Vitamin D and Immunity


via Healing Hubby

Above graph from: Strengthening the immune system with Vitamin D: https://www.cphealthcare.org/blog/strengthening-the-immune-system-with-vitamin-d-in-light-of-covid-19

We were each severely deficient at the time of my cancer diagnosis, though my levels were worst of all of us at just 8. Better Way Health (https://prz.io/GQ9K32Sm) has an excellent D3 that finally made a difference after I'd been taking a D2 (prescription) for quite some time without benefit. My D blood levels are now in comfortably in the 80s - a protective place to be. D3 is inexpensive, and you can find it everywhere. We love Better Way Health as well because the capsules are tiny enough that older kids can easily take it as well. For those who need drops vs. capsules, Thorne D3/K2 is another excellent option (https://amzn.to/3qKC70b). Important Related Reading: • Over 200 Scientists & Doctors Call For Increased Vitamin D Use To Combat COVID-19: Scientific evidence indicates vitamin D reduces infections & deaths: https://vitamindforall.org/letter.html • Vitamin D deficiency found in over 80% of COVID-19 patients: https://www.ajc.com/life/study-vitamin-d-deficiency-found-in-over-80-of-covid-19-patients/A6W5TCSNIBBLNNUMVVG4XBPTGQ/ • Vitamin D and survival in COVID-19 patients (nearly doubles survival among nursing home residents): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S096007602030296X • Vitamin D deficiency quadruples COVID-19 death rate: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/942497 • Vit D vs. Covid: https://www.facebook.com/135715049805281/videos/765967217323431/ • Vitamin D: The #1 Anti-Cancer Vitamin: https://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/vitamin-d-the-1-anti-cancer-vitamin/


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Baby's Breastfeeding Pattern

Newborn breastfeeding pattern

In the hospital we encourage moms to breastfeed every 2-3 hours to nourish baby and bring in a good future milk supply.
It’s math: 8-12 feeds in 24 hours (ideal) = nursing every 2-3 hours πŸ“šπŸ“ˆ

It’s a quick and easy way to get the message across that this baby needs to eat, and often
Unfortunately, new parents seem think breastfeeding is going to be like the first picture (cereal)...all the feeds perfectly spaced out, and all the same size. Every 2-3 hours. Easy. And the baby will sleep like an angel in between....
THIS IS NOT REALITY. In reality, your sweet newborn baby will have good feeds, short feeds, sleepy feeds, crappy feeds, and everything in between! 
The visual of the blueberries is amazing because it shows how realistically feedings are at all different times and different lengths (bigger blueberries). And did you count the berries?!? More than enough! 
Yes, we want you to nurse every 2-3 hours, but baby calls the shots. Less watching the clock   and more watching for feeding cues. πŸ‘ΆπŸ» 

Related Reading:

• Knowing my baby's hunger cues: http://www.DrMomma.org/2013/01/your-babys-signs-of-hunger.html

• The Case for Cue Feeding: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/01/case-for-cue-feeding.html

• Why African Babies Don't Cry: http://www.DrMomma.org/2010/09/why-african-babies-dont-cry.html 

• Breastfeeding community: FB.com/groups/Breastfed



Newborn stomach size
Breastfeeding on cue awareness raising cards at Etsy

Insight In Menstruation and Medicating Women's Feelings

By Julie Holland
Originally published in the New York Times March 1, 2015


Women are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. 

Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. These are observations rooted in biology, not intended to mesh with any kind of pro- or anti-feminist ideology. But they do have social implications. 

Women’s emotionality is a sign of health, not disease; it is a source of power. But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives. We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical. The pharmaceutical industry plays on that fear, targeting women in a barrage of advertising on daytime talk shows and in magazines. 

More Americans are on psychiatric medications than ever before, and in my experience they are staying on them far longer than was ever intended. Sales of antidepressants and antianxiety meds have been booming in the past two decades, and they’ve recently been outpaced by an antipsychotic, Abilify, that is the No. 1 seller among all drugs in the United States, not just psychiatric ones. 

