Showing posts with label Body. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Body. Show all posts

Pregnancy By The Months

What Happens in the First Month of Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is divided into 3 trimesters. Each trimester is a little longer than 13 weeks. The first month marks the beginning of the first trimester.

Gestational Age
Pregnancy is measured using “gestational age.” Gestational age starts on the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP).

Gestational age can be confusing. Most people think of pregnancy as lasting nine months. And it’s true that a woman is pregnant for about nine months. But because pregnancy is measured from a woman’s last menstrual period — about 3-4 weeks before she is actually pregnant — a full-term pregnancy usually totals about 40 weeks from LMP — roughly 10 months.

Many women do not remember the exact date of their last menstrual period — that’s OK. The surest way to tell gestational age early in pregnancy is with ultrasound.

Weeks 1–2

These are the first two weeks of a woman’s menstrual cycle. She has her period.  About 2 weeks later, the egg that is most mature is released from the ovary — ovulation. Ovulation may happen earlier or later, depending on the length of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days.
After it is released, the egg travels down a fallopian tube toward the uterus. If the egg meets a sperm, they combine to form one cell. This is called fertilization. Fertilization is most likely to occur when a woman has unprotected vaginal intercourse during the 6 days that lead into ovulation.

Weeks 3–4

The fertilized egg moves down the fallopian tube and divides into more and more cells. It reaches the uterus about 3–4 days after fertilization. The dividing cells then form a ball that floats free in the uterus for about 2–3 days.
Pregnancy begins when the ball of cells attaches to the lining of the uterus. This is called implantation. It usually starts about 6 days after fertilization and takes about 3–4 days to be complete.
Pregnancy does not always occur. Up to half of all fertilized eggs pass out of women’s bodies during regular menstruation before implantation is complete.
Learn more about how pregnancy happens.

A Woman’s First Signs of Pregnancy
For many women, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Most pregnancy tests will be positive by the time a woman has missed her period. Other early signs of pregnancy include fatigue, feeling bloated, frequent urination, mood swings, nausea, and tender or swollen breasts. Not all women have all of these symptoms, but it is common to have at least one of them. 

What Happens in the Second Month of Pregnancy?

The ball of cells develops into an embryo at the start of the sixth week. The embryonic stage of pregnancy will last about 5 weeks. During this time all major internal organs begin developing.

Weeks 5–6

  • The embryo is less than 1/5 inch (4–5 mm) long.
  • A very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop.
  • Buds for arms and legs develop.
  • The neural tube begins forming. The neural tube will later form the brain, spinal cord, and major nerves.
  • The bud of a tail develops.
  • The umbilical cord begins developing.
Pregnancy Week 6

Weeks 7–8

  • The embryo is 1/4 to 1/2 inch (7–14 mm) long.
  • The heart has formed.
  • Webbed fingers and toes develop.
  • The arms bend at elbows.
  • External ears, eyes, eyelids, liver, and upper lip have begun forming.
  • The sex organs are the same — neither female nor male — in all embryos until the seventh or eighth week. If a gene triggers the development of testes, the embryo develops as a male. If there is no trigger, the embryo develops ovaries and becomes female.
Pregnancy Week 8


The second month is often when pregnancy symptoms become very noticeable.  Common discomforts like breast tenderness, fatigue, frequent urination, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting usually get worse. A woman’s body produces extra blood during pregnancy, and her heart beats faster and harder than usual to carry the extra blood.

What Happens in the Third Month of Pregnancy?


Weeks 9–10

  • The embryo develops into a fetus after 10 weeks. It is 1–1.5 inches (21–40 mm) long.
  • The tail disappears.
  • Fingers and toes are longer.
  • The umbilical cord connects the abdomen of the fetus to the placenta.  The placenta is attached to the wall of the uterus. It absorbs nutrients from the woman’s bloodstream. The cord carries nutrients and oxygen to the fetus and takes wastes away from the fetus.
Pregnancy Week 10

Weeks 11–12

The fetus is now measured from the top of its head to its buttocks. This is called crown-rump length (CRL).
  • The fetus has a CRL of 2–3 inches (6–7.5 cm).
  • Fingers and toes are no longer webbed.
  • Bones begin hardening.
  • Skin and fingernails begin to grow.
  • Changes triggered by hormones begin to make external sex organs appear — female or male.
  • The fetus begins making spontaneous movements.
  • Kidneys start making urine.
  • Early sweat glands appear.
  • Eyelids are fused together.
Pregnancy Week 12


Many of the pregnancy symptoms from the first 2 months continue — and sometimes worsen — during the third month. This is especially true of nausea. A woman’s breasts continue growing and changing. The area around the nipple — the areola — may grow larger and darker. Women who are prone to acne may experience outbreaks.
Women do not usually gain much weight during the first 3 months of pregnancy — usually about 2 pounds. Women who are overweight or underweight may experience a different rate of weight gain. Talk with your health care provider about maintaining a healthy weight throughout pregnancy.

