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Too much of these can be detrimental to healthModeration is the mantra for everything in life. There are a lot of things in our daily life that we do. Excess of these can be detrimental for your health. Let's see how: Television, Laptop, Mobile: That screen is torture for your eyes. Looking at the TV/ laptop/ mobile screen for too long can cause dryness of the eyes. It also makes the mind dull and inactive. Even though you have not done anything much, you feel tired. It is also unhealthy for your social and personal life. Gadgets are meant to add convenience to your life, and not alienate you from real people. These also lead to sedentary lifestyle which further triggers obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other chronic ailments. Travelling: Many of us travel for work, for education. Frequent meetings are a part of work life. Some like to holiday a lot. But too much traveling upsets routine for the body. It changes schedules too often, adds new stressors to an ordinary day. Food options also get limited and sleeping patterns are influenced. If your job demands excessive travel, make sure you consciously put an effort to choose a healthy lifestyle when away from home. Worrying: Worry is unavoidable. Think of a day you did not worry about anything, isn't it difficult? Normal stress is a part of life, but if you are worrying too much, you are weakening your immune system in more ways than one. It makes you weak, susceptible to infections, prone to lifestyle diseases, and also affects your social life and relationships. Vitamin supplements: Supplements are not your daily diet. Have them in moderation and with due consultation from a doctor. Some vitamins get stored in the body when taken in excess quantities. This can result in condition called as hypervitaminosis and various health problems. Exercise: Body is not a mechanical machine that can keep functioning at the click of a switch. Even a machine needs oiling and repairs. If you love to exercise, that's great. But don't do it all day. Too much physical exercise is strain on the body. It can lead to muscle exhaustion, weakness, breakdown and may even damage the kidneys. Sleeping: Sleeping is the rest the body needs but too much of rest means rusting. Oversleeping makes you dull and may even trigger your migraines. It annoys the body clock and may create metabolic disturbances Social Networking: This is not good for your mental health. Those two hundred friends who like and comment are not your world; the one whom you call when you want to cry is your friend. Posting images and sharing updates on social media is fine, but it is more important to talk to those who live with you, who are physically around. Many peer pressures and image issues also arise from excessive social networking and people may tend to live in a 'make believe' world.
Caught in the snore snare....A real nightmare!Snoring is caused due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. It may suggest an underlying medical problem like obstructive sleep apnea. Studies have also revealed a correlation between snoring and risk of heart attack. There are different reasons for snoring and to find out the exact reason and the right solution is important. Snoring affects the quality of sleep can cause irritability and fatigue. Snoring causes poor quality of sleep, irritability, lack of concentration the day after the deed. Snoring is a tad like fingerprints , no two sets are the same and so it is with snoring, There are different rhythms or snoring patterns and even the reasons for snoring vary. Snoring or that irritating sound which people make through their mouths and nose while asleep happens because of narrow airways failure of air to pass through the respiratory system easily. The air vibrates against the obstruction in airway causing the sound of snoring. The air is unable to escape normally through the airways and hence it causes that grating sound with each inhale and exhale. Yes that sound which makes you wish you could smother the fella with a pillow. We say fella because men are more prone to it than women. Snoring can happen due to various reasons: Habits: Those who smoke and drink regularly are likely to have a more relaxed set of jaw muscles causing them to snore readily and loudly. Weight: People with excess weight and poor muscle tone are likely to snore more. Age: The wide open mouthed gape kind of snoring usually happens in old people as the breathing muscles lose their tone somewhat. Posture: General posture and sleep posture in particular can affect snoring patterns. Especially, sleeping with the back flat against the bed constricts free exhalation. How to put a clamp on your snoring? If you have a snoring problem evaluate how serious it is and then take the necessary elimination strategies. Understand that your snoring can cause sleepless nights to your partners, family or whoever is within ear shot so instead of going in for fancy anti-snore devices which don't do a thing to help If this is a recent habit then consult your doctor and have him re-evaluate any medications that might be responsible. Try and establish a regular sleep time and ensure that you follow it to the T. Exercise to lose weight as losing flab around the throat can lead to better sleep. Ask a partner to awaken you if you snore too loudly as regular jabs in the gut can help train the mind to behave. Blow your nose out before bed time as clear air passages is what you need. Any nasal constriction or chest congestion is really what gets you started. Sleeping on your side is a better option than sleeping on your back. Before hitting the sack try and hum a few bars of the blues as singing can help tone the vocal cords and they are less likely to go into vibrate mode. According to help-guide.org there is a rather quaint method to cure snoring and that is to play on a certain musical instrument called the 'Didgeridoo' which is supposed to strengthen the soft palate and throat muscles. If you have no Australian connections then don't despair as rolling your tongue out from all sides before sleep can work just as effectively.
