Monday, March 31, 2008

24 hour Breastfeeding Helpline

As a new nursing mom, I would have loved this resource! I hope that some of you get some benefit out of this great new resource.

NEW 24-hour LLL Helpline Number in the US! 877-4-LALECHE or 877-452-5324 is the number for the new LLL Breastfeeding helpline! The helpline is now operational. Please spread the word! Speak to a La Leche Leader 24 hours a day! Get breastfeeding support and encouragement! Receive answers to breastfeeding questions! Find a local Leader!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Here is a wonderful homebirth HypnoBirthing story from Ohio:

Greyson’s Birthing

I woke up on Friday morning at 3AM with some pretty regular surges. This had been happening pretty consistently for weeks now, so I wasn’t even sure that labor was coming that morning, but I had a pretty good feeling. I knew that I had been sleeping through some pretty strong surges through the night so I decided to see how close together they were coming. I timed for about a half hour and they were almost exactly five minutes apart, so I decided to wake David just to let him know. He was so sleepy, so I told him to go back to bed while I took a shower.
At 5AM I woke David and asked him if he would call his mom to come pick up Fletcher, our 4 year old. Although many people like to have their little ones with them when they birth, I was worried that Fletcher would be a major distraction.
When my mother-in-law arrived at 5:30 I was starting to go into my birthing body to relax through the surges and to me, this is when labor truly began. David called our midwife to tell her we were in labor and she asked to speak with me. She stayed on the phone with me through a surge and decided that because I was so calm and coping so well, we still had some time and she said she would call in an hour or so. I knew that she only lived 2-3 miles away, so this was okay with me.
I was lying on my side and I didn’t want to move at all, but I kept having to go to the bathroom so I had no choice but to get up. Every time I would go to the potty I would get so cold and shivery and start shaking. David had been moving around the house doing last minute things and filling the birth tub. I called on him and told him I needed him now and whatever he was doing needed to wait. So he stayed with me, turned on our Steven Halpern music (the background music to the Rainbow Relaxation) and read the birthing affirmations we had been practicing while I continued to breathe correctly to maximize each surge and rest between. I immediately calmed down and was able to go deep within myself to where Greyson was; it was amazing. The shivers passed and when I got up to go to the bathroom I realized that I wanted to stay upright, so I started pacing around the room.
When a surge would come I would get into different positions that just felt right (hands and knees, head resting on the bed, etc.) I was totally listening to my body and breathing. When my midwife called again David told her that I wasn’t up for talking and that she needed to come over now (he was a bit forceful – I apologized for him later).
At this point the birth tub was finally filled up enough to get into so I happily did. Within a few minutes our midwife arrived. I stayed on my hands and knees in the tub which felt really good, but really hot. David kept giving me a cool cloth for my face while reading affirmations as I would have surges, reminding me that Greyson was coming and to trust my body, he was perfect.
I was feeling sensations to push the baby down, but I could tell that I wasn’t quite ready yet and I was getting too hot so I decided that I had to get out of the tub.
When I got out of the tub I felt a surge so I squatted right where I was between the bed and birth tub in one of the smallest parts of our room and my water broke. There were already several towels there from the tub so I decided that this was as good a place as any to have my baby. Around this time our birthing assistant, another midwife, arrived. My midwife threw some chux pads down under me and I squatted for a few surges, then decided I was too tired for that position so I ended up in a sitting up position with my weight on David who was on his knees supporting me. I had my feet pressed against my midwife’s knees and felt totally ready to push, so I did. I was a bit louder than I expected to be, but it just felt right so I continued to go with the flow. I remember David telling me he was uncomfortable and that he wanted to move, I told him he was crazy. A few moments later Greyson’s head was out and my midwife asked that I do some small grunting, I did and when she said it was okay, I felt my body gently push Greyson into the world. It was amazing!
When Greyson was born he was purple and totally limp, apparently his cord had been wrapped pretty tightly around his neck, but after just a moment he coughed and breathed and started to “pink up”. He went immediately to my chest where he stayed. Although he had responded on his own the midwife assisting suggested that we wave a bit of oxygen in front of his nose, just to help him out a bit. He responded to that very well and I was thrilled. When the cord had stopped pulsating it was clamped and cut, I delivered the placenta and we moved to the bed.
Immediately David started saying how good I looked. After I had my first child in the hospital I looked and felt like I was hit by a train for a long time. With this birth I was able to recover so quickly. I am totally convinced that our experience was due to our hypnobirthing techniques and our dedication to practicing them.
The midwife who was there assisting said that it was an honor to have been at my birth and asked if she could borrow my hypnobirthing book to check it out, I was thrilled and gave her the book, CD’s and workbook I had created for myself. I told her she should consider becoming a practitioner, San Antonio really needs one. After this experience I feel invigorated and empowered. I was able to have the birth that I visualized, planned and prayed for because I believed in my baby and my body. Greyson was born after 3 hours labor. He weighed 8 lbs, 2 oz and was 20.5" long. This was what I believed birthing could be!
Heidi Wilhelm
Owner, Labor of Love, LLC
Athens, OH


