Despite reassurances by US Government officials in March 2011 that Americans had nothing to fear from the catastrophic meltdown of four nuclear reactors in Japan, documentation slowly keeps rolling in showing the opposite. The latest is a report authored by respected researchers Joseph J. Mangano and Janette D. Sherman titled Elevated airborne beta levels in Pacific/West Coast US States and trends in hypothyroidism among newborns after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.
Mangano and Sherman studied congenital hypothyroidism in newborn infants born from March 2011 – December 2011. The information was acquired from routine newborn screening tests that automatically test for conditions such as congenital hypothyroidism (CH) at birth. The rates of CH were later correlated with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing for airborne radiation in 2011, which would have included evidence of the isotope iodine-131. After the Japanese nuclear meltdowns, vast amounts of highly dangerous radioactive isotopes were distributed throughout the globe. The disbursement of Iodine-131 was found to be 211 times normal background levels. Heightened detection levels of Iodine-131 were found in 5 US states that lay in proximity to the Pacific Ocean —- presumably the first land populations to receive the fallout as it navigated the ocean expanse from Japan. The radioactive isotope Iodine-131 targets and attacks the human thyroid gland.
What is Congenital Hypothyroidism?
The term congenital means at birth. The human thyroid is a small butterfly or shield shaped endocrine gland located in the neck. It responsible for the regulation of prime bodily functions via the synthesis of thyroid hormones which are directed throughout the body. The principal thyroid hormones are triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4). These hormones are manufactured by the bodily uptake of iodine and tyrosine. Babies born with Congenital Hypothyroidism have an under-active thyroid function specifically related to the decreased production of t3 and t4.
The thyroid is the first gland to form in the human embryo. At the 7oth day of gestation the fetal thyroid begins to concentrate enough iodine to synthesize thyroid hormone. Thus, conditions for assault or protection of the delicate and crucial gland are set early on in utero.
The complete set of causes of Congenital Hypothyroidism are still being debated. Some cases of CH are inherited and others are caused by a toxic womb environment. What is known and understood is that CH rates are increasing, even in developed nations. Proactive newborn screens and a broadening of inclusion characteristics can only partly account for the rising levels. Something else appears to be amiss. Triggers such as maternal iodine deficiencies, pesticides and radioactive fallout are all being studied for their role in climbing malfunction rates.
On examination, babies inflicted with CH may have an underdeveloped, misplaced or non-existent thyroid in utero. About 15% of CH cases are caused by a genetic malfunction of thyroid synthesis. Additionally, a mother’s deficient thyroid status in pregnancy and subsequent treatment or lack thereof can also impact a developing baby.
Proper thyroid functioning is especially critical for infants. Thyroid hormones regulate physical and mental growth processes. Lack of appropriate thyroid hormone levels can lead to stunted growth, impaired intelligence, deafness and neurological problems.
What is Iodine-131
The resultant fallout of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan demonstrates the strong relationship of thyroid dysfunction caused by uptake of radioactive iodine-131.. The association, however, is not limited to Fukushima. Data reflects upward trends of Congenital Hypothyroidism connected to iodine-131 releases from the Bravo Nuclear Test, Three Mile Island accident, Chernobyl disaster, Hanford waste site and from residents proximate to nuclear power plants.
Just what is Iodine-131? Iodine is a nonmetallic, purplish-black crystalline solid element. There are non-radioactive and radioactive iodine elements. Radioactive iodine was first discovered the 1930′s and is produced by nuclear fission. Nuclear testing, nuclear power plants and nuclear accidents have all disbursed iodine-131, unnaturally, all over the world.
It can be inhaled as a gas, or ingested via higher presences in such items as dairy, breast milk, leafy green vegetables, or water. The gaseous form of iodine is airborne and carried by winds and circulating air currents. Iodine-131 transport can also be driven by rainfall and snow —known as wet deposition. Once in the soil and waterways uptake in the environment is perpetuated by the growth of vegetation or further distributed as dust. Ultimately, entering the food chain.
The thyroid gland needs ready amounts of iodine to function properly. When these levels are deficient thyroid function is compromised. The body continually seeks to adjust the in-balance. If it locates radioactive iodine in its environment it will uptake that poison iodine to compensate for the lack of regular iodine. Thus, if a baby is fed dairy formula or breast milk that has collected iodine-131 that infant’s body will be flooded by radioactive iodine-131.
Iodine 131 has a half life of 8 days in the environment. But, when absorbed by the body the biological half-life is much greater. It can persist in the thyroid gland for 100 days. The entire time that it rests in the thyroid gland it is directing radiation –destructive beams of energy– at the thyroid cells. The unnatural radiation forces directed at the thyroid can result in cancer, nodules or life-long disruption of function. Iodine -131 can also be distributed to bone matter, the kidneys, spleen and the reproductive organs.
As a fetus or an infant has a tiny body mass the amount of circulating iodine-131 in their body poses a much greater risk than that of an adult. In the second and third trimester of pregnancy developing babies have an increased need to uptake iodine. Newborn babies uptake iodine at rates 16 times greater than adults. Their primary food source for the first six months of life is either dairy formula or breast milk — both of which can be compromised by iodine-131 fallout. Feeding of soy based formula further hampers thyroid function.
Congenital Hypothyroidism in United States Infants Tied to Fukushima
The unfortunate and sad incidence of thyroid disorders within Japanese children following the meltdowns and the continuing collapse of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Complex has been already documented. But now researchers Mangano and Sherman have been able to demonstrate that our own children within the US have not been sparred harm.
Correlating EPA data from the geographic locations with the highest incidence of airborne gross beta radiation concentrations from March 15th - October 4. 2011, in conjunction with neonatal numbers for congenital hypothyroidism a statistically relevant trend was observed. Concentrations of airborne radiation were noted in cities that had an already assigned air monitoring station prior to the fallout event, as that data set could be controlled and studied both before and after the meltdown event. A total of 18 EPA monitored sites on the Pacific/West Coast of the United states were utilized in the study.
Analysis showed that fallout concentrations were 7.345 times higher in the studied stations than counterpart stations in other lesser impacted US locales. Alarmingly high rates within the Pacific/West Coast region were demonstrated in California cities of Eureka (38.264 increase), Anaheim (at a 14.491 increase ) and San Bernardino (at a 12.054 increase). However it should be noted the findings for ALL areas of the United States showed increased detection—- the radiation event did not magically stop on the west side of the country.
The incidence of CH was then analyzed for the 18 Pacific/West Coast locales. The birthing period of March 17th – December 31, 2011 was used. The first evidence of fallout or radioactive plume from Japan is stated to have occurred on March 15,2011. Thus infants in the observed group were in utero ,during some phase of development, at the first fallout. Unborn babies are the population most at risk from radioactive fallout.
Infants in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii showed increases in Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism based on newborn screening tests. Overall the rate of increase in impacted states was 28% compared to the remainder of the US, with the state of California showing an increase of 28%.
The primary fallout from the nuclear disaster did indeed reach and impact citizens of the United States despite assurances otherwise. Of course, as reported at World Baby Report earlier in our article “California Infants Put at Risk From 40,000 Microsieverts From Fukushima” we informed you otherwise.
The findings of Mangano and Sherman are not surprising. They warn us that additional information will be forthcoming on the health of our children exposed to fallout, as health records as from 2011 are made public in the future.
Hampering the research is lack of comprehensive information. The EPA has not released statistics, for example on vital milk samples, since June of 2011. Even during the primary fallout in March – April 2011 many EPA airborne monitoring stations were broken or suspiciously compromised or sparsely deployed. The lack of data from a better cross-section of locales and substances does not designate that area or medium as safe or unsafe. It merely precludes it from discussed in research such as that witnessed by Mangano and Sherman.
In light of the elevated CH findings, parents and pediatricians would be wise to closely monitor the thyroid health of all children. The cases in this study only dealt with detected hypothyroidism at birth, and only consider the impact of radioactive iodine-131. Babies and children living in a post Fukushima world are still being impacted by a harsh variety of radioactive isotopes as the disaster in Japan continues. The EPA even announced last month that US Citizens should prepare for higher amounts of radiation in rainwater.
Our babies and children need our protection now more than ever. Seek out the truth..
Read our interview with Dr. mark Sircus on Radiation Mitigation Measures, here
Worldwide, more than 15 million women use Mirena, a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) that is implanted into the uterus and provides birth control for up to five years.
Choosing an IUD instead of the pill or sterilization has become more popular in recent years. In 2002, 2.2 percent of U.S. women using contraception chose IUDs. As of 2009, the number of users grew to 8.5 percent. However, despite Mirena’s popularity and effectiveness, there are many risks associated with it.
Mirena can lead to device migration, device expulsion, ectopic pregnancy and pelvic inflammatory disease. Even Bayer, the device’s manufacturer, admits that all IUDs present a risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is caused by bacteria infecting the reproductive system, and device migration (in which the device can puncture internal organs).
Since Mirena’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000, there have been thousands of reports of adverse events related to the device. The most serious of these events is device migration.
Device migration occurs when Mirena moves from its location in the uterus. The device can puncture the uterine wall and then cause injuries in the bladder, pelvis, abdominal cavity, blood vessels or fallopian tubes.
Complications from device migration can include infection, cramps, bleeding, abdominal pain and discomfort during sex. Surgery is often required to locate and remove the IUD.
Women using Mirena may notice bleeding or pain caused by device expulsion, which occurs when Mirena comes out of the uterus and is expelled from the body. During clinical trials, Bayer found that 5 percent of women experienced device expulsion.
Once the device is expelled, another form of birth control must be used. Additionally, a woman will need to have a pregnancy test done before a physician will implant a new device.
Mirena users can check on whether the device is still in place by feeling for the threads attached to it. Bayer recommends that women check at least once a month to make sure the threads are still there. If the threads cannot be located, women should speak to their doctor.
In rare instances (less than 1 percent), a woman can become pregnant while using Mirena. In such cases, the device must be removed immediately, as there is a two-fold risk of spontaneous abortion or miscarriage and a four-fold increase in the incidence or early labor and delivery if Mirena remains in place.
Also, half of pregnancies that occur with an IUD in place are ectopic pregnancies, meaning the fertilized egg is located outside the womb. Ectopic pregnancies often occur in the fallopian tubes and require surgery. Ectopic pregnancies do not generally survive, and can put women’s lives at risk. They also can lead to infertility.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Within three weeks of having Mirena implanted, women may develop an infection that causes pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause lower abdominal pain and damage the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. In some cases, PID leads to infertility.
The FDA has issued a warning that women with a history of PID should choose another method of birth control.
Women experiencing these devastating side effects have filed lawsuits against Bayer, claiming the company created a dangerous product and did not include accurate warnings. It’s important for women to understand the risks of Mirena before choosing this birth control option.
Alanna Ritchie is a content writer for Drugwatch.com, specializing in news about prescription drugs, medical devices and consumer safety.
Disclaimer – WorldBabyReport.com does not issue or provide medical advice. The content contained therein or via outbound links is supplied for informational and entertainment purposes only. A medical health professional should always first be consulted for medical and health issues and concerns. No guarantee is given, expressed or implied, of the accuracy of this information. Information provided by outbound links serves as a courtesy, we are not responsible for content of other websites.
Last week Russia signed into law the Dima Yakovlev Act. A provision in the act will put a ban on further adoptions of Russian children by US citizens effective News Years day 2013. It is estimated that more than 60, 000 Russian children have been previously adopted by Americans since 1992 —the year Russia lifted a block on out-of-country adoptions.
The story is heartbreaking for the roughly 1,5000 families who find themselves in the midst of incomplete adoptions. Families united in heart but physically torn asunder by souring relations between Moscow and Washington. At present it appears that the Russian government will not allow these in transition adoptions to be completed.
Of course it is most devastating for the estimated 650,000 Russian orphans, many who are plagued by disability or illness, who may continue to languish in the bleak soul-killing facilities in which they are housed.
