Thursday, July 29, 2010

Help Build the Diaper Stash!

So I have slowly been piecing together a cloth diaper stash. I love grobaby/grovia. I have some dream-eze in various sizes for night time diapering. I bought some pre-owned dipes and friends have generously donated prefolds.

I'm worried though that 1) I don't have enough for the newborn stage and 2) I don't have just some simple, "tiny" diapers for the newborn stage. What if the AIOs don't fit my little baby? What if I run out and we do laundry everyday? (Which I would love to avoid during the post partum chaos!)

I saw this giveaway for 2 Lil Joeys:

And I would love if you could all spam me with ideas and recommendations. Right now, cloth diapering an almost potty-trained toddler is a breeze. I don't even have a real pail and pail liner haha. Please help me get prepared!

I bought these soft, adorable diapers from Dilly Dalley and MotherMoonPads, but will they even fit? They seem huge! :o LOL I am having newborn anxiety!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Does Peace on Earth Begin at Birth?

© Guggie Daly 2010

Peace on Earth Begins with Birth:
Establishing Neural Connections Early in Life Can Reduce Violence

The shadowy myth covering the connection between violence and physiological events is slowly being blown away by science. As the evidence builds, it becomes ever more clear that the experiences and events at the very beginning of life, including birth, have a strong impact on the growing brain and psyche of humans. With the obstetrical field in America slipping precariously towards dehumanization, violence and dangerous practices, it seems the one most important thing the nation can do is work to ensure that every human has a peaceful beginning.

It’s taken America a very long time to acknowledge the humanity and consciousness of baby humans. In fact, the common view of the baby was that “it” had no consciousness, no memory, no dreams and no ability to feel pain. All kinds of medical procedures, including surgery, were performed on babies without anesthesia or other pain management. In many hospitals in America, this still happens during intubation, lancing, circumcisions and even open heart surgery.

Although the concept of pain and consciousness in neonates has been widely dismissed as simply a reflex, a careful review of the literature shows that this discrimination was projected onto the infants regardless of the available science, and not because of a level of ignorance due to uncharted scientific realm at that time in history. For example, babies can sometimes be heard crying in the womb after they have been harmed by certain actions. This Intrauterine Crying was observed as early as 1919, when Graham published a paper on the phenomenon in the British Medical Journal. It was again noted in The Lancet in 1957. Today, fetal cries are heard as a result of severe or violent intervention, such as the internal fetal monitoring device that is screwed directly into the baby’s scalp. Nearly 20% of these pre-born babies went on to die in childbirth related complications. (Ryder, 1943).

Despite the mounting scientific evidence, obstetrical interventions during childbirth and the immediate post-natal period continue to spin out of control. This year, the CDC posted the depressing report that cesarean surgery has reached an all-time high of 32% nationally. (Menacker & Hamilton, 2010). The authors summarized, “In 2007, approximately 1.4 million women had a cesarean birth, representing 32% of all births, the highest rate ever recorded in the United States and higher than rates in most other industrialized countries” (Menacker & Hamilton, 2010). This is relevant to the discussion because c-sections increase the risk of neonatal complication and illness, resulting in more interventions and procedures upon the infant and even longer NICU stays. The additional procedures contribute to the level of pain the infant experiences and can also interfere with biological bonding mechanisms required for successful initiation and establishment of breastfeeding, the lack of which also increases the risk of contraction of illness and other complications due to substitute feeding.

Researchers at Georgia State University stumbled over a disconcerting consequence of neonatal pain. They found that infants who were in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) had altered biology that resulted in decreased pain sensitivity as adults. (Science Daily, 2009). What they found was that experiencing pain as an infant influenced the brain’s creation of opioid receptors. Modern pain killers, specifically morphine, work by enacting these receptors, so fewer receptors means the painkillers are less effective and the person requires a higher dose. “The number of invasive procedures an infant experienced in the NICU is negatively correlated with how responsive the child is to morphine later in life; the more painful procedures an infant experienced, the less effective morphine is in alleviating pain” (Science Daily, 2009).

Other studies show that infants retain some level of memory regarding painful procedures and that they react to future painful stimuli more than infants who did not experience an initial painful event. A study led by Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) researchers has demonstrated that not only do male infants feel pain during circumcision, they remember that pain six months later when they receive their routine vaccination. “This study demonstrates two important findings," says Ms. Taddio. "It shows that infants do in fact feel pain, and that a pain experience in the newborn period can affect pain behaviours later on. Adequate pain relief may prevent these changes. Therefore, every measure should be taken to prevent pain in circumcision and other medical and surgical procedures” (SickKids, 1997).

The increasing levels of and types of pain infants experience as they come into this world are concerning in regards to human dignity, ethics, science and criminology. Two of them particularly impact future violence in the world. The biological consequence of experiencing pain during the neonatal period appears to inherently alter the functioning of the neurological system. This altered state decreases sensitivity to pain and interferes with bonding and intimacy mechanisms, both of which can lead to decreased empathy and lack of boundaries in relationships, which are precursors to violence.

