the approximate nutritional content.

The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, & Other Holistic Choices by Aviva Jill Romm M.D.

Reading this book is like having your own personal herbalist and midwife at your side. One of the first books to explore botanical medicine and pregnancy. Follows the woman's journey from conception to birth, focusing on natural health. Describes herbs that can promote and maintain a healthy pregnancy (along with those you should avoid during your term) and the basics of a healthy diet, with an emphasis on natural foods. Complete guide for the woman who envisions a safe pregnancy without technological intervention, as nature intended.

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When you have to treat an ovarian cyst during pregnancy, it can be difficult. Traditional treatment methods are not available or are especially dangerous to you. Even pain management is more complicated. So how do you successfully treat an ovarian cyst while you are pregnant?

The traditional methods of treating an ovarian cyst are prescribing birth control pills or surgically removing the cyst. Birth control pills are out of the question while you are pregnant. If the cyst is especially large, dangerously positioned, or has solid components, you may need to get it surgically removed. This is generally done during the second trimester using laparascopy.

The rest of us afflicted by an ovarian cyst during pregnancy are left to wait and see if the cyst will clear up on its own. Fortunately, for most women, it does, though it may take a few months. However, there are natural methods you can use to help it on its way.

Controlling the Pain

First, if you have ovarian cyst pain, you need to control it. Pregnancy itself can be uncomfortable enough as it is. You can use over the counter medicine containing acetaminophen to help you. However, never use medications containing ibuprofen. This can severely harm your unborn child.

You can also try to manage your pain naturally. Hot compresses and water bottles can help relieve the tension in your abdomen, which will lessen the stress on your ovary. This should take some of the pressure off and ease your pain. You can also try other relaxation methods, such as prenatal yoga or herbal teas.

Getting Rid of the Cyst

In order treat an ovarian cyst during pregnancy, you need to first cleanse your body. While you are pregnant, you will want to avoid most herbal supplements, as those can be harmful to the baby. However, just drinking plenty of water and improving your diet can help cleanse the liver.

Make sure to drink filtered water, as most tap and many bottled waters can contain trace amounts of hormonal medication. This can actually make your cyst worse. Also, soft plastic bottles contain BPA, which has been linked to undescended testicles in newborn boys. BPA mimics estrogen in your body, which may aggravate the ovaries. Try to drink from glass or metal containers, and avoid microwaving or freezing plastics.

Watch out for Complications

The two most common complications with ovarian cysts are ovarian torsion and ruptured cysts. Both require immediate medical treatment.

In ovarian torsion, the weight of the cyst causes the ovary to twist, which cuts off its blood supply. This will feel like debilitating pain in the side the cyst is located. If this happens, contact your doctor right away.

If you have a sudden increase in pain or a sharp intense pain in one side followed by a steady burning sensation, your cyst may have burst. This also may be accompanied by vaginal bleeding. If this happens, contact your doctor right away. You'll need to be put on antibiotics to prevent infection and monitored to make sure you don't have internal bleeding.

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In recent years, one of the most controversial topics related to pregnancy and birth is home birthing. Many debates have been heard about whether a woman should give birth in the comfort of her own home or whether she is taking unnecessary risks by doing so.

Those who support giving birth at home claim that up until the twentieth century, most women gave birth at home even in the western world and that it is therefore not such a big deal. But those who are against it argue that it is extremely risky because if something went wrong, the emergency technology that is available in most hospitals is not found at home. If there is a crisis, time is often of the essence and the delay could make a huge difference.

So who is right or wrong? And where do you want to give birth? At home or in the hospital?

Natural Home Birth - Why Home Sweet Home May be Best

A woman may choose to give birth at home because it seems to be the most natural choice. In your own home, you are in familiar surroundings, without the clinical, alien atmosphere of an anonymous hospital bed. You can arrange the d矇cor of the room where you will give birth yourself. If you want music playing, that's fine - and the choice of music is all yours. There are no rules about how many people can be present. Whereas some hospitals will limit the number of people to being one other person, making you choose between your husband, a doula, your mother, or your best friend, if you are having your baby at home, no such formality exists.

Some women even want their children to be around, although this is a controversial issue and very much a personal choice. Others, while not having their children in the room during the actual birth, are relieved at not having to be away completely when they have a baby, and their children can be among the first to see the new baby soon after birth.

Giving birth at home also allows you to regulate your choice of pain relief. As most women who have home birthing only want natural pain relief, the lack of an epidural or pethidine does not bother them. They are more likely to use breathing exercises, bean bags, or have a waterbirth. A midwife who specialises in such techniques will guide you on the equipment that you need and how to use it. You can also use more unconventional methods, such as hypnobirthing. As long as you produce a coherent birth plan and discuss everything fully with the midwife before the actual labour, you can be extremely independent in your choices.

Another important factor in choosing a home birth is the proliferation of hospital "superbugs" that are not so easily cured with antibiotics. Many women would prefer not to take the risk of catching such a disease after birth and therefore opt to deliver at home.

Home Birth Risks

With all of the above benefits of a home birth in mind, it is still vitally important to take into account all of the inherent risks of having a baby at home.

As mentioned earlier, the main concern about giving birth at home is how safe it is for the mother or the child. In actual fact, if the pregnancy is risk free and everything goes according to plan, a home birth does not have to be dangerous. If the midwife is properly qualified and the usual safety and hygiene conditions are adhered to, there is no reason for it to go wrong. The problem is, however, if something during the labour or delivery goes wrong. If the baby goes into distress and the mother needs an unplanned caesarean section, for example, the time delay in getting her to the hospital can lead to fatal consequences.

A British study found that home births were safest among women having their second or subsequent baby without any complications.

The Legality of Home Birth

Of course, all of these arguments are very interesting in theory, but your final decision will ultimately depend on the regulations governing home births in the country where you live.

Australia, for example, has adopted a more open policy about home births, but there are variations between the states. For example, in Western Australia, health coverage was expanded to cover home births, and NSW, the Northern Territory, and South Australia also provide funds for independent home births.

However, Medicare and PBS do not provide funding to any Australian home birth services. Therefore, if you do decide to follow the route of birthing at home, you may well have to pay a considerable amount of the cost. And since July 2010, regulations regarding the professionals providing this service have been tightened up. A private, non-registered attendant at a home birth is liable for prosecution. However, it is not so easy to become registered in Australia because many private midwives are unable to obtain insurance or to apply to become recognised health professionals.

These policies have been a source of controversy in Australia, with demands to offer regulated home birthing services.

In the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, however, it is not so difficult to have a home birth and policies appear to be more open.

