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Health care providers typically motivate pregnant women to drink milk for the reason that it is a great source of calcium, which is necessary for the child's growth. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need between 1200 and 1500 mg of calcium every day. The baby needs ample calcium in order to build healthy bones and teeth. If the child's calcium needs are unmet, it could result to diminished maternal bone density.

Nevertheless, many women are not able to tolerate milk simply because they are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is the incapacity to digest lactose or the sugar found in milk. With the aid of the enzyme lactase, lactose is further broken down into glucose and galactose. Lactose intolerance happens when there is a lack of lactase and when symptoms come about that correlate to the stated condition.

Approximately 30 to 50 million people in America are lactose intolerant and it is most typical among African Americans, Native Americans, and Asians. Premature infants born in between the 28th and 32nd week of gestation, are at higher risk because lactase levels only develop throughout the third trimester of pregnancy. The symptoms of lactose intolerance may vary in severity. Typical indicators involve diarrhea, nausea, cramps, gas and bloating. They usually start 30 minutes to 2 hours soon after ingesting foods made up of lactose. The discomforts of lactose intolerance may hinder a woman from ingesting milk, but there are methods to get the necessary calcium in the body.

Instead of consuming a glass of milk in one sitting, try to consume small ounces of milk at intervals. Two to 4 ounces of milk for every single interval may be much less likely to trigger signs and symptoms. It is also a good idea to consume milk during meal times to slow the digestive process. That can lessen the likelihood of signs and symptoms to arise. Ingesting various non-dairy foods that are high in calcium may also be useful in meeting the suggested calcium requirement. Foods that consist of calcium include broccoli, salmon, oranges, almonds, soy-milk and sardines. It may also be beneficial if you choose breads and juices that are calcium-fortified. Women who cannot drink milk may be astonished that they can tolerate hard cheeses like cheddar and Swiss. That is due to the fact that the processing of that dairy product changes its lactose content. Some women may additionally be able to tolerate eating yogurt. Although it has high lactose content, the bacterial cultures utilized in producing it generates some of the enzyme lactase, which is essential for appropriate digestion.

Aside from choosing calcium rich meals, it is also necessary to possess sufficient Vitamin D in the body because without having it, calcium can not be absorbed by the bones. Resources of Vitamin D include eggs and liver. Sunlight is also a great supply of Vitamin D. It is uncommon for pregnant females to believe that they are not acquiring ample calcium from their diet. Talk to your health care provider to determine whether vitamin supplements are necessary. Pregnancy entails that a woman must pay attention to the vitamins that she is getting in. After all, the baby's growth and progress would primarily rely on the vitamins that they get while inside their mom's womb.

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No two women will have the same experience of pregnancy. For some it is wonderful, whereas others find it much more difficult. Even so, one thing is consistent -- it is a special time in a woman's life. She is doing the most important job there is: preparing to bring a child into the world. As such she deserves to be pampered a little. This is your opportunity to show your pregnant wife, sister or friend that you understand this, and that you care for and support her. There are lots of things you can do to make her feel special, from buying her presents such as maternity wear to taking more care of her around the home. Here are few of our ideas to help you pamper the mum-to-be in your life.

1) Gentle Exercise

Intense strenuous exercise may not be a good idea during pregnancy, but it is still important to stay fit. Light exercise will keep the expectant mother's body supple and will encourage good circulation. Taking her out for a gentle stroll to a cafe or a park will help her keep fit and provides a great opportunity for you to talk with her about the challenges and joys that await. Later in the pregnancy, as she gets bigger, she is likely to become increasingly tired. She may appreciate being taken to a local swimming pool, where she can relax and take the weight off her feet.

2) Massage

Massage is a wonderful way to alleviate the stresses and strains that are placed on a woman's body when she is carrying a child. If you have a close relationship with the mum-to-be (maybe she is your partner or sister) you could offer to massage her shoulders or her feet. The feet are particularly vulnerable during pregnancy due to the extra weight they have to support. A foot scrub and massage with essential oils is a wonderful way to show how much you care. If your relationship is not sufficiently intimate or you would feel uncomfortable doing this, you might consider paying for the mum-to-be to have a session with a specialist in pregnancy massage instead.

3) Pedicure

Why not take your pregnant friend or sister to a beauty salon where you can both enjoy a pedicure together? For an expectant mother, looking after the feet and toes is a way to maintain some control over the appearance of her body while it is changing all the time. A pedicure will make her feel beautiful, she will enjoy being pampered and you will both have the opportunity to spend some quality time together.

4) Shoes

Health and safety considerations dictate that an expectant mum must be sensible about her footwear, so shoe shopping is a necessity for any pregnant woman. But there are plenty of stylish and practical options, so there is no reason why she can't remain fashionable. Take her out shopping and buy her a pair of pretty sandals or ballet flats. It's always great to have an excuse for shoe shopping!

5) Maternity Wear

Pampering a mum-to-be is about making her feel special and confident in her appearance. It can be hard for a woman to feel elegant when her body is changing by the day. There is a huge range of fashionable and affordable maternity dresses, jeans and tops available nowadays. Spend time shopping with her, finding outfits that make her look and feel beautiful.

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Every woman dreams of becoming a mother once in their lives. Starting from pregnancy, a woman is already experiencing changes in role and responsibilities in preparation for motherhood. The most beautiful and interesting part of a woman's life is bringing up her child from conception to birth until the baby grows up and live his life. This is what we called motherhood. Though beautiful and interesting, motherhood is also a difficult role to partake. It entails a lot of effort, sense of responsibility and most especially love and care for the child.