As a psychiatrist practicing for 20 years, I must tell you, this is insane. 

At least one in four women in America now takes a psychiatric medication, compared with one in seven men. Women are nearly twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorder than men are. For many women, these drugs greatly improve their lives. But for others they aren’t necessary. The increase in prescriptions for psychiatric medications, often by doctors in other specialties, is creating a new normal, encouraging more women to seek chemical assistance. Whether a woman needs these drugs should be a medical decision, not a response to peer pressure and consumerism. 

The new, medicated normal is at odds with women’s dynamic biology; brain and body chemicals are meant to be in flux. To simplify things, think of serotonin as the “it’s all good” brain chemical. Too high and you don’t care much about anything; too low and everything seems like a problem to be fixed. 

In the days leading up to menstruation, when emotional sensitivity is heightened, women may feel less insulated, more irritable or dissatisfied. I tell my patients that the thoughts and feelings that come up during this phase are genuine, and perhaps it’s best to re-evaluate what they put up with the rest of the month, when their hormone and neurotransmitter levels are more likely programmed to prompt them to be accommodating to others’ demands and needs. 

The most common antidepressants, which are also used to treat anxiety, are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (S.S.R.I.s) that enhance serotonin transmission. S.S.R.I.s keep things “all good.” But too good is no good. More serotonin might lengthen your short fuse and quell your fears, but it also helps to numb you, physically and emotionally. These medicines frequently leave women less interested in sex. S.S.R.I.s tend to blunt negative feelings more than they boost positive ones. On S.S.R.I.s, you probably won’t be skipping around with a grin; it’s just that you stay more rational and less emotional. Some people on S.S.R.I.s have also reported less of many other human traits: empathy, irritation, sadness, erotic dreaming, creativity, anger, expression of their feelings, mourning and worry. 

Obviously, there are situations where psychiatric medications are called for. The problem is too many genuinely ill people remain untreated, mostly because of socioeconomic factors. People who don’t really need these drugs are trying to medicate a normal reaction to an unnatural set of stressors: lives without nearly enough sleep, sunshine, nutrients, movement and eye contact, which is crucial to us as social primates. If the serotonin levels of women are constantly, artificially high, they are at risk of losing their emotional sensitivity with its natural fluctuations, and modeling a more masculine, static hormonal balance. 

This emotional blunting encourages women to take on behaviors that are typically approved by men: appearing to be invulnerable, for instance, a stance that might help women move up in male-dominated businesses. Primate studies show that giving an S.S.R.I. can augment social dominance behaviors, elevating an animal’s status in the hierarchy. But at what cost? 

I had a patient who called me from her office in tears, saying she needed to increase her antidepressant dosage because she couldn’t be seen crying at work. After dissecting why she was upset — her boss had betrayed and humiliated her in front of her staff — we decided that what was needed was calm confrontation, not more medication. 

Medical chart reviews consistently show that doctors are more likely to give women psychiatric medications than men, especially women between the ages of 35 and 64. For some women in that age group the symptoms of perimenopause can sound a lot like depression, and tears are common. 

Crying isn’t just about sadness. When we are scared, or frustrated, when we see injustice, when we are deeply touched by the poignancy of humanity, we cry. And some women cry more easily than others. It doesn’t mean we’re weak or out of control. 

At higher doses, S.S.R.I.s make it difficult to cry. They can also promote apathy and indifference. Change comes from the discomfort and awareness that something is wrong; we know what’s right only when we feel it. If medicated means complacent, it helps no one. When we are overmedicated, our emotions become synthetic. 

For personal growth, for a satisfying marriage and for a more peaceful world, what we need is more empathy, compassion, receptivity, emotionality and vulnerability, not less. We need to stop labeling our sadness and anxiety as uncomfortable symptoms, and to appreciate them as a healthy, adaptive part of our biology. 


Julie Holland is a psychiatrist in New York and the author of “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy.