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Organic labeling doesn't mean it's safe

Here is a link to a great blog article about organic products not being as safe as people think. Basically it says those products that are not USDA approved as organic often contain 1,4-dioxane which is thought to be carcinogenic. The USDA National Organic Program prohibits the use of Dioxane in organic products seeking certification by the USDA. It lists some of the company/name brands that have dioxane in their so-called "organic" & "natural" products.

Here is another article about this issue:

Here is a link to a site where you can sign a petition to ensure the quality of organic products:

This article brings up some important points that people should know about Dioxane in "organic" products. It also brings up the topic of what the cosmetic industry's definitions of "organic" & "natural" are.

Did you know that the cosmetic industry's definition of "natural" is any ingredient "derived from " a natural source? You'll still see ingredients in natural products with long chemical names followed by the phrase "derived from coconut oil". For example, to create cocamide DEA from coconut oil requires the use of the carcinogenic synthetic chemical diathanolamine (DEA). It is therefore no longer natural.

Did you know that the cosmetic industry's definition of "organic" is any compound containing carbon?Carbon is found in anything that ever lived. So, by using this definition of organic, they can say that the toxic petrochemical preservative methyl paraben is organic because it was formed by leaves that rotted over thousands of years to become the crude oil used to make this toxic preservative.

The ONLY health & beauty products that are truly safe are Certified Organic. Certified organic is an independent 3rd party guarantee of an "organic" claim. They must comply with stringent international standards that cover all aspects of the processing chain to ensure that the organic integrity is maintained from seed, growing, harvesting, storage, transporting & processing through to the finished product.

If anyone is interested in a product line that is certified organic to food grade levels by the USDA, IFOAM & ACO, check out my website at & click on the Miessence tab.

There are several new product lines that are certified organic. Compare the ingredient lists. Miessence has the highest percentage of certified organic ingredients & has the shortest list of ingredients. They use cold-pressed & cold-extracted ingredients & are a carbon neutral company.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How life can change in a blink of an eye

A former co-worker & friend of mine just had her life change forever due to Necrotizing Fasciitis (NF). Her husband died from it last week. He presented with flu-like symptoms & then woke up with one of his legs swollen & sore. They took him to the doctor & they thought it might be a blood clot since he travels a lot. They decided to do a MRI. Once they got the MRI results back, they diagnosed him with NF & went to do emergency surgery to clean out his leg. While being operated on, he died.This all happened in a 2 day period. He had no other symptoms other than flu-like symptoms & then a swollen leg. He had no open wounds or sores or weird skin patches. He was a young, healthy man. They have 3 young kids.

Of interest: The eldest son had an infection in his nose about 1 month ago. One side of his face became swollen. His sinuses were infected & they had to do surgery to clear the infection out. At that point, the doctors said that he was not contagious.

Here is some information that I got from the National Necrotizing Facsciitis Foundation ( Please read over it to keep your family members safe. If a family member shows symptoms similar to these, please advocate to have them tested & treated asap!

Please go hug your loved ones & treasure what you have. All my best---Carol

Commonly Known as The "Flesh Eating" Bacteria
Common Questions Answered as Simply as Possible
Published by the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation

How do you say It?
The pronunciation is neck-row-tize-ing fash-e-i-tis, it means decaying infection of the fascia.

What Is It?
It is a bacterial infection caused commonly by group A Strep bacteria, which is the same bacteria that causes common Strep throat. Usually easily killed by antibiotics, sometimes a very strong variety of Strep occurs. This is the one that causes the life-threatening cases and is known as the "flesh-eating" bacteria. NF can also be caused by other bacteria, or a mixture of bacteria. The bacteria destroys soft tissue at the subcutaneous level, and often is coupled with toxic shock syndrome, both are deadly alone, together they are even more so. If muscle is destroyed, it is necrotizing myositis.

How do you get it?
Most often the bacteria enter the body through an opening in the skin, quite often a very minor opening, even as small as a paper cut, a staple puncture, or a pin prick. It can also enter through weakened skin, like a bruise, blister, or abrasion. It can also happen following a major trauma or surgery, and in some cases there appears to be no identifiable point of entry.