US Mainstream media is widely reporting that the ban is retribution for the Obama administration signing the Magnitsky Act on December 14, 2012. This particular legislation was named to honor the slaying of a Russian activist who was killed in prison for reporting widespread graft by Russian police. The bill aims to address Russian human right violations. It effectively restricts visas from being issued to Russians who allegedly engaged in human rights violations.
The Russian legislative counterpart, the Dima Yakovlev Act was signed on December 28 , 2012 .
Of note, within the passages of the Yakovlev Act is legislation that also prohibits US citizens with known human right offenses from entering Russia. It also attempts to quash involvement in Russian politics from those US citizens not on official US government business within the country. Perhaps, these particular tenets—alone — of the act are retaliatory measures.
I am not an expert on Russian history or politic. But, it seems disingenuous to specifically label the adoption ban, singularly, as a retributive act. There is more at play here than an international tit for tat. Beyond this I’ll leave the greater political nuances to the experts. Of import, is the real ugly elephant in the room that mainstream propaganda machine only gingerly wants to address: child abuse in the United States. And more topically, the issue of adopted Russian children being abused by their adoptive American parent(s).
In fact, the Russians are sensitive to the 19 known cases of abuse and neglect suffered by Russian children by their American parents over the last 15 years. And although this number may statistically be “low” in comparison to the average annual adoption rats of over 3,000 per year, it is still wrong and appalling.
Here is a sprinkling of abuses that have made headlines:
Tory Hansen Adoption
Tory Hansen made global news in 2010 when she “returned” her seven-year old adopted son to Moscow, unaccompanied aboard a plane, tagged with an explanatory note that she no longer could care for him. Hansen cited fear of her well-being, and that of family and friends due to the youngsters severe “psychopathic issues/behaviors”. She felt that Russian adoption officials had not properly disclosed the mental health of the boy. A recent US court ruling has refused to annul the adoption and is holding Hansen liable for child support. The child remains in Russia.
The Thorne’s also drew media attention and Russian ire, when they were prosecuted in the US for physically and verbally abusing their adopted four-year old girls on a flight from Moscow to the US. They were arrested at the airport.
While the case maneuvered through the courts the children spent a year in multiple US foster homes.
During the legal proceedings eyewitness accounts, including testimony from Delta flight attendants, stated that the children were hit multiple times and verbally abused in attempts to calm the children. The Thorne’s denied the extensive claims and asserted that they had only delivered a solo slap to each child in restraint attempts.
Ultimately, the children were returned to the Thornes upon successfully completing counseling sessions, parenting classes and agreeing to routine welfare checks.
Dima Yakovlev/Chase Harrison
This case was the tragic, indirect abuse, of a toddler left unintentionally left in a hot car for nine hours which resulted in death. Miles Harrison, the adoptive father, had “forgot” that he had placed the child in the car seat. Three months prior he and his wife had adopted the toddler. Apparently he had driven straight to his office, and had not remembered that he was to drop the baby off at daycare. He learned of his fatal error at the close business. Mr. Harrison was acquitted despite Russian outcry.
Maxim Babaev/Maxim Taylor
This might have been the last straw for Russian officials. A five-year old Russian boy, Maxim Babaev (or Maxim Taylor), was witnessed being brutally beaten in a Florida neighborhood by his adopted parents. Police were summoned to rescue the child. On official examination it was also discovered that the boy had also suffered sexual abuse. He was placed into protective custody and the parents, “Mr and Mrs Taylor ” were arrested and shockingly only placed on probation: A five year term for Mr. Taylor and a one year term for Mrs. Taylor. The boy remains in foster care.
Children are a nations pride and joy. Is it any wonder that Russian fury would be drawn from these incidents? From a political standpoint how could they continue to let their deepest international rival abuse their own. Political psychology just doesn’t compute that these children may have been just as worse off in a Russian orphanage. National pride….a people’s pride is at stake here. Leaving Vladimir Putin to state that the Russians should care for their own children. Clearly the uninspired notion that if things are going to go bad, you can do bad all by yourself.
Prior to the passage of the Yakovlev Act, repair work had seemingly begun on Russian-American adoptions after the Russians had voiced strong concerns about alarming abuses. In the summer of 2012, the 2011 Bilateral Agreement Regarding Cooperation in Adoption of Children was signed. The agreement became effective in November 2012 and had provisions for a transition period. It had sought to establish better safeguards and monitoring capabilities relative to the adoption of Russian children. However, the strength of the measure was recently tested in the Maxim Babaev case and found to fail in Russian eyes. Russian diplomat,Sergey Chumarov, who is working with the Russian Embassy tasked with handling adoptive cases, was denied access to the child by Florida courts. It appears that an intersection of state and local laws between that of the newly passed Bilateral Agreement has yet to materialize. The Russian’s are deeply disturbed that courts failed to properly punish the boy’s adoptive parents in light of strongly documented physical and sexual abuse. The boy continues to receive psychological and mental care in Florida.
Clearly there were (and still are) issues surrounding Russian-American adoptions that require more than just a mere finessing.
Some have cited the short acclimation period between parent and child as the source of blame. Others have claimed lacked of disclosure about a child’s true well-being. Inter-Country adoptions are not for the faint of heart. Parents and children can encounter cultural and language difficulties. For the immature mind of a scared child, often littered with inhumane treatment, it can be difficult to conceive a better world beyond the doors of the orphanage. These facilities are what they have grown to know, and a sudden seizure from that setting —-away from routine, change in caregiver, surroundings, language, food, etc —can give rise to or exacerbate already existent behavioral deficits.
In reading a New York times interview from the Thorne’s, it becomes obvious that many of these adoptions were ripe for trouble at the start. Guilt or innocence aside, the plane ride from Moscow to New York that the Thorne’s and their daughter’s endured was prime ground for an ugly occurrence at 40,000 feet. Their daughters were severely emotionally troubled, they had no interpreter, there was no transition figure for the girls, and a lack of professional skills for dealing with special needs children. The adults snapped. The children snapped.
Of course, added into the complexity of an international adoption are all of the hurdles any American parent needs to navigate. Think time and money resources, childcare, health management, educational choices. Multiply those inherit duties/needs by the strains of having a child with mental or physical challenges and the domestic situation is prime for under-supported parents to engage in abusive or neglectful activities.
Child abusers don’t always fit a neat stereotype. They come from all manner of educational status, all religions and races, they are neither just rich or poor.They can be American, Russian or any other country person. But, we in American need to look in the mirror and know that according to Childhelp.org “The United States has the worst record in the industrialized nation – losing five children every day due to abuse-related deaths.” We have a problem in the US and it is one that is clearly obvious to the Russians. The Russians are not simply “crying wolf”.
On December 28th the US department promised prospective parents caught in the midst of incomplete adoptions , via an alert notice, that the US will remain “actively engaged” with Russian authorities to communicate status of those adoptions and urge adoption completion.
In this adoption stalemate, both countries need to take a long hard look at what is ravaging the souls and bodies of their most precious assets. Their children deserve better.
Update: As of February 2013, Russian officials are currently investigating yet another tragic death of an adopted Russian toddler. A medical examiner’s office has confirmed that the body of Maxim Shatto had bruising. An autopsy is still pending. Russian officials have accused the American adoptive mother of Maxim of physical abuse including the dispensing of psychiatric drugs.
The American Academy Of Pediatrics proclaims that it has a mission “to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Sadly, yet again, the AAP has miserably failed to heed this mission. A clinical report published in the AAP’s online journal Pediatrics, Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages, argues that there just isn’t enough scientific evidence, over the long-term, to substantiate claims that organic foods are healthier for our babies and children.
The clinical report authored by, Joel Forman, MD, Janet Silverstein, MD COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION and COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, outlandishly asserts:
“… current evidence does not support any meaningful nutritional benefits or deficits from eating organic compared with conventionally grown foods, and there are no well-powered human studies that directly demonstrate health benefits or disease protection as a result of consuming an organic diet.”
“Organic produce contains fewer
pesticide residues than does conventional
produce, and consuming
a diet of organic produce reduces
human exposure to pesticides. It
remains unclear whether such a reduction
in exposure is clinically relevant”
“There is no evidence of clinically
relevant differences in organic
and conventional milk.”
“There is no evidence that conventional
milk contains significantly
increased amounts of bovine GH.
Any bovine GH that might remain
in conventional milk is not biologically
active in humans because of
structural differences and susceptibility
to digestion in the stomach.”
Encourage patients and their families
to eat an optimally health-promoting
diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, and low-fat or fat-free milk
and dairy products. (Apparently, the alarming rise in allergies to dairy and grains is being ignored by the AAP as they continue to advocate the questionable health benefits of the USDA Food Pyramid.)
Honestly, one has to wonder who exactly is financing some members of the AAP to make such outrageous claims. Have they pledged their allegiances to the likes of Monsanto and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co over the oath that they have made to protect our babies and children. As the state of California gears up to vote on the mandatory GMO food labeling Law, Proposition 37, the timing of the publication and surrounding press spin is suspicious. Is this meant to purposefully confuse parents?
Has the AAP ceased to engage in serious intellectual study and honest attempts at discovery to solve the plagues of today which assault our children? Do they not wonder beyond a cursory thought why allergies, respiratory disease, childhood cancers and autism spectrum disorders continue to climb upward? Or why puberty continues a downward trend for both boys and girls?
When the AAP makes such irresponsible statements it endangers the professional reputation of those respected pediatricians that DO retain an ethical dedication to promoting the well-being of children. It is a failure of their mission statement which warns:
“The maintenance of public trust and the AAP’s integrity, ethical standards, credibility, and identify are
of paramount importance in accomplishing that mission and will be protected with the utmost
The ridiculous stance of the AAP fails to take into account documented sound science. There are ample studies that demonstrate the harm of conventionally grown produce, grains, non-organic dairy and non-organic meat products. The danger lies not only in pesticide and herbicide usage but also in the increase of genetically modified foods, antibiotics and hormones. The dangers are real.
Financially difficulties continue to afflict pain and pressure to many families across the United States. Securing nutritious food to feed their children is a central budgetary concern. Unfortunately, most organic food do cost more at the grocery store than conventionally grown food. However, parents need to consider the long-term economic impact of caring for a child that has become sickened, by the ravages of compromised food and water supply poisoned by pesticides, GMO’s, hormones and other unnatural chemical concoctions. Instead of advising parents to save money by cutting out cable TV, skipping the Starbucks, planting a garden, cooking from scratch and transferring those savings to organic food purchases the following is stated by lead author “Janet Silverstein, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Nutrition:
“Many families have a limited food budget, and we do not want families to choose to consume smaller amounts of more expensive organic foods and thus reduce their overall intake of healthy foods like produce.”
Parents instead should be told that by any means necessary they should do their best to secure organic food.
A recent Italian court case found a group of seismologists guilty of manslaughter after the 2009 earthquake caused the death of 300 towns people and widespread destruction. The verdict was based not on the inability of the seismologist to accurately predict the earthquake, but on their wanton downplaying of the risks of a potential earthquake. Days before the quake struck the scientists had downplayed the seismic risks. The courts rightfully pointed out that scientists have a civic duty, if not a moral one, to share the full scope of their knowledge with the public. Failure to do so,the court essentially ruled—- to withhold life-saving information, is criminal and murderous.
If the AAP continues to forsake our children with bad science and questionable advice they should be held to same legal standard as the Italian seismologists. Late and eventual apologies won’t be able to erase the misery of a lifetime of illness or the heartbreak of early departures.
If this tirade of incompetence continues the cells should be made and the keys thrown away. Successful societies revere their children and dispose of their criminals.
For some compelling evidence arguing for the necessity and superiority of organic foods please consult the following:
Grab your organic-non-GMO popcorn and watch the documentary film Genetic Roulette, by Jeffrey M Smith. The film is free to view until 10-31 -12 and provides compelling evidence about the dangerous rise of genetically modified foods and the resultant rise in disease within our population, most notably within our children.