10 pregnancy risk factors that every pregnant woman should be aware ofFollowing are the possible risk factors for pregnant women: Hypertension: Blood pressure rises during pregnancy due to changes in osmotic level. Persistent high blood pressure leads to a condition called as pre-eclampsia. It retards the growth of the baby in the womb and can even result into death of foetus. It can lead to convulsions in mother. Exposure to medicines and drugs: Self medication is a strict NO NO during pregnancy. Certain drugs have harmful effect on the growth and development of baby. Take gynaecologist's opinion and ask a doctor before taking any medication.  Smoking: Smoking retards the growth of foetus (baby in womb). Moms who indulge in smoking give birth to babies with a very low birth weight. It also increases chances of miscarriage. Mother's weight: It is important to make sure that there is a steady weight gain during pregnancy. A weight gain of 11 kilograms is expected over a period of 9 months. Watch for a steady weight gain for a healthy pregnancy sake. Anaemia: There is an increase in blood volume during pregnancy. This can cause the iron levels to drop down resulting in anaemia. Haemorrhoids add further to the iron loss. Iron and folic acid are therefore prescribed. Haemorrhoids: Haemorrhoids are common during pregnancy and after pregnancy due to constipation which is because of hormone induced reduced motility of intestine. The pressure of gravid uterus on intestine may also cause it. Increased consumption of green leafy vegetables and laxative would relieve it. Alcohol: Drinking can cause a harmful effect on the growth and nourishment of child. Child may be born with a serious medical problem. Sexual intercourse: It's strictly not advised during last trimester. Radiation exposure: Exposure to radiotherapy or chemicals in the surrounding should be avoided. Bleeding per vagina: Consult your gynaecologist soon, if you have problem of bleeding per vagina. It could be a sign of abortion.  
Inspiring fitness goals for womenBeing fit comes with the benefit of enhanced mood and lowered hormonal rages. Coupled with right proportion of sleep, hydration, and a job you love, you will be nearing towards a perfect body. Goal 1: WorkOut Your Body to A Song! Make a playlist of all the songs you love and choose to execute your regime through it. Goal 2: "Be Yourself" Challenge Holistically develop your body by acknowledging what you love to do. Choose a sport that you love and join a group. If you love animals, then walk your dog which will let you lose weight and enjoy the company of pets. If painting or photography interests you, then trekking along landscapes of beauty should be your weekend getaway. Goal 3: Become the Hourglass with 1-Month Workout Regime Evaluate your body type and create a month-long regime to gradually progress towards animpeccable body shape and continue it beyond the initial 1 month. Start with small steps and do not go in for crash diets. Choose healthier snacks. Add a bit ofsleep to your daily dose in case you tend to sleep less. Begin with 15minutes of workout containing exercises recommended by your trainer to suit your body. Goal 4: Be the Health-Smart Mom! Lose the extra pounds you brought on during pregnancy and set a role model for your children. Go to the park with your children and play games with them. Pick up sports that you all can share and do together! Goal 5: The Yoga Guru Pick up yoga and start from the first step. Did you know that the initiation of anyone into the system of Yoga occurs through stage of Yama? Yama refers to the ethical principles that will guide your life while you move towards taking control of your life. The five Yamasin yoga are non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possessiveness. They form the ground for your body to start on a healthy path. Move yourself towards following these principles and pick up the following asanas (body-postures) to lose weight: setu band (the bridge pose), bhekasana, dhanurasana, shalabhasana, chakki chalan, nauka chalan, and sarvangasana. A healthy lifestyle is the framework for any fitness goal. Do not go for unrealistic or transient goals. Start by making preparatory changes in your lifestyle: Lower your junk food intake, sleep adequately, drink at least two liters of water daily and hydrate your body sufficiently. Goal 6: Going Back to Nature Plan a trekking trip to your dream destination and walk your fat away. Bring back home a healthier body and