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Monday, November 30, 2009

"Several states did receive stars for taking steps to reduce smoking among women of childbearing age or providing health insurance coverage for pregnant women, which may help reduce preterm birth rates, the report card noted. Multiple births and elective Caesarean sections also push up preterm birth rates, said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes."

No argument that reducing smoking in pregnant women is a step forward, and obviously providing health insurance is pretty much a no brainer when it comes to saving lives of mothers & babies.... But what are they doing about the Elective Caesarean section rates? Or more importantly, what are they doing to recognize that the USA has one of the highest C/Section rates in the world? The US spends more money on Maternity care, yet has a horrifyingly high infant and maternal mortality rate that hasn't dropped in 20 years. When is the American OB driven medical machine going to wake up and realize that these problems are not going to go away by driving the Caesarean section rates up, nor are they going to go away until they look at the real problem: THEMSELVES.

Childhood: U.S. Draws Low Marks on Premature Births

Published: November 19, 2009

More than half a million babies, one out of eight, are born prematurely each year in the United States, prompting the March of Dimes to give the nation a D on its premature births report card.

The report card did not give an A to a single state. Vermont, which has a preterm birth rate of 9 percent, got a B, while 17 states got F’s, including Mississippi, with a preterm birth rate of 18.3 percent. The prematurity rate in Puerto Rico, at 19.4 percent, was the highest in the country.

The nationwide rate has barely budged in the most recent three years reported — to 12.7 percent in 2007, according to preliminary figures, from 12.8 percent in 2006 and 12.7 percent in 2005. It was 11.4 percent in 1997.

Several states did receive stars for taking steps to reduce smoking among women of childbearing age or providing health insurance coverage for pregnant women, which may help reduce preterm birth rates, the report card noted. Multiple births and elective Caesarean sections also push up preterm birth rates, said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.

All babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are considered premature. They are at higher risk for death and for complications that include cerebral palsy and mental retardation.

Heidi Klum- Breastfeeding & Co-sleeping

and on the lighter side of life: we all like to hear about the rich and famous, what they're doing, where they're going etc.... but for me personally, I love to hear who's in "the know"- breastfeeding, homebirthing, AP parenting, because the more famous faces who openly talk about their experiences in informed parenting, the more main stream and "Normal" they become... So as I come across these stories I'll pass them on.


Heidi Klum picture


German supermodel Heidi Klum has found being a mother of four ''tough'' since she gave birth to her new daughter Lou last month.

Heidi Klum admits it's "tough" having four children.

The German supermodel - who gave birth to daughter Lou last month - is struggling to adapt because her newborn baby demands a lot of her time and attention.

Heidi - who is married to singer Seal - told German magazine Gala: "Of course this is all very tough for me at the moment because Leni, Henry and Johan want to continue to do things with their mama and papa. They are not really interested in the fact that you have just had a baby. Seal and I have a lot of work because we have to divide everything among us. But it's great! We are incredibly happy and the family really satisfies me.

"At the moment Lou needs me enormously. Not only because of breastfeeding but also because she needs to be close to her mother. She will sleep now for a year with us in our bedroom - just as her siblings did. It's easier at night if she is hungry."

The 36-year-old beauty keeps her other children - daughter Leni, five, and sons Henri, four, and Johan, three - happy by making sure they're kept busy.

Heidi - who along with Seal have released photographs of their new daughter on the 46-year-old musician's official website, - explained: "You must always think of new things - this is sometimes a challenge. We often make play dates with other kids or we go to the park. On weekends we like to go to Disneyland."

30 November 2009 10:08:56

"Coping with Labour Naturally"

Our latest article on Natural Mothering! Our resident Homeopath Rebecca Gower shares her insights and knowledge about the use of Homeopathic remedies during Labour & Delivery.

Coping with Labour Naturally
Written by Rebecca Gower, B.A., M.A., DSHM (hons)

If you are pregnant, it is hard not to think about the pain that is associated with labour at some point during pregnancy. This is especially true if you are pregnant with your first child. The good news is that the pain won't last forever and you get the precious gift of your baby as the best present of having had to deal with that pain. It is also very possible that you could have a very different experience of labour with each child. For example, you may have a very quick labour with your first child and a slower, irregular labour with your second one- or vice-versa.

