Monday, July 30, 2007

The Ferber Baby meets The Focker Baby

Do you remember in the mid 1990s when everyone was talking about the babies in orphanages in Romania? That was the first time I became aware of some of the horrors going on around the world. These babies were going colorblind because they had no colors in their cribs to stimulate them. Infants, toddlers, and even older children sat in cribs (sometimes tied to them) all day and all night... there were not enough adults to care for them, so they were not cared for. Most of these children cried day and night when first placed in the orphanages. It broke the hearts of reporters and television viewers alike to see these children cry and cry and cry...

Eventually, the children would give up and stop crying.

That broke our hearts even more.

And yet, somehow, we don't accept that we are doing the same thing to our children. How many times have you heard that you need to let your baby 'cry it out' or 'learn to self-soothe'? Have you heard of the 'Ferber baby'? The baby that doesn't need adult attention, it just shuts up and goes to sleep by itself. That is SO SAD!!! The Ferber baby is a baby who has given up!!!
I LOVE the scene in "Meet the Fockers" where Jack Byrnes is explaining how they have "Ferberized" their grandson by never responding to his cries and not picking him up. Bernie Focker turns to him and says proudly "we always picked up Greg when he cried. We didn't Ferberize him, we Fockerized him!"
Hey, now that sounds like a good idea! Hold the baby when he is sad. Go to him when he cries (after all, babies do not develop object permanence until 6-8 months--that means that if they cannot see you, they don't know that you still exist, and feel truly ALONE). In other words, let's show our children that we love them, shall we?! Let's go Fockerize them!

A Little Story

So, Jim Brown walks into Mr Mac clothing store. He walks over to a salesman and says
"I have been thinking about getting a new suit. I have heard that styles are changing, and that my 10yr old suit is probably not very 'in' anymore...but I'm not sure if I really need one or not. Can you give me some advice?"
The salesperson, of course, sells Jim a suit. It's his job. He gets paid to convince people that they need suits.

The same afternoon, Jim's wife, Jane, takes their baby to the pediatrician. Jane is remarkably like her husband. She is chatting with the doctor, and says
"I have been thinking about vaccinations. I have heard that they have some dangerous ingredients, and can have frightening side effects. I'm not sure if I should get them for my baby."
The doctor, of course, sells Jane on vaccinations. It's his job. He gets paid to convince people that they need vaccinations.

Is anyone else bothered by the idea of asking your local doctor or health department for advice about vaccinations?!
Do you see why we cannot ask the salesman? Why we need to do the research at the source?
I do not think that doctors are evil, malicious people who are just out to get a buck. I DO think that they are busy people, and do not have time to keep up with everything...so they read summaries and listen to people who take them out to dinner and give them free samples... No doctor has the right to make decisions for your child's health; to give advice, sure, but to make the final decision? No. YOU are the parent, and YOU have the right--and the responsibility--to make those decisions.
Stand up. Be responsible. Do the research. Make the choices!

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Family Homestead

Yesterday we took a trip with my in-laws up to visit the town of Brighton, which was originally homesteaded by WSBrighton 150 years ago... (My son, 6 generations later, is WSBrighton II). The first W built a hotel and humbly named the place after himself. The property was sold off in little pieces, with the last 4 lots finally being sold by my Father-in-laws father during the depression. So, unfortunately, our family has no piece of the fortune now earned there from the ski industry...BUT, we can go and get keychains and bumper stickers with our name on them! Dear Hubby picked out one of those license plate-edger things which says "B-Right-On." Since I figure I tend to be a right-on Brighton too, I wanted one for the van. So we got two.

While up there, we took a little hike up to Lake Mary. WS was from Scotland, and immigrated with his wife and young children. On the 2-month voyage over, his 2year old daughter, Mary, contracted measles and died, and was buried at sea. When he arrived here and homesteaded, he named a pretty alpine lake after that daughter. He named another lake after his wife, Catherine. We have suggested to our W that he might like to be baptized in Lake Mary. It would be cold, but he does have a summer birthday, and it sure would be an amazing experience. (We'll leave the choice up to him of course, but we have planted the idea, and thus far he seems to like it!)
The hike is only about a mile each way, but it gains about 700ft altitude, so there are some steep parts! I wore S in the wrap on the way up, but he's 17lbs now, and that's enough that it was throwing my balance off on the way down, so Hubby wore him on the way down, and S fell asleep. I love that my sweet hubby likes to wear the baby too, and I think he was delighted to get to feel the trust of a baby just falling asleep in his arms again. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In The Middle

Sometimes it's hard to be a moderate.
Trust me, I'm a moderate.
Some of my friends (and family) think I am a nutty hippie, obsessed with avoiding 'normal' and doing things the hard way.
On the other hand, others of my friends think I'm frighteningly mainstream.
Is no one on the middle ground with me?

It's not that I'm a fence sitter. To the contrary, I make solid decisions and stand by them. I am not wavering on anything. However, I choose to stand on ground that is somewhere in the middle.

On one side, I'm berated for not following the states recommended vaccination schedule, or for considering not doing all the vaccinaions. On the other side, I'm chided for 'shooting that poison' into my kids at all.

