Friday, May 28, 2010

Huggies Limited Edition Jeans Diaper



Things that make you go hmmm...





Huggies has released their limited edition 'jeans' plastic disposable. Guess they are tapping into that cute cloth market of consumers. The only thing is, the price we pay ($$$ and health and environmentally) for this extra-dyed, extra-mula, fancy pant is extreme. Never did I think we could pack even more chemicals into the tiny area surrounding our baby's sensitive bum. But we've now succeeded!

Suggestion: If you want to dress up your tot's tush - try out one of the many reusable, eco/skin-friendly cloth options available today. Your selection to choose from is endless and it will be much easier on your budget (and on your baby) than the disposable jean diaper.


Huggies Jeans Disposable Diaper Commercial
(the new sex object: machismo filled baby boys?!)





Related Items:

Diaper Days: Our Cloth Stash

The ABCs of Going Cloth

The Joy of Cloth

Dumping Disposables

Getting Started with Cloth


Disposable Diapers Linked with Infant Asthma


peaceful parenting readers' cloth photo album


Diaper Free! [Video]

10 Reasons to go Diaper Free

Elimination Communication: Can a baby really be diaper free?

peaceful parenting readers' diaper free photo album



~~

Who Says Ultrasound is Safe?

by Beverley Beech
AIMS Journal Vol 16:4
posted with permission


If you are prescribed a drug during pregnancy or labour, you can be somewhat reassured that the drug was subjected to a series of trials to determine whether it works and is safe, and what adverse effects it may have. But most women are never told that ultrasound has never been subjected to any such rigorous trials.

In 1955, Glasgow obstetrician Ian Donald realised that the machine that dockyard workers were using to detect cracks in the hull of a submarine could be used to detect tumours. It did not take long before this technique was used to examine the contents of a woman's uterus. Some years later, Donald published a warning:

"Perhaps the time has now come... to take stock of where we are going... bearing in mind that sonar [what ultrasound was called at that time]... must never lose [its] subservience to the medical art and the paramount importance of the patient... Viewed with this sense of proportion sonar comes as a commodity only, although with many uses. Out of control it can be an obsession, a tail that wags the dog. Sonar is not a new medical religion or an end in itself. A tool exploited for its own sake is no better than a saw given to a small boy for cutting wood, who must presently look around the house for suitable objects of furniture inviting amputation...".

Little notice was taken of this warning, and ultrasound was promoted and enthusiastically sold to trusting women and healthcare providers all over the world. The question of ultrasound safety was barely raised and, when there was public awareness, the promoters were quick to dismiss these concerns. We know that Professor Stuart Campbell (the most vociferous ultrasound propagandist) attended the same Medical Research Council conference in 1985 as we did, where a number of experts made their anxieties clear. Yet, Professor Campbell persists in his claims of safety:

"Some 100 million people throughout the world are walking around having had scans before they were born, and there has never been a shred of evidence that it does any harm."1

No one then - or since - has thought to ask whether that statement was based on any research evidence. The press was (and still is) happy to accept without challenge a statement made by a medical man who, as one of the most enthusiastic promoters of ultrasound, can hardly be unbiased.

The amount spent by health providers on ultrasound is awesome. Marsden Wagner says:

"In France in one year, three million ultrasound examinations were done on 700,000 pregnant women - an average of more than four scans per pregnancy. These examinations cost French taxpayers more than all other therapeutic and diagnostic procedures done on these pregnant woman. In Australia, where the health service pays for four routine scans, in one recent year, billing for obstetrical ultrasound was $60 million Australian dollars."2

The widespread assumption of safety has led researchers in fetal behaviour to assure women volunteering for clinical trials that ultrasound exposure of one to one-and-a-half hours (sometimes on more than one occasion) is safe for their unborn babies - yet we know of no follow-up of these exposed children. Any question of the value of ultrasound, or of the need to carry out long-term research to determine the risks, are ignored - until, that is, ultrasound enthusiasts began offering women the opportunity to have what the Americans call 'keepsake videos'.

Take home a video or DVD of your baby

Commercial companies have embarked on some hard-sell designed to tug at the heartstrings. Babybond, which was advertised in the NCT's magazine Bumps and Babies as the "original ultrasound bonding scan", is based throughout the country. It claims to promote bonding despite the fact that no one has produced any such findings from research on 4D ultrasound scanning. Neither is any mention made of the risk of serious problems due to ultrasound.

Another company called Create Health, set up by Professor Campbell, also uses advertising copy that tugs at the heartstrings:

"4D just means that these life-like pictures can be seen to move in real time so the activity of the baby inside your womb can be studied... Good pictures of your baby can be obtained throughout your pregnancy. In early pregnancy you will see the whole baby moving its arms and legs, but details of the face are indistinct. Later in pregnancy, you will see clear images of your baby's features..."

Using the latest high-powered ultrasound equipment (which, in the US, can cost more than £80,000), women can arrange to have a video of their moving fetus in 4D. Unlike the old black-and-white fuzzy stills of what might be a baby, the new, powerful 4D ultrasound images clearly show your baby in colour and with the baby moving around. So, pictures of the baby in the womb sucking its thumb were quickly advertised to excited, expectant, parents.

Worried professionals

A number of private companies have been quick to set up these money-making services even though exposure to highintensity ultrasound has never been properly researched for any possible risks to either fetus or mother. This proved to be too much for some members of the medical profession. Martin Whittle, professor of fetal medicine and chair of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' working party on ultrasound was quoted in The Sunday Times as saying:

"We don't know the effects of repeated ultrasound".