This does not mean, however, that it is impossible to have a home birth in Australia. In fact, various resources have been set up and there are many midwives who do offer this service.

A Breakdown of Things to Consider About Home Birthing

If you are considering a home birth, here is a comprehensive list of things to consider:

  • Do you really know what a home birth entails? It might be helpful to watch a home birth video first.

  • What kind of home birth do you want? Some women go for unassisted home birth, which essentially means tha the midwife is there as a safety net, but you do most of the work yourself. You may, on the other hand, prefer a midwife who is more proactive.

  • Have you considered your own personal risks? If you are going through a problematic pregnancy or there is a problem with the way that your baby is lying, it may not be such a good idea because you may need emergency help that you can't get at home. Before booking your home birth, you are well advised to discuss this issue with your doctor to find out whether this option is realistic for you or your baby.

  • What are the home birth options available to you? Contact a home birth association to find out. They will also provide you with support.

  • Can you afford the cost of a home birth midwife? Remember that many of them are private and you will therefore need to be able to afford their services.

  • Once you have found a midwife, check out her qualifications. Is she officially registered? Are her services covered by your health insurance? Ask her for references and speak to as many mothers who have used her as you can. If you find that she is evasive when you question her or that she refuses to provide references, leave it. You only want the best care for yourself and your newborn baby.
Once you have made your decision, we hope that everything goes well. May you have a safe and healthy delivery, no matter where you decide to give birth to your baby.

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Congratulations! You're going to have a baby! If you are reading this, you are probably reached the advance stages of your pregnancy. By now you might be tired to wait your baby to arrive - especially if your baby has reached - and passed - his estimated delivery date (EDD). You might also feel exhausted due to the day-to-day aches and complaints regarding pregnancy. I am happy to tell you that there is good news! As long as your professional pregnancy care provider agrees, you can induce your labor naturally and help things along without medical labor induction.

Inducing your labor naturally is a great alternative to using other forms of induction. Most of the natural labor induction remedies don't cause side effects to worry about, your baby's health won't be placed in unnecessary jeopardy, and you won't suffer any ill consequences. Some of the best ways to naturally induce labor are also safe and simple. Two common ways that you can induce labor naturally are by walking, and sexual intercourse. Some women may feel more pressure when they walk. This is due to the force of gravity and the baby's head descending into the pelvic region. In fact, when many women are in labor, their midwife or health care provider will have them walk to increase or speed up labor. You can do this on your own, before labor even begins.

Sexual intercourse is also known for inducing labor naturally. When a woman experience orgasms, the body releases hormones involved in childbirth, among other functions. A group of hormones that stimulate labor to start by ripening the cervix is Prostaglandins. These may be in synthetic form through a medical prescription, but you can bypass the medical alternative and access Prostaglandins naturally. Semen contains Prostaglandins and when you partner ejaculates during sexual intercourse, the Prostaglandins in the semen will help soften and ripen the cervix, therefore inducing labor.

When women climax their bodies release the hormone Oxytocin. Oxytocin helps the uterus to contract and will strengthen the intensity of your contractions. Therefore, you can see that sexual intercourse helps stimulate or induce labor from hormones released in both the man and the woman. In fact, the medication known as Pitocin is used to induce labor and strengthen contractions and it is a synthetic form of Oxytocin.

Another method of inducing labor naturally is nipple stimulation. Nipple stimulation also releases Oxytocin. Please remember, however, to apply nipple stimulation according to instructions from your midwife or doctor because vigorous nipple stimulation could cause to very strong labor contractions.

Additionally, there are many herbs that have been used for centuries to help induce labor. Before using any herbs, you should consult with your health care practitioner or midwife. Evening Primrose Oil, Blue and Black Cohosh, False Unicorn Root, and Red Raspberry Leaf are some of the most popular herbs that are used to naturally induce labor. Before using any herbs, be sure to let your health care provider know.

Evening Primrose Oil can be very helpful in ripening the cervix due to the Prostaglandins it contains. Evening Primrose Oil is applied by inserting an oil capsule into the vagina. It is extremely important not to use any herbs for inducing labor naturally during the early part of pregnancy, as these can have serious consequences.

Finally, one of the safest natural labor inducing remedy is acupressure. Acupressure for labor is among the most studies ones and proven to be safe and effective. Because the technique is simple, this labor acupressure could easily be used at home.

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Infertility is an expensive condition. Precisely because finding the right infertility treatment and infertility tests for you and your partner entail long and numerous procedures. Before infertility can be diagnosed, one will be required do undergo a fertility work up, which includes physical exams, medical history review, and laboratory examinations. These procedures are often complicated and are too specific that they would require specialized care. Understandably, the costs of these examinations and procedures will amount to a lot of money.

Most couples who have been diagnosed with infertility would choose not to pursue treatment due to the ballooning costs. A typical IVF procedure will cost about 4,000 USD, excluding IVF drug fees. As both partners will require a unique fertility assessment and fertility plan, fertility clinics would offer individualized treatments and procedures. These fertility packages are designed to address specific requests and meet specific budgets.

Speak with your fertility specialist regarding packages to help you maximize your insurance coverage. Don't hesitate to ask your employer if infertility is covered by your insurance plan.


A medical insurance on your infertility treatments will prove to be a huge help, should you decide to pursue the treatments. However, Infertility Insurance is quite limited and its availability is even dependent on the state you live in. There are some states that mandate infertility insurance coverage. Under this mandate, your state requires insurance providers to provide infertility coverage as part of their plan. Other insurance companies will provide this option at a very reasonable price.

Infertility insurance ideally covers for fertility diagnosis and treatments including IUIs, IVFs, and artificial insemination and assisted reproductive technological procedures. As insurance providers vary their coverage, some would cover for diagnosis and treatments, some for diagnosis alone and others for both but with restrictions.

In some states, like California, it is mandatory that both are covered, with the exception of IVF. In Illinois, a more comprehensive insurance coverage is available, covering your consultation trips to specialists, diagnosis tests and treatments up to four (4) IVF procedures.

Most employers include infertility in their choice for medical insurance policies and would be able to tell you the exact coverage and the limitations of your particular plan.

If you are still looking for an insurance company to cover for your medical needs, make sure that you keep the following tips in mind:

  • Read about your state's laws and requirements about infertility insurance coverage. This way, you would be armed with enough legal knowledge whether specific treatments are to be included in your policy.

  • Make sure the insurance plan you are looking into will cover consultations, diagnosis procedures and some treatments, if not most treatments.

  • The insurance premiums that you would be required to pay would not be too costly.