Do I believe in using whole grains, organic produce, and grass-fed meat? Yes. Do I also love ice-cream, root beer, and chocolate? Oh you betcha.

Do I believe in reducing, reusing, recycling, and generally being good to the earth? Yes. And I drive a mini-van, and I'm a little bit of a pack rat. (I'm working on that!)

I wholeheartedly believe in a lot of things which I don't always manage to enact as I should or could or wish I did...

Do I trust every word my doctor says? No. Do I listen to his advice and research accordingly? Yes.
Do I trust everything my mother's naturopath says? No. Do I trust everything from the chiropracter, massage therapist, homeopath, osteopath, cranial-sacral therapist, midwife, or master herbalist says? No. But I take it as a starting point for my own research.
Do I belive anything anyone says? Sure. I believe the prophet...and I still do the research. God says to study it out, after all. God also says that by the power of the Holy Ghost, we may know the truth of all things. ALL things. Not just spiritual stuff, but ALL things. So how lazy would it be for me to not take him up on that?! After all, if I'm entitled to personal revelation, then I think I should go get it. Human sources (governments, doctors, friends) can give advice, but only God can give me specific direction for me and my family.

I respect all choices so long as they are made upon the foundation of education and inspiration. I do not respect decisions made without those things. "Because ____ said so" is a pathetic reason in my book. "Well, it's normal" or "everyone does it" are equally rediculous.

I shouldn't feel defensive about my positions--middle ground though they may be. I have based them in research and promptings about what is best for MY family. I should feel proud, and stand tall that I have taken the time to make these choices with care.
So don't push me around if I'm not the same as you. And by all means, don't feel obligated to be the same as me...just be sure you have a solid foundation for your choices.

:-)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Little Moocher in the Kitchen

This morning S helped me make breakfast.
First he acted very happy while rolling around on the floor with the dog and chewing on a piece of paper.
As soon as I had gotten two ingredients into the bowl (and was commited to baking something, rather than just making some toast), he began to wail "mamamamamama." (He had done this a couple of times now--saying 'mama'. I believe it is mostly intentional at this point. 6mo may be early for speech, but he's always been a verbal baby. So much for daddy's constant "da-da-da-da" to him.)
So I put him in the sling with the intent to continue cooking.
He helped by kicking the bowl and chewing on my measuring cups.
He did not get to help with putting the pan in the oven. He was very frustrated at this, but I had to draw the line somewhere!

I have been dressed for something under an hour. Thus far I have water, drool, flour, breastmilk, spit-up, and peach juice on my shirt. Maybe a little baby snot too, I'm not sure.
I have not combed my hair or eaten anything.
On the other hand, I've made breakfast, done a load of laundry, fed the baby (twice), fed and pottied the dog, and generally saved the world probably three or four times.
See kids, this is what parenthood looks like. Aren't you excited!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vaccines--Hep B

My stated requires 3 doses of Hepatitis B for school attendance. The MTC also recommends 3 doses.

The CDC recommends giving this vaccine to a baby immediately after birth, as well as at 1-2m, and 6-18m. If the vaccine is given to a child in their teens (11-15y), then only two doses are needed for full vaccination. Patients over the age of 14y have fewer side effects from this vaccine. The National Vaccine Information Center recommends that this vaccine only be given to high risk groups--not given routinely to children. (see below for information about risk groups)
Around 90% of people receiving this vaccination develop the desired antibodies (95% of children), but the rates drop with age (only 75% over 60y), so it is preferable to give this vaccine to younger people. Antibodies decrease with time, but vaccination is estimated to give immunity for 15 or more years (studies on this matter have not yet been completed). Current vaccination options are far less effective for people over 40, males, smokers, and those who are obese.
There are two versions of this vaccine: "Engenrix B" and "Recombivax HB." Both brands have *thimerosal-free versions, but both also have versions which contain *thimerosal, so know what you are getting! This is a genetically engineered vaccine, so it CANNOT give the actual disease...on the other hand, genetic engineering has its own problems.
*Thimerosal is a preservative which contains mercury
Some experts feel that this vaccine is related to rising rates of Multiple Sclerosis and Type 1 Diabetes in children. They have several studies to back this up (details in Dr Cave's book).

This vaccine contains yeast, aluminum hydroxide, latex (in the needle), and ethylene glycol. Allergen, poison, allergen, poison...do we need to go through all these again?

Hepatitis B is pretty ugly if you catch it. It messes with liver function, leading to jaundice (since the body can't get rid of toxins), and chronic Hep B is a common predecessor of liver cancer. 50% of infected adults are asymptomatic, and may pass on the disease unawares. Almost all children are asymptomatic. Approximately .5-1.5% of acute cases are fatal (2-300/year in the USA), and approximately 10% of cases become chronic carriers who can infect others (although they may still be asymptomatic and thus unaware of their carrier status). Chronic Hep B is not easy to treat--the most effective treatment seems to be Interferon, and it is only 25-50% effective. And the whole liver cancer thing...