Another excellent source of sound scientific information, frequently updated, on the benefit of organic food comes from the Cornucopia foundation
The Cornucopia Institute supports”the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture”. Learn more, here
Read Organic Manifesto by Maria Rodale. The book is a compelling read that matches conventional destructive farming practices with the rise of disease in our children. An offshoot website of the book, Demand Organic, also provides a straight forward approach to basic questions about organic food. Check out their Q & A page titled “All About Organic”.
Striking in the third trimester of pregnancy, preeclampsia is responsible for 70,000 worldwide maternal death. The hallmarks of the condition, are elevated maternal blood pressure and protein in the urine. It ranks third, outpaced only by severe bleeding and infection , as the unfortunate cause of death of pregnant mothers, the unborn and newborn babies.
But the medical community is now a step closer to isolating the causes of preeclampsia. Dr. Ananth Karumanchi (Associate Professor of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center & Harvard Medical School, Boston Massachusetts) has uncovered a newly evident molecular pathway that predicts preeclampsia. The promising discovery, was reported by Dr. Karumanchi in Berlin at the first ECRC “Franz-Volhard” symposium. In the years ahead, the finding could result in breakthrough therapies to conquer preeclampsia.
It is believed that the true incidences of preeclampsia worldwide are often under reported. While, the ravages of the disease are experienced worldwide, manifestations are particularly brutal in poverty-stricken countries. Dr. Karumanch states” Preeclampsia is especially lethal in underdeveloped world where medical care and facilities for emergencies and for caring for premature babies are lacking.” Such disparities in treatment lead to a higher neonatal death rate.
Preeclampsia also can manifest itself with few obvious symptoms. Many symptoms are subtle, and often mistaken as normal pregnancy complaints. Proper and routinely scheduled prenatal care will alert a pregnant woman if she has developed preeclampsia and afford her constant care.
Currently when a pregnant woman is diagnosed with preeclampsia doctors exercise every available effort to treat the mother and baby— without spurring early delivery. The longer a baby is allowed to develop in the protection of the womb, the greater his chances of survival. If the condition can’t be controlled, doctors will induce an early labor to save the life of the mother and baby. Preeclampsia is one of the primary causes of premature birth.
Preeclampsia is a condition that only exists in pregnancy. Birth of the baby, halts the occurrence of preclampsia. Yet, there is a risk factor later in life still faced by afflicted women of heart disease, high blood pressure and thyroid disorders. Babies that are born prematurely also might face myriad health problems that span into adulthood.
Researchers have been hunting for early clues that would point to the development of preeclampsia. If a mother could secure treatment prior to elevated display of symptoms it would bode well for safely lengthening the duration of the pregnancy and the overall health of the maternal-baby dyad.
Dr. Karumanchi uncovered the elusive causes of the condition at the molecular level. The trouble is rooted in the placenta, an organ of pregnancy which provides nourishment to the developing baby. The placenta also releases a set of two telltale proteins.
The first protein is known as the placental growth factor (PIGF). This protein is responsible for the constructing of blood vessel pathways leading to the placenta. The counterpart protein to PIGF is Soluble frms-like tyrosine kinase or sFlt-1. The task of the sFit-1 is to bind with the PIGF protein and prevent blood vessel growth.
In a healthy pregnancy the two opposing proteins are kept in balance. But, Dr. Karumanchi and his team made an impressive realization that women with preeclampsia have an excess of sFit-1 and a shortage of PIGF. The imbalance creates a placenta that lacks sufficient blood supply. A lack of blood supply in the placenta equates to a lack of nourishment to the developing baby. Low levels of PIGF also cause the constriction of blood vessels which elevate maternal blood pressure. Additionally, the kidneys are impacted by the onset of proteinuria. The latter symptom is detected by high levels of protein in the maternal urine.
Due to amazing breakthrough of Dr. Karumanchi and his scientific team real world pilot studies have begun. Measurements of PIGF and sFlt-1 can now be made earlier in pregnancy, prior to the severe onset of hypertension and proteinuria. In a pilot study, excessive sFlt-1 was removed from maternal serum blood. Single staged treatments lowered the excessive sFlt-1 levels serum blood levels in woman diagnosed with preeclampsia Multiple treatments, in early onset of the disease, successfully reduced excessive sFlt-1 levels, reduced proteinuria and stabilized hypertension. No harmful effects were observed to the maternal-baby-dyad. The risk of prematurity was lower and longer pregnancy durations were observed.
The pilot study was small. Dr. Karumanchi and his team have optimistically stress the need for additional studies to substantiate the findings of the pilot study and validate the procedures safety for mother and baby. Professor Ravi Thadhani conducted the pilot study alongside a team of nephrologists and obstetricians.
More information about this serious pregnancy condition can be found at the Preeclampsia Foundation, click here.
GUEST POST – by DrugWatch.com
Pregnancy, for many women, is one of life’s most joyous events. Most women are aware that pregnancy will make changes in the body and are very willing to make that sacrifice in the interests of having a child. Women know that they risk stretch marks, weight gain and sagging breasts, but not too many are aware of the risk of pelvic floor problems, such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP).
These are issues that any women who has given birth should be watching for, since early diagnosis and treatment can greatly reduce the chances that SUI or POP surgery will be necessary. And, should surgery become necessary, women need to be aware of the risks involved with widely used SUI and POP procedures that use vaginal mesh implants.
Pregnancy and the Pelvic Floor
Anything that puts pressure on the pelvic floor can weaken and stretch its muscles and connective tissues, and pregnancy certainly does that. The weight of the baby applies pressure, especially in the late stages, when the baby is larger and more cramped.
Labor and delivery also stress the pelvic floor, particularly if your baby weighs more than 8 pounds. Long labor or difficult deliveries can mean more stress, and improperly repaired episiotomies can increase the risk of pelvic floor problems. Nearly half of all women who give birth will have pelvic support problems at some point in their lives.
SUI and POP
SUI and POP are common conditions that stem from a weak pelvic floor. Stress urinary incontinence happens when the pelvic floor muscles aren’t strong enough to hold back urine flow when the bladder is squeezed by abdominal muscles, allowing leakage when a woman laughs, coughs, sneezes or does physical activity. Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor has become too weak or stretched to provide proper support to pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus and rectum, allowing them to drop low in the pelvis and rest against the vagina.
SUI and POP can appear during pregnancy or shortly after in some women, but in most the symptoms materialize later in life, generally after the age of 50. Many women can manage the symptoms of SUI and POP with targeted pelvic floor exercises, along with lifestyle and dietary changes. However, when non-invasive treatments fail, surgery may be necessary.
Surgical Repair and Vaginal Mesh Dangers
It is essential for women who are considering SUI or POP repair procedures to research all surgical options and discuss the risks and benefits of each with their doctors. Over the last decade, most SUI and POP procedures have been done with the use of vaginal mesh implants, a trend that has proven troublesome for many women. Reports of serious vaginal mesh complications received by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been increasing over the past few years, and the agency has issued alerts on these products, questioning the safety and effectiveness of vaginal mesh implants.
Among the complications most frequently reported are mesh erosion, protrusion of mesh through vaginal walls, organ perforation and infection. Furthermore, the FDA states that procedures done with vaginal mesh haven’t been proven to have better clinical results than traditional surgery. Numerous patients have filed Mesh lawsuits due to these dangerous side effects.
Please share this information with other woman that you know.
The worst case of global child abuse this world has ever witnessed is silently happening, NOW, all around you. It is attacking little by little every child that you know. This is a stealth abuse that attacks vital organs, the blood ways and warps the DNA of our beloved children. We can’t see, smell or taste the abuser. But fellow parents and child advocates the unfortunate truth is that ongoing nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, in Japan, is threatening the well-being and very life of our unborn, babies and small children. This is not just a threat to Japanese children, those living in the Pacific Northwest or the those on the West Coast. It impacts ALL children as our planet is tiny. Our oceans and air masses are shared. What is in the wind today a world away — sooner or later— finds its way to your neighborhood.
Rather than be complacent and resign our children to a life of disease, illness and a permanent deficit in intelligence. We, the caregivers of the world’s children need to develop protective protocols to mitigate their exposures to radioactive fallout. Although all nuclear power Plants have documented leaks, the largest current risk of radiation endangering all livings things is from Fukushima. Only an utter miracle can halt the continuing tide of radiation being released from this ill-fated plant. The human race has never witnessed such an epic man-made disaster. A thorough “fix” to the troubled nuclear plant is beyond the comprehension of science today. The legacy of Fukushima is here for millions of years, as radioisotopes such as iodine-129 litter the planet. This is the unfortunate environmental truth that we have bequeathed to our children.
What is frustrating as a parent, is the deafening silence from the world governments and medical institutions regarding how to defend our babies and children from the devastating impacts of radiation. Only a minority of admissions about the scope of the problem have been reported in the mainstream media. Our medical institutions have been infiltrated by nuclear propaganda that shamefully serves to dissuade physicians and health science professionals that low doses of radiation pose no harm. Thus the majority of obstetricians and pediatricians and other health care professionals are largely ignorant of this epic health concern. Government agencies tasked to inform the larger public have been caught in deliberate deception — a debacle that undermines the principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Each day that a parent WAITS for an official response from either the government or that of a medical institution proclaiming danger is a day that a parent has forever lost to protect their child. Time is crucial. If you have already been taking measures to protect your child from radiation — continue those protocols. If you are a parent just learning of the radiation dangers — know that it is never too late to begin protecting your child. Start protective measures today.
World Baby Report has had the pleasure and honor of speaking to the renowned Marcus Sircus Ac.,OMD. A loving father of six, Dr. Sircus has long been an advocate for the well-being of the unborn, babies and children. He is a human being that has said:” My main mission is to protect the children, newborns, and the pregnant mothers that carry them. That is because my greatest focus in life is on the delicate space of vulnerability. “ Such advocacy, is found in his mudraking book” Terror of Pediatrics” which highlights the assault of procedures babies and small children endure in their first years by the medical establishment. He also is the author of the excellent publication “Humane Pediatrics“. It is a book that envisions a new way of approaching pediatric medicine with a focus of offering treatments and procedures that thwart toxic burdens and damaging medical-pharmaceutical assaults.
Dr. Sircus is not shy about confronting head-on medical issues that some medical professionals continually duck. His work is well documented and thoughtful. And commendably, Dr. Sircus has been at the forefront of discussion regarding the Fukushima nuclear disaster from day one. Publishing two books in its wake: Nuclear Toxicity Syndrome – Treatments for Nuclear and Chemical Nightmares and Iodine – Bringing Back the Universal Medicine.
We interviewed Dr. Sircus with the direct hope of gaining his thoughts on how Fukushima radiation is impacting our babies and children.
WBR – Why are the unborn, babies and young children most at risk from radiation dangers?
DMS - The accepted reason is that the radiation effects cells that are reproducing the fastest. So,in a newborn or fetal situation all the cells are reproducing rapidly. Just that alone on a mathematical level increases their vulnerability.
WBR- Is radiation from Fukushima just a problem for Japanese parents, or just those on the West Coast or Pacific Northwest in the United States? Who exactly should be concerned?
DMS Everybody has exposure. (there is) No escaping it.
Sircus cites fallout maps that illustrate the global spread of the radioactive wrath. See our story. He vocalizes the inconvenient truth that North America was and is downwind of a nuclear disaster. Residing in Brazil since 1991, Sircus laments that even countries within the Southern Hemisphere will be unable to escape Fukushima ‘s radioactive wrath.
WBR- Should parents be more concerned about airborne fallout…or more concerned about the bio-accumulation?
DMS - You need a simplistic approach. Meaning…Parents have to protect or future parents have to protect their future children from an enormous array of difficulties that are just increasing.”