  • Check if the insurance will cover directly for the costs or if they have provisions for refunds.

Infertility treatment may be a long and expensive process, but if you find the right insurance coverage for you and your partner, you would certainly be better able to fight it out.

Your fertility centers will help you find the right treatment packages that will suit your needs and your budgets. Most fertility centers will provide you with free counseling and advice for these.

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Postnatal depression is another clinical term used for the disease, which is comparatively less frequent in men. Women suffer from this disease in first few months after the delivery of a child.

Patients suffer from psychological symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, emotional outbursts, feeling of loneliness etc. Most of the times women who suffer from this disease ignore treatment or clinical consultation which may lead to severe mental imbalance. Lack of vitamins can be a cause for this disease. Hormonal changes during pregnancy are also responsible for this psychological imbalance. But this is not the only factor responsible because hormonal medicinal treatment cannot help in such cases. Family members and group can help the patient to come out of this disease. Psychiatric treatment and clinical consultation is the right way to fight it.

Patients of this disease suffer from many mental problems like low self esteem, lack of confidence, fatigue, short temper, and frequent outburst of emotions, sessions of crying, irritability, sleeplessness, and feeling of loneliness, severe and continuous headache.

"Baby Blues "is a common emotional imbalance faced by many women after birth of child. Low mood and spirit is a sign of "Baby Blues." This mental state is sometimes found in fathers too.

The change in schedule, lack of sleep, responsibility of a newborn baby etc. are some causes behind "Baby Blues" it is not considered a serious mental disorder as it prolongs for some weeks and proper rest, balanced diet, adequate sleep, support of friends and family can help in this case.

Postpartum depression is a serious mental disease because it harms body too. If proper treatment is not available at right time, it may have severe consequences for the patient.

Childcare stress, prenatal anxiety, habit of smoking, single parenthood, economical problems and unplanned pregnancy etc. are some harmful factors responsible for this disease.

Formula of feeding is also a cause to depress women in first few days of their maternity. History of depression is also a major cause behind postpartum depression. Sometimes it could be a hereditary disease so such so that patients have to be careful in the period of their pregnancy.

Prenatal depression can also co-relate to postpartum depression. Problems in holding pregnancy, severe stomach aches, lack of vitamins, deprived care and attention, unwanted pregnancy are the causes for prenatal depression. Such patients develop a tendency to hate the newborn baby. They neglect breastfeeding the newborn infants. It causes many physical problems too.

Lack of social support may lead this disease to become a serious long-lasting mental imbalance.

Psychiatric treatment and counseling sessions can help in recovery. Sometimes, depression pills are also prescribed for fast recovery. Balanced food habits, affectionate surrounding of friends and family, proper sleeping hours, meditation, healthy relationship with your partner, proper habits of caring and feeding baby etc. can make your lifestyle a happy one. Proper parental help in babysitting too helps a lot in this regard.

Becoming a mother is a divine bliss of Mother Nature. Accept it with proper care and a great joy! Have a happy maternity!

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Smoking during pregnancy is more common than many of us would like to think. There are some women in today's society who want to quit, but honestly don't know how. In other instances, there are a very few women who don't care to think about their unborn child and the health risks that are involved.

There are some women who are not aware of or don't understand how serious this matter is, or how serious is can become. With proper information, some expecting mothers may be willing to stop cold turkey or seek help for their addiction.

The Dangerous Side
Many mothers believe that they are safe because they aren't consuming or addicted to hard drugs, such as crack or cocaine, but in this instance, one isn't better than the other. Smoking cigarettes while you're pregnant can cause more problems than any mother can imagine. Some women are curious and want to know what's the harm in smoking while you're expecting. A lot of people aren't aware that cigarette smoke contains more than 2,000 different types of chemicals. Needless to say, these chemicals are not beneficial to the mother or her baby. Nicotine and carbon monoxide are the two ingredients that are found in cigarettes that are to blame for several pregnancy complications. In this instance, a few complications include premature birth, stillbirth, and low birth weight.

The Effects
Even though a few cigarettes here and there are a lot safer than one or two packs per day, it's crucial to the wellness of the mother and the baby for the mother to quit smoking altogether. As far as the weight and size of the baby is concerned, smoking can greatly affect this factor. Here, if the mother smokes a pack per day throughout her pregnancy, she will be putting her baby at risk to weigh half a pound less than it normally would. Here, if the mother had a two packs per day habit, the baby could weigh one pound or more less than it actually should. In this situation, there are a few mothers that will welcome the fact of having to deliver a small baby, but this could have long-term negative effects.

The Body and Lungs
When a baby is underweight, they have a body to match. Here, a baby's lungs may not be fully developed or able to operate on their own. Here, the baby will have to remain on a respirator during the first week or more of their lives. Due to the fact that the baby of a mother with a smoking addiction may have delayed development of the lungs, this can cause serious problems for the child later on during the course of their lives.

The Heart
For expecting mothers who smoked heavily during their first trimester, the baby will be at a greater risk for heart complications. In this event, it's best to quit smoking as soon as you find out that you're expecting. If you feel that you aren't able to quit, seek guidance from your doctor and programs that are set in place to help a person quit smoking.

The Brain
Contrary to popular belief, smoking while you're pregnant could have several long-term effects on a baby's brain. In this instance, the child could have behavioral issues, a low IQ, and even learning disabilities. The entire nine months of pregnancy is an important part of a baby's life. Every week of pregnancy marks an important milestone of growth and development.

The Solution
There are several methods that an expecting mother can use to quit smoking successfully. It's a good idea to ask your friends and family for help. In this situation, your close friends and loved one can create the awesome support group that you need to help you quit smoking once and for all. If you don't live close to any of your friends or relatives, join a group for smokers and make new friends. A lot of people feel better when they have a friend along for their tough journey.

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Knowing what the Postpartum Depression signs are can help women, doctors, and even husbands quickly identify and treat this problem. Left too long, this illness can cause a number of problems, including a lack of bond between mother and child, and possibly even the loss of the mom/dad relationship that is vitally important to the well being of children throughout their lives. Women at risk for postnatal depression can be identified early (even during pregnancy) by determining whether the woman has a history of depression. Some of those at risk are:

· Fatigue & Postnatal Depression - Fatigue could be a red flag for women at risk for postpartum depression. After delivery, getting enough rest continues to be very important, as severely disturbed sleep might place women at risk for postpartum depression and child abuse.

