How to Heal Vulvar Varicosities During Pregnancy and Postpartum

Vulvar varicose vein compression therapy treatment during pregnancy can relieve pain and reduce symptoms.

You are not alone if you have vulvar varicosities. This may not be a hot topic of conversation, but many women during pregnancy experience swapping of veins in the vagina or vulva. This condition often occurs during pregnancy due to increased blood flow and pressure on the pelvic floor resulting in varicose veins of the vulva or vagina.

The symptoms of vulvar varicosities are:

  • pain in the vulva area
  • feeling of fullness or pressure
  • swelling and discomfort

In more extreme cases the full, dilated blood vessels can resemble dark purple, swollen veins (often really looking like large earthworms). There are several steps you can take to prevent this condition from worsening, reducing swapping, and potentially heal the varicosities.

Take action to care for yourself so that your pregnancy will be comfortable and healthy.

Treatment:

# 1 WEAR A COMPRESSION SUPPORT GARMENT

Wearing an abdominal band with compression therapy groin bands is essential in supporting vulvar varicosities. Direct compression on the vulvar varicosities and / or vaginal varicosities help to prevent swelling, adds support to the swollen veins and helps move the blood along in the pelvic floor area to prevent pooling and varicosities. Some support wear products also provide shoulder straps to the system which is even more beneficial because they provide a lift to the abdomen further reducing pressure on the pelvic floor.

# 2 AVOID STANDING FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME

Avoid standing for long hours and try to take breaks to relieve the pressure on your pelvis with short intervals of sitting or lying down. If you have a job which requires standing, it is even more important to wear compression support during these hours to counter act the pressure from your added weight of the baby and gravity pulling down on your varicosities. Ask your employer to provide intervals of time where you can change your standing position to sitting. Ideally lie down for 10 minutes here and there through the day. This is obviously not realistic for some jobs, however, you are pregnant and do have rights at your job relating to the safety of both you and your baby. Get a note from your obstetrician stating your needs and present this to your employer.

# 3 ELEVATE YOUR HIPS

When you lie down, elevate your hips by putting a pillow underneath your bottom. This helps improve the blood flow in the pelvic floor area and reduce swelling in the veins.

# 4 COOL COMPRESS

When you have a chance to lie down, place cool compresses on the vulvar varicosities to ease pain and reduce the swelling. Make sure the packs are refrigerated cool, not frozen so that the temperature feels comfortable and relieving.

# 5 AVOID LIFTING HEAVY OBJECTS

If you have a toddler this is difficult, but try to avoid lifting heavy objects. Squat down to talk with your toddler, or sit down and ask him / her to sit on your lap to talk instead of lifting him / her. Ask for help lifting groceries or other heavy objects. ASK FOR HELP! I need to say this again because women are generally the 'helpers' and tend not to ask for help. As a pregnant woman you need to take care of yourself. Who knows, you may make another person's day by reaching out and asking for their help.

You can get even more information on vulvar varicosities or confirm the information in this short article by reading:

Mayo Clinic article on Vulvar varicosities

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What You Need to Understand About Fertility Treatment

Many couples will try to conceive for months on end, some couples find themselves trying for years before they start looking at fertility treatment options. Couples under thirty-five that have tried to conceive for a year or more or those over thirty-five that have tried for six months should consider seeking help to find if they need fertility treatment to start their family.

Deciding to start a family is such an exciting time, unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to fall pregnant in the first cycle; many couples take months, even years to conceive. It is devastating blow; it leads to depression, anxiety and stress. Stress is a serious problem as it can cut the chances of conception.

There are a number of medications and fertility treatments you can consider from medicines, such as Clomid, which stimulates ovulation to increase the chances of success. In most instances, especially in the United Kingdom, a couple struggling to conceive will be given Clomid in the first instance; the dosage is dependent on the doctor and the age of the couple.

Should the medication not work, then there are rules which is taken into consideration. There is IUI, which is intrauterine insemination which is when the sperm directly into the womb. This is timed with ovulation to increase the chances of success.

When that does not work there is IVF. IVF is in vitro fertilization and takes place outside the human body. Usually women put on ovulation medication to produce eggs, which are then harvested and mixed with sperm before being placed back in the womb. The success of IVF is based on the quality of the eggs and sperm. Some older couples have to consider donor eggs and sperm to increase their chances of getting pregnant and starting their family.

There are risks to all the fertility treatments, the main one being that the risk of multiple pregnancies is greatly increased. While you may be planning for your single baby, if you do fall pregnant you may be shocked to find that you are having twins, maybe even triplets. With IVF two eggs are usually used, which limits the pregnancy to twins, but with medications, the risk of more than two babies can be increased.

When you get to the point of looking at the various fertility treatments available, it's advisable to seek the assistance of a fertility coach. Fertility coaches can help you through the process, they can help you cut stress and prepare your body and mind for the process ahead.

