7 Ways to Reduce Your Child's Toxic Load

By Maggie Hammond, R.N. © 2017


We live in increasingly toxic environments and it can seem sometimes impossible to escape the different toxins and pollutants we are exposed to everyday. As a parent, it is perfectly understandable to desire to protect our children from an excessive toxic load. And there is no time more important than now while baby is still in his formative years, and early toxin exposure could affect his development. In this article, we’re going to provide a few simple tips on how to protect children from a toxic environment.

Try to Go Organic as Much as Possible 

One of the areas where we let the most toxins in is through our foods. Between chemically laden foods and the various pesticides that enter in the production of most of our produce, it can be difficult to fight back against polluting agents. However, just by going organic, we can significantly reduce the levels of toxins we're exposed to.

It is no secret that much of our produce, even if it contains a great deal of beneficial nutrients, is full of harmful elements. However, it can be difficult and costly to go for all organic produce. The Environmental Working Group released a list of 12 fruits and vegetable that are the main culprits for pesticides and pollutants. By cutting the foods on this list and going for organic alternatives, you could reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 90%.

Some of the foods you should avoid at all costs include apples, strawberries and grapes. As a matter of fact, a single grape can contain as many as 15 pesticides.

Another way to reduce your baby’s toxic load is by breastfeeding, using donor milk, or opting for organic baby formulas when human milk is otherwise not a possibility. While there are a wide variety of U.S. made organic baby formulas, Europe seems to have a leg up in this area. Fortunately, most of these brands ship worldwide. However, before you go for a certain brand, it would be wise to check for reviews and see which one suits your needs and budget the best. Check this European Organic Baby Formula Guide for a rundown of the best European Organic Baby Formula brands on the market.

Environmental Working Group: Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

Try to Avoid Plastic as Much as You Can

Did you know that plastic can be full of harmful chemicals and pollutants? And we’re not talking about dirt here, but dangerous chemical components known as BPAs which enter into their composition. You can start by going for BPA free plastic cups, bottles, straws and plastic wrap. However, even if you go for BPA free bottles and cups, you are still susceptible for Bisphenol S, which is another harmful chemical that enters in the production of most plastic components. Both elements have been linked to developmental and hormonal imbalances in children, which can be particularly harmful during their development stage. There is still no law that omits companies from hiding the level of BPS and BPA contained in their products, so you have to do your due diligence and check it for yourself.

Opt for Water or Natural Juice

When it comes to hydration, you should try to stick to fluoride free water or fresh natural juice when possible. Also, make sure that you limit the consumption of juice as well since a single cup of freshly squeezed juice can contain the same amount of sugar as multiple portions of the same fruit. You can add a little flavor to the juice by adding citrus or grapefruit juice into the mix. If you don’t have the luxury to go for full organic juice, try to stay away from juices containing artificial dyes such as Red 40 and Yellow 5 and 6. Both these artificial dyes have been linked with behavioral problems. You should also stay away from artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose as well as high fructose corn syrup.

Reduce Your Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields

While protecting yourself from electromagnetic fields can feel like an impossibility in this day and age, they can have a harmful effect on your health and have been linked to a wide variety of health conditions. Everything from cell phones, to computers, tablets, appliances, TVs and everything that is wirelessly connected emits a certain electromagnetic field which can be very harmful in the long run. 

While there are still a lot of skeptics about the effects of electromagnetic fields on humans, there is a growing body of evidence that shows that they do in fact have a negative effect on our bodies. As a matter of fact, the World Health Organization went as far as classifying EMFs as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

There are some simple ways you can reduce your EMF exposure. One of the easiest ways is to turn off your WIFI router at night. This step alone could cut your EMF exposure for a full eight hours. Turning all cellphones in the house to airplane mode when you’re not using them is another great way to cut EMF exposure. And, buy EMF protection cases for your children’s iPads and Android tablets.

Try to Keep the Use of Non Organic Personal Care Products to a Minimum

We are often not aware of how many toxins enter in the production of personal care products and the effects they have on our health and bodies. These can have a particularly disastrous effect on the health of little babies still in their development stage. Cosmetics specifically contain tons of harmful chemicals. Did you know that toxins contained in creams and cosmetics can enter the bloodstream through the skin and pass through your baby’s placenta? This is why it is essential for pregnant women to either stay away completely from cosmetics or go for natural options. This goes for everything from nail polish to skin creams, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreens and perfume.

