You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2012.

Just in case you didn’t know, breast milk is almost magic! The contents are so numerous no formula could ever, or indeed will ever match it. Its not just about protein, essential fats and carbohydrate- it  is so specific to the childs age, time of day, health and immune systems needs and so much more that we are only just starting to understand an appreciate. I know its hard, it was only my own determination that kept me breast feeding the first time, I almost had to give up (my daughter couldn’t latch properly for 6 months) It can hurt, it means you are the only one doing the overnight feeds, you have to wear clothes you can get your boob out of at a moments notice and it makes you the hungriest and tired you have ever been. But when its stacked up like the poster I have linked to below, if you can, why wouldn’t you for as long as possible!?

whatsinbreastmilkposter

On another note check out this ladies blog, I wanted to say all of this and started doing the research when I found it all written so well here.

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/08/sids-enfamil-restfull-formula-yes.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/studies-of-human-microbiome-yield-new-insights.html?_r=3

http://humanfoodproject.com/kids-are-mammals-time-we-treated-treating-them-like-it/

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When my daughter was born, like most new mums will relate to, it was a complete baptism by fire. Chaos ensued! I had read Baby Bliss by Dr Harvey Karp before she arrived and loved it.

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The whole 4th trimester made a lot of sense to me. So for the first 4 weeks (after the whole worst week had finished and Eva started feeding- maybe another blog) Eva slept on my chest every night. As she was 4 weeks early it made so much sense to me that she deserved to be  as close to where she ‘should be’ still developing in the womb. I carried her everywhere even in the house, mostly because she refused to let me put her down and I refused to let her cry. It was also so refreshing to have someone talk about the elusive ‘colic’ which has no medical definition and just seems to be an umbrella term for anything that can’t be explained.

After another few weeks of this I became confused. I was under the understanding that babies slept in a moses basket and then you put them in a cot where they peacefully drift off to sleep and sleep in their own room at about 3 months. Not so with my daughter, or anyone’s  if I listened to what my new friends with new babies were also experiencing. Some say I made my life harder by refusing to let my daughter have a dummy, let her ‘cry it out’ and by exclusively breastfeeding only on demand. I rejected the dream feed idea and most other options offered. They all took my child’s choice out of the equation. They cry for a reason, sticking a dummy in her mouth, to me, was silencing a cry for help. Letting her cry it out was going to teach her that if she needed something nobody was going to listen to her. I wasn’t prepared to allow my daughter to feel these emotions at such a raw young age- if ever.

At about 8 weeks I was recommended to buy The Wonder Weeks. I loved it.

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My baby cried, she cried herself to sleep and sometimes all the time. No matter if I tried to feed her, change her nappy, swaddled her or shusshed her (we eventually used the hairdryer which worked like a dream and is meant to be 1/3 quieter then the sounds in the womb!) we realised she sometimes just needed to cry and feel supported in that. Reading The Wonder Weeks helped us to understand what she might be experiencing that may make her cry. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine seeing dark and lighter to seeing really bright and blurry to then starting to see colour and images sharpening, I can imagine all that is quite an onslaught for someone also trying to grow and develop. How many things in life do we take for granted, how many things have we learnt to filter out, the noise on the MTR the surprising noises around us from other flats, people, birds. Most we don’t notice. A baby experiences everything, they have no filter. Pair that with not having the comfort of feeling your mothers heartbeat or smelling her closeness and having no one coming to you when you get scared. I don’t think that is what makes a child independent.

What’s my point here, my daughter still gets cuddled to sleep, she has never had a bottle or a dummy to be a substitute soother for her parents, she is cuddled when she asks for it and she is allowed to come into bed with us whenever she gets out of her bed and comes into ours. She has slept through the night in her own bed, on many occasions, and a couple of times she has asked to go to sleep in her bed, with our hand on her back. Sure it has meant that our lives have been centred around our child and we haven’t had much time to ourselves as babysitting becomes very difficult. But the alternatives were not good enough for us.