Fertility treatment is not a walk in the park; but an exhausting, frustrating and very taxing experience. As a woman are various hormone medications which can cause side effects, you go through treatments and in some cases, you can come out on the other end without any luck. Not to mention, these treatments are not cheap, especially if you are an older couple and do not qualify for treatment on the National Health Service, which is very limited and only caters to women up to forty-two years of age offering one course of IVF.

It is imperative that you start exercising as soon as possible and eat a healthy and well-balanced diet to keep up your weight. Being overweight or obese can have a negative impact on your chances of conception. You will also want to stop smoking, cut your caffeine in intake and preparing your body to cater for a new person to grow.

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Struggling With Fertility? Can a Fertility Coach Help You?

Thousands of couples around the world struggle to get pregnant. Everyone that is successful gets pregnant at different rates, what may take one couple a month to conceive, you find another couple may take a few months to a few years.

Going through this process is daunting, frustrating and even depressing. Month after month you check your ovulatory cycle, you make sure you are doing everything properly and then menstruation starts and the world comes crashing down around you. It's understandable that deciding to start a family is so difficult, but at the same time the more stress you put on yourself the harder it will be.

Deciding to start a family is not something not to be taken lightly and it's imperative that you get your body ready to welcome new life. This means eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, maintaining your weight and enjoying regular exercise. Your body needs a welcoming place where your new baby can grow.

Fertility coaches dedicated to helping you through the process. Whether you are thinking of starting a family or you have tried for a while without success, these professionals can be with you every step of the way, doing a detailed fertility evaluation and helping you manage the obstacles that you may face along the way.

A fertility coach can help you choose IVF, if you are unable to conceive naturally. They can give you support and advice and help you prepare your body for IVF to increase the chances of success.

Many women want to build up their career before starting a family. In fact women are starting their families later and later each year. Decades ago women would be married and having children as young as seventeen, today it's more common to find women in their forties desperate to fall pregnant. Waiting this late in life comes with a host of difficulties, which a fertility coach can help with, ensuring you are aware of how to prepare your body for pregnancy, helping you find the best way to get pregnant and if necessary, helping you find if you should be considering donor eggs or sperm.

Fertility coaches offer one on one programs helping you enhance your fertility and deal with the negative impact that infertility can have on your daily life. In many instances doctors are not able to find a specific reason you are struggling to get pregnant; This is often called unexplained infertility and can be a devastating blow for any couples who want to start a family. Your coach will help you increase the negatives and start working on ways to improve your fertility through diet, exercise and weight management. They will discuss the options available and help you come to a decision on the right solution to meet your particular requirements.

Deciding to have a child can be exceptionally challenging. Many couples are under the impression that if you time your ovulation correctly you will fall pregnant, unfortunately this is not the case and the majority of couples will have to try a few months before they make success. There are those that will try month after month without any luck, this can cause problems within the relationship, it can make the joy of love-making feel like a chore and the woman can become exceptionally depressed.

Fertility coaches work on linking the body and mind to create harmony. They help reduce stress and resolve any fertility issues you may be experiencing. Their aim is to bring balance to your life and help you make success when starting your family by making the right options to suit your age and specific needs.

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4 Top Questions Answered About Pelvic Floor and Pregnancy

1) What are the pelvic floor muscles, what happens to them during pregnancy & birth?

These are muscles that support the pelvic organs (uterus, bladder and bowel). During pregnancy the weight of the growing baby puts extra stress on these muscles.

2) Why is it important to practice your exercises and how often should we do them?

“It is important to maintain a strong pelvic floor to help prevent issues such as incontinence or prolapse.”

When to start exercises depends on your birth, if natural or C section after trying a natural birth in pushing phase then you have to remember the pelvic floor has undergone a significant amount of stress and needs time to recover. The first 6 weeks should just be light and gentle and is best encouraging when breastfeeding to do 3 x 10 sec holds.

If elective C-section the Pelvic floor has still undergone stress during pregnancy, though not during birth so thorough exercises can begin as soon as the mother feels capable.

A Set of exercises should be:
Lying flat on your back
Use a squeeze and lift technique
Hold the contract for 3-5 seconds
Repeat 10x
Follow with 10 quick pulses
Do 4-5 times a day

Try doing exercises in different positions (eg sitting, standing, 4 point kneeling etc) As you get stronger, practice holding for longer (ie 10-20 seconds)

3) Sometimes people say they can not feel it, how do you know if you are doing them right?

Often it is very hard to “feel” the contractually especially after a natural birth So often expectant mothers will do a session with a physiotherapist pre birth to learn the technique and make sure they are doing it correctly

A physiotherapist can use a device that actually measures the contracting pressure of the pelvic floor. They can also teach you different cues to activate your pelvic floor and prescribe you a graduated program to follow.

4) What are some signs of weak pelvic floor and are they reversible?

The obvious leaking, or wetting yourself in everyday activities Stress incontinence – jumping, sneezing, laughing etc A heavy feeling deep in vagina Yes completely reversible, the pelvic floor is just a muscle and all it needs is to be activated and strengthened and it will do its job again. There are some more severe cases where prolapse may have occurred and these may need to be addressed with surgery.