Promote Clean Air in Your Home

Did you know that the air inside your home is often more toxic than the air outside? This may be shocking, but our homes are full of toxins and pollutants we are often completely oblivious about. According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the air in our home can be 3 to 5 times more toxic than outdoor air. There are some easy ways that you can clean the air in your house. First of all, ban any form of smoking in the house. You can also purify the air by using an air ionizer, ventilating properly, adding a few plants and using aromatherapy. Try to buy clean, chemical free cleaning products. And if you can’t, there are plenty of ways that you can create your own using household items like vinegar and sodium bicarbonate.

Make sure Your Child’s Sleeping Environment is Clean and Safe

While everyone wants to make their little one’s room as cute, many of us completely overlook toxic elements in the process. Paint can be full of harmful chemicals that can be especially dangerous to young children. The best option is going for VOC free paints. These paints are free of heavy metals, petroleum based solvents and formaldehyde. If you moved into a new home, make sure that the walls are lead free. Lead was officially banned in 1978, any room that was painted before that may contain lead. Find out when the last time the walls were painted. Also, when buying furniture, make sure any products you choose are made from untreated wood. Pressed woods are often full of tons of harmful glues and chemicals and can be dangerous. If you don’t know where to find organic, untreated wood, you can always go for old, second hand furniture as these tend to be made of natural wood more often. Also, try to stay away from second hand toys that were made before 1978.

Conclusion

As you can see, staying away from chemicals isn’t as difficult as it may seem. While you can never completely cut off chemicals from your environment, you can always start by taking steps to reduce. First, make sure that you try to opt for organic produce and foods as much as possible. If you can, try to avoid produce with the highest chemical content. Be sure to stay away from plastic cups, toys, wrap and bottles that aren’t BPA and BPS free. As far as pregnancy goes, make sure that you either reduce or completely pause use of personal care items and cosmetics that are known carcinogens. If your house is full of electronic devices, try to reduce your exposition to EMFs by cutting your Wi-Fi router at night, using airplane mode on your phones as much as possible, and by using EMF blocking equipment for your phones, tablets and computers. And last, but not least, be sure to use VOC paint in all the rooms in your house to ensure the air is free of heavy metals and petroleum based solvents.

Common toxins in our daily environment. 

Related Reading:

How Not To Die

Toxic World, Toxic People

Anti-Cancer

Boost Your Child's Immune System

Baby Matters


Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations. 


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Regular doctor’s appointments and how they can help you

By Alex Martin © 2017


Going to the doctor is mostly seen as something people do when they are in need of treatment. Going to the doctor when there’s apparently nothing wrong with you may seem a bit odd for some, especially younger people who feel that their fortuitous age means that they don’t need to schedule a visit. Doctor’s appointments are usually made based on the symptoms people experience, but you don’t actually need to wait until you’re pooping blood to go to see your doctor (you should definitely do it if you’re experiencing that symptom, by the way). There are actually many benefits that come with going to the doctor’s cabinet regularly for routine check-ups.

Here are some reasons why you would want to go see your doctor every now and again, even if you’re not ill.

General health 

It’s important to maintain your health at all times, and going to the doctor will help with this as you will be getting all the recommended injections. A visit may also include proactive tests that can detect something problematic that gets worse with time. The reason many people managed to survive through difficult medical situations was because the problem was found early on and gave medics time to treat it properly and effectively.

Regular stats 

There are many numbers that can fly off the charts without us even noticing. These numbers are usually a wakeup call from the body, but it doesn’t actually ring until you see the numbers. Checking on your cholesterol level regularly, for example, as well as a blood pressure, will let you know if you have the body of a 20 year old or an 80 year old.

Medical record 

Your medical record can be of vital importance if you fall with illness. It will help doctors identify the problem you are dealing with and it will also help them draw more conclusions on various matters regarding your health. Your medical record is updated with each check-up, so it’s good to go see your regular physician once in a while.