Where does the bacteria come from?
It is most commonly transferred by respiratory droplets or direct contact with secretions of someone carrying Strep A. For instance, a person carrying a Strep A bacteria might not even show symptoms or become ill at all. They cough or sneeze, another person picks up the bacteria on their hands or directly at the point of a wound and the infection occurs. The NF patient is not likely to be contagious, and inanimate objects are unlikely to be points of transmission.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Unfortunately necrotizing fasciitis often has flu-like symptoms, so initially, the natural assumption is for the individual to believe they have the flu. Often, NF occurs in otherwise healthy, active individuals. No major trauma is necessary. In fact, the condition often occurs following minor trauma, or even a bruise or abrasion. As mentioned above, it can occur after surgery. Perhaps the most troubling and frightening aspect of NF is its remarkable ability mimic minor afflictions -- which fools both the patient and the doctor. Misdiagnosis is very common, which, in light of the speed and deadliness of the infection, often has severe consequences, such as multiple limb amputation and too often, death. In post-surgical patients, NF often mimics common post-operative symptoms such as severe pain, inflammation, fever and nausea, which also thwarts a timely diagnosis. Education and awareness by the general public as well as the medical community in recognizing symptoms is critical to saving lives.

The following depicts general symptoms of NF as the disease advances:
Trauma of some type (however slight) will probably have occurred (cut, bruise, scratch, surgery).

Victim begins to feel an annoying discomfort in the general region of the trauma (in the case of NNFF co-founder Donna, she felt the type of pain one feels after working out a little too hard in her upper arm, the day after getting a small cut on her finger).

The pain described gets worse, the area more tender. This is one of the major things to keep in mind. The pain one feels is out of proportion to the injury.

Flu-like symptoms occur, such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, general malaise, weakness, muscle pain, and fever.

Tissue is swollen and there may or may not be redness noted. The area will feel hot to the touch, and very painful.

Conditions continue to worsen.

Urination becomes less frequent (as the system dehydrates)

Blood pressure drops severely, and heartbeat is rapid.

A sunburn type rash may appear over the entire body, due to toxins released from the bacteria. This may or may not be present.

Large, dark boil-like blister(s) may or may not form in the affected area

Toxic shock can ensue as the body's organs shut down.

It is important that the patient report all symptoms to his or her physician to ensure a swift and accurate diagnosis!

Preventive Measures

First, let it be said that there is no sure prevention. Necrotizing fasciitis has been known to be spontaneous. A bruise or abrasion are all the "opening" in the skin necessary for bacteria to enter. However, there are some things you can do decrease risk.

The single biggest preventative measure is keeping the skin intact!

Next is cleanliness. Always wash even the smallest opening in the skin and apply an antibiotic ointment. Buy tubes of antibiotic ointment and keep one in your car, your desk, your exercise bag, and at home.

Take care with your children, impressing upon them the importance of cleanliness.

Be respectful to protect others from infection if you suspect that you may have a Strep infection, such as Strep throat, or have been exposed to someone with a known Strep infection. Symptoms do not have to be present for a person to be carrying the bacteria and infect others. One case of infection that comes to mind is a health care worker with two children at home with Strep throat. She had no symptoms, but innocently infected three people, one of whom died.

These simple measures are the most protection one can give oneself against any infection.
It just can't be stressed enough, however, that a pin prick (one woman became infected at the point of entry from a blood draw) can be the opening it takes.

About the NNFF The NNFF is a non-profit organization run entirely with donations and volunteer efforts. All donations are used to further our mission. If you wish to help, please send donations to NNFF, c/o Donna Batdorff, 2731 Porter SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49509. The NNFF can be reached at 616-261-2538. Our website is

Monday, March 10, 2008

Miessence Testimonials

Miessence Certified Organic Product Testimonials--Pregnancy & Babies
From Issue Two of the MiNews Newsletter

May 11 2007
I recently had my 1st baby named Oliver! Throughout the whole pregnancy I used Rejuvenessence on my belly twice a day. It felt great & kept my skin in excellent condition. I did not get one stretch mark (my body was prone to getting them in the past)--I was so thrilled! It's such a wonderful product!
Another must-have product during pregnancy was In-Liven. I took it 3 times a day & felt absolutely fantastic. On the odd few days that I forgot to take it, I found my hips would ache at night. This was just another indicator of how much this probiotic does for your body. Needless to say, my baby is bright-eyed, has perfect health & is bounding with energy. I know he getting all the nourishment he needs from my organic diet & lots of In-Liven. There is no way I would go through a pregnancy without it!
Thank you Czerral & ONE Group!
Regi S., Australia