Top 20 of 2020

It's been quite the year of challenges! Through it all we've persevered and looked for ways we could make life better for someone, somewhere; a new momma today, a baby tomorrow, children along the way. It is our hope that you or someone you know has been empowered or uplifted or encouraged or helped this year through the work of Peaceful Parenting. It has been tough to not see you in person this year at the many expos and events we typically host, but we look forward to an even sweeter reunion when we can attend across the nation once again. 'Till then, we have gathered the Top 20 Most Read items at DrMomma during 2020. Check out those you missed, share your favorites, and pass on the love we pray comes through in our gentle parenting advocacy and education. πŸ’– 

With this post we'd also love to showcase some of your beautiful families. If you'd like to share a photo for our 2020 Peaceful Parenting collage, drop it to this post on Facebook, into the Peaceful Parenting Community with a note that it's for the 2020 collage, or email ContactDrMomma@gmail.com

 

Top 20 of 2020

20. Take Mom's Picturehttp://www.drmomma.org/2019/07/take-moms-picture.html

19. Mama, You are Home to Mehttp://www.drmomma.org/2018/11/mama-you-are-home-to-me.html

18. Cry It Out - What is the 'It'? http://www.drmomma.org/2020/01/cry-it-out-what-is-it.html

17. The Placenta Does Not Age or Fail Post-Dateshttp://www.drmomma.org/2018/03/the-placenta-does-not-age-or-fail-post.html

16. Children Should Sleep Near Parents Until Age 5http://www.drmomma.org/2009/07/co-sleeping-children-should-sleep-with.html

15. What Should a 4 Year Old Know? http://www.drmomma.org/2011/11/what-should-4-year-old-know.html

14. Neonatal Infant Circumcision [A Video for Healthcare Professionals]http://www.drmomma.org/2011/01/neonatal-circumcision-video-for.html

13. Plastibell Infant Circumcisionhttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/08/plastibell-infant-circumcision.html

12. Your Body Within One Hour of Drinking Sodahttp://www.drmomma.org/2008/01/your-body-within-1-hour-of-drinking.html

11. Fetal Lungs Protein Release Triggers Labor to Beginhttp://www.drmomma.org/2008/01/fetal-lungs-protein-release-triggers.html

10. MRI Studies: The Brain Permanently Altered by Infant Circumcisionhttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/10/mri-studies-brain-permanently-altered.html

9. Newborn Nursing: Frequent, Lengthy, Normalhttp://www.drmomma.org/2019/10/newborn-nursing-frequent-lengthy-and.html

8. "Babywise" Linked to Dehydration, Failure to Thrive - http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/babywise-linked-to-babies-dehydration.html 

7. Intact or Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penishttp://www.drmomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html

6. Why African Babies Don't Cryhttp://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/why-african-babies-dont-cry.html

5. Breastfeeding in Mongoliahttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/07/breastfeeding-in-land-of-genghis-khan.html

4. Fetal Ejection Reflexhttp://www.drmomma.org/2016/07/fetal-ejection-reflex.html

3. Turn Your Crib into a CoSleeperhttp://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/turn-your-crib-into-cosleeper.html

2. Lactation Cookies: Increasing Milk Supplyhttp://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/lactation-cookies-recipe-increasing.html

#1 Most Read item at DrMomma in 2020: 

Sleeping Babies Need Mom Beside Themhttp://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/sleeping-babies-need-mom-beside-them.html




Physicians Urge Public Health Distribution of Vitamin D3

By Danelle Day, Healing Hubby

Unless you're supplementing with a quality D3 or spending the majority of your days sunbathing naked near the equator, your body is in need of D. 🌞