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Dealing With Current Threats to Women’s Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study in 2009, which revealed that there were millions of women suffering from health issues exclusive to the female of the species. Although in most countries of the world, men have a shorter life expectancy than women, the latter is more vulnerable to potentially fatal diseases such as HIV. Women are also at greater risk for receiving poor health care services in many societies. Here, we will discuss some of the current largest threats to women's health and present a few recommendations to help women counter these risks and lead healthier lives.

Leading threats to women's health

Based on data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the following are the front runner on the list of diseases that cause death in American women: cardiovascular disease, lower respiratory disease, cancer, and stroke.

Heart disease is an illness that is fatal to both males and females. Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, heart disease is accounting for almost 30% of deaths in female Americans. Most of the deaths due to heart conditions occur in women who are in their sixties. One of the problems associated with this medical condition is the lack of early diagnosis. For many women, the issue is identified much too late when the likelihood of gaining improvement from medication and lifestyle modification is no longer viable. In most cases, the symptoms that manifest in women are not directly related to heart problems. Instead of chest pain, women may feel shoulder or jaw pain, shortness of breath, and nausea, which are not directly related to problems of the cardiovascular system.

Breast cancer is another lethal disease that affects women from the ages of 20-60, particularly those that remain in developing countries. One of the reasons why breast cancer leads to a high number of fatalities is the difficulty in diagnosing it early on when the spread of the disease can still be controlled. Most women do not benefit from medical intervention because they are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.

Women are also former to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders. Many women suffer in silence from undiagnosed mental health conditions. These invisible afflictions may also lead to stresses that affect the person's physical health.

Recommendations

Many of the conditions that affect women's health are preventable, even fatal illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Affecting a few lifestyle configurations towards a low-stress, optimistic, and healthy lifestyle could lower the risk for illness and promote longer life expectancy in women.

First, refraining from smoking and avoiding second hand smoke as well as decreasing alcohol intake are habits that need to be developed. A nicotine and alcohol-free lifestyle goes a long way in lowering the risk for developing problems that affect the respiratory and cardiovascular system. Second, women must strive to maintain a stable weight by eating right and engaging in regular physical activity. Once excess weight is lost, there must be a consistent effort to maintain the weight off. Lastly, relaxation and stress management must be a priority to promote overall health and well-being.

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Symptoms of a Bacterial Vaginosis Infection

What are bacterial vaginosis symptoms?

An estimated 3 million cases of bacterial vaginosis are diagnosed each year. In and of itself, this condition is reliably harmless, and most women who develop it will be completely unaware of its presence. Some women develop no signs or symptoms but a lot of women do. For women who do develop symptoms, the most common bacterial vaginosis symptoms that will experience include the following:

– A thin vaginal discharge that has a grayish or milky white color in appearance
– Burning or pain during urination
– Genital itching
– A vaginal odor that is often described as smelling “fishy”, which occurs most frequently after sexual intervention
– Some women have described experiencing pain during intercourse, but this symptom could be indicative of a more serious condition, like a yeast infection.

Although the condition is not serious or death threatening, there are certain times when you will need to consult your doctor. You should contact your doctor if you have never had a vaginal infection before. Your doctor will conduct an examination to see if BV is the root cause of your problems and to teach you what signs and symptoms to look for since bacterial vaginosis infections can come back.

Another way to know if you should make an appointment is if you have tried home remedies or over the counter treatment options and the condition persists and gets worse. Also, if you develop a fever, you should go see your doctor right away. Sometimes You have a new sexual partner or have had multiple sexual partners within a short period of time. These symptoms could be a sign that you've developed a sexually transmitted disease.

Bacterial vaginosis symptoms can be embarrassing, but they will not harm your health in the long run. It is recommended that you speak with your regular doctor before trying any home remedies or over the counter medications. In the most serious cases, your doctor will prescribe a round of antibiotics to treat the source of the problem. However, please try not to become dependent on antibiotics because the bacteria can become resistant to the medicine over time. Therefore, it is important to take care of your internal health by avoiding junk foods such as chips, candy bars, cakes and anything with a lot of sugar. Also, avoid sodas and sugary beverages. One of the best steps to take is to increase the amount of water you drink every day!

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How to Prevent Bacterial Vaginosis Infections At Home

If you are searching for information on how to prevent bacterial vaginosis infections at home, the good news is that you have come to the right spot. Bacterial vaginosis infections are quite dangerous, but they are just plain annoying. The smell can be horrific and embarrassing. Sometimes these type of infections cause women to feel unclean. It can also make women feel depressed and isolated.

