A mother’s loving touch saves baby’s life

I never cease to be amazed at the power of a mother’s love! There is so much more to birth than the medical profession can understand or see. One amazing example of this comes out of Australia. A new mother had just given birth to twins but one of the babies couldn’t be resuscitated and was declared dead by the doctors. After TWO HOURS of skin to skin touch from the mother and many positive, loving words from both parents, the two-pound baby miraculously began to breath! Little baby Jamie is now five months old and doing fine. This just goes to show how technology isn’t always all we think it is. Some have this idea that if a laboring woman is surrounded by all the latest machines her baby will have the greatest chance of survival. All this mother needed was to give her warm touch and her loving words to this little one. Thank God for such a beautiful miracle!

Here’s the story: Miracle premature baby declared dead by doctors revived by mother’s touch

I applaud that mother for going with her instincts and not giving up on that baby! 

Childbirth education

I have some fun news to share with you! For several years now I have had a passion for birth and a desire to spread the word about it’s beauty and importance. My dream is finally coming true! I have begun training with Birthworks to become a certified childbirth educator. At this point it looks like I will be the only educator in Michigan certified through Birthworks. I can’t wait! Women and babies are my passion! At some point I would like to become a doula or midwife but as a homeschooling mom of young children that wouldn’t be the best for my family right now. I’m saving that dream for when they’re older. I figure it will give me something fun to look forward to when I have an empty nest.

For more information on the Birthworks organization you can visit their website: Birthworks International

Cloth Diapers

image Diapers. It’s a reality every parent faces (unless you’re doing infant potty training). For an eco-friendly and cost-efficient option, cloth diapers can’t be beat! There are SO many different options available now.

With my first daughter I used the the cheap chinese pre-fold diapers and pins that you can buy in most stores. They didn’t absorb well though and the pins were hard for me to manage so I couldn’t stick with it. I admire our mothers who raised all their kids on rubber pants that are a pain to get off and pins that poked them! Some women still use these! If you’re one of these women, way to go! :) With my newest daughter I decided to try what they call, “modern cloth diapers” and they have turned out to be so easy! I actually prefer them to disposables! They breath a lot better so they don’t smell quite as bad.

If you are considering cloth diapers, here are a few recommendations that I’ve been using:
Diapers:
Crickett’s Diapers This is a fitted diaper made of hemp.
Pros: They are VERY absorbent and hardly EVER leak. They’re really easy to put on with snaps that create a custom fit for your child as they grow. There are two sizes with this diaper, one for infants, and one for toddlers. I like that these diapers are made with hemp (although they now offer them in cotton as well). Hemp is naturally anti-bacterial and more eco-friendly than other fabrics. The Bummis covers that they recommend didn’t work well for me though. They leaked a lot and didn’t fit my daughter well. I recommend Thirsties diaper covers instead.
Cons: These diapers are less expensive than other fitted diapers but more expensive than pre-folds. Also, after several months of use they started to have a slight smell to them and I had to change my laundry routine to help keep it away. Hemp is workable but IS a bit more work in the laundering department. They also take a bit longer to dry because they are so thick.

Cloth-eez Prefold Diapers
Pros: These pre-folds are very good quality and absorb well. These are the only diaper I use now. I chose these over the other pre-folds due to them being the highest rated pre-fold diaper on the Diaper Pin forums. They are a fraction of the cost of fitted diapers! It’s also nice that they dry much quicker. A must with these diapers is the “Snappi” fastener. It is SO much nicer than the old pins!
Cons: The only downside of these that I’ve found so far is they leak (but only rarely) when they get extremely full and when my daughter poops in them the poop sometimes gets on the inside of the cover but that’s not a big deal. Anyway, I love them! You can’t beat the price for the quality you get!

Waterproof diaper covers:
Thirsties Thirsties diaper covers have been the best investment I’ve made with cloth diapering! Thanks to their design incorporating leg gussets they work extremely well. They come very highly recommended on the Diaper Pin forums. I wouldn’t use anything else! There are a lot of online stores that sell these but I got mine on sale at Teeni Banini. They are also available at the “Green Mountain Diapers” website where I bought my pre-fold diapers.

Wet Bags: These are a must with cloth diapering on the go. I bought a couple of large ones from Sarah’s Stitches that have worked very well and were inexpensive. You can also find a variety of wet bags on Etsy.