The point is she makes these decisions on her own and when she is ready. We went to her Kindergarden for an observation yesterday morning. She is not yet 2.5, the other 2 children there were at least 3 if not more. Who’s child was the one who went straight to the table with the education assistants without so much as a look behind her as to where we were. She knew we were there and would be there if she needed us. She made no fuss and got stuck into it. I have no idea how the other 2 were raised and what choices their parents made and  every child will deal with every situation differently so I choose never to comment on what someone else chooses as it is their right to choose. But I was mighty proud of my daughters independence, courage and spirit. All the sleepless nights, worry and anxiety over the last few years disappeared and as the next baby is probably going to be here in the next couple of weeks I look forward to being able to honour his choices, whatever they may be.

I leave you with something I read on monday and the links to the books that I mentioned above. Good luck with your choices and please try to honour the ones your baby is trying to make.

“A message from your new baby: If I could speak I would say “I love you”. If I have any wish in the world it is only one thing, and that is to be with you. If I have any desire or motivation in life, it is you. I am but a newborn baby, so helpless in the world. You are the light of my life. Hold me close to you, never leave me, never forsake me and never let me out of your sweet nurturing arms” from Remiel Nagel Healing our Children.

Healing our Children: Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Healing-Our-Children-Preconception-Pregnancy/dp/0982021313/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337735937&sr=8-1

Baby Bliss-Your One-stop Guide for the First Three Months and Beyond. Dr Harvey Karp

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Bliss-One-stop-Months-Beyond/dp/0141007915/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337736026&sr=1-2

Wonder Weeks- How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward. by Hetty van de Rijt, Frans Plooij, Jan Jutte and Gayle Kidder

Also available as an app and Kindle version

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=wonder+weeks&x=0&y=0

Here as a parting image my daughter excited to go see her new school:

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Since all I can think about right now is the impending birth of my second child my posts for the next few weeks will reflect this! I have just finished my birth plan. I am 35 weeks tomorrow and my first baby was born totally unexpectedly at 36 weeks, I had barely packed my bag and had my appointment at the birthing centre the next day to go through my birthing plan. I had a good idea of what I wanted back then, a water birth, calm and relaxed in a modwife led centre with no pain relief and no interventions. I also knew I would not be giving my child vitamin K and was looking forward to a short labour.

I got some of those wishes, I turned into a drill sergeant barking orders and demanding many things such as no vitamin K I would only push on a contraction and I had to relent and be in the stupid position they insist upon in a hospital. My labour from show to baby was 1 hour and a half. I had been in labour for longer but I thought it was just Braxton hicks! Yep, mild period pains I described. When I got to the hospital I could feel my daughters head and 7 minutes later and 3 pushes she was with us. Most people say it sounds like a dream labour. But the shock of it all reverberated through both me and my daughter for a good few weeks later. If not months. This time I want to enjoy the experience and I really want my whole family to be able to enjoy it too. My 2.5 year old has been told whats going on and that she has the choice as to whether she says in the room or whether she goes. My husband has always 100% supported my decisions as they have never been made on a whim and have always been well researched and discussed with him. If he had any concerns he has always been free to voice them and his opinion is very important to me. However saying that those who know me know I am a bit of a control freak at times!

I have discussed with this baby too, whats gonna happen and have asked him to please wait until at least 38 weeks. We have just moved back to Hong Kong and all our boxes arrive tomorrow I would love to have the time to put the house together and have some tie to chill out to give him the best atmosphere to enter into. Home birth in Hong Kong is very very different from the uk. For a start you dont really see midwifes r if you do they dont speak in the public system. It is all doctor led, even a nurse takes your booking information. I find this very strange. I have been asked several times if I want my breasts examined? No has been my answer, for a start your breasts are naturally lumpier during pregnancy and anything I am uncomfortable is just gonna stress me out.

I have had my fair share of stress and heartache and happiness through this pregnancy. Every thing on that list of things to stress you out has been ticked- Money(neither of us is working at the moment due to the move), Death, Move, Birth (impending) and Wedding (brothers very happy day) all in the last 4 months. I have been kind to myself but I naturally will look after others before myself and there are a few people to look after at the moment.

