Pregnant Women Will Be Allowed Their Partner Alongside ‘At All Times’ Under New Covid Guidelines

Pregnant women should be able to be supported by their partner during maternity appointments as well as labour and after birth with calls for hospitals to review their current rules.

The new guidelines have been drawn up with health chiefs making it possible for new mums to have someone with them as long as their birthing partner isn’t showing symptoms of the coronavirus.


This means that mums-to-be will be supported during baby scans and midwife appointments – which they previously had to go to alone.

The new document was published on Monday (14 December) in a publication titled: ‘Supporting pregnant women using maternity services during the coronavirus pandemic: Actions for NHS providers’.

It states: “Pregnant women value the support from a partner, relative, friend or other person through pregnancy and childbirth as it facilitates emotional wellbeing and is a key component of safe and personalised maternity care.

“It is therefore our aim, further to a risk assessment, that a woman should have access to support from a person of her choosing at all stages of her maternity journey and that all trusts should facilitate this as quickly as possible.

“At the same time it is our priority to prevent and control COVID-19 infection and keep women and staff safe. Many trusts have already found creative solutions to overcome remaining challenges and they have maximised the support that pregnant women can receive throughout their pregnancy. It is important now that all trusts do this.”

The document outlines that women should be welcomed alongside their support person – ‘regarding them as an integral part of both the woman and baby’s care throughout and not as a visitor.’

It includes making sure that woman can take their support person to: the early pregnancy unit, all antenatal scans, other antenatal appointments where the woman considers it important to have support, labour and birth from the point of attendance at the hospital or midwifery unit.

Trusts will now be asked to undertake risk assessments and pregnant woman as well as their birth partner should be tested for the virus before they attend 12 and 20 week scans – and any other maternity-related appointments.

Birthrights tweeted their welcoming of the proposed changes. In a further statement, they wrote: “We applaud the dedication of maternity professionals across the UK who are working tirelessly to deliver the best possible care in a fast-moving situation.

“Despite the challenges the NHS now faces we all remain united in the belief that every woman needs safe, respectful and compassionate care during pregnancy and birth.”

Featured Image Credit: PA

Counselors Explain 15 Reasons Why Spouses Feel Like Strangers After Years of Marriage

Are you and your spouse just as close as the day you married, or have you become strangers? Marriage is the joining of two souls together to share their life and dreams. At first, everything is bliss with sweet romantic dinners and spending every waking moment together.

However, as the years roll on, you will find that you will go through ebbs and flows, and everything can take a dramatic turn. One minute they are the greatest thing ever, and the next minute you’re ready to pack your bags and head for greener pastures. Even on a good day, marriage is complicated.

You have someone in your face and space 24/7, and you must make things work even when you don’t want to. Why is it that so many marriages fail? You hear the divorce statistics, and they are horrifying for anyone considering a trip down the aisle.

The person that you’ve slept beside for years helped them through the good and bad times, and watched them grow and change, has now become a stranger to you. You’re not alone, as this is a common occurrence in couples that have been together for many years.

THE MANY REASONS WHY SPOUSES BECOMES STRANGERS

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What happens in a marriage that makes people turn from living to existing? Marriage counselors would argue that you’re not the same person the day you marry as you are five or even ten years down the line. Life has a way of making or breaking you.

If you’re stuck in this rut, or perhaps you have the seven-year itch and no longer feel content with your spouse. Here are 15 reasons why you and your partner feel more like strangers.

1. THERE’S A STRONG LACK OF COMMUNICATION
When something exciting happens in your life, who is it that you text or call to tell about it? Your spouse should hold the number one position on speed dial. If you’ve stopped communicating, then it’s easy to grow apart.

Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D. points out that “the need of diplomacy isn’t felt just in international relations; it’s also highly valuable in ‘domestic relations,’ including your own personal nearest and dearest relationships, as well.”

Can you honestly say you know what goes on at their job or with their family? People who stop communicating with each other find someone else to confide in, and many affairs start because one party is just looking for someone to talk to them about their life.

Remember that you cannot open up clear lines of communication without being vulnerable. Don’t let the fear of having difficult conversations hold you back. Remember to fight fair if an argument ensues. Covering up the problem by avoiding discussion will only lead to heartbreak.

2. YOU BRING YOUR FRUSTRATIONS HOME WITH YOU
It’s easy to take your frustrations out on the ones closest to you. You can quickly become strangers if all you do is use your spouse as a punching bag. They will avoid spending time with you and want to stay out of your way.

You can’t let the frustrations of your day spill over into your home life. It’s one way to push the other person away from you. Leave all the work drama at the door, and don’t let it interfere with your relationship, or soon you won’t have a relationship at all.

At the end of your workday, take time to switch your mind away from workplace woes. A quick 5-minute meditation session or doing some visualization techniques can signal to your brain that it’s time to shift gears.

3. A LACK OF ATTACHMENT HAS FORMED
There’s no one specific reason why a lack of attachment forms as many things can cause it. However, one day you woke up and realized that they aren’t the most important thing anymore. You can’t put your finger on it, but the feelings you once had are no longer there.

This situation takes a lot of work to fix. Fortunately, you acknowledge the problem–check step one off the list. Now it’s time to make reconnecting with your partner your top priority. Ask them questions—a lot of them. Get to know your partner and grant yourself permission to fall in love again.

Psychologist and relationship expert Tania Hormozi, PsyD, LMFT weigh-in:

“Love and connection go a long way, but communication keeps your relationship stronger.”

4. YOU STOPPED DATING EACH OTHER
Life can’t be about all work and no play. Dating should never stop when you move in together or get married. There still needs to be special times between the two of you where you throw the cares of life away and have fun.

Find a romantic spot, and give your partner the royal treatment. Make plans based on their favorite things to do, showing that you value their preferences.

5. YOU’RE MARRIED TO YOUR JOB
Your job is essential, but does it dominate your entire life. You must make time for each other. Many people become strangers because they only see each other in passing.

Take time away from work. Even if you work many hours in a demanding career, prioritize spending your downtime with your spouse. If you work these long hours, your spouse probably misses your company–and that can lead to issue number six.