Doctor-patient relationship 

This relationship is developed with time, and having regular visits will definitely help you strengthen that relationship a lot faster. It’s important to be in a good relationship with your doctor because they, are after, play a key part in your health. More than that, a skilled physician can understand you, your situation, and your body a lot better if they see you more often, and thus give you the treatment or advice you need most.

A doctor’s visit isn’t always someone’s idea of a good time, but it can help make sure that we won’t have a bad time later on. Health maintenance and threat prevention are more than good reasons to pursue a better relationship with your doctor --- today.

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Pregnancy Cues You May Miss Before Missing Your Period

By Alex Martin © 2017


Many today believe that the earliest tell-tale sign of a pregnancy is a missed period, but that’s not the case. Other early pregnancy symptoms before a missed period lend great insight for a woman in tune with her body, so she knows right away when life is beginning to grow inside. If you’re a first-time mom (or hoping to be) you may not immediately attribute these cues to a potential pregnancy, but if you know what to look for, and what experiences you may have in the very early stages of pregnancy, you will be able to visit with a physician or midwife sooner.

Frequent need to urinate

You’ve probably heard pregnant women joke about having to pee all the time, but did you also know that a frequent need to urinate is a common early sign of pregnancy? Unless you are diabetic, have a urinary tract infection, or some other condition that makes you urinate frequently, a sudden need to urinate more often can be an indication of a pregnancy!

Spotting

If you notice that you are experiencing spotting in late pregnancy, this can be cause for concern. However, if you are not pregnant (to your knowledge) and you notice bleeding or spotting that cannot be explained by your regular menstrual cycle, you may be pregnant. This can be a tricky thing to diagnose, however, because early pregnancy spotting usually occurs around the time when you would be expecting to experience your regular menstrual cycle -- instead, it is 'implantation bleeding.'

Fatigue or lethargy

If you suddenly begin to feel very tired or lethargic, you might be pregnant. This goes beyond the typical feelings of being tired at the end of the day. When you are pregnant, some days you can be so tired you cannot function. If there is no other medical explanation for your fatigue, it could be a sign of pregnancy. You will likely feel very tired throughout your first trimester, as your body is going through tremendous changes and hormonal fluctuations – it’s a hard job growing a human being!

Cramping

If you have unexplained cramping that feels similar to menstrual cramping, it could be a sign of pregnancy. This is different than your typical monthly menstrual cramping in that it can come at any time of the month, and may be more intense than you are used to. If you are having cramping that you cannot attribute to your monthly cycle, take a pregnancy test, or see your physician or midwife. If you’re not pregnant, the cramping could be a sign of something that needs to be addressed.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you might be pregnant, even if you haven’t yet missed a period. The only way to know for sure is to take a pregnancy test. Remember, too, that these symptoms are not necessarily an indication that you are pregnant, only that you may be be. And if so - congratulations! Let the baby-growing commence.


Whose Body, Whose Rights? Award Winning Circumcision Documentary



Whose Body, Whose Rights? Examining the Ethics and Human Rights Issue of Infant Male Circumcision is an award-winning documentary, as seen on PBS, and now available for viewing in full online. Recipient of the Creative Excellence award at the 1996 U.S. International Film and Video Festival, Honorable Mention at the 1996 Philadelphia Film Festival, and Best of Festival at the First Annual Stark Video and Film Festival (1997), this film may be purchased on DVD here.

This program was dedicated in 1995 to the American pioneers who worked to protect boys and girls from genital mutilation: Joseph Lewis, Marilyn Milos, Rosemary Romberg, and Edward Wallerstein.

Copyright © 1995, Dillonwood Productions, 56 minutes, color. Contact Producer: CircHarmSurvey@gmail.com






A note to physicians:


Fetal Ejection Reflex


Meme creator unknown. 