a more peaceful mind. Goal 7: Master Your Body Make a journal of all activities you do in a day. The intention is to become aware of your habits that might be hurting your body unknowingly. Trace habits like binging on a snack while watching TV, sitting in a bad posture while on the desk and reading a book at a dimly lit place may be few pointers. This is a long-term challenge (4 months) to bring your body under your control through self-awareness. Goal 8: Green Regime Go for a diet which involves vegetables, fruits, and grains. Detoxify your body by being off junk food for at least two months. Goal 9: Bony to Healthy Increase your weight to become the inspiration for underweight people and guide them towards a healthy body. Goal 10: Run for the World Join marathons and runs for different social causes. Commonly known as 'Run for a Cause,' be the torchbearer to a certain cause by joining organizations that work on the same and initiating a run or marathon. This will not only prepare your body and move it towards healthy living; you will also be doing your part for the others.
Academic pressure in children and young peopleUnderstandably, parents, educators and politicians consider this topic a high priority. Exam preparatory businesses are found in every street and parents are willing to invest huge amounts of money to further their child's education. Another result, though, is childhood and teenage stress and anxiety. Signs of anxiety from too much pressure to succeed at school may show itself in sleep disturbances, erratic/poor eating, low mood, excessive worrying, low confidence levels and fear of failure - all eventually heading towards premature burnout. Younger children may experience nightmares, show bad behaviors or refuse to go to school. Teens may engage in destructive behaviors like drinking or drugs. They may struggle to concentrate or lose interest in their day-to-day activities and hobbies. They may gradually withdraw and isolate themselves. Anxiety and stress maybe linked to queasy tummies, headaches, and flaring up of skin conditions like rashes and eczema. The school and college admissions process has become more difficult than ever before. Competition is fierce. Many apply to a handful of good institutions hoping to get a much-wanted place. The stress does not stop after the exams - the wait for a decision is excruciating. Only a small proportion of eligible candidates succeed. Rejection can feel devastating. Highly capable and hardworking young people who spend many hours studying and preparing for assignments and exams, find the whole experience undermining and frustrating. Increasing external pressure from competitive peers, higher thresholds of parental expectations in a fast-paced world and the increasingly selective, goal-based focus of educational institutions will not feel supportive to a fragile child. Education should lead us from darkness to light. However, high and unrealistic expectations from parents and schools can affect a child's overall development. Whilst there is evidence that the parent's role supports or facilitates the child's achievements, there have also been concerns that a parent with unrealistic expectations can create unnecessary pressure - this worsens stress and fosters performance anxiety in children. Schools may put pressure on parents and the child to ensure that the child is meeting school targets and is not deficient in any area, rather than understanding that every child has a different potential and ability to manage stress. Children may perform better at school and feel more confident about themselves if they are told that failure is a normal part of learning, rather than being pressured to succeed at all costs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association (2012). Recognizing this key concept and intervening early is vital. Parents and teachers need to communicate better with each other and the child. Understanding the child's strengths and interests but accepting the child's limitations at the same time is important. Supporting the child's efforts and self-esteem is the surest way to motivate them in a healthy manner. A simple conversation at the end of the day about how things are going on and giving positive feedback on the child's efforts go a long way. Where degrees and educational attainments are seen as the passport to financial success, are we losing sight of educating minds and supporting children's emotional, psychological, social and spiritual growth potential?
