Friday, April 18, 2014

On the Ethics of Registered Nurses Assisting in Forced Infant Circumcision

Video Interview by James Loewen with Dolores Sangiuliano, RN
View Loewen's full channel and many stellar works at: www.YouTube.com/user/Bonobo3D

"I'm a registered nurse and we have an ethical code - the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses - and it states very clearly that we are charged with the duty to protect our vulnerable patients. If we are not protecting our vulnerable patients, then our licenses are not worth the paper that they are written on.

If anyone is vulnerable, it is a newborn baby - a child with no voice. And that is why I carry this sign: 'I will not do anything evil or malicious and I will not knowingly assist in malpractice.' Infant circumcision is malfeasance and malpractice and it is totally unethical.

Proxy consent is only valid for a procedure. In other words, parents can give consent for a procedure for their child - that's proxy consent - in a case of treatment or diagnosis, and circumcision is neither. You are not treating a disease and you are not trying to diagnose an illness."

Comment directly on this video at: http://youtu.be/Sgy8kZqANoE




No national medical organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision.




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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yeast, Rash and Redness: Breastmilk Spurs Yeast Overgrowth, Neosporin Alters Microflora; What to Do Instead

By Danelle Frisbie © 2014


The medicinal powers of human milk when used for a wide variety of ailments cannot be denied. Its antiviral and antibacterial properties are virtually unmatched, and in addition to being the one item perfectly designed to grow and sustain human beings for the first years of life, human milk is effective for use on everything from acne to pink eye, sunburn to stuffy noses - with components life-giving enough to ward off and even kill cancer cells.

This being said, the one area that human milk should not be used is the genitals of growing babies and children. The reason for this is due to the hearty sugar makeup of human milk - a component of our milk that is vital to healthy immune, organ and brain development. These sugars are complex and many in form, and they are made up of a wide variety (everything from those designed to help baby build the fatty tissues that s/he needs, to developing the myelin sheath around new neurons, to glyconutrients that allow cells in the body to communicate effectively and ensure robust immune function). These sugars play an essential role in human health and development - some in ways we are only beginning to understand in the 21st century.

Why, then, are substances with heavy sugar content not a good idea for genitals? The answer is YEAST. Yeast overgrowth is one of thee most common reasons for rashes and irritation in babies and children - especially during the diaper wearing days. Yeast feeds on sugars - in fact, it thrives on sugars - and does not differentiate between 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' sugars, it grows on all. So when human milk is placed on the genitals (whether intact or circumcised), it is nourishing yeast spores in the process. Additional redness, and a prolonged rash or irritation to the genitals, is common when a sugar-rich substance is used - leading all too often to unnecessary visits to the physician's office in follow-up. Even in cases where redness or rash is not due to yeast (rubbing, wetness, chemicals, detergent, soap/bubbles, forced retraction), it can quickly escalate to a multi-factoral rash with yeast in the mix, especially if human milk is used in treatment. In situations where antibiotics are medically justified for a rash (strep, staph and true/verified bacterial infections), yeast overgrowth is already a heightened possibility because of the antibiotics. Rather than add to the problem at hand, feed an abundance of human milk orally (probiotics are also a strong component of this milk, balancing out antibiotic use when they are necessary), and allow healing to take place.


Redness on the bum, foreskin, and labia are common (again, especially during the diaper days), and redness is not a thing to be feared. Everything from rubbing to wetness to yeast spores cause redness, but when these rashes appear, the best ointment to reach for is Calmoseptine -- not human milk. Calmoseptine is an ointment originally designed for use on the genitals of developing babies and children, and while it will soothe, calm and help the body heal quickly, it does not interfere with normal pH or healthy microflora of the genitals (something that is vital to skin health). Calmoseptine is available virtually world-wide upon request at your local pharmacy. If it is not in stock, the ointment can be requested and usually received overnight. The effectiveness of Calmoseptine is the reason we currently include it (freely given away) as a part of all Peaceful Parenting and Saving Our Sons baby and maternity expos, and include samples with all Intact Info Packs shipped to expecting parents.


Many poorly informed clinicians today have also advised parents to apply a topical antibiotic like Neosporin to the genitals in cases of redness. However, this is also a counterproductive measure. Most redness is not due to bacterial causes (again, most is due to rubbing, wetness, chemical reactions - detergent/soap/bubbles/chlorine/disposable diapers - yeast overgrowth, or forced retraction). Because of this, treating with a topical antibiotic is not a logical or beneficial measure. Even in cases where there is a true bacterial cause (staph and strep being two of the most common on the genitals) that justifies antibiotics, their use needs to be oral (not topical) to effectively treat the problem at hand. Applying topical antibiotics does nothing more than disrupt healthy microflora and pH - further exacerbating the problem, and rarely eradicating the origin of the rash. Skip the Neosporin and use Calmoseptine for redness and irritation.