Nowadays, there are so many support groups available in our society to have adequate knowledge about a good motherhood. Some conducts a mother's class to orient them. There are also books available for motherhood and some are readily available online where you can surf and buy them anytime. Aside from that, good motherhood guides are found easily in the Internet. So being a new mother, it will really help you to seek for advice, assistance and guidelines to experience an effective motherhood. These few ideas below will help you.

Firstly, do not do anything that will harm your baby during pregnancy. Take good care of yourself. Everything that you take will directly go to your baby such as food and medications. It is best that you visit to an expert so that you and your baby's health will be monitored from time to time. Have a healthy diet. Do not eat unhealthy foods that won't bring profit to you and the baby. Follow the diet that is recommended to you. Do regular exercise as prescribed. This will help you facilitate a good circulation to the body including the baby. Diet and regular exercises are the two most important things that you should consider during pregnancy. It is your responsibility to take good care of yourself for your baby.

Secondly, be comfortable to your environment all the time. Wear clothes that make you feel at ease. Maintain a position where you can breathe well and relax. Avoid stressful and strenuous activities. Always be ready. Do not be anxious about the delivery. Put confidence in yourself. Being mentally prepared for the baby's arrival will lead to positive insights that will help you promote a good mother and child relationship or bond.

Finally, be safe always. Ensure safety. Bring no harm to the baby. Remember that the baby is very delicate and sensitive therefore, take proper caution and protection. Do the best you can to give everything that the baby needs especially the love and care. Motherhood is enjoyable. You will feel real happiness if you will be able to lead the child a good life.

Motherhood is a very complex task once a woman conceives. Support from the husband is really helpful for the new mother to adjust to this responsibility. Family members, friends and relatives must extend help or advices to the new mother so that she will be encouraged and challenged to this new responsibility that she'll going to face for herself and the baby.

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Many women choose the healthcare services of a certified nurse-midwife or a licensed midwife during pregnancy. Midwives provide many services today for women, from routine exams and family planning, to the entire labor and delivery process and beyond, to postpartum care. Some deliver babies in private homes, but mostly they deliver babies in hospitals and birth centers. Many offer childbirth classes for expectant mothers and fathers as part of their midwifery practice.

If you are in good health and your pregnancy is considered low risk for labor and delivery complications, you likely are able to choose the services of a midwife. Many women enjoy the one-on-one support they receive from their midwife. They may feel their certified nurse-midwife really understands them through all the time they spend together during exams. Midwives statistically spend more time with their patients during office visits than an Obstetrician. She may even help you figure out what kind of childbirth classes suit you best, or give you recommendations depending on what kind of birth you are envisioning.

Why Choose a Midwife Instead of an Ob-Gyn?

Some women want an alternative approach to childbirth. A midwife often will help you learn about proper nutrition, and healthy habits, during your pregnancy. She is involved throughout your care, from prenatal to postpartum.

A midwife often views this experience as a life-changing event in your life. She has been trained to understand this process as a normal and natural physiological process. Obstetricians are surgeons and are trained in the pathology of pregnancy, labor, and birth-the study of disease. Your caregiver wants you to think about and thoroughly understand all your options for the labor and delivery process. She will probably want you to create your own birth plan. These are topics and issues you should learn about in your childbirth classes.

While midwives tend to support natural un-medicated childbirth, find a midwife who will support you in whatever decisions you choose or need. Certified nurse-midwives have professional relationships with the obstetricians within the hospital or birth center in which they work, and will use their services and support if necessary.

Studies have shown that women who are healthy and experiencing a normal pregnancy will have the same great outcome using a midwife as the same healthy pregnant woman who chooses an ob-gyn. They are less likely to have a Cesarean section or other medical interventions. Women who choose midwives are more satisfied, overall, with the entire experiences of pregnancy and childbirth.

What If I Have an Unexpected Complication during Labor and Delivery?

Medical emergencies could potentially happen within even the most healthy pregnancies. But midwives are trained to recognize these complications and if she can't handle the problem herself, she has an obstetrician she will defer to for support.

Midwives are becoming increasingly popular. As more women turn to more natural, holistic approaches to health and wellness, many feel a midwife is a better choice for them, since their goal is for a natural labor and delivery.

Does health insurance cover midwifery services?

Many insurance plans do cover certified nurse-midwife, and licensed midwife (homebirth midwives) services. It is mandatory that Medicaid cover certified nurse-midwife care in all 50 states. In addition, 32 states require other insurance plans to cover midwifery care.

If you are having a healthy pregnancy and feel the philosophy and care of a midwife align with your own personal beliefs, know that using a midwife can be a safe alternative to conventional maternity care. Expect the best and have a beautiful birth day!

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The cost of health care is quite a bit higher in the United States than in other developed countries. As well as being unfairly expensive, the American medical infrastructure has come under fire as of late due to a number of factors. Perhaps the greatest influence is the imminent presidential election in late 2008, and candidates from both the left and right have been scrambling to find plausible solutions to the glaring deficiencies left as a legacy of the Bush era. Another cause for the pressure to change comes from Michael Moore, a controversial political moviemaker whose recent work, a documentary film titled "SiCKO," highlights the many flaws in the United States health care system.