Most early pregnancy loss — miscarriage — happens in the first trimester. About 15 percent of pregnancies result in early pregnancy loss during the first trimester.

Learn more about miscarriage.

What Happens in the Fourth Month of Pregnancy?

The fourth month marks the beginning of the second trimester.

Weeks 13–14

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 3 inches (8 cm).
  • The sex of the fetus can sometimes be seen by looking at external sex organs on an ultrasound.
  • Hair begins to grow.
  • The prostate gland begins developing in male fetuses.
  • Ovaries move down from the abdomen to the pelvic area in female fetuses.
  • The roof of the mouth is formed.
Pregnancy Week 14

Weeks 15–16

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 4.5 inches (12 cm).
  • Hundreds of thousands of eggs are forming in the ovaries in female fetuses.


Some of the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy begin to be relieved during the fourth month. Nausea is usually reduced. But other digestive problems — heartburn and constipation — may be troublesome. Breast changes — growth, soreness, and darkening of the areola — usually continue. It’s common for women to have shortness of breath or to breathe faster. Increased blood flow may lead to unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, such as bleeding gums, nosebleeds, or nasal stuffiness. Pregnant women also may feel dizzy or faint because of the changes to their blood and blood vessels.

What Happens in the Fifth Month of Pregnancy?

Weeks 17–18

  • The fetus has a CRL of 5.5–6 inches (14–15 cm).
Pregnancy Week 18

Weeks 19–20

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 6.5 inches (16 cm).  
  • Lanugo  — a fine downy hair — covers the body. 
  • The skin is also covered with vernix caseosa, a greasy material that protects the skin.
  • A uterus has formed in a female fetus.


Women usually feel fetal movements for the first time during the fifth month. It may feel like flutters or butterflies in the stomach. This is called quickening.
The pregnancy symptoms of the fourth month continue this month. Heartburn, constipation, breast changes, dizziness, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and gum bleeding are common. Breasts may be as much as 2 cup sizes bigger by this time.

What Happens in the Sixth Month of Pregnancy?


Weeks 21–22

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 7 inches (18–19 cm).
  • Bone marrow starts making blood cells.
  • Taste buds begin to form.
Pregnancy Week 22

Weeks 23–24

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 8 inches (20 cm).
  • Eyebrows and eyelashes usually develop between weeks 23 and 26.


Pregnancy symptoms from the fourth and fifth month usually continue. Shortness of breath may improve. Breasts may start producing colostrum — tiny drops of early milk. This may continue throughout pregnancy.
Some women have Braxton-Hicks contractions. They feel like a painless squeezing of the uterus or abdomen. This is the uterus’s way of practicing for labor and delivery. Braxton-Hicks contractions are normal and not a sign of preterm labor. But women should check with their health care providers if they have painful or frequent contractions or if they have any concerns.

What Happens in the Seventh Month of Pregnancy?


Weeks 25–26

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 9 inches (23 cm).
  • The fetus develops more and more fat from now until the end of pregnancy.

Week 27–28

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 10 inches (25 cm).
  • Eyelids are usually fused together until about 28 weeks.
Pregnancy Week 28
A woman’s uterus continues expanding. Back pain is common. Pregnancy symptoms from earlier months continue. Dizziness may lessen.

What Happens in the Eighth Month of Pregnancy?

The eighth month marks the beginning of the third trimester.

Week 29–30

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 10.5 inches (27 cm).
  • Testes usually begin descending into the scrotum from the abdomen between weeks 30 and 34 in a male fetus. This is usually complete by 40 weeks.

Week 31–32

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 11 inches (28 cm).
  • Lanugo starts falling off.
Women often start feeling tired and have a more difficult time breathing as the uterus expands up. They may get varicose veins — blue or red swollen veins most often in the legs — or hemorrhoids — varicose veins of the rectum. Hemorrhoids can be painful and itchy and cause bleeding. Women may also get stretch marks where skin has been expanded. Braxton-Hicks contractions, heartburn, and constipation may continue. Women may urinate a bit when sneezing or laughing because of pressure from the uterus on the bladder. Hormones may make hair appear fuller and healthier.

What Happens in the Ninth Month?


Week 33–34

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 12 inches (30 cm).
  • The eyes have developed enough for pupils to constrict and dilate when exposed to light.
  • Lanugo is nearly all gone.

Week 35–36

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 12.5 inches (32 cm).
  • The fetus is considerably fatter, and the skin is no longer wrinkled.
The growing fetus places more and more strain on a pregnant woman’s body. Common pregnancy symptoms continue through the end of pregnancy, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, trouble holding urine, shortness of breath, varicose veins, and stretch marks. Some fetuses drop down into the lower part of the uterus during this month. This may relieve the woman’s constipation and heartburn that are common earlier in pregnancy. But some fetuses do not drop down until the very end of pregnancy.

What Happens in the Tenth Month?


