Monday, December 29, 2008

Exercise Ball for Late Pregnancy Workout

If you are in your third trimester of pregnancy, and considering what exercise you should do as your bump and weight are getting heavier, you may want to get on the ball.

Exercise ball is indeed an effective tool for strengthening your core abdominal muscles during pregnancy. Exercising using ball also provide you with relaxation and physical relief during pregnancy and labour.

There are some tips and guidelines you should follow when purchasing exercise ball.
  • Make sure the ball is made of high quality burst-resistant material

  • Inflate the ball according to your height

  • If your height is less than 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm), inflate the ball to 55 centimeters

  • If you are taller than 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm), inflate to 65 centimeters

Stress Causes Yeast Infections

Do you often experience recurrent yeast infections? If you do, make sure you start taking things easily now.

Chronic stress may be a factor causing vaginal yeast infections with Candida albicans, according to Swedish study, and as reported in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The study was conducted by involving 35 healthy women and another 35 women who had at least 4 yeast infections during the past year. Most commonly, these women are infected with Candida albicans.

The researches collected saliva samples from the participants in order to measure the stress hormone, cortisol. Usually cortisol levels rise in the morning. However on these infected women, the cortisol levels was blunted compared with the healthy women. A shallow rise in cortisol indicates ongoing stress.

The researches also found that more patients than the healthy women group, had a history of other vaginal infections such as genital warts, bacterial vaginosis and genital herpes. The researchers suggest that recurrent yeast infections may be a sign of reduced local immunity.

Further studies are needed though. In the meantime, slow down your pace, take deep breath and relax as much as possible. Don't let yourself sink in stress. Additionally, to help keep the yeast away, tips from my gynae: do make sure you iron your underwear after each laundry.

For reference
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pregnancy Waddle

I am now in my last month of pregnancy! Yeayy! Can't wait to get back to the normal me, in terms of size and brain. Despite of ever increasing size and weight, my brain seems to shrink as day goes by. My memory has indeed becoming poorer and poorer, if it's not already at the worst stage now. All thanks to the pregnancy hormones.

In addition, I have been walking like a penguin too. A penguin waddle it is. Thanks to the pregnancy hormones again. The hormones cause the connective tissue in pregnant body to soften and loosen. This is actually very important though, to ensure that baby can squeeze through already-loosen-by-hormones-pelvic-bones.

The drawbacks, of course, besides what's obvious like walking like a penguin, all the joint flexibility causes dicomfort in pelvis and hips. The weight of the baby, heavier uterus and also the baby's head which starts to burrow deeper into pelvis, cause pain when walking these days.

Some of the things you can do to alleviate the pain is to relax with your hips elevated, do some pelvic exercises, take warm baths, apply warm compresses, get a massage, or try some complementary and alternative therapies.

Don't get disheartened. Soon enough, baby will drop into pelvic cavity (doctor refer this as lightening), and it will be easier to take deep breaths and eat bigger meals as the upward pressure of the uterus on diaphragm is relieved.

Wishing For Kestenbaum Eismer & Gorin LLP

I can’t help but to share this. A group of burglars just broke into my parents’ house in Jakarta, Indonesia, during broad daylight. They literally stole every valuable things in our house. It is such a fearless move of the burglars, considering it was carried out around 1pm, and security post is only 1 house away from my parents’ house. No one was home when the burglars broke in. All cash, jewelleries, laptop, home theatre system, LCD televisions are gone. Local police didn’t do much to investigate this case. They only came up with a theory that there is a syndicate behind the scene planning this very carefully.

At this point of time, I really wish Kestenbaum Eismer & Gorin LLP do have their law office in Jakarta. This law firm’s reputation is well recognized throughout Southern California. In fact, this firm has been rated Top 5% U.S. “Preemiment” Criminal Defense Firm, specializing in all criminal & DUI defense matters.

Most importantly, they take matters very professionally. They do investigation on cases by themselves, not just relying on police investigations. This is a very vital aspect, especially considering my parents’ case.

What makes one trusts in Kestenbaum Eismer & Gorin LLP so much is also due to the fact that the firm partners comprises of former Los Angeles Prosecutors, UCLA professor and also State Bar certified criminal law specialist. When you hand your case to them, you just know that you are in a very good hand that definitely will handle your case very well with their highly experienced Los Angeles Criminal and DUI Defense Attorneys.

Again, how I wish that someday Kestenbaum Eismer & Gorin LLP would set up one of their offices in Jakarta. A law firm you know you can really count on.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Men Are More Attracted In Women In Red

My dearest female friends who would like to get more dates with men, or to spice things up on your date, say maybe to get a nicer dinner or for the men to splurge more on you, you should wear red clothes on your date!

A study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that, men find women in red more attractive!