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that ultrasound is a form of energy that can't be considered harmless, even at low levels, and is considering regulatory action against the commercial companies that are offering ultrasound videos in the US.

Dr John Steed, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine said that, although there is no proof that ultrasound is damaging, "We used to think that about X-rays". (Indeed, X-rays were vigorously promoted for viewing the baby in the womb, and it was many years later that research showed that X-ray exposure in utero caused cancer in the children who were exposed as babies).

Nevertheless, there appear to be no such concerns in Professor Campbell's mind. Having created a company to offer these keepsake videos (at a cost of £200 a time), he was asked for his views: "A great deal of research has been done over the past 30 years to investigate if fetal ultrasound has any effect on the baby and there is no evidence whatsoever of harm."

However, as a professor of obstetrics and the leading protagonist for ultrasound, it is astonishing that he seems not to have considered the following studies.

Obstetricians in Michigan3 studied 57 women who were at risk of giving birth prematurely. Half were given a weekly ultrasound examination; the rest received pelvic examinations to assess the state of their cervix. Preterm labour was more than doubled in the ultrasound group - 52 per cent - compared with 25 per cent in the controls. Although this was a small-scale study, this statistical difference was unlikely to have emerged by chance.

In a large randomised controlled trial from Helsinki,4 9000 women were randomly divided into two groups. The women in one group were scanned at 16-20 weeks whereas the women in the other group were not. Comparing the results from these groups revealed 20 miscarriages in the scanned group and none in the controls.

A later study carried out in London5 randomised 2475 women to receive routine Doppler ultrasound examination of the umbilical and uterine arteries at 19-22 weeks and at 32 weeks of pregnancy compared with women who received standard care without Doppler ultrasound. There were 16 perinatal deaths of normally formed infants in the Doppler group compared with four in the standard-care group.

It is not only pregnant women receiving antenatal care who are at risk. Physiotherapists use ultrasound to treat a number of conditions. A study done in Helsinki6 found that, if the physiotherapist was pregnant, handling ultrasound equipment for at least 20 hours a week significantly increased the risk of a spontaneous abortion.

Also, the risk of spontaneous abortions in practitioners after the tenth week of pregnancy was significantly increased when they gave deep-heat treatments (for strain injuries or as mobilisation therapy) for more than five hours a week, and ultrasound for more than 10 hours a week.

One can only wonder what exactly is Professor Campbell's definition of harm?

References

  1. Campbell I. The Sunday Times, 10 June 1984
  2. Wagner M. Ultrasound: More harm than good? Mothering Magazine, Winter 1995
  3. Lorenz RP et al. Randomized prospective trial comparing ultrasonography and pelvic examination for preterm labor surveillance. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 1990; 162 (6): 1603-10
  4. Saari-Kemppainen et al. Ultrasound screening and perinatal mortality: controlled trial of systematic one-stage screening in pregnancy. Lancet, 1990; 336 (8712): 387-91
  5. Davies JA et al. Randomised controlled Doppler ultrasound screening of placental perfusion during pregnancy. Lancet, 1992; ii: 1299-303
  6. Taskinen H. et al. Effects of ultrasound, shortwaves, and physical exertion on pregnancy outcome in physiotherapists. J Epidemiol Commun Health, 1990; 44 (3): 196-201


Beverly Beech is AIMS Chair and author of the book, Ultrasound? Unsound.