But the cycle will not stop there. Violence begets violence. As was noted in this week’s discussion, seeing domestic violence affects the brain. So not only is this an issue of tertiary alteration at birth, but that person could potentially continue the cycle of abuse by becoming violent within a family unit and exposing the next generation of children (who likely also experienced pain at birth) to additional violence. As generations perpetrate this cycle, the violence will continue to escalate, which can be seen by the rapidly increasing rates of violence in our nation. By going back to the beginning and replacing the violence and pain with peace and comfort, the cycle of violence can be eradicated. In all seriousness, then, peace on earth really can begin at birth.


Graham, M. "Intrauterine Crying," British Medical Journal, vol. 1 (May 31, 1919): p.675. Menacker, F., Hamilton, E. B. (2010). Recent trends in cesarean delivery in the united states. NCHS Brief; Centers for Disease Control, number 35, March 2010.

Russell, P.M.G. "Vagitus Uterinus: Crying in Utero," The Lancet, vol. 1 (1957): pp.137-138.

Ryder, G.H. "Vagitus Uterinus," American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, vol. 46 (1943): pp.867-872.Science Daily. (2009). Pain changes sensitivity in adults. Science Daily. Retrived May 1, 2010, from /releases/2009/09/090927130048.htm

SickKids. (1997). Study shows that infants feel and remember circumcision pain. The Hospital for Sick Children; February 28, 1997.

When Birthing Becomes a Fetish

Holly, supported by her husband and doula, switched
from an OB to a midwife late in pregnancy. She received
support for her VBAC.
In the letters to the editor of NY Times, a lawyer from New Jersey calls women who want VBAC "natural birth fetishists." (Source)

I find this an interesting way to ridicule the normative process of birthing. Once again, the body of a woman working as it was designed/evolved draws criticism in our culture, as if women who want to experience normal birth are asking for too much. 

 If mamas who want a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) are called natural birth fetishists, then men who exercise, change their diet and take medications after heart surgery must be artery fetishists. And people who struggle through physical therapy after spinal surgery are spine fetishists. Yet, instead, we find that the man who goes against the odds and climbs a mountain after doctors say he won’t walk again is applauded as a hero. Or the surfer who loses an arm to a shark and gets back on her board becomes a living inspiration. They aren't called fetishists!

Our culture commends and praises those who are recovering from non-birth surgery and who work hard to restore their body so that they can use it in the way it was intended. Someone who wants his body to work normally receives encouragement, support and advice. But for women who want a normal birth? Clearly, nothing but surgery is good for those pregnant women. Hack them open, yank at them, drug them and pay those surgeons! Their bodies are unreliable and untrustworthy. Or so society tells them. 

Why is normal birth attacked in our society? Could it be that the lustful sexualisation of a woman's body influences the way our culture handles this situation? Just as nursing a child draws criticism, so does pushing a child through a birth canal. For in a lustful culture, people (and in this topic, women) are severely objectified. They become non-person beings present for the satisfaction of others. Therefore, their duality cannot be tolerated. 

Michelle goes on to nurse her baby after cesarean surgery.

Female breasts are for sexual foreplay only and a female vagina is for sexual intercourse only. A woman who wants to wear provocative clothing receives praise. A woman who wants to nurse her child in public receives condemnation. A woman who goes in for surgery to remove her child is making the "safe choice" while a woman who tries to birth vaginally is a "fetishist." Because of this inequality, each person within the family unit is turned in violence towards the other, with both the mother and father turned against the child. The child, once seen as a symbol of the couple's unity and love, is instead looked upon as a thief, one who steals the woman's body and ruins it, so that she cannot meet the objectifying demands of our culture. 

To say that violence against the smallest in our society has no impact upon us is madness. It is this violence against and rejection of the woman's offspring and the rejection of what her body is designed to do that represents the greatest inequality against women. For nothing so strongly proves her inequality than to cast off or demean the purpose and abilities of her body and the child that she bore in her womb or that she nurses at her breasts. In so doing, her very womanhood is denied and devalued. 

To respect normal birth is to respect women. To promote and encourage normal birth is to promote and encourage equality. To applaud and support women who work hard to restore their bodies is to show support for all people. Our culture cannot be brought back from the brink of objectifying women until we restore equality and respect within the family unit. 

An involved, supportive partner

Those who were deprived as children and want to lash out at the unity they see in normal birth or breastfeeding must find within themselves the strength to acknowledge their infantile wants and to heal and move forward. Those men who want to objectify the bodies of women during pregnancy, breastfeeding and mothering their children need to become partners who deeply and fully love women and all that women can do, and they need to become fathers who protect their offspring.

 Those women who were trained to offer their bodies to others must come to recognize the power and beauty of their own bodies and the duality they wield within the family unit. They must learn to refuse objectifying behavior from partners, friends, doctors, the media and our culture overall. 

And everyone must accept that children are people with rights and dignity, who represent the power of bodies working as they were designed/evolved to work. Nowhere else can this be achieved faster than during pregnancy and birth. For our culture, peace on earth really does have everything to do with the events leading up to and surrounding birth.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Get the Record Straight on Thimerosal!

Parents want to know: Do vaccines still contain Thimerosal?