Hepatitis B is a bloodborne pathogen. That means it is transmitted when bodily fluids, such as blood or semen, come in contact with the mucus membranes of another person. It is spread most often via sexual contact or shared needles. In other words, it is primarily a disease of promiscuous people, male homosexuals, and intravenous drug users. Is your baby a junkie hooker?! (The reason the CDC recommends giving this vaccine at birth is that there is some slight risk of the baby contracting Hep B from its mother during birth...IF she has the disease. There is also some slight risk to a small child if they were to be bitten by a HepB carrier, because saliva could infect them if their skin were broken by the bite.)
The lifetime risk of contracting Hepatitis B in the United States is <20%. (In China, Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Pacific Islands, and the Amazon, the risk is >60%)
Those in the USA at HIGH risk for contracting Hepatitis B are: homosexual males, illicit drug users, immigrants from areas with high risk of Hep B, and developmentally disabled persons who are in institutions. Those with MODERATE risk are: health care workers, prisoners, prison workers, promiscuous heterosexuals, and staff in institutions for the developmentally disabled.
The highest risk age group is 20-39. So why are we shooting this one into babies?

Hepatitis B rates in the USA have NOT CHANGED since the introduction of this vaccine. I believe this is because the children we are vaccinating are not the ones who were at risk anyway. The CDC says we need to spread awareness among high risk groups in order to see improvement.
Well duh!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My conclusions:
I feel that my children (indeed, most children) have little or no risk for this disease. Frankly, I don't really understand why it's on the 'required' list for school, OR for the MTC--even when traveling to a high risk area, a drug-free, chaste person is not really at risk.
I don't see this as a practical vaccine unless you fall into a risk group--personally or professionally.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

8 Random Things...

Caitlin tagged me for this one. Rules: list out 8 random things about yourself (presumably things that not everyone knows); then tag somebody else...
Ready?

1--I performed with a formation ballroom dance team when I was 17, and continued to dance in college...but no longer do (much) because my hubby doesn't dance. I miss it. :-(

2--I have been to 14 foreign countries: Canada, England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Italy, Vatican City, Greece, and Turkey. I still need to get to Norway, Scotland, and Denmark.

3--I have been to 48 of the 50 United States--I am missing Alaska. I have not been to New Mexico either, but I am not missing it!

4--I don't mind doing dishes and loading the dishwasher, but I HATE unloading it.

5--I was disgusted by the idea of cloth menstrual products...until I tried them...and now I will never look back!!! Ditto cloth diapers.

6--My husband and I share half birthdays (1/22 and 7/22). Our wedding (12/20) is on the half-anniversary of our meeting (6/20). (We celebrate our "Family Birthday" on that half-anniversary, because our anniversary is the week before Christmas.)

7--my favorite color is hot pink. It has been since high school. I also love black.

8--Before we were engaged, hubby and I were talking about rings, and I told him I would love to have a sapphire or an opal instead of a diamond. I meant it too. He's classic though, and he picked a diamond. I love it because he picked it for me, but it's probably not what I would have picked for myself. (I also would never have picked my own birthstone--ruby--because I'm not a fan of red!)

OK, Lollymom, NessaAnn, Magical Mama, you're up!!!

What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Children's Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave MD

"What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations"
by Stephanie Cave MD, FAAFP

Dr Cave is pro-vaccine, however she believes that vaccines are not without dangers. In this book, she discusses the realities of the diseases for which we vaccinate, as well as the medical information available about each vaccine. She does not say that something is proven if it is not (for example, the link between autism and vaccination), however, she discusses the facts behind the hypothesis (for example, that many vaccines used to contain mercury--some still do--and that the symptoms of mercury poisoning are almost identical to the symptoms of autism).
She also discusses the difference between natural immunity (that acquired by actually getting the disease) and vaccinated immunity, which is imperfect. Natural immunity is usually lifelong, whereas vaccinated immunity usually is not, and may last for as little as 7 years, or as long as 30+ years, depending on the vaccine. Dr Cave explains the difference between a 'live vaccine' (which is one with the live virus in it) and an 'inactivated vaccine' (where the virus has been killed prior to injection). Live vaccines may actually cause the disease they are meant to avoid--since they contain live virus. These cases are usually mild though, and may result in natural immunity, which is a good thing. On the other hand, while inactivated vaccines are considered safer, and will not cause the disease, they also have a lower rate of efficacy, and still have the risk for other side effects.

I found this book VERY informative, and would recommend that any parent who genuinely cares about their child's health should read this before making decisions about vaccinating (either for OR against).

Here are a couple of quotes from the book which I found particularly interesting:
"[A]n infant's immune system cannot adequately respond to a vaccine until he or she is four to six months old."
(She later explains that this is because the body does not produce bile until that age, and is therefor unable to flush out toxins such as aluminum and mercury which are in the vaccines.)