6. YOU’VE GROWN APART AND JUST FEEL LIKE STRANGERS
Time changes people, and you can quickly grow apart. After you weather a few of life’s storms, your outlook and personality can change. You may be so altered that you are just a reflection of what used to be, and you’re not the same.

Try to find some commonalities between you. Focusing on the things that still bring you together is an essential starting point.

7. NEITHER ONE OF YOU IS GOING IN THE SAME DIRECTION
It’s hard to grow together when you’re both going in opposite directions. If you want to live in North Carolina and your spouse wants to put down roots in Ohio, how can it work with you in two different locations?

Physical distance isn’t always the issue, but emotional distance can destroy a union. Make sure you’re both going in the same direction and have similar goals. Sit down and openly discuss adjusting your goals to suit both of your dreams.

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8. YOU FACE FINANCIAL TROUBLES
Money troubles are a big issue. If you’re always fighting overspending problems or a lack of funding to pay the bills, it can make things go sour real quick. Don’t make every conversation about finances an argument.

First of all, money troubles happen to most couples. Don’t blame each other or point fingers.

Second, learn to budget your money–and stick with it! If you want a more analytical eye on your finance, visit a financial planner. This professional can help you develop a spending plan to help you get out of debt.

9. YOU FIGHT CONSTANTLY
It’s easy to become strangers when all you do is argue and fight. The other person might walk on eggshells around you and avoids you to keep from having more drama.

Choose your words wisely and pick your battles. Your comments could be what drives a wedge between you and your spouse. Remember that you cannot take back words that you use as a weapon. If you need time to formulate the right thing to say, step away for a few minutes. Reconsider your wording, then come back into the discussion in a calmer manner.

Tonia Hormoze, PsyD. states this advice:

Becoming aware of yourself, the way you speak, the way your tone of voice sounds, and how you communicate when you are sad, angry, or happy are all areas that couples need to learn to be aware of when communicating with their partners.

10. ROMANCE IS GONE
Are you still making love? Do you still kiss goodbye in the mornings and before you go to bed at night? When romance dies without a medical reason, there is something terribly wrong in your relationship. How can you keep a fire burning if there isn’t even a spark?

Perhaps you still recall the butterflies you felt when you first met your partner. Reintroduce the romance by wooing your spouse. It might feel silly at first, but treating it like a new relationship can help you decide if the spark still exists.

11. YOU HAVE BITTERNESS AND RESENTMENT
Over the years, you will both do things to and against one another to cause resentment and bitterness. A healthy couple will learn to forgive these blunders and work through any hard feelings.

However, many people let these wounds fester until they become deadly. If you seem like strangers, it could be because you’re harboring much anger and hatred inside.

12. YOU’VE FOUND SOMEONE NEW
Did you know that many people have emotional affairs long before they engage physically? One of the reasons your spouse may be strangers is that you’re smitten with someone else. If you are running to another man or woman to talk about your life and dreams, then you are already close to walking out the door.

If you want to save the union, then it’s time to come clean, admit your affair, and see a relationship counselor to help you rebuild. If not, then your partner deserves the respect of you saying goodbye, honestly. Yes, you will hurt them, but they deserve your honesty.

13. YOU DO THINGS AS INDIVIDUALS AND NOT A COUPLE
Do you plan your time off, but it doesn’t include your spouse? Perhaps, you go on vacations with your friends rather than your partner. If you find that you’re sitting in a restaurant eating alone or sleeping single in a double bed, then you are already strangers in theory.

To have a successful union, you must be present. Time off should be spent together and not apart. Make them as necessary in your mind and heart as they were the day you met.

14. DIVORCE IS ON YOUR MIND
Perhaps you’re secretly thinking about divorce, and you have already checked out of the marriage. No wonder the person lying next to you feels like a stranger; you secretly wish them away.

Think carefully before you express this desire to your spouse. However, the sad reality is that sometimes relationships are not meant to be.

15. IT’S JUST NOT FUN ANYMORE
Remember the gifts and fun that you had when you were dating? You would throw caution to the wind and do something wild and crazy, all in the name of love. Staying up and talking for hours on end was how things began, but now you find yourself in an awkward position.

Go back and revisit the times your partner did something zany to see a smile on your face. What about all the times you laughed until your stomach hurt. The cares of life can ruin any union, but it will only happen if you allow it.

ALARMING STATISTICS ABOUT PARTNERS WHO PRACTICALLY BECOME STRANGERS
Did you know that where you live can have everything to do with your union?

For instance, couples in Italy stay together for about 18 years on average, and the divorce rate is less than 30 percent. However, in Qatar, most marriages don’t last even five years, and their divorce rate is almost 70 percent. It’s easy to see from these numbers that outlying factors have a significant influence on staying together.

Even in the United States, the statistics on divorce change from state to state. While in general, people say that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, the numbers are just generalities. Oklahoma has the highest rates with more than 65 percent, while Hawaii only has a mere 20 percent divorce rate.

These numbers show that where you live, the environment around you, and economic stances can all contribute to your marital problems.

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The best apology is changed behavior. (click here to tweet)

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEING MARRIED TO SOMEONE WHO FEELS LIKE A STRANGER
When you walked down the aisle, you thought you would grow old and gray together. However, life and time have a way of changing people. You can quickly grow apart or not have the same goals and desires anymore.

Some marriages can be fixed with counseling and intervention. If there were no significant betrayals or other things that require lots of patience and forgiveness, it might be worth working on.

Consequently, sometimes, it’s simply better to know that it was good while it lasted, but now it’s time to walk away. Don’t stay in a situation that you’re miserable in, or you will live as strangers who are more roommates than lovers.

5 Signs Your Relationship Is Making You Unhappy

Did you know that 6 out of 10 people report feeling unhappy in their relationship?

However, many people choose to stay in unhappy relationships due to comfort, safety, stability, or even fear of leaving. People remain in relationships that don’t bring them happiness because they fear being alone, but staying in a relationship with someone who makes you unhappy doesn’t seem any better.