Faced with limited options, mothers-to-be are often stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of covering their prenatal and childbirth costs. Traditional insurance providers, with high premiums and deductibles, sometimes have additional out-of-pocket costs that families are unable to shoulder. Other options, such as traditional health methods, aren't very reliable so women are forced to face the rising costs without attractive solutions. What other alternatives do they have?

One solution that has arisen comes in the form of non-traditional health coverage. Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) are becoming popular for Americans seeking a cheaper route to medical insurance. CDHPs, which incorporate cost-sharing and fairly low deductibles in combination with Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) or Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), have the potential to yield high tax benefits that could offset costs and make CDHPs considerably less expensive than traditional insurance providers. The likelihood of these benefits coming to fruition, however, remains in question. Desperate individual policyholders are nevertheless turning to CDHPs to lessen the financial burden that comes with childbirth.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a California-based, health-related think tank, recently tested the viability of CDHPs as an affordable option for high maternity costs. In the least expensive scenario, it was found that a new mother could pay barely US$6,000 for out-of-pocket costs to cover prenatal treatment and a straightforward childbirth. While US$6,000 is starkly less than the costs paid by other CDHP policyholders, it is still similar to or more expensive than would have been paid out-of-pocket under a traditional medical insurance plan.

In a second scenario, a family spent US$21,000 on out-of-pocket maternity fees when using a CDHP. This is quite a high value, despite the family having had coverage for more than two years and the pregnancy and birth being relatively free of complications. In a third (and quite extreme) example, a family was forced to pay more than US$287,000 in medical fees during the birth of the family's second child. In this case, a woman experienced a rocky pregnancy, coupled with gestational diabetes, pre-term labor that resulted in a c-section birth, and comprehensive neonatal intensive care.

The vast divide between the out-of-pocket charges for maternity care is the result of inconsistent cost-sharing across CDHPs. The conclusion, therefore, is that pregnant women with coverage from CDHPs could face costs that are extremely higher those incurred under traditional insurance providers. The risk of accumulating ridiculous hospital bills is too high in the face of the steep costs of raising an infant. The rising popularity of CDHPs could therefore potentially damage the health of less wealthy Americans who turn to CDHPs and then suffer from inferior health care and heavy financial losses as a result. On the other hand, CDHPs can, in some cases, provide comprehensive health care options to those who have been exposed to health insurance plans that are incomplete parcels of larger plans designed to suit a broader base.

Despite a much longer list of pros and cons, it has clearly emerged that CDHPs are a much riskier alternative to complete health care plans. Though American health care is pricey and often insufficient for the cost, the safest choice is to acquire coverage from a trusted insurance provider. The lack of reliable cost sharing and the rookie mistakes made by the new CDHP organizers can result in disastrous effects to the health of those insured. And the health of a pregnant woman or newborn should not be gambled with.

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Although it's always best to speak with your doctor when you have concerns about your pregnancy, the following tips cover some of the most common health concerns for expecting mothers.

1. Leg Cramps
During the last months of pregnancy, women often experience leg cramps, especially while they're resting in bed. Massage or heat pads are wonderful ways to reduce the pain of leg cramps, as is wearing maternity compression stockings. Compression stockings reduce venous pressure and increase circulation, which often completely stops cramping in the legs. However, if the cramps persist, you should contact your doctor.

2. Poor Leg Circulation
During pregnancy, the weight of the fetus puts extra pressure on the legs and feet. Specifically, the uterus puts pressure on the main vein on the right side of the body, the inferior vena cava. This puts more pressure on the rest of the veins in the legs, and can result in varicose and spider veins.

In addition to following your doctor's orders for relieving swelling (such as elevating your feet when you are seated), compression stockings can also reduce the pain and discoloration of varicose and spider veins. Maternity compression stockings are specially designed to boost the blood flow from your legs to your heart; this reduces circulatory problems that can occur in your ankles and lower legs.

3. Thyroid Disease
During pregnancy, the body naturally increases the levels of estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone present in a woman's hormone system. These hormones can cause the thyroid to function differently. Altered thyroid functioning can manifest in symptoms such as fatigue, feelings of depression, high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, anemia, and intolerance to heat. Doctors often prescribe thyroid supplements for pregnant women experiencing a problem with their thyroid gland. Health professionals may recommend wearing compression socks for women as well; this will help reduce the additional leg swelling that can come with a thyroid imbalance.

4. Gestational Diabetes
When an individual is diabetic, insulin levels are too high. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in the blood stream. If the body fails to produce enough insulin, or inappropriately uses insulin, diabetes may occur. Gestational diabetes symptoms include extreme fatigue, hunger, and thirst.

Because these symptoms are common during pregnancy, the best way to diagnose gestational diabetes is through blood testing. Doctors may instruct sufferers of gestational diabetes to follow a certain diet/meal plan, exercise regularly, regularly monitor blood sugar levels, and take certain medications. Lastly, gestational diabetes can decrease circulation, particularly in the legs, so your health advisor may suggest that you wear maternity compression stockings to prevent or alleviate pressure and swelling.

5. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure during pregnancy is dangerous, especially for the baby. It can cause conditions such as low birth weight, preeclampsia, and premature delivery.

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure during your pregnancy, it is wise to heed your doctor's advice regarding diet and lifestyle changes. Additionally, compression socks for women can help control the symptoms of high blood pressure, such as leg swelling and cramps.

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Health insurance is a crucial package of benefits your pocket book can't live without. Read on to learn why this coverage is important and what elements you should look for when you're shopping for a health insurance policy.

