Monday, February 27, 2012

FREE GEORGIA! Statewide Nurse-In March 5

It's amazing how breastfeeding laws vary from state to state.  I am fortunate to live in a state (Texas) where a woman has the right to breastfeed her baby anywhere she has the right to be.  Other women and babies in various states are not so fortunate.  Georgia sure has had their set of issues over the last several months.  There are people who are shaking things up, trying to push for change, but they can't do it without support.  If you are in or near the state of Georgia, I hope you'll participate in this movement.   This Nurse-In takes place March 5.  Spread the word. 

Here is an email I received from the organizer, Lindsey:

"LOVE the blog!! My name is Lindsey Mangham, and I'm (now) the sole organizer for the Georgia Statewide Nurse-in: Warner Robins location. Having read your Jan. 30th post on NIP, I know that we share the same ideals on this issue. I was hoping that you would be willing to take on the story of Nirvana 'Harley' Jennette (the head organizer of the nurse-in) and help our cause.

The Georgia Statewide Nurse-In is a grassroots movement made up of both local and national supporters who are working to normalize breastfeeding in the state of Georgia and to put a stop to the ongoing harassment and discrimination that mothers and children fall victim to on a daily basis.

Our mission is to establish a change in Georgia state laws so that the laws protect a mother's right to breastfeed and a child's right to receive nourishment in any place, public or private, that the mother and child are allowed to be, so that breastfeeding is not considered indecent exposure, so that a mother can not be arrested or ticketed for feeding her child, and so that any form of harassment to a nursing mother and child will be an offense punishable by law. We will begin by staging a statewide nurse-in to introduce ourselves to the legislators of Georgia and to the general public as we establish change in our laws. We will not back down until the laws are put into place.

Here is the press-release of the story:

and here is a link to the original news story about Nirvana:

Her contact info is at the end of the press release!

Here is the FB event page:
And here is a link to the petition:"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Recording Your Birth

Here's a topic I feel so strongly about -- the importance of recording your baby's birth. Yes, I do mean with video or photos, not just writing your birth story.

My sister-in-law, who was at our first birth insisted on taking pictures at Daymon's birth, and I was horrified! Really. I felt angry that she was snapping that camera. She had them developed immediately (this was 1996!) and I put them away, embarrassed.

As the weeks became months, I would find myself thinking about his birth, literally, every day. I would relieve those moments of becoming a mother as I nursed my sweet baby boy. I found those pictures and have spent hours looking at them, thinking about those moments and how I felt as I held my new baby.

I am so glad now that Tamara knew then what I couldn't have known at the time. She kept telling me that I would want these pictures some day. She was so right!

I'm not sure what I thought the pictures would be like -- all 175 lbs of my 9 month pregnant body, exposed. They were so tasteful. So emotional. So tender. And now, so treasured.

We obviously did not videotape his birth, but we knew by the time we were pregnant with #2 how much we loved having those pictures, so we decided to record our 2nd baby's birth with a video recorder. We set up the camera across the room, and while we can hear everything happening, we can't see a darn thing! Still, it's so emotional to listen. Her video, while not the best visually, is the most emotional one of them all.

 By the time we were pregnant with the third baby, we knew that we wanted a great video. To our dismay, at 33 weeks, we found out the hospital had a no-video policy at the time of birth. Are you kidding me? That's like ripping the best pages out of a book! No one was going to take this experience from us! We pulled our records from the hospital and hired a homebirth midwife. We would have paid $100 to have our baby in the hospital, but were now going to pay $2500. This was an expensive video! It meant that much to us. We had a friend do the video and that was her only job. How sad it would have been to have missed that birth.

We did the same for the fourth baby. It is so special, not only for us as parents to have these memories recorded, but also for the child. Our kids are amazed when they watch their birth videos. What an amazing sight to behold -- your entrance into the world. To see how hard your mother worked to get you here.

Still not sure? You never have to watch it. Or, you can keep it for yourself and never show it to a single person. Your choice. But you will not ever be able to go back and record it after the fact. Trust me -- as someone who was so adamant about not wanting pictures, you will not regret having them. Many times over the years, I've heard women comment on wishing that they had recorded their birth, but I've never heard a mom say that she wished that she hadn't. Think about that.

Many hospitals have banned videotaping (is that even the right word anymore?!) the birth for legal reasons. Find out the policies beforehand. That would be so disappointing to be expecting to record or photograph your birth and then be told no. You do not want surprises like that in labor!

And if you still aren't sure, check out this video Ceci did for one of my couples.  Grab your tissues.  It'll be the best 6 minutes of your day. 

Halen's Birth Story from Ceci Jane on Vimeo.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Colloidal Silver, Ionic Silver, or Nano-Silver -- Your Questions Answered

As promised, here is the guest blog post by Dr. Betsy Taylor of Grand Prairie, TX.  She is a member of the Tarrant County Birth Network and I've heard her speak on chiropractic and also on nutrition and taking care of the body.  She has been the Silver "guru" I've gone to with all my questions.