In life, we all have to make choices at some point, and sometimes, the hardest thing and the right thing are the same thing.

You completely deserve a relationship that will make you excited about life, give you encouragement, and make you feel supported; any relationship that makes you feel less than ecstatic isn’t worth having.

HERE ARE 5 SIGNS YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS MAKING YOU UNHAPPY:
1. YOU WOULD RATHER SPEND YOUR TIME WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY.
If you don’t even want to spend time with your partner, this should speak volumes to you about your unhappiness in your relationship. A solid relationship must have trust, communication, and most importantly, the desire to stay with one another despite the obstacles. If you have grown tired of your partner and find yourself hanging out with friends or family in your spare time, you probably are in an unhappy relationship.

You need to communicate your feelings to your partner, and either work on the things that make you feel unhappy, or go your separate ways if the problems can’t be resolved. Unhappy relationships can drag on for years, but they don’t have to.

2. YOUR RELATIONSHIP FEELS MORE DRAINING THAN SATISFYING.
If you always feel exhausted around your partner and don’t feel that connection with them any longer, this points to an unhappy relationship. A relationship should make you feel motivated, overjoyed, and alive, not lethargic and uninspired. Maybe you two just don’t click any more, or you might have different life goals which would require you to go down separate paths. This doesn’t mean either person should be blamed for the lack of chemistry; just have a civilized, rational conversation and check in with them about their feelings. You might be able to work through these issues, but if not, you’re much better off on your own than staying in an unhappy relationship.

3. YOU DON’T FEEL SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO YOUR PARTNER ANYMORE.
Of course, you might not have sex as often as you did in the beginning of your relationship, but the desire to have sex with your partner should never go away entirely. If you find yourself saying no to sex more often, deeper issues might need to come to the surface. To have sexual attraction to someone, you must also feel emotionally and mentally connected to them. Sex doesn’t define a relationship, but it is vital to having a healthy one.

If you and your partner don’t have sex regularly anymore, you should sit down with them to figure out the true problem. A happy relationship requires intimacy on both a physical and emotional level, and these two aspects need to stay balanced in order to make a relationship thrive.

4. YOU DON’T ENJOY YOUR TIME WITH YOUR PARTNER.

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When you do spend time together, what feelings do you get? Do you feel excited to go out with them or watch movies at home, or do you dread hanging out with them? Your heart will always guide you to the best decision for yourself, so if you truly don’t enjoy your partner’s company anymore, then you need to reevaluate your relationship.Why stay in a relationship that doesn’t bring you joy anymore?

It might seem scary to leave a relationship behind, especially if you have been with the same person for years, but your heart will thank you in the long run, because you will finally feel free again. You deserve a relationship with someone who will light a fire within your soul, not extinguish it.

5. YOU FEEL TRAPPED OR SUFFOCATED IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
A relationship shouldn’t make you feel tied down or like you’re missing out on life; if you feel this way, chances are, you’re in an unhappy relationship. Your partner should add value to your life, teaching you new things and giving you unforgettable experiences. A relationship should never feel like a prison cell; if it does, then you need to make your escape and find someone who will liberate you.

A relationship should never feel like a burden; in fact, it should just feel like an extension of the relationship you have with yourself. If you maintain a good relationship with you, then the person who reflects you should simply add to your life, not subtract from it

Traits Men Look For In a Wife

The main focus of this article is what traits men look for in a wife and, to a lesser extent, what women look for in a husband. But we’re going to discuss a few other things as well, including the extraneous factors that influence marriage success and failure.

Are there common traits that men look for in a wife? Well, if you look at the male species from a scientific, evolutionary viewpoint, there have always been “roles” that both men and women “play.” Both sexes depend – to varying degrees – on one another. So, from a pure genetics point of view, there must be shared characteristics that males seek in a mate.

All things considered, we humans are complicated creatures. Nowhere is this inherent complexity more evident than in relationships, particularly long-term relationships like marriage or partnership.

The writer argues that individual traits aren’t the only reason for this complexity. We must also consider both environment and the exaggerated propagation of gender-based differences. We’ll discuss both of these factors here.

First, let’s get the skinny on marriage and divorce trends – including how traits, genetics, and individual quirks don’t tell the whole story.

THE STATE OF MARRIAGE (AND DIVORCE): IT’S COMPLICATED
Infidelity. Lack of communication. Financial difficulty. Increasingly infrequent intimacy. Unrealistic expectations. Weight gain. Lack of equality. Non-commitment.

If the research is any indication, divorce is a situation that occurs – to varying degrees – all over the world. Research shows that divorce rates vary widely across countries – from 7 percent in Vietnam to 71 percent (!) in Portugal (the latter having a predominantly Catholic population). The worldwide average stands at around 32 percent; in the United States, it’s approximately 43 percent.

A closer look at the available data shows that the marriage rate is also a widely fluctuating statistic. Islamic nations such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Libya, and Tajikistan tend to marry at a considerably higher rate than others. For example, Tajikistan’s “crude marriage rate,” which indicates the number of marriages per 1,000 citizens, is 13.5.

Compare this number with Columbia, a country where just over two citizens (2.3) per thousand get hitched! Marriage is extremely rare in certain parts of Europe, as well. Just over three Italians (3.2) out of 1,000 tie the knot.

WHY GO THROUGH THE TROUBLE OF MENTIONING THESE MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE STATISTICS?
Because there is absolutely no denying the influence of one’s environment in the decision to pursue and sustain an intimate relationship or marriage. We see disproportionate marriage and divorce numbers all over the map, including in democratic countries, and in places where one’s “personality” does not rank high in importance.

In short, personality traits may matter less than we think! (Or is it that well over 90 percent of Italian women have such reprehensible character?)

What’s another thing that could drastically influence how we view marriage? The rarely-mentioned similarities (that’s right) between men and women. Read on, friend!

“MEN ARE FROM MARS AND WOMEN ARE FROM…MARS?”
“… research consistently demonstrates that men and women are more alike than different …” – Jill P. Weber, Ph.D. (source)

Do you remember the bestselling book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus”? The 1992 title, which has sold over 15 million copies, claims that most relationship difficulties result from men and women having fundamentally different psychological makeup.

