Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – The diagnosis

May 17th, 2016 my daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I am still in a bit of shock. She has had many dx’s along the way including but not limited to EDS3, DCD, SPD, APD, MERLD, Encephalopathy-nos, Dyslexia and allergies. She will be nine years old next month and I am feeling a mix of grief and relief as we all learn more about her and how she processes the world around her. I am frustrated that it has taken so long so nail down this diagnosis but at the same time as I learn about females with autism, I get it. It seems they are often missed. Females seem to be better at developing coping mechanisms to compensate for the differences in who they are and how they participate with others.

To be completely honest the hardest part about this diagnosis so far has been the lack of available services covered by our insurance and the amount of time it is taking everyone to get it together so we can get my daughter into appropriate therapies. The past three years have been so many therapies. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, vision therapy, all the therapies! I don’t think it’s all been for nothing. But I really feel like we were given an outdated diagnosis of MERLD and that coupled with the diagnostic criteria for ASD changing in 2013 means my kid finally has the right diagnosis. Now we wait some more until all the red tape and waiting is done. In the mean time I look online at diets, supplements, how to help my child, what is ABA, have I been doing it wrong all along dot com. I am trying not to get overwhelmed but I also feel like we’ve lost so much precious time. All of that early intervention that is so incredibly important? That ship has sailed. And now I am waiting for approxiamtely three weeks for a letter from my insurance company that will tell me whether they will approve the ABA therapy or not. After that three weeks, if the answer is yes, we get put on the waiting list for ABA therapy. The YEAR  LONG waiting list. Which means my daughter could be ten years old before she ever receives any autism related services. This makes me want to set things on fire.

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When do I bathe my newborn?

A lot of Moms aren’t sure when to bathe their newborn babies. Many people wait until the umbilical cord stump falls off. Some lose that first bath experience to hospital staff. I have some very important info on why Mothers should wait to bathe their babies and I want to share it.

A bath will lower the baby’s body temperature which may then prompt hospital staff to insist on placing the baby in a warmer until its temperature rises sufficiently. Be aware that if you do choose to delay bathing your newborn or refuse a formal bath entirely, hospital staff may treat your baby as a biohazard. In the case of a homebirth, this is a non-issue.

Comfort measures:
I test the temp with my wrist, not my fingers as my hands have become desensitized to temperature over time. Try it – you’ll feel a difference in the water temp just going from your hand to your wrist. I turn the heat on and close the bathroom door to keep it nice and warm in there. Have a cup, tear-free baby wash and a rag handy. Don’t bathe your baby right after a feeding or when they’re hungry or tired.

Bathe with your baby:
There is nothing wrong with getting into the bath with your baby. I did this with my first for every bath and I would hand her off to hubby when she was all done. I just bent my legs and she sat there, propped on them with her bottom resting on my pelvic area. My babies always loved when I got in the bath with them, then if they get upset you can just pull them right up to the breast and nurse through the bathing if need be.

My firstborn was bathed in the hospital against my wishes after a transfer from the birth center. My last two children were both water births so they had a bit of bath on their birthdays and I did not bathe them again until 2 weeks or so.

Some Moms worry about they baby crying during the bath or hating it all together. I say do whatever keeps them happy. At 1-2 weeks it is so hard to hear them cry (hormonally). No need for undue stress. My girls love the bath but I don’t know how much in part of that is from being welcomed into the world that way and how much of that is just their personality.

Here’s a tidbit on why you should wait to bathe your baby AND avoid artificial rupture of your membranes (having your water “broken”).

You’ll need to scroll down a bit to find the heading for:

Tests (Western analysis and immunochemistry) revealed that lysozyme, lactoferrin, human neutrophil peptides 1–3, and secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor were present in the amniotic fluid samples and in organized granules embedded in the vernix samples. These immune substances were tested using antimicrobial growth inhibition assays and found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of common perinatal pathogens, including group B. Streptococcus, K. pneumoniae, L. monocytogenes, C. albicans, and E. coli.