My personal experience with the ASAP Silver has been this:  no one in my family has been on antibiotics since starting the Silver one-and-a-half years ago.  I have not used my inhaler since starting the silver.  We've used it for sore throats, coughs, ears, eyes, and generally when anyone starts feeling sick, we start taking our Silver.  I am a believer.  I hope you find the answer to your questions.  Thank you, Dr. Taylor, for helping us understand how we can use Silver to promote health and well being in our own families.

"I am a Doctor of Chiropractic so I need to do this disclaimer: the following is not intended as a substitute for the advice and or/medical care of your physician, nor is it meant to discourage or dissuade you from the advice of your physician.

As I researched material for this post, I was really shocked to find so much controversy. But in reality, I am not surprised.  Big Pharma cannot make money from the therapeutic use of silver so the 'powers that be' debunk it. The FDA supports the government's and the pharmaceutical's stand - doesn't work, can hurt you, no safety studies, no science - you see where I am going. The same blah, blah, blah they spout over other natural, healing therapies. If we claim that silver "cures", then the FDA classifies it as a 'drug' and it then must be tested and controlled by them with standardization, quality control, and extensive medical testing.

Silver is already used in the medical world in silver nitrate - used in newborn's eyes to prevent infection; and in silver sulfadiazine - used in dressings for burns to prevent infections. NASA uses it for water purification. Therefore, when you look at the current accepted uses, you can easily see what it can be used for - an antimicrobial - microbes being bacteria, viruses, fungus. Studies show that it works. You can research these online. 

Silver is a metal and a mineral.(1)   It can be toxic under certain circumstances and can be therapeutic under certain circumstances.   My intent here is to help you know the difference. Silver has been used throughout history for therapeutic measures. I'll let you do the research on that too.

For purposes of this article, I will be referring to nutritional tissue deficiencies that allow sickness, and how introducing the proper kind of silver may improve your health.

Most of you will be familiar with the term colloidal silver or ionic silver. Colloidal refers to the size and suspension in water, and ionic refers to the positive charge of the particle. It is the size of the particle that makes it usable in the tissues, and the positive charge that makes it a germicide/antimicrobial.  This type of silver can be made at home. However, here is where the problems arise.

As with most chemistry, all parts of the procedure must be correct. If not, there can be problems. I am sure you have heard of the 'blue man' whose skin and gums turned blue from ingesting silver. The truth behind this is that he made his own, and took mega doses for a long time. His homemade silver was improperly made resulting in particles that were too large which joined with other particles in his water. These compounds were then deposited in his tissues. True, pure, properly prepared silver does not do this. Therefore, I do not recommend making your own. But I do recommend knowing how and having the equipment on hand in case the FDA ever takes it away from us. Just do it properly.

Science and chemistry aside, let's get to the questions!

How does it work? The chemical reaction when the silver particles come in contact with microbes causes cell death. Silver is then eliminated from the body via normal elimination routes. Studies show it does not affect good cells - a major difference with antibiotics! Nor does it appear to result in silver-resistant strains of microbes. Nature is just too smart for that. The way antibiotics (toxic chemicals) work on the microbes has enabled these critters to 'mutate' and become drug resistant. Interaction with natural silver particles is a different mechanism, so no mutations.

Is it safe? Yes. Properly prepared silver products are non-toxic. The silver is utilized and then eliminated just like extra calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc. They are also non-allergenic, unless you are allergic to silver, then you would avoid it. To test - place a small drop on a tiny band-aid and place on the wrist overnight - if there is a skin reaction - avoid it. Again, silver compounds (like silver nitrate or silver sulfadiazine) should only be used while strictly following directions specifically for that product. Do not confuse those products with colloidal silver. In the homeopathic world there are reported possible side effects, so I would not use silver with homeopathic medications. These possible side effects are not life-threatening or even dangerous, but it is sensible to avoid the combination. The only toxicity problem I found was the blue tint to tissues known as argyria - rare and self-induced. There is a small chance you can have a healing crisis or an increase in symptoms while healing also. With regards to children - if you would take it yourself you might choose to give it to your children. With regards to pregnancy - I would not recommend it. Overall, just be sensible - even water can be toxic or beneficial to your health.  Please research the safety studies.

The official definition of heavy metal poisoning is:
“Any functional or morphologic change in the kidney produced by an ingested, injected, inhaled, or absorbed drug, chemical, or biologic agent.”
You would be wise to check out this truthful record of the real causes of heavy metal poisoning. The most correct and widely accepted authority on the subject is the professional tome of “MERCK Manual Of Diagnosis And Treatment”. Now in its 17th edition, page 1880 of the manual gives the complete list of heavy metals that can cause heavy metal poisoning. While this list does include several beneficial metals like copper and iron that are found in everyday vitamins, metallic silver is not listed in any of its forms. It isn’t like this is some sudden new discovery and silver just has not yet been added to the list in some future 18th edition printing. No error has been made here; natural silver solution products do not cause heavy metal poisoning! Silver is not on the list because it is not, nor ever was a cause of this infliction. (2)

How do I use it? The first time I was introduced to and used colloidal silver I placed it straight in my eyes. I had cellulitis for 10 days and it cleared it up 100% within 36 hours. I therefore am not afraid to use it at all. It can be used topically on the skin, sprayed up the nose, drops in the ears, and held in the mouth for absorption, then swallowed. Most products have no taste so it is easy to ingest. If it must be mixed with fluids or gels it will still work, but may be somewhat less effective. Again, use of this product is to fight invaders and increase the ability of tissues to heal.