The Birth Plan:

Whether you want a home birth or a hospital birth; a natural birth or wish to choose medical interventions, having a birth plan is very important. This is so you and your partner or labour support person are on the same page. It is also vital that your care team know about your birth plan. This would be especially important if you are opposed to medical interventions, such as an epidural or the use of forceps, except in a case of an emergency. You can always change your mind if you feel for example, that the pain is unbearable. However, share this information with your partner or labour support person. The goal here is to try to create the conditions that lead to the labour experience that you and your family desire.

Natural Medicine for Labour & Delivery:

Whether or not you have chosen to have a natural birth or not, Homeopathy can play a huge role in dealing with a variety of issues in terms of labour and delivery. I believe that Homeopathic medicine is your best choice because it is gentle, safe for both the pregnant person and the baby, and will work quite quickly. Although it is most ideal to begin homeopathic treatment before trying to conceive and secondly, during pregnancy; homeopathy can still help with a variety of physical and mental/emotional issues that can occur during pregnancy....

HERE to read the whole article

"Breastfeeding & Circumcision"

This is an excellent article on the topic of male circumcision and the effect it has on Breastfeeding in the US. From one of my favorite Blogs: Peaceful Parenting

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Breastfeeding & Circumcision

written by Yuki
edited by Danelle

"Today the claimed "benefits" of circumcision have been found to be without merit, while new benefits of breastfeeding are found all the time. Circumcision is not recommended by any medical or health organization in the world, while breastfeeding is universally recommended by all medical and health organizations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now states that babies should receive exclusive breastmilk (nothing else at all) for a minimum of the first 6 months of life, and continue nursing for at least the first 2 years of life. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that breastfeeding should be done for the first 2 years of life at a bare minimum and most infants world-wide receive their mother's milk past the age of 2.

Unfortunately in some U.S. cities, circumcision is still more common than breastfeeding. According to 2008 CDC statistics, only 26% of babies in the U.S. are still breastfed at 6 months of age, and the figure drops to just 19% by 12 months of age. At the same time, approximately 50% of baby boys born in the United States continue to be circumcised at birth. Most startling is that lactation reports from several U.S. hospitals show that it is circumcised baby boys who are most at risk of "failure to thrive" and are least likely to have a 'successful' breastfeeding relationship with their mother. Intact boys tend to latch better, nurse more effectively, and breastfeed longer than their circumcised peers...."

HERE for the complete article

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Baby Led Weaning"

Baby Led Weaning
By Dani Arnold-McKenny

Throw out the jars, get rid of the boxes of baby cereals, chuck out the ice cube trays and baby food mills!!!! no more steaming and boiling, mashing and blending, mixing and storing: It's time to sit down to dinner and embrace the art of Baby Led Weaning.

....But you might want to hang onto those bibs for a while longer!

When Gil Rapley wrote her research paper on Guidelines for implementing a baby-led approach to the introduction of solid food" I doubt that she truly realized the doors she was about to open to parents (ok, mothers then....) , nor the changes in infant feeding practices she was about to launch.

HERE to read the entire article

Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone

By James J. McKenna Ph.D.
Edmund P. Joyce C.S.C. Chair in Anthropology
Director, Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory
University of Notre Dame


In Japan where co-sleeping and breastfeeding (in the absence of maternal smoking) is the cultural norm, rates of the sudden infant death syndrome are the lowest in the world. For breastfeeding mothers, bedsharing makes breastfeeding much easier to manage and practically doubles the amount of breastfeeding sessions while permitting both mothers and infants to spend more time asleep. The increased exposure to mother’s antibodies which comes with more frequent nighttime breastfeeding can potentially, per any given infant, reduce infant illness. And because co-sleeping in the form of bedsharing makes breastfeeding easier for mothers, it encourages them to breastfeed for a greater number of months, according to Dr. Helen Ball’s studies at the University of Durham, therein potentially reducing the mothers chances of breast cancer. Indeed, the benefits of cosleeping helps explain why simply telling parents never to sleep with baby is like suggesting that nobody should eat fats and sugars since excessive fats and sugars lead to obesity and/or death from heart disease, diabetes or cancer. Obviously, there’s a whole lot more to the story.