Feb 12 2007
I have been using the In-Liven probiotic regularly for 4 months now, since my daughter was a month old & began having colic. I am breastfeeding & found that her colic symptoms improved greatly after about a week of my taking In-Liven. I have also lost around 15 kilos (from a size 16 down to a size 10), & no longer retain too much fluid since I started taking it. I have been overweight since my son was born 14 years ago & am feeling so much healthier & fitter now. Thanks for such a safe, healthy & effective product.
Karyn B., Australia

August 7 2007
I just wanted to let you know of another fantastic reason to use In-Liven. My daughter who is teething has been getting dreadful nappy/diaper rash (4 teeth through & horrid nappy rash). Due to gastro going around town, I increased the amount of In-Liven the girls were having. Next thing I realize that 5 more teeth have through (over 2 month period) & not a sign of ANY nappy rash. I only realized that when I increased the In-Liven that the rash disappeared also, & we never got gastro in our house at all, even though most of the town I live got it. Has to be the In-Liven. Thank you very much.
Lisa D. Australia

February 27 2007
When I was pregnant, the pigmentation in my skin around my face & under my arms began to go dark. I was so embarrassed to raise my arms. The worse thing, I was pregnant during the summer, so wearing singlets was a no-no. Pregnancy brings out the beauty in some women, but, not under my arms. I became depressed until my best friend told me to go organic & to try Miessence. Wow, what a godsend! I was able to clean off the dark pigmentation & I have never gone back to any other deodorants. I highly recommend this product to all women who love to have beautiful skin.
Marjorie M., Australia

If you're interested in finding out more about the products mentioned in these testimonials, please visit my website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net & click on the Miessence tab. Miessence products are certified organic to food grade levels & contain the highest levels of certified organic ingredients compared to other product lines. The ingredients have been cold-pressed & cold-extracted.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

More about the vax-autism link

(Thank you to Kent Heckenlively for this information)

On Thursday March 6, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. at the U. S. Federal Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Jon Poling, M.D., Ph. D. and his wife Terry, an attorney and nurse, will hold a press conference about the government's recent concession that "vaccines" (not just thimerosal or the MMR shot), "significantly aggravated" their daughter's underlying mitochondrial disorder and led to her diagnosis of autism and seizures. (The seizure part of the equation was conceded on February 22, 2008.)

Later on March 6, Dr. Poling and his wife will be on the Larry King show.

Hannah Poling was normally developing up until her 18 month vaccination and her "mitochondrial disorder" did not appear until after her vaccination. It is well-known that approximately 75% of mitochondrial disorders are caused by medications such as the drug AZT (for AIDS) or toxins. It will be the contention of Dr. Poling and his wife that the vaccines also caused her mitochondrial disorder.The national media is expected to be out in force for the Poling press conference. Kent spoke with a source close to the Polings who told him they were also being interviewed for an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The source told Kent he expects this story to quickly go national.

From what Kent has been told, the government could not have picked a more credible couple to whom to make their first concession. Dr. Poling graduated from Boston University with a masters and undergraduate degree in biology and a GPA of 3.90. He received his M.D. and Ph.D from Georgetown University and did his neurology internship at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Neurology. Hannah's mother, Terry, is an attorney and a nurse.

Let's see how this all unfolds....


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Finally! The truth about vaccines comes out!


