Archive for the ‘Healthy Babies’ Category

Preventing violence from the womb

December 29, 2012

By Birgitta Lauren      12.29.12

 

Can a violent nature be prevented? The short answer: yes, for the most part, but not always.

A violent nature doesn’t just happen; it is not in our human nature when healthy, to kill adorable little children, or anyone for that matter. We need to look for the root cause of these horrendous incidences rather than blame the wrong end of the problem. This is a mental health issue. Not a gun issue. A gun cannot shoot itself, it needs a person to pull the trigger, but it takes a very sick person mentally to commit such a heinous crime. Blaming the gun is like blaming a car for a person deliberately running over someone, or knives when someone gets stabbed. We have millions of healthy, stable gun owners that would never do such a thing. Of course many with mental health issues are not violent either, but what causes it?

Mental health, though a multifaceted issue, starts in the womb and is either helped or hurt by continued lifestyle factors.

Factors that can affect the mental development and health negatively, of a growing baby in utero and after:

  1. Processed junk food, (high fructose corn syrup, soda, sugar, high GI foods, preservatives, stabilizers, nitrates, hormones, flavors, colors, and many other synthetic chemicals).
  2. Genetically Modified foods (corn, soy, canola, sugar, cotton, Hawaiian Papaya)
  3. Malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies in B vitamins, omega fatty acids, selenium.
  4. Chemicals (Mercury, BPA, Phthalates, fluoride, diesel and petrochemicals, and pesticides in our food, medications, skincare, cleaning products, light bulbs and all electric gadgets).
  5. Medications/Drugs (especially vaccines, anti-depressants, cognitive enhancers, antibiotics, anti-nausea meds, prescription pain killers, illegal drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, alcohol and cigarettes).
  6. Lack of Vitamin D and sun exposure, is linked to all mental and physical diseases.
  7. Viruses and microbes like mold.
  8. Lack of exercise, creates hormonal imbalance and oxygen deficiencies leading to mood disorders.
  9. Insufficient prenatal weigh gain / Dieting around time of conception & early pregnancy
  10. Excessive prenatal weight gain
  11. Low birth weight,  Preeclampsia and premature delivery
  12. Lack of probiotics, good bacteria and therefore vitamin K production in the gut.
  13. Babies born too close together (< 12 months between labor and conception).
  14. Mom’s or baby’s lack of sleep  (affect cortisol production)
  15. Chronic stress or major stressful event (via Cortisol production).
  16. Labor complications, (C-sections, labor medications such epidurals, pitocin, & vaccines given to newborns, vitamin K3 injections.)
  17. Thyroid problems and Iodine deficiencies or toxicity.
  18. Environmental toxin exposure, exhaust, cleaning products.

Many on this list are easy to change, although most don’t realize that mental health problems are CAUSED by the chemical poisoning of the human race and mind, through our foods, drugs and products around us. Between the consumption of processed junk food, soda, sugar, GMOs, drugs legal and illegal, and cigarettes, but especially the mind/brain/mood altering drugs of anti-depressants, ADHD, pain killers (biggest killer in the US 16,500/yr), and vaccines etc., especially during pregnancy and in children, we are creating an army of crazy zombies from the womb. We are being flooded with a tsunami of chemicals from before birth that not only prohibit proper brain development but cause many mental and physical diseases. Almost all pregnant women now have dangerous levels of chemicals in their blood. The more of the above risk factors a child encounters, the higher the risk for mental illness.

This is helped along with the endorsement and collaboration of the FDA, USDA, CDC, HHS, EPA, NIH, WHO, UN, Codex Alimentarius, Agenda 21 etc. together with the big food/chemical/drug companies, the medical industry, so-called health organizations and charities that are funded by the food, chemical and drug companies. The deliberate prevention of any real proactive prevention, by all these organizations as well as constant cover-up of the ill effects and dangers of especially GMO’s and vaccines to the unsuspecting and uneducated on these issues is an abomination. Organizations like prematurity.org and preeclampsia.org actually claim that it’s not preventable when in most cases it is.   Most in the medical industry do not even want to discuss alternative natural remedies and better lifestyle factors to prevent disease. The AAP (Amer. Ass of Pediatrics) and the WHO (World Health Org) actually wants mercury in vaccines (January 2013 issue of Pediatrics). The rise in autism can be directly related to the introduction of the Hib vaccines commencing in 1988.