However, more recent research, including a meta-analysis of 42 studies conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) titled “Men and Women: No Big Difference,” finds that men and women are “basically more alike than different on most psychological variables” including cognitive ability, leadership qualities, and personality traits.

Exceptions: men are more physically aggressive, naturally stronger, masturbate more, and tend to view intercourse while in uncommitted relationships more favorably.

Findings such as those cited by the APA could have significant ramifications on the dynamics of all relationship types, especially marriage.

Janet Shibley-Hyde, Ph.D., psychologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, states that the misgiven sentiments between the genders particularly hurts communication; often to the point where “…men and women stop talking prematurely because they have been led to believe that they can’t change supposedly ‘innate’ sex-based traits.”

Sadly, given both the perpetuation and widespread acceptance of non-scientific gender-based differences permeates society, it could be sometime before we begin seeing the opposite sex in a different light.

THE FIVE TRAITS MEN LOOK FOR
Of the above factors notwithstanding, the traits or characteristics of a person is a significant part of the relationship equation, especially when the relationship evolves into something long-term like a marriage. As you perhaps already know from your dating ventures, compatibility – not necessarily similarity – is a must for any successful relationship.

We’ve discussed at length two under-looked variables in determining marriage happiness and success (or lack thereof): environment and misinformation. With that solid base of background information firmly in place, here are five traits that men look for in a wife:

MUTUAL ATTRACTION
“No way, really?!” asked no one. Joking aside, we are genetically programmed to procreate – and attraction is a key determinant.

Mutual physical attraction also plays a role in marriage satisfaction for both sexes. Males do tend to place a bit more emphasis on physical attraction in marriage than their wives. In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychologists found that mutual attraction correlates highly with relationship satisfaction.

The authors do note the degree of separation between man and wife, stating this: “The significant effect of wives’ attractiveness on (relationship) satisfaction (was higher) than the … effect of husbands’ attractiveness on wive’s satisfaction.”

INTELLIGENCE
Smarts are highly desirable in a spouse. While the evidence does not find any link between intelligence and happiness, people looking for a long-term romantic relationship may just prefer internal qualities, like intelligence, to anything external (e.g. looks or wealth).

In a fascinating 2018 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers from Aalto University in Finland and Temple University found a strong link between intelligence levels and marriage success. One specific type of intelligence – verbal – had the strongest corollary.

HONESTY
At the risk of sounding cliché, all successful relationships – and particularly marriage – hinge on both persons’ willingness to be truthful. Honesty encourages the growth of each person in a relationship while adding a depth an intimacy not replicable by another personality trait.

In a 561-person male-majority study published in the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 87 percent of participants cite honesty and trustworthiness as an important trait in a long-term partner; it fact, it stood as the highest of any attribute. How important were external traits like wealth and material possessions? Not very. They ranked next to last and last, respectively.

KINDNESS AND GENEROSITY
Most men are kind, and they expect the same out of a wife. Warmness and kindness, the two attributes measured in the study, stand among the most sought after traits. These two attributes get surpassed only by honesty and truthfulness.

Not only is kindness highly coveted, but it also serves as a sort of “glue” that keeps people together. Studies show that kindness of one’s spouse gives the most accurate predictor of marital satisfaction and stability. This, along with emotional stability. A component of kindness also crucial to relationship success and satisfaction is generosity, with both their spouse and others.

SIMILARITY
While there may be something to the adage “Opposites attract,” it’s superseded by a trait that can be called “similarity.” In a 291-couple study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa, scientists found that the couples that “were similarly matched in terms of attitudes and beliefs” are happier in their marriages than those with disparate personalities.

The researchers focused on traits such as attachment, introversion and extroversion, and conscientiousness.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: HAPPINESS IS THE ONE MEASURE
So, we have covered marriage and divorce rates, personality and character, and extraneous factors that influence the decision to marry. You might have noticed this writer has neglected to mention perhaps the most important thing: individual happiness. To leave such a regrettable impression would be unfortunate.

Something more unfortunate would be to think someone knows what they want when, in fact, most people don’t. This is a big reason why people choose the wrong college major (guilty!), get divorced (guilty again!), and seem to always be swimming against the currents (darn!).

Perhaps the appropriate sentiment with which to end the article is this: no one can make you happy but you. If you’re a man and you’ve somehow managed to meet some angel with all five of the above qualities, it means precisely squat if you aren’t at least content with your own life.

So, these are five traits men look for in a wife. The research says it’s accurate. Psychology says it’s legit.

Is it? Perhaps not. After all, we’re complicated folks

Scientists Explain Why Women Should Stop Wearing Bras

Most women put on their bra without even thinking about it since they have been told since puberty that they should wear one. However, what purpose does a bra really serve other than to make women more societally acceptable in the workplace or at school? Bras have been marketed to women as a way to help lessen back pain, lift up the breasts, and provide extra support.

While bras might serve a purpose for working out, wearing them all the time can do much more harm than good. In this article, we’ll explain why going braless might just be the one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

Here’s why women should stop wearing bras:

Professor Jean-Denis Rouillan, of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Besancon in France, performed a study about why women don’t really need bras. According to his study, bras don’t have any medical or anatomic benefits for women. He actually discovered that bras do the exact opposite of what they’re marketed to do – they cause breasts to sag and prevent them from growing.

THE STUDY
In the study, 330 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 had their breasts measured over the course of 15 years. The women who went braless had a 7-millimeter lift in their nipples each year, which disproves the notion that breasts will sag without a bra. Also, the women who didn’t wear a bra had fewer stretch marks than those who did wear a bra. Furthermore, their breasts were actually firmer than the women who wore bras.

This study completely contradicts the advice women have been told all their lives. The study shows that not wearing a bra actually allows for better posture since the bra isn’t providing all the support. It also forces the body to develop the muscles underneath the breasts, which help prevent sagging and provide support.