If you read anything here today, make it this concise historical timeline:

*UPDATE 1/23/14*
Safeminds has issued a statement on a study about ethylmercury (Thimerosal) and resulting neurological impairment. You can read Safemind's statement here and you can read the actual study here. As Safeminds points out: 

In the paper the authors found an elevated relative risk (RR) for the following disorders: Autism 7.6, nonorganic sleep disorders 5.0 and speech disorders 2.1.  In a court of law, a relative risk of 2.0 typically implies cause and effect."
First, what is Thimerosal? Thimerosal was created/discovered in 1927 by Eli Lilly and "grandfathered" in under the FDA guidelines, meaning it has never been proven safe. It was pioneered as the answer to all problems for vaccine companies since it functioned as a great preservative AND as an adjuvant. It is 49.6% ethyl mercury by weight.

This is the Material Safety Data Sheet for Thimerosal. You will thoroughly enjoy learning that Thimerosal is categorized as hazardous waste and hazmat suits and respiratory protection must be worn when cleaning it up:

In fact, H1N1 vaccines have to be disposed of through a special service:

What is an adjuvant? The CDC says:
"A vaccine adjuvant is a substance that is added to the vaccine to increase the body's immune response to the vaccine."

This is basically going to be a toxic substance because the vaccine companies need to force the body to react to the virus and create antibodies. This raises the efficacy of inactivated vaccines. When you receive an intramuscular injection of a vaccine, the body detects the adjuvant, such as aluminum, and reacts to it strongly. Scientists hope that at the same time, the body will detect the viral particles and create antibodies to them.

The Modernization Act passed by the FDA in 1997 mandated that Thimerosal be removed from all vaccines by the year 2001. This is, incidentally, the information that blows away the “autism increased after Thimerosal was removed myth.” Although the act was passed in 1997, vaccines containing high amounts of Thimerosal were used up to 2001 (and perhaps longer than that by individual doctors), and as you will see, it's still present in varying, unregulated amounts in several childhood vaccines. And this doesn't even touch upon other mercury-containing products in our environment and medical industry, such as feeding tubes.

But, since Thimerosal had a secondary purpose of preserving the inactivated vaccines and since the companies still use the same contaminated factories, they have to continue to manufacture vaccines using Thimerosal on the production line. Meaning, the factories are not contained, sterile environments so they use it during the manufacturing process and then attempt to remove most of it at the end of production.

Several vaccines list "trace amounts of Thimerosal" in their ingredient list and some even give small estimates such as “3mcg.” Since it is not intended to be an actual ingredient, the FDA does not require vaccine companies to test for the amount in each batch or to declare exactly how much is in it.

The word “trace” as a definition in America can be used for up to .5mcg. Coincidentally, .5mcg of Thimerosal is the EPA limit for toxic exposure. Keep in mind two things. 1) that children receive more than one vaccine at a time and 2) that intramuscular injection of ETHYL mercury has never been proven safe in a double blind, placebo controlled study. So even the standard safety limit here is an estimate. The EPA limit and any mercury studies are based on inGESTion of METHYL mercury.

Live vaccines such as the MMR and Varicella vaccines do not and never did contain Thimerosal as they do not need a preservative. Many people have told me that their doctors said things such as, “Oh the MMR doesn’t have Thimerosal in it anymore” and it’s quite ridiculous to hear. Either the doctor is absurdly stupid or for some reason lying…I guess trying to make the MMR sound less dangerous? At any rate, it is inaccurate and misleading.

Here is a timeline of Thimerosal in America:

Some flu vaccines contain Thimerosal as an actual adjuvant. The ones that do contain Thimerosal as an adjuvant have a typical adult dosage of 24.5/26mcg per vaccine. Here is the Fluzone H1N1 vaccine insert so you can see for yourself:

See for yourself which vaccines still contain detectable amounts of Thimerosal. Here is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s ingredient list of licensed vaccines in America:

Curious about all those other ingredients? You should be! Vaccines in America contain a host of toxic chemicals, animal parts, human cells and common allergens. Click on this site to find a neatly organized list of manufacturer inserts. Yes, these are the actual product inserts distributed by the vaccine companies. Scroll through them to find a complete list of ingredients, contraindications, adverse effects and more!

Remember how I said Thimerosal was replaced with Aluminum? Check out this study completed in November 2009 that found “Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration:”

So the next time your doctor says Thimerosal was removed (by the Modernization Act of 1997) remind him that it was “almost, kinda” removed. And while you’re at it, ask your child’s pediatrician if he will lick .5mcg of Thimerosal off a plate in front of you. I’d love to hear his or her response.

In his book, Evidence of Harm, research-journalist David Kirby talks about ethylmercury/thimerosal and the autism/vaccine controversy:

"Thimerosal is a water soluble, cream-colored, crystalline powder that is 49.6 percent mercury by weight. It was invented in the 1920s under the direction of Eli Lily, an Indianapolis chemist whose grandfather founded the pharmaceutical company that today is one of the worlds largest drugmakers Lilly gave the solution the brand name Merthiolate and quickly discovered a burgeoning market for the new product. One of its many uses was as a preservative for the growing number of vaccines under development in the first half of the century. For decades thimerosal was widely marketed as safe and effective. However the preservative had been ‘grandfathered’ onto the approved list of medical additives by the FDA, which was formed after thimerosal was invented. The product never underwent any of the rigorous safety trials now required for FDA approval.