Detergent: After doing a lot of researching I decided on getting a cheap store brand. It works great at getting out the smell without harming the diapers. Here’s a chart to help you find the right detergent:
Detergent Choices

Diaper Rash Salve: Northern Essence This diaper “ointment” is great because it doesn’t cause buildup on the cloth diapers, it smells great, works well and is in a convenient push tube so you don’t even have to get your hands dirty!

As to how I care and launder my diapers, I follow the procedure suggested at this Cloth Diapering University. Doing the “dry pail” method has worked out really well for me. It’s SO much nicer than the “wet pail” method where you have to rinse the diapers and soak them in poopy water.

If you’re interested in trying cloth diapers and have any questions, just let me know.

Natural Sources of Iron

While pregnant I became a bit anemic and needed to get an extra dosage of iron each day. This surprised me somewhat since I regularly cook in an iron skillet (which contributes iron into your diet). Iron supplements can cause constipation so you often have to take a stool softener with them. Eating whole foods is always preferable to taking individual vitamin supplements. This is because the different parts of food work with each other in harmony in order to be most beneficial to the health of our bodies.

At the suggestion of my midwife I started taking a spoonful of unsulphered molasses each day. She also suggested eating Malt-O-Meal for breakfast. One serving contains 60% of the RDA for Iron! Because it’s not what you eat that is most important but what you ABSORB, I took my iron strong foods along with orange juice. It’s high in vitamin C which aids in the absorption of iron found in foods (but not in supplements). Don’t take molasses or other iron-rich foods with milk, tea or coffee as the calcium and phosphorus in milk and the tannic acid in coffee and tea actually interfere with iron absorption. Following this regime my iron levels went up quickly without the problem of constipation.

Here are some excellent natural sources of iron:
Clams, canned (LOTS of iron)
Beef Liver - I only WISH I was one of the people that like it! :(
Red meats
Shrimp
Legumes (especially brown ones)
Tomato juice
Artichoke

Low iron levels can sometimes even be the cause of reduced energy, motivational problems or behavioral problems.  Before seeking seeking more extensive treatment options, you may want to get your iron levels checked just to rule out the possibility of a nutritional deficiency.

SIDS Prevention

image Would you be surprised to know that SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is almost completely preventable? The name implies that the cause is unknown but in reality the cause has been known for about 12 years! SIDS occurs due to a couple reasons. First, studies have directly linked the Pertussis vaccine (in the DTP shot) to SIDS. According to a study quoted in The Vaccine Safety Manual, “70% of children who died of SIDS had received the pertussis vaccine within three weeks.” The pertussis vaccine can cause the baby’s breathing to be extremely strained. This introduces the second aspect of SIDS. Crib mattresses in the US are required by law to be treated with some sort of flame retardants, either chemical (like formaldehyde) or natural (such as wool). So what happens is the baby’s breathing is already stressed due to the Pertussis vaccine and then when the baby inhales toxic nerve gases emitted from his crib mattress it just becomes too much for his immature body to handle. The nerve gases are produced when a fungus develops in the mattress and ‘eats’ the flame retardants there. This would explain why the recommendations to have babies sleep on their backs in a well-ventilated room has ‘slightly’ decreased the occurrences of SIDS. Most cases of SIDS occur in the first few months of life. Fortunately you can take steps to prevent SIDS (or more accurately named, ‘Crib Death’) You can choose not to get the Pertussis vaccine (DTP). You can help by ‘wrapping’ your conventional crib mattress. This is done by wrapping the mattress with a polyethylene cover. This cover separates the baby from the toxic fumes. BabeSafe mattress covers can be found at Eve’s Best. They’re much cheaper than buying an organic mattress. I have yet to find them for full-size beds yet though. I would like to just buy a roll of food-grade polyethylene sheeting and use that to wrap all the mattresses in our house but I’m not sure where to get it. You can also buy organic mattresses wrapped in wool (a natural flame retardant).

So why isn’t this news widespread? There has been a LOT of money given for SIDS research! Like I’ve said before, it’s amazing how many things come down to money and greed!

Please help spread the word about SIDS/Crib Death! It’s so frustrating that parents aren’t even made aware of these facts! The media and the medical profession at large refuse to acknowledge these causes.

Sources:
PreventSids.org
“Vaccine Safety Manual: For Concerned Families and Health Practitioners” by Neil Z. Miller
Mattress Off-gassing Confusion on the Net
Research which confirms the toxic gas explanation for crib death
Cot Death: A Single Primary Cause

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