In other words, without a bra, the body must actually use the muscles intended to protect the breasts from sagging. When the bra does all the work, the muscles in a woman’s body suffer from lack of use.

In fact, one woman from the study said that after two years of not wearing a bra, she could breathe better, had better posture, and didn’t have as much back pain. This shows that what we’ve been taught about bras simply isn’t true since they have been marketed as a way to reduce breast and back pain in women.

OTHER REASONS NOT TO WEAR BRAS
IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO FIND THE RIGHT ONE.
If you’ve ever been shopping for bras, you know just how excruciating the process can be. You might have tried on plenty of different sizes and still couldn’t find the right one because bra sizes aren’t universal. It’s sort of like when you go to a store to try on jeans and can fit into a size 8 but can’t squeeze into a size 12. You might try on dozens of bras and never find the right fit, wasting hours in department stores and leaving frustrated and empty-handed. This makes the process of shopping that much harder for women.

BRAS ARE EXPENSIVE.
Not to mention, bras don’t come cheap (well, the quality ones, anyway). According to Statista, most women spent between $16 and $30 on a bra in 2017. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but keep in mind that this is just an average. If you go to stores like Victoria’s Secret, expect to spend a lot more. Plus, most women buy more than one bra. If you account for sports bras, work bras, leisure bras, and every other type of bra out there, the cost can add up.

THEY’RE UNCOMFORTABLE.
Unless you’re buying a wireless bra, bras just don’t offer much comfort. The underwire can break, causing it to pierce into your skin in the most inconvenient situations. Then, you have to either go home to change or just tough it out for the rest of the day. However, it isn’t just the underwire bras that cause discomfort. While sports bras are seen as a necessity for a lot of women, they are often so tight. They might make you feel suffocated and trapped.

Even more casual bras without cups or wires can feel uncomfortable simply. The breasts never get a chance to breathe from being stuck inside a bra all day.

THEY AREN’T NECESSARY FOR EVERY ACTIVITY.
If you always wear a bra, you don’t give the breasts a chance to “air out,” if you will. In modern society, we simply don’t need to wear a bra all the time. Aside from sleeping, women are expected to wear a bra during every other activity, including at work, school, the gym, and at social events. However, just because it’s a social norm doesn’t mean women have to abide by it.

While most women would be looked down upon if they chose to go braless to work or school, it should be up to them, ultimately, since there is no law stating that women have to wear a bra.

WHY PRETEENS SHOULD ESPECIALLY NOT WEAR BRAS
For preteen women, science shows that there’s no reason to push wearing a bra on them. In fact, not wearing a bra provides health benefits since it promotes the growth of breast tissue, according to Professor Rouillan’s study. Going braless also supports muscle tissue growth around the breast.

Training bras are often marketed to women between the ages of 8 and 12, but they just aren’t necessary. Although women are expected to wear bras, there is no scientific or medical reason for women to do so. Bras hinder development and can actually cause more damage to a woman’s health. Parents who have preteen daughters should allow them to make the decision and not force wearing a bra upon them.

LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Even though the study found benefits for women who chose not to wear bras, keep in mind that the women in the study were fairly young. They’ve only been wearing bras for a few decades, whereas older women have been wearing them for much longer. If older women chose to go braless, researchers might not see the same results as in the younger women.

This study is preliminary and researchers emphasize that they aren’t telling women to stop wearing bras altogether. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide what’s best for her. You alone know what makes you the most comfortable. Also, the study didn’t discuss women who engaged in physical activity and what effect it had on their breasts. Since bras were originally invented to hold breasts in place during movement, this is a pretty big gap in the study.

TIPS ON GOING BRALESS
If you choose not to wear a bra, it might feel a little strange at first. You’ll have to brave the initial anxieties that come with giving up something you’ve depended on your whole life. Here are a few tips to help you out:

Start out small. If you’ve been wearing bras every waking hour for the last 30 years, you should probably not show up at work or school tomorrow without one. In other words, go slowly. Practice going braless when you pick up your morning coffee or walk your dog. Then, work your way up to going without one at work, school, or social events.
Work on your posture. Since your bra has been doing all the work for you, you’ll need some refreshers when it comes to how to stand and sit properly. Make sure to keep your shoulders back, head up, and back straight so that you don’t hurt your neck or back.
Wear a bralette. Bralettes are more comfortable bras without padding and wires. If you aren’t comfortable totally ditching your bra yet, you can transition into a bralette first. They are far less constricting than normal bras, so you’ll start getting used to how it feels to go braless.
bras

FINAL THOUGHTS
Wearing a bra is a highly personal choice. The benefits of going braless include the possibility of less back and breast pain, fewer expenses, less discomfort, and more freedom. Plenty of women around the globe have decided to ditch their bras for these reasons. Some women also consider that bras are sexist.

Young women should not wear bras so that their breasts can develop properly. Once a woman reaches puberty, the effects of wearing a bra are unclear. Very limited research exists about the benefits and harms of bras, so women must do what feels right to them. Perhaps going without a bra for a week or two could give you an idea of what it would feel like. Afterwards, you can make an informed decision about whether you’d like to make it permanent or not.

Science Proves that Trust in a Relationship is More Essential Than Love

While lasting relationships can’t thrive without love, trust in a relationship may matter most. Feelings of love come and go in long-term relationships, but trust withstands the test of time. Any healthy marriage goes through phases where the couple may fall out of love temporarily. However, if they have trust, it can keep the ship afloat on the stormiest of waters.

Any two people can fall into love, but those feelings tend to fade over time. After a while, relationships form into more of a loving friendship as the honeymoon phase ends. If the couple continues to build trust and work as a team, then the relationship stands a good chance of lasting forever. Simply put, you can have faith without love, but you can’t have love without trust.

In a successful relationship, you have to believe you can trust your partner before giving them your heart. Below, we’ll talk more about why trust predicts relationship success more than love.