Week 37–38

  • The fetus has a CRL of about 13–14 inches (34–36 cm).
  • The fetus has a firm grasp.

Week 39–40

Many women give birth around this time.
  • The average newborn weighs 7–8 lbs. and is between 18–22 inches (46–56 cm) long with legs extended.
  • Almost all of the vernix and lanugo are gone. It is common for newborns to have some lanugo that disappears over the first few months of life.
Pregnancy Week 40
By the end of pregnancy, the uterus has expanded from a woman’s pelvis to the bottom of her rib cage. Pregnancy symptoms in the tenth month largely depend on when the fetus drops down into lower part of the uterus in the pelvis.
Shortness of breath, heartburn, and constipation usually improve when the fetus drops. But the position of the fetus lower in the pelvis causes frequent urination and trouble holding urine.
The cervix will begin to open — dilate — to prepare for delivery. This may happen a few weeks before delivery, or it might start when a woman goes into labor. A woman may feel sharp pains in her vagina as the cervix dilates.
After the newborn is delivered, the placenta and other tissues also come out of the woman’s body. This is called the afterbirth.
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Planned Parenthood

Does a Womans Independence Intimidate Men

One of the most interesting pieces of advice my mother ever gave me was, “Don’t come off too strong when in the presence of a guy you like.”

History has shown it isn’t just my mom who thinks this way; pop culture tells women to bat their eyelashes and wear passive lip gloss instead of bold lipstick to attract a man.
Bill Clinton cheated on the highly successful Hillary with the less-established Monica. Mr. Big married Natasha over Carrie.

Johnny Depp left triple threat Vanessa Paradis for a 20-something up-and-comer. These instances have left me wondering, do independent women intimidate men? And, if so, why?
In order to correctly examine this claim, it’s crucial to define what exactly deems a woman as “independent.”

Several modern feminists refer to themselves as “independent” if they feel they don’t really need men — they just want them. Some feminists will even go so far as to say they don’t even want men.
It should come as no surprise that many of us don’t feel we need men, thanks to better career opportunities than ever before, good friends and great vibrators.

Still, this relatively new, not-needing-a-man reality has proven to be bittersweet: It has propelled the women’s movement forward, but has taken women backward when it comes to romantic relationships.

Joshua Pompey, an expert on dating, has incredible insight on this topic.
In this Huff Post piece, Pompey speaks for successful and highly-driven women:

They pursue the perfect man in the same manner that they have spent their entire lives pursuing the perfect job and education.

The problem is, romance isn’t a trophy. Not enough ‘regular guys’ are given opportunities because women have so many options these days. Especially with the emergence of online dating.

This creates a cultural resentment towards women who are only interested in, say, the top ten percent of the dating population. And because women ‘don’t need’ men, they can afford to search endlessly for a man that may or may not exist.

If smart women do, in fact, intimidate men, it’s safe to say it’s not women’s fault, but the fault of time. Women, just like men, are products of their environment.

It just so happens our contemporary environment is the result of a feminist revolution that’s taken place in both the workplace and the social scene. In other words, we’ve gradually been conditioned to not need men.

Another possible explanation for why successful women scare off men is the old and reliable, “He left her for a bimbo.” First and foremost, some men consider women as sexual objects because men are initially driven by the visual.

The reason so many independent women are alone, then, is because we’re smart enough to have picked up on the fact that men tend to choose hot, less accomplished women over us, and in turn, we use independence as a self-defense mechanism to avoid getting hurt or betrayed.

This Monica-Hillary formula alludes to society’s placement of the label “emotionally unavailable” on single and successful women. If bimbo-loving is the reason why so many successful women are alone, men and their insecurities are to blame.

I wrote this article to follow up my piece, “The Difference Between Loving Someone and Being In Love,” which seemed to garner a lot of attention, most of which was backlash.

I want to elucidate my feelings on the theory; more often than not, women who believe themselves to be intelligent, capable and worthy, end up alone or searching for men with all the same qualities.
It’s possible our expectations for potential partners are too high, but it isn’t probable; moreover, it’s justifiable. Doesn’t a woman who has it all deserve a man who has it all, too? Why should she settle for anything less?

To tie it all together, if what she has, or is capable of doing, scares a man off, how does it seem fair for him to blame her unfaltering drive as a culprit, instead of as a celebration?

Now, I understand why Big married Natasha over Carrie: He wanted to feel like more of a man.
Ladies, don’t ever apologize for your successes. More importantly, don’t ever settle for less than what you think you deserve. It’s better to be alone than to be in a sub-par relationship.

But, as the battle of the sexes continues, I find myself asking a question with the same meaning: Can independent women truly have it all?

Sheena Sharma

Sheena Sharma                           Elite Daily

Contributor - Sheena is a born-and-bred New Yorker. She's a singer, a writer, and a hopeless romantic. Follow her journey here: -- Twitter: @sheen2990 -- Instagram: sheenybeanz

Are You Sleeping Correctly

#1 Decreased Performance

If you're not getting enough sleep you may notice that your performance during the day is not what it could and should be. Everything from work to physical activity is a struggle.