This baby has definitely been a rock, always assuring me that he’s there and okay (I didn’t have a scan or hear the heartbeat until I was 22 and 20 weeks respectively) He never gave me cause for concern. I had to take 5 long haul and 2 short haul flights from 11 to 27 weeks pregnant, he always went with the flow. By all appearances he’s helping by being in the right place and position now and I can feel he’s getting ready himself. I have really enjoyed having very little intervention in this pregnancy and am looking forward to continuing that through the birth. I am prepared that I may need to go to hospital, although am in no way thinking this will happen. I have a clear vision of how it will all happen and am confident that my gorgeous boy will be born how and when he will be born, just like my daughter was! They do have a part to play and decisions to make, its up to me to try and facilitate that as far as possible.

Below I have shared my birth plan. I have done so under the understanding that it is incredibly personal to me and my wishes and should not be taken as a template for your own as you have to decide your plan of action with your partner and indeed your baby. However if it helps people to know just how detailed they can and sometimes have to be then I am happy to share.

I have used many resources to get to this plan;

Birth Reborn By Michael Odent

Homebirth- A practical guide by Nicky Wesson

Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan

Homeopathy for pregnancy birth and your babys first year by Miranda Castro

My own experience and my friends tips and anecdotes of their own births.

Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Birth Preferences:

  • To consider artificial initiation of labour only after 42 weeks and may choose to do nothing until 44 weeks if there is no medical urgency and only after discussion and agreement.
  • Will use Caulophyllum 30c every 30 mins for 3 hours and then will wait 24 hours before considering any other methods.
  • To delay artificial induction of labour until 96 hours after membranes have been release and mother and baby show no signs of infection as directed in the NICE guidelines. To be allowed to wait during this time period at home.
  • To deliver baby at home with Hulda Thorley as midwife.
  • We request patience and understanding to support our wishes to refrain from having any practice or procedures that in absence of medical urgency, including constant fetal monitoring that could stand in the way of having the most natural birth possible.
  • Manual intermittent monitoring that is agreed to and done in a non invasive manner.
  • Minimal number of vaginal examinations and only after been agreed on by the mother
  • To be allowed to ignore contractions and time period between them until forced to take notice of them.
  • The option of a water birth (bath or pool) and alternative space with a calm atmosphere
  • Be able to use lavender and clary sage in a diffuser and or massage/bath oil.
  • Allowed nutritional snacking if labour is prolonged.
  • Freedom to walk, move or not move during labour
  • Freedom to change position and assume labour position of choice as dictated by the mother.
  • To use PPMP tissue salts, rescue remedy and arnica 200c as pain relief methods. No other pain relief is to be offered or discussed.
  • Minimal number of vaginal examinations and only after been agreed on by the mother
  • To allow nature to take its course without any references to pain management, moving things along or facilitating labour.
  • To allow mother control of birthing and her involuntary processes and instinct.
  • To allow Father, Midwife Hulda Thorley as above in room at all times.
  • To allow daughter to choose to be present or not present as she decides.
  • Allow baby to be breathed out without external coaching or other methods, unless coming from the father.
  • No Episiotomy, no forceps, no ventouse unless medical urgency and it is agreed on by the mother after discussion.
  • To have the baby’s baby grow and blanket on a heated towel rail ready for when the mother or father directs its use.
  • Immediate skin to skin contact with baby placed on stomach or lower chest. Father to be able to place hand on baby’s back under a warm blanket. No wrapping of baby.
  • Father to cut cord after pulsating stops and no clamping.
  • Wait for a natural placenta delivery with baby brought to breast to assist placenta birth. No syntometrine unless homeopathy has failed to work and it has been discussed and agreed to by the mother.
  • Allow vernix to be absorbed into the baby’s skin, no cleaning or rubbing. Placenta to be retained in a container supplied by the Father. Saline is added then refrigerated to wait to be collected by Liz Purnell-Webb.
  • To be allowed between 30 mins to an hour of skin to skin with the mother before taking the baby to be weighed. Only after agreement with the mother.
  • No vitamin K administered to the baby either oral or injection.
  • Absolutely NO vaccinations of any kind.
  • Star of Bethlehem and Walnut Bach flower remedies to be applied to the crown of the baby’s head after birth by the mother or father
  • Breastfeeding only and baby to remain in the room with the mother at all times.
  • To be allowed to use homeopathic remedies and other natural remedies brought by the mother as and when either she or the father desire to use them.
  • To be allowed to bathe with baby after weighing etc if so desired.