A most basic definition of health insurance explains that if you purchase health coverage and are sick or injured, depending on what is covered in your policy, you will only be responsible for a certain percentage of the medical costs. This type of coverage is intended to help you manage health care and medical bills.

"What should be in my policy?"

The perfect health insurance plan will include FIVE vital components:

-International coverage - Are you covered worldwide for non-emergency care?
-Annual dollar limit you can afford out-of-pocket - Make sure your pocketbook can handle your policy's annual maximum
-Ability to see specialists without a referral - If you or your loved ones have a serious or life-threatening illness, you don't want to have to beg for the best treatment.
-Vast coverage limit that shouldn't ever be exhausted, even for the most catastrophic medical expenses - A key idea to keep in mind when shopping for your health insurance policy is to find one with no limits, if possible. If this is unattainable, find a maximum policy limit of $1 million per claim or $2 million per lifetime.
-No internal policy limits - Do not purchase a policy that has internal policy limits.

"What coverages should I have under my health insurance?"

Your health insurance policy should include several coverages...

Physician's expense - covers your doctor's office visit or hospital visit

Hospital expense - takes care of room, board and services while you're in the hospital

Surgical expense - pays for any surgery related fees or costs

Major medical insurance - provides a very high maximum benefit formulated to protect you against losses from major injuries or illnesses

"Perks of health insurance?"

Double check your health insurance policy. It MIGHT include the following benefits...

- Vision
- Maternity care
- Preventive care
- Mental health benefits
- Prescription drugs
- Dental

"I know I need health insurance, but my company doesn't offer insurance packages. Where can I get a reasonable insurance quote?"

There are several insurance comparison web sites that allow you to quickly get an insurance quote - whether you're looking for health, life, home owner's or auto coverage. To receive an insurance quote online, most of the comparison sites will ask for personal information. It is very important to answer truthfully when you are filling out these applications. Otherwise, your insurance quote may not be as accurate as possible.

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During the last trimester of pregnancy, you need to eat more foods high in iron than you normally would. This is because your body is busy making more red blood cells so as to supply enough for you and your baby. Each blood cell uses iron as a core. Iron can't be manufactured by your body; it must be absorbed from the food you eat.

Iron is found in lots of different foods, but it is difficult to absorb. This makes it hard for your body to take in enough iron to meet its needs when you are pregnant. If you don't provide your body with enough iron in your diet, your body makes fewer red blood cells. This is known as anemia. Anemia from iron deficiency is very common, and, fortunately, is fairly easy to remedy, as well.

Your body also needs a nutrient known as folate to make healthy red blood cells. Folate is easy to absorb and you can find it in most green vegetables.

What causes anemia? It's usually brought on by a poor intake of folate- and iron-rich foods. It can also be caused by the destruction of red blood cells that occurs occasionally when you're sick.

What are the symptoms and signs of anemia? Sometimes you won't experience any symptoms. But if your anemia is severe, you may feel fatigued and weak.

Can you prevent anemia? Yes, you can eat foods high in iron. These include fortified grains, dried beans, eggs, fish, chicken and meat. The type of iron that is found in meats is called heme and it is easier to absorb than the iron that's found in vegetables. If you're suffering from anemia and you already eat meat, increasing the meat that you consume will readily increase the iron that your body receives from it.

Also, it's a good idea to eat foods that are high in folic acid, like orange juice, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables and dried beans. Always eat foods that are high in vitamin C, too. This includes fresh raw vegetables, and citrus fruits.

Another way to get iron, and something people don't think of very often, is cooking with iron pots. This can add up to 80% more iron to your diet that food cooked in aluminum. Be sure to always remember to take your prenatal vitamins, and your mineral pills that contain extra folate.

You can also take vitamin and iron tablets. Since it's hard to get enough iron in your diet, you may need to take a supplement, in addition to eating foods high in iron. There is usually enough iron in your prenatal vitamin to avert anemia, but your health care provider may prescribe an extra iron supplement if you're anemic. Take it in small amounts if it upsets your stomach. You may want to take a stool softener as well. Don't take your iron supplement with calcium supplements or dairy products.

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The baby is on the way. Excitement reigns in the household. However, mother is feeling aches and pains that cause her distress. Her back is aching, her balance is off, and it is nearly impossible to find relief. Fortunately, there is help available.

The Problem

Pregnancy causes a number of changes in your body. As the baby grows, your center of gravity shifts. As this happens, your posture is affected and you start feeling back pain and abdominal pain. Your skin is being stretched to make room for your growing child and this, too, causes pain. In addition, your body is producing a hormone called relaxin that is softening up the ligaments and joints, getting them ready for the birth of your baby. The support you once had just is not there and it is painful. Your body is also producing more fluids and blood as it takes care of you and the baby. This causes swelling (called edema) which is another annoyance.

What You Can Do

Back pain does not have to be overwhelming. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your back and give you more flexibility. Swimming, walking, and stationary cycling are all safe exercise methods, even in the later stages of pregnancy.

Be aware of your posture when you are working, sitting, or sleeping. While you are sitting at a desk, place a rolled up towel at the small of your back to provide extra support. When sitting for a long time, placing your feet on a stack of books and sitting up straight with your shoulders back will also help. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees will relieve some of the stress on your back.