· Patients with diabetes

· Women who have had major depression in the past

· Women with a pattern of seasonal depression

· Women with difficult pregnancies

· Women who are having financial problems

· Women whose pregnancies were unplanned

· Women who went through a divorce, separation or loss before or during pregnancy

· Women who had complications during delivery

Many of the symptoms of the illness are so similar to the symptoms of sleep deprivation that most moms, and even doctors, can mistake the diagnoses. Left untreated, the symptoms can worsen into clinical depression and even postpartum psychosis. Postpartum depression signs begin with the pregnancy and knowing these signs can help determine whether the symptoms are just a result of sleep deprivation, or if they are more serious.

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For women, having a newborn child is probably the happiest moment of their lives, but with it, it also brings certain unfortunate things such as the weight they gain during their pregnancy. For most new mothers, exercise often seems like the last thing they feel like doing, as they try getting their new routine down. However, more than ever, now is the time that new moms should become active because their metabolism will easily rise, and they will conveniently shed extra weight. In fact, exercising after pregnancy can also provide new moms with much-needed energy and will help them reduce tension and stress. All in all, it is true that new mothers should wait at least six weeks after pregnancy before they do any exercises. However, there are certain exercises that women can do within hours after giving birth, which will help them feel better and regain their strength.

1. Breathing

Breathing is necessary, but it is also an excellent exercise for new moms. After a woman gives birth, within the first few days, breathing can feel different as their organs go back to where they originally were. This breathing exercise is deeper than others. New moms should start by practicing slow breathing in with their hands place low on their abdomen until they start feeling their hands moving, then they should slowly exhale. This exercise should be repeated 5 to 8 times. This will help them feel better emotionally and physically.

2. Arm and Legs Circles

This is quite a simple exercise that new moms can easily do. They should lay down in bed and hang their legs over the side or lift them up a bit and rotate both feet around 8 to 10 times. Doing both sides is important, and this should be repeated with the arms as well.

3. Leg Slides

Doing this exercise can help new mothers to focus on their legs, especially after an epidural, and blood clots can also be prevented with the help of this exercise. They should sit up in bed and bend their knees. They should extend on leg by sliding it out. While sliding the leg back up, the other leg should be extended at the same time. This should be repeated 10 to 12 times for every slide. This should be done as a gentle sliding and not as a fast movement.

4. Kegels

Even if they had a cesarean birth, exercising their pelvic floor can prove to be beneficial. The blood flow is increased by it to help heal sutures, and the muscles are stored to their pre-pregnancy shape. Kegel exercises also help with bladder control as well. It has been reported by some new mothers that they cannot actually feel the muscles, but doing kegel exercise is still okay.

5. Neck Stretches

New moms often complain of having a stiff neck because of baby holding and breastfeeding. After pregnancy, new moms should relax their neck every day a few times. The neck should be dropped forward. This way, the neck will be pulled down and stretched by the weight of the head. For a good stretch, this position should be held for 5 to 10 seconds. Then the head should be lifted; the right ear should be dropped to the right shoulder, and the position should be held for 5 to 10 seconds. This should be repeated on the other side.

6. Pelvic Tilts

To do pelvic tilts, new moms should bend their legs and rest their feet on the floor while lying down on the floor. The abdominals should be slowly tightened, and the pelvis should be rolled upward. The glutes should not be squeezed too much, instead the movement should be initiated with the abs and breathing should be even. When doing pelvic tilts, the pelvic floor should not be tightened, since pressure might be placed on it, and it might get stretched further.

7. Isometric Contractions

This is a move that can be done by new moms with their baby. They should bend their knees and keep their feet flat on the floor while lying down and their baby on their belly. The abs should be squeezed and pulled in like a sponge while inhaling and lifting the baby up. Then the baby should be lowered while exhaling. This should be repeated 10 to 16 times.

After getting stronger, new moms can also progress to difficult exercises as well. Nonetheless, the 7 exercises mentioned here are easy, simple and will definitely help women who have just given birth feel better.

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Benefits of Fish Oil

Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel have fats that can produce fish oil. Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are recommended by health-care professionals to be included in a individual's diet. Omega-3 acids are mainly docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Omega- fatty acids are essential in cell building. It is important to get them from our diet since the body cannot produce this kind of acid. Research showed that Omega- 3 plays a significant role in brain and fetal development during pregnancy and infancy. Fish oil are believed and proven to provide numerous health benefits. Aside from this, there are also a lot of advantages by taking oil supplements.

Fish oil can:

• Improve brain development and memory. There are studies showing that DHA actually plays a major role in brain functions. Low levels of DHA can increase the risk of having Alzheimer's disease. Intake of fish oil during pregnancy is also recommended. According to a research conducted by the University of Western Australia showed that pregnant women who ingest fish oil supplement actually give birth to babies with better hand and eye coordination, better in speech and better cognitive development at the age of two and a half.

Aside from Alzheimer's disease, fish can also help in reducing the risk of other mental illnesses like depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children, dyspraxia, bipolar disorder and dyslexia.

• Reduce the risk of hear attack. Even if the DHA and EPA are fatty acids, they can reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. It helps in preventing blood clots in the heart. So aside from heart attacks,It is also important in reducing risks of coronary heart disease.

• Reduce the risk of cancer. Researches have shown that fish oil can help in reducing risks of developing breast, prostate and colon cancer. They stop the growth of cancerous cells and inhibit its growth. For postmenopausal women, those who consume more Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and mackerel or fish oil supplements are less likely to develop breast cancer.

• Reduce the effects or helping patients deal with lupus, arthritis, colitis and asthma. Its natural anti-inflammatory capabilities can reduce pain brought by inflammatory arthritis and gastritis.

• Help a lot during pregnancy. Not only does Omega-3 fatty acids and helps in he fetal brain development, it can also reduce the risk of giving early or premature birth, post-partum depression for mothers, allergic reactions among babies an low- birth weight. Not only does it helps in pregnancy, there are preliminary researches showing fish oil to aid in getting pregnant or fertility.

• Help improve the body overall. Fish oil can help in producing serotonin, the happy hormones. Happiness can help a lot of people deal with stress and other emotional issues which can totally improve a person's emotional and mental disposition. They can also revitalize and rejuvenate skin, reduce wrinkles, weight loss and improve eyesight. It is even said that fish oil can reduce acne and make your hair a lot better.The oil is very important in building a better you. But doctors and experts suggest in taking pharmaceutical grade oil supplements. The problem with eating too much fish can actually lead to mercury contamination.So, ask yourself, are you getting enough oil in your body? If not, then it is time to start making sure that you do that.