What if a yeast rash is already present? 

If your baby or child has bright red spots on his bum/genitals, it is likely that yeast is the culprit. In this case, and to be certain it is yeast versus mere irritation, we would suggest first using Calmoseptine alone for 8-24 hours. Apply the cream liberally over the outside of the genitals/bum, being certain not to retract an intact child in any fashion (i.e. do not push back the foreskin or clitoral hood in any way). Even if your son has a red/inflamed foreskin, do not attempt to push cream or any substance into his foreskin. Calmoseptine will work its own way in as needed. Apply to the outside of the penis and scrotum only, as you would cover a finger.

If redness and irritation is gone within 24 hours post Calmoseptine use, you will know that this was a case of irritation that led to inflammation and redness. If you still see bright red spots, you can assume that it is yeast. In this case, apply a coat of Lotrimin (that can be purchased in the fungal section of any major store or pharmacy, or generic store brand with the same active ingredient - clotrimazole) to clean, dry skin. Again, be sure to cover all red areas without manipulating, messing with, or pushing back the prepuce (foreskin/clitoral hood) in any manner. After this coat of Lotrimin, apply a layer of Calmoseptine on top of it. Redness should be reduced within 8-12 hours and gone within 24-72 hours. Reapply with each diaper change.


If you typically use cloth diapers, you may wish to use disposables during this 'treatment' phase. Another option is to use Shout and double rinse to remove these ointments from your diapers. Should you find that redness and irritation is common with your baby, it could be due to the detergent you use (switch to a natural brand such as BioKleen) and always double rinse diapers post-washing. Or, it could be that your baby is sensitive to any wetness on his/her bum (very common). In this case, making a switch to pocket diapers that wick away moisture is the best move to continue cloth diapering. If you are a parent preemptively reading and planning to cloth diaper, you may wish to take this into consideration when making cloth purchases. Pocket diapers are often much better for babies' sensitive and developing genitals as they do not leave baby's skin in contact with wetness.

No matter your diaper choices, treating redness/irritation with Calmoseptine, and yeast with Lotrimin/Calmoseptine is a significantly less invasive (and more effective) measure than unnecessary trips to the doctor's office, or adding to the problems at hand with 'treatments' that do not work and often lead to further complications of rash and redness. Only in situations where a baby's rash responds to neither Calmoseptine or Lotrimin over the course of 48-72 hours will you know that a physician's visit is justified to rule out bacterial culprits.


Related reading at the Intact Care Resource Page

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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Kind Mama: Alicia Silverstone on Circumcision

Excerpt from Alicia Silverstone's latest book, The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning, available online and in bookstores April 15. Learn more from Silverstone at her website, TheKindLife.com


One day, I was wondering out loud to Christopher whether we should circumcise our baby if we had a boy. My instinct was that it just didn't feel right, while Christopher was more curious about whether not circumcising would mean our kid would feel different. We both decided to give it some thought and maybe let the universe speak its piece. One day, Christopher was out running errands, and in a shop he came across a group of cute girls. Risking looking like a total perv, he asked if any of them had had sex with a guy who was uncut. "Yeah," one said. "And how was it?" "Best sex of my life." Score one for no circumcision.

Then we were at a pediatrician meet-and-greet, and the doctor spoke about how unhealthy he felt circumcision was - that it made the penis shorter, that it was more painful, and that it was basically deemed unnecessary in the medical community. Hmm.

After that, I was hanging out with a friend and her son at the pool, and I noticed he wasn't circumcised. "Is that an undone penis?" I asked. "Yeah," she said. So I asked, "Has it ever been an issue that his penis was different than his dad's?" "His penis wouldn't match his dad's anyway!" she said. "His dad's is so much bigger and has hair all over it. And by the time they do look more alike, they're not going to be side-by-side comparing." Good point.

Then Bear was born. I was raised Jewish, so the second my parents found out they had a male grandchild, they wanted to know when we'd be having a bris (the circumcision ceremony traditionally performed 8 days after a baby boy is born). When I said we weren't having one, my dad got a bit worked up. He couldn't understand why not - I mean, it's what our people have been doing for a really long time. Then he started listing reasons for doing it, like uncircumcised penises were hard to keep clean and can get infected, and that it doesn't hurt the baby - although I'm pretty sure most babies scream and cry at their bris. But my thinking was: If little boys were supposed to have their penises 'fixed,' did that mean we were saying that God made the body imperfect? He made all this incredible stuff, and then he just happened to make the penis wrong?

