Friday, August 31, 2007


If you or anyone you know does choose to be induced PLEASE dont let them give you Cytotec. Cytotec is a drug used for ulcers but is now also used to induce labor. *It is not approved for the purpose of inducing labor* It can work well for some, but for some the consequences are severe - even deadly.

I came across the package insert from Cytotecs manufactuerer, Pfizer. Besides numerous warnings against taking it while pregnant it says:

Cytotec has been reported to cause the uterus to rupture (tear) when given after the eighth week of pregnancy. Rupture (tearing) of the uterus can result in severe bleeding, hysterectomy, and/or maternal or fetal death.

THIS news story by CBS is about a woman whose baby died as a result of being induced with Cytotec :( It also says that company has repeatedly emphasized that its not for the induction of labor - but Dr.s continue to use it anyways and insist its safe.

Its very cheap, its fast and its easy to administer. Why wouldnt Dr.s love it?

The biggest risk is uterine rupture - especially in mothers who have had previous csetions. It can also cause severe, long-lasting contractions, fetal distress and hemorrhaging.

Article from

Article from

Cytotec used as abortifacient :(

Article from Ina May Gaskin

Warning from FDA not to use Cytotec to induce labor!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Childbirth - Inductions

Natural Childbirth is a passion of mine. It something I feel very strongly about so its hard for me to write about it, although I have plenty to say ;) I never want to make any woman feel bad for her choices but I do feel an obligation to educate women so that they dont go into the hospital as passive patients and end up victims of intervention. Of course there are medical emergencies where intervention is a blessing but a lot of times "medically managing" endangers the mother and the baby.

[*DISCLAIMER* Please do not feel judged or condoned by this information. This is an issue in which I fall very far onto the "crunchy" side of things. My intention is to share facts to help those who want to birth their babies in a different way or heal from past deliveries. If you are happy with your birth then no worries!]

HERE is a really neat article from this week in the LA times. It reviews the very popular trend in our country of induction. Many times inductions are elective, even before the Estimated Due Date (EDD). This puts mom and baby at an increased risk. An excerpt:

When the cervix is optimal (it must be opened and thinned out enough to allow the baby's head to pass through the vagina), labor averages about nine hours in a first-time pregnancy, according to Intermountain. If the cervix is not ready, however, an average labor is about 22 hours. The guidelines (to only induce under certain criteria) have reduced rates of elective labor inductions performed before 39 weeks gestation from 28% in 1999 to 3.4% in 2006. The percentage of first-time moms with an elective induction has fallen from 15% in 2003 to 4.7%.

Some hospitals have csections rates as high as 50%!! (average rate in the US is 25%) There is NO way that many women need a csection. Most Dr.s wont even let women attempt a vaginal-birth-after-cesarean because of fear of being sued. Many women are scared of the stories they hear about uteran rupture but its in fact very rare and not any more common than complications from a cesarean.

According to this study from the College of Midwives, inducing women who have had a previous csection greatly increases the risk of uterine rupture. Women who go into labor spontaneously post-cesarian actually have less of a risk of rupture than those who have an elective repeat csection or are induced. (study)

From a study done Feb of this year, 2007

A study published in the 13 February 2007 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that women that have planned caesareans had an overall rate of severe morbidity of 27.3 per 1000 deliveries compared to an overall rate of severe morbidity of 9.0 per 1000 planned vaginal deliveries. The planned caesarean group had increased risks of cardiac arrest, wound haematoma, hysterectomy, major puerperal infection, anaesthetic complications, venous thromboembolism, and haemorrhage requiring hysterectomy over those suffered by the planned vaginal delivery group. [8]

My issue is not with personal choices but with the lack of education many women today have regarding their own bodies and the safety of commonly practiced medical interventions. Many women think cesarians are so common that they must be safe. Ive heard women say they want an elective cesarian just to avoid the whole pain of labor. They are obviously missing a big piece of the picture to think that a major abdominal surgery is a better choice than a few hours of pain.

I am a doula and attended the birth of a friend yesterday. She had studied hypnobirthing as I did for my last two (drug-free) deliveries. She has a VERY fast, very beautiful and natural delivery. She was calm and collected and didnt even make a peep as she pushed her baby out in two contractions! I am so happy for her that she got to experience the thrill of letting your body birth babies as God has designed us too! I want this for every woman who wants it for herself :) (and thats why Im a doula!)

more to come on this .....