Fish oil can:

• Improve brain development and memory. There are studies showing that DHA actually plays a major role in brain functions. Low levels of DHA can increase the risk of having Alzheimer's disease. Intake f fish oil during pregnancy is also recommended. According to a research conducted by the University of Western Australia showed that pregnant women who ingest fish oil supplement actually give birth to babies with better hand and eye coordination, better in speech and better cognitive development at the age of two and a half.

Aside from Alzheimer's disease, fish oil can also help in reducing the risk of other mental illnesses like depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children, dyspraxia, bipolar disorder and dyslexia. There are studies showing that the lack polyunsaturated fatty acids can contribute to this disorder. This can also be the reason behind dyslexia. There were studies conducted among children, they were given fish oil supplements for the period of three months. These children showed significant improvements in behaviour, reading and spelling. They were also able to focus and concentrate more.

There were studies that showed that Omega-3 fatty acids had the same effects as Prozac which is a known anti-depressant. Studies showed that countries with high fish consumption have lower rates of depression. Aside from that, pregnant women and those who have just given birth who include fish in their diet regularly have lower risk of experiencing postpartum depression.

If you have decided to take the supplements to address these mental problems for yourself or for your kids or relatives, then it would be best to consult a doctor first. You would have to know how much you are going to take. Just like any vitamins or anything, when taken in excess it can have bad effects.Too much of the supplement can also cause some serious problems like oxidative stress. Some doctors would recommend taking Vitamin C along with the fish oil supplement. This would actually balance the nutrients that you are getting.Fish oil has amazing effects on our health and body, we just have to remember to keep it balanced with a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle. One of the reasons why people take these supplements is due to the various health benefits that they offer.It has long been known to contain essential fatty acids that are known to be very beneficial in maintaining one's good health. Here are some of those benefits.

Heart Disease One of the more common benefits that fish oil is known to offer people involves heart health. Various studies through the years have shown that the long chain omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil may help reduce the risk of heart diseases in humans. These essential fatty acids may also help lower LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream ad therefore help reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Not only that, omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are also known to increase the levels of HDL, or good, cholesterol.

Prevent Inflammation One of the more beneficial properties of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil is their anti-inflammatory effects on the body.It can be also used to prevent or reduce the inflammation of the tissues. Regular consumption of fish oil has been known to help those people who are suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases.It has also been known to be effective in treating certain gastrointestinal disorders as well as ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.Arthritis Treatment Due to its good anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil is a good supplement that can help ease the pain brought about by arthritis and rheumatic.it's supplements can help reduce the use of NSAID's or Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs for treating such conditions. In osteoarthritis, fish oils prove helpful in trying to reduce the functions of certain enzymes that may destroy or damage cartilage tissues in the body.

Weight Loss Fish oil also proves beneficial for those people who are trying to lose weight. It sees that taking oil supplements may help a lot during the weight loss process. It has been known to improve the efficiency of exercise in trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that people who were given fish oil as part of their diet seem to lose weight more when exercising than those people under the same program but were not given fish oil in their diet.

Eye Disorders Another benefit that many experts have extolled on fish oil involves the treatment of certain eye disorders. Consuming it on a regular basis seems to help people avoid the effects of age related macular degeneration. More studies are being undertaken in order to prove further just how effective fish oil can be in trying to help people maintain good eye health.Skin Health Another known benefit associated with fish oil consumption is skin health.It is also known to contain nutrients that can help change dry and poorly maintained skin look shiny and glowing.It has also been known to be effective in treating other skin conditions such as eczema, skin lesions and rashes.It can be applied topically on the skin to help relieve the effects of psoriasis. Regular intake can also help retain moisture in the skin.

Your Ultimate Defense Against Silent Inflammation:

Silent inflammation has been linked to heart disease, cancer and dementia. It is a condition that occurs when the body's natural immune response goes awry. Silent inflammation is an inflammation without pain and it can continue undetected for years, continually assaulting your heart, arteries and even the brain - without you noticing it.According to Dr. Barry Sears, author of bestselling books "The Zone," high carbohydrate diet is the culprit to this kind of health situation. In his boos "The Anti-inflammation Zone," he had proposed taking supplements of high dose, ultra-refined fish oil as the best armor against inflammation.

The Japanese manage to maintain a state of wellness and away from silent inflammation by consuming copious amounts of fish. However, according to a research, the massive amounts of fish does not ensure them enough intake of omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil. Fish oil is ultimately the healthiest fat around because it has profiund anti-inflammatory properties. It has no long-term side effects and can even make you smarter.

The reason why high-dose fish oil is so effective is because it reduces arachodonic acid (AA) which is the building block of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. By taking it within 30 days,it will increase your levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fish oil is the only dietary supplement that is supported by robust clinical studes by treating chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, immunological and inflammatory diseases, and neurological conditions like attention deficit disorder, depression, multiple sclerosis, and different types of dementia.However, taking oil fish as defenses to silent inflammation has a drawback, it might lead you to contamination. So in taking fish oil as dietary supplement, Dr. Barry Sears cautioned to ensure that its ultra-refined and use the SIP as guidance for exact dosage. On a scale of 1 to 10 for supplements, Dr. Sears give high-dose fish oil a 12. The EPA found in fish oil partially inhibits the activity of the delta-5 desaturase enzyme that makes AA.

This represents the primary anti-inflammatory effect of fish oil, he adds. To achieve a significant impact on AA production, a person must provide a lot of EPA. A high-dose fish oil, especially rich in EPA will likely lead you to success in reducing silent inflammation as reflected in the reduction of the AA/EPA ratio. The ratio can be measured by SIP.

The public and the mainstream medicine are starting to accept the importance of insulin control to well-being. Now is the perfect time to bring to public's attention the role of eicosanoids and the way high-dose it can manipulate them. Dr. Barry Sears that the role of fish oil in medical practice because it tells us that medical care is based primarily on the food we eat, not the drugs we take.Recent genetic research is forcing scientists to evaluate the value of fish oil in the evolution of modern humANS. It was genetic scientists who initiated the theory that consumption of high-dose fish oil was the reason why humans have the power to conquer the earth. A proper combination of insulin and high-dose pharmaceutical-grade of the oil may be the true miracle cure for the 21st century.It is so effective that having this dietary supplement is like having a miracle drug that has the perfect balance between eicosanoids with totally zero side effects.

• Reduce the risk of hear attack. Even if the DHA and EPA are fatty acids, they can reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. It helps in preventing blood clots in the heart. So aside from heart attacks, fish oil is also important in reducing risks of coronary heart disease.

• Reduce the risk of cancer. Researches have shown that can it will help in reducing risks of developing breast, prostate and colon cancer. They stop the growth of cancerous cells and inhibit its growth. For postmenopausal women, those who consume more Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and mackerel or fish oil supplements are less likely to develop breast cancer.