#2 Lack Of Alertness

Lack of proper sleep can affect metal alertness, making you foggy and not clear headed.

#3 Memory Impairment

When you sleep your brain reboots ... like a computer hard drive, cleaning out information and filing it. If you don't sleep enough you become overloaded.

#4 Unable To Cope With Stress

Everyday stresses seem to become monumental the less quality sleep you get.

#5 Accident Prone  

Your body is not working to it's full capacity on limited sleep, making you more apt to trip or fall.

#6 More Than One Cold A Year

Your immune system suffers from bad sleep habits making you prone to more colds.

Sleep limits the hormone cortisol which contributes to belly fat, in addition to increased hunger when your body is not well rested.

Simple Tips to Relieve Stress and Pressure

Stress and anxiety are prevalent in modern life. When the pressures and demands exceed your capabilities, stress and anxiety soon raise their ugly heads. The consequences can be horrific. Your health, relationships, and career can be seriously affected by stress and anxiety. When you find yourself in this situation, it is important not to panic. You need to devise a plan and some actions which can get you back on track and carry you towards the achievement of your goals and objectives. Wallowing in despair has never solved a problem, nor will it ever do so. Positive, effective action is required.

7 Steps to relieve stress and anxiety

The following 7 steps will help you to relieve stress and anxiety, wherever or whenever it may arise in your life. When you find yourself experiencing stress and anxiety, work your way through these steps and you will experience relief.

1. Establish a routine

Stress and anxiety often arise as a result of disorganisation or lack of control. Having a routine for your life gives you predictability and control over events. When you have clear routines, which you can follow on a daily basis, you are able to make progress on your key goals and objectives, without having to exert a great deal of thought or effort. Small steps, taken daily, carry you towards your objective.
There will be times when issues arise out of the blue. However, these occasions will be fewer and further between. As the majority of your life will be under control, these events will have a lesser impact and you will have more energy and confidence to tackle them quickly.

2. Establish a support group

I am not talking about a formal support group here, although depending on your specific issues, a formal support group may be able to help you. Regardless of the issues which you face, your life can always benefit from mutually beneficial relationships. These are the type of relationships where friends support each other, through good times and bad.
This is not about burdening others with your problems. When you have built mutually supportive relationships, you have friends who are happy to lend an ear and help you through your most difficult times.

3. Be good to yourself

When you are down and you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it feels like the world is beating you up. There is no need for you to join in. Rather than berate yourself; take the time to shower yourself with love and kindness. When you are overcome by stress and anxiety; it takes a lot of confidence and self-esteem to pull through.
Be the first person to treat you with kindness and compassion. When you believe yourself to be worthy of kindness and compassion, and you demonstrate this through your behaviour, others will follow suit. If you have hit a low point, remember that being good to yourself is the start of your recovery.

4. Practice acceptance

It may be tempting to deny how you are feelings but there is nothing to be gained by doing so. When you deny your feelings, you bottle them up. This does not eliminate those feelings. Instead, they reside within you and they come back to bite you, regularly. Remember, pretending that something does not exist does not make it go away.
The healthy approach is to accept and acknowledge your feelings.  Ideally, you would talk to somebody that you trust but if this is not possible; try to find some way to express your feelings. Other methods include:
  • Keeping a journal
  • Painting
  • Poetry
  • By being active e.g. physical training, punching a punch bag
There are endless ways to express and release your feelings so choose at least 1 which suits you.

5. Tackle what you can

If your stress and anxiety is severe, you might not be in a position to tackle the whole problem. This can cause you to sit idly by and watch as your stress and anxiety increases. Just because you cannot tackle the entire problem; it does not mean that you cannot tackle parts of the problem. Break the problem down into the smallest tasks possible. Then, identify which tasks you are ready to tackle and take the necessary action.
As you complete each task, no matter how small, you are reducing the size of the problem and reducing its impact on you. As you do so, your confidence and momentum builds and you feel ready to take on bigger and bigger challenges. Recovery is a gradual process but it will occur quicker if you keep taking positive action, one small step at a time.

6. Have fun

One common trait that I find amongst clients who are stressed is the lack of fun time. When you get really busy, it is easy to forget about scheduling some time to have fun and relax. Fun and relaxation do not occur naturally for busy people. You do have to schedule them. Review your schedule to ensure that you are including sufficient time for your favourite hobbies; sufficient time with your family, friends and loved ones; and sufficient time for relaxation.
Life cannot be all work and no play. Building fun and relaxation into your schedule will have a profound effect on your stress and anxiety levels.

