Let's Talk about the Cut.

The majority of Americans don't think twice about infant circumcision. They deliver the baby in the hospital and circumcise the little one without a second thought.

But that isn't the norm in the entire world, and it's becoming more and more unpopular as parents learn the truth about circumcision. 

Circumcision Risks

Circumcision is not harmless. Every year in the U.S., around 100 baby boys die from the procedure, which is actually the same number which die from SIDS, but you don't hear anyone balking at that number. 

Aside from hemorrhage, botched procedures are a real thing. This leaves many men incontinent, sexual discomfort, urinary issues, and even infertile every year. 

Fifteen square inches of skin is removed, not just a small snip.

And it's extremely painful. Whoever thought it's less painful for a child and not for a consenting adult should not be practicing medicine.

Contrary to popular opinion, no medical agency promotes routine circumcision. Most who do promote a few studies on uncircumcised hygiene that are conveniently from rural Africa where clean bathing water isn't available...so there is no real hygiene. Great science, guys.

Up to half of U.S. boys are not being circumcised at birth today, thanks to education and good ol' insurance being cheap and not covering the procedure any longer. So, you also can't say that the child will be ridiculed. (Maybe be more worried about your child being seen naked consistently in front of other children in a public setting.)

I was hoping to dispel other circumcision myths, but I actually just read that a child could get an infection, such as meningitis, from not being circumcised on parenting.com, which is beyond uneducated. I can't handle more dumb than that. 

In addition, foreskins are removed and sold by hospitals for a huge profit. Think that's gross? They're put into face creams and more for public use. 

Uses of the Foreskin

Sex
The foreskin is an important part of a man and his partner's sexual experience. The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis, and provides lubrication during sex for both the male and woman. Science has noted that this part of the penis actually senses female hormones and adjusts its own hormones - possibly for sexual purposes and/or reproduction. During erection, the foreskin accommodates the increased size of the penis. You got problems if you don't have the skin...

Protection
The foreskin actually protects the glans within from infection and keeps it moist. The glans is an internal organ - it should be be exposed to air, clothing, and bacteria like the rest of the outer skin. However, without protection, men's glans are exposed to all these elements and lose feeling within a few years. 

Size
I'm not a man, but I imagine I would be pissed to learn that a doctor cut off one-third of my penis skin. 

What To Know If You Leave Your Son Intact

Uncircumcised males are called "intact," because they have all their pieces intact. If your child is uncircumcised, you should be prepared to educate your physician on routine care. In Europe, this is the norm, but in the U.S., your physician suffers from poor education and likely has no idea how to really deal with a real penis.

They may try to "retract" the penis, and you will need to inform (or demand) them that this isn't necessary, that the penis will retract on its own during puberty. This keeps all of the bad bacteria out of your son's delicate glans. Otherwise, intact boys need no other special care or cleaning.

Religious Reasons

Many cite the need for circumcision on religious reasons, but this is heavily debated. The routine western circumcision procedure is not the same as ancient, biblical circumcision. Circumcision was traditionally a small cut or small ring cut of the penis, not removing a large part of the skin. This is called a milah circumcision, and can still be done by traditional and Messianic Jewish rabbis.

Why Not Wait?

It's always an option to allow the consenting adult to circumcise himself later in life. It's also an option for those who were circumcised and regret it, to regrow the foreskin. The procedure is too risky, has zero benefit, and is not the parent's body to make a choice about. 
 

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The Skinny on Prenatal Vitamins {And What You Should Take}

You find out you're pregnant and you're ecstatic. You start planning the baby room, name options, and saving up for a college fund. Then your physician reminds you to grab some prenatals. Are they that important? And which should you take?

Commercial Prenatals

The majority of over the counter prenatals contain synthetic vitamins, which are not assimilated into the body as are naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.

The effects of low folate (folic acid is the synthetic form) during pregnancy spurred vitamin manufacturer's to begin adding folic acid to supplements in the 1980's. Since then, over the counter prenatals have contained around 400 mcg of the stuff. 

The issue is that it's synthetic folate, and blocks your receptors for the real thing and can even turn into a toxin in your body. 


The Enemy: Folic Acid

Except it's not. Folate is the natural form of this B vitamin, and folic acid is the synthetic version. What's the big deal? A lot.
Women who supplemented folic acid during pregnancy were followed in a study for 30 years, finding that those who supplemented were 20-30% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who did not supplement folic acid. 

It also has harmful effects to the child. Children of mothers who supplemented this harmful vitamin are more likely to have asthma, respiratory infections, allergies, and heart defects.

However, natural folate consumed from foods showed to decrease the risk of breast cancer in women, and also decrease the risk of ADHD in children born of the women. 

Best Natural Prenatal Vitamins

Not so Great

Even the natural brand prenatals are lacking on real health.

Rainbow Light prenatals contain the not-so-absorbable vitamin D2, and folic acid. 

New Chapter's Perfect Prenatal doesn't contain folate at all, nor calcium or magnesium. It also contains soy.

Better

Garden of Life Raw prenatals are pretty good. You'll find whole food-based supplements and natural folate. These are available at every natural health food store, and are around $60 for a month's supply. Though this is a food-based supplement, the vitamin K and copper levels are low.

MegaFood Baby & Me and Baby & Me 2 is also a great whole food supplement, but doesn't contain the healthiest form of vitamin A, and is low in calcium and magnesium. 

Best

Seeking Health brand is developed by Dr. Ben Lynch, a leading doctor in the biomedical field, running you around $60 per month.  Methylfolate, However, there is no iron, so be sure to supplement iron on the side (with liver pills if possible). It is not food based, as well. Zahler Prenatal + DHA also only contains methylfolate, in addition to DHA. A bottle is $35.

Prenatal Nutrition 

In today's day and age, even the best diet may not cut it. The soil is depleted of minerals, irradiated to kill the good, living bacteria, and thus the plants and animals we consume are also deficient.