The CDC just released their flu vaccine recommendations for pregnant women…and the FDA last week expanded Tamiflu to 2 week old infants (with no studies on children less than a year old, and side effects including cancer, infertility, hallucination, seizure, cell mutation and death). All this, despite, according to Robert Kennedy Jr., a secret meeting back in 2000 with the CDC, every vaccine manufacturer, executives of the FDA, the WHO, 52 in all, at a remote location in Simpsonwood, GA., discussing the scientific data and medical records of 100,000 children, that vaccines are very much responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and many other neurological disorders (speech delays, ADD, ADHD, slow learning, seizures etc.). Between the years 1988-2004, the number of vaccines given to children went up 300-400%, and the autism rate increased 15 fold, from 1 in 2500 to 1 in 166. This data was “embargoed” so no-one could take any info with them. One consultant from the American Academy of Pediatrics decided his grandson would not be vaccinated, but yet, the group spent the next 2 days discussing how to cover up the data as they were concerned about the detrimental effects on the vaccine industry’s bottom-line.  CDC’s Dr. Chen was relieved this information had been kept out of “less responsible hands”, and the WHO’s Dr. Clements declared “the study shouldn’t have been done”…” or the results should have been handled”. All this was later released with the Freedom of Information Act.

A confidential report from GlaxoSmithKline leaked on Belgian website: Initiative Citoyeene, shows 1,742 “adverse” events from the Prevenar 13 (6-in-one) vaccine, Journal of Medicine just noted that 97% of mumps out breaks in 2009 was in vaccinated kids (89% was vaccinated twice!), and different report shows a 4,250% increase in VAERS reported fetal deaths from the 2009/10 flu season when pregnant women were injected with both the flu and the H1N1 flu vaccine. THE CDC hides this in their figures by cleverly excluding that year, by including up till 2009 and skipping to end of 2010. The 2013 winter flu season numbers are double the normal rate. If flu vaccines are so good, why? Why have Merck paid WebMD.com some $3,9 million to promote various vaccines?

safe

The vaccinologists have adopted this idea of vaccine induced herd immunity. The problem with it is that all vaccines only confer temporary protection… I think this is not something that’s really understood generally by the public: Vaccines do not confer the same type of immunity that natural exposure to the disease does. … Do vaccine complications ultimately cause more chronic illness and death than infectious diseases do? ”  says Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). There is also plenty of information on how cleanliness, hygiene etc. eradicated many communicable diseases before vaccinations did.

However, the lies are still perpetuated and pregnant women and children are still bombarded with mercury lazed vaccines. Only 10% of flu vaccines given are non-mercury. The problem is “regular” vaccines contain 25 mcg mercury, “non-mercury” vaccines still contain 3 mcg mercury… and the EPA says over 5 mcg is too toxic for adults…In addition, all vaccines also contain a variety of neurotoxic aluminum, formaldehyde, petrochemicals, phthalates, alcohol, MSG, animal extracts and a host of other chemicals. Recent news says the live polio vaccinations distributed in India today, have apparently caused some 47,000 cases of polio-effects…

Phthalates are also in skincare and many other things, BPA’s are in food cans, formula, almost all plastics to some degree, and even paper receipts from the store…why? You are surrounded with brain damaging and cancerous EMF’s (electromagnetic fields) from all electronic gadgets we use; mercury in your light bulbs, your Christmas tree lights (if anyone breaks, you will need to evacuate and literally call a hazmat team for clean-up according to the EPA); lithium in your batteries, cellphones, electric cars; petrochemicals like Hexane in your so-called “green” grocery bags and “plant extract” omega fatty acid supplement and infant formula! Phthalates, BPAs and GMO’s are banned in many countries, why not here?

90% of corn, canola, soy, sugar and cotton is now GMO (genetically modified organisms), soaked in pesticides (more than conventional produce) and with its DNA altered, that will when consumed destruct all of your tissues. GMO is causing widespread infertility, neurological decline, plant and animal deaths. Unless a product says it’s “100% USDA Organic” you are now eating GMO’s. Even organic foods may be slightly GM due to cross pollination, thanks to Monsanto. 11% of “healthy” students use ADHD drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, for cognitive enhancements – some of the many side effects: aggressive behavior, psychotic episodes, seizures, bipolar and death…there is an epidemic of painkiller addiction, so much that death from it has exceeded car accidents, 16,500 annually, and 30% of babies born in some Florida counties are born addicted to OcyContin! OcyContin side effects: depression, agitation, hallucination and impotence, among several hundred side effects… have anyone seen someone “high” on OcyContin? “Out of it zombie” is a good description. What are these babies going to be like as adults? How does a woman do this to her baby, and how do her doctors let her?                         The doctor responsible for widening pain medication prescriptions, Dr. Russell Portenoy, now has second thoughts…His own mother is addicted. Most people responsible for any one death, usually goes to jail…(16,500 dead a year, so likely over 100,000 dead since 1990), but the pharmaceutical, medical industry and the FDA has voted themselves immune to even lawsuits of adverse drug events resulting from addictive opioid pain pills and vaccines.