Dr. Sircus views the newly present dangers of Fukushima radiation as an addition of the already troubling basket of environmental and medical assaults that plague our children. A harsh critic of vaccine protocol, viewing such actions against newborn babies as terrorist like, the addition of radioactive isotopes along with already existent pollutants— in the air, water, food and products — heightens the need for parental vigilance to ensure child welfare.
Sircus reminds us that western coastal states have been victimized already by environmental pollution (mercury, lead and particulate matter) streaming from overseas industrial powerhouses, such as China and India. Fukushima radiation adds another layer of endangerment.
WBR – What can parents do to protect their children?
Sircus suggests implementing the following 5 protocols to mitigate against radiation and other pollution assaults.
- Proper hydration with good water .
- Magnesium supplementation via magnesium chloride bath flakes for children. Or, by spraying magnesium chloride on a child’s skin .
- Iodine supplementation . (He prefers Nascent iodine. But, also recognizes ‘Lugols Solution as a popular choice).
- Sodium Bicarbonate baths (aluminum free Baking Soda)
- Edible Clay
The baths that Dr. Sircus advocates are known as medical baths. He writes in an introduction to his book Bicarbonate and Magnesium Medical Baths:
“Bath time is more than just a time to clean your baby or child; it can also be a special time to care for a child’s nutritional and medical needs even when perfectly healthy. By loading their baths with nutritional medicinals like bicarbonate, magnesium and even iodine, we can strengthen our children against the toxicities of the world. We can also strengthen them before receiving ill-advised vaccines since their magnesium and bicarbonate-deficient bodies will be more vulnerable to the toxic insult that vaccines present directly to the blood, which is, after all, a highly sensitive medium.”
Read more radiation protection measures in this article by Dr. Sircus Treatments for Nuclear Contamination
WBR – If a parent fails to institute any remediation what is the eventual writing on the wall? What will the next generation of the world’s children look like?
DMS - “Go research Chernobyl and see what has happened to the children there. You will get a good picture”
Studied children within the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area were plagued by heart disease (Chernobyl Heart), blood cancers, thyroid cancers, thyroid disorders, various other cancers and day-to-day complaints reflecting a variety of ills. Their immune systems never recovered. The ravaged immune system of Chernobyl survivors has led some to coin the debilitating set of health condition as”Chernoybl Aids”. Birth defects and accelerated genetic mutations became common observances. The fallout impact has continued to haunt the health of subsequent generations.
In the four-month aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, researchers Ernest Sternglass and Jay Gould concluded that even the United States experienced a 3.1% rise in infant mortality. Their research also uncovered US government documents that displayed increases in other radiation- induced health concerns such as newborn hypothyroidism, infant leukemia and childhood thyroid cancer. Fukushima is a much larger, longer and closer hit to North America then Chernobyl. Recent evidence compiled since the Fukushima disaster by Dr. Joseph Mangano and fellow colleague Dr. Janette Sherman indicate another unfortunate rise in infant deaths due to nuclear fallout. In the 14 weeks following Fukushima the death rate for infants under the age of one increased over the same span of time for the prior year. More unfortunate and foreboding evidence of the saga of Fukushima is certain to b e revealed. Scientific data, however, is slow to unfold. Protective protocols should not hinge on the release of government reports and scientific journals. The Age of Concern is the present.
WBR - Any parting advice to parents?
“You can only do your best. Keep an open heart and tune in to the highest”
What endears Sircus most to his followers is revealed in his response. His voice becomes relaxed, peaceful and knowing as a philosophical yet practical response is formatted. Dr Sircus cautions about getting paranoid about the environmental challenges we face. He urges that we need to care for our souls and honor those that we truly value and connect with the higher powers in our life. In heartfelt expression he voices that there is “No real choice but to go more spiritual.” what carries him through is “Loving his wife more and spending the with children…and turning to the highest (power).
He does indicate though we need to “take defensive moves” such as “Being smart” with the five methods mentioned in his above protocol. Overall, he suggests that dodging radiation fallout or other environmental toxins is not a game of baseball, where as a pitcher you can duck. The assaults are invisible.
We thank Dr. Sircus for his interview. For further information about Dr. Sircus and to receive his medical commentaries visit the International Medical Veritas Association.
Disclaimer – WorldBabyReport.com does not issue or provide medical advice. The content contained therein or via outbound links is supplied for informational and entertainment purposes only. A medical health professional should always first be consulted for medical and health issues and concerns. No guarantee is given, expressed or implied, of the accuracy of this information. Information provided by outbound links serves as a courtesy, we are not responsible for content of other websites.
Have you heard? Collins Avenue, creator of such fabulous television programming such as “Dance Moms”, is producing a new Extreme Parenting /Breastfeeding Reality Show to bring to your… boob tube. The show’s supposed controversial hook is that it will partly focus on mothers who dare to breastfeed toddlers. Remaining segments of the reality show will display other types of “extreme parenting”.
Sigh. Where do I start with this one? First of all when I think of “extreme parenting” that first thing that I visualize— as the editor of World Baby Report — are the horrific cases of child abuse that I sift through daily in researching topics. Examples of parents, if you can call these despicable human beings that, who place live babies in microwave ovens and dryers or brutally bash their brains to blunt out their cries amongst other atrocities. But, I guess that type of reality show wouldn’t get get good sponsorship. Instead, there is a need to attack the natural parenting crowd, so-called holistic moms and dads or the attachment parenting folks for their efforts to humanely mother and father as they best see fit for their families. Why? Is it just because it is “fun” to pick on someone nice much like the school yard bully does? No. Unfortunately, the answer lives deeper within political undertones and corporate profits that are attempting to redirect how we raise our children.
These socially engineered efforts are designed to standardize parenting across the board. In fact Collins Avenue president Jeff Collin’s, hints at this in a comment made to Yahoo Shine “I’m fascinated by the way other people raise their children. I grew up in a very conservative small town and everyone kind of raised their kids with the exact same values so it’s interesting to me to see so many people breaking the mold of tradition.“ Labeling America as a country of “extremes” he then proceeds to state ” “Breastfeeding beyond infancy is just one of the topics we plan to cover. We’ve discovered people are raising kids in all kinds of un-traditional ways these days and some people find their methods to be extreme.”
As more parents began to independently assess socially prescribed parental instructions —- an inconvenient rift is indeed forming. Parents who dare to research the health implications of formula feeding, escalating vaccine schedules and fight against intrusion into legal parenting rights are rejecting commonly held beliefs. This new breed of parenting is leading a revolt of sorts. A march against bad science campaigns and corporate lobbying efforts. Instead of poking fun at them for their “extreme parenting” we need to commit our attentions and outrage to the REALITY impacting the health and wellness of our babies and children.
Societal blueprints that highlight the architecture being built to erode parenting movements.
In April 2012, Elisabeth Banditer released a feminist rant titled The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women. The publisher’s book description boasts the following proclamation ” Badinter argues that the taboos now surrounding epidurals, formula, disposable diapers, cribs—and anything that distracts a mother’s attention from her offspring—have turned child rearing into a singularly regressive force.” Banditer’s book received a healthy fanfare of publicity from mainstream media.
But Peggy O’Mara of Mothering Magazine smelled a skunk and called this scam of a book out for what it is. She wrote “Badinter is an old-school feminist who believes that breastfeeding is inherently oppressive despite it being the feminist issue of our time. She is also owner of Publicis, public relations company for Nestle’, the world’s largest formula manufacturer. According to Katy Allison Granju, Badinter’s company also represents the manufacturers of Enfamil and Similac. Her job is to increase formula sales!”
You see breastfeeding is just too inconvenient for modern society. Besides reducing the financial coffers of the infant formula industry, the “Breast is Best Campaign” is also negatively impacting other business segments. Working breastfeeding mothers, in the United States, now have legal accommodations within the work place for both a time and a place to express their milk. This is a fantastic advancement for working mothers committed to providing breast milk for their babies —but often a begrudged compliance factor for both big and small businesses. It stirs resentment in a tight economy. The discontent also stems from restaurants and other private establishments that face bad publicity if they dare banish a breastfeeding mother to the bathroom or off the entire premise. It’s an edgy mix of opposing views from ownership and patrons of various persuasions. The very laws protecting the act of breastfeeding in public places and government buildings are continually challenged. Woman are fighting for their already established legal rights to breastfeed in the courtroom, national museums and government buildings. Dramatically stir in the deliberately controversial, Time Magazine cover of a mother provocatively posed breastfeeding her four year old, and the underlining true public sentiment bursts open.
It appears that the greater public is fine with a little breastfeeding. Most are in agreement that mothers should at least attempt to nourish their newborns with a bit of mother’s milk. A promising 74% breastfeed their babies in the immediate postpartum period per the latest CDC compilation. Unfortunately, the infant formula industry is so strongly footed in American hospitals— that you are still apt to get an unfortunate pediatric nurses lamenting to a new mother that her baby will be fussy and not sleep as well as the formula fed infants. Not to mention conflicting advice from some pediatricians who will incorrectly assign formula to newly breastfed infants to treat supposed “tummy problems”. Worn down and confused mothers then, who are left without access and the aid of a lactation consultation, often abandon breastfeeding. By three months, there is still strong opinion that breastfeeding is the right way to continue feeding an infant. Yet, economic necessities return many a mother back to work. Again, breastfeeding rates fall. Only 35% of infants were exclusively breastfed at three months — despite the advancements in fancy breast pumps and other portable gear purporting to make expressing milk easy. Up until the 6 months mark only 14% of infants were exclusively breastfed. By 12 months about 24% of babies are nursing (non-exclusively), usually in conjunction with a diet of solid foods. Mothering Magazine, in a 2006 survey estimated that amongst their pro-breastfeeding readership only “about 41% breastfed for one to two years; 32% for two to three years; and 6% for more than four years.”
So, then the modern societal norm is that most mothers do not breastfeed beyond infanthood. Any residual guilt about this by mothers is countered and massaged by public opinions which overwhelmingly express disgust at breastfeeding beyond the 12th month mark. The Time Magazine article was a direct baton strike, conveniently scheduled for Mother’s Day, at any woman who might dare or was already committed to extended breastfeeding. The message wasn’t truly “Are you Mom enough?” but rather “Are you Mad enough?”—-as in crazy enough to ride the tide of public criticism if you elect to delay weaning. It’s a form of crowd control. And, any mother on the edge of the deciding whether to continue breastfeeding a one, two or three year old was most likely snapped back into the other side.
The other piece of this puzzle is the dairy lobby. It is bad enough for dairy that less mothers are using infant formula. But, to extend that profit model out to toddlerhood is not something that they can allow financially. The increasingly aggressive efforts by the dairy industry can be seen in the efforts to thwart the growing raw milk movement. People are realizing that conventional cow’s milk is not a health food, and their attempts to secure and sustain a substituted supply of unadulterated raw milk is being criminalized.
The propaganda machine that continues to label extended breastfeeding — as “crazy” “unnatural” or”disgusting” is the very one that engineers latent public policies. What is next? Will extended breastfeeding sessions become fodder for visits from child protective services? Will mothers be subject to criminal indictments for pseudo psychological claims that label breastfeeding beyond infancy as detrimental to child development?
Many parents now distrust vaccines. They are no longer universally perceived by parents as a sure fix to childhood illness. Most parents do vaccinate —but even within that group there is a significant portion of parents who wonder if they have elected the right course of action. Those parents that entirely opt out of vaccinating their children, face a wrath of discrimination about their choice. Campaigns now abound, incorrectly, advocating that un-vaccinated children put vaccinated children at risk. Efforts have been made to exempt parental consent — a direct assault of parental rights. Forced vaccination legislation is taking root in states such as, California. Again there is the possibility of criminality charges looming here for parents who dare to parent differently. And that is shame, because it thwarts the public reaction. And, there should be reaction from the public —in the form of research, discussion or dissension concerning vaccines when corruption is revealed.
Glaxo Kine Smith was just recently fined 3 billion dollars to settle the single largest case of, acknowledged, pharmaceutical fraud. Per the NY Daily News “Prosecutors said Glaxo illegally promoted Paxil for treating depression in children from 1998 to 2003, even though it wasn’t approved for anyone under age 18. “ This is the same company that was fined earlier this year nearly a million dollars for the vaccine related deaths of 14 babies in Argentina. In the US, earlier this year it was discovered that some childhood vaccines were being improperly stored at the wrong temperatures or otherwise had exceeded their expiration date. A serious error that threatened the health of children.
These are just a handful of recent examples regarding vaccines that render concern. Parents who question vaccine safety are simply trying to restore ethics and the ethos of caring for the health and welfare of children—back into the foundations of vaccine protocol. The trust has been broken.
Public health officials, from all parts across the globe, are now universally labeling co-sleeping as dangerous and deadly. Earlier this year Milwaukee public health officials caused a a rightful outrage when they released a PSA showing a baby in a bed sleeping next to a butcher knife. The misdirected aim of the campaign was meant to equate co-sleeping with murder. Again, note the alignment of criminality here in relation to parenting efforts.
Unfortunately, there is a dire lack of understanding amongst public health officials about the true nature of infant sleep patterns. This is furthered by the a juvenile products industry that aims to sell crib products and baby monitors and other “outsourcing” of parental duties via superfluous baby equipment. The truth is that mothers and baby’s are biologically designed to sleep in unison with one another. Such co-sleep is beneficial and life-saving. This isn’t touchy- feely-granola-parenting, but rather it is established and substantiated in sound understanding of human neuroscience. Read more in our article Natural Baby Sleep Patterns. Public health campaigns would be best administered if they did their homework on the true science of mother-baby-sleep. This understanding, combined with educating the public about circumstances when sleeping with an infant is reckless — states of intoxication, extreme fatigue, soft pillows, heavy blankets, etc — would go a lot further to actually saving babies.
The Real Reality Show
Instead of gaping at a televised reality show, the public could freely attend any local La Leche League meeting and observe mothers caring for their children. There might be a handful of mothers who are breastfeeding a 2 year old. They would be happy to share with anyone interested, the plentiful health reasons that they continue to feed their children human milk. My guess is that public would not find the act disturbing, sexualized or disgusting. Instead their fears or other upsetting notions about what extended breastfeeding looks like, would be replaced by an images of normal everyday women comforting and feeding their normal everyday babies or toddlers. Not a freak show. It’s when we start observing and interacting in real life that facades fall.
Instead of ostracizing parents who dare to thing differently, yet parent lovingly, as extreme we should applaud them. Thinking differently is exactly what we value in honest scientific invention and artistic expression. It is what inspired the founding of our nation. This doesn’t mean that you personally need to bend your beliefs. Your family is your business. Instead, it means that as an expectant new parent or already existing parent that you must stay on the alert — above and beyond any professional or entity when it comes to the health and welfare of your babies and children. Blindly abdicating such responsibilities puts you in target range for procedures and policies that may be detrimental to your sons and daughters.
Zoloft, Serlain, Lustral, Paxil and other popular antidepressants classified as SSRI (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors )have been linked to troubling birth defects. Shockingly, the FDA to this day has allowed these medications to remain in the marketplace directly compromising the health and welfare of our infants. Some babies born to mothers medicated during pregnancy with antidepressants have sustained severe heart, lung, cranial and abdominal defects. Other adverse health impacts of in-utero antidepressant usage are increasingly being documented.
Despite ample information the now know risks of treating pregnant women with SSRI anti-depressants, drug manufacturers are failing to properly inform doctors and expectant mothers. Babies born with these defects, if they survive, face a life compromised by major health obstacles. Treatment costs can be stagger. The heartache for parents is unending.
Some honest individuals within the medical industry are now calling into question the entire practice of prescribing anti-depressants to pregnant women. In an excellent article, maternal-fetal-medicine specialist Adam Urato, M.D., comments on the CommonHealth blog:
“We are currently seeing what amounts to an epidemic of antidepressant drug exposure during pregnancy and there is a pervasive lack of public information and understanding on this topic. Pregnant women need accurate information about drugs they take. I am surprised on a regular basis by my colleagues in obstetrics and psychiatry who are simply unaware of the large body of scientific studies clearly showing antidepressants to be associated with pregnancy complications”
Risks to Mother and Baby
Besides the aforementioned birth defects, Urato lists the following documented risks associated with antidepressant use in pregnancy.
- Miscarriage (estimated to be as high as 10%)
- Preterm Birth (may be greater than 20%)
- Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)
- Decreased Fetal Growth
- Newborn Behavioral Syndrome (Upwards of 30%)
- Heart Conduction Problems (i.e, the prolonged QT syndrome shows 10% impacted)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Autism Risks (Doubling of Risks)
- Unknown long term impact on brain development
The public has been conditioned to believe that antidepressants are harmless. Drug companies have been complacent in engineering this perception. The practice of prescribing antidepressants to the pregnant has sinister implications when efforts to thwart information about health impacts are enacted as there are two “patients” impacted by usage—the dyad of mother and baby. The baby is biological dependent dependent on the mother for immediate survival. But, an infant is also dependent on society for enforcing protections and basic issues of human rights. Society considers it abusive and criminal when babies are born addicted to illicit drugs as those negative health are well understood. Mounting evidence of birth defects and other adverse health outcomes now beckon us to apply the same criteria to antidepressants.
The public health focus should be expanded to include the universal care of the pregnant dyad —-mother and child. For one, prenatal care needs to be revamped to provide a comprehensive approach to wellness. Prenatal visits should extend beyond the all too rote monitoring of the mere pregnant state. Examinations should not merely include the biological monitoring of the week by week stages of pregnancy, but should also afford greater focus on the overall mental well being of the mother. This must go deeper than simply prescribing or supporting the use of antidepressants across the board in pregnancy. Greater screening for underlying health issues that can trigger depressive moods —such as undiagnosed thyroid disorders and inherent nutritional deficiencies need to figure into treatment plans. Women should have resources to obtain traditional counseling services —-”talk therapy”. Such therapies have demonstrated to be just as effective in supporting and reversing depression.
Additionally, as a society we need to evaluate the demands we place on our pregnant woman. A recent study has suggested that working over 36 hours per week has the possibility to impact the health outcome of a pregnancy. But, obviously most pregnant woman need to work. Pregnancy is no longer actively viewed as a disability in today’s society…which is good. But maybe we need to replace some of the pampering that ensconced pregnancies past. Is a superwoman mentality lending itself to depression in pregnancy?
The fact is that each and every time that a woman is pregnant is a unique venture in her life. It is a collective mind and body experience that requires the loving hand of her partner and expertise of her medical team. Ideally it should also include the embrace of family and friends, practical accommodations of her employer and nurture from community and religious organizations.
The vast majority of pregnant woman, from the moment they confirm their pregnancy, make immediate lifestyle and dietary changes to insure the health of their unborn child. Most cease smoking, consuming alcohol, and openly discuss any needed medications with their physicians for safety guidance in pregnancy. But, if the drug companies are deceptive in alerting doctors to known risks that they are aware of in pregnant population, a medical professional can’t properly advise his patient.
“Drug manufacturers have the direct responsibility to warn doctors and patients of the risks in taking this type of medication while pregnant. When the big pharmaceutical companies fail to warn customers about the possible devastating effects this drug has on newborn babies, they must and will be held accountable” says attorney at zoloftbirthdefectattorneys.com.
Mothers want a healthy pregnancy and a well baby. The truth is owed to the public. The health of an entire generation of new people —-our babies—is dependent on it. This mad science must not further ensue.
In 2010, the USDA took a first ever look at pesticide levels in commercial baby foods. The testing focused on prepared green beans, pears and sweet potatoes and consisted of 190 samples. Raw data from the USDA was then analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The findings, as highlighted by EWG, from this small and long overdue sampling are troubling.
First the good news. Sweet potatoes, although a widely sprayed crop, had virtually zero signs of pesticide residue within the end product—commercial baby food. The bad news is that the both pears and green beans had heavy and harmful amounts of pesticide contamination that persisted into the prepared infant food products. The green beans were tainted with 5 pesticides, including potent organophosphates. Pears also displayed severe problems, with 92% of the sample population testing positive for at least one pesticide and 26% showing contamination for 5 or more pesticides.
Shockingly, a banned pesticide called iprodione was found in three samples of baby food pears. Per EWG, iprodione is not approved by the EPA for use on pears. Such usage is a direct violation of current FDA regulations and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic act.
Organophosphate insecticides are particularly troubling as they are known to be strongly neurotoxic—meaning they are poisonous to the nervous system and brain. A published study by British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital (Rauch 2012) demonstrated a correlation between low birth weight and shorter pregnancy durations in expectant mothers who had elevated levels of organophosphates while pregnant.
Dangerous concentrations of these chemical substances can quickly overwhelm a baby’s tiny and rapidly developing physiology. Small doses of toxicity matter when talking about the unborn and babies.
EWG cites the following troubling example:
“a 22-pound child eating one four-ounce serving of green beans sold as baby food with the maximum methamidiphos level found would consume 50 percent of EPA’s acute risk value, a measure of allowable risk. The risks would be higher if the beans were contaminated with a second organophosphate, acephate, which causes the same damages to the brain and nervous system. Lighter babies, those fed more than four ounces of green beans or those fed green beans with organophosphate residues daily would be at still greater risk.”
As your baby is weaned, it is important that you pay close attention to the fruits and vegetables that are introduced into her new solid food diet. Whether you make your own baby food or favor a commercial brand you should examine EWG’s 2012 list of the “Dirty Dozen”. Compiled annually, the Dirty Dozen ranks the produce most heavily laden with pesticide residues and can be contrasted with a “Clean 15″ listing of foods containing the least amount of pesticide traces. Avoiding conventionally grown foods on the “dirty” list and substituting them for organically grown alternatives is a small change that can make a significant difference for the health of your family. Remember that attention should also be paid to avoiding juices, jams, sauces and other foods processed with items containing the Dirty Dozen.
Hopefully, the USDA broadens the pesticide testing to include ALL types of baby food. In the interim, parents can utilize resources such as those provided by the EWG to help them find healthy and pesticide free foods to feed to their infants.
Here is a link to the Environmental Working Group’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide’s in Produce, here.
At Saturday’s convening annual congress of The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Geneva, Switzerland (EAACI Congress 2012), researchers from the National Center for Child Health and Development, Allergy Division in Tokyo, Japan — will present newly discovered associations between pregnancy stress and the occurrence of infantile atopic eczema. The scientific team estimates that 47% of clinically diagnosed instances of the skin disorder, within their observed cases, were induced by pregnancy stress. Manifestations of the atopic eczema typically occured in infants between 6-8 months of age.
Researchers based their findings on data derived from the analysis of 896 mother and infant pairs, consisting of 474 boys and 422 girls. Dr. Mana Hamaguchi, Clinical Psychologist at the National Center for Child Health and Development explains that “18.75% of mothers were classified into the highest anxiety group, 62.39% of mothers showed moderate anxiety and 18.86% of mothers were categorized into the lowest anxiety group”. Those mothers who displayed the highest amounts of anxiety were more likely to have babies who developed eczema.
Stress has always been considered a trigger for eczema. However, this study is the first to directly correlate the mother’s pregnancy stress as the causation. Existing medical thought also recognizes a familial origin to eczema. This new scientific information highlights that “carry over” factors from within the womb can also afford an explanation for this generational association.
Additionally, the study reinforces existing data demonstrating that what happens to mother also happens to baby while both are paired in a pregnant state. It should further cultivate a needed onus within the medical establishment to develop better prenatal protocols. Ones which include administering a pregnant woman’s emotional state, alongside that of her physical care.
Women who are expecting must also take decisive action to lessen the daily stresses that they endure. Ininiating honest conversations about your anxieties or stress triggers with your partner and obstetrician or midwife is crucial to obtaining immediate support and care. Consideration should also be given to reducing work hours, projects or social functions if they are zapping your emotional reserves. Implementing daily meditation sessions or taking a prenatal yoga class can also help to deliver a calm state of mind. Sometimes, looming causes of stress and anxiety need the help of a trained mental health therapist. Remember it is your goal to have a healthy baby and for you to be healthy mother to that child. Seek help as it is needed. There is no shame in wanting to feel well.
For more information, on infantile atopic dermatitis you can visit the University of Maryland Medical website, by clicking here.
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According to a report by the British charity Allergy UK, the most common food allergy symptoms exhibited in infants and young children are caused by reactions to cow’s milk. The group estimates that within the UK 7% of babies and young children display symptoms attributable to a cow milk allergy (CMA). Despite this prevalence, concerned parents often experienced upwards of 5 doctor visits prior to receiving a correct diagnosis for their child’s symptoms. Now a new awareness campaign, directed at both the medical community and parents, has been organized to draw attention to CMA .
Failure to correctly diagnosis a cow’s milk allergy is detrimental to the health and development of a growing infant or child. Additionally, it causes a deep emotional burden for the parents of the impacted baby or child. A survey conducted by Allergy UK, indicated that prior to receiving a correct diagnosis for their child, 57% of parents felt responsible for their child’s condition and 58% said they doubted themselves as a parent. A staggering 81% reported feeling powerless in aiding their child.
According to Dr. Adam Fox leading pediatric allergy specialist, trustee and chair of Allergy UK Health Advisory Board, and one of the report’s co-author’s, “If you’re not looking for CMA, you won’t find it…that is why it is important for both health care professionals and parents to be informed about the symptoms of cows’ milk allergy and consider it earlier.”
The display of a cow’s milk allergy or dairy allergy can mimic the characteristics of common skin disorders and and respiratory complaints. Symptoms can be diverse and allergic reactions can occur hours or days after milk consumption.
Immediate cow’s milk allergy symptoms:
- Red, itchy rash around the mouth
- Facial swelling
- Hives (red itchy lumps)
- Runny nose
- Breathing difficulties
Delayed cow’s milk allergy symptoms:
- Failure to Thrive/ Poor Growth
- Irritable behavior
Sensitive infants that are fed dairy formula would obviously first display symptoms of a cow’s milk allergy. However, even exclusively breastfed babies can experience an allergic reaction to cow’s milk when traces of cow’s milk protein are presented in breast milk. Breastfeeding mothers should keep a food diary so that can cross correlate any concerning symptoms within their infant to their diet. Some also advocate the elimination of dairy products by pregnant women who plan to breastfeed their infants within the last weeks of pregnancy to clear — in a bid to rid the body of milk proteins. When weaning children onto solid food, attention should equally be paid to ready made foods that may contain traces of dairy. For help with assessing hidden dairy ingredients in food and drink products consult this informative list at Go Dairy Free.
If you suspect that your baby or toddler has an allergy to dairy consult with your pediatrician. Keep goods notes for your call or your office visit accurately describing your child’s symptoms and the timing of those symptoms after consuming formula, breast milk, food or drink.
View a video, read patient histories and further learn about dairy allergies here at Cow’s Milk Allergy.
Related stories of interest:
Interesting Fact: Donkey’s milk does not trigger the same allergic reactions in babies and children as goat and cow’s milk.
For parents that are dealing with suspected, and known allergies in children I highly recommend this bestselling book by Dr. Doris Rapp. You might even learn that you have an undetected allergy.
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There has been an uptick in the amount of young children accidentally ingesting those colorful and squishy single use packets of concentrated liquid laundry detergent.
Apparently, these packets are not just ordinary laundry detergent. While obviously never encouraged, ingestion of traditional detergent usually just causes mild stomach upset. However, ingredients within these new detergent pouches cause very dangerous reactions in children requiring prompt medical treatment.
Read more about the dangers here.
Related reading: Ten Safe Laundry Tips To Childproof Your Laundry Room
This past week a study in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Pacific bluefin tuna transport Fukushima-derived radionuclides from Japan to California,” by Daniel J. Madigan, Zofia Baumann, and Nicholas S. Fisher. 10.1073/pnas.1204859109, reported that bluefin tuna off the coast of San Diego, California had detectable levels of radioactive Cesium 134 and Cesium 137. The combination of both types of cesium confirmed that the fish had become contaminated by radiation released by the nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefacture, Japan which had been crippled after the March 11, 2011 tsunami and earthquake.
On Friday, June 1, 2012 Congressman Edward Markey sent letters to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanographic Atmospheric and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) inquiring about the agencies efforts in monitoring the safety of Pacific Ocean and it’s seafood harvests. The congressman, who sits on the Natural Resources Committee and is a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, expressed his concern about the ramifications of the coastal waters of the pacific being tainted by radiation (on going) from the Fukushima nuclear power plants and incoming tsunami debris (thought to be radioactive) off the US West Coast. Markey stated in a press release” “The importance of our seafood stocks and the jobs they support require vigilance when monitoring the half-life of radiation present in fish and marine debris. We need to understand the environmental and human health implications of the Fukushima disaster on Pacific seafood, and I look forward to responses from these two agencies.” In his letter to the FDA, Markey points out that issue of tracking contaminated seafood is complicated by the migratory and predatory habits of sea species whereby distant contamination points can ultimately taint local shores. Such is the case with Tuna.
All political affiliations aside —any “authority” figure demanding answers about this global catastrophe deserves commendation for speaking about the radioactive pink elephant in the room.
The contamination of the Pacific waters by Fukushima has occurred both by aerial fallout deposition as a radioactive air mass traveled from Japan and circulated the globe. And by, huge volumes of radioactive waters that have been (and continue to be) intentionally poured and accidentally leaked into the Pacific Ocean from the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors in vain attempts to keep the reactors cooled. The resultant seepage has contaminated the Pacific Ocean waters, organisms, plants and fish.
This map shows the projected wave of contaminated water that will reach Hawaii this year and then hit the US mainland shores.
Due to the ocean dumping and leaking of radioactive water into the ocean, many individuals are now questioning the viability of any food goods sourced from the Pacific and consider all of it’s sea treats a now forbidden fruit. Findings such as this tuna study serve as substantiation of that argument. The sampling of the bluefin tuna was done last Summer. Unfortunately, it has taken nearly a year for the results to be made publicly available. That makes for a lot of sushi and tuna fish sandwiches that might have been contaminated with radiation.
Even if you don’t eat fish, you might otherwise consume Pacific sea vegetables either intentionally or without awareness.
Kelp off the coast of California was found to contain traces of radioactive iodine from Fukushima. Nori, popularly used in Sushi, has been also found to contain elevated levels of radiation. If both kelp and nori have showed signs of taint what about the popular food additive carrageenan, which is derived from red seaweed? To date we know of no studies specifically studying carraggenan, however this is just the source of information that the public requires. Carrageenan is used in a wide variety of processed food and drinks and personal care products.
Some “officials” were quick to incorrectly dismiss the amounts of cesium in the tuna as minuscule. However, no amount of radiation is acceptable, particularly ingested radiation which bio-accumulates in the body. And when that bio-accumulation occurs in the rapidly developing bodies of fetuses, unborn babies, infants and children it bodes for tragic health outcomes.
Cesium crosses the placenta barrier. Cesium transfers into breast milk. The poisons that mom ingests are bio-mechanically delivered to baby.
Ingesting cesium in any amount is not okay. I repeat…ingesting cesium is not okay—especially for our babies and children. Cesium is a muscle seeker. Meaning that it invades the muscles within the body and transmits a constant signal of radioactivity against that muscular tissue causing damage and death to that tissue. The bodies most important muscle tissue is the heart. Ingesting cesium is known to be a significant factor in heart damage (such as holes in the heart or abnormal rhythms) and a contributor to hearts attacks. Cesium also causes cancer.
Cesium fallout is not unique to ocean environment. The deposition of nuclear fallout from Fukushima has landed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and even impacted the Southern Hemisphere to a lesser extent. Within the food realm, laboratory testing has showed cesium contamination in dairy sheds, beef and produce.
A deafening silence on the matter has come from the governmental agencies tasked to monitor the nations air, food and water supplies. Instead, testing results have been compiled and reported from academia, private organizations and everyday citizens
However, all of this testing is deficient in relation to the magnitude of information required. Our tax dollars need to be put to work and our government agencies tasked to protecting the public need to administer their resources. The especially vulnerable populations of the pregnant, unborn, babies and children desperately need information about the safety of our air, food and water. What type of society does not place protective arms around this population? This is a new type of indecency not to protect women and children.
If you have not previously been concerned about the radioactivity in your families food supply, perhaps dismissing it as conspiracy, I hope that you will now pay closer attention. No one can tell you what your individual “tipping point” is. We are all products of a lifelong accumulation of radiation from natural sources within our environments. These natural background radiation rates are joined by our exposures to man-made radiation threats: medical tests (x-rays and scans), emissions from US power plants, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, the legacy of the atomic age and now Fukushima. Our goal should be to strategically lessen these exposures No crystal ball can tell us when we have reached a state of exceeding our personal threshold. Thus, even small doses of radiation over time matter.
You have the power within you to understand the severity of this situation. It does not require a scientific degree. Do not look for reassurances from your neighbors, politicians or even doctors. Most are not up to date about these latest findings or are willfully or blissfully ignorant of the dangers. The burden will be on each of us to individually question and research how we will deal with this new found contamination of our food supply. The truth is slowly starting to be revealed. This problem is not specific to Japan or simply the US West Coast. This contamination has impacted the entire northern hemisphere and even the southern hemisphere to a lesser extent. But since modern food production is a global collaboration effort we need to turn attention to sourcing.
I know this is scary stuff. But, you have worked too hard to maintain a healthy pregnancy, birth a strong baby, and raise a well child to turn your back on this information. Never doubt that you can make empowering choices on this front as you have made other protective and nurturing decisions for your family. It takes some homework but I know that you are up to the challenge. This is a sad state of environmental contamination that is with us and future generations. Vigilance is needed.
A study published in Biology of Reproduction’s Papers-in-Press, Neonatal Phytoestrogen Exposure Alters Oviduct Mucosal Immune Response to Pregnancy and Affects Preimplantation Embryo Development in the Mouse, has potentially broad implications for the health of our babies over their lifetimes. The issue is soy. Specifically, how even brief prenatal exposure to genistein, one of the isoflavones of soy, can be detrimental to the female reproductive tract.
Within this new study an immune response trigger to genistein was discovered. Researchers isolated a correlation between prenatal exposure to genistein and alterations in the oviduct immune response levels in mice. The early exposures prompted both immediate and long term consequences in the mice. Most notably, the altered mucosal immune response impacted the adult functioning of the oviduct and uterus—setting the stage for fertility problems.
Although this study, was conducted on mice the findings support earlier studies which have also demonstrated an association between plant based estrogens and environmental estrogens. Of greater import to humans is that our reproductive tract formation spans a longer duration of physical time than that of the studied rodents. Thus, continued and chronic exposures to soy compounds extending from the womb through puberty allow a greater time threshold for adverse health outcomes. The steady rise of soy and soy-derived substances in commercially processed formula, food and drink products is a grand biological experiment. One in which our infants and children are being used as lab rats.
Soy and Human Consumption
China is considered to be the “birth place” of the soybean. Consumption of soy beans or the soya bean can be traced backed to Asia about 2,500 years ago. Ancient Asian food preparations mainly consisted of eating fermented products of the soya bean. In the early part of the 20th century, soy started to become used as a food in the United States. Previously, soya had largely been considered purposeful for only industrial usage.
Genetically Modified Soy
In 1996, soybeans were genetically engineered to enable herbicide resistance. This “resistance” allows the crops to tolerate being heavily sprayed by a weed killer. As of 2010 per the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications a reported 81% of soy beans grown globally are now GMO. According to the Center For Food Safety 91% of the soy grown in the United States is genetically modified.
Many believe that GMO foods pose substantial health risks. The Organic Consumers Association, in an article Spilling the Beans: Unintended GMO Health Concerns posits the concerns around demonstrated increases in allergies, liver damage and intestinal changes and compromises to reproductive systems.
Fetuses, babies and children are most susceptible to genetically engineered foods as they are involved in states of rapid growth that demand high nutritional intake. Thus, subtle changes in how a food or beverage is absorbed by the body can lead to larger implications for health. In Genetic Roulette, The Documented Health Risks Of Genetically Engineered Foods, Author Jeffrey M. Smith cites that
8.1 Pregnant mothers eating GM foods may endanger offspring
1. Embryo development can be adversely affected by tiny amounts of substances in the mother’s diet.
2. A pregnant mother’s diet may even alter gene expression in children and be passed on to future generations.
3. GM crops may contain substances that impact normal fetal development, but have never been adequately tested for these effects.
8.2 GM foods are more dangerous for children than adults
1. Children are generally more susceptible to toxins, allergens and nutritional problems.
2. They consume more milk which may be from cows treated with rbGH.
3. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant diseases may also significantly impact those children who are prone to recurring infections.
As labeling of GMO is not currently mandatory within the United States, the default assumption must be that the soy and soy products are genetically modified unless it is organically derived or otherwise stated to be non GMO.
More Reasons Why Infants Should Not be Fed Soy Formula
Besides the risks of introducing a genetically modified, non-organic and biologically unnatural “milk” source to infants here are other troubling concerns about soy as they relate to infants being fed soy formulas.
1) Dr. Mercola states “Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day.” Such excessive estrogenic activity alters the reproductive tract of both male and female children.
2) Negatively impacts brain development by disrupting neurotransmitter signals.
3)Damaging to the pancreas, thyroid and thymus leading to disease, stunted growth, infertility and cancer.
4)Soy phytates interfere with the absorption of minerals needed for growth. Thereby, depriving a growing infant of crucial minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.
5) Full of excessive amounts of corn syrup and sugars which can lead to infant and childhood diabetes type 1 and type 2.
Lactose Intolerance Questioned
Many parents turn to soy based infant formula after an incorrect diagnosis or misinformed assumption that their infant is unable to digest lactose. Lactose is the sugar in all mammalian milk. The true incidence of lactose intolerance is low. Primary or true lactose intolerance is a rare genetic manifestation.
The symptoms such as gas, bloating, intestinal bleeds, and behavioral upsets that are sometimes attributed to lactose intolerance are actually manifested by allergic reactions to milk proteins such as casein.
Sometimes, irritations to the gut can temporarily disrupt the ability of the gut to to digest lactose, which can lead to secondary lactose intolerance. As the gut heals from illness or obtains relief from allergens it heals itself and once again is able to effectively digest lactose.
It is extremely rare for infants to be “allergic” to breast milk. Yet, many breastfeeding mothers are often incorrectly told that their newborns are allergic to their mother’s milk. Actual triggers could be an item in the mother’s diet, an incorrect ratio of the mother’s hind milk, or just simply the development of the infant’s immature digestive system.
Infants given dairy formula who display symptoms of discomfort or allergic reactions may also be incorrectly given a lactose free formula or a soy formula. However, the issue here is often an allergic reaction to milk proteins and not lactose. Or, in some cases it might be a soy based ingredient within the dairy formula that is causing upset. The best solution would be to prescribe breast milk. Dairy based formulas contain protein from cows or goats. Human milk is much lower in protein and contains different ratios of proteins in comparison to dairy formulas. An infant’s intestines often react negatively to these foreign proteins. Infants displaying irritations should be screened for milk protein allergies.
Infants have the biological ability to digest lactose. The lactose content of human milk is the highest of any mammal. It is believed that such high amounts of lactose within human milk facilitate brain development. If this is the case are we disabling intellectual capacity by feeding milk substitutes? Soy infant formulas contains zero lactose and are heavily formulated with processed sugars.
This ability to effectively digest lactose is proportional to the biologically based weaning period. After the natural weaning period of 2 – 5 years the ability to digest lactose decreases. The historic rise of animal domestication gave humans the ability to”harvest” milk from other mammals and incorporate that milk into their diets past the weaning period. Thus, the incidence of late childhood and adult irritations caused by lactose is a bodily protest against a foreign substance.
The importance of breastfeeding should be instructed early in pregnancy and greatly supported in the postpartum period. Ideally, human infants should be fed human milk. Clearly, infants can survive on formulas that are both dairy or soy based. Whether those infants are still thriving into their larger adulthood is another set of questions. The leap between inter-species milk to the more recent precedence of nourishing an infant with a plant is not something that the human body was designed for.
Prior to placing an infant on soy formula all options must be examined. Every effort must be made to confirm that the infant is truly exhibiting a long term and genetic based intolerance specifically to lactose. Failure to do so may have long term repercussions on the health of that infant through adulthood.
Good Soy Vs. Bad Soy
Fermented soy products such as Tempeh, Miso, Natto and soy sauce are considered better alternatives to non-fermented soy products. But if they not organically grown and not non GMO any benefits would be obscured by the health risks outlined above.
Preponderance of Involuntary Soy in Our Diets.
The American cupboard and fridge is increasingly stocked with soy products and products containing soy additives. For most, this high level of soy consumption has been an involuntary choice.
Commercial bread (even some of the “healthy” variety) and other baked goods often contain soy based lecithin, soya flour and soybean oil. Many ready made pasta sauces, salad dressings and mayonnaise have readily exchanged healthier olive oils for less expensive soy oils.
Soy lecithin has become the predominate emulsifier of products from chocolates, cereals, bread, energy bars and beverages. Other processed foods are flavor enhanced with hydrolyzed soy proteins.
Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules, says ” today we’re eating soy in ways Asian cultures with a much longer experience of the plant would not recognize: “Soy protein isolate,” “soy isoflavones,” “textured vegetable protein” from soy and soy oils (which now account for a fifth of the calories in the American diet) are finding their way into thousands of processed foods, with the result that Americans now eat more soy than the Japanese or the Chinese do.”
The growing field of epigenetics and new insights into the events of the womb are now showing us that our sum genetic totals are not as hard wired as once thought. Our environment –internal and external, is accordingly shaped by our experiences. We are truly, as the saying goes what we eat, breathe and drink. Thus, it is not enough to only anecdotally or empirically state that soy does no harm. We need further long term and unbiased studies that correlate the consequences of going against our physiological design and needs.
It is indeed the inconvenient truth, that here is no true substitute for human milk. This is not the rant of the breast feeding mother militia, this is the inherit reality of our biological needs and design increasingly bolstered by new scientific fact. Don’t let the ease of use argument that formula manufacturers and food processors propagate us with lull you into thinking that there is not a consequence —there is. Convenient substitution comes at a price. The cost may be hidden for some time. The bouncing baby girl that excels in her well baby exams may be the outwardly healthy woman that tomorrow is scheduling a visit at an infertility clinic.
The health consequences of soy consumption by pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and children deserves closer examination. Until then, the existing information demonstrates a need for caution.
Headed to the playground today? Here is a safe playground tip that will keep your baby and toddler free from a common and serious injury: Don’t place your child on your lap or position them between your legs while sliding down the slide.
This seemingly protective action can actually cause a common mishap known as a “Slide Board Fracture”.
Dr. Ed, Holt, an Orthopaedic surgeon at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland is trying to alert the public to this common danger.
We’ve heard a lot about baby sleep and mothering recently in the media and chat forums. What triggered it all was a new study in the Journal of Child Development: Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Dysfunctional Cognitions, and Infant Night Waking: The Role of Maternal Nighttime Behavior. The researchers,Teti and Crosby, concluded that depressed and anxiety-ridden moms were more apt to engage in night-time parental behaviors that disturbed their sleeping babies. The scientific team asserted that such maternal behaviors predisposed the studied infants to sleep deprivation and correlated health problems.
The mainstream press was instantly captivated. Time published an article titled “Never Wake a Sleeping Baby? Why Depressed Moms Don’t Follow that Advice.” A piece in the Daily Mail proclaimed, “It could be YOU that’s keeping baby awake: Babies are more likely to have sleep problems if mothers are depressed.”
Teti and Crosby postulated that frequent infant waking is a mother driven behavioral mechanism in mothers who are depressed and anxiety ridden. They argued that these mothers are more apt to engage in unnecessary and excessive parental actions in order to fulfill their own emotional needs or to avoid spousal relations.
They saw frequent night-time feedings, comfortings and check-ups as intrusive to the infant’s sleep requirements, since mothers would wake their babies or otherwise hinder them from being able to soothe themselves whenever they did wake up. According to Time:
” Teti has compiled preliminary data that shows that moms who have more problems in their marriage soon after giving birth are more likely to be bed-sharing and co-sleeping by the time their baby is six months old. For unhappy moms, sharing a bed with their baby — or rousing them in the middle of the night — may be a way for them to seek emotional comfort.”
But this study of infant sleep patterns — while seeking a broader understanding of the mother-baby relationship— has many fallacies. Its conclusions seem to attack responsible mothering and could make maternal depression and anxiety even worse, and possibly endanger infants. Thus a critique is in order to prevent the report’s doubtful conclusions from becoming part of parenting lore.
This limited study examined only 45 mother-infant relationships, with babies aged between one month and two years. The study was based on written recollections of mothers over a seven-night period, with only one of those seven nights being video-taped.
As well, the study relied on mothers, not pediatricians, to report on the wellbeing of their infants. This is relevant because some night-time sleep disturbances in infants could be linked to sleep apnea, reflux and allergic reactions, among other issues. Such undiagnosed conditions, with their associated discomfort, would warrant vigilant attention by mothers. Developmental phases such as crawling, walking, teething and talking might also disturb an infant’s sleep. Yet the study made no mention of any of these variables.
Then there were the so-called depressed mothers in this study. Not one of them had been independently evaluated by a mental health professional. Each had diagnosed her own depression as a result of completing a questionnaire. So they could have had transitory baby blues, clinical postpartum depression or simply a frustrating week. Then there was the authors’ lack of follow-up. Surprisingly, they never bothered to ask the mothers why they did what they did. Rather it seemed the authors were predisposed to see their actions as problematic, even though discerning questions might have revealed the mothers had good reason for them. The researchers chose, however, to interpret what they saw as odd, intrusive and dangerous.
The study failed to consider how maternal-infant relationships have survived and thrived throughout human history. Instead it reinforced the modern perception that parenting is a daunting and problematic task—with night-time duties creating huge dissatisfaction.
On the first home visit, mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire. Twenty questions were designed to ascertain how mothers perceived infant night behavior and associated waking. Unfortunately the questions displayed an inherent prejudice that discounted proactive parenting and made it seem abnormal. Here is a sampling:
* My child will feel abandoned if I don’t respond immediately to his/her cries at night.
* My child might go hungry if I don’t give him/her a feed at night.
* I should not allow my child to cry at night
* I should be getting up during the night to check that my child is still all right.
* If I try to resist my child’s demands at night, then he/she will get even more upset.
* If I say no to my child’s demands at night, it means I’m a bad mother.
* I should respond straightaway when my child wakes crying at night.
* I am able to resist my child’s demands when he/she wakes at night
* If I give up feeding at night, then he/she will never sleep.
If a mother answered yes to most of these questions, it seemed to prove to the researchers that she was anxiety-ridden. But it could be argued that such compassionate and involved mothering ensured the infant not only survived, but also thrived.
Dr. Mayim Bialik, author of Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, was interviewed by World Baby Report.
“If everything about the normal physiological patterns of babies is twisted and misinterpreted as some sort of abnormal manipulation,” she said, “then (one’s) entire framework for being a parent will be one of fighting that baby.”
She further stated that “to place on top of normal sleep deprivation this societal notion that there is something wrong with you, wrong with your baby, or at worst—which I have been accused of—that you are needy… leads to a really big societal problem.”
Bialik mentions high maternal-infant mortality rates and increasing social and psychiatric problems in children. It can be argued that such societal ills are not due to the failure of mothers to respond dutifully to their infants. But, that they are founded in forcible attempts to redirect those infants and mothers towards behaviors that are contrary to their innate, time-tested wiring
Although mother-baby instinct is deeply rooted in human biology, the researchers elected to disregard the scientific trail of evidence.
In our interview, Dr. Bialik cited frequent night wakings and nursing sessions as indicators of “normal mammalian physiological sleep patterns.” She said mothers should securely understand that is “normal [behavior] to be concerned about the baby, so much that you want to be close to it. That’s the vigilance that leads to survival”
Human infants are born cerebrally premature. The bulk of their brain development is set to mature outside the womb. Such immaturity establishes a hard-wired biological need for infants to rely on their mothers for safety.
Dr. Nils Bergman, well known for his advocacy of skin-to-skin contact or “kangaroo care,” explained that such interdependence is linked to the inability of infants to walk at birth, unlike other animals. To protect the infant the mother had to carry it in our biological past. Moreover, the prematurity of the infant gut meant it had to be fed frequently with human milk which was low in fat and protein. So the human infant needed to remain close to its mother to survive. In the primal brain of the infant, separation signaled danger. For her part, the mother was flooded with hormones which directed her to maintain closeness.
“When mother is absent,” said Bergman, “the newborn brain feels unsafe. It perceives a danger and threat to life if its basic needs are not provided.”
He said the brain kicked in a powerful defense reaction, expressed first in a short burst of crying and then by a lowering of the heart rate and temperature, Then all activity was shut down, in an immobilization defense similar to that of frogs and reptiles.
“This looks like sleep!” Bergman said. “But it is not, and it is maintained by high levels of cortisol. This is not actually sleep, so the pathways are not established. Instead, when stress is prolonged, the cortisol disrupts brain architecture unless there is the buffering protection of adult support.”
In order for sleep to be biologically productive—for optimal physiological growth– the infant needed to feel safe. Physical contact with the mother reassured it of protection, and breastfeeding provided the best nutrition. The combination of both led to soothing sleep. So it was not only the quantity of sleep that was important, but also its quality.
Thus, mothers within the Teti Crosby study who responded positively to infant calls and cues to be comforted or fed were actually helping those infants to sleep better . Conversely, it is probable that infants who were left with unmet needs were left to voyage solo into a stressed sleep.
In Biological Psychiatry (2011) Barak E. Morgan, Alan R. Horn, and Nils J. Bergman further detailed the impact of sleep on these separations. They wrote:
” Maternal-neonate separation is associated with a dramatic increase in HRV power (heart rate variability) possibly indicative of central anxious autonomic arousal. Maternal-neonate separation also had a profoundly negative impact on quiet sleep duration.”
Hormones such as cortisol and somotostatin are released during stressed sleep states and disrupt physical and mental growth. Current theories even suggested such repeated states of infant stress predispose the matured body to obesity, heart attacks and strokes. So the lack of a timely response, at any hour of the day or night, to a crying infant, actually can cause the sleep disturbances and associated systemic health problems that Teti and Crosby sought to address. Thus, harbingers of illness, do not stem from vigilance but manifest instead in dismissing the biological needs of the infant by interpreting them as manipulative or unwarranted.
Infants learn to sleep as their biology matures. Sleep training or downright neglect of their needs might produce an infant who eventually sleeps, but today’s medical knowledge, including gains in neuroscience—now afford the knowledge that babies are merely triggering survival mechanisms.
Dr. Bergman explains that babies call to their mothers when separated. Cries and other manifestations of protest are enacted to draw the mother back to the baby—to effectively, rescue it. When the calls of the infant go unanswered, Bergman elaborates, “a deeper survival mechanism kicks in, based on the logic that the mother who does NOT pick up the baby is probably in greater danger herself … and so crying is endangering the mother and the baby, so baby stops crying”.
Bergman further describes a state of “freeze” the infant then enters characterized by a high arousal state with accompanying immobilization. This freeze state, as it lowers heart rate, can’t be maintained for long durations. A transitional stage is then entered, called “dissociation” where the baby disengages his awareness —tuning out of his environment. Maintenance of this state is easier for the infant to sustain until the mother returns. But it costs the infants, in the weakening of regulatory set points and furthering problems in self-regulation attempts.
How many adults would like to enter into these sleep states?
Dr. James McKenna, head of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame, has also observed and documented the biological mechanisms between mother and child at night time. McKenna points out that bottle-feeding had revolutionized night time parenting. Once infants were given formula, they no longer had to exist in the same room as their caregiver. But the re-emergence of breast-feeding in western culture has reversed the logic of this trend.
Most women who chose to exclusively breastfeed their baby found that room sharing or bed sharing allowed them to respond better to frequent nigh time feeding needs, and facilitated the return of restful sleep for the nursing pair. So the recent historical tend of placing an infant in a room away from his parents became questioned. Parents began protesting this separation, both because it was inconvenient and because their instinct told them it was unnatural.
McKenna wrote, “Irrepressible (ancient) neurologically-based infant responses to maternal smells, movements and touch altogether reduce infant crying while positively regulating infant breathing, body temperature, absorption of calories, stress hormone levels, immune status, and oxygenation.” These faculties observed by McKenna in infants who co-slept with their mothers, led to increased infant sleep and more content babies.
Co-sleeping arrangements (a broad term relating to sharing a room or other sleeping surfaces with an infant) have even led to a 50 percent reduction in the rate of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in acknowledging this statistic, affirmed safe co-sleeping practices after decades of advocating solo sleep environments. Teti and Crosby, take note! The AAP did not view co-sleeping practices as symptomatic of maternal psychosis.
Frequent breastfeeding at night is normal for infants. In fact, McKenna points out that frequent night feeds allow the transfer not only of vital nutrients but also of important antibodies. Sadly, one woman in the study was found to be aberrant in her mothering because she breastfed her infant nine times in one night. Individual metabolic rates, anticipated growth spurts, illness recovery and teething relief might necessitate more frequent feedings.
Of greater issue, however, is that each baby is a unique human being. One baby might need frequent feedings at night, while another might need fewer. My own children are frequent night feeders. And during my interview with Dr. Bialik she said her children were, too.
It is not correct to regulate the growth trajectory of our infants to adult clocks. Rather than question the hunger demands of an infant, we need to discover the rhythms of our infants and graciously comply.
Noted pediatrician Dr. William Sears, who coined the term “attachment parenting,” is supportive of co-sleeping arrangements. He became a believer after one of his infants often became distressed after being placed solo in a crib. He observed his wife and child sleeping side by side and noticed the mother acting almost as a “pacemaker” for her infant, regulating its breathing patterns. He watched a host of other non-verbal cues such as frequent touching and positioning. The pair acted in concert with one another—even experiencing timed arousals out of sleep states Both Sears and his wife, by working with the needs of their infant for closeness, experienced better sleep. They went on to have other children, some of whom they also slept with. And they are still married! So much for the marital discord Teti lamented that was supposedly caused by co-sleeping.
Societal Assault on Affirmations of Instinct
Besides personally noting the benefits of co-sleeping, Dr. Sears found his patients also experienced positive outcomes. His website includes such anecdotes. Many mothers felt their actions of co-sleeping with and vigilantly checking on their infants had life-saving results. Episodes of apnea and interludes of irregular breathing dotted the discourse. They shuddered to think what might have happened if they had resisted the voice in their head that alerted them to their babies’ dire need for attention.
Teti and Crosby would have described those mothers as having clinical psychological problems. They stated: “We suspect that mothers who worry excessively about their infants’ well-being at night may be motivated to seek out and intervene with their infants, regardless of whether the infants require intervention or not, in order to alleviate the mothers’ anxieties about whether their infants are hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable, and so on. … Mothers with elevated depressive symptoms may be motivated to spend time with their infants at night in order to satisfy [their own] emotional needs.”
Frustratingly, the authors made this bold leap without even asking the mothers directly about their actions. The study cited one mother who was video-taped picking up a baby (which resulted in the baby waking up) and carrying that baby back to her bed for the night. This was viewed as an act of lunacy and detrimental to the infant. Yet the mother was never asked why she felt such action was warranted. Perhaps she felt the need to be closer to the infant in order to protect it. This would have concerned her more than waking the baby. Who are we to question her instinct?
If depression or overt anxiety existed, it might be that the mothers in the study were displaying the emotional fall-out of a societal assault against them – a rejection of how they were biologically driven at their core to mother their babies. One could argue that the very vigilance they demonstrated sought to allay their psychological fatigue. This was not how Teti and Crosby saw it. But the women may have been attending to hormones and synapses that were directing them to be the best mothers they could be. Ignoring such biological impulses would have led to dismay rather than fulfillment.
We are in the midst of a baby craze in this country, with celebrity baby bumps making headline news. But as a society we are often unwilling to talk about the exhaustion of parenting and the sacrifices involved in embracing a new self and a new life. So new parents may have unrealistic expectations, and end up feeling like failures.
Dr. Bialik’s book, Beyond the Sling, attempts to bridge the gap between how parents expect life with a baby to be versus how it actually is. Bialik, a mother of two, is an advocate and practitioner of attachment parenting, and her approach is refreshing and honest.
First and foremost, she insists, believe you are the expert on your family. New parents need to incorporate this empowering premise into their thinking from the start. Accepting it will allow them to navigate through the flood of information (and misinformation) that they are besieged with, much of which contradicts how they intuitively wish to parent their child.
Bialik considers her book to be a “love letter” to attachment parents. She sees herself as “the public person who speaks out against things that many of us [attachment parents] are criticized for privately.” Beyond the Sling, was puposedfully designed to” appeal to people who may not have thought about attachment parenting or who may be thinking of parenting differently.” It doesn’t tell us how to parent, but it describes what this style of parenting looks like. It showcases –as Bialik describes – “the good, bad and ugly” of attachment parenting”.
The strains and sometimes isolation of motherhood can manifest themselves in clinical depression for some. If you are feeling depressed or simply overwhelmed by mothering —-at any stage of that journey—seek the help and support of a medical professional. Also reach out to family, friends and support groups such as La Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, local religious organizations and new mothering groups. Good people are out there willing to help, and there is no shame in your struggle.
As mothers we can help other parents who are doing the best they can by being less judgmental and more honest in sharing our triumphs and failures. None of us has it all figured out. But together we can form a common bond of understanding with which to push back studies like Teti’s that do a disservice to our efforts to mother lovingly.
We thank Dr Mayim Bialik for sharing her views on this study with our readers.
It’s been a beautiful spring day here in our part of California. The local hills are dressed in seasonal emerald and dotted with purple Lupines and day-glow- orange Poppies.
After dinner, at sunset, we will finally be planting Baby D’s apple tree up in our orchard . We started the tradition of a tree planting with our first son. Each tree receives the honor of a preserved placenta in a thankful commemoration of a healthy pregnancy and it’s continuing role as nourishing agent to the young tree. A true mother-child-earth reunion.
Apple trees like the company of other apple trees. Having this second tree will aid in the pollination of both trees with the anticipation of an abundant fruit harvest.
Our hope is that these dual plantings will be a constant symbol to our sons. One that will beautifully remind our boys of how much stronger they are when united and near to one another.
We didn’t initially set out to have this family tradition organized specific to Earth Day—-that’s just the luck of our schedules this year. But, I can’t think of a more perfect way to honor both our land and family.
As we still are witnessing the devastating effects of the Gulf Oil disaster and the unmitigated spewing of radiation from Fukushima, it is apparent that educating our children about protecting our planet is still of great import. Of equivalent significance, is the commitment in our roles as parents to be actively engaged in efforts to preserve this planet for them to inherit.
Happy Earth Day.