Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our Bodies are not Defective: A Compilation on CPD

Anatomy of the Pelvis:
Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD) is a condition that does exist, although it is quite rare in developed countries. CPD is generally diagnosed in women who were severely malnourished as children, people who experienced trauma to the pelvis such as in a car accident or in women with congenital bone conditions.

It is also loosely connected to *untreated* Gestational Diabetes, although the details of that issue are hotly debated and based on numerous factors. (Meaning, a simple diagnosis of GD does NOT guarantee CPD or macrosomia).

Unless your doctor ordered specific tests to measure your pelvis such as x-rays, he was speaking with opinion and not authority on whether or not your pelvis was appropriately formed to birth a baby.

More common reasons for failure to progress and a false CPD diagnosis include:

1) A time restriction was placed on a normal labor that would have ended normally if left alone. Recent findings suggest that impatient care providers lead to increased numbers of c-sections. http://www.sydneymidwife.com.au/2010/10/impatience-with-labor-low-vbac-rates-tied-to-c-section-increase-study-finds/

2) The baby was positioned differently and required additional time to mold and move down the birth canal. See http://www.spinningbabies.com for ideas on how to determine your baby’s position and encourage optimal positioning for birth.

3) The cervix might have been scarred from previous procedures such as a LEEP, IUD insertion or a D&C. This article breaks the silence on cervical scarring: http://birthfaith.org/midwives/cervical-scar-tissue

4) A very new idea that I heard from a midwife is that babies with certain conditions which might be called "autism" or some other form of ASD or sensory disorder might have difficulty "mapping" the pelvis efficiently. They tend to become asynclitic (tilt their heads), which increases the length of labor. In general, other situations such as a short cord, Down Syndrome and more can also impact the pattern of labor.

5) The mother might have over or under developed muscles and ligaments due to certain exercise routines (particularly if you were a gymnast or runner or did a lot of rowing) resulting in an imbalance to the round ligaments and pelvic bowl. You might also have damage to the ischial spines/sacroiliac joints, which need to move outwards towards the end of birth for the baby to descend. In this case, chiropractic care before and during labor and changing positions can help.

The American Pregnancy Association provides excellent information on choosing a chiropractic provider and the benefits of chiropractic here: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/chiropracticcare.html

6) A previous history of sexual abuse (or any abuse) can impact birth. Feelings of fear, pain and panic can resurface, causing an adrenaline rush, which stalls labor. If you are an abuse survivor or currently experiencing abuse, share this with your care provider and brainstorm ways to avoid triggers. Things such as being restrained and pelvic/cervical exams are NOT required and can be avoided to provide a peaceful, healing environment.

Here is a paper on birth and abuse:

On vaginal/pelvic/cervical exams:

Tons of info on stalled labor:

This list is not exhaustive. Every woman’s body and every woman’s birth will be different. If no red flags are present during labor, than a long labor and/or slow progression might be normal for YOU. But even if a long labor is simply a variation of normal, it does come with specific considerations.

Longer labors can increase your chances of becoming fatigued, dehydrated or overwhelmed by the contractions. Fearful or poorly committed care providers might also lose faith or interest and create a sense of panic or failure, which can spiral downward.

Links that might be of interest for those with longer or slower labors:

Waterbirth and pain:

Pain relief methods:

Renowned midwife Gloria Lemay talks about appreciating the different pelvises of women. We come in all different sizes and shapes and should not experience discrimination in birth anymore than in the rest of our lives: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/pelvis.asp

Gloria also has an excellent video review here:

Being pressured to consent to an ultrasound to monitor baby's size? Doctors find ultrasound inaccurate:

"An ultrasound diagnosis of fetal macrosomia at term is inaccurate in the majority of cases, and this inaccuracy may be contributing to unnecessary cesarean deliveries, new data suggest."

Did someone hastily diagnose you with CPD? Here is the truth about CPD:

Question CPD. A video about women who were wrongly diagnosed with CPD and went on to birth babies normally (even bigger babies in many cases):

Healing from a cesarean surgery? Join ICAN for community and information:

My first birth: here is my 11lb, 4oz daughter born asynclitic/transverse face presentation at home after about 3 days of labor.
My second birth: here is my 10lb, 2oz son born Occiput Posterior at home after about 7 hours of labor.

My third birth: here is my 11lbs, 7oz son born asynclitic, rotating from OP to anterior after about 5 hours of labor and 3 pushes.

My fourth birth: here is my 10lb, 1oz son who turned from posterior to anterior before
basically flying out of me from negative 1 station in a matter of seconds after about 3hrs of labor.

Another Reason for a Healthy Lifestyle: Human Research

Pepsi's advertising isn't their only questionable practice.

Below is a press release from Children of God for Life (COG). It's a chilling reminder that there are more than just health reasons to avoid an unhealthy lifestyle. Although I admire COG's effort in compiling and releasing this information and encouraging consumers to request ethical testing, it should be noted that when they mention "ethically obtained human cells" they are inadvertently including baby boy prepuces obtained through routine circumcision. As we know, this is still trafficking of body parts and still unethical.

Aborted fetal cells and neonatal foreskins are used for testing or are present in a variety of products, including medication, vaccines, cosmetics and skin grafts. Links open in a new window.




COG also has a very nice, 1-page printable with an easy summary of products to avoid:

"(Largo, FL) Children of God for Life is calling on the public to boycott products of major food companies that are partnering with Senomyx, a biotech company that produces artificial flavor enhancers, unless the company stops using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products.