As regards bedsharing, an expanded version of its function and effects on the infant’s biology helps us to understand not only why the bedsharing debate refuses to go away, but why the overwhelming majority of parents in the United States (over 50% according to the most recent national survey) now sleep in bed for part or all of the night with their babies.

That the highest rates of bedsharing worldwide occur alongside the lowest rates of infant mortality, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rates, is a point worth returning to. It is an important beginning point for understanding the complexities involved in explaining why outcomes related to bedsharing (recall, one of many types of cosleeping) vary between being protective for some populations and dangerous for others. It suggests that whether or not babies should bedshare and what the outcome will be may depend on who is involved, under what condition it occurs, how it is practiced, and the quality of the relationship brought to the bed to share. This is not the answer some medical authorities are looking for, but it certainly resonates with parents, and it is substantiated by scores of studies..."

Here for the full article

Catching up

Over the next few days I'll probably be posting several times a day as I've recently read some excellent articles on several topics that I'm passionate about.

This is one of the best article I've read about the H1N1 vaccine. The facts are backed up with science and logical medical thinking. please share this article everywhere!

"What's in your H1N1 Flu Vaccine"

By Alex Roslin

Chris Shaw wasn’t always skeptical about vaccines. The neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia had his teenage son vaccinated with most of the recommended shots. But then he started studying some of the ingredients commonly found in vaccines.

What he discovered caused him to go cold turkey on all shots for his six-year-old daughter. And that includes the vaccine for the H1N1 flu.

“I am not convinced H1N1 is sufficiently hazardous to most people to risk the potential downside of the vaccine,” Shaw said over the phone from his office in the research pavilion at the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority...


First, the disease. Swine flu had killed 161 Canadians as of November 12. That works out to one death per 200,000 Canadians in the past six-and-a-half months. Over the same period of time, major cardiovascular diseases typically claim 240 times more Canadian lives (about 39,000), cancer claims 230 times more (37,000 deaths), pneumonia kills 18 times more (2,800), and accidental falls claim eight times more (1,260), according to calculations based on 2005 Statistics Canada figures.

H1N1 has about the same death rate as hernias. But we don’t see scary front-page headlines for months on end about hernias, pneumonia, or falling down.

“It’s really not causing—and is not going to cause and nowhere has caused—significant levels of illness or death,” Dr. Richard Schabas, Ontario’s former chief medical officer of health, told the CBC on November 12..."

HERE for the full article

A few of my recent articles

To begin this adventure into informed and enlightened parenting, I thought that I'd post a couple of my most recent articles that I've written for Natural Mothering.

For the most part, I will usually post a small section of an article or blog with a link to the entire piece. I am doing this because while all of my articles are posted on Natural Mothering and are, obviously, mine to post as I wish, many of the other authors that I writing about regularly deserve to have their name and sites made known..... we all like to receive our dues and accolaids, right?

And so to begin.....

"What about our Sons"
By, Dani Arnold-McKenny

In what could be a ground breaking announcement, on Nov 12 Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, announced the release of a new citizenship study guide to help newcomers and Canadians better understand Canada. In a section called "Equality of Women and Men" the guide states, that "barbaric" cultural practices such as female genital mutilation are illegal in Canada.

While the vast majority of Canadians will applaud the fact that the minister and our government are insuring that the fundamental rights of our female children are being protected by federal laws, we need to ask a serious question:

What about our sons?

Canada is a nation that is world renowned for its humanitarian efforts and its Charter of Human Rights. We are a diverse multicultural country, who's citizens live secure in the knowledge that our fundamental rights are protected by the highest level of our legal system. In 1982, the Federal Government modified Canada’s Constitution in order to better reflect the human rights goals and standards set by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Government enacted a statute known as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This Charter is a binding legal document that protects the basic human rights of all Canadians and provides a list of the rights to which all Canadians are entitled and outlines the Government’s responsibility in upholding those rights. It prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, gender, age and mental or physical disability.

We are a Nation with the supreme right of EQUALITY.

So again I ask: What about our sons?

As the horrifying act of female genital mutilation is considered a "barbaric" cultural practice and legally banned in our country, we need to ask ourselves why the equally horrifying practice of male genital mutilation is still considered a social norm and one that parents are legally given the freedom to inflict on their newborn sons?... Here to read the entire article