Here are a few simple tips you can follow to avoid developing one in the first place:
1. Wash your genitals thoroughly, and make sure that you dry them well.
2. Wear the proper type of clothes. Silk and cotton are natural fibers that wick moisture away from your body and will keep you clean and dry.
3. Avoid pantyhose, tight fitting pajamas, and overly tight swimsuits. You should never sit around in damp clothes. Underwear should also be changed often to prevent dampness from developing.
4. Avoid using feminine sprays and spotted soaps. The vagina is very sensitive, and such items contain harsh chemicals that can be very irritating to the vagina's soft skin.
5. Do not douche. There are a number of women who swear by this practice, but medical experts warn that this practice not only kills harmful bacteria, it also destroys helpful bacteria the vagina needs to protect itself. By killing off this healthy bacteria, the vagina actually becomes more susceptible to developing a yeast infection.
6. Make sure you get enough sleep. Your immune system is responsible for keeping the vagina's yeast production under control. However, if your immune system becomes run down due to lack of sleep, it will not be able to function properly.
7. Eat a diet rich in probiotics. Probiotics are a healthy form of bacteria that have been clinically proven to assist the vagina in maintaining a level of good bacteria production.
8. Drink lots and lots of water. This step is crucial because it will allow you to flush out a lot of the bad bacteria.
9. Learn to love yogurt. Eat at least one a day. The more probiotics and live cultures, the better. I recommend greek yogurt because it has less sugar.
10. Decrease the level of sugar you consume. Avoid sweets, sugary drinks and even some fruits.

These tips offer an excellent starting point, but for more information on how to prevent bacterial vaginosis infections, make sure to talk to your doctor!

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Top Bacterial Vaginosis Infection Home Remedies

Bacterial Vaginosis Infections are the most common type of vaginal infection, and an estimated 8 million cases are diagnosed each year. The symptoms of a bacterial vaginosis infection include severe itching, white, fishy odor, clumpy discharge, yellowish-gray discharge, pain while urinating, and pain during vaginal intercourse. Unsurprisingly, many women are searching for bv home remedies every day. The good news is that this condition is readily treatable and sometimes preventable.

There are a number of effective prescription and over the counter medicines that can be used to treat a bacterial vaginosis infection, but some women prefer to treat this ailment in the comfort and privacy of their own home with natural remedies. Also, a lot of women choose not to become dependent on antibiotics since the bacteria can become more and more resistant. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatment options to choose from:
The most popular natural bacterial vaginsosis home remedies include:

– Douching with vinegar
– Douching with peroxide
– Tea tree oil
– Garlic supplements
– Boric acid
– Yogurt and a diet rich in probiotics (healthy bacteria)
– Lavendar oil
– Oregano oil

Early clinical trials show that each of these options offers a promising treatment option, with the exception of douching. Most medical experts strongly advise against douching when one has a bacterial vaginosis infection because the douche also removes, along with the “bad” bacteria, healthy bacteria that the vagina needs to fight off the infection. While there are a small percentage of women who swear by this practice, doctors caution against it because the vinegar can cause internal damage to the vaginal walls.

There are numerous other natural treatment options for vaginal infections that can be found on the Internet. This list includes pomegranate gel, coconut oil, and echinacea purpurea liquid; however, the effectiveness of these treatments has yet to be studied in a clinical setting. However, some women swear by it.

Due to the sensitivity of the vagina, it is recommended that a woman consult with her primary care physician or gynecologist before using any natural remedies. A doctor should be able to determine if it is indeed a bacterial vaginosis infection or if it is actually a yeast infection. Sometimes it may just be an imbalance in your hormones but it is always good to get it checked out by a professional especially if you have never experienced an infection before.

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How To Get Rid Of The Love Handles After Pregnancy

One change your body undergoes during pregnancy is to lose a significant amount of muscle tone in the abdominal and hip area. While you may be able to continue to gain muscle tone in the arms and legs it is dangerous to exercise the muscles which are stretching over the abdomen to accommodate your growing baby. This means after delivery your abdominal muscles will be weaker and more stretched than they ever have been before. These love handle “guests” are often unwanted and sometimes difficult to get rid of.

Actually, the correct name for these muscle are the obliques, or the muscles on these sides and anterior part of the abdomen which is an area often left behind or underdeveloped in many work out routines which typically focus on the center abdominal muscles. Losing these love handle requires a two pronged approach. In other words it is necessary to lose the fat as well as tone the muscles in order to get rid of that lose flab on the sides of the hips.

“Spot toning” can not reduce love handles and can not change the overall structure of your body. The best way to do that is to lower fat levels. For this reason you must include a good dietary plan as well as an overall aerobic routine to your goal of reducing your love handles after pregnancy. Thankfully this plan will also increase your overall health and to improve your overall fitness which will also have many other health benefits.

Although you may want to just reduce your love handles, by addressing this issue correctly you will also reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke, decrease your risk for immune mediated diseases such as diabetes and fibromyalgia as well as reduce your risk for peripheral vascular disease and cardiomyopathy.

After addressing a dietary plan that includes a generous portion of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and significantly reducing your intake of processed foods, saturated fats and meat you are ready to include an aerobic exercise program. Your aerobic exercise program can include any exercise which elevates your heart rate for approximately 30 to 40 minutes three to four times a week. You can include any of the following activities: walking, rowing, jogging, using fitness machines, tennis or swimming.