When You Need More

Following the suggestions above will help but sometimes you need to do more. One way to help alleviate pain and provide support for your growing belly is to wear a maternity support garment. A good support garment will help relieve:

繚 Abdominal muscle pain

繚 Leg pain

繚 Sciatica

繚 Pelvis pain or weakness

繚 Hip separation pain

繚 Lower back pain

繚 Provide postpartum back, stomach, and pelvis support

A maternity support body suit that supports your whole upper body is now available. Be careful when you are looking at body suits. This is not the body suit that cosmetically covers your belly. Worn as an undergarment, the maternity support body suit provides not just support for your abdomen but also helps to correct your posture and provide correct body alignment. You may find that you feel less fatigue and stress while wearing the body suit. You also may find that you are breathing better as your lungs now have more room to expand. A maternity support body suit will give you better overall support and help your muscles to actually grow stronger.

As you wear the maternity support bodysuit, you will find that your back feels better and your abdomen does not feel so heavy. Your posture will improve and you will feel better overall. This is a time to feel joy and expectation, not pain and stress. Do what you can to help yourself feel better.

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Returning to work after having a baby is a time of mixed emotions, whether you are going back after a few months, a year, or longer. Guilt plays a big factor for many mums, but you need to put it in perspective and remember that happy mums mean happy babies. Going back to work has many positives, such as allowing you to have grown up conversations again, and allowing you to achieve more in your chosen career.

Childcare

The practical arrangements for who will look after your baby, where, at what times and how much this will cost is something which I am sure you have already thought about. When it comes to getting back into the working routine, no amount of planning will make it problem free. Aim to start your childcare a day or two early to get into practice, ensure that your baby is happy with the carer, and get used to being baby-free again. There are a variety of government funding options available to help pay for childcare. Have a chat with fellow working Mum's to find out the latest policies or do a search online.

Backup Plans

At some point, your baby or your care provider will be ill - and you will need to think about alternative arrangements. It might be agreed with your work that you are able to take the time off at short notice, if not then perhaps a friend or family member could be your emergency backup. Have this planned before you go back to work, and be sure to keep tabs on when your backup may not be available.

Organisation

Working and being a mum is a juggling act. Pack everything that you can for your baby's day and yours the night before, and make a list for the final bits you need to pack in the morning. Become a fan of lists, on the fridge, in the car...

Return to Work

If you are able to choose exactly when you return, then be kind to yourself and plan to go back halfway through the week, easing you back into the working routine slowly.

The Boss

Most employers are sympathetic and understand the stresses associated with returning to work. Scheduling an informal meeting with your boss the week before your return to discuss your workload and priorities could help you feel more prepared for the first day back.

Flexitime

Perhaps you have already decided on working flexible hours, working from home or maybe only returning to work part time?

Whatever you have agreed, don't let the first week make you feel like you've made the wrong decision. It won't be easy but give it time and see how you feel. If after a few weeks you still aren't happy, talk to your boss to find out what your options are.

New job

Perhaps you are returning to a new job, or just looking for something which will fit around your new life as a mum. There are many options, from self-employed jobs to part time and freelance positions, all with their own unique challenges.

For example you could put your childcare skills to use and become a qualified childminder, or you may wish to help pregnant mums to be by becoming a Hypnobirthing practitioner.

Keep your Mum friends

After being at home with your baby for the past months, you will probably now have some new mother friends. It is important not to lose contact with other mums when back at work, as being able to talk about your baby with people who understand is extremely valuable. Plan a weekend get together - if only for a coffee it gives you something nice to look forward to.

Sleep

Working and being a mum is tiring. Don't try to do all that you did pre-baby, and set yourself an earlier bedtime. Sleep is important not only to stay physically healthy, but helps you deal with stress too.

Stay positive

Being a mum is one of the most important jobs you can do, juggling work with this role requires much effort and determination. If you're feeling stressed, or having a bad day, take a few minutes to think of the positives and then tackle the problems one by one. Don't forget to take the time to do things for yourself, whether it is an afternoon shopping with friends or an evening curled up with a good book. Find the happy balance between work, family and career and enjoy the benefits of being a working mum.

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Pregnancy miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the loss of a pregnancy, on its own, which occurs in nearly 20% of all confirmed pregnancies. This usually occurs before 20-24 weeks of the pregnancy but it is most common during the first 12 weeks. When a pregnancy miscarriage occurs, the fetus, placenta and the amniotic sac are expelled by the body.

Causative Factors Of Pregnancy Miscarriage

The most common factor attributed to causing a pregnancy miscarriage is chromosomal abnormalities of the developing child. It could be due to genetic defects of the fetus caused by faulty egg and/or sperm. The lifestyle of the expectant mother during her pre-pregnancy days as well as during pregnancy period may also play a major role. Smoking, drug/alcohol abuse and exposure to hazardous materials can increase the risk of pregnancy miscarriage in women. Hormonal imbalances, health issues such as infections, diabetes, immune disorders, problems of the uterus or ovaries etc. can also cause pregnancy miscarriages. Women who have health problems such as diseases of heart, kidney or liver, thyroid problems etc. are at risk of a spontaneous abortion. It has been rightly said that if an expectant mother is given adequate pre pregnancy care she can greatly reduced the chances of a pregnancy miscarriage.

Symptoms Of A Pregnancy Miscarriage

Vaginal bleeding is by far the most common symptom. If you have no idea that you are pregnant and have vaginal bleeding that lasts for more than 2 weeks it is better to consult your physician as it may indicate a spontaneous abortion or some other problem that needs immediate attention. If you know you are pregnant and are bleeding it is time to call your doctor if you use up more than one sanitary pad in one hour. It may be accompanied with low back pain and contractions, and in some cases bleeding may be accompanied with clots. Women may also experience cessation of pregnancy symptoms such as tenderness in the breasts, morning sickness etc.