The authors point out that the innate immune proteins found in vernix and amniotic fluid are similar to those found in breast milk. As the baby prepares for extrauterine life, pulmonary surfactant (a substance produced by the maturing fetal lungs) increases in the amniotic fluid, resulting in the detachment of vernix from the skin. The vernix mixes with the amniotic fluid and is swallowed by the growing fetus. Given the antimicrobial properties of this mixture, the authors conclude that there is “considerable functional and structural synergism between the prenatal biology of vernix caseosa and the postnatal biology of breast milk” (p. 2095). They also suggest that better understanding of these innate host defenses may prove useful in preventing and treating intrauterine infection.

Routine artificial rupture of membranes increases the likelihood of intrauterine infection because it eliminates the physical barrier (the amniotic sac) between the baby and the mother’s vaginal flora. This study suggests an additional mechanism for the prevention of infection when the membranes remain intact: A baby bathed in amniotic fluid benefits from antimicrobial proteins that are found in the fluid and in vernix caseosa.

The results of this study also call into question the routine use of some newborn procedures. Early bathing of the baby removes vernix, which contains antimicrobial proteins that are active against group B. streptococcus and E. coli. Delaying the bath and keeping the newborn together with his or her mother until breastfeeding is established may prevent some cases of devastating infections caused by these bacteria. The fact that preterm babies tend to have more vernix than babies born at or after 40 weeks might mean that healthy, stable preterm babies derive even greater benefit from staying with their mothers during the immediate newborn period.

Finally, this study illustrates how the normal physiology of pregnancy and fetal development is part of a continuum that extends beyond birth to the newborn period. The immunologic similarities between amniotic fluid, vernix, and breast milk provide further evidence that successful initiation of breastfeeding is a critical part of the process of normal birth.

So you see it is for the child’s benefit to wait a while and not rush into that first bath on the day of birth or even in the first week of life. I hope you have found this information useful.

Make sure you take pics of that first bath! And good luck!

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Stop the Abuse of OxyContin

Contrary to FALSE CLAIMS THAT LESS THAN 1% of PATIENTS GET ADDICTED, the CT Attorney General has stated the addiction rate is around 13% but some feel it is as high as 30%. All Patients (100%) do become physically dependent.

Two years ago, the company Purdue Pharma L.P. had to pay $635 million to settle federal charges that it underplayed the drug’s potential for abuse.

Is there really an EPIDEMIC? In recent years there has been a 556% increase in the sales of oxycodone. According to an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) fact sheet, an estimated 1.6 million Americans used prescription-type pain relievers for non-medical reasons for the first time in 1998.

Share your experience with Oxycontin with us. Do you know someone who is addicted? Thinking about using? Have you had a personal experience with Oxycontin? Your story could be the one that changes or SAVES someones life. All authors will remain anonymous unless they wish otherwise. Thank you all for your support in promoting awareness of this deadly drug. Send your story to

Join us on Facebook where there are true stories of addicts, recovered/recovering addicts, pharmacy technicians and many others with a story to share! You will also find valuable links for help with addiction, information about the drug and it’s addictive nature and many other valuable resources.

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Pregnancy & Childbirth Are Normal

This post is here for information about birth and birth procedures. Feel free to add any links that you feel may be helpful!

I’ll start off with an encouraging tidbit that I wrote myself. I hope you all find this helpful!

Giving birth and giving birth away

Childbirth is one of the most empowering events in a woman’s life. It is an opportunity to trust in the nature of how we were designed and what we were created for. It is a time to revel in our beauty, our flawless construction for creating life. It is a time to celebrate, not to numb our bodies and our minds out of fear. Giving birth is a very special event that each woman should remember always as a pivotal moment in life. It should never be reflected on in regret. Yet so many women are experiencing mourning after their childbirth experience because they gave birth away.

Doctor’s Voices – Stuart Fischbein, MD

I’ve been wondering what I could do to help our friends in Australia as well as here in the US where midwifery is constantly under threat…where midwifery and women and baby’s right are being trampled…hear the truth from the doctors who are bravely speaking out. I present “Doctor’s Voices” as a way to support midwifery AND the doctors who support the midwifery model of care/mother-baby focused birth and reform of our current system.

Restricting oral fluid and food intake during labor

Since the evidence shows no benefits or harms, there is no justification for the restriction of fluids and food in labour for women at low risk of complications.

Intrapartum antibiotics for known maternal Group B streptococcal colonization

This review finds that giving antibiotics is not supported by conclusive evidence.

Music for pain relief

Listening to music reduces pain intensity levels and opioid requirements, but the magnitude of these benefits is small and, therefore, its clinical importance unclear.