When Christopher, Bear and I were over at our friend's house hanging out in the pool, I started talking about my dad's not-so-happy reaction about Bear not being cut. And I told them about my dad's concern that Bear wouldn't fit in; that he worried about other kids giving Bear a hard time because he looked different. As if on cue, the four other moms there lifted their naked little babies out of the pool - not one was circumcised.

We're in a new world! According to a 2010 analysis from the National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of newborn boys who are circumcised in this country dropped to 58.3 percent from 64.5 percent in 1979. (1) All those old ideas about why not to do it are totally outdated. A recent review by the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at the data from the past decades to see if there were really, truly any medical benefits to circumcision. Their conclusion? Nope! (2) And according to baby doctor genius and father of eight, Dr. William Sears, not only are there no medical benefits to circumcision, there are actually some pretty weighty drawbacks. The foreskin is packed with nerves (more than any other organ, actually), and removing it can diminish sexual pleasure. It helps protect the head of the penis, which, while also super-sensitive, was meant to be an internal organ. When it is exposed and is constantly rubbing up against clothing, it can become desensitized, which is also bad news when your son starts getting frisky. (3)

Then there are the risks associated with what it is, in truth, a minor surgery: hemorrhage, infection, septicemia, gangrene, disfigurement, or, if too much foreskin is removed, the need for skin grafting later in life. (4)

In case you're still not convinced that you wouldn't be committing your child to a life of bad Hebraic karma, consider that in Israel more and more parents are opting to celebrate the first week in their baby's life with a brit shalom (the "covenant of peace"), a ritual alternative to circumcision. (5)


References

1. Nicholas Bakalar, "US Circumcision Rates Are Declining," New York Times, August 22, 2013, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/22/u-s-circumcision-rates-are-declining.

2. William Sears, M.D., "Dr. Sears Statement on Circumcision," Peaceful Parenting, October 27, 2009, http://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/dr-sears-statement-on-circumcision.html.

3. Ibid.

4. England and Horowitz, Birthing From Within, 188.

5. "Incisive Arguments," Economist, July 7, 2012, 51.


Read more from Alicia Silverstone in her new book, The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning and at her website: TheKindLife.com 




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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Gentle Pacifier Weaning

By Danelle Frisbie © 2014

A couple years ago a mother shared her technique for gentle pacifier weaning with peaceful parenting and we found it to be one that others have benefited from as well. We do not necessarily advocate for pacifier use from the start -- babies are designed to be comforted in the arms of a loving caregiver, to attach to a human being (not a plastic object) and to suckle at mom's breast for comfort. However, in cases where non-human substitutions are necessary for comfort and soothing, no matter the reasons for this being the case, it is surely best to meet these needs (for suckling and comfort) in babyhood and beyond. Pacifiers were created for this purpose - to meet a need when a care-gjver (usually mom) is otherwise unable to do so. Providing a baby and child with tender care and comfort is always better than denying them of these things to fit into a rigid boxed set of what we 'should' or 'should not' be doing as parents.

For those who do introduce a pacifier in babyhood, the weaning process from this comfort object also need not be traumatic for children. Too often we've heard from those who are now adults who remember how fearful it was for them to have their one item of comfort and security taken away as a youngster. Especially at night, if a child sleeps alone, these hours can be anxiety provoking, and we would never advocate for a 'cold turkey' end to pacifier use for a child who is already accustomed to its presence in their day or night routine (this includes damaging, cutting off the end, or taking away a pacifier). However, this mother's process of pacifier weaning is one that took several months to go through, was begun at a time when her child was old enough to comprehend what was taking place, and one that eliminated any imposed anxieties for her child. It allowed him to naturally finish the weaning process from his comfort item in his own time with gentle encouragement, and empowered him to make small, developmentally appropriate choices along the way. The name of her son has been changed here to honor their privacy.

When young Ben was old enough to understand via conversation with his mother what was happening, she tied his pacifier to a stuffed animal that he could carry with him during the day. This allowed him to use it for comfort as needed, but made it slightly less convenient to walk around with for hours on end at home.

Next, Ben's mom introduced the idea that the pacifier and animal needed to stay in bed. She and Ben made a ritual of tucking the animal (with pacifier) into bed each morning. If Ben wished to use the pacifier during the day, it would be in bed - where his animal needed to stay for animal's comfort and snooze time.