SCIENCE SAYS THAT TRUST MATTERS EVEN MORE THAN LOVE IN RELATIONSHIPS.
In a nutshell, a successful relationship hinges on kindness and trust more than anything else. The feelings of infatuation will fade, but if you have confidence, nothing can take that away. People underestimate this and expect that they’ll feel the same in 20 years as they did in the very beginning. When their love starts to wane, couples assume that their relationship won’t make it.

However, they forget about the importance of trust. Even if you don’t feel in love with your partner anymore, you can still love and respect them. You can still hold onto the positive aspects of your relationship and choose to focus on those. The Gottman Institute says that accentuating the positives in a relationship is one of the most significant predictors of success.

John Gottman, a leader in studying what constitutes a healthy marriage or relationship, believes the little things matter most. After studying couples over the past 35 years, he says the following items ensure success in relationships more than anything else:

BUILDING LOVE MAPS
Learn your partner’s inner psychological world, such as their biggest hopes, fears, worries, and joy. This will help you bond with your partner and know their needs.

SHARE FONDNESS AND ADMIRATION.
Gottman refers to this as a solution for contempt since it promotes affection and respect for each other. In other words, you want to focus on the positive things about your partner rather than the negatives.

LEAN INTO YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER INSTEAD OF AWAY FROM THEM.
State your needs and respond to your partner’s attempts to connect. For example, if he or she points something out to you, or tries to engage in conversation, put your full attention on them. The smallest moments and interactions matter the most in relationship success.

MAINTAINING A POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE.
Try to have a positive approach to solving problems, as trust in a relationship comes from how you respond to conflicts.

MANAGE CONFLICT
Part of building a healthy marriage or relationship comes from how you deal with conflict. It can either make or break a relationship, so make sure you work as a team. Listen to your partner and try to come to a resolution together. Conflicts are typical in any healthy relationship, as long as you treat your partner with love and respect.

WORK ON MAKING EACH OTHER’S DREAMS A REALITY
Let your partner talk openly about his or her desires and dreams. Create an open environment where they feel safe and heard talking about the future.

CREATE SHARED MEANING
Every relationship needs something that unites it, whether that means kids or perhaps a shared business. Or, maybe it means getting involved in something you both enjoy, such as biking or hiking. No matter what the trouble is, make sure your relationship involves something that matters to both of you.

TRUST
Of course, this should remain a priority in a relationship. Without trust, you won’t have a foundation to build upon for a successful partnership. You want to know that your partner will have your back and that you can count on them for anything. Building trust in a relationship takes time, but being vulnerable with your partner will help the walls come down little by little.

COMMITMENT
Any successful relationship requires a commitment to your partner to make it work. If you want to remain with this person long-term, you need to embrace both their negative and positive qualities. However, you shouldn’t dwell on their negative traits, which will skew your image and perception of them. You will start noticing more of the things that you find annoying about them rather than what you adore about their personality.

In other words, admire them for their positive traits and learn to accept their flaws. If you can do this, it will ensure a successful union for life. Also, make trust your foundation early on in the relationship, as everything else hinges upon it.

SO, WHY IS TRUST MORE IMPORTANT THAN LOVE IN A RELATIONSHIP?

YOU CAN’T HAVE LOVE WITHOUT TRUST.
If you can’t count on your partner and you feel uneasy around them, you can’t possibly become vulnerable enough to fall in love. Love will fade over time because some days, you’ll get under each other’s skin and take each other for granted. Other days, it’ll feel like you just met and you want to spend all your time with them. However, these feelings will fluctuate with the situations and experiences you go through as a couple.

Trust will remain steady throughout your relationship as long as you don’t do anything to betray it. If you stay faithful to your partner and put their needs first, you’ll never have a doubt in your mind if you can trust them or not.

IT ALLOWS YOU TO HAVE BOUNDARIES IN THE RELATIONSHIP.
If you have love without trust, it may lead to codependency and attachment issues. However, if you cultivate trust, it brings a sense of security into the relationship. You can each go your separate ways at times without having to worry about each other’s whereabouts constantly. This way, you can develop a strong marriage by having your alone time as well as time spent together.

YOU’LL HAVE A SENSE OF PEACE WHEN YOU HAVE TRUST IN A RELATIONSHIP.
Without trust, you constantly feel on edge or just unsure of where you stand with your partner. Will they suddenly break up with you or say they’ve been seeing someone else? Do they want a future with you? If you cannot answer these questions honestly, you need to have a serious talk with your partner and communicate your needs.

Everyone deserves to have a loving, supportive relationship where they can fully trust their partner. The person you love should eliminate your stress, not add to it by being unclear about their intentions. When you find a secure partnership, you’ll have a sense of peace.

TRUST ALLOWS YOU TO GAUGE HOW MUCH YOU GIVE OF YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
If you don’t trust someone, you won’t want to open up to them about the details of your life. Trust gives us a way to decide the level of emotional intimacy we wish to experience with someone. It helps us control our emotions, in a way, because not everyone gains access to the deepest parts of ourselves. Trust in a relationship helps peel back our layers, slowly showing our partner more vulnerable sides of ourselves.

LOVE IS BLIND, BUT TRUST NEVER FAILS YOU.
You can love someone who might not love you back in the same way. You could bend over backward for someone you’ve fallen head over heels for, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll reciprocate. Many people get involved in one-sided relationships where the other person doesn’t have their best interests in mind, unfortunately. When you jump too quickly into a relationship out of loneliness or desperation, you may not see the person.

However, if you build upon the relationship slowly and get to know the person, you can establish trust. This way, you can gauge if your partner deserves your time, commitment, and heart. While love can overpower and blind you, faith will illuminate your path and steer you in the right direction.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHY TRUST IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LOVE IN RELATIONSHIPS
Any healthy marriage or relationship requires trust as the foundation; without it, love cannot grow. You can’t plant a garden without tending to the soil; similarly, you can’t have a thriving relationship without establishing trust. All successful relationships require this faith because it helps you grow closer to people. It enables you to realize how much of yourself you should give away based on their input.

If someone only gives you 50%, why should you bother giving them 100%? If you care about trust in a relationship, make sure of your partner’s intentions before committing fully to them.