Most thimerosal-containing vaccines are made with 0.01 percent mercury But no one had ever bothered to add up the total sum of mercury, by weight, being injected into American infants until the job was handed into the FDAs Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

There was one major complication to this task. Nearly all the studies of mercury toxicity in humans had been exposure to methylmercury, the form that is typically found in fish. Thimerosal is made with ethylmercury, a close cousin. . Both are “organic” mercury compounds; that is, they are both easily absorbed by lipids or fatty membranes. Inorganic mercury is water-soluble and more likely to be trapped by the kidneys and filtered out of the body through urination.

Organic compounds are a more dangerous form of mercury, which is considered to be the second most toxic substance on earth, after plutonium. Mercury is a recognized neurotoxin that can destroy cells in key centers of the brain and nervous system. It is especially hazardous to fetuses and small infants whose vital organs are still developing. Mercury is known to halt cell division and migration within the forming brain, and has been known to bind to the DNA, interrupting chromosomal reproduction and blocking several essential proteins.

The main chemical difference between ethylmercury and methylmercury is that the ethyl form contains an extra carbon compound on its molecule, making it larger. Some scientists contend that the extra carbon compound make it less likely to cross the blood-brain barrier. Methylmercury has been shown to remain in the blood longer than ethylmercury (a half-life of fifty days versus seven days for ethylmercury) and appears to accumulate more readily in the body. Despite these differences, FDA researchers assumed that the two forms of mercury were equal in toxicity.

Human exposure to high levels of methylmercury had been studied in places where large-scale mercury pollution had turned up in fish (such as Japan in the 1950s) or where seed grain treated with Mercury fungicide had been mistakenly consumed by people (as in several outbreaks in Iraq, most recently 1971-1972). Many children born to mothers who ate the contaminated fish or grain showed signs of developmental impairment, ranging from severe neurological disorders in the worst exposures, to problems with language, memory, or attention in milder cases.

Because mercury is excreted in part through the hair, researchers examined hair samples from mothers of the affected children. These levels were then used by three separate government agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the FDA, and the CDCs Agency for Toxic substances and disease registry (ATSDR), to calculate what they considered to be the maximum daily “safe” level of exposure.

At the EPA, the researchers looked only at the Iraqi study, and selected lowest hair mercury level at which damage was found. They extrapolated that figure to calculate the corresponding daily exposure from food, and determined it to be 1.0 microgram (a microgram is one-millionth of a gram) of mercury per kilogram of bodyweight a kilo equals 2.2 pounds.

But the EPA took things a step further. In order to build in “a significant margin of safety” investigators divided the 1.0 microgram figure by ten. The maximum daily exposure was thus lowered to a conservative level of 0.1 micrograms per kilogram. The other agencies were less cautious. The ATSDR calculated the safety limit to be 0.3 micrograms er kilogram per day, and the FDA officials set the limit at 0.4 micrograms per kilogram per day.

When the FDA researchers finally did their math and converted the amount of ethylmercury in vaccines from volume percentages to actual weight, they found that most American children were being exposed to levels in excess of federal limits, especially when calculated in single-day “bolus” doses. For example, a two-month old weighing 5 kilograms could have been exposed to 62.5 micrograms of mercury in a single day. This would have been 125 times more than the ATSDR limit 91.5 micrograms per day), and 31 times more than the FDA limit (2.0 micrograms per day)."
– from Evidence of Harm by David Kirby. pages 48-49 – published 2005.

Infant Male Amputation of the Prepuce is Already Illegal in America

©Guggie Daly 2010

Routine infant circumcision has been practiced on infant males and females in America for many years. The reasons for circumcision, also called amputation and genital reduction, have varied over the years and include eliminating masturbation, training women, curing epilepsy and recently, even preventing HIV. In 1996, a federal law upheld the illegality of all female circumcision for all reasons, including for religious practice. Infant male circumcision is still widely practiced in America, with rates reaching as high as 50% in some regions. Based on the current laws and constitution, it appears that infant male circumcision is already illegal, despite being widely accepted culturally. The ban enacted in 1996 should be amended to be a law of equality by including both females and males.

Questioning the Legality of Routine Infant Circumcision in America

Infant Male Circumcision (IC) is a surgical method that amputates the prepuce organ. It is also called Routine Infant Circumcision (RIC), and Male Prepuce Amputation (MPA). Sometimes it is referred to as Genital Reduction Surgery (GRS) but that term is more commonly applied to Labiaplasties for adult women. Regardless of the name, the result is the same in successful surgeries; the entire prepuce is removed from the penile shaft on the infant. This removes the health, and later, sexual function of the prepuce. The prepuce, also called the foreskin, has many vital functions for health and sexual behavior. It contains tightly packed, highly erogenous nerve endings that increase sexual pleasure in the frenulum and ridged band, both of which are removed during circumcision.