The fetal ejection reflex is real -- and it is amazing! Gloria Lemay writes in her excellent article, Pushing for First Time Moms:

Dr. Michel Odent [repeats] over and over, "Zee most important thing is: do NOT disturb zee birthing woman." We think we know what this means. The more births I attend, the more I realize how much I disturb the birthing woman. Disturbing often comes disguised in the form of "helping." Asking the mother questions, constant verbal coaching, side conversations in the room, clicking cameras—there are so many ways to draw the mother from her ancient brain trance (necessary for a smooth expulsion of the baby) into the present-time world (using the neocortex which interferes with smooth birth). This must be avoided. [...] Recognizing ways in which we can support the mother to enter that deep trance brain wave state that leads to smooth birth is imperative. I find it very helpful to have new language and concepts for explaining the process to practitioners. Dr. Odent has taught me to wait for the "fetus ejection reflex." This is a reflex like a sneeze. Once it is there you can't stop it, but if you don't have it, you can't force it. While waiting for the "fetus ejection reflex," I imagine the mother dilating to "eleven centimeters." This concept reminds me there may be dilation out of the reach of gloved fingers that we don't know about, but that some women have to do in order to begin the ejection of the baby. I also find it valuable to view birth as an "elimination process" like other elimination processes-coughing, pooping, peeing, crying and sweating. All are valuable (like giving birth is) for maintaining the health of the body. They all require removing the thinking mind and changing one's "state." My friend Leilah is fond of saying, "Birth is a no brainer." After all "elimination processes" are finished, we feel a lot better until the next time. Each individual is competent to handle her bodily elimination functions without a lot of input from others. Birth complications, especially in the first-time mother, are often the result of helpful tampering with something that simply needs time and privacy to unfold as intended.

The fetal ejection reflex is one that happens for most birthing women -- when they are fully safe, supported, and allowed to birth in peace. This, unfortunately, rarely happens in today's modern, North American birth world -- and is especially hard to come by in induction/pitocin-filled labor and delivery rooms. However, this primal state of birth still exists, and is waiting for us, as human mammals, to return to it: to make birth better, for babies and for mothers.

Related reading:

Pushing for First Time Moms: https://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/pushing.asp

Do not disturb: The importance of privacy in labor: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595201

What is the Fetal Ejection Reflex? http://www.spiritualbirth.net/what-is-the-fetus-ejection-reflex

Optimal Use of Language for Creating Birth Outcomes: http://wisewomanwayofbirth.com/optimal-use-of-language-for-creating-birth-outcomes

Birth from the baby's perspective: https://midwifethinking.com/2010/08/07/birth-from-the-babys-perspective

Excellent birth books: http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=3


Finding My Voice: No Questions Left Unanswered

By Brian Brown © 2017


Shortly after I graduated high school, I met my first love. He came from a strict family. My family was different - my parents were newly divorced, and I found my rebellion by piercing various parts of my face and bleaching my hair blond. We were literally from different sides of the world - but together we seemed to work.

One difference that I was unprepared for was the most private part of our bodies. He had something that I did not. In my youthful naivety, I sincerely believed that this was merely because he was a different race. I legitimately assumed that this 'extra' thing that he had was just something that Asians had and White Americans did not. During this time, I passed health class in high school but was still none the wiser, because this was never addressed.

Alex went off to college and we eventually parted ways. It was years later that I learned the truth about his body; and it was an ugly truth about my own.

We were not different at all - I had this part also at one point, but it had been taken away from me.

I knew without question that his body was normal - not mine.

I briefly found solace in pretending I was normal. I used to hang out in internet chat rooms and pretend that I was intact. To lie to these strangers whom I would never meet absolved me of ever dealing with my own reality.

It was years later that my next door neighbor was having a baby boy. She and I were very close at the time and she reached out for advice. She was the first person that I ever shared my story with -- in its entirety -- with very personal, intimate details. Her response, after I confided everything to her, is one that I will never forget: "We are doing it, no questions asked." It was that point that I realized my own personal experiences would never truly matter until her husband was willing to deal with his own issues.

It was at that point that I needed the courage to continue to speak up, to press on, to educate, to make real change. This is something I am so thankful to have found in Intact Rhode Island. They empowered me in this way so that there are no longer any "No questions asked..." statements. I am providing the answers to these questions -- whether they are asked or not.

I am Intact Connecticut and despite widely spread efforts to hide the truth, I am not afraid of misconceptions about the male body anymore.


Read more from Brown at FB.com/IntactCT

If you are local to another area, find locals who are speaking up near you: SavingSons.org/p/local-chapters.html

Fathers - if you are expecting a son, join in discussions, ask questions, find answers: FB.com/groups/TINFamily 

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