"Since the late 1950s, when mandatory mass vaccinations started in the United States, there has been an increase in the incidence of immune system and neurological disorders, including Attention Deficit Disorder, asthma, autism, childhood diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, learning disabilities, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic health problems."
(While not proven, many people feel that this is happening for one of the following reasons: 1--not catching these diseases is leaving the body without toxins to attack, and so it begins to attack itself. 2--ingredients in the vaccines are chemically similar to things in the body, and when the immune system begins to fight the vaccine it confuses the similar cells and also attacks healthy body parts [eg: arthritic symptoms]. 3--the disorders are responses to ingredients in the vaccines which are poison [eg: autism])

Howard Urnovitz, PhD, microbiologist, and founder of Chronic Illness Research Foundation, Berkley "there's no scientific evidence to prove that vaccines cause chronic diseases, but they [the government] won't fund any research in that area either. If you don't look for something, you won't find it."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dr Cave, as I mentioned, is in favor of vaccination. However, she has some recommendations for doing it safely:
  • Do not get ANY vaccination if you are even slightly ill, or have been so in the last two weeks. (The AAP says to avoid vaccination if you are moderately or severely ill, but that it's ok when mildly ill, such as just a cold.)
  • Know your own medical history, as well as your family's medical history. Avoid vaccines that you or a family member has had an adverse reaction to.
  • Know your allergies--avoid vaccines that have ingredients which you or a family member are allergic to (since food and medicine allergies often run in families).
  • Learn about each vaccination--read the package insert ahead of time, know the ingredients, know the risks and benefits, and know the proper way to administer it (under the skin or into the muscle) and be sure that your doctor gives it correctly.
  • Do not give multiple vaccinations at once (she feels that it is ok to give HiB and IPV together, but no others. She also recommends getting M, M, and R separately, rather than together, but is ok with the DTaP combo.)
  • Use single dose vials of vaccination serum, OR, if they are not available, have your care provider shake the vial prior to withdrawing your serum (to make sure that all ingredients are evenly mixed).
  • Insist on having mercury free vaccines. Every vax has a form that is mercury free, but not all doctors use them.
  • Give the vaccine recipient extra vitamin C and vitamin A for several days prior to the vaccination. (This helps the body cope with the toxic ingredients, and reduces the risks of adverse reactions.)
  • Do not get a vaccination for anything while pregnant.
  • Breastfeed for at least six months.

  • I have one recommendation of my own to add to the list, and it is similar to her recommendation of giving extra vitamins prior to vaccination--this advice came from my mother's naturopath, and that is to give the recipient echniacea (immune system booster) for several days before AND after the injection. Bolstering up the immune system in this manner helps the body respond positively to the vaccination--by making antibodies--rather than negatively.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Six Months Old

My baby is 6 months old today. It happens to be his cousin's birthday...it's a fun thing to share half birthdays (Hubby and I do!)
So, 6 months...he's old enough for solids now, right? Ah well, he's been nibbling on things for a couple of weeks. Today it was apricots, but in the last two weeks he's also tried banana, nectarine, apple, and watermelon. He liked them all--especially the nectarine, watermelon, and apricot which I put in a *baby safe feeder for him. He wasn't very excited about the whole spoon idea--he doesn't mind chewing on the spoon but doesn't want to eat off of it. But give him a BSF and he can hold it himself and suck out all the juice...and he's in heaven. I'll have to get a picture. Today he had apricot pulp out to his ears. (Oh, he's also tried plain cracked wheat and rice cereal...the rice cereal he feels is not truly food, and I have decided to agree with him and will probably not try it again...especially since it involves prepareing something separate for him. But the cracked wheat is something I eat, and he always wants whatever I'm eating, so he'll get more tries of that!)

*The baby safe feeder was invented by a father whose baby nearly choked to death on a teething biscuit. It has a little plastic handle which the baby can hold, and a mesh baggie into which I can put fruit or veggies. The baby can suck the juice (and a lot of pulp) out of the food, but without danger of choking. It's also nice because not only do I not need to worry about choking, but I also don't have to worry about peeling or removing seeds...I'm so glad someone thought to invent this!

"I Want to be Just Like You"...Thoughts on Parenting

This morning I heard a favorite song of mine on the radio. Sometimes it makes me cry, but it always strengthens my resolve to be a better parent. I wanted to share it here. (It's written from a father's perspective, but is still applicable of course.)

"I Want to be Just Like You"
performed by Phillips, Craig and Dean
Written by Dan Dean and Joy Becker

He climbs in my lap for a goodnight hug
He calls me Dad and I call him Bug
With his faded old pillow and a bear named Pooh
He snuggles up close and says, "I want to be like you"
I tuck him in bed and I kiss him goodnight
Trippin' over the toys as I turn out the light
And I whisper a prayer that someday he'll see
He's got a father in God 'cause he's seen Jesus in me

Lord, I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be just like me
I want to be a holy example
For his innocent eyes to see
Help me be a living Bible, Lord
That my little boy can read
I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be like me

Got to admit I've got so far to go
Make so many mistakes and I'm sure that you know
Sometimes it seems no matter how hard I try
With all the pressures in life I just can't get it all right
But I'm trying so hard to learn from the best
Being patient and kind, filled with Your tenderness
'Cause I know that he'll learn from the things that he sees
And the Jesus he finds will be the Jesus in me

Lord, I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be just like me
I want to be a holy example
For his innocent eyes to see
Help me be a living Bible, Lord
That my little boy can read
I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be like me

Right now from where he stands I may seem mighty tall
But it's only 'cause I'm learning from the best Father of them all