Signed by numerous doctors - encouraging those in public health sectors to widely distribute and encourage the use of D3 supplementation - this letter (excerpt below) is worth reading: https://vitamindforall.org/letter.html The letter's focus is on COVID-19 prevention and treatment, but D3 is an important part of many aspects of human health and healing. When my husband was first diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, his blood D levels were at 8. When I began experiencing extreme consequences of autoimmune/adrenal/thyroid issues (Hashimoto's / PCOS / Cold Urticaria / allergic reactions / early onset arthritis, etc.) my blood D levels were at 18. Even living on the beach, outside all. the. time. in an area that doesn't ever get "real winters" and is sunny most days of the year, our eldest child was also D deficient when tested. We now all take 10-15,000 IU of a quality D3 most days of the week (and us adults have bloodwork done every 3-6 months). Better Way Health has the best we've found (this link will get you 15% off an order, or they are also discounted further if you purchase 12 at a time: https://prz.io/GQ9K32Sm). Prior to making a switch to this D3, we had tried others without much success in raising blood levels, including prescription D2 that was ordered by my husband's physician. We eat a lot of green leafy vegetables (abundant in K) but if those aren't part of your regular diet, taking a quality K2 is also a good idea to go along with D3. (Thorne is our favorite for this - https://amzn.to/2KZDbOg but there are many quality brands you can rotate between). The Better Way Health D3 (pictured above) is super small and easy for anyone to swallow; however our youngest child still takes D3 in drop form instead (Thorne's D3/K2 combo is our favorite for kids who can't do capsules of any size yet - https://amzn.to/3psT9iU). Regardless of what D3 you opt for, it is *inexpensive* and incredibly worth adding into your regimen. Getting a blood test to know where you are starting is a good idea also - it is very simple to ask your physician to add D onto your next bloodwork, OR you can get a quick D test done at almost any lab without a doctor's lab order. If you've never supplemented before, you are likely very low, and would benefit by starting with 10-20,000 IUs daily for a few months. However, even for those who aren't going to get bloodwork done, and are NOT deficient to begin with, 5,000IUs daily is a very good idea for your wellbeing. 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞 LETTER QUOTE: To all governments, public health officials, doctors, and healthcare workers, Research shows low vitamin D levels almost certainly promote COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Given its safety, we call for immediate widespread increased vitamin D intakes. Vitamin D modulates thousands of genes and many aspects of immune function, both innate and adaptive. The scientific evidence1 shows that: Higher vitamin D blood levels are associated with lower rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Higher D levels are associated with lower risk of a severe case (hospitalization, ICU, or death). Intervention studies (including RCTs) indicate that vitamin D can be a very effective treatment. Many papers reveal several biological mechanisms by which vitamin D influences COVID-19. Causal inference modelling, Hill’s criteria, the intervention studies & the biological mechanisms indicate that vitamin D’s influence on COVID-19 is very likely causal, not just correlation. Vitamin D is well known to be essential, but most people do not get enough. Two common definitions of inadequacy are deficiency < 20ng/ml (50nmol/L), the target of most governmental organizations, and insufficiency < 30ng/ml (75nmol/L), the target of several medical societies & experts.2 Too many people have levels below these targets. Rates of vitamin D deficiency <20ng/ml exceed 33% of the population in most of the world, and most estimates of insufficiency <30ng/ml are well over 50% (but much higher in many countries).3 Rates are even higher in winter, and several groups have notably worse deficiency: the overweight, those with dark skin (especially far from the equator), and care home residents. These same groups face increased COVID-19 risk. It has been shown that 3875 IU (97mcg) daily is required for 97.5% of people to reach 20ng/ml, and 6200 IU (155mcg) for 30ng/ml,4 intakes far above all national guidelines. Unfortunately, the report that set the US RDA included an admitted statistical error in which required intake was calculated to be ~10x too low.4 Numerous calls in the academic literature to raise official recommended intakes had not yet resulted in increases by the time SARS-CoV-2 arrived. Now, many papers indicate that vitamin D affects COVID-19 more strongly than most other health conditions, with increased risk at levels < 30ng/ml (75nmol/L) and severely greater risk < 20ng/ml (50nmol/L).1 Evidence to date suggests the possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic sustains itself in large part through infection of those with low vitamin D, and that deaths are concentrated largely in those with deficiency. The mere possibility that this is so should compel urgent gathering of more vitamin D data. Even without more data, the preponderance of evidence indicates that increased vitamin D would help reduce infections, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, & deaths. Decades of safety data show that vitamin D has very low risk: Toxicity would be extremely rare with the recommendations here. The risk of insufficient levels far outweighs any risk from levels that seem to provide most of the protection against COVID-19, and this is notably different from drugs & vaccines. Vitamin D is much safer than steroids, such as dexamethasone, the most widely accepted treatment to have also demonstrated a large COVID-19 benefit. Vitamin D’s safety is more like that of face masks. There is no need to wait for further clinical trials to increase use of something so safe, especially when remedying high rates of deficiency/insufficiency should already be a priority. Therefore, we call on all governments, doctors, and healthcare workers worldwide to immediately recommend and implement efforts appropriate to their adult populations to increase vitamin D, at least until the end of the pandemic. Specifically to: Recommend amounts from all sources sufficient to achieve 25(OH)D serum levels over 30ng/ml (75nmol/L), a widely endorsed minimum with evidence of reduced COVID-19 risk. Recommend to adults vitamin D intake of 4000 IU (100mcg) daily (or at least 2000 IU) in the absence of testing. 4000 IU is widely regarded as safe.5 Recommend that adults at increased risk of deficiency due to excess weight, dark skin, or living in care homes may need higher intakes (eg, 2x). Testing can help to avoid levels too low or high. Recommend that adults not already receiving the above amounts get 10,000 IU (250mcg) daily for 2-3 weeks (or until achieving 30ng/ml if testing), followed by the daily amount above. This practice is widely regarded as safe. The body can synthesize more than this from sunlight under the right conditions (e.g., a summer day at the beach). Also, the NAM (US) and EFSA (Europe) both label this a “No Observed Adverse Effect Level” even as a daily maintenance intake. Measure 25(OH)D levels of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients & treat w/ calcifediol or D3, to at least remedy insufficiency <30ng/ml (75nmol/L), possibly with a protocol along the lines of Castillo et al ‘20 or Rastogi et al '20, until evidence supports a better protocol. Many factors are known to predispose individuals to higher risk from exposure to SARS-CoV-2, such as age, being male, comorbidities, etc., but inadequate vitamin D is by far the most easily and quickly modifiable risk factor with abundant evidence to support a large effect. Vitamin D is inexpensive and has negligible risk compared to the considerable risk of COVID-19. Please Act Immediately