Here's the thing. You cannot out-supplement a bad diet. But you can eat enough nutrient-dense foods to not need supplements, and thus prevent disease in both yourself and your child. It's best to focus on your food consumption and add a high quality supplement as an addition (if you can afford it). 

- Check your iron before supplementing iron with a supplement. It's best to simply consume grass-fed liver or liver pills during pregnancy.

- Eat foods high in vitamins A, D, E, and K (like butter!)

- Go old school and eat plenty of dates, blackstrap molasses and egg yolks. These are the prenatals of old. 

- Supplement magnesium all the time, especially during pregnancy. (Note: do NOT use Natural Calm or any form of magnesium citrate). 

- Supplement a high quality methylfolate (especially if you have a MTHFR mutation). 

- Load up on red raspberry leaf tea, which has shown to strengthen contractions without increasing pain.

- Eat high folate foods daily. 

- Focus on high quality, grassfed, organic, and local protein. 

- Skip fish. Most fish today contains high levels of heavy metals.

- Add in lots of plant fats.

- During the last month of pregnancy, supplement evening primrose oil to soften the cervix (unless you have complications or a history of early labors). 

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Preparing for Fall (Not Flu) Season

Fall is my favorite season. Who doesn’t love the pumpkins, leaves, back to school fun, hayrides, apple orchards? But, there is a dark side to fall – the looming suspicion that the pesky flu is around the corner.

Every Walgreen’s beckons us to come in for the flu shot to be saved of the few days of a cold.

Last year’s U.S. flu vaccination boasted a meager 18% efficacy rate. Would you purchase a battery that only works 18% of the time? Unfortunately, you’re not just getting poor guestimates of that season’s strains, you’re getting much more.

In the U.S. flu shot, depending on which one you get, there’s about 50,000 ppb of mercury. Same as a cut of tuna? Hardly. Consider that .5 ppb of mercury kills human neuroblastoma cells. 2 ppb of mercury is the EPA limit for drinking water. 200 ppb is considered the level in which a liquid is classified as hazardous waste by the EPA. There’s 250 times more mercury in just one flu shot.

This isn’t the only mercury injected into your babe’s bloodstream. 25,000 ppb of mercury is received in the Hep B vaccine at birth. Another 50,000 ppb is received in the DTaP. Mercury has been link to a host of neurological disorders, from autism to Alzheimer’s. A recent study actually showed that you have a five times more chance of getting Alzheimer’s if you’ve had more than three shots in your lifetime.  Sadly, this is just one of the concerning ingredients.

All of that nasty with no benefit? No, thanks.

So, are you just a sitting duck to this and other illnesses this fall? No way!

Do you recall Louis Pasteur, who really got the vaccination movement going? When he was alive and studying, there were two theories of illness and wellness at the time. He took the “germ” route, trying to find an unnatural way to fend off every ill. His contemporaries believed in the “terrain” theory, bolstering one’s immune system to fight off such ills. Claude Bernard, someone also studying illness at the time, believed in the terrain theory.

On Pasteur’s deathbed, he said “Bernard was correct. I was wrong. The microbe (germ) is nothing. The terrain is everything.”

You absolutely can’t keep germs from coming at your child. That would require a bubble. But, you can build up their immune system so that it can fight off both small and big diseases, making them less likely to catch a disease and better able to fight it off should they.

Ways to Boost your Immune System

  • Load up on fruits and vegetables, which contain the micronutrients your body’s cells need to function. We consume less in the colder months because fresh produce isn’t as readily available.
  • Sip on bone broth at least once a week. Yes, sip, as in drink, or make soup! Broth has long been known as an immune-boosting tonic. Purchase organic broth at your local grocery, make your own (http://wellnessmama.com/5888/how-to-make-bone-broth/).
  • Consume elderberry syrup everyday (see recipe here:  https://wellyouwellness.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/how-to-make-elderberry-syrup-you-can-actually-stomach/). Purchase elderberries ($4.75 for 4 oz) at Mountain Rose Herbs: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/elder-berries/profile. They also sell pre-made syrup.
  • Take a probiotic. All of the antibiotics and antibiotic soaps are stripping away your good bacteria. The bacteria in your gut is what makes up the majority of your immune system, without it, your system simply does not function properly. I suggest Garden of Life’s brand: http://www.gardenoflife.com/Products-for-Life/RAW-Digestion/RAW-Probiotics-Women.aspx
  • Spend time outside still. Find the warmest part of the warmest day of the week, and go outside. Set a “Go Outside” temperature and stick to it. Ours is 20. Anything over 20 degrees we make a point to go outside and play in the sun. Inadequate amounts of Vitamin D make it much more difficult for your body’s immune system to function.
  • Air out your house. Again, find the warmest day of the week, and open your windows for at least 15 minutes. Constant forced heating is just pushing toxins and germs back through your house month after winter month. Try to do this at the very least once a month.
  • Ditch the alcohol-laden, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. Only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Both of these destroy your body’s good bacteria, which is what fights off the bad bacteria. Try this one instead: http://www.cleanwelltoday.com/our-products/hand-sanitizer/
  • Load up on whole-food supplements and vitamins, especially A,D (Vitamin D3),E, and K (K2 preferably)
  • Add raw cod liver oil. This brand is less expensive and actually has a great taste: http://www.carlsonlabs.com/p-107-cod-liver-oil-lemon-flavor.aspx
  • Exercise! Invest in a small home gym to keep up even when it’s too cold to go outside, or an in-home workout video program.
  • Sip on warm lemon water every morning. This balances your PH (cancer loves an acidic environment, and literally cannot grow in an alkaline one).
  • Drink an herbal tea every evening. I love ones by the brand Traditional Medicinals, found in most groceries.

You don’t need to be afraid of the flu, or any other illness for that matter, when your terrain is ready to fight off anything coming it’s way.

Happy and Healthy Fall!