• Reduce the effects or helping patients deal with lupus, arthritis, colitis and asthma. Its natural anti-inflammatory capabilities can reduce pain brought by inflammatory arthritis and gastritis.

• Help a lot during pregnancy. Not only does Omega-3 fatty acids and It helps in the fetal brain development, it can also reduce the risk of giving early or premature birth, post-partum depression for mothers, allergic reactions among babies an low- birth weight. Not only does it helps in pregnancy, there are preliminary researches showing fish oil to aid in getting pregnant or fertility.

• Help improve the body overall. The oil can help in producing serotonin, the happy hormones. Happiness can help a lot of people deal with stress and other emotional issues which can totally improve a person's emotional and mental disposition. They can also revitalize and rejuvenate skin, reduce wrinkles, weight loss and improve eyesight. It is even said that fish oil can reduce acne and make your hair a lot better.Fish is very important in building a better you. But doctors and experts suggest in taking pharmaceutical grade of oil supplements. The problem with eating too much fish can actually lead to mercury contamination.So, ask yourself, are you getting enough fish oil in your body? If not, then it is time to start making sure that you do.

Fish Oil Effects That You Can Avoid: There has been a lot of buzz about fish oil and its benefits. Researches and studies have proved the numerous health benefits that fish oil can give. But every coin has two sides. So, is it possible for something beneficial like fish oil, to have bad effects, as well? Yes, it is possible.

If you have fish oil capsules or liquid at home, then you would have to make sure that it would not be exposed to heat, light and oxygen. When exposed for too long,it would get oxidized and would get bad. Once the oil gets bad, it would lose its nutritional value. Aside from that, bad fish oil and fatty acids are said to contribute to the development of cancer and other diseases.Minor side effects of fish oil would include a fishy aftertaste, diarrhea, and fishy burps. Some would report nose bleeding as a side effect of fish oil intake. Aside from this, you would have to be conscious with vitamin A, E and D. Accumulated or large doses of these vitamins can eventually lead to poisoning.There are also serious side effects of fish oil. If these side effects happen to you, it is best to consult a health care professional. You would have to stop taking fish oil supplements or it could mean other serious ailments.

Fish is said to increase the risk of bleeding, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. So if you would notice red blood on your stool and vomiting blood, the consult a health care professional immediately. Serious effects could also include hemorrhagic stroke or bleeding in the brain. Common symptoms would include vision and speech changes, numbness or loss of strength in the limbs and frequent and painful headaches.If you have diabetes, then it would also be better to check with your doctor if taking fish oil supplements is safe. Taking fish oil supplements can sometimes result to hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Be watchful or conscious of allergic reactions. Symptoms that you are allergic with oil supplements which includes rashes, itching, swelling, wheezing and difficulty in breathing or swallowing.

To avoid the minor side effects, you can take the oil supplement along with your meal. This would get rid of the aftertaste and make it easier to digest. It is less likely for you to experience abdominal or stomach pain. There are few who keep their supplements refrigerated. It is said that keeping them frozen or cold would help lessen gastrointestinal problems or side-effects.

Too much is always not good. The problem is we do not how much is too much. There is maximum amount that an individual should take. But there is a recommended amount, for male it is 1600 mg while women are recommended to have 1100 mg.As mentioned, we should be cautious with Vitamin A,E, and D overdose. How do we deal with this?Read the labels. Know what kind of supplement you are taking. You have to know if the oil supplements you are taking exceed the recommended level. To avoid an overdose of Vitamin A and D, avoid using fish oil that includes the internal organs like liver.

Fish oil is something that can very essential in improving our physical and mental health as long as it is taken in recommended doses and amounts. Let us remember that fish oil is not a magic pill that would immediately remove us of any ailments and pains. It's effects can be gradually noticed over time.

How Fish Oil Can Benefit Your Health:

Oil are extracted fats from fish, a concentrated solution of omega-3 EFAs. It is the best source of omega-3 EFAs. You could add more omega-3 EFAs to your diet in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The richest plant sources of ALA are the leaves and seeds of the perilla plants common in North America, Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam.

Green plants and algae also contain ALA as well as linseed oil. However, fats or oil from fish is considered the most important dietary source of omega-3 EFAs because it has concentrated amounts of the ALA derivatives EPA and DHA. These two nutrients are found almost exclusively in seafood.

Eating fish on a regular basis has its own risk as you are can never be sure if the fish you are eating has no toxins on it such as mercury and PCBs. During the manufacture of fish oils, toxins are eliminated. The supplements are meticulously purified to remove heavy metals such as mercury, lead, PCBs and other toxins as well as to reduce the incidence of rancidity and improve the taste and quality of the fish.These makes fish as safe and effective food supplement. A 1-gram fish oil capsule contains about 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA. An intake of three 1-gram capsules would provide 0.9 gram (900 mg) of EPA and DHA. This means it comply the daily dosage recommended by the American Heart Association. However, you should always bear in mind that fish oil supplements are basically dietary supplements, not drugs.Studies shows that many people are getting too much of the wrong kinds of fats found in animals (saturated fats) and vegetables (polyunsaturated fats), and need the fish oil to "balance" the family of fat nutrients. Intake of the wrong kinds of fats should be lowered to total 20 to 30 percent of daily calorie serving while fats found in the oils of certain fish should be appreciably increased.

Fish oil prevents and/or alleviates heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and migraine, headaches, may be protective against cancer, immune deficiency diseases, kidney disease and others.It also have two special nutrients that protect the heart and arteries, reduce pain, inflammation and swelling, and protect cell membranes. Omega-3 EFAs found in oily fishes are believed to be essential for the healthy development of brain, retina, and nervous tissue among fetus and infant.During pregnancy these fatty acids are transferred from the mother's tissues to the fetus. However, the FDA has strict guidelines on eating fish during pregnancy because of the possibility of mercury or other toxic substances that may contain in fishes and the best solution is to take fish oil as food supplement

Over the past 30 years more than 7,000 scientific studies have provided evidence supporting the effectiveness of fish oil and omega-3 EFAs in the prevention and treatment of our most common diseases. Hundreds of clinical trials support the efficacy of fish oil's omega-3 essential fatty acids in preventing, mitigating, and remedying an incredible range of health conditions. Some scientific and medical communities however are resisting to these facts and still support pharmacological treatment.

As a traditional dietary supplement that encourages good health,it is a preventive medicine but as a natural alternative to NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other pharmacological and medical treatments, it is complementary medicine.With all the undergoing studies to prove its affectivity, fish is on the threshold of crossing over into traditional Western medicine.