Lord, I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be just like me
I want to be a holy example
For his innocent eyes to see
Help me be a living Bible, Lord
That my little boy can read
I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be like me

I want to be just like You
'Cause he wants to be like me

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cooking With Me

I've done it. I've started a recipe blog.
I try to stick to healthy foods most of the time. I believe that natural (organic) foods taste better, in addition to being better for you, and I try to utilize a variety of foods in my cooking. I get really bored having just the same few things all the time, so I'm always interested in new recipes or different flavors.
In the blog, I'm tagging each recipe with an ingredient list, so if you know that you're fond of tomatoes for example (or you have 14 zucchini and no idea what to do with them all!) then you can search the sidebar by ingredient, and find recipes with that ingredient. I'm also tagging by ethnicity (if applicable), so if you're fond of Indian, well, you can search by that!
I'll also be sharing links to my favorite online recipe sources.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vaccines--Hep A

Two doses of Hep A are required for school attendance. The MTC also recommends this vaccination for any missionaries who will be traveling internationally. (The CDC suggests that risk is negligible in USA, Canada, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Risk is particularly high in Central and South America, Asia, the Middle East, most parts of Africa, and the Western Pacific.)

Hepatitis A vaccines come in 3 forms: Havrix, VAQTA, and Twinrix (which is a Hep A/Hep B combo). Havrix contains the preservative 2-phenoxyathenol, while VAQTA has no preservatives, however the CDC warns that neither is approved for administration to a child under the age of 2. I could not find information about approved ages for Twinrix, but considering that it contains the same Hep A as the others, I presume that the >2 years old guideline holds. [update--Twinrix is an adult dose, and only approved over age 18, so it's not a valid option if you are considering it for childhood vaccinations.]
Full vaccination consists of 2 doses, a minimum of 6 months apart. The vaccination schedule recommends giving this vaccine between the ages of 12-24 months (did they not read the Pink Book?! The CDC even put the "not approved under 24 months" part in boldface!)

Hepatitis A is the most common form of Hepatitis reported in the United States. It is often thought of as a foodborne illness, but that is not entirely accurate. Hep A is actually acquired via fecal-oral transmission (yes, you heard that right--you get sick when poo from an infected person gets into your mouth). So, in other words, if someone with Hep A neglects to wash their hands after using the toilet, and then handles your food, then yes, you could get Hep A 'from food'...but it wasn't really the food.
In the United States, approximately 14% of reported cases of Hep A come from 'personal contact' with an infected person (this could be sexual, or just regular household contact such as diaper changes, cleaning the bathroom, etc). 10% of cases came from male homosexual activity; 8% were daycare related; 6% drug use; 5% international travel; and 4% foodborne. However, since 45% of Hep A infections came from 'unknown sources,' we actually have no way to know if any of the data here is actually correct...
Risk groups for Hepatitis A are: international travelers, homosexual men, illegal drug users, those with blood clotting disorders, and people who work with Hep A-infected primates. Food handlers, health care workers, and waste management workers are NOT at increased risk, although their diligence or negligence could affect the risk of others.

As an interesting note, Hepatitis A rates are disproportionately high in the western part of the United States in recent decades. Between 1987-97, 11 states (AZ, AK, OR, NM, UT, WA, OK, SD, ID, NV, and CA) reported 50% of the nation's cases of Hep A, in spite of the fact that they have only 22% of the nation's population. So, for those living in those states, I would infer that risk is somewhat higher than for those residing in other parts of the country.

If one is infected with Hepatitis A, it is almost always very mild. The highest rates of infection are between the ages of 5-14 years old, but as many as 70% of children under age 6 are asymptomatic (this means that the virus gets into their system, but nothing happens). Asymptomatic infection does increase the risk for those around the child though, since nobody knows they are infected, and may not take proper hygenic precautions (with a potty-training child for example). In older people, asymptomatic infection is not common, and >70% get jaundice.
Hepatitis A is fatal in about 0.3% of acute cases (increasing to 2% of cases where the person is over 40 years old). That may be an inaccurately high number though, since so many cases are asymptomatic that it is virtually impossible to know how many people are or have been actually infected.

In the event of an outbreak, vaccination seems to be effective at disrupting continued spread of the infection.
At this time, no serious reactions have been attributed to any Hep A vaccine. The vaccines are too new for comprehensive studies to be completed about duration of efficacy, however the CDC estimates that immunity is effective for 20+ years.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My conclusions:
While the true danger of this disease seems minimal, and the risk of acquiring it also fairly low, it does seem a wise precaution for international travel--especially to third world countries. Considering that we hope/plan to travel, and also that we live in one of those western states, we will be getting this vaccine for our children, however we will wait until they are at least 2 before beginning the series.

And the Doctor says...

Here are some quotes from educated people--most of them doctors--about vaccination: (thanks to my friend Alisa for the references! She has a WEALTH of carefully-researched information at her blog)

Boldfacing found within the quotes is mine.