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Does Buying Organic Matter?

 

We’ve all been there. You’re picking up apples for the week and you come across the organic ones…then gaze over to the conventional…and wonder if the price tag justifies the health benefits.

I know how you feel. Our budgets don’t allow extra for food, not with the thousands of other bills we have to pay that month. But, consider this: Americans pay less for food than any other country. Americans spend a lot less of their income on food today than 50 years ago (17.5 percent of our income in 1960, and 9.6 percent today).

While there are ways to save with organic buying, it’s simply more expensive. It just is. Why? Organic farmers must obtain rigorous  documenting and approvals before labeling their products organic (I know, I’ve looked into certifying). Everything from the seeds, to the equipment, to the compost, to any pesticides must be totally natural. Have you ever weeded your small garden by hand? Imagine how much work these farmers have to do to keep their farms weed-less. Even the handlers and packers have to be certified. Organic farms are, therefore, inherently smaller organizations.

 

Although it comes with an added price, organic is absolutely crucial to your health and the environment. Organic products cannot be genetically modified nor contain pesticides.

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are seeds which are manufactured to survive harsh pesticides which they normally would die of. They also contain a bacteria called bT toxin, which blows up the stomachs of bugs which eat it. Finally, these crops are doused with pesticides, man made chemicals used to kill a certain species. GMOs are most found in corn, soy, beet sugar (which is what’s used in all your processed foods) and wheat products. Before you go claiming GMOs can feed the world and have been proven safe, let me remind you of the thousands of Indian farmers which have developed cancer from working in these fields and the 60 countries which have banned or labeled these products. It’s not hard to find videos of countries and small African farmers burning these seeds. Because, you see, there’s an ethical issue with these seeds too. They self-destruct after one year. Farmers cannot reuse seeds since they have from the beginning of time. And if your nonGMO seed mixes with a GMO seed, the companies have been known to sue the farmers for using their product without purchase. But this is a normal event where different seed species migrate and mingle with others. This is forcing farmers to be dependent on companies (who will make seeds and price them as they wish) for their very livelihood every year. Can you imagine being a poor, African farmer and finally saving enough money to buy your first seeds to start your business. This business may get your children into school and keep food in their bellies. But, you can only buy Monsanto seeds and you can’t afford them next year when your first crop wasn’t as good as expected. What happens when the few companies which control all our seeds, and thus all our food, decide that we aren’t allowed to have their seeds without paying an exorbitant amount? What happens when we can’t afford it? And all those studies were funded by the same companies which sell the seeds, so you can be sure they are ethical, as well (not!). Many, many studies have found that the GMO seeds and their pesticides are carcinogenic. Just this spring (2015), the World Health Organization deemed the most used pesticide in the United States, glyphosate, as “probably carcinogenic.” It’s what your children’s cereal is made of, in their chicken nuggets and french fries, and is loaded in their Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese. No biggie.
So, why are you told these are safe? All studies that are noting these products as “safe” in the media are created and paid for by the very companies which sell these products, allowing a clear bias into the studies. There have been numerous studies noting cancerous tumors in rats in unbiased, independent studies, but the media does not share there. The media is also owned mostly by these powerful, rich companies. The studies which show that GMOs are “substantially equivalent” to God-created plants are focusing on their macronutrients; they’re saying the protein, carbohydrates, and fats have the same percentages in GMO and nonGMO products. I’m glad to know I’m still getting my fats from corn, but they are totally ignoring two things: micronutrients (vitamins and minerals, of which we get what our cells need to survive) and what altered DNA from these plants (altered in a laboratory) does to our DNA. Because, as they transform nonGMO seeds when they are in close proximity, they transform our DNA, too. What message does that send to God, sorry, you didn’t quite make us or our food good enough, and we know better (any thoughts of the Garden of Eden, Babylon, here)? Do you think He made your body to accept man-made DNA?

 

Conventional lettuce contains over 50 different pesticides. That’s outrageous. Do you know what’s in those 50 chemicals? They are produced by the same company which brought you DDT and Agent Orange. Real trustworthy. Unfortunately, in the United States we do not even mandate labeling of GMOs, but buying organic ensures you avoid both GMOs and pesticides. There is also a voluntary “NonGMO Project Verified” nonGMO label, which signifies that the product is not GMO, but is not organic. The health impact of pesticides includes an array of ills: headaches, eczema, allergies, endocrine issues, thyroid problems, infertility, and even cancer. A 2009 study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry found that children who live in homes which use pesticides are twice as likely to be diagnosed with brain cancer. Children’s nervous and immune systems and brains are not fully formed until after their teen years, making them much more susceptible to issues from pesticide exposure. Another study by the Public Health Institute, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, and California Department of Health Services found in 2007 that children who were subject to organochlorine (chlorinated hydrocarbons, which is what DDT is, though others are still permitted today) pesticides had a six times greater change of developing autism spectrum disorders. Children can simply not detox the amount of pesticides they are bombarded with in their food, water, backyard grass, and homes. The pesticides stay in the body’s organs, including the brain, and cause irreparable damage, from allergies to eczema to cancer.

So, how can you eat organic without breaking the bank?