Your love handles, or oblique muscles, also require a bit of re-training in order to improve muscle tone so that as the fat decreases those firm hips are more visible. There are specific exercises to help reduce the appearance of flabby muscle over the love handle area. The first is a bicycle maneuver that works both the obliques and the center abdominal muscle, rectus abdominus. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Placing your hands behind your head slowly lift up your head using only your abdominal muscles without pulling on the back of your head with your hands. Twist your body to the right and bring your right knee to your left elbow. Now extend your left leg without touching the ground. Repeat this maneuver on the opposite side of the body using a bicycle pedaling motion. Motion on each side is counted as one repetition and you should complete 20 repetitions to start.

Another exercise that includes a wide range of motion is to stand with your feet shoulder width apart and twist to the right while extending your left arm to the right also. This move motion should be in the upper body only and not involve the legs. Now twist your body to the left extending your right arm and repeat these repetitions 100 times keeping in 100% control of the motion. The benefit of this exercise comes in the control of the motion and not in swinging your body and side to side.

An exercise from yoga which works well to improve the strength in your shoulders, abdomen and obliques, is called planks. The exercise that works best is called side planks but they can be very difficult to do, at least initially. If you are just beginning you should start out with abdominal planks first. Abdominal planks are done by lying on the floor with your face to the floor, your legs extended and your arms shoulder width apart with your hands planed in the position as you would if you were going to be doing push-ups. Push yourself out into a push-up position with your back completely flat your head completely straight and your arms straight without locking the elbows. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and build up to holding for two minutes.

Once you can hold an abdominal plank for up to two minutes you can start adding in side plank. Lie on your side keeping 1 foot on top of the other and your forearm firmly planted on the ground. Now lift your body, resting only on the forearm and the foot that is touching the ground. Your body should form a straight line. Begin by holding the position for 20 to 30 seconds and then releasing. Turn to the other side and repeat. Once you can hold this position are 20 to 30 seconds you can raise and lower your hips slowly several times to increase the amount of muscle work your obliques are receiving.

The last exercise you can use is to stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a 5 pound weight in your left hand. Place your right hand on your right hip and lean to the left side and straighten back up again. Do three sets of 25 on each side and once that becomes easy increase the number to 50 per set.

While love handles do have something to do with genetics and the amount of fat that we carry in our bodies, we can get rid of them with a bit of hard work and a good mindset. Do not forget about exercising the rest of the body because the more muscle mass you have the faster the excess fat will melt away.

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Optimist in the Darkest Days – Helen Keller

“If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith, so thought that it becomes a philosophy of life, – if, in short, I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing. “

  • Helen Keller, Optimism (1903)

Today's theme is “optimism, hope and courage”. Imagine you have lost your sense of sight and hearing, how are you feeling now, perhaps a sense of desperation, hopelessness or deep darkness shadowing all the light in your life? Is not it enough frustrating to lose all hope to life? But there was one powerful woman in history, who endured all these circumstances with great courage. She not only lighted a candle of hope in her own life but also spread her light to the lives of many living in darkness of despair.

Who else can be that woman in history, other than Helen Keller? The woman, who became blind and deaf at an early age of just 19 months and not only lived on, but lived on with an unimaginable level of optimism. Who could tell that this woman of limited physical abilities would gain education and that also to bachelor's level? She got it done, it was never easy for her but she never failed because she never wave up.

She began her challenging journey of courage and determination by communicating with her family and then communicating with the whole world through her greater than life books and talks. She became a famous author, which we all remember even in these modern times. Moreover, her caliber of hope and courage just does not end here; she became a socialist and wrote on political issues relating to inequality in the society. Her book “Out of the dark” was part of such efforts. The horizon of her optimism was vast and wide, covering all the facets of her life, why? Just read on what she said, you may get an idea!

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”

The Simplicity Way to be Happy (1933)

Helen Keller turned the dreams that even the most able people fear doing into real life. She left the world in awe at her brilliance and success. She stood up to raise funds for blinds and never brave up till her last breath. Her compassion towards other blind and deaf people empowered and uplifted their acceptance worldwide. This powerful woman dared and de-stigmatized disabilities like deafness and blindness. The subtleness of her learning, compassion for others and humility to serve others never decreed despite all the fame and rewards she received.

There is much more to the life story of this successful woman in history. However, there is one thing obvious that without the courage in heart and optimism, no one can turn the impossible into possible. So the only sense you require is the sense of optimism and then all the things may not become easy, but possible! Will you leave a legacy of possibility and optimism?

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2 Minute Make Up Routine For Moms After Child Birth

Once your baby is born your whole life changes. Even if this is child number three, the addition of an extra person in the house with a mother who is tired and overworked will change the dynamics of the entire day. It's amazing how much extra laundry one little infant can bring to the house!