Types Of Pregnancy Miscarriages

There are several types of pregnancy miscarriages. An expectant mother who suffers light uterine bleeding and is found to have a closed cervix, the condition is called as a threatened miscarriage. When the expectant mother has uterine bleeding and an open cervix, the condition is referred to as an inevitable miscarriage. When the expectant mother has lost the fetus and the products of conception, it is referred to as a complete miscarriage. When the embryo dies inside the womb and the products of conception are not expelled, it is referred to as a missed miscarriage. Recurrent miscarriage occurs in some women due to any of the causes listed above. If women consult a physician before they consider getting pregnant and plan a pregnancy, exercise caution and take the necessary precautions, they can have a successful healthy pregnancy. These are a few facts about pregnancy miscarriage and a few tips on how to avoid it.

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Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also be quite stressful. The extra expenses of prenatal care and preparing for the new baby are overwhelming for many women.

According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, your spouse and your baby deserve to be healthy and have consistent care. Financial aid and other programs are available for women in need and their babies. The following organizations can help your partner and your baby get medical care:

" State and local health departments - They can tell you what programs are available in your area. Ask about health insurance, medical care, and how your family can qualify for this help.

" Local hospital or social service agencies - Ask to speak with a social worker on staff. She will be able to tell you where to go for help.

" Community clinics - Some areas have free clinics or clinics that provide free care to women in need.

" Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program - This government program is available in every state. It provides help with food, nutritional counseling, and access to health services for women, infants and children.

" Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - This program provides health insurance for children under age 18 in every state.

" Telephone book and Internet - These resources may have information on programs in your area.

Women in every state can get help to pay for medical care during their pregnancies. This prenatal care can help your family have a healthy baby. Every state in the United States has a program to help. Programs give medical care, information, advice and other services important for a healthy pregnancy.

To find out about the program in your state:

" Call 1-800-311-BABY (1-800-311-2229) This toll-free telephone number will connect you to the Health Department in your area code

" Call or contact your local Health Department.

Above all, ensure a healthy pregnancy for your spouse by making sure she has a healthy diet , sleep and exercise, a stress-free life, and regular visits to the doctor.

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Immense pressure on the abdominal walls during pregnancy can often times be enough to cause fatty tissue or intestine to protrude through a hole formed in the abdominal muscle wall. That means lots of baby pressure on your belly caused a bit of intestine to peek out through a hole in your muscle. This can result in an inguinal hernia: bulge in the groin area, abdominal hernia: bulge in the abdomen (besides the large baby bulge), umbilical hernia: bulge on the bellybutton, or femoral hernia: bulge on the inner leg near the groin. These can all be very painful and impair walking.

Many medical professionals will tell you there is nothing you can do for this pain and to withstand the pain until the baby is born. Relief is possible. Know that you can wear a pregnancy supporter for hernia care to prevent more damage and reduce the pain. I experienced inguinal hernias while pregnant and wearing support bands made all the difference in the world, from impaired almost impossible walking to normal walking and playing with my kids again. There are 2 excellent pregnancy hernia support products on the market and if you type in pregnancy hernia band you will find access to them on search engines. Elastic based products tend to stretch out and are not durable so buyer beware.

What are the life changing steps you can do to relieve hernia pain in pregnancy:

  • Wear a pregnancy hernia support band!!! Relief will come immediately.

  • Avoid lifting or if that's impossible avoid holding a child for long periods of time while standing (sounds impossible if you have little ones, but bend down and talk to them, sit side by side, have them sit in a 'big person chair' at the table if you are working in the kitchen, you may have to get creative.

  • Rest your hernia--lay down and take the pressure off at night, support your belly with a pillow and place a pillow between or under your knees at night.

  • Have your husband/significant other lift for you: leave heavy groceries or boxes in the car for him/her to bring in. Let them know you are in pain. If you are alone, get a folding shopping cart and wheel your groceries, etc. into the house.

Hernia surgery after pregnancy may be necessary depending on the severity of the hernia, check with your doctor. My inguinal hernia went away, only to return again in my 3rd pregnancy, but never to return there after, I am almost 50.

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Planning how long you will be away from your job is just one matter involved in your maternity leave. The other is planning how you will return: who will watch your baby, how you will fit back into the work routine again, how to field questions from coworkers and supervisors and more. This short guide will help you feel more comfortable when you return to work after a leave of absence to have your baby.

First Things First

Before you step foot back in the office, make sure you've got all your ducks in a row at home. The most important thing is finding quality daycare for your baby. If you're lucky enough to have a partner who can stay home with the baby, great! If not, query friends and family members to find a recommended sitter or daycare facility. Be sure to coordinate pickup and drop off times, too, so that they correspond with your work hours. You also need to consider what you will do over holidays when the daycare center may be closed while you still need to work.

You may want to talk to your boss about working some of your scheduled hours from home, if possible. That's an ideal solution to daycare, but you may still need to hire a sitter so you can attend virtual meetings or speak with clients even if your baby won't go down for a nap or acts fussy due to teething.

Your Place Back At Work

It's probably not going to be easy showing back up at your workplace after a couple months or more of being away. For one thing, your supervisor probably had to cover your work by asking other staffers to handle tasks while you were gone so your desk might be occupied and your paperwork shuffled. Don't resent it; try to roll with the flow without causing any further upsets. Thank those who performed your duties in your absence while trying to regain a sense of order so you can jump right back into the tasks that need to be accomplished.