The foreskin also has immunological functions. The inner layer of the foreskin is a soft mucosa lining of endothelial cells, the same as the inner layer of the mouth, nose, eyelids, vagina and anus. This lining is a primary immune system defense against bacteria and viruses. In the foreskin, this mucosal lining contains immunoglobulin antibodies (Cold & Taylor, 1999). It also has antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme, which kills pathogens on contact. (Lee-Huang, Huang, Sun, et al., 1999). These immunological functions might better explain why men with foreskins have a decreased risk of some STIs. (Cook, et al., 1993).

Despite more than a hundred years of searching for a cure to continue to circumcise, no major medical organization in the world supports this practice for male or female infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics takes a moderate stance but still does not recommend it, “Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision” (AAP, 2005).

More importantly, the laws of consent make it clear that RIC is an illegal act against infants. Current law does not allow parents to consent to a permanently altering surgery for a minor unless it is medically indicated and conservative treatments have failed. Additionally, doctors are not legally permitted to perform surgery on a minor patient for the same reasons. (Svoboda, Howe & Dwyer, 2000). So for example, parents could not legally ask a doctor to trim the ear lobes of their son. And a doctor who took payment for and performed this request could be charged with battery and medical fraud.

Interestingly, all forms of Infant Female Circumcision (IFC) are currently prohibited in America under Title 18 of the U.S. Code as genital mutilation (GPO Access, 2007). The prohibition includes female circumcision for religious reasons and also includes partial circumcision and pricking, where the skin of the genitals is pricked to draw a drop of blood. The prohibition did not include any forms of infant male circumcision, which would seem to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In January of 2010, opponents of RIC submitted a bill that calls for legislation to expand the rights granted to infant females under Title 18 to infant males as well. With the many ethical, medical and legal concerns against RIC, this seems to be a common sense and important step to take to ensure that all infants in America are protected from non-consensual, non-medically necessary reduction of their genitals.

If the current law is extended to protect infant males, it does carry repercussions that concern many citizens. For example, the law currently bans circumcisions even for religious reasons. Roughly 10% of the male circumcisions done in America are for religious reasons. So on the surface it seems that extending the law to include infant males would infringe upon religious freedoms.

Such an argument, however, is forgetting a few important details. First, religious freedom is an individual right, and in this case, the individual is a minor, not the parent. Can parents choose surgery or other body modification for their infants and call it an individual religious right? Or is that in itself infringing on the individual’s right to religious freedom? The second detail is consistency. In 1996, the ban against IFC was passed almost unanimously and without much resistance, yet it also bans religious practices. Why the inconsistency?

One thing is for sure, the debate is going to rage on for awhile in this country. Perhaps as more parents become aware of the numerous vital aspects of the male prepuce and the downsides and dangers of performing surgery on a neonate, the bill to extend protection to infant males will garner more publicity and more support. In the meantime, parents who had their son circumcised against their will or without their full consent or a medical necessity can bring suit against the operator and hospital. The individual who experienced the non-consensual genital reduction can also seek closure and retribution as an adult.


American Academy of Pediatrics. (2005). Circumcision policy statement: Task force on circumcision. Pediatrics Vol. 116 No. 3 September 2005, pp. 796. (doi:10.1542/peds.2005-1377). Retrieved on April 3, 2010 from:;116/3/796

Cold, C., Taylor, J. (1999). The prepuce. BJU International 83, Suppl. 1, (1999): 34-44.

Cook, L. S. et al. (1993). Clinical presentation of genital warts among circumcised and uncircumcised heterosexual men attending an urban STD clinic. Genitourinary Medicine 69 (1993): 262-264.GPO Access. (2007). Sec. 116. Female genital mutilation. Title 18--Crimes and Criminal Procedure, U.S. Code 18USC116, pg 32-33. Retrieved on April 3, 2010 from:

J. Steven Svoboda, Robert S. Van Howe, James G. Dwyer, Informed Consent for Neonatal Circumcision: An Ethical and Legal Conundrum. 17 J Contemporary Health Law Policy 61 (2000).

Lee-Huang, S, Huang P.L., Sun Y., et al. (1999). Lysozyme and RNases as anti-HIV components in beta-core preparations of human chorionic gonadotropin. Proc Natl Acad Sci (U S A) 1999 (Mar 16);96(6):2678-2681.

How does the body work? How do vaccines work?

This is an excellent article. I think very few people understand the basics in this article and I highly encourage everyone to read this regardless of vaccination choices:

Few people seem to grasp:

1) what the immune system is and how it works

2) what vaccines are and how they work

Most people don't even know what's in the vaccines, or what all the little letters stand for lol. In fact, I've had people refuse to believe that vaccines contain human dna from aborted humans (10 vaccines in the US) or that mercury is still in some vaccines (in trace amount in several, and in substantial amounts in some flu vaccines).