Getting organised  for the impending birth of my son, I wanted to go over my snacks list to make sure I have them here if I want them. It occurred to me that they are great snacks for anyone and for all the family. What else would you add, or have you used?

Labour and post labour Snack Ideas: (for him and her!)

  • Frozen grapes, mango and coconut icelollies. Honey ice cubes
  • Banana smoothie: banana, oat milk, mango, Pumpkin seed protein powder, nut butter and cinnamon (can also be frozen like an ice-lolly or in drinks bottles to thaw on route.) A common breakfast in our house.
  • Vegetable crisps. Homemade in the dehydrator or use a peeler to get nice thin layers and bake in the oven till crispy with a little olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Dried apricots, blueberries, apple, banana chips, prunes, dates, papaya, mango
  • Nuts; almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews
  • Coconut water
  • Crystallised ginger
  • Protein bars as below
  • Oatcakes and jar nut butter. Or nut butter with slices of apple and pear. Or a personal favourite in the groove of celery.
  • Raw chocolate! Or at least 70% cocoa
  • Straws for drinking through
  • Carrot and celery and hummus/white bean dip (already cut in fridge ready to grab)
  • Water melon to help restore electrolytes (can also be blitzed and frozen in drinks bottles)
  • Falafel (to eat with hummus)
  • Iced raspberry leaf, nettle and peppermint tea with lemon and honey to taste. (of course can be hot too or made into ice cubes) Can also use tulsi tea. (holy basil) can chill you out during labour. Also can add rescue remedy.

Recipe idea:

HIGH PROTEIN SUGAR FREE ENERGY BAR

• 250g desiccated coconut
• 200g ground almonds (can use pumpkin seed protein power for allergies)
• 100g sesame seeds
• 1 tsp of cinnamon
• approx 14 dried pitted dates, chopped
• 2 eggs (can use egg replacement for allergies)
• 2 tbs pure organic coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature.

Melt coconut oil over very low heat until it is liquid. Do not cook or
boil.
Chop dates and mix together with dry ingredients (coconut, ground
almonds, sesame seeds), and cinnamon.
Add 2 beaten eggs and mix till mixture is moist.
Pour in melted coconut oil and mix with fork or hands
Spread into a shallow tin lined with baking parchment.
Bake in a moderate oven (gas mark 4) for 30 minutes. Remove when top
is golden.
Cut into slices while still warm and soft.

Enjoy, I know we do!

“The only safe Vaccine is the one that is never used” James Shannon, former National Institutes for Health Director.

How many of you read the list of ingredients on something you are about to give your child, or indeed yourself. Most of us have a good idea of what is in the food we eat and have chosen so accordingly. We do it because we know what we put into our bodies will affect how we grow, heal and indeed behave. Too much sugar and we will put on weight and our kids will go nuts then be awful for the rest of the day. Fact. So then how many of you read the vaccine insert for the list of ingredients and side effects before the needle went into your kids arm. How many of you were even offered to read it by your health provider? I am assuming not many. Why?

There is always a reason why something is so controversial, I am the type of person who wants to know. To the extent that I wanted my driving instructor to explain to me how car works so I would understand why I had to change gears and when. So naturally when I am told to trust something, I always want to know why. I have had some vaccinations myself, as a kid and as an adult and never questioned them. Why should I? They are there for our health right. Well scratch the surface like I did when I was pregnant with my first child and you open a can of worms. If you are someone who just gets angry that this is another hippy parent spouting rubbish and take it no further then maybe you need to open your eyes. It is your responsibility to keep your kids healthy and yours alone. They are your children, you should do whats best for them and only you can decide that. Unless you unluckily live in a US state where certain vaccinations are mandatory. Even then there are some loop holes.