Warning Signs Reveal Someone Has Double Depression

If you’ve lived any time at all, you know that it’s normal to have days when you feel melancholy and want to stay in bed. But if these mild symptoms continue for a year or so, you may be diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia. And if you experience dysthymia and a major depressive disorder simultaneously, it is double depression.

DEPRESSION IN AMERICA
Mental health experts say that adults and children can be affected by dysthymia, which comes from the Greek word for despair. Children can experience dysthymia for as long as a year, while adults can battle it for two years or more.

Statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, or ADAA), show that at least 16.1 percent of people in America receive a depression diagnosis every year. The number is probably higher because many people resist getting a diagnosis and treatment. Of the number who are diagnosed, statistics say that about 3.3 million have a double diagnosis.

Experts say that most people who have an anxiety disorder also deal with depression. The two conditions battle each other and can cause physical ailments. Treatment for depression often includes a diagnosis of other mental illnesses.

WHAT CAUSES DOUBLE DEPRESSION?
Medical research is no more conclusive about what causes double depression than it is for major depressive disorders. For now, experts continue to study signs and symptoms as they relate to a patient’s medical history. These are some of the probable causes they have identified.

• FAMILY HISTORY
Did your parents, grandparents, or other extended family members battle depression? If so, you are more likely to have the same condition. Many researchers claim that genetics play a key role in bouts of dysthymia and severe depression.

Other studies suggest that the brain circuits regulating mood and emotions are abnormal in the depressed person’s brain. When brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine are imbalanced, dysthymia is often the result. When dysthymia and significant depressive orders meet, it creates a double storm.

• TRAUMATIC EVENTS
Experiencing trauma can not only cause anxiety and post-traumatic stress, but it may also trigger double depression. Trauma often creates a glitch in the brain, which causes it to replay the scene like a never-ending video loop.

In this situation, you feel anxious and hopeless, as if you are frozen in time. Symptoms may begin as mild depression then worsen into a major depressive disorder. The depressive downswing can make your anxiety worse.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DUAL DEPRESSION
If you have symptoms of depression, a close friend or loved one is probably more apt to see the signs before you do. You may not even realize that you are behaving out of the ordinary. These are the seven signs of dual depression to consider.

A dark, melancholy mood that lasts for days
Poor hygiene and disregarding appearance
Lethargy and noticeable restlessness
Loss of interest in things that usually brought enjoyment
Change in appetite: Overeating or Malnutrition
Weight Changes: Unusual weight gain or weight loss
Lack of concentration and difficulty concentrating

Also, you may notice these signs of a major depressive disorder that is superimposed on dysthymia.

Change in sleeping patterns: oversleeping or insomnia
Fear of losing control
Self-loathing or low self-esteem
Uncharacteristic behaviors
Thoughts and ideation of suicide
If you or a loved one are having thoughts about suicide, get help immediately. Call 911 or take your loved one to the emergency room at once. Depression needn’t cost a life.

THE DEPRESSION VORTEX
Since everyone is different, you may not experience all these symptoms at the same time. Your symptoms may vary in time and intensity. Sometimes, your depression may be linked to two or three severe signs.

At first, you may feel gloomy and want to avoid being around other people. Self-isolation gives you more time to ruminate and cultivate negative self-talk. These symptoms soon start to affect your appetite and sleep patterns.

If left untreated, these symptoms can intensify. Like a swirling downward vortex, one sign builds upon another until you are lost in a dark sea of double depression that can last for years.

HOW IS DOUBLE DEPRESSION DIAGNOSED?
If you or a loved one notices any signs or symptoms of mild depression or dysthymia, consult your primary healthcare provider or a mental health professional as soon as possible. Acknowledging you are depressed is the first step in getting the help you need. The healthcare team must depend on observation because there are no specific lab tests to confirm the diagnosis.

• PRELIMINARY EXAMINATIONS
First, the healthcare team will do a physical exam and conduct a few lab tests. Since many diseases and disorders mimic the symptoms of depression, these tests will rule them out. They will ask you questions about your medical history and any medications or supplements you are taking. History of depression or other mental conditions can be a tell-tale sign.

• REFERRALS
If a complete workup doesn’t yield a physical reason for your symptoms, your primary healthcare provider may conclude you have depression. The provider will probably refer you to an experienced mental health provider.

For optimal evaluation and diagnosis, work with a mental health professional who is experienced and makes you feel comfortable. During your visit, the therapist will go over your medical history with you and ask you a series of questions. It’s important that you are completely honest with your answers because they will help determine if you meet the depression diagnosis criteria.

TREATMENT FOR DYSTHYMIA
If you fit the criteria for mild and severe depression, you will be diagnosed with double depression. You can feel good about getting help because it can prevent your symptoms from getting worse. Here are some of the common treatments for a double diagnosis.

• ANTIDEPRESSANTS
When the chemicals in your brain become unbalanced, mental conditions like depression can occur. Antidepressants are drugs that help bring your chemicals into balance and stabilize your moods.

• PSYCHOTHERAPY
Dysthymia, major depressive disorder, and dual depression often entail negative thoughts and emotions. Your therapist may try cognitive therapy to help you recognize your negative thought patterns and realize how they affect your perceptions. You’ll learn ways to turn these bad thoughts into positive ones that serve you better.

• INTERPERSONAL THERAPY
Sometimes, your depression is based on trauma and fear. When you go through exposure therapy, you will learn to confront your fears and realize a reduction in your anxiety and depression with each session. You will find tools that help you cope better with everyday stress.

double depression
SAVE
FINAL THOUGHTS: DON’T GIVE UP–DOUBLE DEPRESSION IS TREATABLE
Whether you have mild depression, a major depressive condition, or a combination, you may feel like a hostage in your mind. An early diagnosis can help the situation from getting worse. With a combination of medicine and therapy, you can minimize your symptoms and feel the joy that you want and deserve.

• CHRONIC STRESS
If you didn’t experience some stress, you wouldn’t be living. However, chronic stress is a different story, and it can destroy you physically, mentally, and spiritually. It’s one of the main contributors to double depression.