In 2010, the pro-life organization wrote to Senomyx CEO Kent Snyder, pointing out that moral options for testing their food additives could and should be used. But when Senomyx ignored their letter, they wrote to the companies Senomyx listed on their website as "collaborators" warning them of public backlash and threatened boycott. Food giants Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and Nestlé are the primary targets of the boycott, though Senomyx boasts other international partners on their website.

Senomyx website states that “The company's key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products....Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.” 

Senomyx notes their collaborators provide them research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.

“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors”, stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for Children of God for Life, a pro-life watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years.

“They could have easily chosen COS (monkey) cells, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, insect cells or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors”, Vinnedge added.

In writing to their collaborators, it took three letters before Nestlé finally admitted the truth about their relationship with Senomyx, noting the cell line was “well established in scientific research".

After hearing Ms Vinnedge speak publicly on the problem, angry consumers began writing the companies. Both Pepsico and Campbell Soup immediately responded.

Shockingly, Pepsico wrote: “We hope you are reassured to learn that our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers. This will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25% in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives.” 

Campbell Soup was more concerned in their response: “Every effort is made to use the finest ingredients and develop the greatest selection of products, all at a great value. With this in mind, it must be said that the trust we have cultivated and developed over the years with our consumers is not worth compromising to cut costs or increase profit margins."

While Campbell did not state they would change their methods, still their response, gave Vinnedge hope.

“If enough people voice their outrage and intent to boycott these consumer products, it can be highly effective in convincing Senomyx to change their methods”, she noted. “Otherwise, we will be buying Coca-Cola, Lipton soups and Hershey products!”

Write to Senomyx and their partners. We as consumers DO have the power to influence their behaviors!

Kent Snyder, CEO
4767 Nexus Centre Drive
San Diego, California 92121

Edmund M. Carpenter, CEO 
Campbell Soup
1 Campbell Place
Camden, NJ 08103-1701
Severed relationship with Senomyx - write to thank them!

Paul Bulcke, CEO
Nestlé USA
800 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203

Jamie Caulfield, Sr.VP
PepsiCo, Inc.
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577

Irene Rosenfeld, CEO
Kraft Foods/Cadbury Chocolate
Three Lakes Drive
Northfield, IL 60093

Mr. Torkel Rhenman Chief Executive Officer 
4300 Duncan Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63110

"UPDATE!!! March 29, 2011 11:45AM
Within hours of our press release, Children of God for Life received notice from Campbell Soup that they have severed their ties with Senomyx.

Stated Juli Mandel Sloves, Senior Manager of Nutrition; Wellness Communications at Campbell Soup Company, "We are no longer in partnership with Senomyx. This fact was discussed during the Senomyx conference call with its investors earlier this month."

If you choose to write to Campbell Soup, please thank them for their decision. Mmmm good!"

(Guggie Daly does not promote the support of or consumption of Campbell Soup).

Love your soda? Need a soda alternative? Try Zevia:

I tried a few flavors and was impressed. It’s not as healthy as simply stopping the habit, since they are still packaged in aluminum cans and have “flavoring” or caramel color.

Kombucha is another excellent alternative, especially because it is a fermented drink with health benefits. This company has my favorite flavors:

I understand not making a decision without verifying facts. You can read Senomyx's own published study here:


"The three members of the T1R class of taste-specific G protein-coupled receptors have been hypothesized to function in combination as heterodimeric sweet taste receptors. Here we show that human T1R2/T1R3 recognizes diverse natural and synthetic sweeteners. In contrast, human T1R1/T1R3 responds to the umami taste stimulus l-glutamate, and this response is enhanced by 5′-ribonucleotides, a hallmark of umami taste. The ligand specificities of rat T1R2/T1R3 and T1R1/T1R3 correspond to those of their human counterparts. These findings implicate the T1Rs in umami taste and suggest that sweet and umami taste receptors share a common subunit."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When Milk Turns to Water

Yes, I'm "still" nursing Zon at 29 months. 

Whether you have nursed a child or not, and nursed past infancy or not, you most likely can still recall a few myths, such as:

After 6 months, your milk turns to water.
Nursing a toddler is sexual.
You can’t nurse them too long or they’ll be dependent.

Nursing past 6 months or 1 year is actually the norm for the rest of the world. It has only been in the past half century, primarily in America, that we stopped providing adequate nourishment for our toddlers and young children.

This article provides an excellent summary with cited research on why “extended” nursing is normal and healthy:

And now, here is a guest post on the topic by Dr Thomas:

”I think if you nurse for a year, someone should throw a party for you.  The best I've been able to do is give out shirts. (http://bfmed.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/celebrating-the-journey/)  I've given out more shirts than I can count now and I have a (now not-so-current) recognition list of "one year" dyads on my website. ( http://www.drjen4kids.com/breastfeeding/wall%20of%20fame.htm)

So, with all these moms in my practice reaching the one-year goal, I decided to do something to recognize those mothers who continued to breastfeed to 18 months.  Those wonderful moms, who took the shirt and congratulations at a year said, "No thank you" when I offered at 18 months. They didn't want people to know.  They nursed past one year, but they didn't want public acknowledgement. They were "closet" nursers and ok with it.  