How Fish Oil Can Cure Inflammation:

Inflammation occurs as our body's natural protective response to fend off any outside aggressors and to begin the process of healing. Its effect on our tissues usually involves pain, heat and redness. However, there are some cases that this outward effect is not visible.

Inflammation is a double-edges sword; its effect can be helpful or harmful depending on the circumstances. When an inflammation is in chronic state, devastating consequences are likely to happen like arthritis, heart disease or stroke. It usually happens when the cause of inflammation is continually reintroduced or if the acute inflammatory response is not able to eliminate it. This situation is very likely to happen nowadays because of our exposure to implausible amounts of toxins.

Some of these toxins can be avoided like poor food choices, smoking, and prolonged sun exposure. While some things arise from things from things we don't have control like genetics, accidents and pollution. Inasmuch as there are factors you can't help being exposed to unnecessary and harmful factors detrimental to your good health, you can also take food supplements effective in strengthening your body against the sometimes lethal effect of inflammation. The most effective food supplement according to recent studies happens to be fish oil.

The prevalence of destructive or chronic inflammation among Western countries makes it imperative for many specialists to deal with preventive measures. The reason behind this is that the Western population is more exposed to stress, obesity and poor health in general. Many pharmacological anti-inflammatory drugs offer reduction of inflammation, however, long-term medication have potentially lethal side effects.

So what is your safest option if you have inflammation? Research on alternative medicines revealed that certain dietary supplements can help reduce levels of pro-inflammatory factors, with significantly lower side effects. One of these dietary supplements is the essential fatty acids or EFAs.

Essential fatty acids are necessary for various aspects of normal physiology like: mediating immune response, regulating bodily secretions and their viscosity, dilating and constricting blood vessels, regulating collateral circulation, directing endocrine hormones to their target cells, regulating smooth muscles and autonomic reflexes, being primary constituents of cell membranes, regulating the rate of cell division, maintaining the fluidity and rigidity of cellular membranes, regulating the flow of substances into and out from cells, transporting oxygen from red blood cells to the tissues, maintaining proper kidney function and fluid balance, keeping saturated fats mobile in the bloodstream, preventing blood clots, mediating the release of inflammatory eicosanoids that may trigger allergic conditions, and regulating nerve transmission and communication. (Source: Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-inflammatory by Joseph C. Maroon and Jeffrey Bost, 2006, page 39).

For this reason, it is very important for over-all health to have a regular intake of foods rich in omega-6 or omega-3 EFAs. The omega-3 pathway, activated by trauma, injury, or chemical stimulus, is the process of converting the omega-3 EFAs found in the cell membranes to various eicosanoids. If the omega-3 EFA components of the cell membranes become dominant, an anti-inflammatory state can result, with preventive health benefits.

Fish is the best source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids. But why fish oil, you might ask? The needed nutrients can also be found in green plants; algae (phytoplankton); leaves and seeds of the perilla plants; and linseed oil but fish oil is considered the most important dietary source of omega-3 EFAs because it contains concentrated amounts of the ALA derivatives with APA and DHA.

The two mentioned nutrients can almost exclusively found in seafood. Fish contains high amount of EPA and DHA because they are at the top of food chain based on algae, a single-marine organism that manufactures huge amount of EPA and DHA.

Surprising Benefits Of Using Fish Oil:

The known benefits of fish oil are not just limited to the more common conditions. Of course, many people have already known how using fish oil may help improve skin health and reduce the risk of heart disease. But there are also surprising benefits that it seem to offer to those who regularly consume them. Here are just some of them.

Depression And Anxiety People may not be aware of it, but fish seems to help put people in a good mood. In fact, many studies have shown that fish oil may be beneficial in trying to help treat depression and anxiety in people. Thanks to the omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish, it seems a good means to relieve anxiety, depression, stress and sadness in people.

Fish seems to have good mood stabilizing properties that make them quite interesting as a treatment for depression and other related conditions. Evidence suggests that countries where oily fish such as salmon is regularly eaten also seem to have low incidence of depression. Similar studies involving prisoners have also shown that having them on a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids resulted in a significant drop in homicide rates. Although more studies may be needed in order for such findings to be conclusive, it already shows some good evidences of the other surprising benefits of fish oil.

Cancer Fighter It may seem quite surprising enough that fish oil may also benefit patients with certain forms of cancer. Preliminary studies have shown that fish oil may be useful in trying to delay the weight loss in people suffering from pancreatic cancer. Still further research may be needed to solidify this claim as well as how oily fish may affect certain types of cancers.

Type II Diabetes Some studies also have shown positive findings on the effect of fish oil in Type II diabetes. Since people suffering from this form of diabetes are also prone to developing diseases such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis and stroke, medical experts believe that taking fish oil supplements may also help in trying to reduce such risks in diabetics. Some studies have already shown that fish oil may also be effective in lowering triglyceride levels in people with diabetes.

Pregnancy Fish oil might also be able to help women bear healthier children. Taking the oil supplements may help pregnant women ensure the healthy development of their child while still in the womb. The DHA found in fish oil is known to help babies undergo healthy eye and brain development. Pregnant women who are also taking the oil supplements run fewer risks of having premature births, miscarriage or delivering babies with low birth weights. As an added benefit, pregnant women who regularly take fish oil supplements run lesser risks of getting into depression following the baby's delivery.

Fertility Fish oil supplements may also help in improving fertility. In a study done on male boars, those who were fed with a diet rich in fish oils were able to show better sperm quality. After ejaculation, the sperm from the boars fed with fish oil seem to resist the effects of lipid peroxidative attacks in the female boar genital tract, giving the sperm higher chances of conception.

The Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements: The benefits of fish oil supplements should not be outweighed the need to understand how these supplements should work or provide essential nutrients for the human body.

Although it is a general notion for nutrition experts to insist on regular food as the common and most basic source of vitamins and minerals important for the human body, oil supplements, be it in liquid or solid form, are needed to ensure a holistic enrichment and nourishment for the body.

Fish oil supplementation is ideally beneficial by providing for what the regular or daily diet may not provide, it can also be a preventive measure against diseases and illnesses.

Essentially, fish supplements are meant to complement a diet, not as a substitute for it, as what many believe to be the case. Since plant foods still contain many nutrients, among them phytochemicals, that still cannot be substituted or generated through synthetic means.