Maternal positions and mobility during first stage labor

Here is evidence that walking and upright positions in the first stage of labour reduce the length of labour and do not seem to be associated with increased intervention or negative effects on mothers’ and babies’ wellbeing. Women should be encouraged to take up whatever position they find most comfortable in the first stage of labor.

Enemas during labor

The evidence provided by the three included RCTs shows that enemas do not have a significant effect on infection rates such as perineal wound infection or other neonatal infections and women’s satisfaction. This evidence does not support the routine use of enemas during labour; therefore, such practice should be discouraged.

Routine perineal shaving on admission in labor

There is insufficient evidence to recommend perineal shaving for women on admission in labor.

Immersion in water in labor and birth

Evidence suggests that water immersion during the first stage of labour reduces the use of epidural/spinal analgesia. There is limited information for other outcomes related to water use during the first and second stages of labour, due to intervention and outcome variability. There is no evidence of increased adverse effects to the fetus/neonate or woman from labouring in water or waterbirth. The fact that use of water immersion in labour and birth is now a widely available care option for women threatens the feasibility of a large, multicentre randomised controlled trial.

Position in the second stage of labor for women without epidural anesthesia

The tentative findings of this review suggest several possible benefits for upright posture, with the possibility of increased risk of blood loss greater than 500 ml. Women should be encouraged to give birth in the position they find most comfortable. Until such time as the benefits and risks of various delivery positions are estimated with greater certainty, when methodologically stringent trials’ data are available, women should be allowed to make informed choices about the birth positions in which they might wish to assume for delivery of their babies.

Routine Newborn Baby Care Procedures

Choices for newborn baby care procedures begin immediately at birth. The best preparation is to have considered them and decided beforehand what procedures you desire (or don’t want) for your newborn. For a hospital birth, there are numerous routine procedures which can be administered, delayed or even refused…Many parents don’t realize the impact that these procedures can have on their newborn child…Another critical point to remember is that you can and absolutely have the right to receive information about each and every procedure that will be performed, as well as the right to either request the procedure be performed in your room or that a parent/guardian accompany the newborn for each one. This includes weighing, measuring and the pediatrician’s evaluation of the baby – all can be performed right there in the mother’s room. Remember, your first responsibility is to the welfare of your child, not to the comfort of the hospital staff nor arbitrary hospital policies.

The most commonly performed routine newborn baby care procedures to consider are:
Delayed Cord Clamping Vs. Immediate Cord Clamping
Newborn Vitamin K Injection
PKU Test
Silver Nitrate or Antibiotic Eye Ointment
Hep B Vaccine
To Bathe or Not to Bathe

Benefits And Risks Of Episiotomy

The benefits and risks of episiotomy are very disproportionate. When compared together, the research supports that routine episiotomy should be banished as a practice of the past. Even ACOG’s positions is that the research does not support the practice of routine episiotomy.

The Cascade of Intervention

Normal, natural birth sets the stage for problem-free breastfeeding—what nature intended—while a complicated, intervention-intensive labor and birth set the stage for problems.

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The cascade of intervention


I’m angry, I’m sad, I am frustrated as hell! I want to scream from the rooftops in complete and utter disgust for the misinformation women receive from Doctors regarding ignoring the spontaneous actions that occur in the natural process of childbirth. “Let’s induce you and get things going,” “You’ll be holding your baby within an hour if you let me…” Here it comes. Yes, here comes my stance on inductions for non-medical reasons. Here come the facts. The things your Doctor doesn’t tell you!

A due date is an estimated due date and can be off by as much as 2 weeks (in either direction – early or late). Women need to be prepared for what may happen during an induction. First of all, breaking your water will not speed anything along unless you are already in a good pattern of labor. So more than likely the Doc will break your water then want to give you drugs to force your body to have contractions (these drugs WILL NOT dilate your cervix). The drugs they use to induce labor only cause contractions, they do not dilate the cervix (which is what has to happen in order for the baby to come out). There is a risk of your baby going into distress from strong, chemically induced contractions without dilating. Babies will only be able to withstand chemically induced contractions for so long before it stresses their little system. You are putting your birth on a time table by agreeing to an induction. Once your water is broken you have roughly 12 hours (I believe it is 12 hours at most hospitals but it may be 24) to have your baby. If you haven’t had your baby within 12-24hrs hours they call it “failure to progress” and will perform a major abdominal surgery to remove them and call it an “emergency” even though they caused it by artificially breaking your water and trying to force your body into something it wasn’t ready to do.

Most Docs tell you they will induce you because it is easier for them – NOT for you. And that’s what’s up ladies. Birth is easier for them when they are in control.

So now in “labor” with artificial contractions you will more than likely receive pain management drugs because chemically induced contractions are much stronger and harder than the contractions the body naturally produces. The method used for relief will most likely be a catheter placed in your spinal cord, also known as the epidural.

I just want to say here that I am all about an informed decision. Every woman has the right to decide for herself how she chooses to birth her baby. But I have heard WAY too many stories from mothers saying their doctor never discussed these risks with them so I am putting it out there for all the world to see.

There are risks involved with the placement of a catheter into your spine (epidural). Yes it is common, yes it happens everyday but it is not without serious risks to you and your child!! Here are some things the doctors may not discuss with you before offering up this drug to you as if it were a simple Aspirin or Tylenol.

The epidural can cause permanent numbness in your back and other parts of your body. It, like the induction drugs can also cause fetal heart rate decelerations (fetal distress). This can occur following the use of epidurals because the mothers blood pressure gets so low that blood cannot be adequately pumped into the uterus to deliver oxygen to the baby. Also, trauma to blood vessels can occur as a result of epidural anesthesia. Bleeding in the spinal column and unintentional placement of the catheter into an artery or vein occurs in 67 women out of every 1000 epidurals. The catheter actually escapes outside of where it is supposed to go 1 to 6% of the time. Hemorrhages can occur around the spinal cord and even within the skull following epidural anesthesia. These are associated with persistent backaches or headaches. Failure to treat these problems usually results in permanent paralysis. Surgery must be performed within 8 hours of the onset of paralysis or the prognosis is poor. Chronic subdural hematoma has resulted from epidural anesthesia and has even presented as post-partum psychosis!!

Infections can develop at the site of injection of the epidural. Bacterial meningitis can occur from contamination during placement of the epidural. An abscess can also form at the site where the epidural catheter is placed. Backache after an epidural is a common complication. Back pain commonly occurs after epidural anesthesia (18.9% of the time). Upper back pain can happen at some distance from the site where the epidural is injected. The back pain can last very long-term. Nineteen percent of women have long-term backache after epidural anesthesia. It probably results from a combination of its effects on the nerves and from extreme postures and stretching that occurs after the epidural during labor. Low back pain after epidural anesthesia for childbirth is also frequently mentioned by moms I know that have undergone this procedure.

Also a hidden danger of epidural anesthesia is its interaction with medications commonly used to soften the cervix and “start labor” (prostaglandins). The use of prostaglandins is common at hospitals and creates a potentially dangerous situation in which the usual medications used to treat low blood pressure during labor will no longer work.

20-30% of women experience nausea after epidural anesthesia, while 3 to 7% have vomiting during labor and afterward and lemme tell you – puking in labor is NOT COOL!

Mothers can experience excessively slow heart rates (bradycardia), heart block in which the electrical activity of the chambers of the heart become dissociated and sometimes even stoppage of the heart (cardiac arrest)!

One last thing on the epidural and I’ll stop though there is sadly much more to be said.

Local anesthetics rapidly cross the placenta…you aren’t just drugging yourself, you are drugging your baby as well. There is scientific evidence that ‘caine drugs (yes epidurals are in the same family as cocaine), the family of anesthetics used in epidurals, do, in fact, profoundly disturb instinctive newborn breastfeeding behavior. ‘Caine anesthetics, whether given as a pudendal block, epidural block, or local injection for an episiotomy, enter the mother’s circulation and cross the placenta.

Surprisingly, Docs do not discuss the relationship between the birth itself and the early days of breastfeeding. We are just beginning to understand and appreciate how a woman’s body prepares for breastfeeding during pregnancy, how what happens during labor and birth sets the stage for breastfeeding, and how the first minutes and hours after birth affect breastfeeding. The way the birth proceeds powerfully influences the first hours and days of breastfeeding.

Normal, natural birth sets the stage for problem-free breastfeeding—what nature intended—while a complicated, intervention-intensive labor and birth set the stage for problems.