"There is a great deal of evidence to prove that immunisation of children does more harm than good."
Dr J Anthony Morris, former Chief Vaccine Control Officer, US Food and Drug Administration

"Official data have shown that the large-scale vaccinations undertaken in the US have failed to obtain any significant improvement of the diseases against which they were supposed to provide protection."
Dr A. Sabin, developer of the Oral Polio vaccine (lecture to Italian doctors in Piacenza, Italy, Decemeber 7th 1985)

"Laying aside the very real possibility that the various vaccines are contaminated with animal viruses and may cause serious illness later in life, we must consider whether the vaccines really work for their intended purpose."
Dr W.C. Douglas (Cutting Edge, May 1990)

"No batch of vaccine can be proved to be safe before it is given to children"
Surgeon General Leonard Scheele (AMA Convention 1955, USA)

"The only wholly safe vaccine is a vaccine that is never used"
Dr James A. Shannon, National Institute of Health, USA

"Live virus vaccines against influenza and paralytic polio, for example, may in each instance cause the disease it is intended to prevent..."
Dr Jonas Salk, developer of first polio vaccine (Science 4/4/77 Abstracts)
[It should here be noted that no 'wild' polio has been recorded in the United States in the last decade or so...but that ALL cases of polio have been the result of vaccination...]


On Smallpox

"Vaccination does not protect, it actually renders its subjects more susceptible by depressing vital power and diminishing natural resistance, and millions of people have died of smallpox which they contracted after being vaccinated."Dr J.W. Hodge (The Vaccination Superstition)

"Immunisation against smallpox is more hazardous than the disease itself."Professor Ari Zuckerman, World Health Organisation


Whooping Cough

"There is no doubt in my mind that in the UK alone some hundreds, if not thousands of well infants have suffered irreparable brain damage needlessly and that their lives and those of their parents have been wrecked in consequence."
Professor Gordon Stewart, University of Glasgow (Here's Health, March 1980)

"My suspicion, which is shared by others in my profession, is that the nearly 10,000 SIDS deaths that occur in the US each year are related to one or more of the vaccines that are routinely given to children. The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is the most likely villain , but it could also be one or more of the others."
Dr R Mendelsohn, Author and Professor of Paediatrics (How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor)

"The worst vaccine of all is the whooping cough vaccine...it is responsible for a lot of deaths and for a lot of infants suffering irreversible brain damage.."
Dr Archie Kalokerinos, Author and Vaccine Researcher (Natural Health Convention, Stanwell Tops, NSW, Australia 1987)


Polio

"Many here voice a silent view that the Salk and Sabin polio vaccine, being made of monkey kidney tissue has been directly responsible for the major increase in leukaemia in this country."
Dr F. Klenner, Polio Researcher, USA

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vaccines--HiB

The Hib vaccine is not required for school, so it an optional vaccine, even for those who believe in full, on schedule, vaccination.

It is an inactive vaccination, which means that they kill the virus before injecting it. This means that it is a reletively safe in that regard (you're not terribly likely to catch the actual disease from the vaccination). However, the vaccination also contains ethanol (toxic, a depressent and tranquilizer) and aluminum hydroxide (which causes constipation, loss of appitite, tiredness, and muscle weakness). Aluminum is also a heavy metal, and getting too much into your system at once will poison you; especially if you are small. This vaccine is also one (of several) which has been linked to increasing rates of Type1 Diabetes in children.

The first HiB vaccine came out in 1983, but was pulled in 1985, because it was not effective for children under 18 months old (which is when the primary danger is), and furthermore it actually caused a few cases of HiB. In 1990 a new HiB vaccine was licensed. The current vaccination is successful (gives immunity) approximately 93-95% of the time

It is on the schedule at 2m, 4m, 6m, 12-15m (booster) and 'catch-up' doses can be given up to age 3. If the child has not been vaccinated for HiB at all, and is over 15m, then the CDC says that one dose is considered sufficient for full vaccination. Doses must be a minum of 4 weeks apart, but 8 weeks apart is optimum. The last dose must be given after the age of 12m and must be a minimum of 8 weeks after the prior dose.
The CDC states that the HiB vaccine does not require booster doses (although one is on the schedule!!) It is not given to older children or adults. (We shall soon see why!)

HiB itself is NOT a type of flu, but is mis-named because the doctor who originally identified it thought that it was related to the flu which was going around at the time, and named it accordingly (Haemophilus influenza type B). Nobody has bothered to correct the name. In and of itself, HiB is really not dangerous, but has been found to lead to meningitis (inflamation of the brain), which, of course, is dangerous. HiB was almost unknown until recent decades, and the medical community believes that it is probalby the result of a mutation of an older bacteria, and that the mutation probably resulted from increasing usage of antibiotics. HiB is usually ampicillin-resistent--a confirmed example of mutation and resistence to antibiotics. (Yes, boys and girls, we are making super bugs now.)
Risk factors for Hib include: weak or weakened immune system, poor diet, being in daycare, smoking (including second-hand smoke), bad housing/living conditions, and not being breastfed. The risk of getting HiB is also somewhat increased during the 7 days immediately following a HiB vaccination. HiB is almost unheard of among breastfed, non-daycare children (whether vaccinated or not). Getting an invasive (ie-serious) infection of HiB is very rare even among higher risk groups. (In other words, even if you get it, you will most likely just get a really mild case.) HiB is most common around 6-7m old, and is virtually non-existent in children over the age of 5.