  1. Shop Organic the “Dirty Dozen.” These are the produce which have the most pesticides. You can actually lower your pesticide exposure by 90% by avoiding  these conventionally-grown.
    • Peaches
    • Apples
    • Sweet bell peppers
    • Celery
    • Nectarines
    • Strawberries
    • Cherries
    • Pears
    • Imported grapes
    • Spinach
    • Lettuce
    • Potatoes
  2. Shop the Clean 12 Non-Organic*

     

    • Onions
    • Avocados
    • Frozen sweet corn
    • Pineapples
    • Mangos
    • Asparagus
    • Frozen sweet peas
    • Kiwi
    • Bananas
    • Cabbage
    • Broccoli
    • Papaya
      *They change these lists each year. It used to the be the Clean 15. Clean 12, not so catchy. These items have the least amount of pesticides.
  3. Stock up on sales. Like anything, organic stuff goes on sale. Actually, with a shorter shelf life it goes on sale more.
  4. Shop local. Find a local organic farmer or CSA share. Barter if you can.
  5. Don’t stop at food. You actually can save a load of money by turning the rest of your house organic: your laundry detergent, every cleaner, soaps and shampoos, lotions and other household products can be made for a fraction of the price (and without the harmful side effects. Parabens are found in over 98% of breast cancer tissue. Look for the word on your face creams, shampoos, and deodorants {guess what that is by?}).
  6. Try different foods. Are organic mangoes on sale? Google a recipe and give them a try instead of another fruit on your list that week.
  7. Less is more. When you start buying organic, items will add up quickly. Realize that you actually do not need as much food as you think (you actually will feel fuller with less once your body adjusts, because you will be taking in more nutrition). Try to create simple recipes. We even have a “plate” dinner at least once a week, where we have a couple plates: fruits, veggies, cheese and meat, etc. We also eat meat only twice a week or so (for dinner).
  8. Cook at home more, and skip eating out. Sorry.
  9. You will save on health care costs. You will find you and your family get sick a lot less when your bodies have the nutrients to fend off illnesses.
  10. Cut back elsewhere. We mostly buy used things and splurge on our food. You’ll find the majority of my clothes, furniture, and even my son’s toys are used. We buy one loaf of bread a month (because it’s really not that great for you anyways!). I am happy living with less in those areas to make ample room in my budget to buy high quality foods that keep us healthy and happy.

Over time, you will feel better and possibly even lose weight. You will be spending more on your groceries (or maybe not when you cut down on your items), but you will have a lot to show for it. Since going mostly organic, I haven’t been to a doctor in almost four years. My son rarely needs to see one (okay, he’s never needed to see one, I just am paranoid). He’s eaten mostly organic his whole life, and has never been diagnosed with any bacterial infection, though he’s been in daycare since three months of age. Eating organic makes a huge difference in your energy level, too. I know it’s an extra expense and can be a big life change, but it’s worth it.

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How to Heal Cancer Naturally

 

In 2013, there were over 14 million Americans diagnosed with cancer. Estimated 5 year survival rate across the board is about 60% [source].

Let’s be honest. Cancer is a problem, a real problem. About one third of us will face it in our own bodies at some point, and every single one of us in the developed world will see a loved one (or more) die of it.



Photo by Pixabay

 

So, let’s talk about what cancer is. Cancer is the normal dividing  process of your cells. That’s it. In those who develop cancerous tumors or find large clusters of cancer in a system or organ, the cancer cells have simply gotten out of control.

Everyone has cancer.

That fact is both terrifying and empowering.

Chemotherapy was derived from the mustard gas they used to exterminate people in the Holocaust concentration camps (a number of the gentlemen who were found guilty in the Nuremberg trials served 7 years in prison, and were then moved to the U.S. where one was named the CEO of Bayer). Make no mistake, the stuff is poison.

Like an antibiotic, when you use chemo, it kills all your cells, not just the cancerous ones. When you use an antibiotic, it kills all your bacteria, the good and the bad. That’s great for that infection, but the next time you have a bacterial infection, the antibiotic does not work as well, the bad bacteria has become resistant, and your good bacteria is decimated, making for more bacterial infections and long term illness. The same is with chemo. It may zap some of the cancer cells, but the cells just proliferate in another in your body, even stronger this time.

Don’t be discouraged. Alternative cancer treatments are out there and they are working. That is just hidden by the U.S. government. In fact, it’s illegal for any doctor to prescribe any other method of cancer treatment outside of chemotherapy and radiation, no matter how bleak the outcomes are for that treatment.

So, the first thing you need to do is get OUT of the doctor’s office. Find a natural practitioner. Find a cancer treatment center in ANOTHER country, because you simply cannot find one in this country. If you cannot afford to travel or the cost of these centers, that’s also fine. You can heal your cancer right at home by yourself. 

You don’t need to “heal” cancer. Cancer is a natural part of your body’s processes. You need to heal WHAT made your cancer get out of control. Your lifestyle, eating habits, and environment have led to a poor functioning immune system that let the cancer get out of control.
The only way to heal the overgrowth of cancer is to fix what is ailing your immune system to allow it to rid the body of the cancerous cells and tumors. 

I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I would do if I, or my child, spouse or parent, was diagnosed with cancer.

 

What I Would Do the Day After I Was Diagnosed with Cancer

  • I would throw out all packaged food, and buy 100% organic fruits and vegetables. I would juice organic fruits and vegetables around the clock for the first two months post diagnosis.
  • I would buy filtered water, or buy a water filtration system, like a Berkey, and drink about 100 ounces of water per day.
  • I would take all CFL light bulbs out of my house. I would get cabled internet, and turn off my WiFi. I would turn off my phone and keep away from me when not in use.
  • I would sleep 10-12 hours per day.
  • I would rebound, dry brush my skin, and give myself lymph massages daily.
  • Toss out all prescriptions and skip vaccines (for good).
  • I would swap out all air fresheners and candles with beeswax candles and essential oil sprays.
  • Throw away and discontinue use of 100% of your hygiene products, . After a few months when you realize healing, you can bring back in natural oils, soaps, baking soda and vinegar for home and body cleaning.
  • I would sip on warm, filtered water teas throughout the day. The herbs would include fresh, raw cuts of ginger, astralagus, clove, garlic and cayenne pepper.

If it was aggressive:

I would purchased a one way ticket to Mexico and check myself into Oasis of Hope treatment center or Gerson Institute, depending on the type of cancer.

Cancer is treatable, just not in a medical doctor’s office in the United States. Research for yourself the effects of chemo and radiation, and learn what natural alternatives you have to live a long, low cancer life.