The one-year visit is also an opportunity to talk about the benefits of continuing to nurse after a year.  I'm going to try not to call it "extended breastfeeding" since that reveals a cultural bias that exists where I live, but maybe not where you live. Worldwide, nursing two to four years is simply normal, not extended.

And before cultural biases interrupt the discussion, the AAP policy statement on "Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk" says that there is, “…no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer."

So what happens at a year? Well, according to popular belief, as your beautiful breastfed child is sleeping the evening before their first birthday, their world gets rocked: the next day, they will discover that milk serves no purpose. We have found a cow that makes better milk than mom.

How do you make a non-verbal one year old understand that? They are counting on that same warmth, expression of love and wonderful nutrition that they got the day before. What's magic about that 366th day of their life?

Now really, I know that doesn't make sense and the one year old is probably confused, but I know some wonderful women who believe that even if they are continuing to nurse, that the child still needs supplemental cow's milk "to get enough nutrients."  

I may live in America's Dairyland where we wear cheeseheads in public, but cow's milk is for cows.  And since I'm usually having this conversation at a well visit, with the child right there, I can do a reasonable job of convincing the family that my physical exam suggests that their child is not a cow.

The infection fighting properties of milk are still present; lysozyme, lactoferrin and secretory IgA are present in stable amounts. There are smaller levels of protein, calcium and long chain fatty acids when compared to the milk of a 3 month old, but we're aren't talking about a 3 month old, who is only getting milk. Our toddler is getting complementary foods.  And we know that moms who nurse longer lower their risk of breast cancer.

I get it.  Many people, including most healthcare providers, don't understand why you'd want to nurse for more than a year.  But they aren't the ones trying to calm a screaming 15 month old.  I'm just saying- if I had to pick between the crying kid I need to distract and make happy somehow and the crying child who I can nurse and calm and get to smile in about 5 minutes, I'm picking the latter.

Someday, I'll be able to do something for my friends, those wonderful closet nursers, and I'll know we're making progress in my little slice of the world. Maybe then we can convince the rest of our country that nursing a toddler is normal.”

Jenny Thomas, MD, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM

My Children have Intact Immune Systems...Why?

My vaccine-free son, Ian, is 6 months old in this photo. 

I read an interesting article listing the common myths about parents who keep their children intact (vaccine free).  These myths are listed here: 

"1) Parents listen to the media/Dr. Wakefield study/Jenny McCarthy when choosing not to vax."

I had no idea who Jenny McCarthy was until I got into one of my first epic debates on Facebook. Someone accused me of following her cult so I had to google her. I still haven’t thoroughly researched her or read any of her books, so I will refrain from saying anything about her. She has a right to her opinions and I’m glad she is standing by her convictions, but that is all.

I do know who Wakefield is b/c I followed the thousands of posts on MDC on the issue. I encourage you to visit http://www.mothering.com/discussions to read them as well.

I'm unsure why this is a valid argument against questioning vaccines, as you could easily say parents listen to the media/Dr. Offit/Amanda Peet when choosing to vaccinate. I will give the benefit of the doubt to both sides and expect that parents are 1) capable of researching a variety of sources when making a serious decision on behalf of their children and 2) do not merely listen to a paid sponsor or a person w/ financial interest on the topic.

"2) Parents are selfish, relying on those who DO vax for protection while skipping the risks for themselves."

So let me get this right. Parents inject a product into their children to allegedly protect them from contracting mild childhood illnesses. These products don't work, so parents are told that everyone has to be injected with the same ineffective product to create "herd immunity." And the people who do not use this product are accused of relying on the herd immunity of an ineffective product that requires EVERYONE to be injected? Does anyone else see the GLARING thinking FAIL here? Is it clear enough yet?

Nonetheless, I do not want to ride on the theory of herd immunity. I do not want my children to have stunted or damaged immune systems. I do not want my children to be exposed to multiple genetically modified viruses in early infancy.

I’ve compiled some basic herd immunity info here:

Read this excellent article on how the immune system works:
"3) Parents believe vaccines cause autism and that is their primary reason for not vaxing."

I've never asserted that vaccines cause autism. I’ve never asserted that smoking causes lung cancer, either. The presentation of symptoms or disease in a person is based on multiple factors including hereditary genetics, epigenetics and the environment. My primary reason for not vaccinating my children is because forcefully injecting them without consent when NO disease is present violates their right to bodily integrity.

Parents have a whole laundry list of reasons to avoid vaccination. Autism might be a valid one for some parents, but most of them have many other reasons regardless of the way the media and officials have overly focused on ASDs.

"4) Parents don't understand what these diseases are really like, or they would start vaxing."

I've been studying "these diseases" and the vaccines available for them for the last 10 years. I know that if a parent invests 10 HOURS into vaccine research, they will not follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccine schedule. If they invest 20 HOURS into vaccine research, they will only pick and choose a handful of vaccines for personal/emotional reasons (this is the point where parents typically hang onto Hib and PCV or Polio and the triple MMR). I have not met anyone yet who claims over a 100 hours of research and is still vaccinating his or her own children.

"5) Parents' reasons keep changing because they don't really have any argument"

I'm not sure if this is an accusation within the context of a debate? But there are about “seventy-fourty” reasons as my toddler likes to say. And they span every cultural, political, financial, medical, religious etc topic out there. Reasons to avoid vaccines will continue to pile up as science continues to show the complexity of the human body versus the simplicity of vaccine theory.