Fielding Questions

Inevitably, you will be bombarded with a series of questions from your coworkers and perhaps even your boss. They may range from the inane, "How can you return to work so soon after having major surgery?" to the well-meant but nonetheless demeaning, "What's that wet spot on your blouse? Don't they make pads or something to prevent that?"

Try to realize that everyone else you work with is going through the same period of readjustment you are. They aren't likely to understand why you have to run to the bathroom in the middle of a meeting because you heard a baby crying in the corridor or how difficult it is to get to work on time each morning when you've got a baby to get ready for daycare. Do your best to stay professional and explain your actions, when appropriate.

Your Appearance

Wet spots on your blouse brings up another point you need to consider when arriving back at work after maternity leave: your appearance. If you are collecting your breast milk, make sure you schedule your day to take care of pumping before you begin to leak. And always wear pads in your bra while keeping several spare sets in your purse. You may want to wear an apron you can take off right before getting leaving each morning, too, to prevent spit up and formula spots.

If you are having a hard time fitting back into the professional clothing you used to wear, try slipping into a post maternity body shaper first. With its slimming and smoothing properties, these special body shapers make it easy to fit into nearly any clothing that's normally too tight. Opt for an undergarment that uses neuro-banding across the back to promote good posture and you'll find it easier to stay both physically and mentally balanced, too!

It is possible to return to work after maternity leave and successfully juggle career and mommyhood. Be prepared for the situations you may encounter before and during work hours and slip into your post maternity body shaper to enjoy the confidence that comes from feeling and looking your best each day.

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The bond between a mother and her baby starts at the moment of conception. This is the stage where they begin to respond to each other. What a mother feels has a direct effect on her baby. Her actions and reactions at this point can affect the development of her unborn baby. It is advised that during pregnancy, the mother must constantly feel happy and content so that the baby will feel the same way. This is where the role of a father starts. While women are responsible for the overall development of the unborn child, men must ensure the emotional stability of their partner. It is primarily their responsibility to love, to care, to secure and to understand their partner.

There are several ways to ensure your baby's good health and happiness even at the stage of pregnancy.

1. Think Happy Thoughts. Keeping a positive attitude on things while conceiving is important. A mother and her baby do share the same emotions. This is because of the hormones that are connecting the mother and her baby. The hormonal imbalances due to emotions and a mother's feelings will be shared to her baby as well.

2. Watch the tone of your voice. A baby would not be able to decipher what an action means but would depend on facial expression. In the same way, an unborn child responds to voice tone rather than speech. A baby can feel the love and care when talking in a loving tone. Studies show that instrumental and lullabies can even help relax an unborn child.

3. Take good care of yourself. The health and development of the baby is dependent on the mother. By taking good care of yourself, you are also taking care of your little one.

The big question that goes out to all the couples would be, "Are you ready to take care of your delicate little baby?" Having all the help you can get is important at this stage. There are pregnancy books that will share tips and techniques in caring for yourself and your baby - Not only while conceiving but also after you give birth. A highly recommended sample of a book under this category would be "Pregnancy Miracle". It provides a step by step procedure of everything you need to know from ways to conceive naturally to having a healthy and happy baby.

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Practices have also evolved over time and are quite different from those of a generation ago, especially in Chinese culture. In the nineteen forties and fifties, a new mother used to be confined to her bedroom during the confinement period which begins from the moment the baby is born until the baby reaches full moon or is a month old. She could not wash her hair during that period and could not leave the house for fear of wind entering her body and cause her to have aches and pains later on in life.

The confinement period was an enforced period of rest for the new mother so that she could recover from the ordeal of childbirth and recover her strength. A woman with specialized knowledge of herbs and confinement food is employed to look after the mother's diet and to look after the baby day and night so that the mother has proper sleep and rest. She will stay with the family for the whole month and is paid a tidy sum for her services. Such services were in great demand and an expectant mother would book way in advance to ensure that when her delivery time is at hand, there would be someone to look after her needs and the baby.

These days, there is some flexibility. After ten days or so, the new mother may wash her hair using special bath water. Her bath is usually water boiled with a concoction of certain herbs that will draw out the wind from her body. No cold water or water straight from the tap is used.

Special food and wine are included in her diet. Chicken and wood ear fungus cooked in sesame oil and lots of ginger and glutinous rice wine is a daily staple. She can take only certain vegetables and fruit such as apples, guava and papaya. She is also given special soups which will promote breast milk production if she is breast feeding. Everyday, free range chicken is steamed with special herbs in a double boiler to get the pure chicken essence. This is especially nutritious and invigorating.

However it can be quite hard to acquire such personalized services nowadays as many of those women specialized in caring for the baby and new mother have retired and are no longer available. A new niche market has sprung up where women entrepreneurs have opened up confinement homes.

These homes offer confinement services to new mothers who want to ensure that they have enough sleep and rest which they may not get at home if they have young children in their families or if there is not enough room in their houses. These homes offer single rooms which give you privacy, or twin bedded rooms. The market price varies from a few thousand dollars to more, depending on the type of room you choose. Everything is taken care of, all meals provided and the baby looked after day and night. Baby diapers and formula ( if the mother is not breastfeeding ) are also provided. These homes are run professionally like a business and the experienced confinement ladies also impart their knowledge of rituals and taboos. Traditional massage is also available.