Additional Ultrasound Research Linked at:
Ultrasound, Doppler, Fetoscope & Pinard Horns



~~~~

Monday, May 24, 2010

Federal Breastfeeding Laws




The following federal laws protect a mother and her child and their right to nurse anytime, anywhere on federal property. Federal property includes such things as museums, parks, courthouses, agencies, and other public places maintained by federal funds. State laws can be viewed in more detail here.


Library of Congress H.R.2490
Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2000
Public Law No: 106-58 (Sec. 647):

Authorizes a woman to breastfeed her child on Federal property if the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.



Recently, an additional federal law was put into effect that impacts nursing mothers and their right to pump milk for their babies while at work. The issue we have with this law is that it only protects nursing mothers with babies up to the age of 12 months. This is simply not enough. The WHO and AAFP have both highlighted the fact that we find detrimental health outcomes when human babies are not provided human milk for their first 24 months of life, minimum. To reflect this, and be proactive in our nation's health care, we should protect nursing mothers' relationships with their children for at least the first 2 years of a baby's life.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
SEC. 4207. REASONABLE BREAK TIME FOR NURSING MOTHERS.
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following:

An employer shall provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.

Treating and Preventing Thrush

By Chris Hafner-Eaton, Ph.D.


Oral thrush - yeast overgrowth in infant's mouth.


A common cause of breastfeeding failure, and one that often goes undiagnosed, is yeast overgrowth, also known as thrush or candidiasis. Leading to intense nipple soreness and breast pain, thrush can be caused by several factors. However, with proper management, thrush need not undermine breastfeeding.

To identify underlying causes of pain, consider your history of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and nursing. Mothers who received antibiotic therapy for B-strep prophilaxis may experience thrush. Other possible causes include:
*any procedure that has required antibiotics such as C-section or tubal ligation after delivery;
*the use of corticosteroids such as terbutaline to delay labor or asthma medications, or prednisone for allergic reactions;
*any other immune suppression (such as being HIV positive);
*long-term use of histamine-blockers; or a condition of diabetes.
Yeast infections may also be triggered by damp, rainy weather or exposure to other funguses and molds, including household and garden molds. There is an indication that dietary yeast may also be a trigger, a potential problem for women who frequently bake yeast breads. Yeasts love dark, moist, warm places, thrive in sweet environments, and multiply very rapidly. These factors account for why diabetics as well as pregnant and lactating women are all prime candidates for yeast overgrowth. The added factor of immunosuppression of the body’s natural balancing agents (such as broad-spectrum antibiotics or corticosteroids taken within the past few months, or even years if repeatedly used) may allow yeast to proliferate unchecked.

Mothers describe the classic symptoms of breast yeast in various ways: severe pain without nipple trauma; sharp, shooting pains radiating from nipples that may extend to the chest wall or back; nipples that may be red, flaky, itchy, shiny, or burning (these are all relative signs, so consider what is normal for you); small, white, hard blisters on the nipple (this may also be due to a blocked duct); and sometimes white fuzzy patches in the folds of the nipple. When nursing mothers describe an ice pick or glass sensation inside their breast, or pain that persists beyond latch on, yeast overgrowth in the milk ducts may be the cause. In the instance of thrush, babies may pull off the breast, refuse to latch on, or make clicking sounds. Other less clear clues for the mother range from cravings of sugars and breads to extreme fatigue.

At low levels, however, thrush may not have visible signs. Nursing may have been going well, and all of a sudden it hurts or the baby pulls off the breast (sometimes making that clicking or popping sound). In most cases, if latch on has been assessed and/or corrected, the offending agent is Candida albicans, but there are several other somewhat rare strains of Candida, and not all produce the fluffy patches of cotton that typically indicate a yeast infection. Fungal overgrowth, such as aspergillus and others, are less likely causes of nipple and breast pain, but practitioners should be aware of them.

It is possible, in some cases, to have either yeast/fungal mastitis or bacterial mastitis coupled with yeast. Symptoms of bacterial mastitis (fever over 102º F, flu-like symptoms, red streaks on the breast, hot spots on the breast, etc.) require immediate medical attention, followed by lots of rest (including nursing lying down, if possible). Yeast, combined with bacteria is likely to require a course of antibiotics and other medication.

Treating Thrush

Over-the-counter and self-help approaches to yeast management can be quite effective, particularly if they are part of a comprehensive, holistic approach, and if the problem hasn’t become chronic. Along with the common recommendations of changing breast pads at each feeding, going braless (this can be a major help), and topical treatments, dealing with the underlying health status of mother and baby-and sometimes the entire family--is essential. Regardless of the type of treatment-prescription, naturopathic, homeopathic, or other--mothers need to address certain issues such as hygiene, diet, and even laundry. In a nursing relationship, it is imperative that both mother and the baby be treated, even if only one is symptomatic; many times father and siblings require lower-level treatment as well. In cosleeping arrangements, all members who sleep in close contact with each other should be treated. Yeast infections can be challenging because treatment must be continued for two weeks after symptoms subside.

Personal hygiene matters in yeast control.

While antibacterial soaps are promoted for new parents, they may contribute to yeast overgrowth by killing “good” bacteria. Still, it is important to wash your hands with warm water and soap after diaper changes and using the bathroom. In addition, short-term switching to paper towels as a drying method (single use only) can help stop the spread. Temporary use of disposable diapers may help, too. Family members should use a spray bottle of vinegar solution (1/4 cup white distilled vinegar to 1 cup of water) to spray any areas on their bodies that stay or get moist (pubic areas, armpits, under breasts and under any folds of skin). This routine should be followed at least twice a day by those who are not symptomatic and four times a day by those who display symptoms, and continued for two weeks beyond the time that anyone shows symptoms. Bath towels should not be shared, and ideally should only be used once. If laundering after each use seems extreme, then they must be allowed to thoroughly dry after every use. Additionally, items such as toothbrushes and makeup can also harbor yeast spores. Every family member should get a new toothbrush once the anti-yeast regimen is begun, and then again when all symptoms disappear. No cornstarch powders or deodorants should be used, as they are a food source for yeast.