Accepting your flawsThere are basically two kinds of 'flaws,' one that is physical and the other that is in your personality. A physical 'flaw' like being too short, fat, or darkis never a person's fault. Thus accepting what you are can only boost your self-esteem and confidence. Despite these 'shortcomings,' it is your character and your achievements that stand out in the long run and not the way you look. The first step in creating a better life is accepting if you are wrong! Personality traits and habits are mostly visible to others but not to you. These are those faults that can cause bitterness in relationships or cause problems at work or in our social interactions. Some people lose their temper easily, some are lazy, and some are rude, while some are either introverts or extroverts. If you have flaws that can cause problems for others then the best thing you can do is to change those negative traits in yourself. Character flaws might be natural, but they can affect others negatively. The first thing in making improvements is to analyze yourself. What are you so angry about ? Is it really some other person's fault or that you have had a bad day at the office? Give it a thought and once you find the answers, you will feel relieved. Accept your physical flaws and love yourself for what you are, as this is the key to lasting happiness. Major flaws like alcoholism, splurging money, borrowing money, or addictions are what one should be willing to overcome. If you accept you have any of these major flaws and need help to overcome them, then you need to seek help. There are professionals who can help out, provided you are a willing party to the process. Improvement will come only if you are willing to change. Remember that flaws are easy to acknowledge and to change;the only thing required is the desire within you to do so.
Faking illnesses - An illness in itself?In 2008, a 28 years old woman in the US shared some shocking news with her friends. She had been detected with cancer. She posted updates on social networking sites and wrote blogs on her illness. Sympathy poured in from all corners. Some even sent in monetary help to cover her expenses. The saddest part of the incident though was not her cancer; it was the fact that she had faked it! Police investigations revealed her little trick when no evidences or records were found at the hospitals! Apparently, this isn't a unique case;  faking illnesses or malingering is a very common occurrence. All of us have done it at some point in our lives. While we may have done it to escape a school punishment or to take undue advantage of the office 'sick leaves' for personal purposes, it is usually done on a harmless level. But faking illness can be a chronic disorder too and  medical professionals even have a name for it-; Munchausen's Syndrome. People suffering from this syndrome fake illnesses that they don't actually have, to gain sympathy or simply to be the center of attention. Usually gaining sympathy is the main reason why people fake illnesses. It gives them a chance to be in the spotlight. Everyone calls and visits, expresses concern and fusses over them. Lots of love is showered upon them. Another common reason for faking illnesses, is money and at times, the monetary benefits are higher than the emotional ones. No one hesitates to fulfill the last wish of a dying person, however expensive it may be. Often there are mixed motivations and the person faking an illness has many reasons to keep up the pretense of being sick, for as long as possible. Some people really do have a disease — a mental illness known as a factitious disorder. People with this disorder pretend to have an illness, which is usually a terminal one and often go to great lengths to maintain their hoax. Munchausen syndrome by proxy, is another form of faking illness. People with this disorder, fake illnesses of people under their care; and they usually do this, for monetary benefits. Children are the most common victims in this disease. When you tell someone that your child has cancer, you will receive a great amount of sympathy and all the money you want, no questions asked! People with these disorders are extremely cunning. They go to great extents to maintain their lies. They will build grand stories, complain of fake pains and aches, get admitted to hospitals and undergo a battery of tests, numerous times. Interestingly, they never allow and frequently discourage medical professionals, from talking to any of their family members. Since they know they are faking the illness, they will refuse to undergo treatment, for obvious reasons. . If you think a loved one may be exaggerating or faking their health issues, attempt a gentle conversation, voicing your concerns. Avoid anger, judgment or confrontation, while offering support and care and if possible, help them in finding a treatment. Treatment includes empathy, helping in identifying feelings and issues that led to the development of the disorder and finding  alternative healthy ways to deal with those feelings and issues.