Resources

The Truth About Cancer – documentary and web site dedicated to spreading the truth about cancer and real, lifelong treatments.

Gerson Therapy – successful juicing therapy for cancer treatment.

Hope 4 Cancer Therapy – numerous alternative therapies, including virotherapy, hyperthermia, sono phono dynamic therapy, IV therapies, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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Why Cosleeping

 

Photo credit: Pixabay

Cosleeping is a taboo in our society today. It may sound strange, or downright abusive to sleep in the samespace as a child. This, however, is the creation of an over-developed, over-indulged, and me-focused world.

In the majority of cultures in other parts of the world, it’s seen as abusive to allow a baby to sleep in another room, let alone a cage, and require them to cry hysterically before responding to their need for food or attention. I have to say that I agree.

What is cosleeping?

Cosleeping is simply allowing your little ones to sleep near you. Bed sharing is technically sleeping in the same bed as your baby. It is the norm for parents to sleep in the same bed as their child until the age of six or older, and to share a room with their children until at least the teen years around the world.

The Benefits of Cosleeping

Study after study is showing that cosleeping has numerous benefits. Brain development is heightenedas children experience more uninterrupted and peaceful sleep. The child neurologically develops faster as he is allowed to sleep in numerous positions which use his muscles more.

I don’t know about you, but I remember spending endless nights staring at my night light, waiting for morning. Sleeping alone is lonely and scary. The high levels of fear and low levels of sleep do not contribute to a healthy, complete child.

Attachment between the parent and child increases as the child knows she doesn’t need to cry to get her parent’s attention in the night, which flows into a less fussy baby during the day.

Of course, don’t ever sleep with your child while you are on drugs or alcohol, or if you have a fetish for gigantic, fluffy blankets.

The Government’s Business in your Bed

You may or may not be surprised that I feel the government should have no say over what goes on in your bedroom (or house, or life), but of course, they think they know best outside of natural intuition and thousands of years of healthy living.

Years ago, a governmental agency launched the Back to Bed campaign discouraging parents to sleep with their babies or allow them to sleep in any position besides on their back. A poster depicting a baby sleeping with a knife compared the act of cosleeping with allowing such a situation. The poster made me want to throw a knife at the poster.

Numerous physicians have noted the correlation between SIDS and vaccine reaction (vaccine death). With noclear cause for SIDS admitted by the government, they have used the campaign to attempt to put action to their poor theories, with no scientific backing, much to the detriment of thousands of children.

Viera Schreibner Ph.D. wrote an amazing book on this subject, Vaccination: 100 Years of Orthodox Research.
In her experiments, she saw a strong correlation between 15-16 days post vaccination and cot death (now called SIDS). That’s also the typical immune system response time.

Interestingly, cosleeping is the norm among the Japanese, who appear to be immune from SIDS. Coincidence? Sure, says the U.S. government (as they count their vaccine dollars).

My Experience with Cosleeping

My son was born just about bed time (thank you, child) and after I downed a cheeseburger, I set him beside me, sleeping in bed. I was ready to go to sleep myself after being up for two days, but wasn’t sure just what to do with him.

My midwife noticed me looking around, from the bassinet to the sleeping baby (occasionally glancing at the barrage of lovely women doing my laundry and cleaning up my food wrappers), and simply said “he will be fine with you.” I gave a questioning look back, but was too tired to offer much more response. The next day, the media fears rang in my head, and I went out to buy a Moses basket. We tried that for a day, but it wasn’t the same as being able to touch my child throughout the night. I sold the basket, and in my bed is where my son remained.

I can’t express the peace of having your child sleep with you. Knowing they are healthy and safe is invaluable. I know the day before my child is sick because I can tell by his sleep patterns nights before any symptoms show. It is an attachment on an entirely other level.

Sleep well. 

 

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Fevers: Friend or Foe?

Fevers: Friend or Foe?

June 18, 2015

 

It’s what every mother dreads: your child doesn’t seem to be feeling well, you use the ol’ back-of-the-hand-on-the-forehead test, and sure enough, your little one has a fever.

Do you reach for the phone to call the doc? The medicine cabinet for the Tylenol? What do you do?

If you’re like me, my first reaction is “let’s fix this NOW.” OD the Tylenol. Get a chilly bath going. Beg for that doctor’s appointment later today. Check, did my job. My little one will be better in no time.

But, are we doing the right thing? What really is a fever, what’s it doing in our bodies, and what should we do about it?

Photo by Pixabay

My son first teethed at two months. Add troubled breastfeeding and no family or partner help onto that and I was a pretty stressed-out mama. So, when he developed a fever when teething, I did what any mom does. Crack out the baby Tylenol. I knew I wasn’t doing the right thing, but how else would I get some sleep? I hated seeing him in discomfort.

I greatly regret responding to a fever with Tylenol after recent studies show its dangers in children (1), but I also knew better than to bring down his fever. I knew instinctively that a fever has to be a good thing, and my reaction to bring it down was mostly based on my worry and fear (and the three hours of sleep I hoped to get that night).

A fever, in its simplest definition, is your body’s immune system reacting to an infection. Your body heats up to kill the bacteria or virus. When we bring down our fevers, we are telling our bodies to not fight the invader, which is why as soon as the medication wears off, we see the fever come back again, sometimes with a vengence. Studies show we are likely making our illness last longer and worsen when we reduce our fevers.

In addition, traditional fever reducers (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin) have to be metabolized by our bodies, making your body work harder when it least needs to. Also, these come with a nasty list of side effects including liver failure.

When you bring down a fever unnaturally, it is more likely to creep up to unnatural levels, such as the case with febrile seizures. It is very rare for a fever to ever reach above 107 degrees (febrile seizure territory) naturally.

So what should you do?