"6) Parents don't vaccinate because they are uneducated or hippie/earth-loving mothers"

I know a lot of hippies who vaccinate. And I know a lot of mainstreamers who don't vaccinate at all (including doctors and nurses). I also know that the pro-vaccine researchers find over and over again that the people who are most educated with higher incomes are the ones who don't vaccinate.

"7) Parents are "abusing" or "neglecting" their children by not vaccinating, or they don't love them"

Since no disease or defect is present, vaccination does not treat anything. It is abusive to force a medical treatment onto a non-consenting minor when no disease is present. Since vaccines have never been in gold standard, longitudinal studies with ethical control groups, they remain an unproven, marketed product and not a lifesaving medication. In essence, vaccinations are an experiment and children are enrolled in it without giving informed consent. Does that fulfill the definition of abuse?

"8) Parents don't understand that vaccines save lives, they are too worried about rare side effects."

No disease is present when vaccinated and the child's life is not at risk before vaccinating. Vaccines have not been proven safe and the scant studies on their efficacy are conflicting. They might work; they might not. They might work for some people but not for other people. They might hurt some people; they might not. As every vaccine insert admits, vaccines have not been tested for carcinogenicity, mutagenicity or reproductive consequences. They are not a benign lifestyle choice, such as rearfacing a carseat, because vaccines alter the normal function of a healthy body.

Since most vaccine-related illnesses are mild and without complications, it can’t even be claimed that vaccines save lives. At the very least, it can’t be claimed that they directly save lives, since illness-related deaths are usually due to secondary complications such as lack of treatment due to poor healthcare or misdiagnosis, mistreatment, dehydration and secondary bacterial infection (AKA go into the doctor’s office sick, get MRSA on top of it). 

In developing countries with particular obstacles of poverty, malnutrition/famine and exposure to harsh weather, most people are unaware that vaccines appear to save lives due to being given at the same time with vitamin supplements. The World Health Organization has a statement on the importance of Vitamin A shots and how they reduce Measles complications in malnourished populations:


"Combining the administration of vitamin A supplements with immunization is an important part of this effort. Since 1987, WHO has advocated the routine administration of vitamin A with measles vaccine in countries where vitamin A deficiency is a problem. Great success and many millions of children have been reached by including vitamin A with National Immunization Days (NIDs) to eradicate polio. Providing immunization-linked high-dose supplementation to new mothers soon after delivery has provided a further benefit to young infants through enriched breast milk.

Provision of vitamin A supplements every four to six months is an inexpensive, quick, and effective way to improve vitamin A status and save children's lives. The Beaton Report concluded that all-cause mortality among children aged 6–59 months was reduced by 23% through vitamin A supplementation in areas where vitamin A deficiency was a public health problem. However, comprehensive control of vitamin A deficiency must include dietary improvement and food fortification in the long term."

Since 1987, eh. Now, show of hands! How many people have read the news, heard on the radio, in the tv or their classroom something that praises vitamin A for saving lives?

I encourage parents to dig into this issue. Study the science (or lack thereof) and study the anatomy and physiology of our bodies. Do not be put off by the rude stereotypes or uninformed myths surrounding this issue.

© Guggie Daly

With a Knickknack, Paddywhack, Give a Dog a Bone....

If you’re looking for a real conspiracy,
Take a look how vaccinations
makes Autism sweep the nation.
And the CDC keeps spinning fantasy.

Into Vaccine court your case shall be thrown,
so you fight for 10 years just to get a bone.
Pharma's legally protected 
from the damage they've injected.
Now take your damaged children back on home.

Who will take good care of our kids?
We see the future, & darker it gets.
When we are old & gray,
and start to pass away,
Will you throw ‘em in the streets just like the Vets?


We're the Teflon Dons of Big Pharma.
We own Congress, FDA, & CDC.
They cover our asses
cause we're the highest classes.
They love our contribution bribery. 

We nobles care not for social issues.
What divides you only gives us glee.
We take delight,
when you're busy with some fight,
we grab more wealth & leave you poverty.

We are the upper ruling class.
Wealth & power we steadily amass.
We steal our fill,
your grandchildren pay the bill.
Cause our balls are made of solid brass.

Oh you sons of the Aryan Nation,
and you children from Africa's scene,
you Asian, & Mexican chap,
hatred's just a trap
set by the few who hoard the Green.

It's our private Bank, the Fed Reserve.
We're men of vast wealth & cool nerve.
We're the Banking Elite,
You're the dirt beneath our feet.
It's our interests your Government will serve.

We're the men who make Presidents comply,
and Senators by the dozen we buy.
Obama, Clinton, McCain,
to us they're all the same.
The day they move against us they will die.

We're enforcers of the IRS.
The rules we've made confusing, we confess.
You are guilty on the spot,
if you cannot prove you're not,
we will seize all the things that you possess.

Corp'rate Tax breaks, but few for you & me
That's the “Trickle Down” the-o-ry.
My job has gone to sea.
So, now it seems to me ,
all that trickles down is pee,

The storms bring Corexit far ashore.
Gulf cleanup? We're done with that chore.
The thousands of sick,
well, they're just up the crick.
BP won't pay out anymore.

We are the First Americans.
It's time for you whites to make amends.
Pay respect to our nation,
come see our reservation,
and casinos where the scalping never ends.

I'm a Congressman from another State,
You hate me, but you think that yours is great.
I think his Pork is fine,
and he votes yes for mine. 
Together we increase the debt growth rate.