5 Mistakes yoga beginners makeYoga is a science that has been developed by the ancient Indian sages after a lot of research and study. That is why yoga is difficult to master immediately and one needs a lot of practice to achieve every posture or asana in the perfect manner. So, it is very important to learn the yogic techniques from an expert and one must avoid performing yoga on your own, at least in the initial stages to ensure that you do not suffer from any physical injuries by wrongly straining or stretching your muscles during practice. Yoga can benefit you only if you perform the asanas according to right techniques. Hence, you should try to avoid mistakes right from the beginning. Here are the five most common mistakes people make while performing yoga as beginners: Learning How to Breath Inhalation and exhalation, some say is the most important process that you need to control while performing yoga. While trying to achieve certain asanas, you have to hold your breath for a while and because of this, your muscle fibers are deprived of oxygen for that time. And one needs to do this while holding one's body in that particular posture. With less strength in your muscles, there are chances that you may fall down or get injured. Hence, as a beginner, when you do not have proper control over your breath, it is best to inhale in short breaths, instead of going for the full belly breaths. Just as you slowly inhale, remember to exhale slowly as well, so that the rhythm of the yogic posture is not disturbed. Do not push Yourself Too Hard Most of the contemporary exercises are based on the principle of 'more pain, more gain'. These exercises tell you to stretch more and push harder to get the best results from your workout routine. However, in the case of yoga, the opposite holds true. If you push yourself beyond your limits to attain a particular posture in yoga, you might actually end up straining and injuring your muscles instead. . So, when you are doing yoga come what may, do not push yourself beyond your natural limits. Do Not Compare Some people are naturally gifted with super-flexibility, while the rest of us may not achieve it despite practicing yoga for years together. Each of us has a different type of body and hence, you should not try to compete with those who are highly flexible, especially, if you are trying yoga for the first time or after a long time. You must give your body some time to loosen up its rigidness and become flexible enough. Trying to compare your body's abilities with others and forcefully pushing yourself to perform postures, just to match up, will hurt you eventually. Where to Place the Mat? The best place to put the mat is at the back of your yoga class, especially if you are new to yoga. If you keep your mat at the front, you will become more conscious and will never be able to concentrate on the asana. Instead, if you are at the back, you will always have the front row to follow, just in case you miss the instructions by the instructor. Go easy on the Food! Yoga postures can be intense and if you go into class with a full belly, you will, most definitely find it difficult and uncomfortable to perform the asanas. The key is to eat about an hour before and almost half the size of your usual portion; so that you can perform the asanas comfortably and get the exact fuel necessary for performing them.