View research cited and physicians who have signed this letter at: https://vitamindforall.org/letter.html




Circumcised babies may have trouble bonding

By Dave Yasvinski for Healthing.ca 
Read more from Yasvinski


Circumcising newborn babies may lead to a host of issues later in life, including difficulty bonding and handling stressful situations, a new study has found.

The medical procedure — usually performed on males within the first few days of life for religious, social or cultural reasons — has real ramifications despite making for difficult dinner conversation, said Michael Winterdahl, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor at Aarhus University in Denmark.

“We wanted to challenge the assumption that there are no delayed consequences of infant circumcision apart from the purely physical because of the absence of foreskin,” he said. “Our findings are especially interesting for coming parents who want to make an informed choice about circumcision on behalf of their child, but are also directed at anyone who wishes to see more light shed on a very taboo topic that often drowns in an emotional discussion.”

To test their theory, researchers enlisted 619 American men — 408 circumcised and 211 still in their natural state — and had them complete a series of questionnaires that tested their ability to handle stress and bond with others.

“The study showed that men who had undergone circumcision as an infant found it more difficult to bond with their partner and were more emotionally unstable, while the study did not find differences in empathy or trust,” Winterdahl said. “Infant circumcision was also associated with stronger sexual drive as well as a lower stress threshold.

“We know from previous studies that the combination of attachment to a partner and emotional stability is important in order to be able to maintain a healthy relationship, and thus family structure, and a lack of such, may lead to frustration and possibly less restricted sexual behaviour,” he said.