This study was conducted involving more than 100 men, excluding gay and colour blind men. Most of them were college undergraduates. They were asked to rate pictures of women on how pretty these women were, how much the men would like to kiss them, and how much the men would like to have sex with them.

The men were shown pictures of women bordered in red, white, grey or green. Even with the picture of same woman, men found she was more attractive when bordered with red frame than with another colour.

Second stage, the men were shown photos of the same woman, with digitally coloured red shirt and blue shirt. The men strongly liked the woman in red shirt.

Third stage, the researchers asked the men, hypothetically if they only have $100 in their wallet, how much money they would be willing to spend on the date. The men also would spend more money on women wearing red.

The red colour affects the woman's level of attractiveness in men's eyes. However, do not affect the men's perception on the woman's likability, intelligence or kindness.

As for guys, if you have started to wonder if you should start buying more red clothes for your wardrobe collection, DON'T!

Interestingly, red colour do not have any effect on women. The researchers had a group of young women rate whether the pictured woman was pretty, and the findings shows the red colour do not have any impact on whether women rated other women as pretty.

So ladies, head up to your fave shops and start piling up red clothes or red accessories for your dates.
For reference
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology :

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nutritional Benefits of Green Mung Beans

Green mung beans (also known as green beans) are very beneficial towards our health. It has high level of iron to prevent anemia, phosphorus to prevent beriberi, vitamin B1 to prevent digestion problem.

Vitamin E from mung bean sprouts can help to increase fertility because of its alkalinity. Thus, it is also very effective in keeping gastric juice in check, helping in food digestion, and skin regeneration.

However, you should pay extra attention in the cooking process of green beans, as the nutritional value is easily diminished by heat and acid.

The correct way to cook green beans is to soak with water for 1-2 hours. Afterwards, cook it altogether with the water in medium heat for 30 minutes. It is ready to serve. You can add in sugar, milk, or coconut milk according to your liking.

For adults, green beans is very good to repair and maintain body system, especially during recovery phase from illness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women can benefit from its high level of iron and folate.

It is best if you could consume green beans daily. Or else you can take it once every other day, or twice a week.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Making of Fingerprints

As what I understand from reading several pregnancy books, fingerprints are formed during fetal development, when fetus is swimming in the amniotic fluid. That is why there is no identical fingerprints, not even in identical twins.

What get me to think though, why the prints are only formed in the fingers? and not other part of our skin?

In an explanation by anatomist Professor Ian Gibbins from Flinders University, the first signs of patterns on the fingers, palms and soles of the feet appear about 11 to 12 weeks after fertilisation, and the entire pattern of skin ridges is established by early in the fifth month of fetal life.

According to him, fingerprints are not formed by the ebbing and flowing of amniotic fluid. During early fetal development tissue on the fingers, palms and soles of the feet swells to form what are known as volar pads. These volar pads stop to grow when hands and feet continue to grow. As a result, the pads are reabsorbed back into the hand or foot. In this period, the interactions between our outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and the deep layer (dermis) results in ridges on the fingertips and toes. The timing of this process determines whether your dominant fingerprint ridge pattern is a whorl, loop or an arch.

There are complex and subtle genetic codes that produce factors determining which types of things will develop where. Take for instance, skin on our eyelids has different surface patterns than in our hands, different hair types grow on different part of our body, the number of sweat glands vary over our body and between different people. And this explains why fingerprints are only formed on our fingers, as we have differences in the structure of the skin all over our body.

In fact, fingerprints have a very high density of sensory nerve endings, which we use to judge the texture and shape of the objects we touch.

Benefits of Blogging

It is good to be back blogging again. Been absent for a while and I now realized there are lots that I’ve missed out. Besides missing out the updates from many of my favourite blogs, I also miss sharing the latest and interesting piece of health information on my health blog. Not to mention, the satisfaction feelings when visitors do respond to my posts and find the posts beneficial to their knowledge.

Indeed blogging has increasingly become more like an essence in our daily lives. Almost every single friend I know do own a blog. Most would talk about their daily activities, interests, hobbies, families, or even simply about what they dreamt last night on their blogs. We also have more and more celebrities write updates about themselves on their own blog, saying what their opinion is on current issues, or even to address the latest gossips and rumours about themselves. As people are spending more time online, blogging indeed has become a very effective way to send your message across to all the people out there.

Businesses nowadays also use blog as a tool to increase awareness and also to advertise their products/services. They are called advertisers. Bloggers or individuals can write their review of products/services and provide valuable feedback to the advertisers. Their reviews would serve as a strong word of mouth marketing tools for the advertisers, and in return the bloggers would receive financial rewards.