Prior to the invention of the HiB vaccination, most children acquired natural immunity by 5 or 6, via asymptomatic infection (ie, they got the virus but had no symptoms or 'sickness' from it).
One interesting observation is that HiB via vaccine introduces only one type of antibody, whereas natural HiB introduces several types, and may provide more complete protection than the vaccine is able to.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There you have it. That is the research.
My conclusion? Unless the baby will be in daycare, or will not be breastfed, there is not much point in getting this vaccine. If your child is in a low risk group, and since getting the vaccine increases the risk of infection, I would venture to say that for some people getting the vaccine may actually make them more likely to get HiB than if they did not get it. Something to think about! If you do want to get it, your child can get 'fully vaccinated' in just one dose (rather than four) if you do it at age 15m or later. However, since the primary risk is around age 6m, is there a point in vaccination at 15m?!

Vaccines--Introduction

Today I am beginning a series of entries about vaccines. I believe that vaccines are good in general, but that there are dangers associated with them, and that it is a poor parent who does not take some time to research them and make choices for their child, rather than just blindly accepting the "recommended schedule" pushed by most pediatricians. Many vaccines are not safe for some children (such as those with milk or egg allergies), or are not safe at certain times/ages. Some vaccines are not safe for any children (such as the recent rotateq--which has killed more babies than the last rotovirus vaccine which was pulled from the market because it was killing babies...). Some vaccines are not even effective (such as the varicella vaccine, which even the manufacturer discribes as being effective for a maximum of 10 years--in other words, as soon as the child is old enough that chicken pox would actually be a severe disease, their vaccination wears off...) Futhermore, many new vaccinations are being released to the market without sufficient testing (the HPV vaccination is causing paralysis, Rotateq is causing death...how did we not test for these things prior to injecting the unsuspecting public?!)

I wish to make one thing very clear right from the beginning--vaccination is NOT the same as immunization. When one is immunized, one is immune from the effects of a disease--this can happen by getting the disease and building up sufficient antibodies, OR (thoretically) by vaccination--by being injected with some form of the disease which is supposed to trigger that same buildup of antibodies. Therefore, I am very careful about which term I use--vaccination and immunization are two very different things, and one is not always connected to the other.

Now, as I said, I do believe in vaccinating. BUT, I do not believe in getting all available vaccinations, nor do I believe in getting as many doses or as early as the schedules recommend. I have been researching this at length, and my research comes from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the Pink Book (the CDC's official vax information book), and the package inserts that come with the vaccines themselves. I am not making this up. I am not being suckered in by emotional inflamatory arguments. I am basing my choices on hard science. Facts. If you are bothered by that, or if you have neglected to do the research for your own family, shame on you.

The sites from which I have gleaned my information:
Center for Disease Control
CDC's Pink Book
Utah Public Schools Requirements for Vaccination
Utah Health Department's Recommendations for Vaccination (Also includes listings of the MTC's recommendations for missionaries)
Health Sentinel (this site has graphs of infection rates, and shows their changes over time, including the affect of the introduction of various vaccines.)
Package Inserts (This is actually a series of articles which summarize the contents of the package inserts. Each article includes a link to the original insert, but those are hard to slog through. I know this author personally, and hold her above reproach in her research. All the research I have done backs up everything I have found in her articles.)

You Know You're A Breastfeeding Mom If...

I collected this list from MDC and thought I would share, as it has had me in stitches over and over again...

* you hear the doorbell and look down to make sure you're not hanging out.
* you hear the doorbell and forget to look down and make sure that you're not hanging out (and end up giving the UPS man the surprise of his life).
* you buy clothing based on how well you can nurse in it.
* you feel the almost irresistable urge to nurse other people's crying (or formula fed) babies.
* you think nothing of grabbing and groping yourself in public to figure out which side to nurse on first.
* you wake up with a breast hanging out of your nighty, but can't remember taking it out.
* you are really good at one-handed typing because you are always NAK (nursing at keyboard).
* you blame your typos on NAK.
* your children--female AND MALE nurse their baby dolls.
* your three year old picks up a bottle at playgroup and says "what's this?"
* your five year old loves the new kitten so much she nurses it.
* you don't bother latching up your bra (or wearing a shirt) because you know you'll be nursing again in a few minutes.
* you wake up with hickies on your breast because the baby tried to latch on himself and it took a few tries to find the right spot.
* when your six year old (loudly) announces to a stranger in the store that they need to nurse their crying baby.
* when you nurse while walking around shopping...
* even without a sling!
* you are starving all the time.
* your husband has to cut up your meat for you because you're always eating one-handed (because the baby likes to eat when you do).
* you're not lactating, but still want to nurse sad babies (or grandbabies).
* you squirt things (or people) with your milk. On purpose.
* you take family pictures and don't realize that you have a breast hanging out.
* you have breast pads laying all over the house.