For example, most people who vaccinate have never bothered to even look at the CDC's reported disease list. I like to look at it once a week:

And they are all scared of keeping their children vaccine-free, but they've probably never seen this little government site on deaths:

If they can't be bothered to even check out pro-vaccine sites, then it's a sure bet they've never used this search tool to check out the government's vaccine reaction database:

I wonder how many vaccinating parents ever think to ask for the ACTUAL manufacturer inserts that come with each vaccine. They should be saved along with the insurance bill in your child's file in case your child experiences an adverse reaction. Fortunately, the manufacturers do not hide anything. You can read all of THEIR information. Just pick the vaccine you want and click:

Perhaps the most shocking cliche is how many parents adamantly defend vaccines and choose to vaccinate their children, yet completely ignore the American Academy of Pediatrics advice on rearfacing children in carseats.

The AAP states:
"They should remain rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer."

The NHTSA also claims more than 80% of carseats are installed incorrectly. In 2008, more than 250,000 children were severely injured (disabled) in car accidents, and 10% of those injured children went on to die.

The CDC says:
"Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S.1 But many of these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.2 "

So 4 children a DAY die in a car accident. But parents put their children into a car (probably incorrectly buckled) to go to the doctor to vaccinate their children to the hilt for diseases that were declining/disappearing long before vaccine introduction...and diseases that don't KILL.

Sounds stupid to me but what do I know...I'm just a crazy person out there that likes to exaggerate data...right?

Well I ______________ and my children are fine!

I am SO tired of people acting as if birth intervention is necessary and "not so bad."

I am tired of hearing that formula is "just as good as breastmilk."

I am tired of parents claiming vaccine reactions are "rare or the parents are acting like victims."

I am tired of hearing women claim their lead-lipstick and chemical cosmetics are "fine in moderation.

I am tired of hearing people call organic meat/dairy "a scam.

And on and on and on....

Look AROUND people! If it hasn't "happened to you" or if your children are "just fine" then count your blessings!

Thanks to Marsha McClelland for compiling this list:

"Diabetes epidemic out of control"

"There is an epidemic of cancer today. One in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, often before the age of 65."

"The Asthma Epidemic"

"Childhood MS: A silent epidemic?"

"America's Frightening Alzheimer's Epidemic"


"Hope in the Midst of a Heart Failure Epidemic"

"Recent data gathered by leading heart research organizations clearly indicate that an epidemic of heart failure is gaining momentum in the United States"

"Worldwide epidemic of hypertension"

"Parkinson's disease: The silent epidemic"

"The Autoimmune Epidemic:

Bodies Gone Haywire in a World Out of Balance"

"The allergy epidemic: by 2015 half of us may be carrying one of these"

"How a Continuing Polio Epidemic is being Hidden"

"Fibroid Tumors in Women: A Hidden Epidemic"

"Epilepsy is a global epidemic"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why I Made the Switch to Cloth

I started out trying to practice elimination communication (where you listen to your baby's cues and help them potty-not to be confused with toddler training). It was a smashing success for night time and poos, but I never was good at figuring out when she had to wee lol.

Anyways, this meant I just automatically reached for sposies when we had to leave the house. Never thought twice about it. Then my friend offered to give me a Fuzzibunz cloth diaper and gave me some articles to read. I realized several things that made me immediately switch:

1) Disposable diapers are bleached, creating a byproduct called dioxin that is listed as a toxic carcinogen by the FDA and one that is specifically harmful to babies.

2) Disposable diapers contain petroleum-based absorbents, abbreviated to SAP. They are toxic and part of our "oil dependent" culture.

3) Because disposable diapers are plastic with SAP, they can increase genital temperature. This increase in temperature may be harmful to future fertility in males.

4) Disposables take hundreds of years to break down, and currently they are one of the most commonly found items in landfills. Out of sight, out of mind is no longer prudent in regards to our trash. For example, some provinces in Canada are so filled that they send their trash down to America!

There are three disposable options that are a little bit better if you can't immediately switch to cloth or if you want to do a hybrid method.

1) Popular green diapers, such as Earth's best and 7th generation diapers have less SAP and they are not bleached. Downside? They still have SAP and use dyes.

2) Tushies are 100% cotton/wood pulp. Truly the eco-friendly disposable. No dyes, no SAP, no bleach. Downside? They are not as absorbent as other sposies or cloth and they cost a lot...about .50 a diaper at regular price.

3). Hybrid disposables (they go inside a cloth diaper cover). These biosoakers are really flexible because they are made to cover the inside of a cloth diaper completely and are pretty absorbent. Downside? They still have minimal SAP and they cost a lot. (.20 to .50 ea).

As an avid couponer, I admit that the idea of buying cloth diapers worried me. They tend to require bigger chunks of money upfront. But then I realized I can apply my couponing tricks to cloth. Here are things I have done to reduce the cost of creating a cloth diaper "stash:"

1) Ask around. Friends might have a spare insert or cover to share or even lend for you to try out. One of my facebook friends actually gave me my first cloth diaper. :)

2) Check out craigslist, kajiji, garage sales and thrift stores for new and used diapers. I don't necessarily recommend ebay as the worldwide audience can drive up prices, but you can often find deals there, too.

3) Check out deal sites such as,, and These sites purchase items in bulk and present them at a steep discount. Most of my stash has come from these deal sites and I've gotten 50-80% off retail price.

4) Enter giveaways! I've won a Thirsties cover, TWO boxes of diaper detergent, a Softbums and Bumglaze so far! Check out Dibs on Facebook to stay on top of giveaways and jump in! Some are very simple to enter, others require more work.