PayingPost is the marketplace where advertisers meet bloggers. Market opportunities arise when advertisers have marketing needs. PayingPost with their vast network of bloggers ensure that the opportunities are met, that is when qualified bloggers would write their reviews and thus place the reviews on their blogs. This blog advertising allows advertisers to enjoy traffic generation and links from the independent blogs. Visit PayingPost advertising and blogs and you will find their (new) layout is user friendly and easy to navigate.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Breastfeeding Method

As my pregnancy progresses, I have read few books on pregnancy, as well as parenting. And the topic of breastfeeding never fail to interest me. I plan to breastfeed my baby exclusively for first 6 months of her life. Yes, I am having a baby girl! (^-^)

Many books suggest that breastfeeding should be given 'on demand' basis, and the baby should be allowed to keep suckling until she is full.

There is another routine of breastfeeding though, which is a routine, timed feeds. Usually around 3 hours apart, counted from the start of one session to the start of the next feeding session. The feeding itself is timed around 10 minutes for each breast.

Researchers have found babies limited to feeding for ten minutes at each breast gained more weight by the time they were six to eight-weeks-old than those who were fed by the 'baby-led' method. They also say mothers who offered the timed feeds were more likely to continue breastfeeding beyond 12 weeks.

However, some experts disagree with 10 minutes feeding. This is in consideration of mothers have varying breast capacities and milk production rates. Also there are several types of babies, for example those who suckle quickly and waste no time in feeding, then there is excited ineffective, which is baby that get so excited when being presented breasts however she is ineffective in latching on and thus frustated and cry. There is also gourmet type, a baby who like to enjoy feeding slowly. And there is also baby who will fall asleep during feeding time.

My personal preference is to go with on-demand basis, and let my baby to suckle until she is satisfied and full. After all, breastmilk is made of Foremilk (see left), the watery milk that comes first during each feeding session. Then there is Hindmilk (see right), a creamy milk that comes through at the end of a feed.

The most important thing, after all is to make sure the baby get to the hindmilk so she will feel full and satisfied.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Men: All The More Reasons To Have Frequent Sex

A US study. published in Journal of the American Medical Association, suggested that men who have active sex life or masturbate frequently reduced their chances in developing prostate cancer.

This topic indeed has always been controversial among experts. Previous research suggests that increased production of testosterone, a male hormone, can faciltate the growth of prostate cell. However, this new study suggests that frequent ejaculations may decrease the concentration of chemical carcinogens that accumulate in prostatic fluid, and thus may reduce the development of crystalloids that are associated with prostate cancer in men.

This study results found that men who ejaculate 13 times a month or more, were much less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who do it 4-7 times a month. In comparison to men who ejaculate 4-7 times a month, men who ejaculate between 13-20 times a month had 14% lower lifetime risk; and 33% lower lifetime risk for those ejaculate 21 times and more a month.

These findings still need further investigation though. The previous study that concluded increased prostate cancer risk with higher sexual activities was published in the journal Epidemiology in 2002.

For reference
Journal of the American Medical Association:

Men: Rediscover Your Mojo By Shedding Few Pounds

Do you happen to be an overweight lad? If you do, you'd better start hitting the gym to lose some pounds. Besides for your health reasons, this will also lead to healthy sex life.

"For men, the penis is the window to the heart", expert says. This is due to the blood vessels in the penis are exactly the same as those in the heart. So if you suffer from erectile dysfunction, this is often a warning diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

A study of more than 19,000 men, conducted in 2005 and published in Journal of the American Medical Association, found that men who suffered from erectile dysfunction were just as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as smokers.

The problem of erectile dysfunction does not only happen to old men, but also to younger men. So men, keep yourself fit and watch out your waistline. And for women, keep track of your man's weight as so to maintain your man's healthy and active sex life well into later years.

For reference
Journal of the American Medical Association:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

'Man Boobs' in Young Boys

If you happen to be a fan of lavender and tea tree oils, you may want to watch out and use it carefully if you have boys at home.

New England of Journal Medicine has published a study that suggests these lavender and tea tree oils can cause young boys to grow 'man boobs'. These oils can act in similar way to hormone oestrogen. They can also block male hormones that control both masculine characteristics.

It is indeed very rare for young boys to develop temporary breast enlargements during puberty. However, it does happen to very few unlucky boys. The term for this condition is called prepubertal gynaecomastia.

The case involved the 4-year-old "who was using absolutely nothing on his skin except a lavender oil preparation that his mother had obtained from a homeopath". Her mom always rub his chest and body using lavender oil every night, because she, as we all know too, that lavender has some healing properties. The boy start to develop 'boobs'. It was only several months after stopped using the lavender oil, his breasts returned to normal size.

However, further study should be conducted to determine the prevalence of prepubertal gynaecomastia in boys using products containing lavender and tea tree oils. Until then, personally, I would rather to have my boys stay clear from these oils, and forbid them from using soaps, shampoos, lotions, hair gels or other stuffs containing lavender and tea tree oils.


For reference
New england journal of medicine: