Monday, June 7, 2010

It's not a Movement, Group or Lifestyle. It's Normal.

One thing that really bothers me about the discussion in all these parenting topics is the language.

It's not natural, hippie. AP, uncut, unvaccinated, new science, a trend or a fad, etc. It's NORMAL. It's normal to birth without drugs. It's normal to nurse your child. It's normal to leave all body parts ON the body of a newborn. It's normal to leave the immune system intact. Normal normal normal.

I understand that sometimes I have to take on a label to share information with others, but I don't choose to live a certain way because I think it's ideally natural, or because a parenting guru wrote a book about it, or because people have done it for thousands of years, or because I'm taking advantage of our first world benefits of clean water and medicine and "going without." My choices are based on what is normal for the human body and mind and what respects the dignity of my body and the bodies of my children.

For example, I'm not jumping on a bandwagon of buying organics because it's hip to be green. I'm trying to make sure my child's body is normal as opposed to filled with synthetic vitamins, byproducts, chemicals and heavy metals.

If you really take a moment to look at these issues with a plain, neutral eye, you come to see the abnormality, heck, the absurdity of them. What other time or situation would ANYONE consider it normal to amputate a healthy, working body part on a newborn? What kind of standard is that, to cut every single boy?

What in the world compels people to inject genetically modified viruses and bacteria, along with animal DNA, aborted human DNA and heavy metals into developing infants and children. What part of ANY of that even makes sense to people? Explain the vaccine version of herd immunity to yourself. Say it out loud.

Why, outside of necessity, would someone choose to feed their infant dead, processed, broken down casein proteins from a cow mixed with synthetic vitamins, oils, fake sugars and other contaminants and sub-par ingredients?

Why, outside of necessity, would someone choose impairing drugs injected into their spine while birthing? Why would someone want their child unnecessarily exposed to these drugs and interventions right at birth?

What other mammal on earth bypasses her own species-specific milk to give her infant a powdered food substitute? Why would someone think that anonymous, caged, drugged cows provide good, basic food for human babies? That is what is implied when someone utters, "Breast is best." In other words: formula is standard.

This isn't about judging or being negative. Don't get your defenses up on this. Stop and think. I want people to take the sunglasses off and see these routine interventions for what they are: abnormal. Subnormal. Outside the realm of normal. They don't assist the body. They don't improve the body. They impair, they contaminate, they damage and they can kill.

In the rare exceptions when people need to take drastic actions, emergency medical services can save lives. For everyone else, these life-saving creations become harmful, routine interventions. Mothers deserve to know this. They deserve to re-align their worldview. They deserve to have their bodies and the bodies of their children respected (and this includes emergency situations).


  1. I recently wrote a blog post with the same idea. That my family is actually the normal one! Great post Guggie!!!!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this!

  3. I got referred here by a friend. Thank you for putting into words the turned around way our culture looks at so many things. I have two uncircumcised sons, promote normal birth and try to avoid processed foods for my family for both health and financial reasons. However, I have to disagree on one point as it refers to vaccinations. "They don't assist the body. They don't improve the body." I believe the mothers who lost children to polio, small pox, tetanus, etc. would disagree. While I fully support a parent's decision not to vaccinate I believe it is a luxury available in this time and place because it is not the norm any longer even if it was for centuries. The unvaccinated children in the US are often protected by the vaccinated children surrounding them. Were we all to choose not to vaccinate as a country we would begin again to see the thousands of deaths a year from preventable illnesses. I agree that vaccines can occasionally be dangerous and that all parents should thoroughly research the topic before making a decision instead of blindly following the pack. But I don't believe that the thousands or even millions of lives that have been saved since the onset of vaccination should be discounted either.

  4. I love this. Perhaps a word that would sound less judgmental though, would be "default". Giving birth without drugs is the default, leaving the foreskin on a baby is the default, etc...

  5. On the note of vaccines, I highly encourage you to continue asking questions and researching the topic. My child is not protected by the herd immunity theory, nor do I want her to be protected by such a thing.

    Rather, widespread vaccination has led to scary and worse medical dilemmas such as serotype replacement and antibiotic-resistant strains.

    Remember the age of fear, when everyone was taught to hide under a desk in case of a nuclear bombing? It's estimated that 1 out of 3,000 people had polio. Today, 1 out of 100 kids has Autism, and in some areas it is 1 out of 63. Where is the fear? Where is the public outcry?

    Incidentall, Polio cases practically disappeared when DDT was banned as a crop spray, and then further dropped off when doctors redefined the diagnosis (what we now typically call fibromyalgia and certain cases of meningitis).

    Good luck on your journey!

  6. Thanks for responding to my post. I have thoroughly researched vaccination and have chosen it for my family but certainly don't preach it to others. This is a decision that needs to be made individually with good informed consent. For us the risk of debilitating or deadly disease is of greater significance to us than the risks associated with vaccines. I am saying this as a mother of a child with a form of autism. He is mildly affected so is among a very large group of children who are diagnosed with autism now but would have been seen as just odd, quirky or different 100 years ago. Being part of the autism community, specifically part of a group of parents who have children who are mildly affected I can tell you there are multitudes of these children. If only the moderately to severely affected kids were diagnosed now as in years past the autism rate would drop significantly. In fact, if you talk to parents and family members of these kids you will find that most of them can point to a close relative who showed all the same signs but was accepted rather than labeled 50 years ago (but that's another debate entirely). In our family my Dad is constantly remarking on his own behavior as being eerily similar to my son's at the same age. And my Dad still struggles with social/emotional interaction. Therefore, I question any effort to promote vaccines as the cause of the increase in the autism rate. I also would say that as debilitating as my son's problems can be I would much rather have him here dealing with autism than not here at all or further damaged by a preventable disease.

    As for your response to the protection afforded to the people who are not immunized by those who are I am interested in hearing more. Do you believe that if everyone stopped vaccinating we would still be free from serious illnesses prevented by vaccination or is your feeling that these illnesses are not dangerous enough to warrant vaccination? How is this reconciled with the rampant disease and death in third world countries where vaccination is not readily available? This is an argument I haven't heard while researching but would love to hear more about. I am always looking to learn and adjust my thinking where needed.

    As for your response to Polio, vaccination for that disease was available beginning in 1955 with mass school-based campaigns to eradicate the disease being popular. DDT was not banned until 1972. I would like to see any research you have to support your statement as a 17 year gap between the two events leads me to credit the vaccine not the banning of DDT to the decline of Polio cases. Also the symptoms of mild polio and fibromyalgia may be similar but they are not the same. Mild polio lasts a few days while fibromyaliga is an immunological disease that one can manage but not recover from. Meningitis and Polio present similarly but are not identical either. The long term effects tend to be quite different.

    Thanks again for this post and for the discussion. As I said I am always eager to learn more and try to approach each issue with an open mind. I also appreciate the respectful dialogue promoted here.

  7. For the most part I say you can do as you please. I am def on the opposite side of the fence and do not agree with pretty much everything written except Breast Feeding. I will however say, ther are 0, I mean 0, proven linnks between vaccines and autisum. I would simple say to your agrgument the same as you said to polio and its drop. We now have over 25 types of autisum, insane abouts of processed food, a better ability to diagnose, children being born to older parents, and a whole slew of otehr factors that could be the cause of autisum. If it were vaccines, why is the % higher in boys then girls? They get the same vaccines. Or the % the same in the UK were they do not recieve the MMR vaccine? Whether you believe your child is protected by heard vaccination or not, the fact is that they are.

  8. I did not purport any autism/vaccine relation. That is a separate topic altogether that I find interesting, but not particularly relevant. I merely pointed out that our society is not being consistent. The numbers were 1 in 3,0000 people impacted by polio. That sparked massive fear and nationwide government campaigns. Even speeches and appearances from our president were part of this national movement to 'eradicate' Polio.

    Yet here we have Autism at least 1 in 100 nationwide and 1 in 58 in some places. Where is the massive response? Where are the powerful and frequent speeches from our president? Deafening silence is what we get. And in cases of small reform, such as states trying to enact insurance changes, it's met with ignorance and hostility. HIV research receives over 340 million dollars. Autism research receives $42 million dollars, and is mired primarily in chasing after genetics.

    It's great that you have a disagreement with the symptoms of fibromyalgia and paralytic polio. (Regular polio, found in 95% of infectious cases from the vaccine or naturally, is rather mild and typically consists of malaise and fever). I'm not the one that set the new diagnosis guidelines though. Other diagnoses include acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), aseptic meningitis, and West Nile virus disease. In 1957, the US changed it's definition of Poliomyelitis. Heck, you could argue that is probably the thing that reduced the numbers the most! :D

    If you're interested in the DDT/Polio connection, I recommend reading up on the work of Jim West, Dr. Scobey and Dr. Biskind. You can also pull various graphs if you just need a quick overview. DDT spraying and Polio rates directly correlate with each other. This is also seen in Europe, where a widespread vaccination was not the norm, yet Europe banned DDT at the same time. From 1923 to 1953, before the Salk inactivated virus vaccine was introduced, the polio death rate in the United States and England had already declined on its own by 47 percent and 55 percent, respectively. Source: International Mortality Statistics (1981).

    The FDA began warning against DDT spraying in the 1940s. In 1946, DDT spraying became a part of the dairy industry. Livestock and their living quarters were sprayed with a 5% solution of it. In 1953, DDT expert Dr. Krumm was made Director of Polio Research for NFIP.

    This is a quick visual:

    This is a numerical visual:

    This article works through the timeline more specifically. For example it notes that three years prior to the licensing of the Salk vaccine, numbers were already dropping.

    Perhaps the most bizarre thing of all is how the Salk/Sabin conflict turned out in history. The oral polio vaccine was removed from the American schedule b/c it can be spread through the feces of those who are vaccinated. It was found in trial that his vaccine was ineffective and actually caused Polio.

    Sabin's inactivated ("killed") form of Polio is widely criticised as ineffective. This is why developing countries such as Africa and India use the OPV vaccine, despite continued vaccine-caused infection. (Incidentally, DDT is still used in those countries and about 1700 cases of Poliomylitis are seen in those areas annually).

    "Official data shows that large scale vaccination has failed to obtain any significant improvement of the diseases against which they were supposed to provide protection" - Dr. Sabin, developer of Polio vaccine.

    Best of luck,


  9. Thanks for the further info on Polio and DDT. It will be interesting to check it out.

  10. While I enjoyed your post, I was a little annoyed by your comment about birthing with drugs as being "abnormal".
    I agree, it is obviously better to give birth naturally, some women however, such as myself were unable to cope with the immense labour pains and chose an epidural for relief.
    Now, if I had birthed at home and had the support of a midwife, perhaps I too would have been able to birth naturally, but in reality, that isn't the case for many women.

    1. That's the point: giving birth at home with the support of a midwife is normal. Giving birth in a hospital, absent clear medical necessity (a minority of cases), in abnormal. Continuous fetal monitoring, frequent cervical checks, artificial rupture of membranes, being hooked up to an IV, not being allowed to walk and move about freely, not being allowed to find relief in the bath or shower, not being allowed to eat... THESE things are not normal.
      However given these ABNORMAL circumstances, it is normal and predictable that most women will choose an epidural. They are not being allowed to give birth normally. They are not at fault; the system is. It's not just the drugs that are abnormal, it's the entire hospital birth process.