Assess whether your child has additional symptoms, such as a cough, stuffy nose, red eyes, vomiting or diarrhea, or is lethargic. I’ve made myself a list of symptoms which I feel call for a doctor’s appointment. This helps me keep my emotions in check when a 99 degree fever with absolutely no other symptoms lasting 24 minutes gets the best of me. In general, fevers over 103-104 degrees, any signs of lethargy, a wet-cough or other respiratory issues(mucus in lungs), or if your child cannot keep down solids or liquids for a few hours are causes for real concern. You also want to be sure you are not experiencing heat poisoning, a toxin-related fever, or severe dehydration. If you can rule those out, you may be better of sitting this one out at home.

When a fever is present, the body is clearly fighting an infection. So, cancel your plans, even if the fever is minor. The temperature, high or low, of a fever does not depict the seriousness of the infection. Even with a minor fever, keep your child’s activity limited (but they don’t necesarily have to be confined to a bed), and do not bring them in public. Studies show a low-grade fever lasting multiple days is likely actually more serious than a one or two-day high-grade fever.

Since I’ve shifted to not reducing my son’s fevers with medications, I have seen his sicknesses become less severe (not that they ever were), infrequent (2-4 a year), and seen him fight them off faster. He has never needed an antibiotic, never confirmed an ear infection, never have seen a fever over 102.5 degrees, and I’ve never gotten a diagnosis outside of “just look likes a minor virus, not to worry,” even when I was sure it was something else.

Of course, you want your child to be as comfortable as possible when they’re sick, and try to pay close attention to their symptoms. You can comfort your child without hindering their healing process by some of the methods below.

Natural ways to comfort your child during a fever:

1. If they’re up to it, bring out some coloring books, games, their favorite movie, etc…

2. Room temperature baths (NOT cold or hot)

3. Juice of 1/2 lemon on the calves (wrapped with a cloth)

4. Lavender essential oil on the calves, feet, and forehead (the forehead works like a champ for us)

5. Snuggles. Don’t underestimate physical comfort

6. Be Positive: remind your child that their body can fight this, and they will be better soon. I have a few Bible verses which talk about healing for when my son is sick.

7. Massages, back rubs.

8. Do not over-blanket. Sometimes, especially in infants, a suspected fever is actually from over clothing/blanketing.

9. Now is a great time to up the immune boosting foods (kefir, bone broth), herbs (echinacea, chamomile, elderberry), and of course, hydrate (good old water or coconut water – no Gatorade).

10. If your child also has a cough or stuffy nose, try the wet-sock treatment. Get a thin and thick sock, and get the thick sock ice-cold wet. Put the thick, wet socks on your child’s feet, then the thin socks. Do this only right before bed and leave on overnight. Don’t ask me why, this just works. I had a number of folks suggest this to me before I actually tried it – and take it from me, it’s a game changer.

I know it can be difficult to watch your child be any degree of sick, even if it’s just because they ate too much sugar, as often happens to my little one. But, armed with the knowledge of how to make your child better, faster can help you kick your child’s illness and your fears aside.

Oh, and toss out that Tylenol.

 

Another tidbit: I’ve started recording when my son gets sick. I record all temp readings, his symptoms, and medication or remedies given, and any doctor’s appointments. This helps me assess what he gets sick with (which has only ever been that pesky 2-4 day virus), and helps me analyze possible reasons his immune system was down during that time.

 

(1) https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/tylenol-may-not-be-as-safe-and-effective-as-we-thought/

Tylenol Once a Month Raises a Child’s Asthma Risk 540 Percent


Other articles on the subject:
http://wellnessmama.com/5820/dont-reduce-fever/
http://www.naturalnews.com/027149_fever_virus_flu.html
http://www.growingupherbal.com/fevers-101/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/12/17/fever-part-one.aspx

 

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Garlic Oil Ear Drops

Garlic Oil Ear Drops

January 4, 2016

 

Studies show that over 75% of ear infections are actually viral, though most doctors will dole out an antibiotic.
It is estimated that over 25 million pediatric visits per year are for ear infections, topping the list.
But, are antibiotics really the answer? We know that antibiotics kill good bacteria in our guts and bodies, which actually help prevent and fight off the bad bacteria. If the average child has a number of ear infections per year, are antibiotics really the answer?

An age-old remedy is garlic oil ear drops. Warmed, they soothe the ear and garlic’s antiviral and antibacterial properties attack both forms of an infection.

 

Photo credit: Pixabay

Garlic Oil Ear Drops
– 2 cloves of fresh, organic garlic
– 1/4 cup of high quality olive, mullein, or other oil.

Crush the garlic and place in oil in saucepan on a low heat. Cover, and let heat (do not boil) for at least twenty minutes. You can also allow the garlic to sit in the oil for a period of one to four weeks, if you prefer not heating it.
Pour cooled oil into a glass dropper.

Place one to two drops in each ear as symptoms persist. Allow child to lay on their side as you apply, and massage behind each ear.

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What's the Difference between an OB, Doula, and Midwife?

 

Photo by Pixabay

The birthing options known to the modern woman today seem pretty limited: hospital, OB, every intervention, no questions asked. In most developed countries around the world, the birth situation appears to be better than ever. We are whisked away, numbed, and end up with a happy baby in our hands. That’s good enough, right?

The statistics are saying no. The U.S., with arguably the “best” and most healthcare, ranks as the worst for maternal health out of all of the developed countries.  Clearly, we are not doing something right.

Other developed countries, such as Holland, are going back to the basics of birth Indeed, most of their women still deliver at home and see much better maternal health outcomes. Though it’s still a very small percentage, more and more women are delivering out of the hospital in the U.S. each year. In 2014, there were 60,000 out of the hospital births, and the numbers keep rising.

Women are doing the research and see that the hospital benefits are not adding up.

Obstetrician

An obstetrician (dubbed OB for short), is a trained surgeon and healthcare professional for birth and female reproductive issues. An OB obtains a bachelor’s degree, then goes to medical school, then does a residency program. It’s interesting that an OB never has to see a normal, natural birth to obtain licensure, but they do need to perform surgery. Their training is focused on surgeries and high risk birth procedures, which is a small percentage of the real birth outcomes.