Monday, August 27, 2007


I am facing my sugar demons and I promise you its something Id rather ignore. I love a big bowl of ice cream after the kids are all in bed, to unwind from a hard day. But its not good for me and Im being a hypocrite because I dont let my kids have sugar.

So. Im going to talk about it until I convince myself of how totally evil it is. Special occasions are ok of course. I am going to visit family this month and I assure you if my sister and I are together - there WILL be chocolate ;). But everything in moderation and when Im back Ill be off of it again (Ive lost several pounds since I stopped eating sugar 2wks ago!).

Check out Ferbit's blog entry about how sugar affects the immune system: Green Republican

She mentions that ONE teaspoon of sugar can lower your immune system for 5hrs.

1 tsp sugar = 4 grams.

Here are some example so you can see how quickly your sugar content adds up in a day:

  • 3/4 cup Honey Nut Cheerios: 9 grams (more than 2 tsp of sugar!)
  • 1 Snickers bar: 29.8 grams sugar
  • Kellogs Cereal Bar (apple cinnamon) = 13 grams (Id rather have half a snickers bar LOL!)
  • 8 oz Orange Juice = 22 grams sugar (even 100% juice is processed by your body just like sugar - sorry!)
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms = 48 grams of sugar (ouch!)
  • 1 cup Ragu Spaghetti sauce = 10.8 grams
  • Sonic Blast, Large = over 100 grams of sugar!!!! (ask me how I know LOL)

I can eat M&Ms with the best of them. But I cant imagine just chewing on 14 teaspoons of sugar - YUCK.

We are no longer buying Orange Juice. We are trying to switch to some healthier breakfasts like Steel Cut Oats with stevia and cinnamon or eggs instead of the organic shredded wheat they often eat (more on breakfast cereal on another day).

anyone want to get on the No-Sugar bandwagon with me? ;)

EDITED TO ADD: Its nearly impossible to eat ZERO sugar. I dont want to be a sugar-natzi and never enjoy life. I should clarify that we dont eat sugary drinks, juice, cookies, ice cream, candy, etc. If its a whole wheat product that has *a little* sugar then Im ok with that for the kids. But no junk. I guess thats relative LOL but I just try to error on the side of not eating it if Im not sure ;)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Lead in Childrens Jewelry

Im very upset about this. My daughter has worn jewelry, 99% made by me, since birth. I bought good-quality Swarovski crystals thinking that was a good thing but apparently the better the quality, the higher the lead content. I read a little before and one site I read said you'd have to ground the crystal into a powder and have your child eat it to be dangerous. That made sense to me - or maybe I just wanted to believe they were safe.

But since all this lead controversy with the toys being recalled I felt like I should research it again....... They can actually get lead poisoning just from sucking on the crystals :( We've highly discouraged J from doing that but I know she has at times, had them in her mouth. (article)

So Ive pulled those bracelets from my stores and Im replacing any that I sold with glass beads which are lead-free (like cat eye beads).

Im so sick over this :(

J has a check-up next month and Ill have having all the kids lead-tested (for this and because we own so many toys from China). We also owned those vinyl bibs that were recalled from Walmart :(

*You can buy lead-testing kits HERE. Also check this site for recent recalls.*

Also stay away from pacifiers decorated with crystals. They are being recalled for the same reason.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bye-bye Paper Plates!

Hi. My name is Rachel and Im addicted to Paper Plates.

It must have begun when I was pregnant with #3, but Im not sure. I began using paper plates to make life easier for myself. After quite awhile of wasting money and killing the environment I read about not using bleached products with your food. Duh. So that made sense and I stopped putting anything hot on them to avoid the leaching of chemicals like dioxin into our food. But I still felt guilty everytime I used one to make a sandwhich on and then it was thrown away 20 mins longer.

Finally, about a month ago, I ran out and decided not to buy anymore. I still wish I had them sometimes and I do still cheat every now and then and make a sandwhich on a paper towel, but otherwise I am just using glass plates for everything. (Ikea has great inexpensive glass plates/bowls for the kids)

I dont think Im running the dishwasher too much more often because extra plates dont take up that much room. So I like to think Im saving money, keeping my home healthier and helping the environment at the same time.

Now I can start trying to wean myself from my beloved paper towels........