U.S. Government Concedes Vaccines Cause Autism
Monday, March 3, 2008 9:36 AM

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agency that oversees the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recently conceded the first vaccine-autism case.
This case was filed in the no-fault National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program as part of the Autism Omnibus proceedings in the U.S. Federal Court of Claims.
It was one of the first three cases chosen that alleged Thimerosal in childhood vaccines significantly contributed to a child developing autism.
Clifford Shoemaker, of Shoemaker and Associates of Vienna, Virginia, is the attorney of record in the Hanna Poling v. Secretary of HHS (case: 02-1466V).
Experts filing on behalf of the petitioner, Hanna Poling, included pediatric neurologist, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman of Johns Hopkins University, and Maryland geneticist and epidemiologist, Dr. Mark Geier of the Genetic Centers of America.
This concession shows the dishonesty of the continual media spin coming from public health officials and others who maintain there is no evidence that Thimerosal, or any other part of any vaccine, has ever caused autism or, for that matter, has harmed anyone in any way.
The facts are that the Vaccine Compensation Act has already compensated over 2,000 individuals who proved that they were harmed by vaccines, resulting in settlements of nearly two billion dollars.
Additionally, hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific/medical articles from some the world’s best universities have long implicated Thimerosal in vaccines as a causal factor in neurodevelopmental disorders including autism.
Furthermore, in 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Government Reform Committee, after a 3.5-year investigation, concluded that Thimerosal caused the autism epidemic and that the FDA and health authorities were guilty of “institutional malfeasance” in covering it up.
Evidence supporting the connection between mercury and autism include:
1. Published studies from the US and France showing that urinary porphyrins, a biomarker for body-burden of mercury, are elevated in patients diagnosed with autistic disorders (
2. A published study by researchers at Harvard University that found twice as much mercury and oxidative stress in the brains of those with an autism diagnosis as found in the brains of those who were normal.
3. A study from the US showing a significant relationship between increasing blood mercury levels and an increased risk of a diagnosis of an autistic disorder.
4. Numerous papers by independent researchers showing a link between increasing mercury exposure from childhood vaccines and the risk of a child developing an autistic disorder.
5. Several papers showing that adding low levels of Thimerosal to certain blood, brain, eye, immune, liver and/or muscle cells poisons their cellular mitochondrial pathways and can induce cell death.
Today, despite being banned in Europe and restricted in 7 U.S. states, Thimerosal-containing flu vaccines are still recommended for routine administration to pregnant women and infants, with little or no warning of the presence of this known poison in these and other vaccines.
Vaccines have and will continue to save many lives. However, an immediate ban and recall of vaccines and other drugs containing mercury compounds used in their production must be instituted immediately to stop the epidemic of developmental disorders, including autism, caused by the unsound use of mercury in medicine.
For more information, please visit CoMeD’s website:


Monday, March 3, 2008

A HypnoBirth story & youtube birth video

Here is a recent HypnoBirth story from a couple that I taught a VERY accelerated 2 day course at 38 weeks pregnant. It is told by the dad, Joshua.

Here is the link to see the youtube video of it:

Ilisa began labor at 11:30 PM Feb 2nd. Throughout the night her surges (hypno birth lingo for contractions) were anywhere from 12 minutes to almost an hour apart. We got little sleep (except for when the were an hour apart and Ilisa let me sleep 2 hours straight!).
9:00 AM Sun
In the morning Ilisa rode out most of her surges in the Tub, as per recommendation from our hypno coach, Carol, and many others. After a few hours, the surges were within the 5 min apart, 1 min long, for over an hour, so Ilisa lied in bed while I did last minute preparations for the trip to the Hospital. The Drive to the hospital was nice and relaxed. Different from what it stereotypical.
11:20 AM
Once at the Hospital, we were first taken to Triage, where many Women go home, not yet ready. In our case we were 6 cm dilated, and 90% effaced. This is further along than most make it! 12:00 PM
Then the labor and delivery room. The first curve ball was as soon as the surges got really strong, Ilisa instinctively lost her cookies (hence the tray next to her) to the pressure. Then there were so many people around and so much going on it took everything she could to remain in the hypno state. She just kept listening to her rainbow relaxation MP3's and continue with her birth breathing. We had Pat Grenada (our Doula), Paula (Ilisa's Mom), Margie S (Nurse, and wife of a Landscape Architect Ilisa knows well), and myself in the room for the entire birthing.
Ilisa was feeling so much pressure at this point, ok lets face it, it was PAINFUL! While she tried a minor sedative through the I.V., she decided to get the Epidural. The nurse contacted the Anesthesiologist, who was already in another procedure.
Ilisa was now fully dilated, no epidural yet, and her water had just finally broke. She continued to push, and now the baby was starting to really descend and the top of the head was crowning. Now you can finally hear her moan (low tones to keep the head down, and stress lower) with each major surge. At this point, the epidural was too late, so regardless of what she wanted, the baby was coming naturally. The pushing was starting in full swing....
Ilisa kept pushing and pushing, and finally Anabel Marley G was born. Just in time for the kick-off of the super bowl so Pop-Pop and Uncle Adam could get back to their game. We immediately put Anabel to the boob for skin to skin instant bonding. Ilisa did absolutely AMAZING!!! I was so proud by her and the little baby she gave us.

Note from Carol:
After watching the video, I think Ilisa did an amazing job! Even though she did have some pain, she was calm, her body remained relaxed & she vocalized in low tones to keep her cervix least in the 6 minutes of the video! But seriously, with the little bit of time she had to practice & with the help of her doula, she was able to have a natural birth & a happy, healthy mommy & baby.

Congratulations to you & thank you for sharing your birth video for all of us to see!