I am not downing OB’s or the need for them. OB’s are desperately needed for high risk situations and emergency births, but they should not be the common birth go-to physician. They simply are not trained for it.

Midwives

Midwives are trained to facilitate natural, lower risk births. Some work in hospitals, others in birth centers, and still others deliver babies at the mother’s home. There are two designations of midwives. Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) attend a midwifery college program. These midwives tend to be more natural-based. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) have obtained a nursing degree and then also trained in midwifery. Both will need to complete a residency program depending on the state laws. The licensing of each type of midwife varies per state, with some states only currently licensing CNMs (meaning you cannot legally have a birth with a CPM, unfortunately). A midwife can perform most of the same procedures as an OB, outside of surgery and other invasive procedures. If a mother ever needed to have an emergency C section, the midwife would transfer her to the hospital.

Truly, during my time as a doula, I saw midwives help out nurses and OBs in the hospital time after time, and deliver higher risk babies at home safely that would have been an instant C section in the hospital. They hold knowledge that the modern obstetricians of today simply do not have. Their specialty is natural birth, and they’ve normally attended so many births, that they can predict the course of the birth before an emergency may even arise. Statistics show that birth outcomes are much better when a birth is attended by a midwife. This is because of lower interventions, a higher standard of care, constant attention, the same caregiver (OBs and nurses may switch shifts), and a general better understanding of the birth process.

Hospital vs Birth Center

A midwife may attend births at a hospital, birth center or home. A birth center may be attached to and legally owned by a hospital, or may be a “stand alone” Center which is privately owned. Less interventions will be found in the stand alone birth center, and fewer still at home. Still, a birth center may be a good option if you want the luxury and proximity of a hospital, with a more natural environment and provider.

Doula

Doulas are trained birth attendants – they do not do any medical procedures, but assist the mother and family with her desired birth. Doulas really are there to assist the mother, physician, and birth partners in creating the mother’s ideal birth.  Doulas keep the father fed, guide him and other birth partners, ensure mom has what she needs, are trained in natural pain management as well as other natural birthing techniques, are knowlegable about the birth process and interventions, and will help inform the mother of these during a stressful time. A doula is basically your personal attendant with an education. It’s also scientifically proven that having a doula at your birth is likely to produce a better birth outcome. 

Do your full research and explore all your birth options well before your birth. Unfortunately, the current maternity model of care is not bringing about healthier mothers or babies. You will have to make that happen yourself. Below has more resources, including two documentaries I highly suggest every to-be mother watch before planning their birth.

Resources

DONA International – information regarding and finding doulas.

Midwifery laws per state – each state has its own midwifery laws, and this link will show you which type of midwives are licensed in your state.

National Vaccine Information Center by State Exemption Information – see what exemptions are available in your state, how to get them, and what laws may be on the way.

Pregnant in America – a documentary chronicling the birth process in the U.S. today (also available on Netflix at time of posting).

Business of Being Born – a documentary with a sequel by Ricki Lake about birthing in the U.S.

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Your First Three Decisions as a Parent

Photo by Pixabay

We take a childbirth class, we  prepare the nursery, take a tour of the hospital, and research the best car seats – but we rarely think about the first moments after birth – the doctor has that covered, right? I encourage you to research and talk with your partner, and finally your doctor, about the first interventions following your birth. This is a critical time for you and your baby, and your first decisions as a mama to keep your baby safe. Remember that this is your body, your baby, and your decision. A doctor is there to give you advice and render a service, per your wishes.

1. Hold up, daddy! Don’t cut that cord yet!
In most hospitals today, the umbilical cord is cut immediately after birth. The mother often does not know that it even occurred. But, this is detrimental to your child’s health. There is no medical reason to cut the cord early, other than to give quicker and easier access to the baby for the nurses and doctor. The truth is up to one-third of your baby’s total one-cup of blood is still in the placenta, and being pulsed back into the baby. It only takes about 2 minutes for the blood to return fully to the baby’s body, and the cord will stop pulsing. This is an appropriate time to cut the cord. Doing so earlier deprives your baby of much-needed blood. While still connected to the placenta, the baby is also still receiving oxygen, much needed after that long birth process! Unfortunately, this is still a common process even though ACOG noted that cord cutting should be delayed all the way back in December 2012. Unless medically necessary, there is no reason to cut the cord early, or separate the baby from the mother. You will need to tell your doctor and birth team ahead of time, and ensure a close member at your birth (doula, husband, etc) is ready to remember the doctor at birth.

2. No silver eye drops for us, please!
Silver nitrate eye drops are applied immediately to the baby, stemming from a time when a number of bacterial infections were left untreated in the mother. This is not a problem anymore today, yet the eye drops are still used. These cause temporary blindness during the first week of baby’s life, causing psychological damage that we have not tested, and can also cause a number of other ailments – namely, clogged tear ducts which require surgery. They truly are not necessary, and are yet another added intervention your baby does not need during the first moments after birth. Just turn them down!
I also want to touch briefly on other interventions that are harmful: 1) your baby is born with a protective, lotion-like layer of “white stuff” – have the nurses rub it in! It is not necessary to rub or wash off, and actually acts like a lotion and fends off infections to your babe. 2) Skip the baby bath, at least right away. Your baby, again, was born completely clean, and you don’t want to know the yuckies lurking in your baby’s first chemical, anti-bacterial bath, trust me. 3) Vitamin K Shot. This one also can wait. Doctors started this  intervention when women were birthing malnourished babes in the 1950’s. It frankly is not necessary today, but you will get a lot of push back on it. It truly is only a good precaution after a traumatic birth (where a babe could of bruised) or before circumcision. Vit K helps your blood clot, and babies are in fact born with a lower level. However, your babe’s Vitamin K levels will reach peak levels on day 8, the traditional day of Jewish circumcision (and I would do it that day, too). 4) Hep B Vaccine – this one boggles me. I encourage you to hold off on this one until baby’s two-month check up, if at all. Hepatitis B is spread mainly through blood and sexual transmission. So, unless your baby plans on getting frisky in the nursery or the mother has the disease, this is entirely unnecessary and an assault on your tiny baby’s immune system.