What is the dosage?
That depends on the situation. I would follow the directions on the bottle for mild, double for moderate, and saturate for 2-3 days for severe. When I saturate, I take 1 tsp. every waking hour.  After doing additional research for this article, and with my experience with silver, I do not recommend it every day. (There are some exceptions to this.) I have found it works great when needed for a specific, symptomatic imbalance.

What product do I recommend?
I recommend ASAP Silver by American Biotech Labs.(3)   This is a new 'nano-silver' (SilverSol©) which has multiple modes of action and is effective until eliminated from the body. Regular colloidal silver particles must come in contact with the microbe and then are inactive. The nano-silver particles become part of the structure of the water and therefore do not have to touch the microbe making it faster and more effective. This promotes the action of a balanced and healthy tissue defending itself.  My next recommendation would be Nature’s Sunshine Silver Shield.(4)   It is a colloidal silver.

Herbs, vitamins, minerals, clays, foods, etc. all are natural aids in improving the body's function to heal and be healthier. Silver is just another tool in the toolbox to use. It does an excellent job when used properly."





Monday, February 6, 2012

My "No Poo" Story

If you don't know about "No Poo" by now, you are so out of it!  After Mama Birth's absolute disgust, we all were intrigued, right?  I had actually heard of the No Poo thing on a DFW Holistic Facebook group I'm a part of and knew just enough to be dangerous.  The fact that Mama Birth was so grossed out just made me more excited to do it!

OK, so I read quite a bit of blogs about it, and I'm not going to lie to you -- I was pretty overwhelmed with all the recipes.  The woman that does my hair has told me that of 400 clients, she only has one other person with hair like mine.  For the record, she's totally grossed out by what I am doing.

My hair is very dry and as a result, I always go about 5 days between washings.  Otherwise, I have no oil whatsoever.  I guess I was doing the No Poo thing and didn't realize it was a movement.  I haven't gotten the "Curly Girl" book yet and I do not claim to be an expert by any means.  I've only been doing this for about 2 weeks, but I'm hooked!

Everyone has their reasons for doing the No Poo thing.  It seems like a lot of people are concerned with the chemicals in shampoo, but I'll admit, I really couldn't care less about that.  What I was reading, the people with wavy or curly hair reported their hair getting curlier, had more volume, and their hair was curling all the way to the root.  That was enough for me!

This is what I have been doing:

"Shampoo" is just baking soda.  Most recipes said to add a tablespoon to 8 oz of water.  I did that the first time, but I have so much hair, I decided to just use baking soda in my palm an add a titch of water.  I massage that into my scalp and then rinse.

My "Conditioner" step is a little more complicated.  In a mason jar, I mix the following:
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* 3/4 cup water
* 1 Tablespoon honey
* 8 drops Tea Tree Oil
* 8 drops Peppermint Oil

The recipe calls for a tablespoon of food grade aloe vera gel, but I haven't bought any yet.  I've been happy even without it, but I am anxious to try it with it.

I pour it on my scalp and work it through my hair, all the way to the ends.  I leave it on for about a minute and then rinse.  I read about "plopping," but I've been doing this for years too -- just squeezing the moisture out of my hair with a towel.  I never comb it.  I have still been adding "The Conditioner" by Paul Mitchell after I'm finished with the washing, but I don't work it through my hair, pulling the hair.  I just scrunch it in and then let my hair air dry.  I never use a hair dryer. 

I am a product junkie, usually using about 4 different things in my hair after it's been washed with shampoo.  I haven't felt the need to do so with the No Poo.  It feels like there is product in my hair and it is curling to the root.  The biggest difference I've noticed, however, is the volume.  Now, I am a product of the 80's, graduating high school in '89, so needless to say, I love big hair.   The increased volume rocks!

My scalp feels much less itchy and dry and I'm going 7 days without washing.  In the morning, I just spray it with some lavender water.  The first batch I made had way too much lavender and weighted my hair down.  A couple of drops has worked great though.  Just spray and scrunch. 

I have heard great things about using coconut oil as a conditioner, so I'll let you know how that works.  There are a lot of recipes out there.  The most basic No Poo is the baking soda and then the apple cider vinegar rinse.  Just play with it and see what works for you.  I'm curious about how this works for people with oily hair.  Feel free to post your experience with No Poo here to help others figure it out.