YOU KNOW YOU'RE EXTENDED BREASTFEEDING IF...
* you get out of the shower and are drying your legs and your toddler runs in and latches on...
* when your toddler sees you changing clothes and always want to nurse (because of the sight of the almighty milky maker!)
* you are in a public place and your toddler announces (loudly) "I want booby" or something of that nature...
* your toddler points to the bras in the store and exclaims "milk! milk!"
* your toddler points to busty women and yells "milk!"


YOU KNOW YOU'RE A BREASTFEEDING FATHER (FATHER OF A BREASTFED CHILD) IF...
* you feel sorry for women who feel like they have to hide under huge blankets or covers when nursing in public.
* you feel sorry for bottle-fed babies.
* you know your wife's nursing bra size.
* you know how to disassemble, clean, and reassemble your wife's nursing pump.
* the baby cries so you bring it to your wife to nurse.

"Food is for fun...

...until they are one"

http://www.tribalbaby.org/babyLedEating.html

How nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. :-)

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Horrible Mother

Sometimes I am a horrible mother.
I have all these ideals about how I want to raise my children, but sometimes I don't do them very well.
*I believe in wearing my baby, keeping him close to my body where he feels secure and comfortable...but several times I've carried him into the store in the 'baby bucket' carrier carseat.
*I believe in feeding my family wholesome, natural foods...but right now there are (homemade) peanut butter cups in my fridge, and ice cream in my freezer. And I've eaten from both in the last 24 hours.
*I believe in gentle discipline, with no yelling or spanking or illogical consequences/punishments and no 'because I said so' reasoning...but I've done all of the above at various points.
*I believe in buying locally and supporting small business...but sometimes I go to Target, or even [gasp] to Walmart.
*I believe babies should be 100% breastfed until at least age 6mo...but at 5.5mo when S was begging, I let him start tasting my food. I believe that no baby needs juice, even 100% juice (even watered down), and that if you're going to give it to them you should wait until they are around a year...but today when S was inconsolable, and started reaching for my cup of juice, I put a half oz of juice (and 2 oz of water) in a bottle and let him have it. He ADORED it, and stopped screaming long enough for me to eat some dinner.
Sometimes I feel like such a hypocrite. I believe in these things. I tell the world loud and clear what I think about how we all should be...and then I'm not much of an example of it, am I? I want to be the perfect mother, but sometimes I am just clinging to survival...

S spit up most of the juice afterwards, by the way, but at least he's finally happy.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Harry Potter Time!

I did it. I just ordered Harry Potter 7 from costco.com. I recommend it--it's $18.99 instead of $35.99, and even after shipping and tax it's only about $23. And yes, it's the hardcover and all that. The real thing. :-) If you order before July 16, it will be shipped in time to arrive on July 21--the official release date.
Hubby said now the only question is which of us gets to read it first (in the past we've always been able to get our hands on multiple copies...). Well, my birthday is the 22nd, so I think I should get dibs, right? It's only fair!
Actually, I will let him have it because I probalby will re-read 5 and 6 to get myself re-oriented on what's going on...I know that when I read 6 I was lost on a bunch of stuff because so much had happened in 5 and it had been two years since I'd read it...so I think another review session would be good... I read books 1-4 about a month before 5 came out, so no review was nescessary that time, but now, yeah, it's been a while, and my brainpower is deminishing by the day due to motherhood. :)
Actually, I will probably watch the movie of 5, then re-read 6, then read 7...Hubby better read fast, because I read faster than he does!

Little Moocher

Bear loves food. He doesn't need it for nutrition, as he's still very breastfed (and will continue to get as much nutrition as he needs/wants from that source for at least another year). BUT, he has become obsessed with everything he sees me eat. Two months ago he started watching me eat, and a couple of weeks ago he started reaching for my food, knocking my plate around, and complaining mightily if I did not share. So, last week, I shared.
I was eating a nectarine, it was nice and juicy, so I let Bear suck on it for a moment. He was THRILLED. He grabbed my hand with both of his, held the nectarine to his face, latched on solidly, and sucked and sucked. He was not happy when I pulled it away so that I could have another bite.
The next day I was eating an apple, and shared with him in a similar fashion.
Almost a full week later, I got myself an apple and was about to bite in when S let out a horrible wail. He writhed and shrieked until I let him have a little suck...then he cooed in happiness...until I retrieved the apple for myself again, then the shrieking resumed until I gave back the apple. Have I created a monster?!
Being fully aware of his fascination with 'real' food, and since he is very nearly 6months old now, I decided to go ahead and try giving him a little rice cereal (made with fresh breastmilk). He spat it out and gave me a dirty look as if to say "what is this fake junk you're giving me?" He did enjoy chewing on the spoon though.
It has gotten me thinking: for millenia 'baby food' and 'baby cereal' was nonexistent. Who is to say that we need it now? We feel no need to wean the child by a certain date, so why not let food just be an experiment, an additional part of exploring his world? Of course I'll be conscientious of potential allergens (like peanuts, dairy, soy, and tomato), of botulism (honey), and choking hazards...but otherwise, why not let him eat what he wants to try?
This morning I mashed up a little banana with some breastmilk. He liked that much better than the rice cereal. He still liked the spoon best of all though. Go figure.

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