Many Chinese new mothers are availing themselves of this confinement home service because of its convenience. Depending on the size of the home, it can accommodate up to eight mothers.

However, in Malay culture and I believe the Indian culture too, the traditional practices are more strictly adhered to. There is also the confinement period where the new mother has to rest and partake of a special diet and herbal baths. Lemon grass and ginger feature because of their properties, especially dispelling wind from the body.

The new mother in Malay culture has traditional massage that will reduce the wind in her belly and I remember the lady who came to give me the massage, used a hot brick wrapped in a towel to warm my belly before massaging with some oil. After that a long piece of cloth specially sewn, was wrapped round my tummy to flatten it. I was not allowed to take a bath during my first confinement. The purpose of the massage is to drive the wind out, to shrink the uterus and to give me back my waistline. This traditional massage is still practiced today and the new mothers of Malay ethnicity also consume jamu ( specially prepared herbs )which will help them to regain their strength and figure. Being Chinese, I didn't take jamu but followed the Chinese diet under the strict eyes of my grandmother and confinement lady.

At the end of the confinement period, the new mother is left to her own resources. Those who are working may still be on maternity leave and would use this time to bond with their babies. The Chinese usually have a big celebration where a dinner party is organized to introduce the new-born to relatives and friends. One tradition still observed by some families today is the giving out of red eggs, a slice of roast pork and yellow ( derived from turmeric )glutinous rice. If a dinner is held, then only the red eggs are given. In return, the baby receives an ang pow (red envelope containing money). In the yester years, when the price of gold was still affordable, the new baby would be given gold jewellery by close relatives.

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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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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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Help your spouse steer clear of these pregnancy no-nos to help keep her and the baby safe and healthy:

* Avoid fish with lots of mercury in her diet. Get correct information from your dietitian on what fish to eat and what fish to avoid when she is pregnant.

* Don't disregard food borne illness. Eat, cook, handle and clean food safely! According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, food borne illness can cause serious health problems - or even death for both mother and baby.

* Protect her from using chemicals. Products including herbicides, pesticides, paint, stains, and some cleaning solutions may be harmful to your baby. If she must use these things, make sure she wears gloves, a mask, and keeps the room well-ventilated.

* Don't let her clean or change a cat's litter box. This could put her at risk for an infection called toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite that cats can carry in their feces. Toxoplasmosis can harm a fetus.

* Don't let her take very hot baths, hot tubs, or saunas. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, high temperatures can be harmful to the fetus, or causing the mother-to-be to faint.

* Discourage her from using scented feminine hygiene products. Pregnant women should avoid scented sprays, sanitary napkins, and bubble bath. These products might irritate your spouse's vaginal area, and increase her risk of a urinary tract infection or yeast infection.

* Don't let her douche. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, douching can irritate the vagina, force air into the birth canal and increase the increase the risk of infection

* Avoid optional x-rays. X-rays are a form of radiation that is linked to a very small risk of cancer for an unborn baby. But x-rays are usually safe during pregnancy. So if your doctor says your spouse needs x-rays for a health problem you should follow her advice. But sometimes doctors can use other tests in place of x-rays. And other times, x-rays can wait until after the baby is born.

* Don't let her smoke tobacco. Tell your doctor if your spouse smokes. Quitting is hard, but she can do it. Ask your doctor for help. Smoking during pregnancy passes nicotine and cancer-causing drugs to your baby. Smoke also keeps your baby from getting needed nourishment and raises the risk of stillbirth and premature birth (a small baby born too early).

* Discourage her from drinking alcohol. Your spouse should stop drinking alcohol if she drinks it regularly. Experts are still unsure of the exact amount of alcohol needed to cause problems in your baby. But, both drinking every day and drinking a lot of alcohol once in a while during pregnancy can harm the baby.

* Don't let her use illegal drugs. Tell your doctor if your spouse is using drugs. Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, speed (amphetamines), barbiturates, and LSD are very dangerous for your spouse and the baby.

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A major or catastrophic medical insurance plan, although being rather speculative, is fairly cheap but is also deductible. The money that you pay up from your own funds before the insurer meets the balance is the deductible.

As an example: if you have a deductible set at $5000 and your visit to a hospital results in a bill of $12, 000 your insurance provider will pay $7,000 only towards the bill and you meet the balance. On this type of cover, the larger your deductible is, the smaller the premium. By taking up this option, you will be gambling on not needing any major medical expense soon.

It would be a reasonable gamble. One survey that was conducted showed that in the US, 90% of the population has medical expenses less than $2000, and for 73%, their expenses were less than $500 per annum.

Two main groups favor the catastrophic health insurance: the young who are in their 20's who feel their health is not at risk and elderly men between 50 and 65 who would be waiting on Medicare eligibility.

The catastrophic health insurance plan is designed to cover only against major hospital expenses rather than day-to-day medical expenses. It will not normally cover doctor's visits, maternity care, or prescription drugs. The cover usually excludes mental health conditions, substance abuse and some pre-existing medical conditions.

This catastrophic health insurance plan can be bought as a group plan or on an individual basis. Of late, many organizations have started to encourage their employees to take up this type of cover. The highest lifetime limit can be as much as $3 million.

Rates do vary on age and the area in which you live. In some states the savings on premiums can be up to two-thirds. As an example: a female of 21 years, non-smoker, could have a monthly premium of only $30.

Before taking a decision to select this cover, get some professional advice from agents, insurance companies or both and compare quotes.

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