The stress experienced by circumcised infants only reveals itself in adulthood in the form of these altered behaviours, the researchers said. While the behavioural changes are not pathological, or indicative of illness, they have implications on a global level.

“Our study says something about differences at population level, not about individuals,” Winterdahl said. “It’s important to remember that as individuals, we vary enormously in virtually all parameters — also in how we bond with our partner, for example.”

Breastfeeding / Circumcision informational cards

Canada’s current circumcision rate is 32 per cent, according to a study by a group of Saskatchewan researchers that found the status of the father’s foreskin to be the single most important factor in determining whether or not his newborn would also have the procedure. Overall, 56 per cent of those polled said they would consider circumcision if they had a son. In situations where the father was circumcised, that number rose to 82 per cent; where the father was not circumcised, the number dropped to 15 per cent.

While conflicting information about the potential health benefits of circumcision has stirred a long and heated debate on its necessity, the Canadian Paediatric Society updated its policy in 2015 to offer a more neutral stance than its 1996 guidance that advised against the procedure. “The main thing that has changed between now and then is there is convincing evidence that circumcision can actually prevent HIV,” said Dr. Joan Robinson, a pediatric infectious disease specialist in Edmonton.

“I think for most parents, it’s basically a cosmetic procedure, unless you’re part of a religion that insists that you have to have it done,” she said.


Related: 

Saving Our Sons Community

Intact: Healthy, Happy, Whole

Should I Circumcise? The pros and cons 

Intact Care

SavingSons.org

IntactHealth.org



Momma's Night Before Christmas


Mother's Love painting by Kolongi. Art work available here.

Twas' the night before Christmas,
when all through the abode

Only one creature was stirring -
and she was cleaning the commode.


The children were finally sleeping,
all snug in their beds,

While visions of presents,
flipped through their heads.


Daddy was snoring in front of the TV,

With a half-constructed bicycle up on his knee.

So only Momma heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
Which made her sigh, "NOW what's the matter?"

With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,

She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.

He was covered in ashes, which fell with a shrug.

"Oh great..." muttered Mom, now cleaning the rug.


"Ho-Ho-Ho!!" bellowed Santa, "I'm glad you're awake.

Your gift was especially hard to make."

"Thank you Santa, but all I want's time alone."

"Exactly!!" he chuckled, "And I've made you a clone."


"A clone?" Mom asked, "What good is that?

Run along now, Santa. I've no time for a chat."

But it was Momma's twin!
Same hair, same eyes - same double chin.

"She'll cook, she'll dust, she'll mop every mess.
You'll relax, take it easy, and get some good rest."
"Fantastic!!" Mom cheered. "My dream come true!
I'll read. I'll write. I'll sleep a whole night through!"


From the room above, the youngest began to fret.
"Momma?! I need you. I'm scared and I'm wet."
The clone replied, "I'm coming, sweetheart."

"Hey," Mom smiled, "She knows her part."


The clone changed the small one, and hummed a sweet tune,

As she bundled the child, in a blanket cocoon.

"You're the best momma ever. I really love you."

The clone smiled and sighed, "And I love you, too."


Mom frowned and said, "Sorry, Santa, no deal.

That's
my child's love that she's trying to steal."
Smiling wisely Santa said, "To me it is clear,

Only one loving mother is needed 'round here."


Mom kissed her child, and tucked her into bed.

"Thank you, dear Santa, for clearing my head.

I sometimes forget it won't be very long,

When they'll be too old, for my sweet mothering song."


The clock on the mantle began to chime.

Santa whispered to the clone, "It works every time."

And with the clone clung close to his side,
Santa said, "Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, Momma! You'll be alright."


~Original Author ("The Night Before Christmas for Moms") Unknown; 
  Revised Poem (2009) by Danelle Day


Soleil Life Photography



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Christmas To Do List


This Christmas... 

 Be present. 
 Wrap someone in a hug.
Send peace. 
 Donate food. 
 Be the light. 

 πŸŽ„❤️πŸŽ„❤️




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