Extra housework is relished neither by new mothers nor anyone else, but it is necessary, to clear up chronic cases of thrush. Sources of mold-wet windowsills, damp laundry hampers, and moist bathtubs (especially the kind with jets) need to be cleaned with either a 10-percent bleach solution or white distilled vinegar in water. Floors, baseboards, and walls may all be cleaned by the same method. Laundry should be sanitized by washing in the hottest possible water and then adding a cup of white distilled vinegar to the final rinse. Because it would take a gallon of bleach in a standard washer to kill yeast spores (which would shred your clothing), boiling clothing and other items of close contact (such as underwear and sheets) for five minutes is suggested. Microwaving on the high setting for five minutes will also kill yeast spores; freezing, however, will not. Cloth diapers, whether from a service or your own, should also be sanitized in the same way, as should toys and any items babies gum or chew on. The latter may be put in the dishwasher if your water is hot enough (over 130º F) and you add vinegar to the rinse.

Yeasts are extremely persistent in the right environment, but there are a number of medical and naturopathic treatments available for mothers experiencing thrush. If you choose to use a prescribed pharmaceutical whose effects are unknown (check with the your local La Leche League Leader), remember that you may be able to pump and discard your milk instead of permanently weaning. However, most pharmaceuticals associated with yeast treatment do not require weaning.

Natural Remedies for Thrush

The following is a brief overview of how to utilize natural remedies in the case of breast yeast.

Use up to three capsules of acidophilus (Lactobacillus acidophilus) three times daily. Babies may be treated with acidophilus diluted in breastmilk swabbed in their mouths, or you can dip a finger in the powder and let the baby suck. The intent of acidophilus treatment is to rebalance your body, so don’t expect instant results. Sometimes lactobacilli need a bit of help getting hold in the intestines, and some practitioners recommend FOS (fructo-oligo-saccharides) to enhance colonization.

Apply ¼ cup white distilled vinegar in 1 cup water topically to the breast. If this is too strong, you can use a dilution as weak as 1 tablespoon in 1 cup water. Allow to air dry, and do not wash it off before nursing unless baby protests. This must be done at least four times a day and continued for two weeks after all symptoms are gone. Taking baths with vinegar in the water will allow the treatment of more than one source at a time. White distilled vinegar must be used because the distillation process destroys any active fungus spores. Arguments about the logic of using vinegar (which is fermented) abound, but yeast cannot survive in the pH environment that is created by fermentation and the temperature needed to distill the vinegar. If they catch the overgrowth early, many mothers have found that vinegar treatment works quite well when used with oral acidophilus taken three times a day to rebalance the intestines.

Apply olive oil topically to breasts after each feeding. Olive oil contains linoleic acids, which are antifungal and may cut off the yeast’s oxygen supply.

Make a paste of baking soda in water and swab the baby’s mouth after each feeding (if baby always falls asleep, then do it whenever possible, but at least four times a day). This also alters the pH of the environment (more toward the alkali side, in this instance), making it inhospitable to yeasts. Practice caution with baking soda because if swallowed in quantity it can dangerously disrupt the electrolyte balance.

Apply potassium sorbate topically-1 tablespoon dissolved in 1 quart of warm water.

A strong immune system booster that may be lacking in the mother’s and baby’s intestines if they have had antibiotics is nonyeast-based vitamin B complex.

Another immune system booster is zinc; take 45 mg per day.

Take vitamin C up to the point where loose stools occur, then reduce the dosage a bit. Since vitamin C is water soluble, it must be consumed throughout the day. Echinacea capsules or tincture can be taken simultaneously to boost the immune system.

Although increasing dietary garlic may be useful, clinically effective doses are easier to get if you take triple-strength deodorized garlic tablets (three tablets, three times daily for two weeks or more). The liquid, cold-pressed, aged garlic is thought to be most potent. Kyolic is the brand about which the most conclusive research has been published. Note: ginger and cinnamon reportedly also have antifungal properties, but their use is infrequently reported and primarily unstudied.

Caprylic acid, when taken orally, has strong antifungal properties; take two to three capsules three to four times per day for two weeks (or 1 gram at meals).

Citrus seed oil is a strong, but natural, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral substance. It may be used topically, but must be diluted before use on the breast or on any mucous membrane. Try 10 drops in ¼ cup of water swallowed at once, twice daily.

The Australian antiseptic tea tree oil is thought to have antifungal properties; a few drops may be added to bathwater or diluted and applied to the breast. The bath method may also be used with vinegar, and has the added benefit of helping clear the sinuses.

Take either 1 to 2 grams dried barberry (Berberis vulgaris) bark or 1 ½ teaspoons (4 to 6 ml) of tincture (1:5), or 250 to 500 mg of powdered extract, three times a day.

Although very bitter, golden seal (Hydrastis candadensis) is very effective at clearing yeast from the body. Consume either 1 to 2 grams dried bark or 1 ½ teaspoons (4 to 6 ml) of tincture (1:5), or 250 to 500 mg of powdered extract, three times a day. Caution: The rapid yeast die-off can cause intestinal gas.

Pau d’arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa) is an antifungal tincture with a long history of use in developing countries; take 20 to 30 drops four times a day (warning: it tastes horrible).

Maitake tea is an antifungal tea that also helps to rebalance the intestines; drink the strongly brewed tea throughout the day for two weeks (4 to 6 cups a day).

Soak plantain seeds (Plantango major) overnight in warm water and apply the resultant gel topically.