Any level of stress kicks in your brain’s survival mode and causes you to have fight or flight symptoms. When your body is overloaded with stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, it can cause disease, mental disorders, or even premature death.

Stress attacks you from every sphere of your existence, such as home, work, society, and your inner struggles. If chronic stress is causing you grief and dysthymia, you can do something about it. Find ways to lower your stress levels, and it can ease some of the symptoms of your depression.

• CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS
When you or a loved one are chronically ill, it’s understandable that you would have reason to be depressed. Chronic health conditions affect your quality of life and your relationships with others and yourself. It creates a debilitating stressor that can weigh heavily on your mind and cause your depression to be doubled.

• MEDICATIONS
If you are taking prescription drugs, your healthcare provider has decided that their benefits for you would outweigh any possible side effects. The media is flooded with countless infomercials about new medications and never-ending lists of side effects. Right between causing headaches and dry mouth, you may hear that the drug can cause depression.

Are you experiencing symptoms of dysthymia? Discuss them with your primary healthcare provider and see if you can take an alternate medication. Remember to never stop or change your prescribed dosage without medical guidance.

Tonsil Stone Removal Videos Have Become The New Pimple Popping

If you’re not a ‘fan’ of these horrendous pimple popping videos – and you’ve probably already guessed, I’m not – then you won’t like this.

People have found a new gross obsession: tonsil stone removal – and it’s as every bit as disgusting as you could possibly care to imagine.

And here you are, clicking away on this article and you’ve found yourself here, among videos of something, quite frankly, I’d be happier never knowing about.

What the heck is a tonsil stone? Well, they’re actually called tonsilloliths and they are basically soft bits of ‘bacterial and cellular debris’ that form in the crevices of the tonsils.

According to Healthline, it’s actually common for people with tonsil stones to not even realise they have them, and these stones can range from ‘rice-sized to the size of a large grape’. Gross.

So why anybody would want to watch these bits being extracted from somebody else’s mouth is beyond me, but what do I know?

Online videos of disgusting spot squeezing and cyst removing have been made ever more popular by Dr Sandra Lee – aka Dr Pimple Popper – who regularly posts her procedures.

Dr. Lee has said many of her viewers report an ASMR — an autonomous sensory meridian response — a feeling of pleasure ignited by specific sights, sounds, and smells.

According to Bustle, Lee’s videos have actually helped some people deal with and cope with a condition called dermatillomania, which is a skin picking disorder and a type of OCD.

Apparently, as well as people watching these videos, they also like to pick away at their other half’s pimples.

Speaking with Insider, child and family psychotherapist Matt Traube explains how the act of picking your partner’s spots can show a ‘degree of closeness’:

As disgusting as it might sound to some, that you would pick your partner’s pimples, that does show a certain closeness, a bond, an attachment between you and your partner.

If someone is on a first or second date, I don’t think you’re going in for a pimple pop.

However, Traube also argues there could be underlying reason why a person just can’t stay away from their partner’s bacne. For example, they could be trying to ‘fix’ their partner on a deeper level, using the skin’s surface as a suitably manageable canvas.

He says:

For many, the skin itself can be a metaphor for the person or the relationship, things that you somehow think that need to be cleaned up, or organized or otherwise taken care of.

It’s kind of analogous to finding a solution. You look at it and go, ‘Ew, it doesn’t feel right, it’s on my partner, I need to fix it.’ In some regards, it’s a way to improve your husband.

Still not satisfied? You can see all the gross videos we’ve ever featured on pimple popping and all that by clicking right here.

Anyway, I’ll stick to getting lost in watching videos of cats and rescue dogs, thanks.

Schoolgirl ‘Gutted’ After Being Told To Change Hairstyle

A dad has hit out after his daughter’s school told her she would have to remove her white braided hair extensions – saying she had chosen the style to honour her Jamaican heritage.

Lily Rann, 12, was told she would have to stay in isolation if she didn’t change her hairstyle after returning from a family holiday in Cyprus.

The year eight pupil was told by teacher that the extensions would have to go as they breach the school’s policy of no unnatural hair colours.


Dad Chris said Lily is proud of her roots, with her great-grandfather thought to be the first black miner in her home town of Midsomer Norton in Somerset – but has agreed to remove the synthetic hair so she can go back to her lessons.

However, the dad is unhappy with the school’s stance on the issue.

He said: “It’s absolutely mad – there are people dying in this pandemic. There are more important things to be doing.

“Lily has had a really tough time with mental health over lockdown so we don’t want her in isolation.

“People have messaged us saying: ‘What’s her hair got to do with her learning?’ It’s discrimination. I think they are discriminating against her.

“I really like the hairstyle. They said it was unacceptable. I think it’s more than acceptable.”

Chris, 32, said he informed the school of the new style before she went back last week and says they asked to see a photo.

He didn’t send a photo but when she went in, she was told she would have to go into isolation unless she changed her hair.

Chris and his partner and Lily’s mum Lydia Grubb had a meeting with the school where they reiterated their stance.

iPhone 13 with a rare design in a stunning new concept

The jiPhone 12 may be close, but an even more radical change could be with the iPhone 13.

We’re only a few weeks away from releasing the iPhone 12, but earlier smartphone rumors are already leaking data and news about next year’s iPhone 13.

Of course, given the recurring nature of this industry, it’s hard to predict Apple’s trajectory, and why we’re so close to introducing the iPhone 12, not much is known about this upcoming model from Apple. As far as we have heard, we more or less know his performances and prices, of course if they do not change at the last moment,.

And let’s talk about iPhone 13 now of course it’s too early and that seems a bit strange, but news about iPhone 13 are already circulating.

If the release date of the iPhone 13 follows the Apple model for the previous release, we can see this device on the shelves on the fourth Friday of September 2021. It would be September 24th. But the release date of the iPhone 12 is up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic and may not be available until October or even November.

The iPhone 13 looks like it will be full screen, and even this phone is expected to have the built-in camera below the screen.

This phone is also expected to have a touchscreen on its edges where small icons for various functions are displayed.