In many cases it is the mother who neglects herself in order to take care of her home, her children, her partner and her job; and in doing so, will often neglect the way she looks, her diet and exercise. Unfortunately, this has a rather negative affect on the way in which she is able to deal with the rest of her life. More than anything, new mothers must maintain a nutritional diet, get at least 30 minutes of exercise three or four times a week and do something for herself in order to have the reserves to care for her children, her partner and her job.

This is definitely in reverse of how most women think. Instead of taking care of others first, they must take care of themselves first in order to be able to take care of others. Part of taking care of yourself means helping yourself to look good both and every day. And part of looking good each and every day is putting on a bit of makeup to smooth out the skin imperfections and add a bit of color. But putting on makeup does not have to take 20 or 30 minutes. In fact most women can do a good job in a matter of two minutes and here's how:

1. Good makeup application starts with good skincare. This means that you should be taking care of your skin at least twice a day by using skincare products to wash your face and moisturized it. It is important to wash your face in the evening to remove environmental toxins and to wash your face in the morning to remove the dead skin cells that accumulate during the night. Your skincare at night should include heavy moisturizers and skin toner, while your skincare in the morning should include skin toner and sunscreen.

2. Remember to maintain your eyebrows. Nothing will overshadow your face faster and make you look more tired than bushy eyebrows or eyebrows which obviously need to be manicured.

3. Your two minute makeup routine starts by smoothing out your eyebrows with an eyebrow brush. Be sure to start from the inner part of the eye and moved to the outer part.

4. Now, using a base which fits your lifestyle and your skin tone, apply enough coverage to smooth out uneven skin tone. If you are using liquid or cream base, use a sponge to dab it over over the cheeks, chin and forehead. This helps to even out the skin tone and give your face of fresh look.

5. Apply a thin layer of eyeliner to the upper eyelid. This eyeliner should be brown, navy blue or purple but never black. Black eyeliner should be reserved for night time wear and those women under 30. Black eyeliner has a tendency to make a woman look older and her eyes more tired.

6. At this point you can choose to sweep a thin layer of color over the eyelids or a thin layer of darker colored blush over the eyelids. Although you do not often think of adding blush to the eyes it is color and with eyeliner can make your eyes pop.

7. Add a quick sweep of blushing over the apples of your cheeks and you're done.

This routine will take you less than two minutes every morning and when you walk out of your room you will feel refreshed, pretty and ready to face the day.

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What Is The Best Time To Start Exercise After Pregnancy?

Getting back into shape after the birth of your new baby is one goal that many new mothers look forward to. After nine long months of a woman's body changing in ways that many do not appreciate, your wonderful new bundle was born but your body does not return to its prepregnancy state automatically. Women often face a soft stomach, a few extra pounds and a lot of new stretch marks.

Although exercise will not do much for the stretch marks it will help regain your shape and shed some of those unwanted pounds. Women who have been exercising prior to their pregnancy find that they have an easier time regaining their shape after the baby is born. But anyone can start an exercise program at any time and reap the benefits. The question is more about the types of exercise that are best for women in the postpartum stage as well as how much exercise should a woman who recently save birth legitimately do.

For those of us who have to deal with small children, families, jobs or most other responsibilities, finding time to include exercise and develop a postpartum weight loss program may not be easy. Women who drag themselves to the gym during their pregnancy, or worked out at home, will find that once they are in their postpartum period the hours during the pregnancy will have paid off.

Remember that it took nine months for your body to get in the postpartum condition it is today so returning to prepregnancy state will take at least nine months, if not longer. While Hollywood actresses seem to be able to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies within a matter of months most normal people do not have nannies who can watch their children for four in five hours while they work out at the gym.

If you choose to breast-feed it may be a bit more difficult to lose weight because you have to eat more food in order to be sure your milk is full of healthy nutrients for your baby. However, this will not affect the ability of your muscles to regain muscle tone and for you to appear more fit.

If you had a normal uncomplicated vaginal birth you could start stretching the day after the baby was born. Keep things simple and non-stressful such as leg stretches, tricep stretches, and Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If however, you have had a cesarean section then it is best to wait until you have stopped bleeding and your gynecologist has released you for postnatal exercises.

If you are breastfeeding-feeding there are a few things to keep in mind. The first thing is that your breasts should always be well supported. The breast tissue is held up by one single tendon and once it becomes stretched the breasts will sag and no amount of plastic surgery can change that. Some women find that they need to wear two bras to be supported adequately.

Your infant will appreciate it if you breast-feed him before you exercise so the buildup of lactic acid from exercise will not enter the milk. You'll find that your breasts do not feel full and you are more comfortable in your supportive bra. If you can not feed your baby before your workout, consider pumping milk which will help the breasts to feel less full as well as decrease the lactic acid your baby will drink post-exercise.

An important aspect to any exercise routine is to stick to it. To make the most of your postnatal fitness create a routine that you can live with and establish a schedule to help you maintain regular workouts. Try to find a way to work out at least three times a week for 30 minutes each time. If you want to lose your weight more quickly you will need to exercise more often but never exercise to the point of exhaustion. If your body is telling you that that is tired then stop exercising immediately.

If at any time during your exercise program you begin to feel lightheaded or experience heart palpitations or afterwards find that you have increase in vaginal bleeding or have trouble walking or seeing, stop immediately and contact your health care provider. Also, be sure that your health care provider has approved your exercise routine in the postnatal period.

Most women find that their stomach is the area of ​​the body they most want to get back into its pre-pregnancy shape. They figure that if the stomach gets into shape than the hips legs and upper arms will follow. The stomach is also one area that is the most noticeable to women.

Situps may be the best exercise for abdominal muscles to get them in shape quickly but there are a couple of points to consider. The first is that your body should always be well padded by a rug or mat on the floor. You should always keep the small, or arch, of your back in contact with the floor. You can do this by keeping your knees bent and pushing your pelvis down.

Kegel exercises, which you should have been doing through your pregnancy, are also good for improving your lower abdominal muscles. By doing them through your pregnancy and helps to make labor easier and helps to return the lower abdominal muscles to pre-pregnancy state. Kegel exercises also help with bladder control.

Most women in their postnatal state find that walking briskly while pushing the stroller with their babies is a great way to get 30 minutes of exercise several times a week without being intrusive in their schedule or taking too much time out of their day. Going for a walk will help improve your cardiovascular condition as well as burn off some of the extra weight after the baby was born.

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Here’s What To Do About Stretch Marks After Childbirth

Stretch marks are the bane of every woman who has delivered a child. They are long, wide and shiny or silvery marks that happen on the stomach, breasts, buttocks and thighs. They happen because of the stretching that occurs during pregnancy as the baby continues to grow. Under the skin the collagen separates and the results are stretch marks. Because they happen as the skin stretches they often occur in the later stages of pregnancy as the baby is growing at a fast rate.

Although every woman is at risk to develop stretch marks, there are some who have a slightly higher risk because of other factors. For instance women who are delivering multiple births will grow larger than a woman who is going to deliver a single child. Family history is also another indicator. If your mother or grandmother had stretch marks during their pregnancy then you have a greater chance of experiencing stretch marks during your pregnancy.

But the largest factor for developing stretch marks is the additional weight gain that you carry during pregnancy. This means that if, instead of gaining the standard 25 pounds during pregnancy, you gain 40 or 50 pounds you are at greater risk for developing stretch marks.

Interestingly hydration also plays a part in the severity of stretch marks you may experience. If you remain hydrated during your pregnancy your skin has a better ability to bounce back easily which decrees the appearance of the stretch marks. Another factor is skin color. African American women will experience less scarring and less frequently than Caucasian women.

As with most other medical conditions it is easier to prevent the condition then it is to correct it. Statistically, between 75 and 90 percent of women who become pregnant will develop some degree of stretch marks. At this time there are several products on the market which claim that they are able to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Most of these include a moisturizer or lotion that helps to improve the skin elasticity. In other cases practicers recommend rubbing on broken capsules of vitamin E over the abdomen, hips, buttocks and breasts in order to prevent the development of stretch marks.

The next option is to treat the scars which have already occurred. Although they can not be made to fully disappear there are steps which will help to treat the area and reduce the visibility of the scars. Be aware that these stretch marks are at their most visible in the weeks immediately after delivery and over the coming months and years will gradually fade.

There are several creams and formulas that are sold commercially that are formulated to reduce the appearance or soften the scar. This helps to decrease their discoloration and there before the ability to see the stretch marks. Others find that using vitamin E, as described for prevention, and taken internally will help to speed the healing process.

Treatment using commercial creams and lotions should be done at least twice a day for a period of several weeks before you will begin to see the results. This method can be long and painstaking but there is an option which is quicker albeit more expensive.

Dermatologists are able to assist women with removal or reduction of stretch marks through the use of laser surgery. This treatment makes them fade and is most effective in the early stages when the color is at its darkest. Laser surgery will require a series of treatments but will work much more quickly than using creams and lotions.

Retin-A, a derivative of vitamin A used frequently by dermatologists for the removal of acting scars and treatment of acne, has been found to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. However this treatment is absorbed into the bloodstream and will be passed along to a developing baby or to your newborn through breastfeeding-feeding. This medication should never be used when you are pregnant or breastfeeding-feeding.

Alpha hydroxy acids are plant derived extracts which are fairly common in over-the-counter facial creams to help decrease the appearance of age. They reportedly increased cell regeneration by removing the top layer of skin cells and allowing newer, healthier cells to come to the surface. These chemicals also supposedly increase skin flexibility which will help stretch marks could see her more quickly.

While stretch marks may be almost unavoidable during a pregnancy there are options for treatment once the baby has been born. Prevention and during pregnancy by staying hydrated, keeping the skin moisturized and watching your weight gain will go a long way towards enabling the treatment modalities to work all the better once the baby has been born.

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How Soon After Pregnancy Should You Start Abdominal Exercises?

Once the baby is born one of the first questions a new mom asks her obstetrician during her first visit is, “when can I start doing exercises?” And for most women, they means specifically abdominal exercises. During the latter stages of pregnancy it is very normal for the rectus abdominus muscle, that muscle that runs down the center of the belly, to separate allowing the abdomen to expand and make room for the growing baby. This is not a teething or a herniation of the muscle but rather a stretching and widening of the connective tissue between the two muscles.

After pregnancy there are several exercises that can be done to bring that muscle back together and make it stronger than ever. But, before doing any exercises for your stomach you must consult with your gynecologist to get medical clearance.

When starting your new exercise program in the postpartum period remembered to start easily and build from there. Do not believe that you will be able to go back to your old routine quickly. This will only tear muscle, discourage you and cause you to drop the exercise program altogether. Postpartum abdominal exercises can come in several different forms. Traditional exercises, such as sit ups, can put stress on the back and stomach before they are ready to handle the stress. Some physical therapists do not recommend these exercises for new moms but instead recommend a form of rehabilitation for the abdominal muscles.

Before starting an exercise program get medical clearance from your obstetrician. For those who have experienced a normal uncomplicated delivery they can start stretches almost immediately. Women who underwent a cesarean section must wait until bleeding stops and they receive clearance from their physician.

But, abdominal exercises should not be started before six weeks post-partum and even later with a complicated delivery if your physician recommends. Although you may be excited to start getting back into shape you must give your body time to heal from the experience of pregnancy and that can only be done with time.

You can however start when you are pregnant to exercise your abdominal muscles and lower back to prepare for delivery and the restrengthening of these muscles in the post-partum period. But, you should NEVER do sit ups during your pregnancy, especially after the rectus abdominus muscle has split because you can do significant injury to the muscle so that it does not recover.

Kegel exercises are exercises for the pelvic floor muscles and lower abdominal muscles. They can be done through the pregnancy and early in the post-partum period to keep those muscles tight and in control. This will help to with the control of the bladder and can increase the pleasure of orgasms.

The standing pelvic tilt is also an exercise that can be done both during pregnancy and in the early weeks after the delivery. Standing with your back against the wall and feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent tip your pelvis towards the wall until the lower back flattens. Tighten the lower abdominal muscles and hold for 5 seconds.

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5 FAQs About Bladder Infections

A bladder infection, better known as cystitis or an inflammation of the bladder, is quite common among women. Over 50% of all women will experience such an infection in some form within their life. While common, they can lead to worse problems if left unchecked, sometimes necessitating bladder suspension surgery. Here are 5 facts about bladder infections you may not have known.

1. Is a Bladder Infection Serious?

Usually if an infection is treated right away, no serious illness or after effects will occur. However, some women are more prone to them, and cases may recur or even become chronic. Although it is rare, this can sometimes result in the infection traveling to the kidneys, which can be far more serious, even resulting in permanent organ damage. For this reason, it is critical that any infections be examined and diagnosed by your doctor, and the undering causes properly treated to prevent the infection from coming back.

2. What Causes The Infection?

The majority of cases are caused by various strains of E. coli, bacteria that lives in the stomach and intestines. Some infections of the bladder can also occur after sexual intervention. Vaginal intercourse makes the process of bacteria getting to the bladder through the urethra much easier. Pregnant women may also be at a greater risk, because their urinary tracts change in response to hormones and kidney function. Spermicides have also been known to increase the risk of an infection.

3. How Do I Know if I Have an Infection?

An infection of the bladder can range from painful to mildly uncomfortable, but usually clears up quickly and are typically harmless if treated properly. The most common and likely signal is a burning sensation during urination, or a physical urge to urinate, even if you have already gone or know your bladder is empty. If your urine is cloudy, bloody, smelly, or in small amounts, it could also indicate an infection. Bladder spasms, lethargy, and fever or chills are also symptoms that the infection has gotten worse, and possibly is spreading to the kidneys.

4. Do men get bladder infections?

Men very rare experience infections in the bladder, and doctors are not exactly sure why men tend to be more resilient to infections in this area. Although they often cite the fact that a woman's urethra, a tube that carries urine out of the bladder, is only a 1.5 inches long, far shorter than men's. Since this tube is shorter, bacteria have a much easier time finding their way to the bladder.

While men rarely experience cystitis, reported cases increases as they age, due to the enlargement of the prostate over time. When men do develop infections in the bladder it is often a cause for concern as it may be a sign of an underlying issue, such as protrusion or obstruction causing pressure on the urinary tract.

5. What is the Treatment for an Infection?

Typically your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to kill off any offending bacteria. However, if your case is very serious, your treatment may be more involved. When infections are left unchecked or spread to the kidneys it can sometimes result in kidney damage or urinary incontinence. In the latter case, bladder suspension surgery may be prescribed to allow your bladder to function better.

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