- Eye-opening lesson plan about bleached paper products

- Article #2: More info and what you can do to make a change

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Response to a Comment

This is in response comments on my Johnson&Johnson post.

It makes me sad that apparently many of you feel that I am condescending in the way I write things on this blog. I dont understand, since Im usually writing against the FDA and large corporations, on behalf of our children, but if thats how Ive made you feel, I sincerely apologize.

I started this blog as a place to get out everything I was learning - it was driving me crazy having it all inside my head. I also wanted to help educate other moms so that they could make healther choices for their families like Im trying to do.

I started not knowing about trans fat, parabens, the dangers of plastics, etc. just like everyone else. Sacarasm that I sometimes use in my posts is directed ONLY at the agencies and corporations that KNOW things are dangerous and yet, because of money, continue to pass them down to consumers. It makes me FURIOUS that companies make choices they know will harm our children (case in point: Thomas the Train).

I cant take the passion out of my writing or my blog will be pointless. I will, however, do my best to write in a way that is encouraging to other moms who read. Again, please forgive me for the times that I have offended you.
- Rachel

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Johnson and Johnson

I was at Target and looking at their selection of Ca Baby products (for which care has actually been taken to make them healthy and safe)

I glanced over and saw J&J has a new natural looking product line called "Johnson's Soothing Naturals". I picked it up to read the label and saw exactly what I thought I would - a long list of chemicals, names I cant pronounce and even cancer-causing parabens. It even has trans fat it in - yuck, who wants to rub that into their skin?!?!

Wow, but be impressed ... it has Vitamin E, Olive Leaf Extract and "skin essential minerals" (whatever that is).

Shame on you Johnson&Johnson.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Potassium Aspartate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Magnesium Aspartate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Sarcosine, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Fragrance.

* My whole point is this: Was J&J was happy that Ca Baby got a nationwide contract with Target? Of course not! Before, they had the baby lotion market cornered. They know that consumers are now demanding more and more natural products and that means a profit loss for them. So they purposefully created a product that sounds/looks more natural and purposefully put it right next to the Ca Baby products at Target. They know that if they actually made an effort to change some of their ingredients it would implicate all the other products they sell are unhealthy. So they count on people not knowing the difference and use MARKETING to make sure they keep making money. This is plain and simple, deception. It makes me upset. I posted about it so that we could all know that there IS a difference - a big difference. I dont know what half those ingredients are but I do recognize some that I know are not safe - parabens and fragrance, to name two. Ca Baby managed to make a lotion without them and they did it because they really wanted to make a product that is healthy, not just make more money. My hope is that you get upset with J&J with me and let other people know to not fall for this marketing scheme.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Polio Vaccine

Vaccine Facts:

- The Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is a live vaccine and the virus can be passed through the feces of the vaccinated
- OPV has not been used in the US since 2000 because the only cases of Polio between 1980-2000 were from OPV
- We now use an innactive vaccine (IPV) called IPOL made by Sanofi Pasteur
- Two doses acheive a 90% effectiveness and Three doses, 99%
- If 4 doses are given before age 2, no 5th dose is needed at age 4/5.
- The vaccine should not be given to people allergic to streptomycin, polymyxin B, formaldehyde or neomycin
-Reaction rate is lower than a lot of other vaccines. Most common complaint is irritability and tiredness (according to package insert)

CDC reference
Package Insert

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


any requests for the next vaccine to cover? (after I finish Polio)


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Polio 2

I kept wondering why some sites claimed DDT "caused" Polio. Then I remembered that I read that Dr.s were not required to actually TEST to verify that their patient had Polio. Since the symptoms of Polio mirror those of poisoning and meningitis it is easy to see how thousands of people could have been misdiagnosed as having Polio prior to the introduction of the vaccine.

  • Most people just had flu-like symptoms.
  • 5-10% developed nonparalytic aseptic meningitis with symptoms like fever, headache, vomitting, neck pain and stiffness, muscle spasms, fatigue, etc. that lasted 2-10 days.
  • 1% develop the more severe paralytic polio (source)

Meningitis can be caused by MANY, many, many other things besides Polio. Without a spinal tap it would be impossible to know if it was Polio or not, even with some muscle weakness/stiffness. In the middle of the epidemics of the 1950's there was panic and it seems very plausible that many were misdiagnosed.

more to come......