If your problem is Alcohol,
my advice is do not stall.
Do a Google search today
of Pyr-o-lur-i-a.
It's infection, not genetic after all.

Lohan, Gibson, Spears, & Sheen,
you have problems, as we have all seen.
Google it today
Mega dose with B6 and stay clean.

All Religions' destruction's very near.
Their wickedness in everything is clear.
When the Nations confiscate,
their ill-gotten Real Estate,
the Angels will shout a great big cheer.

Here's my story that I would like to tell.
'bout two men, that I love very well.
Jesus saved my life,
and my best friend took my wife.
And both of them delivered me from hell.

This song is copyrighted, 2010, Michael Kohloff.

Michael enjoys networking on Facebook, so send him a request!

Confessions of a Mom who has "Been There, Done That"

Below is a guest post submitted by Candice.

"I post the things I post in hopes that it will reach someone out there because when I had my kids I wish there was someone who would have taught me, not to say "you suck at what you are doing." 

There is a huge difference in doing something that is unsafe for your child because you genuinely do not know and doing something unsafe because you refuse to be educated and you use the defense, "I know what's best for my child."  This is coming from someone who screwed up A LOT during her first 5 years of child-rearing.  I try to help people learn from my mistakes.  Most of my opinions come from personal experience.

These are my opinions and yes, like I said, we can "agree to disagree" on some of them (like vaccines) and as long as you are doing your research and believe that you've made the best choice, I commend you either way.  

Epidurals- Sure you may think you can't handle the pain, but believe me, once you have that baby in your arms, that pain will be a distant memory. These are some of the risks and side effects of an epidural:

Maternal Risks
§                                 Hypotension (Drop in blood pressure)
§                                 Urinary Retention and Postpartum Bladder Dysfunction
§                                 Uncontrollable Shivering
§                                 Itching of the face, neck and throat
§                                 Nausea and Vomiting
§                                 Postpartum Backache
§                                 Maternal Fever
§                                 Spinal Headache
§                                 Uneven, incomplete or nonexistent pain relief
§                                 Feelings of Emotional detachment
§                                 Postpartum feelings of regret or loss of autonomy
§                                 Inability to move about freely on your own
§                                 Loss of perineal sensation and sexual function
§                                 Convulsions
§                                 Respitory paralysis
§                                 Cardiac arrest
§                                 Allergic shock
§                                 Nerve injury
§                                 Epidural abscess
§                                 Maternal death

Labor Side Effects
§                                 Prolonged First Stage of Labor
§                                 Increase of malpresentation of baby's head
§                                 Increased need for Pitocin augmentation
§                                 Prolonged Second Stage of Labor
§                                 Decrease in the ability to push effectively
§                                 Increased liklihood of forceps or vacuum extraction delivery
§                                 Increased likelihood of needing an episiotomy
§                                 Increase in cesarean section

Baby Side Effects
§                                 Fetal distress; abnormal fetal heart rate
§                                 Drowsiness at birth; poor sucking reflex
§                                 Poor muscle strength and tone in the first hours.
The pain can be helped with counter pressure, meditation etc (more on effective drug-free pain relief at another time)
This is a great link about epidurals and how they can actually make the birth more painful for your baby.  Is it worth the pain of your child for you to be a little more comfortable?http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/truth-about-epidurals.html

Epidurals and me:
When I had Avery, I knew I wanted to experience some of the pain first and then get an epidural.  I had a labor that lasted over 72 hours and I waited until the pain was unbearable (or so I thought) before I got one.  With Kye, I had the shortest labor ever.  My contractions were stacked right on top of another and I was in excruciating pain.  When they finally admitted me, I screamed for MY epidural (haha as if it's a right of passage)...but it was too late by the time they believed me that the baby was coming...and I had him without one.  After that, I knew that the pain was normal and if I'd done it once, I could do it again. 

When I was induced with Kaylee (more on induction later), I told the nurses before any of the pain started that I was set on doing it naturally and I did not want them to ask me if I wanted any pain meds.  I told them that if I needed anything, I would ask because I know when you are in that much pain, if someone offers it, it's going to be too hard to say no.  

A few minutes before Kaylee was born, I was told I was only dilated to a 6 and she was having a hard time getting into position and was facing the wrong direction, causing HORRIBLE back pain (I thought I was going to die),  I begged for an epidural, deep down knowing that I really didn't want one, but I kept saying I couldn't do it anymore.  However, I wasn't at a 6, I was completely dilated, and the pain I was experiencing was just her transitioning.  She came out seconds later.  If/when we have another baby, I want a homebirth (go ahead and call me crazy), I don't want pain meds to be an option because I know that I don't need them, and I want the birth to be as peaceful as possible. 