7. Avoid overuse of dependant substances

There are a number of dependant substances which people turn to when faced with pressure or stress. These include drugs (both prescription and illicit), alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. While these substances may give you a temporary sense of relief, your problems will still be there when their effects wear off. Also, these substances, when misused, bring problems of their own.
From my own experience; when I was under a lot of stress, I used to have a few drinks. While it never turned into a dependency, I found that drinking had no positive impact. This was one of the many reasons why I decided to give up alcohol in 2006. Since I gave up alcohol, my ability to solve problems and avoid stressful situations has improved exponentially.
We are living in a hyperactive and highly active time. With the increase in technology, we are contactable 24/7 and we are expected to solve problems quicker than ever before. These are just some of the unrealistic demands which have been placed upon us. The improvement in technology has resulted in a misguided pursuit of greater efficiencies, instead of greater effectiveness.  When you add in the impact of a world recession, the need to be able to manage yourself and your life is more important than ever before.
There may be times when your ability to cope with the pressure is exceeded, resulting in stress and anxiety. When this happens, rather than panic, you can focus on taking positive action to overcome the problem. The 7 steps, outlined above, will help you make giant strides towards eliminating stress and anxiety from your life.

Coaching Positive Performance

Essential Pregnancy Apps

These apps help you to connect with baby in the womb and stay on top of its development with great health tips too.



What to Expect: Pregnancy Tracker

The popular American pregnancy book's mobile app features a due-date calculator, weekly updates on your baby's development and your changing body, daily tips, photo album, due-date countdown and size estimates.
Read more about it here.
Cost: free. Get it on Android and iTunes.

BabyCenter: My Pregnancy Today

Track your baby's development with daily updates and health tips, illustrations and videos.
Read more about it here.
Cost: free. Get it on Google Play and iTunes.

Mediclinic baby: Pregnancy App

This app takes you through your pregnancy week by week, features a weight gain tracker, contraction timer, calendar for you to mark special dates, photo album for your bump pics and list of what to pack for hospital. It also offers more information about the Mediclinic baby programme.
Read more about it here.
Cost: free. Get it on iTunes
Moving city or country is not easy for anyone, but moving with children brings a whole host of considerations into play. Like your fragile glassware, children too need to be handled with care.

Tips to make a move smoother
Struggling socially in the beginning after a move is very common, but few children will have lasting effects. Children from families who have relocated revealed feelings of being conspicuous, feeling like the odd-one-out, literally or figuratively not speaking the language, having no idea of how to go about being accepted, and not being able to catch references or understand in-jokes. As a parent, knowing that these are common emotions that your child will experience can allow you to be more empathetic to his moods.

Talking the good and bad emotions through really assists with the settling process. Don’t be surprised by changes in your child’s behaviour while he is settling in. You can expect some regression, some acting out and some grieving. Children who become very withdrawn or aggressive for more than a few weeks should sound alarm bells. Try to talk through his feelings with him, but seek expert advice if you do not see his mood lifting.

The passage of time usually smoothes down the rough patches in a move, but what can you do to lessen the impact of a move on a child’s emotions and behaviour?

Here are some tips for making the move smoother :

Before the move:

1. Tell your child about the move as soon as possible. It gives him time to get used to the idea.
2. Sell him the benefits of the move in a way that he can relate to.
3. Reassure him by telling him what won’t change about the family life.
4. Make the move more concrete by showing pictures of where you are moving to. Older kids can go online and do the research themselves.
5. Say a positive goodbye to all the people and places your child loves. This will assist in achieving closure. It might also help to create a book for each child with photos and contact details of all the important people in their lives.

During the move:

1. Don’t treat the move as a time to discard all your child’s old toys as it will compound the feelings of loss. Take everything he wants even if it stays in the box once you arrive.
2. Let younger children get used to the process by packing their own belongings.
3. Pack a “must have” suitcase for each member of the family containing favourite possessions.

After the move:

1. Re-establish your family routines as quickly as possible.
2. Create a symbolic settling-in ritual like hanging up your wind chimes, or planting a familiar plant from home.
3. Make a game of getting to know the new neighbourhood (and establishing the boundaries of where children can and can’t go).
4. Put a huge effort into helping your kids form friendships by inviting other kids over to play.
5. Allow your child to experience the benefits of the new environment by doing things that he couldn’t do in the old one. Arrange outings and treats.
6. Help your child keep contact with the friends and family left behind by emailing lots of photos.
7. Focus on your relationship with your partner. A strong family nucleus is the source from which your children can draw strength.
Before, during and after the move, you will find yourself wanting to cover your child in bubble wrap to prevent him from experiencing the hard knocks of relocation. But what you might discover is the inner resilience that a move’s juxtaposition of gains and losses unearths in your child and yourself. “Here is the surprise,” admits Debi Hawkins of her move with her two children, “Without Jasmine and Monty I would have dissolved into a self-pity party very often. But having to think about the day-to-day things for them swung my attention from me to them, and they saved me from myself.”

5 Ways to Treat Body Pain

Several options exist for managing persistent aches, ranging from straightforward lifestyle changes to major surgery.

More than 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from chronic aches and pains. Often these discomforts are felt daily, and their effects can be debilitating.