10 bedtime beauty essentials! Here are the beauty essentials you need to take into consideration, before you hit the bed: Baby-soft soles :Before you sleep, apply Vaseline on the sole of your feet. This will adequately moisturize your soles and you can wake up to the great opportunity of wearing those heels you have been dying to try out! Healing the puffy eyes : If you are worried about waking up with puffy and tired eyes (even after 6 to 8 hours of sleep), then put on a little eye cream. You can also keep an extra pillow and make sure you sleep on your back. This will allow the fluids around your eyes to drain easily and reduce the puffiness. Trying out wavy hairstyle : Bedtime is the best time to work on your hairstyle. Before you sleep, shower and fashion your hair into the style you want. Apply a styling cream on your hair gradually, after having air-dried it. Now, decide if you would like to put them up in buns or braids. Stylize them into the pattern and wake up to wavy hair! Let your skin breathe : Those who are suffering from dry skin can apply moisturizer. A humidifier is also a great accessory for help in these cases. You can switch on the humidifier before you go to sleep. This will help your skin to retain its moisture through appropriate hydration. Keep aging at bay :Did you know that sleeping on cotton pillowcases can increase the chances of creases and wrinkles on your skin? Prevent wrinkles by using silk or satin bed clothing. This will also reduce hair breaking. Wake up, miss white smiles: If you want to take off the yellows from your teeth, then brush some baking soda and let them stay for about 8 minutes. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse your mouth. Do not perform this beauty tip more than once a week, it will negatively affect the structure of your enamel. Work on your complexion :During the day, sunlight might disable some face creams from working effectively on your complexion. Make the most use of night and apply a face cream containing retinal and vitamin C. Lengthen your lashes : Eye lashes depth and grace to your eyes. You might feel that working on your lashes will require way too much effort. But, much to your surprise, everything your lashes need is contained in a natural ingredient - castor oil. Consisting of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are highly hydrating, they will avoid your lashes from breaking and also strengthen them. Apply castor oil on your lashes before you sleep and watch them grow thick and healthy within a few weeks! Taking care of your hair : Skim leave-in conditioner through your hair in the evening and let them stay on till the morning. This will let them become soft and shiny. You can also use coconut oil as an alternate conditioner. Readying your nails for polish : Depending on the skin type, the nails of certain people become dry. If you are one of them, it would be best to apply a cuticle cream or oil on them before you sleep to wake up to polish-ready nails.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!Small mistakes that we keep committing become, over a period of time, serious health problems that are potentially life threatening. Given here is a list of the 10 most common mistakes that we make when it comes to heart health. Ignoring the health check-up: Your last reports said you were fit as a fiddle. So you haven't gone for a check-up since then? Our health becomes the first thing we sideline in today's fast-paced lives. Most of the heart diseases do not show any signs and symptoms in the early stages and when the signs and symptoms come up, too much of damage has already been done. So it becomes very essential to go for regular health check ups. If you are in your twenties it would be advised to get your cholesterol checked every 5 years, blood glucose every 2 years. Beyond 45 years though the frequency of health, check-ups should increase. Body Mass Index is something that you should get checked every time you visit your doctor. Skipping breakfast: Breakfast is the most important part of what you eat the whole day. Most of us tend to skip breakfast due to lack of time, fear of weight gain. But starting your day without breakfast is like driving on reserve fuel. You will start fine, but end up feeling dull and sluggish towards the end of the day. Skipping breakfast has been associated with development of diabetes mellitus and obesity. These two have a strong co-morbidity with cardiovascular diseases. No wonder then it is said, breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Too much of sun-blocking: We are people obsessed with fairness and it is understandable that one wouldn't want to get tanned by going out in the sun. Some amount of sunlight exposure is very vital for health. Vitamin D is synthesized by the body from cholesterol with the help of sun rays. Recent studies reveal that people with little or no exposure to sunlight tend to develop arterial plaques that end up in heart attacks, high blood pressure or strokes! Going for the fizz : Aerated drinks are loaded with triglycerides that are a part of the bad cholesterol. They thicken the blood and it becomes difficult for it to flow through the arteries. This leads to several complications. Not watching what you eat: Often we are so caught up in our work that we just grab a quick bite to eat without paying heed to what actually we are eating. Fast foods are extremely unhealthy and wreck havoc onour systems. Missing fruits and fibres: Fibrous food are extremely heart friendly. The fibres help in pushing out the cholesterol out of the body. Beans, oats and barley are all extremely fibre-rich. Fruits are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They contain potassium that is extremely essential to neutralize the effects of sodium. By doing this they help in regulating the blood pressure. Citrus fruits too have a high amount of potassium in them. Avoiding walking: Walking is the simplest form of exercise the body can get. 10 minutes of brisk walking is extremely helpful for the heart to keep functioning efficiently. Not sleeping well: The body needs 6 to 8 hours of undisturbed sleep for it to reboot and get back its full functioning capacity.  A sound sleep at night reduces the blood pressure and regularizes the heart beats. People compromising on sleep are the ones most prone to suffer from heart attacks and high blood pressure. Not flossing your teeth: Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums. This inflammation hosts large number of germs that leak into the bloodstream and reach the heart causing a number of heart problems. People who floss daily not only have good oral hygiene, they also have a healthy heart. Forgetting the Family: Many heart diseases tend to run in the family. It is very important to know the medical history of your parents and grandparents. The risks of you developing heart diseases are high if someone in your family already has them.