One of the oldest antifungal antiseptics available (preceding topical iodine) is gentian violet, which is very effective although extremely messy, staining everything it touches. Gentian violet should only be used for a maximum of two to three days (two treatments per day) by coating the nipple, areola, and surrounding breast tissue (plus the underside of the breast) with the liquid on a cotton ball. The long-term toxicity of this treatment is still being debated, but short-term treatment appears to cause no ill effects. Nursing babies will get a purple mouth, which will disappear in a few days. You might want to wear clothing that is dark or can be thrown away or bleached.

Lecithin can be taken orally. Take two 250 mg gel capsules, three times per day, or the equivalent in lecithin granules sprinkled on foods. Deep massage of any plugged ducts with arnica oil as a lubricant supplements this treatment. Massage while the baby nurses, taking advantage of gravity.

The over-the-counter anti-inflammatory ibuprofen might be appropriate for both pain relief and reducing ductile inflammation.

Some practitioners have prescribed over-the-counter vaginal yeast creams with miconozole or clotrimazole be applied to the breast. While these may be effective and the active ingredients are compatible with nursing, there may be other ingredients not appropriate for babies to consume; therefore, this approach is not recommended unless extreme caution is used. As always, watch your baby carefully.

Pharmaceutical Remedies for Thrush

The first line of defense that is usually prescribed for yeast is Nystatin (cream or suspension), an exceptionally safe pharmaceutical that acts by disrupting the necessary enzymes yeasts need to reproduce, but doesn’t cross cell membranes. However, the drug may cause side effects such as nausea, gas, and fatigue as the yeast dies off. Nystatin must be scrupulously applied after every nursing, since yeast multiplies rapidly. Some researchers question the effectiveness of Nystatin suspension because it is mixed in a sucrose base (in which yeast thrives); instead, they recommend using Nystatin powder mixed in water or other liquids (breastmilk for babies).

If Nystatin is not effective initially, or the yeast becomes chronic or invades the ducts of the breast, other methods are available. Mycelex troches are often prescribed for the nursing pair. These tablets are crushed, mixed with breastmilk, and applied to the thrush. Older babies may like chewing on the troches. The active ingredient in these is miconazole, which is also the ingredient in many over-the-counter vaginal yeast medications. If applied to the breast, the drug will be taken into the baby’s mouth, as would any topical substance that is not washed off. (See above.)

As a third line of defense in the topical war against yeast, some practitioners may resort to Nizoral 2 percent cream for the breast and diaper areas (ketoconazole is the active ingredient). Nizoral is also available for internal use, although the effects of it have not been studied on infants. Nizoral tablets are a potent chemical whose side effects should be weighed against its possible benefits.

Lastly, a new and now commonly prescribed vaginal yeast medication, Diflucan (fluconazole), is being used to treat breast yeast. One dosage is utilized in vaginal yeast cases, but experience has demonstrated that in the case of breast yeast many more doses are required to fully clear the growth. Diflucan has few side effects, is taken once per day, and is quite effective if given for a long enough period (usually two to four weeks) while the baby’s mouth is simultaneously treated with another anti-yeast treatment. Sporonax is another drug that is available, but not very much is known about how it affects the nursing relationship, so you might want to think about asking for an alternative.

Chris Hafner-Eaton carries a PhD in health services research and policy analysis and an MPH in behavioral sciences and health education (UCLA). She is a certified health education specialist and international board-certified lactation consultant. She is the full-time homeschooling mother of three boys, retired accredited La Leche League Leader, organic medicinal herb gardener, and part-time professor of women’s health, lifetime wellness, and nutrition. She and her husband and children make their home in Corvallis, Oregon, along with cats, ferrets, fish, and turtles.

Better Homes and Gardens' 10 Commandments of Dining With Kids



The following 'Better Homes and Gardens' 10 Commandments of dining with little kids' was posted by Heather W., a writer for BH&G, earlier this week. Immediately we started receiving a flood of letters regarding this (anti-family/anti-baby/anti-mom?) posting. Parents saying they were boycotting BH&G and those who were disgusted that 'Commandment Four' is not only entirely lactiphobic, unnatural (to feed a child in a bathroom?!), but also against the law. Federal law (and most State laws) protect a baby's right to eat normally (i.e. breastfeed) anytime, anywhere, that a mother and her child are already allowed to be.

Looking back over the 'commandments' (with the exception of #4) I believe the root problem is in our unfriendly mother/baby culture (and the expectations we have or don't have for kids) rather than the actual act of taking children or babies out to dine in nice restaurants.

Most adults enjoy a dinner out -- and often sans kids in tow. And we (at peaceful parenting) are not advocating for a 'kids can do whatever they want!' attitude. No, of course not. Healthy boundaries are beneficial. But the thing is, most securely attached children, gently parented by involved moms and dads, who have been eating out with the family since the time they arrived earthside and started dining at mom's breastaurant, know how to behave in a restaurant setting. They are the kids whose parents consider the location where their family will dine, and select one that is family-friendly (and it need not be fast food!).

I am able to count on two hands the number of times my husband and I have enjoyed a dinner out while our little ones stayed at home. Instead, we like to include them in the occasion. This isn't to say that we don't indulge in our much needed 'date nights.' But when we chose to bring children into this world, we actually wanted to be parents. For just a few short years (during the time they are babies) kids need their mom. Sure, she can escape for a dinner out here and there without much fuss - but why not take them along on occasion and let them soak up culture and learn how to behave right along side you from day one? One writer pointed out, "How will children learn how to behave in a restaurant if they are never allowed to go with their parents?"

As Drs. Neufeld and Mate wrote in their excellent book, Hold Onto Your Kids, we do our children a disservice when we separate them out into their own box labeled 'children only' rather than including them right along side us in this thing called 'family.' Children do not need more separation from their parents - they need to be closer to us now than ever before. Be this when waking up in the morning, playing and learning throughout their day, or eating their evening meal together as family.