Routine Inductions:
Routine/elective inductions are simply when a mom decides she's been pregnant too long or a doctor is ready for you to have your baby on his 8-5 schedule so that he doesn't have to be waken up at 3am on a Saturday night.  The drug most commonly used is pitocin and these are some of the side effects:

Anaphylactic reaction
 Premature ventricular contractions
Postpartum hemorrhage
 Pelvic hematoma
Cardiac arrhythmia
Subarachnoid hemorrhage
Fatal afibrinogenemia
Hypertensive episodes
Nausea Rupture of the uterus
Excessive dosage or hypersensitivity to the drug may result in uterine hypertonicity, spasm, tetanic contraction, or rupture of the uterus.
The possibility of increased blood loss and afibrinogenemia should be kept in mind when administering the drug.
Severe water intoxication with convulsions and coma has occurred, associated with a slow oxytocin infusion over a 24-hour period. Maternal death due to oxytocin-induced water intoxication has been reported.
The following adverse reactions have been reported in the fetus:
Low Apgar scores at five minutes
Premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias  
Permanent CNS or brain damage
Neonatal retinal hemorrhage
Fetal DEATH  
Neonatal seizures

Keep in mind, nobody knows when a baby is ready to be born except that baby.  Full term is considered anywhere from 37-42 weeks.  That means even though you are past your ESTIMATED due date, you are not post term until you hit 42 weeks and 1 day.  Don't rush the process, let the baby develop on his/her own schedule, they will come when they are ready. 

When you get discouraged, just remember that nobody has ever been pregnant forever and 43-44 weeks is considered completely normal! Women have been doing this since the beginning of man, you'll survive 40+ weeks.

Inductions and me:
I was induced at 40 weeks with Kaylee. My doctor had been telling me since about half way through my pregnancy that we were going to need to induce between 38-39 weeks because if I let Kaylee get too big, I would likely tear and hemorrhage to death.  Doctors know everything right?  So I agreed, we planned a tentative induction date, made plans for Dan's mom to come out for the birth etc. 

At about 38 weeks, I started doing some research on it (better late than never) and realized there were hundreds of women I had the privilege of speaking with who had been told the same thing.  I started thinking that maybe the doctor was wrong, how exactly could she predict the future anyway?

 I had big babies before, yes I hemorrhaged but I didn't die! And if the doctor knows that you have a higher chance of it happening, they know what to look for after the birth.  I really did not want to force my baby out when she wasn't ready to be earthside yet and only she knew when that time would come. 

But hearing it time after time at the doctor's appointment that 39 weeks was the latest I could go, I began doubting myself.  In the end, I put it off until 40 weeks and Kaylee (over 9lbs) came out completely fine without a tear or cut.  I wish I would have waited for labor to start on it's own, pitocin makes contractions hurt so much worse and who knows if Kaylee wasn't completely ready to be delivered and possibly needed another week or 2.  Of course, I will never know, but I do know that if we have another, labor will begin naturally like it did for Avery and Kye.

I thankfully have never had to deal with this but like everything else, I do have an opinion.  C-sections are performed all too often, numerous times because of complications that arise from the two aforementioned medical interventions.  A very small percentage of women actually need a c-section, but a lot of "needs" are misdiagnosed and the women could have easily gone on to have a vaginal birth.  Even breech babies do not need to be born by c-section all of the time.


Simply put, cows milk is for cows and human milk is for humans.  You hear all the time stories of people who couldn't breastfeed.  Some of them I truly believe couldn't do it, but it's a very small percentage.  We were created to be able to feed our children this way.  Formula is constantly recalled, has been sitting on the shelf for longer than your baby has been alive, and tastes and smells nasty.  Breastfeeding is proven to be better for immunity, development and can never be completely duplicated so there is much ignorance in the statement that "formula is just as good."  Even the formula companies say, "breast is best."

Formula and me:

Avery and Kye were both on formula after the first month because of overproduction issues (too much to explain right now).  I didn't have any resources and my doctor encouraged me to quit because formula was just as good...so I did.  I feel awful that I didn't know what I know now, because of the lack of internet.  With Kaylee, I was able to correct my issues and she's nearly 4 months and going strong :)


This will be a short one.  I believe that God gave my children and myself a natural immunity and I trust Him more than I trust some money-hungry vaccine company in regards to keeping my family safe.  I don't agree with all of the disgusting ingredients they want me to shoot my children up with.  I don't like that they may have caused Kye's allergies, asthma, and eczema. 

And in short, I do not believe and have never seen any proof that they work. All of my 3 years of research has shown that the decline of all of these diseases had already begun many years before the vaccine was produced, and the most logical explanation was better, cleaner, standards of living.

If you are interested in a list of ingredients: http://www.informedchoice.info/cocktail.html
Did you know that we vaccinate our children 3 1/2 times more often than when we were growing up?http://www.drmomma.org/2011/01/cdc-mandatory-vaccine-schedule-1983-vs.html

Vaccines and me:
Avery and Kye were both vaccinated on schedule until Kye was in and out of the hospital the first two years of life with allergic reactions, allergy induced eczema, which had to be controlled by steroids, and in turn created mrsa infections ( a very vicious cycle). Every time he would get his shots, any progress he had made changed for the worse and we were back to square one. 

His immune system wasn't functioning at all.  Anyone who has ever taken their kids for shots knows that they can't get them if they are sick.  Well, Kye was very sick so he missed his 18 month shots.  Shortly after, he seemed to be getting progressively better and his allergist and dermatologist blamed the vaccines for causing all of his health issues. 

So when it came time to reschedule, I held off...did some research and was surprised at everything I had found out about it.  I decided not to vaccinate anymore and have stuck to that.  He is now EXTREMELY healthy.  Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. Avery still goes to public school *gasp* and my precious little baby has not had one vaccine in her life :)


Circumcision and me:
This is a really touchy subject for me, as I did it to Kye because that's what I was made to believe is normal and it's one of my biggest regrets.  It's far from normal, it is completely inhumane, painful, can cause so many complications and/or death, and had absolutely NO medical necessity in 99.99999% of baby boys. Teach your little boys to wash themselves and they will be fine.

