Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend AP Roundup - Sept. 25-Oct. 1

I've decided to start a weekly attachment/natural parenting link/article roundup, as often as I can manage it. Throughout the week, I come across lots of fantastic articles, studies, and videos that support natural parenting, and I'd like to share them with anyone who might be browsing through my archives looking for good reasons to love their child.

Post-nursing nap on Mommy

Planting Seeds: Making a Difference Post by Post
Not a quote from the article, just my thoughts on it: This is why I share information as much as I can. I want to help anyone willing to learn, and make life much happier for infants who need what is natural (and therefore best) and their caregivers.

A Womb With a View
Far from a nine-month wait for the big event of birth, pregnancy is a crucial period unto itself: “the staging ground for well-being and disease in later life,” as one expert puts it. Fetal-origins research has made pregnancy into a scientific frontier, the focus of intense interest and excitement among scientists and the subject of an exploding number of journal articles, books and conferences.

Breastfeeding Supply Issues and CCK: Your Supply is Fine, It’s Your Timing That’s the Problem!
"Babies have this neat hormone in their system that tells them when they’re full (high levels) and hungry (low levels). It’s called cholecystokinin (CCK), and it aids in digestion and gives feelings of satiation and well-being in mom and baby. When a baby nurses for a good amount of time, their levels rise and they may get that milk drunk look or just fall asleep. After a nice little nap, their CCK levels drop a bit, so they want to nurse again. They may not actually drink, but just suck until they fall back asleep."

Informed Parenting: Milk for Baby Jayden
"Jayden was born cocaine and alcohol addicted, with congenital syphilis, at 31 weeks gestation. She had no skin on the palms of her hands or feet and had to have skin grafts. They could find no formula that Jayden could tolerate well, but settled on the one that she had the "least severe reaction to.""

Bad Parenting: 8-Step Guide To Messing Up Your Kids
"Most parents REALLY want to be good parents. But since it is rare for parents to take parenting classes before becoming parents, we inadvertently do lots of things to mess up our kids. This tongue-in-cheek article may help you to see what you are doing!"

Teasing About Weight Can Affect Pre-Teens Profoundly, Study Suggests
‎"Because children who develop such negative views of their bodies are at higher risk for internalizing problems, developing irregular eating behaviors and ongoing victimization, researchers said these results should be a signal for more early identification and intervention efforts at schools."

Return to remission... and an attack on natural parenting

Today was the day... the day I had to see my rheumatologist and see what she said about my Lupus. Luckily, as I have been predicting for a few weeks now, she thinks I am well enough that I don't need to be medicated. It appears that my Lupus is back into remission! What a relief!

However, the experience was not just one of relief and joy. The first thing she asked upon entering the exam room, before she'd even examined me to see if I was back in remission, was, "I guess you haven't weaned yet?"

This, to me, was incredibly offensive. True, the medication she wanted to prescribe (CellCept) is contraindicated in breastfeeding, but when you haven't even examined your patient to see if they'll need the medication in question, why ask if they've weaned yet in preparation of being put on the medication?

Once she examined me (and after the Baby Beast wandered over to me once to tug at my legs hopefully, wanting to be picked up, and I had passed him on to his grandma), she gave him a doubtful look and said, "Aren't you worried about how he'll be when he has to go to kindergarten?"

Yes, because an 18-month-old toddler is JUST like a 5-year-old child.

I was so floored that she would ask me such a stupid question that all I could manage was, "Studies on attachment parenting show that that's not a problem."

That was all I could manage. Lame. Pitiful. Worse than pitiful.

How would you have handled the situation? In a society obsessed with toddlers and infants being "self-sufficient" (which is an oxymoronic idea for people who eat dirt and rocks for a living, or who can't even make it across a room without help), how do you handle the naysayers who think you're creating a "momma's boy?"

Playing outside... amazingly enough, without clinging to my leg
like a limpet. But what about when he goes to kindergarten?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend AP Roundup - Sept.19-24

I've decided to start a weekly attachment/natural parenting link/article roundup, as often as I can manage it. Throughout the week, I come across lots of fantastic articles, studies, and videos that support natural parenting, and I'd like to share them with anyone who might be browsing through my archives looking for good reasons to love their child.

October is Attachment Parenting Month
"Join with us as we work to draw attention to and work to provide the support and information necessary for parents to raise whole, healthy, strong children who posses healthy emotional and physical appetites. Healthy connections are indeed the foundations for healthy bodies."

Notre Dame Research Shows Attachment Parenting Practices Foster Morality, Compassion
"Ever meet a kindergartener who seemed naturally compassionate and cared about others’ feelings? Who was cooperative and didn’t demand his own way? Chances are, his parents held, carried and cuddled him a lot; he most likely was breastfed; he probably routinely slept with his parents; and he likely was encouraged to play outdoors with other children, according to new research findings from the University of Notre Dame."

Why cavemen were better parents than we are today
" The findings, to be presented at a U.S. conference next month, run counter to current advice from parenting gurus to allow 'controlled crying' and to isolate misbehaving children on a 'naughty step' or in their rooms."