In addition, the babies of medicated mothers cry substantially more, which is often attributed to frustration. They also run significantly higher temperatures, which could be due to crying and this is disadvantageous in that it means a greater expenditure of calories. Calories are VERY important to a newborn baby.

The typical “problems” that plague early breastfeeding – difficult latch, sore nipples, sleepy baby, and engorgement are rare when the mother has had a normal birth and has not been separated from her baby. Epidural = sleepy baby that is difficult, if not impossible, to nurse or even to rouse awake to nurse. Once your baby can’t nurse the whole natural process is thrown off and again is a downward spiral. Baby can’t nurse, so the breast isn’t being stimulated, so you don’t make the milk the baby needs, so the baby is supplemented with formula which means you make even less milk because again the baby isn’t feeding from you (it’s a supply and demand type thing with regards to producing milk).

Who would sign a consent if it included the above language? The degree to which the facts about the risks of inductions and epidural anesthesia are hidden from women in labor is astonishing.

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What About Dairy?

I am so over the dairy campaigns about milk and weight loss, bone health and calcium. Dairy is not a necessity in our diet people! I found this site and really wanted to share some interesting facts on how not only is dairy not necessary but how it is harming Americans everyday.

“There is no human requirement for milk from a cow,” says Suzanne Havala, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association’s “Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets” and several books on nutrition. “The use of milk and its products in our country is strictly a cultural tradition,” she notes. “There are millions of people around the world who never consume cow’s milk and are none the worse for it.”


What About Dairy?

While the question of whether dairy foods contribute to or detract from the well- being of our skeletons often occupies center stage, there are additional serious health concerns that might make you wary of dairy.

Allergies: Milk is the most common cause of food allergy. A recent study found that one way to reduce the number of allergies in infants is for the breastfeeding mother to avoid consuming, or make very limited use of cow’s milk.

Women’s health concerns: Studies indicate that osteoporosis, which afflicts 20 million American women, and ovarian cancer are most common in those countries with the highest consumption of dairy food and lowest in those countries with low dairy intake. According to gynecologist Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, other health problems associated with the consumption of dairy foods include benign breast conditions, recurrent vaginitis, acne, menstrual cramps, fibroids, chronic intestinal upset and increased pain from endometriosis.

Anemia: Overreliance on milk in children can lead to anemia, as milk is very low in iron, and drinking large quantities of it can crowd iron-rich foods from the diet. In young infants, protein from cow’s milk can cause intestinal bleeding, another possible cause of anemia.

Colic: Sensitivity to cow’s milk can cause colic, a digestive ailment in infants. Colic can cause problems even in infants who aren’t drinking cow’s milk but whose mothers are.

Food safety concerns: Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy chides that milk is tainted with so many that it should be sold by prescription only. Dairy farmers regularly administer drugs and growth hormones to cows to boost milk production. Investigations have routinely found residues of these veterinary pharmaceuticals in milk and other milk products, some of which may raise cancer risks. One compound approved for use in 1993 and now widely employed by commercial dairies is the controversial genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH). Many feel that this compound– which increases milk production in an era of serious milk surplus– poses grave potential health risks for consumers (including elevated antibiotic residue levels in milk) while favoring large-scale factory farms at the expense of small dairy producers. Unfortunately, producers who shun BGH are forbidden from labeling their products as such. Only organic dairy foods are certified to be free of antibiotic and BGH residues.

Heart disease: Dairy products are major contributors of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol to the diet. According to cardiologist Dean Ornish, MD, “Milk rates second only to beef as the largest source of saturated fat in the American diet.” Consider, for example, that one glass of 2% milk has as much saturated fat as three strips of bacon. Almost half the calories in whole milk come from fat.

Insulin-dependent diabetes:
Recent research indicates that consuming cow’s milk throughout adolescence increases the risk of developing Type I diabetes. About 1 million Americans have this disease. (13)

Lactose intolerance:
Many people cannot stomach lactose, the sugar in milk, because they lack the necessary digestive enzyme. Some people are also sensitive to milk protein. An estimated 50 million Americans experience intestinal discomfort after consuming dairy products. Symptoms include bloating, stomach pain, cramps, gas or diarrhea.

Such findings prompted breast surgeon Robert Kradjian, MD, in 1993 to review more than 500 medical articles written about milk since 1988. “How would I summarize the articles?,” Kradian asks. “First of all, none of the authors spoke of cow’s milk as an excellent food, free of side effects. The main focus of the published reports seem to be on intestinal colic, intestinal irritation, intestinal bleeding, and anemia, allergic reactions in infants and children as well as infections such as salmonella… In adults the problems seemed centered more around heart disease and arthritis, allergy, sinusitis, and the more serious questions of leukemia, lymphoma and cancer.”

More links to info on what’s really in that cow’s milk, what’s really going on with those cows and what it’s really doing to your body:
Dark Dairy Doings
Milk Sucks
Dairy Monsters

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What you should know about treating ear infections

Here is some info I recently put together about why you should avoid antibiotics for ear infections and some ideas for how to treat them naturally.

Ear Infections – Alternative Solutions

In Childhood Ear Infections, Dr. Michael A. Schmidt presents over 16 scientific studies that show that many cases of chronic ear infections are due to food or airborne allergies or hypersensitivity reactions. Allergies can cause significant pressure changes within the middle ear, as well as obstruction of the eustachian tube. The most common allergens implicated in ear infection are cow’s milk and dairy products, wheat, eggs, chocolate, citrus, corn, soy, peanuts or other nuts, shellfish, sugar, and yeast. Dairy is the number one contributor to childhood ear problems. Proper allergy management, such as elimination and rotation diets, can produce dramatic recovery in allergic children with chronic ear infections.

We have been treating ear infections naturally (without antibiotics) for the past year successfully. I just wanted to share what we’ve done for them.

Wally’s Ear Oil has been a life saver. It’s a natural blend of herbs and oils that help soothe the ear. May provide relief from the pain and discomfort associated with ear aches, “swimmer’s ear”, infections, fungus and yeast.

Ingredients: Almond oil, essential oils of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Mullein, Echinacea Root.

It’s cheaper here. I bought mine at Whole Foods.

Herbs for Kids Willow/Garlic Ear Oil also comes highly recommended. I have also seen it at most WFS including Whole Foods.
Ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive oil, Fresh Garlic cloves, Calendula flower, Willow bark, Usnea lichen and Vitamin E oil.

Healing Ear Infections: Why Antibiotics Are Not the Best Treatment
The Problem of Bacterial Resistance

Although penicillin drugs such as amoxicillin, which is typically prescribed for otitis media, are less toxic than many other antibiotics, they can cause severe allergic reactions and gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, any antibiotic can cause the overgrowth of bacteria or other organisms that are not susceptible to that particular antibiotic. This can lead to yeast infections or “superinfections” of staphylococci.3

More ominously, the increased use of antibiotics has resulted in the development of resistant bacteria. Bacteria that once were killed by a particular antibiotic, in other words, are no longer susceptible to that antibiotic. This makes infectious diseases caused by those organisms more difficult to treat.

For instance, the leading bacteria that cause infections of the middle ear, Streptococcus pneumonia, can also cause pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, and meningitis. S. pneumonia was originally easy to treat with penicillin, but by the late 1980s a penicillin-resistant strain had emerged. In the past 15 years, the number of cases of penicillin-resistant S. pneumonia in the US has more than doubled. In Asia, cases of antibiotic-resistant S. pneumonia amount to 70 percent of total pneumonia infections; in the US such cases are as high as 25 percent. In US daycare centers, antibiotic-resistant S. pneumoniae can be as high as 61 percent.4 These resistant bacteria are passed from one person to another and are particularly high in children with otitis media.

Herbs for Ear Pain

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) has long been used as a demulcent to relieve congestion and inflammation. Components of mullein have also been found to have antibacterial, antiseptic, and pain-relieving properties. A few drops of oil infused with mullein can provide great relief for a child feeling the pain of ear inflammation. Use commercial ear drops containing mullein, or prepare your own ahead of time (making infused oil can take two weeks). To make the oil, cover a handful of dried mullein flowers with a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil. Let the oil set for two weeks, shaking it daily. If you are pressed for time, speed the process by heating the oil and mullein flowers gently on the stove for 30 minutes. Strain and use it when it reaches body temperature, testing it just as you would a baby’s formula, by dropping it on your wrist. The oil should be warm but not hot. Cold oil can be warmed gently by setting the bottle in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. Use a few drops in the ear canal up to three times a day if necessary.