Out of 100 Circumcised boys:
75 will not readily breastfeed post-op

55 will have adverse reactions from the surgery

35 will have post-op hemorrhaging to one degree or another

31 will develop meatal ulcers

10 will need to have the circumcision surgery repeated to fix prior surgical problems/error
8 will suffer infection at the surgical site

3 will develop post-operative phimosis

2 will have a more serious complication (seizure, heart attack, stroke, loss of penis, death)

1 will require additional immediate surgery and sutures to stop hemorrhage

1 will develop fibrosis

1 will develop phimosis

1 will be treated with antibiotics for a UTI (urinary tract infection)

1 will be treated with antibiotics for surgical site infection

Of those who do receive pain medication for the surgery (about 4% of those boys undergoing circumcision in the U.S.) some will have adverse reactions to the pain medication injected

Out of 100 Intact boys:

2 will be treated with antibiotics for a UTI (fewer if the foreskin is never forcibly retracted)

1 will be told to get cut later in life for one reason or another (fewer if the foreskin is never forcibly retracted)
Statistics speak for themselves.  You wouldn't circumcise your daughter, why do it to your son?

CIO (crying it out) and co-sleeping

With Dan in the military, I see it all the time. Deployments come around and the insomnia kicks in. I dare you to ask any military wife why they have such a hard time sleeping when their husband is gone and you'll get an answer along the lines of "the bed feels too empy"  "it's too cold"  "I need his arm around me to sleep" etc.  What makes you think a baby is any different? 

They just spend 9-10 months dependent on your warmth, your comfort, being "held" and now they are out and you throw them in a cold lonely crib to fend for themselves.  Yes, they are going to cry!  They need you; they don't need to be "trained."  They aren't your pet, and they need to be able to trust you.  You may think about it as "well I'm going to put them in their bed, then I will be right outside the door til they fall asleep, they are completely safe." 

Now how does a baby that has absolutely no time concept think?  "Mommy left me and won't answer my cries and is never coming back.  Yes, they will eventually go to sleep.  Does this mean that you "won?"  No, it means they've given up on you. And I'm sure after a few nights of doing it, the crying will lessen, but this isn't a victory, all it says is that they don't trust you, they know that you don't care and you aren't coming back.  Think about this.  Something happens and you get upset, your husband walks in crying, tells you "you'll be alright" and leaves the room...maybe he comes back a few minutes later, does the same thing and eventually you just give up on him caring about you. 

I don't know about you, but my husband would never hear the end of it.  They are there for comfort, and sometimes you just need to be held.  Not to mention, new studies show that crying it out can cause brain damage.  

Even the man who created this method (Ferber) has recanted his previous statements and said if he had the chance to do it all over again, he would not recommend it at all.  But the damage has been done.  What used to be considered child abuse is now the norm amongst many in society. 

So what other alternatives are there?  You can rock your baby to sleep like they are used to, or you can co-sleep (my preference).

The benefits of co-sleeping are endless, but here are a few:

Both mom and baby sleep better, makes for easier breastfeeding: "Not only does sleep sharing benefit baby as a result of the touch, stimulation and relaxation that comes from the security of knowing mom is close, but her milk supply is also regulated through hormones when she sleeps within an arm's reach of her baby," it reduces the risk of SIDS.

I co-slept with Avery and was made to feel like a bad mom as if I was spoiling her.  Let me tell you this, babies can not be spoiled by being held when they cry, by being loved, or by being able to sleep in your bed.  Those are ridiculous claims!  I didn't co-sleep with Kye (until he got really sick around 9mo) because of all of the flack I got for it with Avery and I regret it (I've come to realize I have a lot of regrets with him lol).

Ironically, he still wakes up in the middle of night and comes to my bed and Avery doesn't.  Kaylee has slept in our bed or right next to it (2 times) every single night since she was born.  I love it and won't let anyone influence my decision.  As for crying, Kaylee doesn't ever experience "controlled crying." 

A lot of well-meaning advice-givers tell you "just let them cry, it won't kill them, all babies do it” but the way I see it, if she's crying, something is wrong.  She doesn't cry just to be heard. She could be tired, hungry, wet...or maybe she just needs to be close to mommy, or wants a change of position.  Babies cry for a reason and EVERY single time Kaylee has cried since birth, she has been attended to...yes, EVERY time.  I do not let her cry and because of this, I believe she has a lot of trust in me.

Car seats and extended rear facing:

First and foremost, the law for babies to be kept rear facing is at least 1yr and 20lbs in every state...some are more strict than others and the AAP recommends keeping toddlers rear facing to at least 2 years or as long as humanly possible.  So when I hear people say "I know what's best for my baby" and are turning the forward facing at 6 months, yes I get upset.  I am what you would call a car seat nazi. I have heard so many excuses about why people can't rear face.  So this is my own little version of mythbusters

#1 No, your child is not too big to be rear facing.

That would be a 3-year-old rear facing

And there's another

And yet another

And this link here has a 4 and 5 year old :)

Still have doubts?  There has never been a documented case of a child breaking their legs because they were rear facing (it's actually safer for their legs). 