The information is easy to find and I will be posting various things here for you to read. But you should be sure, either way, you should be completely sure. There is no room for regrets in your child’s health. This also goes for you too. The Flu vaccine has been implicated in Dementia and Alzheimers yet why do we keep giving it to our elderly every year. I don’t know one person who has had the flu jab and then not gone on to have the worst flu of their lives. Why give it to asthmatics when it greatly diminishes your immune system and can cause asthma? The science does not make sense. The only way to get immunity is to get the disease itself, FACT. Wouldn’t you prefer the natural disease, not the mutated manufactured one? The only way you can pass on immunity is to get the natural disease itself. I know my choice, and I am 100% happy with it. I am totally open to everyone making their own well informed decision, why is your health provider not giving you the same courtesy?

Here’s one of several articles I will be sharing

http://www.planetc1.com/cgi-bin/n/v.cgi?c=1&id=1205211519

The Vaccination Council is written by doctors and scientists who have turned away from vaccinations.

http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2010/06/26/the-commercialization-of-childhood-vaccination/

http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2009/09/15/there-is-no-vaccine-against-ignorance/

http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2009/07/04/vaccination-statistics/

Jayne also writes alot about travel vaccinations
http://www.jayne-donegan.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Are-CHILDHOOD-INFECTIOUS-DISEASES-a-good-thing-website.pdf

The Hep B vaccination at birth in HK to me is madness:
http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Hepatitis-B-Vaccine-Kills-Baby
this is the insert
http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Hepatitis-B-Vaccine-aluminium-thimerosal-mercury-yeast-but-don-t-worry-it-s-gluten-free

As for Vitamin K:
http://www.aims.org.uk/Journal/Vol13No2/vitk.htm

http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Vitamin-K-Does-Your-Baby-Really-Need-It

Also check out http://www.greatergoodmovie.org I have a copy and if you wanna see it I can organise a viewing.

More recommended reading material from other non-vaccinating parents:

http://www.amazon.com/Vaccine-Illusion-ebook/dp/B007AW2CLG and see here http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2012/05/09/vaccination-illusion-an-immunologis-speaks-dr-tetyana-obukhanych/

http://www.vaclib.org/index.htm

http://vacbook.com/vsm.htm also available on Amazon

http://www.thinktwice.com/

An awesome support forum with members all over the world giving advice and support http://www.arnica.org.uk/

Another great charity devoted to supporting those who chose against vaccinations is http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/

Living with my dad has meant I have had fun experimenting with his bread machine. Something I have never gotten round to buying myself. I don’t eat a lot of bread as it has never really agreed with me and nutritionally doesn’t often offer a whole lot. Unless of course you make it yourself with great quality ingredients.

I use a programme on my bread machine so am unable to tell you what temperature in the oven and for how long to cook it. If you make it yourself in the oven, please feel free to add a comment so others can use it.

Ingredients:

410ml water (I use tepid)
160g eggs (my dad is also egg intolerant so I use the egg replacement as if I was adding 5 eggs)
25 ml olive oil
20 ml coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
80g gluten substitute
20g ground almonds
250g red mill all purpose gluten free flour
150g corn flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tsp xanthum gum
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
20g brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast
Handful of pumpkin seed
Handful of sesame seeds

In the bread maker you add the ingredients in order, liquid first then dry ingredients. When the ‘knead’ function is on you have to get in there with a spatula and make sure everything is mixed in. It may seem different to what you are used to go with it and make sure everything is combined, especially e pumpkin seeds are quite evenly distributed.

This makes a 500g loaf.

Enjoy and please let me know if you made any adaptations and how it goes for you. The quest for the perfect gluten free loaf continues!