5) Apply for help. Cloth Baby Foundation accepts applications to provide cloth for mamas in need. also acts as a 3rd party to collect donations from mamas who are finished diapering and then give them to mamas who are ready to start.

6) Make 'em. If you already sew and have the supplies, making your own is economical. If you don't have any supplies, I don't think this would be the cheapest/easiest method though.

7) Finally, why not learn about Elimination Communication? Babies don't like to poo and pee themselves and if you learn their signs, you can easily catch those pees and poos in a toilet or little bowl. Each successful catch = one less diaper!

Good luck mamas and thanks for reading. Some things I have learned along the way? Cloth diapering is CUUUTE and addictive. It's not that hard and your hubby will get used to it! Keeping an open mind and looking at all the options available lets you find methods that work for your family. And no, modern cloth diapers do not normally leak! They really do hold it all! LOL

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Catholics and Circumcision...Do you know your faith?

Did you know?

Circumcision is not a religious requirement for Catholics. Additionally no medical association in the world recommends it, and most Catholics worldwide do not circumcise their children. The Catholic Church stands firm on this for two important reasons:

1) Acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and the fulfillment of the Covenant

From a religious standpoint, continuing to circumcise is a denial of Christ's redemption. By coming into the world, dying on the cross and rising for us, He has fulfilled the Old Covenant and we are no longer bound to the old laws. This is why St. Paul spoke strongly against circumcision in the Bible.

2) Bodily Integrity and Human Rights

The Catholic Church has consistently rejected dualism, or the concept that our spirits are separate from and more valuable than our bodies. Jesus was God and man. Our bodies are made in the image and likeness of God, and at the final resurrection we will be raised with our glorified bodies. Therefore, to directly harm the body, such as with medically unnecessary surgery, is a direct violation of bodily integrity. To add to the severity of this issue, routine infant circumcision forces unnecessary surgery onto people who cannot protect themselves or fight back.


The bruises that [Paul] the Apostle received in the long history of his passion are the witness of the presence of the Cross of Jesus in St Paul's body; they are his stigmata. Thus, one can say that it is not circumcision that saves: these stigmata are the consequence of his Baptism, the expression of his dying with Jesus, day after day, the sure sign of his being a new creature (cf. Gal 6: 15).
- Pope Benedict XVI, on the Square outside the Lower Basilica of St Francis, Assisi, June 17, 2007

Together with Paul, he [St Barnabas] then went to the so-called Council of Jerusalem where after a profound examination of the question, the Apostles with the Elders decided to discontinue the practice of circumcision so that it was no longer a feature of the Christian identity (cf. Acts 15: 1-35). It was only in this way that, in the end, they officially made possible the Church of the Gentiles, a Church without circumcision.
- Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, January 31, 2007

According to the General Council of Vienna: "Christians may not be enticed into Judaism; neither may they be circumcised for any reason." This was reinforced by the Council of Florence, in the document "Cantate Domino" (1441) signed by Pope Eugene IV:
The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law...although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally...All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless some day they recover from these errors."

According to Catholic dogma, the teachings of General Councils belong to the Deposit of Faith, do not allow for dissent, and can never be revoked or modified, being protected from error by the Holy Ghost.

Pope Benedict XIV (1740-58) decreed that:

...the amputation of any part of the human body is never legal, except when the entire body cannot be saved from destruction by any other method.

Do you think circumcision is just a snip of a flap of skin? Circumcision is the surgical procedure to remove the prepuce organ, what laypeople call the foreskin or clitoral hood. Learn more about what circumcision removes here.

This was reinforced by Pope Pius XII in 1952:

3. Religious precepts

(a) Catholic. From a moral point of view, circumcision is permissible if, in accordance with therapeutic principles, it prevents a disease that cannot be countered in any other way

Pius XII, Discorsi e messaggi radiodiffusi, t. XIV, Rome 1952, s. 328-329
Catechism of the Catholic Church

Item 2297: Respect for bodily integrity

... Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.

From the website of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, USA

Fourth Edition
Publication No. 5-452 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

29. All persons served by Catholic health care have the right and duty to protect and preserve their bodily and functional integrity.16 The functional integrity of the person may be sacrificed to maintain the health or life of the person when no other morally permissible means is available.17

31. No one should be the subject of medical or genetic experimentation, even if it is therapeutic, unless the person or surrogate first has given free and informed consent. In instances of non-therapeutic experimentation, the surrogate can give this consent only if the experiment entails no significant risk to the person's well-being. Moreover, the greater the person's incompetency and vulnerability, the greater the reasons must be to perform any medical experimentation, especially non-therapeutic.

32. While every person is obliged to use ordinary means to preserve his or her health, no person should be obliged to submit to a health care procedure that the person has judged, with a free and informed conscience, not to provide a reasonable hope of benefit without imposing excessive risks and burdens on the patient or excessive expense to family or community.18

33. The well-being of the whole person must be taken into account in deciding about any therapeutic intervention or use of technology. For example, while the donation of a kidney represents loss of biological integrity, such a donation does not compromise functional integrity since human beings are capable of functioning with only one kidney.
17. Cf. directive 53.
18. Declaration on Euthanasia, Part IV; cf. also directives 56-57.