Garlic (Allium sativum) has both antibacterial and antiviral properties and is often used in combination with mullein in oil to treat ear infections. Again, either buy this commercially or prepare it yourself. To make it yourself, crush a garlic clove in a few tablespoons of olive oil and gently warm it over the stove for 30 minutes. Strain before use and put a few drops of body-temperature oil in the ear canal.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is another herb that may be beneficial for its antiviral, antibacterial, and soothing qualities. St. John’s wort can be purchased commercially, or you can make infused oil from the tips of the branches, including the flowers and leaves. Put a few drops of oil into the ear canal.

Essential oil of lavender (Lavandula officinalis) has antiseptic and soothing qualities. Dilute lavender oil in an equal amount of vegetable oil, such as almond oil. Use a few drops of this warmed oil in the ear canal. Lavender oil, either in the ear or rubbed behind the ear, can also soothe nerves and may help an anxious toddler to sleep.

Drinking peppermint (Mentha piperita) tea can be soothing to a child. Peppermint also has antiseptic and decongestant qualities that can help relieve the pain of ear inflammation. You can mix peppermint with chamomile tea, which also is anti-inflammatory and has slight sedative qualities that may help relax a child in pain.

If your child has reoccurring ear infections – Consider boosting his or her immune system. This can be done with echinacea (Echinacea) spp. extracts as well as vitamin C. With echinacea, use a formula made especially for children, or one-fourth the adult dose for children from two to ten, one-half the adult dose for children over ten. For vitamin C, approximately 500 milligrams per day is a good dose for children. If diarrhea develops, cut back on the dose.

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What every mother should know about fevers

Here is some info I recently put together on fevers for a Moms board I help run. I just thought I would share since it’s the cold and flu season.

A lot of moms are concerned about how high a fever gets, febrile seizures, brain damage, etc. So what’s the real deal on fevers? What is a fever for? What are some natural ways to relive fever symptoms and the fever itself?

Some info on why you shouldn’t kill a fever.

Why is a fever important?

Fever is the immune system’s response in addition to sending T-Cells to fight antibodies. The T-Cells can kill bacterial pathogens. Those pathogens are killable by T-Cell attacks. Fevers are also part of the clean up process for toxic bacterial waste products.

Viruses are not living microorganisms that rummage about internally looking for food to scavenge, as bacteria do. A virus does not have a nucleus cell that divides to create more microbes, as bacteria do. The body’s thalamus/thyroid reaction raises the temperature slightly, and that stops viruses from replicating.

A snippit on piggybacking meds to reduce a fever and the percentage of children who get febrile seizures.

Only 5% to 10% of children under six get febrile convulsions, which usually last for a few minutes. The commonly misdirected concern is that a high fever in a young child can create brain damage. The actual situation is that vaccinations and other illnesses are the real causes of brain damage, not the fever itself.

The fever phobia has led parents and maybe some doctors to alternate Tylenol with Advil or any Ibuprofen in a desperate effort to reduce fevers. This effort has occasionally resulted in more serious damage, sometimes death. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against these desperate measures to reduce fever. They advise sticking with one medication, using conservative doses carefully.

Info from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) on febrile seizures can be found here.

The vast majority of febrile seizures are harmless. There is NO evidence that febrile seizures cause brain damage. The degree of the fever has nothing to do with the seizure, it’s how fast it spikes. You can have febrile seizures at any temp, it’s all about how fast it spikes.

Vaccinations are causing impaired blood flow (Ischemia), Chronic Illness, Disease and Death for us all

Febrile seizures are not caused by “fever”. The fever expands the diameter of the tiny blood vessels so that more white blood cell infection fighting “soldiers” can traverse down the ‘roads.” When the blood vessel roads become jammed, by too many white blood cells, and altered fluid dynamics, there is ischemia. Ischemia causes a lack of oxygen to the brain.

What can I do to treat my child’s fever naturally without Tylenol, Ibuprofen or similar fever reducing meds?

Herbs – Elder flower and yarrow increase sweating to help manage hot fevers, while ginger has warming effects to help manage fever with chills. Tea is an excellent way to administer herbs while keeping a feverish child hydrated and nourished. Helpful herbal teas for fever include chamomile, red clover, rosemary and peppermint. Lemon juice or honey can be added to the tea (never give honey to infants under one year).