A primer on heart attacksIndians around the world have one of the highest rates of heart diseases. Heart attack, also called as myocardial infarction, is mainly caused by a blockage that prevents oxygen-rich blood supply to your heart muscle. In other words, it is the death of the heart muscle. What causes a heart attack? When cholesterol deposition, plaques of calcium and proteins on the walls of your coronary artery cause blockage of the artery, your heart fails to receive sufficient nutrient-rich blood. This leads to the permanent death of heart muscle, and it is unable to pump the blood to your vital organs. Symptoms that signal a heart attack   Chest pain is a symptom of a heart attack.  This pain can feel like tight ache, pressure on the heart as if an elephant is sitting across the chest. However, you may get confused with the symptom chest pain - whether it is a heart attack or an angina pain. Chest pain lasts for a longer time in heart attack whereas the chest pain in angina lasts for few seconds and goes away after rest. The pain experienced during a heart attack sometimes feels like indigestion or heart burn. Other warning signs of heart attack are: Shortness of breath. Lightheadedness or fainting. Upper body discomfort in arm, the back, neck, and jaw. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness. Sleep problems or fatigue. Not every person will have the same symptoms of the heart attack. But if you have any of these warning signs, you have to act fast and get the right treatment.
Sex during pregnancy? It's possible!One of the questions that arise when a woman gets pregnant is whether it is safe for the couple to have sex. We'll try to answer the most common questions couples tend to ask. Is sex safe during pregnancy? Sex is considered safe if the pregnancy is normal in all stages. However, even if it is safe, it doesn't mean the woman would want to have it. Desire for sex fluctuates during the various stages of pregnancy and sex becomes plain uncomfortable as the body gets larger. What is not safe? Two types of sexual behaviors are not safe during pregnancy. While having oral sex, the man should not blow air into his partners' vagina. It can lead to air blockage of blood vessels by an air bubble, which is called air embolism, and can be lethal for both mother and baby. The pregnant woman should strictly avoid sex with a partner with unknown sexual history or who may have a Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD). What are the common risk factors? In case of significant complications with pregnancy, abstinence from sexual intercourse is advised. Common risk factors can be: Threat of miscarriage. One can have pre-term labor or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor (such as premature contractions). Unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping. Leakage of fluid surrounding the baby, called as amniotic fluid. Placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta (the cord connecting mother to the baby and nourishes the baby) is located low down and covers the opening of the uterus. Cervix incompetency, a condition where cervix is weak and dilates before full term, increasing the risk of miscarriage or premature labor and delivery. Can sex during pregnancy harm the baby? The baby is always protected by the amniotic sac (a bag-like structure that holds the fetus and surrounding fluid) and uterine muscles. A thick mucus plug seals the cervix and protects the baby from infection. The penis does not come into contact with the fetus during sex. So, sex can't harm the baby directly. Can orgasm lead to miscarriage or contractions? The contractions felt by pregnant women during and just after orgasm are totally different from the contractions of labor. Therefore, in cases of normal and low-risk pregnancies, orgasm can't cause contractions and miscarriage, but always check with the doctor and make sure that your pregnancy is in the low-risk category. What are the safe positions for sex during pregnancy? The old standby missionary position for intercourse may not work for you now. Instead, try these options: Spooning: Lie side by side with him behind you. This will not put pressure on your belly, and makes for more shallow penetration. Female on top: There's no pressure on the belly, and the female can control the speed and depth of penetration. Side of the bed: The female lies on the back on the edge of the bed with knees bent and feet on the edge. The male stands facing her. It's like classic missionary, but the male won't be resting his body weight on the pregnant female. However, remember 'normal' is a relative term when it comes to sex during pregnancy. You and your partner need to discuss what feels right for both of you and take advice from the doctor.
Is sex linked to self esteem?Man is a curious creature, full of quirks and contradictions. Sexual intercourse, something that most people consider an intimate and private experience, is spoken about in hushed tones and often, with some discomfort. We don't reveal or talk about our sexual desires, as readily we discuss our salary packages or food habits. This is quite ironic seeing how sex is an important gauge for a person's self esteem and also an indicator of his/her social desirability. The very thing that we do under covers, we somehow choose to "keep under cover". The Link between Sex and Self Esteem: Self esteem is an important factor that determines the mental & physical well-being of an individual. All of us have a craving to be understood, liked and appreciated; and these form the equivalent of our basic needs on the inverted pyramid- Food, clothing and shelter. For a human being to flourish and prosper, consumable food, without the mental food of appreciation, is not enough; and sexual intercourse or an intimacy with the opposite sex, is one way of validating that need. Sex therefore, ceases to be just a physical need instilled by nature for the perpetuation of the species, but goes into the larger emotional cum psychological dimension of self actualization and realization. Though some of us might be embarrassed to broach the topic of 'whether or not we are getting enough', the truth is that every human seeks to achieve his sexual potential, even while he or she might, not be aware of it. Most of us have the ability to get the foods matching our taste preferences onto our plates, but with sex, this could be a little difficult, since sex, is a complex subject with a lot of social, moral and religious links. The truth is evident in the number of marriages (the very cornerstones of civil society) that fail on the basis of sexual compatibility, either by setting unrealistic sexual expectations or by not owning up to, or even identifying, one's sexual needs. This has repercussions on the psyche and self-esteem of a person, and this is especially true in the case of men in particular, as they may feel completely inferior for not being able to attract a sexual partner matching his desires. In some people, this also leads to a case of self-loathing, for having sexual needs which a partner doesn't understand, or much worse, needs which are considered taboo and sinful (Homosexuality, Anal Sex, Group Sex, Fetishes, etc.) These complex emotions can wreak  havoc on a person's self-esteem, by creating severe internal conflicts and serious self-doubts. Now socially, sex can either liberate a person, or hold him prisoner. At times, the unfulfilled needs may get repressed and banished to the shadows, only to be played out later, in the form of sexual adventurism and crime. Just one look at the sexual crimes in our society today, and we can clearly understand just how healthy our collective self esteem is! The very society that frowns upon prostitution, is actually responsible for creating it, though everybody would like to pretend otherwise. The crux of the matter is that "sex" and "self esteem" are closely related; and one should not shy away from addressing any issues one might face regarding one's sexuality. Physical love is necessary for the survival of a relationship and one needs to make time and efforts to successfully create one's own sexual space. The positive effects of a good sex life can be seen in an increased work productivity, fewer illnesses and an increase in one's overall efficiency. Some people are haunted by sexual guilt and confusion and when they keep it all locked up, they suffer from unexplained physical pains and feel 'down in the dumps' mentally. Another problem with appreciation from the opposite sex, is the addiction to  external validation. Some people feel utterly worthless until they receive positive feedback about their looks or abilities on a regular basis. This can be downright devastating, as in these cases, there is a great dependence on external factors for one to feel good. While no one denies the "feel good factor" of sexual appreciation, it is up to each one of us, to decide just how much of control one must be giving to external factors, to determine our personal self-esteem. The appreciation may be theirs, but the esteem is entirely of the self and only the self can decide how much of appreciation and sex is enough.
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