Unlike the agony associated with a specific injury or illness, chronic pain often persists regardless of any evident damage to the body. The underlying cause can be mysterious—and treatment is therefore challenging. Fortunately several approaches to chronic pain management may bring some relief.

1. Yoga

 The mental and physical discipline of contorting the body into geometric shapes not only limbers ligaments, it may also alleviate painful conditions. Scientists speculate that yoga may physiologically alter the experience of pain—although the mechanism is unknown—and decrease nervous system activity and heart rate.

The Evidence:

 In a controlled study in 2010 of 53 female fibromyalgia patients James Carson, a clinical health psychologist at Oregon Health & Science University, and his collaborators found that those who were randomly assigned to eight weeks of a tailored yoga program ended up with less intense fibromyalgia symptoms than patients who did not practice yoga. They experienced improvements in pain, fatigue and mood and developed positive coping strategies. Other studies have shown that yoga reduces biological markers of inflammation and stress. Carson cautions, however, that not enough research exists to confirm yoga’s benefits in relieving pain.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

2. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy

Scientists have recently recognized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)a form of psychotherapy that encourages patients to examine relations among their thoughts, feelings and behaviors—as a pain management tool. “In the last 10 years or so everyone’s been talking about [CBT],” says Karen Davis, a neuroscientist at the Toronto Western Research Institute. Guided therapeutic techniques may cultivate a patient’s sense of control over his or her pain.

The Evidence:

 Psychologist Julia Anna Glombiewski of Philipps University Marburg in Germany and her colleagues performed a meta-analysis of 23 studies of CBT treatments with a total of about 1,400 people in 2010. Glombiewski found CBT to be more effective at reducing fibromyalgia pain than other psychological treatments. “Research has shown that there are very real and strong brain effects that can be achieved using CBT,” says Davis, although she cautions that its effectiveness varies from person to person.
Image credit: Thinkstock

3. Antidepressants

 Antidepressant medications typically are used to treat mood disorders such as depression but research suggests that they may also alleviate nerve pain, headaches, lower back pain and fibromyalgia. In general, most antidepressants affect how chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, perform in the brain.

The Evidence:

 Not all antidepressants have the same effect on pain. Studies suggest that a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants may be particularly effective at easing neuropathic pain, which is caused by nerve injuries. In a 2010 review of about 60 randomized controlled trials using 31 types of antidepressants to treat this form of pain oncologist Tiina Saarto of Helsinki University Central Hospital and her collaborator found that both tricyclic antidepressants and venlafaxine, a member of the class of antidepressants called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), provided at least moderate pain relief in one out of three patients.

Image credit: Thinkstock

4. Deep-Brain Stimulation

 For decades surgeons treated various types of pain by intentionally damaging tissues in specific parts of the brain. In the 1990s a less injurious technique emerged in the form of deep-brain stimulation (DBS). In this approach electrodes are surgically inserted into pain-modulating areas near the middle of the brain. A wire under the skin connects the electrodes to a pacemaker implanted in the chest. The pacemaker sends electrical pulses to the electrodes, which change the way neurons fire in that area.

The Evidence:

 Neuroscientist Sandra Boccard of John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, and her colleagues found in 2013 that DBS calms a range of pain conditions, including poststroke pain, headache and phantom limb pain. Of 59 patients who had DBS, 66 percent improved, according to quality-of-life surveys and pain questionnaires. The treatment seemed to work best in relieving phantom limb pain. Researchers are currently investigating this technique but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved DBS as a chronic pain treatment.

Image credit: Image provided courtesy of Saint Jude Medical, Inc.

5. Sympathectomy

 The sympathetic nerve chain is a lanky string of nerves that straddle the spine from the base of the skull to the tailbone. When this electrical highway is damaged, it can transmit surges of pain to the rest of the body. A surgeon can interrupt this process surgically or chemically. For example, the doctor can snip clusters of nerve cells to halt their painful transmissions. Sympathectomy was most popular in the 1980s and 1990s, although it is still practiced today.

The Evidence:

Scientists agree that malfunctioning sympathetic nerves contribute to chronic pain but sympathectomy remains controversial. Few scientifically strong studies of the procedure exist and it can have serious complications. Nevertheless, some researchers believe in the intervention’s potential. In one of the stronger studies to date, published in 2008, anaesthesiologist Prashanth Manjunath, now at Bingham Memorial Hospital in Idaho and his colleagues found that those who received a sympathectomy by either injecting an aesthetic into the nerve area or heating tissue with radio waves had a 50 to 75 percent reduction in pain that lasted more than four months.

Credit: Thinkstock

10 Sex things men dont care about

#1 If You Have Morning Breath

Morning breath? Doesn't matter if he's all rearing to go.

#2 Weird Sex Sounds You Make

Don't stay quiet just because you are worried you might make a weird sound. Let go and enjoy. He will.

#3 Where They Have Sex

It doesn't matter where you have sex or if the lights are on or off.

#4 Which Positions You Like

As long as you're in any sex position, he will like it.