I'd encourage Heather (and other BH&G editors) to check out several other equally brilliant books which touch on the heart (and development/brain research) of why this particular subject is one that should be addressed in a slightly different manner. The Continuum Concept, Our Babies, Ourselves, The Science of Parenting, and Why Love Matters, all demonstrate that children grow up much healthier, happier, and 'well behaved' when they live life alongside mom and dad -- even at a nice restaurant -- than when they are left behind at home with a sitter. There are many things that we (in our often baby-unfriendly U.S. culture) could learn from societies that do not have all these issues with 'terrible twos and tyrannical threes.' Quite realistically, we (as a culture, and the way we parent) often are to blame for creating the problems that we superimpose upon our children. As the title of Dr. Severe's book cleverly states, we must learn how to behave so our preschoolers will too.

I had to chuckle at a few of these 'commandments' because I know that the majority of our readers would not be (for example) toting along a huge bulky stroller with a bucket baby inside... rather s/he would be slinging along, worn closely on mom or dad. Attached babies are happy babies. Toddlers would not be screaming or having a breakdown because they could obtain comfort by nursing and being held whenever it was needed. Peaceful parenting moms and dads would not be ignoring their little ones, or expecting the wait staff to 'babysit' because they would be engaged with their youngsters. An activity book, or conversation would take the place of noisy toys. Quite simply, when we support family, when we support healthy baby/child practices, when we support mothers and mothering, we just do not find that many of the 'commandments' below are even necessary. Once again, parenting naturally really does eliminate most of the problems that otherwise arise in a mother/baby unfriendly society.


Update: Less than 7 hours after we first presented this information to DrMomma.org readers, Better Homes and Gardens retracted the lactiphobic "Commandment Four" and changed the title to "The 9 Commandments of Dining..."


The 10 commandments of dining with little kids
by Heather W. at Better Homes and Gardens
posted on Wed May 19, 2010 1:34pm PDT

THOU SHALT NOT BLOCK TRAFFIC WITH BULKY STROLLERS
Strollers have begun to overtake cars and wristwatches as conspicuous status symbols. You may be proud of your double-wide Maclaren, but be sure not to leave it jutting out in a place where waiters and other patrons might trip over in transit. Leave the stroller at home and indulge your family with this melty, tasty Chicken and Cheese Panini.

THOU SHALT NOT ORDER A 10-COURSE TASTING MENU WITH KIDS UNDER 10
Kids, as we all know, have kid-sized attention spans. Attempting to make them sit still while you enjoy a world-renowned chef’s esoteric, glacially-paced tasting menu isn’t going to be a pleasant experience for anyone. For a fast meal your kids will still savor, whip up this Quick Crunchy Chicken Dinner.

THOU SHALT NOT TREAT YOUR SERVER LIKE A SITTER
Your server is there to accommodate you, but customer service has its limits. While most waiters are happy to engage and amuse your little one, it's bad form to delegate your child-minding duties to the person taking your sea bass order. Let your kids serve themselves with our Best Yummy Mexican Meals.

THOU SHALT NOT BREAST FEED AT THE TABLE
Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!) If you're breastfeeding, you likely want to cook something quick, easy, and protein-rich; we love this Speedy Bow Tie Pasta Dinner.

THOU SHALL FEEL FREE TO ORDER "KID FOOD" OFF THE MENU
Most restaurants are happy to provide kid-friendly cuisine, so don’t hesitate to ask, just keep in mind you may experience sticker shock (e.g., $23 for pasta with butter) For a filling and savory twist on basic spaghetti, try these hearty Filled Pasta Entrees.

THOU SHALL NOT TURN DINNER INTO A PHOTOSHOOT
It’s exciting to see your little one all dressed up at the table, and special occasions and birthdays are naturally conducive to photos, but overzealous documentation with flash photography, flip-cams, and camcorders can be distracting to fellow diners. Say "cheese" with these ten tasty Macaroni and Cheese recipes.

THOU SHALT NOT BRING NOISY TOYS
It’s wise to bring a few of your kid’s favorite toys for their amusement but try not to bring excessively loud games and bleep-blooping electronic toys -- or at least be sure there’s a volume-off button. Keep their hands busy with a finger-food meal, such as this tasty Buffalo Wing Dinner.

THOU SHALL TRY TO QUELL HIGH-PITCHED SCREAMING
Unexpected tantrums and outbursts are a fact of life, but when a parent sits stoically as their child screams without any intervention, the mood of the room can quickly turn from convivial to incredulous to profoundly irritated. They'll be screaming with joy for these homemade Mini Pizzas With Pizazz.

THOU SHALT NOT ALLOW FREE-RANGE KIDS
When you let your child run free in the restaurant, it’s not only disruptive to other diners, but it could be a safety hazard: Restaurants are full of hot plates and sharp cutlery, and kids underfoot could cause a major disaster. Keep them planted happily in their seats with this zesty, crunchy Skillet Tostada Dinner.

THOU SHALL CALMLY DISCOURAGE FOOD FIGHTS
Ah, the food fight. The epitome of fun at summer camp and grade school cafeterias -- less so at Michelin-starred eateries. If the food starts flying, quietly and firmly put an end to it. And if your kids politely make their way through the meal without incident, treat them to a well-deserved Dessert treat.


Comments may be left for BH&G at their post site of this article.

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Commandment #9 made me decide to go buy this shirt today for my youngest... ;)

Many Sunscreens May Accelerate Cancer

By Andrew Schneider
posted with permission


Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today.

We have also learned through documents and interviews, that the Food and Drug Administration has known of the potential danger for as long as a decade without alerting the public, which the FDA denies.

The study was released with Memorial Day weekend approaching. Store shelves throughout the country are already crammed with tubes, jars, bottles and spray cans of sunscreen.

The white goop, creams and ointments might prevent sunburn. But don't count on them to keep the ultraviolet light from destroying your skin cells and causing tumors and lesions, according to researchers at Environmental Working Group.

In their annual report to consumers on sunscreen, they say that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use.

The report cites these problems with bogus sun protection factor (SPF) numbers:
  • The use of the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream.
  • Overstated claims about performance.