Moms in Africa Breastfeed Differently
"Using the common American technique, mothers bring the nipple to the horizontally cradled baby. This technique assumes that the passive baby requires the mother to perform the latch on. African mothers, on the other hand, nestle the baby vertically below the breast so the baby can easily find the nipple and latch on."

Why African Babies Don't Cry
"But that to ask a mother in Africa how many times a day she breastfeeds is like asking a person covered in mosquito bites how many times a day they scratch. It's not quantifiable because it's done with such frequency."

Breast is best - for longer than you may think
"It is difficult to pinpoint why we feel so confronted when we see, or even think of, women breastfeeding older babies or toddlers. There are some who are always going to be unreasonably bothered by the idea of a woman 'whipping out' a breast in public. Interestingly in the Newspoll study, most people objecting to public breastfeeding were not the old fuddy-duddies you'd expect, but people in the 18-24 year age group."

Is it OK for Baby's Legs to Touch the Vehicle Seat in a Rear-Facing Car Seat?
"Although it looks uncomfortable to our adult eyes, it's actually very comfortable for toddlers to ride in a rear-facing car seat. As you know, little ones can contort themselves into all sorts of positions that would cause serious pain for adults. Propping legs up on a seat or hanging them over the side of a car seat is minor in comparison. More importantly, though, it is safe for baby's legs to touch the vehicle seat when riding in a rear-facing car seat."

The Truth About Epidurals
"Mothers who have epidurals experience little to no pain in their labors. If mothers experience little to no pain, they produce little to no beta-endorphin. When mothers produce little to no beta-endorphin, their babies have more painful births."

Vaccine Pushed on Infants Causes Drug-Resistant Pneumonia: JAMA Study
"The authors also point out that the full effects of PCV-7 on development of the drug-resistant bacteria may not be fully defined by the study, since it focused on only the first three PCV-7 vaccinations, ignoring that the series consists of a fourth. They note, also, that their sampling method may have minimized the real story—that more drug-resistant bacteria may have emerged than they had accounted for."

Warning All Pregnant Women: Miscarriages From H1N1 Vaccine As High As 3,587 Cases
"A shocking report from the National Coalition of Organized Women (NCOW) presented data from two different sources demonstrating that the 2009/10 H1N1 vaccines contributed to an estimated 1,588 miscarriages and stillbirths. A corrected estimate may be as high as 3,587 cases. NCOW also highlights the fact that the CDC failed to inform their vaccine providers of the incoming data of the reports of suspected H1N1 vaccine related fetal demise."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A long time coming

It's been about a month since I last up-dated, because I was hit with a world-shaking change in late August: my Systemic Lupus, in remission for nearly three years, was out of remission.

That revelation would have been enough to shake me, but the next bit of information delivered by my rheumatologist really shattered me: "CellCept is still the best medication for Lupus. But you realize this means you'll have to wean the baby?"

My plan has been to let him self-wean, to nurse until HE decides he's done, rather than take away his source of comfort and nutrition. So the news that I was going to have to wean him left me crying on the exam table while my doctor busied herself writing notes in my medical file.

Well, it's been almost a month since I was given the news, and in that time I've done a lot of research... I've read through the Hale's guide (more appropriately known as "Medications and Mothers Milk: A Manual of Lactational Pharmacology"), and I've spoken to Dr. Jack Newman through e-mail, and have gotten feedback from Dr. Hale on his forum. Through all of this, I have come to a decision: like HELL am I going to wean my son.

I have several plans of attack at this point, ways of approaching the situation.

Plan A: The Ideal, meaning that the course of Prednisone I'm currently on works well enough to put the SLE back into remission, and I am able to continue forward medication-free, as I was before late August.

Plan B: The Back-Up, meaning I am put on a breastfeeding-safe medication, like monoclonal antibodies (rituximab, as suggest by Dr. Newman) or cyclosporine (indicated in the 2010 Hale's guide as an alternative to CellCept).

Plan C: The Last Option, meaning I am put on a low dose of CellCept and continue to breastfeed, but have the Baby Beast monitored to make sure he is not having adverse reactions to the CellCept. I will join Dr. Hale's study on breastfeeding and CellCept if this is the plan we have to go with.

As of this moment, I have stepped down from four Prednisone a day to 1/2 a tablet a day, and I am doing just fine (as far as I can tell). In my opinion, I am back to where I was pre-August... but I will see my rheumatologist in a couple of weeks and she will let me know how she feels I am doing.

But all the research I see says quite clearly that babies need to be breastfed for an extended period. Humans are not meant to be weaned before they are at least three or four years old. The composition of breastmilk changes to meet the needs of the infant/toddler/child for as long as they're nursing. And the health benefits of nursing are just too important to pass up.

So, my rheumatologist may not like it when I don't fall calmly into line the way I did when I was sixteen or seventeen years old... but I have the Baby Beast to consider now, and I won't short change him if there are any chances to avoid it.