Saturday, August 11, 2007


The Wikipedia says that:
- the name poliomyelitis means inflamation of the spinal cord.
- its a virus spread through fecal matter (fecal-oral transmission)
- 90% of cases are asymptomatic (!)
- only 1% of cases of Polio cause paralysis

I read an article recently, about Polio and its "erradication" supposedly due to vaccines, that was VERY interesting. If your parents grew up in the 50's like mine did then they will surely have some strong opinions about the Polio vaccine but there may be more to the story. This article sheds a different light, worth considering. Ill share a recap.

- The largest epidemic was in 1950. It had already begun to decline when the vaccine was introduced in 1955.

- Prior to 1954 diagnosis was made if paralysis was present longer than 24hrs. After 1955 the requirement was changed to paralysis lasting longer than 60 days!!!! All other cases were labaled as meningitis. "Polio" cases went down, but meningitis cases went up!

- Polio trends in the 1900's directly related to the use of DDT - a pesticide sprayed openly on pastures, parks, etc. (see graph here)

Info from Article on Polio from the Vacination Liberation site

Second article "Hiding Polio". An excerpt:
"Polio has not been eradicated by vaccination, it is lurking behind a
redefinition and new diagnostic names like viral or aseptic
meningitis.......According to one of the 1997 issues of the MMWR, there are some 30,000 to 50,000 cases of viral meningitis per year in the United States alone. That's where all those 30,000 - 50,000 cases of polio disappeared after the introduction of mass vaccination"---Viera Scheibner

This is definitely an intersting theory. To think they sprayed parks with DDT while children were playing at them (!!!!!!) is horrifying. I wouldnt be surprised at all if that was poisoning people. We all know what enviromental toxins can do to the body because we live in the autism era.

Another article on the possible causes of Polio, including the spraying of DDT. Flies were suspected of causing it which is why they sprayed and fields and fields of crops and animals with DDT :(

Polio is a VIRUS. Im gathering from reading all these articles that, like any viruses, it is more easily acquired if the person has poor hygeine, poor nutrition (coincides with trends to refine flour/sugar) or has a weakened immune system due to exposure to enviromental toxins (like DDT).

We tend to think of Polio as something that everyone is mangled by or dies from. But really the chances of being paralyzed are only 1-2% if you get it. It is basically erradicated in most industrialized countries like the US so the risk is low, low, low of contracting it.

My next post will be about the Polio vaccine itself, risks, etc.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Vaccine Package Inserts

If you do have vaccines coming up and want more information, reading the manufacturer's package insert is the best way to get honest date. Here is a list of all the inserts - you'll need to ask your Dr which specific brand they use for each vaccine. This is one of the things that helped me the most.

For example: by reading the inserts I learned that with the DTaP, if you spread out the first 3 doses so that the 3rd dose is given after a year old, then they dont need a 4th dose. So thats one way to save them a vaccine. I believe its the same for some of the other vaxes as well.

You will find reaction and effectiveness rates there as well and that can help you weigh your choices.


The MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) has been in the media the most because of the suspected ties to autism.

As I mentioned in a previous post, thimerosal/mercury is not an issue with the MMR because it is a *LIVE* vaccine. It does not need a preservative so it never had mercury in the first place.

The MMR used to be given at 18mos which is also the same time that "regressive" autism appears. This is the reason for the correlation. Some children regress without a vaccine, some regress sooner or later but many do regress after their MMR. One side says is suspicious, one side says its a coincidence.

Going back to thinking of our childrens immune system....if a child is predisposed to an autoimmune disease and/or autism then a very powerful 3-in-1 vaccine like the MMR *could* push that child over the edge into autism. Many mothers believe it did just that to their children.

One option is to split the vaccines. Its not easy to get them and your Dr may not like it but you do have the right to do so. (Ill work on getting you that info). Then you can give them a year apart. If I was going to do this Id only vax for measles since, IMO, that is the only disease of concern for a young child.

Mumps is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms as well as swollen cheeks due to infection of the salivary glands. For most the disease in not serious but in up to 10% it can lead to meningitis. It has also been linked to spontaneous abortion and deafness and very rarely, death. Meningitis can cause sterility in adolescent and adult males, but from what Ive read the risk is only 1%. In 2006 there was an outbreak of 1000 peopole and no casualties. Typically there are only a few hundred cases a year in the US.

Rubella or the "german measles" is not a serious disease for children. Many people have it and never even know. The risk is to pregnant women and their unborn children because Rubella can cause severe birth defects and miscarriage in 20-25% of those who contract it in the 1st trimester. I do think women who are thinking of having children should consider vaccination if they are not immune (before you are pregnant!). And while I hate the thought of my child causing harm to another its another story of vaxing our children on behalf of others especially since there are very few cases of rubella a year (less than 20).

Measles is the most serious of the diseases IMO because it is more common than the others and has a higher fatality rate. That said, most healthy children will recover without complications. A few generations ago nearly every single child would have had it, it was a normal childhood disease. Secondary complications can be severe in a small percentage though - meningitis, pneumonia, high fevers, brain damage and death.

*since the MMR is a live vaccine it *is* possible to contract a strain of measles from the vaccine.

to be continued.........

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hep B - the Vaccine

There is no way to prove one way or another that a vaccine is safe or unsafe unless it is causing drastic, measurable reactions like some vaccines that have been pulled in the past. The way a child reacts to a vaccine depends so much on genetics, their health, their age, etc. We also need to consider long-term effects on the immune system and not just immediate reactions like seizures, fever, swelling, etc.

Hep B is genetically engineered vaccine (not derived from biological, infected cells like other vaccines) so its impossible to get Hep B from the vaccine. However, it is a completely foreign substance being injected into the body. My biggest concern, personally, come from stories Ive read of people being crippled with arthritis or other major immune system diseases.

I am going to quote an article from I personally consider this site to be somewhat alarmist so I recommend that you do NOT read the personal stories of children damaged if you want to approach this factually and not emotionally, because they are very upsetting. They do, however have some great articles and info on legislation, etc.

Regarding the Hep B Vaccine from -this- article:

Hep B Vaccine Licensed By FDA Without Adequate Proof of Long Term Safety - In 1986, the FDA gave Merck & Co. a license to market the first recombinant DNA hepatitis B vaccine, which replaced the old hepatitis B vaccines made from blood taken from human chronic hepatitis B virus carriers. In awarding Merck & Co. and, later, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, licenses to market their genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccines in the U.S., the FDA allowed both drug companies to use "safety" studies which only included a few thousand children monitored for only four or five days after vaccination to check for reactions. As "proof" their hepatitis B vaccine is safe to be used in children, Merck & Co. stated in their 1993 product insert that "In a group of studies, 1636 doses of RECOMBIVAX HB were administered to 653 healthy infants and children (up to 10 years of age) who were monitored for 5 days after each dose."

Merck & Co. found that injection site and systemic complaints, such as fatigue and weakness, fever, headache and arthralgia (joint pain), were reported following up to 17 percent of all hepatitis B injections. Because the FDA did not require drug companies to provide scientific evidence that hepatitis B vaccine does not compromise the immune and neurological systems of children and adults over weeks, months or years post-vaccination, Merck & Co. warns in the 1996 product insert that "As with any vaccine, there is the possibility that broad use of the vaccine could reveal adverse reactions not observed in clinical trials" and SmithKline Beecham (1993) has a similar warning that "it is possible that expanded commercial use of the vaccine could reveal rare adverse reactions

Another warning in the Merck 1996 product insert is "it is also not known whether the vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity" and "it is not known whether the vaccine is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are secreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when the vaccine is administered to a nursing woman." And, although doctors routinely inject hepatitis B vaccine into children along with many other vaccines such as DPT, HIB, MMR and chicken pox vaccine, Merck & Co. state in the 1996 product insert: "Specific data are not yet available for the simultaneous administration of RECOMBIVAX HB with other vaccines."

Hep B Vaccine Efficacy Also Questioned - All vaccines stimulate only an artificial, temporary immunity, and the length of immunity conferred by the hepatitis B vaccine and the future need for more "booster" doses later in life is still not clear. Merck & Co state in their 1996 hepatitis B vaccine product insert that "the duration of the protective effect of RECOMBIVAX HB in healthy vaccinees is unknown at present and the need for booster doses is not yet defined."

In the CDC Prevention Guidelines: A Guide to Action (1997), the CDC states "The duration of protection [of hepatitis B vaccine] and need for booster doses are not yet fully defined. Between 30% and 50% of persons who develop adequate antibody after three doses of vaccine will lose detectable antibody within 7 years but protection against viremic infection and clinical disease appears to persist." If immunity only lasts 7 years, babies vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine may be candidates for more shots at age seven.