  • The lack of needed regulations and oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

But the most alarming disclosure in this year's report is the finding that vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.
Chart showing relationship between Vitamin A and tumors.
A dangerous additive

The industry includes vitamin A in its sunscreen formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging.

But the EWG researchers found the initial findings of an FDA study of vitamin A's photocarcinogenic properties, meaning the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.

"In that yearlong study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent faster in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream," the report said.

The conclusion came from EWG's analysis of initial findings released last fall by the FDA and the National Toxicology Program, the federal government's principle evaluator of substances that raise public health concerns.

EWG's conclusions were subsequently scrutinized by outside toxicologists.

Based on the strength of the findings by FDA's own scientists, many in the public health community say they can't believe nor understand why the agency hasn't already notified the public of the possible danger.

"There was enough evidence 10 years ago for FDA to caution consumers against the use of vitamin A in sunscreens," Jane Houlihan, EWG's senior vice president for research, told AOL News.

"FDA launched this one-year study, completed their research and now 10 years later, they say nothing about it, just silence."

On Friday, the FDA said the allegations are not true.

"We have thoroughly checked and are not aware of any studies," an FDA spokesperson told AOL News. She said she checked with bosses throughout the agency and found no one who knew of the vitamin A sunscreen research being done by or on behalf of the agency.

But documents from the FDA and the National Toxicology Program showed that the agency had done the research.

"Retinyl palmitate was selected by (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition for photo-toxicity and photocarcinogenicity testing based on the increasingly widespread use of this compound in cosmetic retail products for use on sun-exposed skin," said an October 2000 report by the National Toxicology Program.

FDA's own website said the animal studies were done at its National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson, Ark. And it was scientists from the FDA center and National Toxicology Program who posted the study data last fall.

In a perfect world

The ideal sunscreen would completely block the UV rays that cause sunburn, immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain effective on the skin for several hours and not form harmful ingredients when degraded by UV light, the report said.

Graph of melanoma of the skin rates from 1975 to 2006.
Graph of melanoma of the skin rates from 1975 to 2006. APC stands for annual percent change and AAPC stands for average annual percent change.

But in the U.S., there is currently no sunscreen that meets all of these criteria. European countries have more chemical combinations to offer, but in the U.S. the major choice is between the "chemical" sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body's hormone systems, and "mineral" sunscreens zinc and titanium dioxide.

Increasingly, as AOL News reported in March, the industry is using titanium dioxide that is made nanosized, which a growing number of researchers believe have serious health implications.

The sunscreen industry cringes when EWG releases its yearly report -- this is its fourth. The industry charges that the advocacy group wants to do away with all sunscreen products, a claim that is not accurate.

The report's researchers clearly say that an effective sunscreen prevents more damage than it causes, but it wants consumers to have accurate information on the limitations of what they buy and on the potentially harmful chemicals in some of those products.

EWG does warn consumers not to depend on any sunscreen for primary protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Hats, clothing and shade are still the most reliable sun protection available, they say.

Don't count on the numbers

Some of us are old enough to remember when the idea of having a tan was good, a sign of health, when billboards and magazine ads featured the Coppertone girl showing off her tan.

Going for that tan, we coated our kids and ourselves with sun blockers with sun protection factors of 1 or 2. Some overly cautious parents might have smeared on a 4 during the hottest part of a day.

But we've learned of the dangers that come from exposure to the sun's rays, especially ultraviolet A and B. So today, drugstore shelves are crammed with sunscreens boasting SPFs of 30, 45, 80 or even higher.

However, the new report says those numbers are often meaningless and dangerous because products with high SPF ratings sell a false sense of security, encouraging people using them to stay out in the sun longer.

"People don't get the high SPF they pay for," the report says. "People apply about a quarter of the recommended amount. So in everyday practice, a product labeled SPF 100 really performs like SPF 3.2, an SPF 30 rating equates to a 2.3 and an SPF 15 translates to 2."

In 2007, the report says, the FDA published proposed regulations that would prohibit manufacturers from labeling sunscreens with an SPF higher than "SPF 50." The agency wrote that higher values would be "inherently misleading," given that "there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful."

This is being widely ignored by the sunscreen makers who are heavily advertising their 80, 90 and 100 SPF products.

"Flouting FDA's proposed regulation," companies substantially increased their high-SPF offerings in 2010 with one in six brands now listing SPF values higher than 50. "Neutrogena and Banana Boat stand out among the offenders, with six and four products labeled as 'SPF 100,' respectively," the new report says.


Environmental Working Group's Best Sunscreens List

Peaceful Parenting Reader's Picks


Andrew Schneider is the Senior Public Health Correspondent for AOL News. Schneider is a two-time Pulitzer winner, and an investigative reporter who uncovered the nation's largest environmental disaster, among dozens of other stories. He writes at Cold Truth.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Birth Tubs & Waterbirth


Because waterbirth is fabulous, and every woman and her baby deserve such a gentle, empowering birth, we've decided to add this birth tubs album. The photos here are meant solely to demonstrate the many different styles of tubs and pools that can be used for waterbirthing. Each photo here was shared with peaceful parenting and is not for use or posting elsewhere unless express, written permission is granted by the owner of the photograph.

We would love to hear from those of you who have had a waterbirth or used a birth tub.

What did you like or not like about the tub/pool you used?