Essential Oils – Lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, pine, rosemary and sage essential oils are beneficial for feverish children and also help support the immune system to support the body’s defenses instead of suppressing them. Drop some lavender essential oil in cool water and use a washrag to wipe a child’s forehead for a cooling, relaxing effect.
Treating Childhood Fevers with Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Natural Care for Infant or Child Fever

– Aconite, Belladonna, Nux Vomica and Pulsatilla are four common remedies indicated in childhood fevers.
Treating Fevers with Homeopathy and Choosing a Homeopathic Remedy for Childhood Fevers

Foods/Fluids – Many children lose their appetite when feverish, so parents can give nourishing fluids like fruit juices, teas, broth and juiced vegetables to keep a energy and hydration levels up. Whenever a child can eat try feeding them easy to digest fruits, vegetables and nuts to avoid constipation, provide plenty of energy and gently stimulate digestion. Let the child eat as much as they desire rather than purposefully “starving a fever” as the old myth goes.

Rest and Light Activity – While infants and children with a fever will often sleep more often, or longer than usual, parents should allow their children to be lightly active if they feel like it. A walk around the block in the fresh air can raise a sick child’s spirits.

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Baby Bump #3

It’s so important to document this awesome time in my life. I know that one day all of this will be a distant memory and I will forever cherish these photos. Many thanks to my talented sister who took these pictures for me at 33.4 weeks during my third pregnancy. There will be more to follow as we have another shoot scheduled soon but here are some for now.

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Giving birth and giving birth away

What does it mean to give birth? For some women the thought of childbirth is scary at best. It involves a hospital stay, IVs, drugs injected through a catheter placed in the spinal cord, and possible major abdominal surgery. It’s a big medical process with monitors and internal examinations by strangers who are professionals so they are blindly and routinely trusted. Often times it involves unnecessary interventions such as rupturing membranes (breaking of waters), Pitocin (a drug that magnifies contractions far beyond the tolerable pain of a naturally occurring contraction), episiotomies (cutting a woman’s vaginal opening even though it is designed to stretch), vacuum extractions (literally sucking a baby out by it’s head with a suctioning mechanism that can cause brain injury, bleeding and death) and forcep extractions (using special medical tongs to grab a baby’s head and forcefully pull the baby out). In many cases a woman’s body is forced into labor unnaturally when it is something that would have occurred all on it’s own. Birth is one big medical procedure. And this is normal birth in America. This is how women plan their births with their doctors. Electively drugging themselves and their babies through a pain that we were designed to tolerate, a pain with a purpose that guides us through the process. Yet we choose to be numb to it all, all because of fear. This is not giving birth, this is giving birth away.

Childbirth is one of the most empowering events in a woman’s life. It is an opportunity to trust in the nature of how we were designed and what we were created for. It is a time to revel in our beauty, our flawless construction for creating life. It is a time to celebrate, not to numb our bodies and our minds out of fear. Giving birth is a very special event that each woman should remember always as a pivotal moment in life. It should never be reflected on in regret. Yet so many women are experiencing mourning after their childbirth experience because they gave birth away. Birth is ours to hold dear, and even though we may not realize it at the time it is also ours to give away. So many women do not know that they are giving birth away and how it will effect them until it is too late. I want to encourage every woman out there reading this to consider what I have said. Birth is not an emergency or a medical procedure. I do understand that for some it must be this way but for the vast majority it is not. Women have been birthing babies for eons while being present mentally and physically. It’s something you can do! Is drug free childbirth hard work? Yes. Is it painless? No. Is it going to kill you? Absolutely not!

Many women lack the support and education for drug free childbirth. They hear horror stories and stories from drugged childbirth making it seem like a ray of sunshine. I am hear to tell you that the pain of childbirth ends, it does not last forever. It is a pain with a purpose, your body’s way of speaking to you about a very special event taking place that needs your presence. Do not run from the one thing that will bring forth life. Pain in childbirth is beautiful and miraculous, it isn’t horrific or intolerable. Give your body a chance to speak to you in a way that will forever change your life. Give your baby a drug free start in life. You can do it, and there are many people who can and want to help you do this.

For more more information on drug free childbirths and support for the process visit Natural Birth and Dona International.

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