There have, however, been plenty of cases where the child died or suffered internal decapitation because they were forward facing too early.  A child's spinal column is not fused to their skull until after 2 years old.  And surprisingly, the more your child weighs at this point in life, the more likely they would be to suffer irreversible damage because they are more violently thrusted forward in a wreck. 

#2 My baby pitches a fit if they are rear facing and distracted driving is worse than forward facing. 
Oh really? So tell me this, what exactly did you do for the first 12 months of life when your child would cry? Don't try telling me that they never made a peep until they were 12 months.  You've dealt with distracted driving this long, it's no different...and not to mention I have 2 kids forward facing, and they still distract me regardless of the way they are sitting.  There is no excuse, give them a toy, give them a snack, turn on the radio...something, you have so many options.

#3 But my baby doesn't like not being able to see me
Yeah, who cares what your baby "likes."  My 5 year old wants ice cream for dinner, does that mean she gets it?  She wants to play outside in her underwear...yeah, not happening.  You're the parent, act like it.  I definitely don't understand the skewed logic with this excuse.

* 80% of carseats are used or installed improperly
* toddlers who are rear facing have been PROVEN to be FIVE TIMES SAFER than forward facing toddlers. This has been proven multiple times, and now its also been proven by the American Academy of Pediatrics
* the AAP recommends extended rear facing
* when a 20 lb infant is in a 30 mph crash, 600 lbs of force is exerted right onto the neck when forward facing, when rear facing this force is spread out evenly on the body by the cradling effect, which is MUCH less devastating to their tiny body. The heavier the child, the more force. The faster the wreck, the more force.
* a toddler's spine is NOT fused to their skull until at least 2 years old. (Hence why its rec. to ERF until 2)
* In the United States during 2005, 1,335 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 184,000 were injured. That’s an average of 4 deaths and 504 injuries each day

 Like I said at the beginning of this note, I don't fault people for not knowing, it's refusing to change once someone has presented facts to you or you've done the research. THAT is ignorant parenting, and doing things for your own convenience instead of the safety of your child.  Remember me saying I'm not perfect? At the end of this section, you will find a collage of my own car seat pictures before I knew what I was doing.  Looking at them, I can say that my children are lucky to be alive.  Here are the descriptions of each:

#1 We were about to get out of the car (I had just unbuckled him). Halloween 2007, making my son 9 months and FF
#2 My daughter at 2 1/2 with her "belly" clip
#3 My son at 2yr 5mo with his "belly" clip
#4 *shudders* twisted straps, not even tight enough to stay up on his shoulders...at 2yr7mo
#5 My 4yr4mo girl in a backless booster (in our spare vehicle so we didn't have to move seats back and forth)
#6 My 2 1/2 year old in a high back booster (in spare vehicle)
#7 My 4yr4mo daughter in a belt-positioning booster
#8 recent pic of my son at 4years and 2 months, tight straps with no slack, chest clip up to his armpits
#9 recent pic of my 3 month old, no slack whatsoever, you can barely put half of your finger between her and the strap, after market strap covers have had the "compression test" and without adjusting the straps, the car seat fits the same both way (we are looking for baby trend covers to go with it but we HAVE to keep these on for now because the last time we didn't the strap actually cut into her neck from her turning her head back and forth)

Don't have a recent pic of my almost 6 year old but you get the picture lol
Both of my oldest two were switched back to a 5point harness and will stay there until they no longer fit. Kaylee will be rearfacing past 2.

I don't have too much to say on this.  I think it is abuse.  I used to spank and realized that's not how I want my kids to grow up.   There is a fine line between spanking and beating and I resented my mother growing up for how she raised us (there is still a bit of resentment there). 

Kids don't need punishment and discipline (this isn't the army). They need positive reinforcement.  Kids that are hit grow up to be hitters, as proven in domestic abuse cases.

Putting cereal in a bottle/feeding solids too early

Most simply, having solids too early increases the risk of food allergies exponentially.  Babies' digestive systems aren't developed enough to handle more than milk.  Putting cereal in a baby's bottle is extremely dangerous and there is no reason to do so (unless you are given instructions due to reflux).

#1. You can cause your child's allergies. . .
While no one agrees completely on what it is that actually causes allergies, we do have enough research to see certain connections. One, very well documented connection to serious allergies is when a baby has been exposed to the allergen too early. Putting cereal in your baby's bottle, even rice cereal, can cause allergies.

#2. Choking hazard
Some infants do not fully have their swallowing reflex fully developed at birth. Sucking cereal from a bottle can cause a choking hazard and babies have actually died this way. Choking on cereal from a bottle certainly isn't a common cause of death, but why do it when it is linked to something like choking?
#3. Digestive Issues
There is a connection between babies who have solids too early and digestive problems. The fact of the matter is that baby tummies are designed to take in breast milk. When you can't breastfeed, there's formula, which mimics breast milk. Baby tummies are not designed to take in solids, and it's not surprising that they malfunction when forced to do what they're not designed to do.

#4. Obesity
One key factor in obesity is infant feeding. Infants are born with a self regulatory ability to take in only what they need. By feeding on demand and following a baby's cues, you are essentially helping them form habits of eating when hungry and eating until they feel full. This sets them up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. But when you add cereal to a bottle, it bypasses their system and essentially they take in more calories than they need.

#5. It Doesn't Work!!!
There is no scientific evidence to support the notion that baby's sleep better with cereal in their bottles. The truth is, babies are designed to wake frequently at night. Dealing with sleep deprivation is part of the parenting package."