What did you like/not like about waterbirth?
What tub/pool do you prefer?
What would you recommend to those interested?
If you are thinking of having a waterbirth ~ what questions do you have for others?

We are also interested to hear from those who have birthed in water outdoors - in a lake, the ocean, sea, etc.

If you have a photo of the tub you used that we may include in this album for other mothers to view while considering their waterbirth options, please drop us a note: DrMomma.org@gmail.com

** WATERBIRTH RESOURCES: SCROLL TO BOTTOM ** 

~ Happy Birthing! ~

A grandmother helps her daughter set up an Aqua Doula birth tub for the birth of her first grandchild.

Filling the Aqua Doula while the family pup attempts to contain his excitement for the impending event ~ not happy to lose his snooze spot by the side of the bed.

"Don't leave any bumps!" Danelle could not help but instruct her partner.
This tub ended up being used as a 'hot tub' of sorts - emptying/refilling several times between weeks 38-44 until the new baby decided he was ready for his life on the outside.

This photo makes me smile.
Watching the birth tub fill up over a (big) baby belly.


Birthing day is finally here!
Danelle was attended by the gentle guiding hands of Virginia Homebirth Midwifery

Born 10lb, 3.2oz ~ eating while relaxed in warm water

11 months later ~ playing in an Aquarium Pool at the Seven Cities Midwifery open house.
These pools - sometimes called 'fishy pools' - can be found at many locations - including your local retail store and on Amazon. Also available at Your Waterbirth.com





This tub was used for the waterbirth of Dominique's second baby.
It was made by a local midwife and her family.


The Ocean Room Birthing Tub at the Baby Love Birth Center,
Cape Coral Florida

Older sisters (above) help to set up an Aqua Doula for the arrival of their new baby brother.

Another helpful partner (below) fills up an Aqua Doula.


blissful laborland of a birthing goddess at home




Guggie uses a fishy tub she found on super sale at Target for the homebirth of her first baby.

The Garden Room Birthing Tub at the Baby Love Birth Center, Cape Coral FL

Birth in the La Bassine at home
La Bassine can be found at:
Your Waterbirth.com
Waterbirth Solutions

Amber-joy laboring in her jetted hot tub (above)
~ the warm water wonders of a 'waterdural' ~

Another Aqua Doula birth tub is set up for birthing day

laboring in soothing waters
this was Krista's first HBAC (home birth after cesarean)

The Aqua Doula is certainly big enough for 2 people

First meal in the birth tub

HBAC #2 ~ Krista traveled 2 states away from home to a friend's house so that she could have the gentle home/waterbirth after cesarean that she desired.

Welcome Earthside Beautiful Baby!!
The Aqua Doula Birth Tub doubles as a leg rest! ;)
This is the position that feels comfortable for some women. The great thing about water is you can move so freely and gently within it. The warmth relaxes your muscles, so even outside the water, birth tends to take place more smoothly. Of course, being in the comforts of home has its advantages as well.

This bathtub has seen many babies gently slide into their momma's arms
at the Baby Love Birth Center.

Donna's beautiful waterbirth of baby #2 in an Aqua Doula at home
(Great idea to use pool noodles as a cushion boarder!)

First meeting ~ Love that fresh baby vernix!!

love & happiness & power & life all around


"Hello Dad"

Jen labors in a bathtub at the Bellingham Birth Center (WA) with Baby #1
The soft glow of candles all around.

Having one steady support person - a midwife (above) and/or a doula - with a woman throughout her entire labor/birth makes a big difference from the chaos and strangers that often walk in and out of a woman's birthing space in U.S. hospital wards.

The waterbirth of her first baby in a bathtub!
[Note: This is more blood than typical - Jen had some hemorrhaging that was soon rectified. However, even a few drops of blood looks like a lot when it is dispersed in water.]

Birthing Day for Baby #2 ~ bathtub at the Bellingham Birth Center


Baby #3; Waterbirth #3 and Jen gets her HOMEBIRTH - in a giant tub!
This is a farm grade feeding trough by Rubbermaid.

Jen's birth photos by Sandi Heinrich

Heavenly laborland massage by midwife, doula, and friend while in transition.

Son and his Momma meet for the first time earthside as she pulls him up from the warm waters.



Birthing Day in the Aqua Doula at Home
Megan is in transition here surrounded by her birth team. She entered the warm water at 6cm (which she said felt amazing) and quickly progressed into transition and stage 2.

9lb, 2oz baby boy is lifted from the water into his mothers waiting arms for the first time. This was Megan's 3rd baby, but her 1st home/waterbirth and her 1st drug-free labor/birth.

There is nothing like this primal bonding time between a mother and her newborn.

Big brother (4) and sister (2.5) join in to sing Happy Birthday to their newborn baby brother.

Big sister helps on birthing day.
The AquaBorn birth pool was used.
Learn more about the AquaBorn on their home site or at Waterbirth International.


Midwife, Margaret, sets up a Birth Pool in a Box at Atlanta Medical (downtown Atlanta, GA).

Lindsay says that her labor and waterbirth were filled with fun! :)

Partners who believe in the normal birth process can be great support.

Lindsay wasn't a fan of this position in the tub, but baby needed to rotate for exit.

Counter pressure!

Such power!
There is nothing quite as amazing and strong as a birthing woman.

A new little one enters the world gently in warm water.

HypnoBirthing in action while relaxing in a bathtub

Welcoming baby in the Ocean Room bathtub

To see birth videos from the Baby Love Birth Center
visit the Birth Bliss YouTube site here.





Sharon's first birth in a jacuzzi bath tub

warm water welcome


Sharon's second baby ~ inflatable pool at home


View Sharon's Birth Videos Here


Katherine's second daughter was born joyfully and peacefully at home, in her kitchen.

sweet surrender



Michelle labors in an Aqua Doula.
The birth visualization art that she created in the final weeks before her birthing day hangs on the wall behind the tub.

Transition

Surprise! A healthy, chunky little girl.

Reason to be beaming!
Read Michelle's full birth story here.

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If you have birth tub / waterbirth photos to share with others, send them to DrMomma.org@gmail.com and include any details (type of tub, # of birth) you'd like included.

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Excellent books and videos for more information on waterbirth include:

Choosing Waterbirth

Waterbirth: A Midwife's Perspective

We Are All Waterbabies

The Waterbirth Book

The Waterbirth Handbook

Gentle Birth Choices (includes DVD of waterbirths)

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering

Birth As We Know It (DVD)

Orgasmic Birth (DVD)

Birth Day (DVD)

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