#5 If You're Wearing No Makeup

No makeup, he won't care. In fact, guys like girls au naturale.

#6 If Your Hair Isn't Washed

Is he really interested in your hair?

#7 If You've Gained A Few

No man is going to care if you gained a few pounds here or there while making love, so stop worrying.

#8 If You're Too Loud

Go ahead and scream. It will only make him feel like he's the greatest in bed.

#9 Your Hairy Legs

Okay maybe you shouldn't be as hairy as this picture, but a little stubble is not going to both men.

 (picture removed)

#10 The Smell Of Your Vag
Guys like your natural scent, so don't worry about covering it up.

A 7-Minute HIIT Circuit Workout

Seven minutes for a workout — who doesn't have time for that? That's why we've been loving this quick circuit workout from the American College of Sports Medicine, which burns major calories in a short amount of time. Keeping the intensity up — and the rest periods short — is key, so make sure you are pushing yourself during each 30-second spurt! You'll need a mat and a chair or bench. Repeat the circuit up to three times. Learn how to do all the moves here, and get the printable poster of this seven-minute HIIT workout here.


Acne: A Skin Condition Common Among Teenagers

Acne is a skin condition that many individuals have. Despite the fact that individuals of all ages can develop this common skin condition, there is one group of individuals who are more likely to develop it. That group is teenagers. Teenagers are more at risk for acne, especially when they begin to hit puberty. For that reason, there is a good chance that you may be the parent of a teenager who has an acne problem, whether that problem is large or small.

If you haven�t already noticed, times have changed. Unfortunately, this has led to appearance concerns among many teenagers. Although you might not necessarily think that acne is a big deal, it may be to your child. That is why it is extremely important that you talk to your child about their acne, especially if they have a severe case of it. Acne may go away on its own, but it might not. If your child constantly has problems with acne, it may be a good idea to schedule a visit with a healthcare professional.

When seeking treatment for your child�s acne problem, you will likely find that you have a number of different professional options. Most primary care physicians, also commonly referred to as family physicians, should be able to treat acne. This treatment will often include an over-the-counter medication or a prescription medication. The type of action taken will likely depend on how severe your child�s acne problem is. In addition to their primary care physician, you may also want to take your child to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions.

Aside from being prescribed medications or given another treatment plan, you and your teenager will likely learn more about acne. Your healthcare provider, whether it is your primary care physician or a dermatologist, should provide you with information on acne. This information should not only include how to treat it, but how to manage acne outbreaks, as well as how to prevent them. Although this important information should automatically be explained to you, it might not be. When it comes to treating acne, it is important to learn more about it; therefore, if it is not automatically explained, you need to ask.

Regardless of which type of medical professional you are speaking with, a primary care physician or a dermatologist, you will likely learn, as mentioned above, that acne is not uncommon in teenagers. It fact, it has been stated that over half of all teenagers will develop a problem with acne, at one time or another. You may also learn that acne not only includes zits, but it also includes blackheads and whiteheads. You should also learn how and why acne develops. It is even possible that your healthcare physician may have also determined an exact cause for your child�s acne problem, such as unclean skin, clogged pores, or greasy health and beauty products.

As you can easily see, you and your child can learn a lot by meeting with a healthcare worker. Despite the fact that you are advised to seek professional assistance, it may not be possible. Whether you are without insurance or you cannot afford a doctor�s visit, your child does not have to suffer from acne. There are a number of over-the-counter medications that may be able to help reduce or completely eliminate the number of blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples that your teenager has. While prescription medications may work more effectively and quicker, over-the-counter medications are great alternatives. These relatively low-cost medications can be purchased from most department stores, drug stores, or grocery stores. The amount of time it takes for your child�s acne to clear up, if it even clears up at all, will all depend on what type of product you are using.

Since acne is relatively easy to treat, at least from your standpoint, you are advised to take action. Whether your teenager complains about their acne or if you think a problem may be in the process of developing, you are advised to get them the help that they need. Whether that help comes from a medical professional or an over-the-counter medication, your teenager will likely be please that action was initiated.

About The Author
Morgan Ulrich is a retired high school counselor, and writer for During his career he spent a great deal of time discussing the effects that can have on a child's social life.

Body image while pregnant

Some women revel in the body shape that pregnancy brings. Others battle with themselves for the duration of the pregnancy as they struggle to come to terms with the physical, emotional & lifestyle changes they undergo.
Body image while pregnant
Author Sheila Kitzinger puts it quite succinctly in The Experience of Childbirth: "Suddenly [she] is somebody different - an expectant mother - a subject of interest and concern to society - her life seems to be no longer intimate and apart, but something anybody can talk about. They even know when her last period was, whether she is being sick in the morning, and whether her nipples are the "right" shape."