3. Keep my cart here!
When baby is born, he or she is looking for that peaceful voice she’s heard so many months: mama. Where’s mama? Not where’s Dr. OB or Ms. Nurse. There’s ample research that putting baby on mommy’s bare chest is the absolute best for baby. Outside of an emergency, demand your baby is placed on your chest the moment of birth, and any check-up’s or interventions the Dr. feels necessary can be done on your chest. Truly, any intervention they want to do can wait if your baby is doing fine. Baby should be encouraged to breastfeed within the first 20 minutes of life – this will also help your uterus contract to prevent hemorrhage. Keep your baby with you – no nursery is necessary. This will begin the breastfeeding schedule and help you and the babe bond. Plus, you know no funny business is happening in the nursery.

I hope this empowered you to look into your birth experience and design what is best for you and your baby. From the moment you become a mama, there’s a myriad of decisions as to how to keep your baby healthy and safe. I encourage you to approach each with caution, and make no decision because “that’s what everyone else does.”

Happy birthing!

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Mother Roasting - The Lost Art of Keeping Mama Warm After Birth

Mother Roasting – The Lost Art of Keeping Mama Warm After Birth

January 13, 2018

 

 

In the United States, women get a mere three months of unpaid leave, fathers maybe a week or two. The culture is not family-oriented, community-oriented, and definitely not mother-baby oriented.

In eastern societies, birth is considered a “cold” time, when the mother’s body has opened and expended enormous amounts of energy. Mother roasting, which is simply the act of keeping the mother warm during the weeks and months after childbirth, seeks to help the body close back up, bring the organs back into their respective places, and allow the mother {and baby} to emotionally, spiritually, and physically heal. Western medicine can also see that the mother’s body loses warmth through the baby, placenta, and high amounts of fluids lost during birth, so this is not some eastern fad. Mexican societies don’t suggest mothers drink cold beverages, and in Indian societies, its the task of the father to keep a warm fire burning next to the mother’s bed for months postpartum.

Staying home during the weeks following childbirth is also called “lying in,” and is done in a number of cultures, as well. Northern Native Americans prohibited mothers from leaving the home for one month after delivering a boy, and two months after delivering a girl.

It’s clear that postpartum is not an honored time in western society today. A few hundred years ago, Colonials expected mothers to not leave the warmth of her bed for three to four weeks postpartum, and that standard is still alive in much of the “developing” world today. There are not many statistics on postpartum in America today, but a survey of mothers noted that 76% still feel extreme tiredness two months postpartum in the U.S., and close to 50% of mothers in Canada experienced pain in their head, back or perineum at two months postpartumResearch states that it takes 2.5-3 years to build back the nutrients lost during pregnancy, and I’ve personally experienced that as well. So, we can’t expect moms to bounce back in two to three weeks, or even two to three months. We should consider giving extra care to mom for two to three years.

Each culture does it a bit differently, but daily warm massages, baths, warm teas and beverages, warm, nourishing soups, belly binding, and saunas make up some of the common traditions during this important time. If you are looking for a mother roaster, check out this site’s listing or ask your postpartum doula.

Mother Roasting at Home

Here are some simple mother roasting steps you can do at home, or ask your postpartum doula to do, to bring healing after your birth.

Warm Baths

Warm baths allow the mother to relax, bring healing to sore muscles and tissues, seal up the opened body, and create a warm environment. Adding healing herbs (see teas below) will also encourage the perineum to heal on the mother, and the umbilical cord to heal on the baby. In Laos and Thailand, women are accustomed to warm saunas and baths after childbirth for many weeks.

Warm Teas

Cleansing the blood, allowing toxins and excess blood and water to flow out of the body, and sealing up the opened organs are crucial after birth.

Herbs suggested are:

  • Plantain
  • Red Clover
  • Red Raspberry
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Calendula
  • Lavender

Stay Indoors

Find a local delivery service or use Amazon delivery for your groceries, or ask a friend or postpartum doula. Allow your home to be unkempt for a few months, and focus on resting and feeding your new baby. Ask your husband to cover any drafty areas (or stay out of those rooms) before delivery. Invest in a space heater (or wood stove), and loads of warm blankets, wraps, slippers, pajamas, and bedding. Set the expectation with family and friends that they will be coming to visit (with a soup in hand or helping hand), and that you won’t be leaving the home until you’re ready.

Warm, Nourishing Soups

Ancient cultures and still many cultures today suggest women sip on warm teas, broths and soups for the weeks following delivery. Warm milk, nourishing bone broths, oiled meats, boiled eggs, sesame and seaweed broths, and broths with vegetables and meats containing high vitamin K, D, iron and protein are what you’re looking for. If you don’t have a hubby or mother-in-law that’s a great cook, and can’t prep these ahead of time, find a local postpartum doula to deliver these to you.

Belly Massage and Binding

A daily belly massage is given to every new mother in Mayan and Indian countries for at least one month postpartum, bringing latent blood out of tissues, moving internal organs back into place, bringing the uterus back to position, softening sore muscles and ligaments.

Binding the belly, also called belly wrapping, is found throughout ancient Asian, Native American, and South and Central American cultures, and is used to bring the internal organs and musculoskeleton system back into place and harmony. Mothers can use simple cotton or muslin scarves or blankets, pre-made wraps, or a traditional beng kung binding (image here). Binding has also been shown to limit postpartum uterine bleeding.
(I have purchased a traditional beng kung binding, and rent it out to new mothers. I will also teach or do the binding at intervals necessary to the mother).

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