Why the need for fish oil supplements? Take for instance these circumstances;

Infants that are being breast-fed need to have their regular source of iron, especially when they reach their four to six months, since breast milk only provides little iron. This is where iron supplementation comes in with baby milk formula or alternative sources like fortified cereal meals or baby food.

Children also need fluoride supplementation to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Pregnant women need multivitamin-mineral supplementation, to ensure that their nutrient levels are met for the development of the fetus inside the womb. Among those that need supplementation are increased levels of folate to prevent birth defects, as well as increased amounts of vitamins like B6.

You Gotta Love Fish Oil

One has gotta love fish oil. If you think that I'm kidding then go pick it up. Those who shun fishes like mackerel, tuna and salmon due to some personal and at times even weird preferences might have second thoughts, by going for fresh fish which has oil in them for vit. B6 supplement for your good health to come up.

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The average woman, during a healthy pregnancy, will gain anywhere from twenty five to thirty five pounds. While to some people this is extremely easy to take off in no time at all, others find this truly upsetting because of their fight with weight. Not all women are able to drop the pounds with their eyes shut so it is important for them to figure out a way to drop those pregnancy pounds as quickly as possible. If you are one of those mothers to be who are worrying about how you will get rid of all of that unwanted weight, there are a few things to follow.

A great thing to do for not only the health of your baby but also for your weight loss battle is to breastfeed. Breastfeeding helps to burn an additional five hundred calories per day. As long as you are not increasing your calorie intake while breastfeeding, then you can almost bank on dropping about one pound a week. This means that you can begin to drop some of that weight by doing nothing more then breastfeeding your baby.

Along with breastfeeding it is important to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy diet. This is not just important for your weight loss struggle, as you are breastfeeding, which means you must be extra careful with what you eat and drink. Everything you ingest ends up in your breast milk and is then passed on to your baby. So between eating healthy and breastfeeding you should be looking at one to two pounds a week in weight loss. Make sure that you are getting in enough water and dairy as well as this will contribute to your weight loss.

Along with all of that it is important to start working some moderate exercise into your routine. You have to be careful on when you start working out. Make sure that you speak to your doctor first in order to make sure that you have clearance from him or her to workout. The last thing you want to do is hurt the recovery process. But once you are given the green light to start exercising you should go for it. This will not only help your body recover from the entire experience you just went through but it will help the weight loss and give you a better frame of mind.

With everything that you have gone through, the emotional aspect and the physical aspect included, it is important to make sure that you are happy and your spirits remain lifted. Depression after childbirth is common so things such as a healthy diet and exercise will help prevent that along with taking off those extra pounds that were gained.

The main thing is to make sure that you are not too hard on yourself. Everyone gains weight during pregnancy, as it is a natural part of the process. Do not beat yourself up about it. Know that it is a situation that can be put back to normal and there is no reason to panic. You are in complete control over your weight loss and if you really want it done then you will be able to make it happen.

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Every woman that plans to give birth at some point of her life has to get supplemental maternity insurance. Unless the insurance company pays for part or for all the medical expenses that incur in pregnancy, it is terribly difficult to afford them. Those costs are very high and can discourage a woman from procreating. There is an imminent risk of financial disaster for those women who don't have a proper health plan with maternity coverage included.

The costs of medical care are constantly increasing. During pregnancy a woman requires more medical services than before and she has to receive regular check-ups very often. There are also laboratory tests that need to be made and the delivery itself is very expensive. Without supplemental maternity insurance, a woman needs to dispose of a huge sum of money. Many women believe that if they have a health insurance plan this will automatically cover for the expenses with pregnancy and child birth. This is not true and there are also health plans without maternity coverage included.

This does not mean that you should give up your current health plan and get another one. Maternity coverage can be bought additionally. There are health insurance plans with a supplemental maternity insurance and those will cover for your needs. You must pay attention to buy the rider several moths before getting pregnant. Most insurance companies have a waiting period which varies between a couple of months and a year. Before this waiting period passes, insurance companies only pay limited benefits, if they pay at all. If you don't have a health insurance plan at this moment you should get one that also covers maternity from one of the insurance providers in your area. Once you add the supplemental maternity insurance your premiums will increase. Nevertheless, make sure you have it in your plan because otherwise you might end up covering yourself for all the expenses.

Once you add the rider to your policy all you have to do is to allow the waiting period to pass and then you can get pregnant and you'll have your benefits paid by the company. Take this waiting period into account when you make your plans for enlarging the family and check its length with your insurance company.

Even so, there are many women who get pregnant and remain uninsured. In such an unfortunate case, you can try to negotiate directly with the hospitals or the health care providers to get discounts during pregnancy and delivery.

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Mental Retardation (MR) is a neuro-developmental disability which originates during the developmental period, that is, from conception up to the age of 18 years; and results in significantly sub-average general intellectual function, with concurrent deficits in functional life skills. The diagnosis of MR requires an intelligence quotient (IQ) score of less than 70 and equivalent deficits in at least two areas of functional life skills. MR can be categorized as syndromic or non-syndromic, with at least 800 recognized syndromes being associated with MR. For the vast majority of individuals with MR, there is no identifiable cause. Prenatal exposure to toxins, prenatal thyroid dysfunction, and postnatal exposure to lead and other toxins are some of the causes of MR. Children with MR are more likely to be born into families of low socio-economic status, low IQ and little education. Symptoms of MR include: behavioral disturbances; language delay; fine movement and adaptive movement delay; gross movement delay; and neurological and physical abnormalities.

The Ayurvedic treatment of MR is aimed at attempting to reduce or reverse identifiable causative factors or apparent brain damage, and improving cognitive function. Medicines from the 'Medhya' category are very useful in this condition. These include Brahmi (Bacopa monneiri), Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Vacha (Acorus calamas), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Jyotishmati (Celastrus panniculatus), Kushmand (Benincasa hispida), Ustukhudoos (Lavandula stoechas), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus). Medicines which act on the 'Majja" dhatu (tissue) are also very useful in this condition, and include Guduchi, Amalaki and Musta (Cyperus rotundus).

Medicines which act on the nerves, muscles and neuromuscular junctions are also useful in this condition. These medicines include Yograj-Guggulu, Kaishor-Guggulu, Trayo-Dashang-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Tapyadi-Loh, Agnitundi-Vati, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Abhrak-Bhasma, Trivang-Bhasma and Suvarna-Bhasma.

Regular massage of the entire body is also believed to help in neuro-muscular development and coordination. Medicated oils are used for this purpose, which include Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil, and Mahasaindhav oil. Known causes of MR, if present, can be treated concurrently.

It is important to note that treatment needs to be given for prolonged periods ranging from several months to several years in order to get noticeable improvement.

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