Hating being pregnant is a vicious cycle

Pretoria-based endocrinologist Professor Tessa van der Merwe says it’s a vicious cycle – if you hate every minute of being pregnant, you probably feel miserable and depressed, and you’re probably not taking very good care of yourself. If you’re neglecting nutrition, you could be making yourself feel worse, as poor nutrition upsets your hormones and, as a result, your moods.

Unrealistic role models and expectations of pregnant women

According to American academic Elena Neiterman, a combination of the recent visibility of pregnant celebrities in the public arena and the expansion of the consumer market for pregnant women have contributed to completely unrealistic role models and expectations on the part of pregnant women. As a result, she says, perceptions of the pregnant body have been “absorbed into the contemporary aesthetic image of femininity, one that is completely divorced from the maternal body.”

Getting back into shape

In other words, we’re so bombarded with images of Sarah-Jessica’s flawless midriff that if we can’t manage to erase our own curves, we believe that we’re somehow deeply flawed. If Madonna can look that fabulous at fifty, why can’t we? It must be remembered though, that someone like Madonna, who has all the time and money in the world to pick at her macrobiotic lunch and subject her obsessively honed physique to yet another punishing workout with her team of personal trainers, is an extreme example of... let’s face it... a control freak.

It's hard to deal with change

It’s not just the media though. For many women, it’s simply hard to deal with change. Not since puberty has a woman had to contend with such overwhelming physical changes in such a short space of time. It seems obvious that on an emotional level, it’s going to be just as agonising as puberty was.

Babies take up space in our life

Johannesburg-based psychologist Sheryl Cohen says a good starting point for women who are struggling to adapt is to realise that babies take up a space in our bodies because children take up a space in our lives.
“I often think that the pressure to ‘get into those old jeans’ is the same pressure that society heaps on us to get ‘back to normal’ and not allow our children to interrupt our lives and our expectations.” This, she says, is neither realistic nor reasonable.
“It’s the stuff of fantasy. Children are disruptive - in both the positive and negative sense.  Their birth brings change and change brings growth and growth can be exciting and frightening all at once.”

Dealing with change

So how can pregnant moms deal with change – not just physical changes, but the manifold changes in life-style, priorities and relationship to spouse etc?
Cohen says women need to accept that all change brings gain and loss.

Keeping in mind what you will be gaining

“The change in your body has gains - since it is a sign that your baby is growing and thriving. But there are losses too: perhaps it’s that you can't see your toes, or you can't keep up with your old gym routine; or you have less energy.”
This is not only the experience of pregnancy; it is the experience of all life changes.  “Getting married has its gains and losses too. The trick in negotiating life change is to edit the experience so that you have a balanced view of both the losses and the gains in order to accept the experience.”

Dealing with body image and physical change

In light of the body image, she says, perhaps those that struggle the most are those who focus more on what they are losing in the pregnancy (like their waist-line!) and thus develop blind spots to what there is to gain.

Adapting to physical change

Adapting to the physical changes might be that much harder for extremely exercise conscious women who, before the pregnancy, were used to pushing the boundaries of endurance. (After all, did we not see images of sinuous, tanned Madonna pounding the tarmac like Bionic Woman as she went for her 40th lap around Central Park while she was pregnant with Lourdes? If she can, we can, surely?)
Sports psychologist Clinton Gahwiler says he would imagine the principles involved are not unlike the stress of retirement, responding to injury setbacks in athletes, or coping with a chronic disease and its effects.
“Our challenge is to adapt, by setting goals and expectations based on our current potential, rather than some idealized ultimate potential.” He agrees that it’s not easy.

Learning to see things as they are

“The bottom line is about learning to see things as they are, as opposed to how you think things – or you as an individual - should be.” Gahwiler says that as soon as we do this, we can begin to respond more appropriately, and hence also make better progress. (As opposed to sabotaging yourself by overdoing things).
Those nearest and dearest to us can also have a significant impact on a pregnant woman's body image. An unintentional, insensitive remark like “Gosh but you’re huge” can have a devastating effect, if a woman is already having issues with her appearance.

Emotional support is imperative

Whether or not a supportive spouse or partner is in the picture will play a crucial role, too. One gynaecologist interviewed for this article said he’d had a patient whose husband moved out of their bedroom when she was 7 months pregnant because he was ‘turned off’ by the stretch marks on her growing boep.
Understandably, the woman in question was severely depressed. If you do experience lack of support or emotional withdrawal from your partner, it’s really important to discuss these issues honestly and, if, necessary, for both of you to get some input from a professional counsellor.
Fortunately, according to the gynaecologist in question, this isn’t at all the norm. The majority of expectant fathers are fascinated by their partner’s pregnant body and they find it beautiful and erotic.

We need to learn to be patient

Ultimately, says Sheryl Cohen, living in a ‘time-disordered’ world where everyone demands immediate gratification is definitely taking its toll on our expectations and values. We need to learn how to be patient.  “Waiting is no longer a virtue. It’s a disruption and an inconvenience. Growing a baby proceeds at its own unhurried pace, then getting your body back is another process and it all takes time.  No wonder we struggle.


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