The Question Box
The Morality of Circumcision
by Father John Dietzen
- The Tablet, the official paper
of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
30 October 2004, p 33

Q. What is the morality of circumcision? The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that amputations and mutilations performed on innocent people without strictly therapeutic reasons are against the moral law. Pope Pius XII taught that circumcision is morally permissible if it prevents a disease that cannot be countered any other way. In spite of these and other church statements against circumcision through the centuries, I'm told there is no strict Catholic rule against the practice today. Why not? No medical association in the world today any longer says circumcision is therapeutic. (Ohio)

A. I'm not sure why not, but the fact is male circumcision generally just doesn't appear very much on the "radar screen" of Catholic moral teaching. Many major moral theology texts don't mention it. A notable except is "Medical Ethics," by Father Edwin Healy SJ (Loyal University Press), who holds that since routine circumcisions are not medically defensible they are morally objectionable.

A few observations may help explain. The practice of circumcision arose thousands of years ago and is prevalent in many cultures around the world. Nearly always it has religious or social significance, signifying full membership in the group and establishing one's social position in the society.

The first divine command to the Jews, for example, was that every male child be circumcised, symbolizing the covenant between God and Abraham (Gn 17).

After the famous confrontation between Paul and other leaders of the early church (Acts 15 and Galatians 2), Christians pretty much rejected the necessity of circumcision for becoming a believer in Christ.

The idea didn't entirely die, however. The theory that circumcision still held some spiritual benefits even for Christians, prompted at least some of the condemnations you speak of. The Council of Vienna (1311), for example, decreed that Christians should not be lured into Judaism or be circumcised for any reason.

The following century, the Council of Florence (1438-1435) ordered "all who glory in the name of Christian not to practice circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation."

Today, while nontherapeutic male circumcision remains common in some places, as a general practice it is forbidden in Catholic teaching for more basic reasons of respect for bodily integrity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against moral law" (N. 2297).

Elective circumcision clearly violates that standard. It is an amputation and mutilation, and, to my knowledge, and as you note, no significant medical group in the world defends it as having any therapeutic value. In 1999 the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association stated that neonatal circumcision is nontherapeutic because no disease is present and no therapeutic treatment is required.

Modern Catholic Church documents do not deal explicitly with the morality of elective circumcision. The above basic principles, however, clearly render it immoral. It violates the bodily integrity of infant male children and unnecessarily deprives them of a part of their body that can protect the glans of the penis during infancy and serve at least a sexual function for adults.

My understanding from physicians is that circumcision rarely if ever arises as an ethical consideration. Usually it is requested by the parents for more social reasons such as, it's always been done in our family. In that case, the procedure might be carried out in some places rather routinely, even if it is not what the child needs and no curative or remedial reason renders it ethical.

Jesus himself is reported to have mentioned circumcision only once:
Jesus answered and said to them, "I did one work, and you all marvel. "Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. "If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?"
John 7 21-23

What is interesting is that he contrasts circumcision with healing, emphasising that circumcision is an injury, as well as an example of over-zealous law-keeping. (Some have taken the words of the King James Bible - "made a man every whit whole" - to mean that Jesus even undid the man's circumcision but this seems strained.)//

Biblical references

Circumcision was a big issue for the early church because it meant the difference between Christianity being just a sect of Judaism or a whole new religion and because adult Greeks especially were unwilling to undergo a painful operation to join the new sect.

And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they."

And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and Brethren, listen to me: I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, But that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood.

They wrote this letter to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: "Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying 'You must be circumcised and keep the law' - to whom we gave no such commandment it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: That you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and, from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.
Acts 15:1... 7-11... 13...19-20,23-4,28-31

("...which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear" suggests that Peter and some of his audience had already abandoned the practice of circumcision._

For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision is counted as uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God. What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them [the Jews] were committed the oracles of God.
Romans 2:25 -3:2

(The reason given refers to the first version of the question "What advantage then has the Jew?" far better than to the second "what is the profit of circumcision?" Circumcision is referred to only as a symbol of Judaism. Paul is convinced that the oracles of God will still be committed to Christians from now on, though they are not physically circumcised.)

Since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith, do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
Romans 3:30-31

(The use of "through faith," how the uncircumcised are justified, makes it clear that Paul believes Christians can establish the law without circumcising.)

"Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin." Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also. And the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Romans 4:8-13

Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.
I Corinthians 7:18-19

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justifed by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
Galatians 5:1-6

As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
Galatians 6:12-13

In him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ. Buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it away, having nailed it to the cross.
Colossians 2:11-14

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Colossians 3:9-11

Figurative Circumcision

Both the Hebrew and Greek ("Old" and "New") Testaments make various references to figurative circumcisions, of the heart or of the lips, where circumcision is a metaphor for purification. In each case, they implicitly acknowledge that physical circumcision does not purify. For example:

"Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "that I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised. Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab and all who are in the farthest corners, who who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are unicircumcised in the heart.
Jeremiah 9:25-26


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