Once Ben became accustomed to returning to bed to use the pacifier as needed, his mom untied the pacifier during the day time hours and put it up on a high shelf in the bedroom, retying to his animal at night. If the pacifier was needed during the day, he would ask for it, and they would snuggle into bed during its use. Day time use became less and less frequent, and eventually faded away altogether.

Each evening Ben's mom continued to tuck him into bed with the animal and asked him, "Do you want your pacifier tonight or would you like to try sleeping without it?" One night the time came when he asked for it, looked at it for a while, and then handed it back to his mom. He then presented her with a question, "If I change my mind, will you get it down for me?" "Yes, of course I will," his mom replied. But he never asked for it again... It lived on his shelf for many months to come - there just in case he needed it, for the security of knowing it was there should the time come. And Ben's weaning from this comfort item was complete - without tears, fears, or the introduction of anxiety. ❤


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Pregnant Pause: My Baby's Not 'Overdue'

Poem © Rachel Pritchard
Photograph © Danelle Frisbie



Pregnant Pause


My baby's not a library book, 
So he's not overdue. 
My baby won't take too long to cook 
'Cause he's not veggie stew.

My baby's not an elephant.
And I am not fit to burst.
The time and date aren't relevant - 
We're blessed with days, not cursed.

My baby can't read dates yet 
Because he's very new.
There's no cause to fuss and fret 
If he doesn't come on cue.

So stop your worry.
Stop your asking.
There's no hurry.
We're just relaxing
In this golden pregnant time, 
This pause... just his and mine.

Now, you leave us be...
We are just fine.


~Rachel Pritchard



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Have Carried You, Always

© Christine Maguire
for Natural Mamas, U.K.


I have carried you, always.

Before you were conceived, I carried a part of you in my soul. When I met your father, I looked into his eyes and saw the other part of you, and knew you, and prayed that you would come to be.

Before you were born, I carried you in my womb. When you were restless I sang to you and soothed you and told you how I loved you.

When you were born, I carried you in my arms. I kissed you and held you and put you to my breast, so that you would know that there is light and warmth and goodness in the world.

Later, I wrapped you in cloth and carried you close to my heart. I held you close so that you could hear that my heart beats like yours; that we are the same, you and I, and that you would never have to cry alone.

After a while, I carried you on my back, so that you could look at the world with confidence and joy and know that you belonged; so that you could share all of the beauty of the world as an equal to all that live in it.

Now, later still, I carry you when you are tired or fearful. So that you know that no matter how weary you become, or what life holds, you can always depend on others for support and comfort.

When you grow older, my darling, and your adventures take you further from my arms, know that even in my last hour, I will carry you. I will carry you in my heart, for you are always with me.

I will carry you, always.


~Christine Maguire
Originally published at Natural Mamas









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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pope Encourages Breastfeeding In Sistine Chapel


Pope Francis encouraged mothers to breastfeed in the Sistine chapel today - before baptising the baby of a couple who married in a civil service (something not previously done). The pope baptised 32 babies in the sacred Catholic chapel, telling mothers they should not be embarrassed to feed their hungry children there.

In an apparent first in the Vatican, he baptized seven-month-old Giulia Scardia, even though his parents married in a town hall. Such a civil service is not technically recognized by the Catholic Church. But the pope has said several times since his election that the Church must not make children of couples in "irregular situations feel like second-class faithful."

Unlike his predecessors, who usually delivered long homilies at the yearly baptism event, the pope offered a brief one of 300 words, centred on the children. "Today the choir will sing, but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise." He continued in a relaxed manner addressing parents, "Some will cry because they are not comfortable, or because they are hungry. If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here."

His words were delivered in the same room as the one in which he was elected on March 13th as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years. Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are some of the world's most celebrated works of art. The ceiling depicts the creation of man and the altar wall shows a severe God at the Last Judgement. But the pope told mothers to not feel intimidated by the surrounding, echoing an interview he gave last month in which he said mothers should never feel uncomfortable breastfeeding during his services and ceremonies.

Painting depicts Mary nursing Jesus

Related Reading and News:

Breastfeeding Baby Jesus (DrMomma)

Breastfeeding in Public: A Christian Father Speaks Up (DrMomma)

Breastfeeding in Church: A Picture of Christ's Sacrificial Love (DrMomma)

Pope Francis encourages mother to breastfeed in public (The Independent)

Pope Francis supports breastfeeding enough to know it needs to happen in public (Huffington Post)

What Would Baby Jesus Eat? Pope Supports Breastfeeding in Public (Today)

Pope Francis backs public breastfeeding - and that makes him traditional (RNS Religion News)

Pope Francis, Breastfeeding, and Breaking Catholic Tradition (Catholic Vote)

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