Is there any wonder we end up with so much mental illness, autism, Asperger’s and ADHD, etc.. in children? The medical industry tries to blame it on Genetic mutation but only 1% can attributed to that. Read Andy Berman’s interview on mental illness http://ow.ly/gwxg5

All school shootings have happened with mentally ill boys. Boys are the weaker sex from conception until puberty and seem to be more affected by everything. The latest school shooter, Adam apparently suffered from bi-polar and Asperger’s, his mom who also had mental health issues, had isolated him from his dad and others, he was on Fanapt, a medication for schizophrenia (side effects: suicide, aggression, major depression, mania, delusion etc…), was obsessed with violent video games and probably shouldn’t ever have been around guns. He was obviously smart enough that he planned this event quite meticulously down to destroying his computer to hide his plans. He was unable to “buy” his own guns due to Connecticut’s strict gun laws, and so took his mom’s. This was premeditated and carefully executed as he may have been angry at his mom for planning to place him in an institution where he might have gotten some help. Nothing would have stopped him.                                                                                                                                        Will the investigation actually teach us how/if  it could have been prevented? Will they use his medical records, and the moms prenatal medical records to learn from? Ie: medications, vaccinations stressful events, complications….What was both of their diets like? What was their exercise history? Will add they add up lifestyle factors of both, including the violent video games, etc… and use it for education and future medical illness prevention? Will the hypocritical celebrities starring in one violent movie after another (now calling for more gun restrictions) actually stop making those movies? NO on all counts. Hollywood just got themselves LESS regulations on sawn-off shotguns as movie props…and over Christmas the FDA allowed Genetically Modified Salmon…

We have to stop mental illness where it starts.

Studies have shown schizophrenia is linked to anorexia or sever stress in the first trimester of a pregnancy, and children, especially boys born to moms who smoked while pregnant are more likely to be criminally violent. Even a dad’s lifestyle, in particular drug use prior to conception, even 10-20 years earlier, can affect the future mental health of his child by damaging his own DNA. Violent media (TV, movies & video games) is shown to affect violent behavior of the very young and those not of sound mind. The elimination of the 10 commandments from schools in the 60s is directly linked to increased youth violence by 700%, and stressful family events, a lack of family structure and good parenting can also contribute do a decline in morals and behavior. We will never prevent all violence and/or mental illness as there will always be “lemons” that can’t be controlled with laws, gun control or even better health and mental care. Adams genetic material has been extracted for research into what might be his “flawed gene”. This will most likely be used against innocent people with similar genes on all sorts of levels from employment, medically to legally, instead of finding out “how” he got messed up for future prevention.

Unfortunately this last massacre will likely end up in more useless gun restrictions, which no criminal or mad person cares about anyway, and more forced anti-depressant, psychotic and ADHD medicalization of kids which will only make matters worse. The drug companies will use this to profit. Profits used to fund government agencies, medical industry, charities, and political donations. Obama who is embroiled in sending weapons to Mexican drug cartels and to various rebel groups in the Middle East, said in a recent Barbara Walters interview  – “…I like men with guns (Secret service) around my daughters for protection”. So, why shouldn’t all kids have armed protection, at school and home? A new FBI report states that the number of murders by hammers & clubs is 50% higher than by rifles and murders by fists are 100% higher than by rifles. Murders overall are way down.

America needs to wake up and realize our brains are being turned into mush deliberately. But we have a choice, and there is an awful lot that we can do, to ensure better mental health. The Drake Institute in CA has a great track record of programs without drugs for suffering kids. For future generations:  eating much healthier and Organic is vital; supplementing with comprehensive multi-vitamins, omega fatty acids, probiotics; exercising (for both the “happy” hormone endorphins and oxygen, as oxygen deprivation in utero is linked to ADHD and depression –  prenatal fitness is also linked to better language skills which is linked to better anger management skills in toddlers says a new study from PA State U.); avoiding or limiting exposure to chemicals, especially drugs and vaccines, and getting enough sunshine (for the “happy” vitamin D as deficiencies are linked to all mental and physical diseases). Particularly during pregnancy to protect our DNA, chromosomes and telomeres, for the sake of our future babies health.

Mental health starts in the womb. But… will we do it?  Will more than a few educated on the topic start to question why we are surrounded with brain altering chemicals? Why is there BPA on retail paper receipts? Why are there chemicals in baby food and prenatal supplements? Why do all so-called “green products” like light bulbs, solar panels, grocery bags, contain mercury, petro-chemicals etc… Why do Coke and Pepsi add salt and chemicals to their bottled water? … Why is there toxic fluoride in our water? Why after processing all natural nutrients out of food, do they put only a few nutrients back and synthetic versions in addition to a long list of chemicals? Why did the FDA approve Genetically Modified Salmon over Christmas? The list is endless.

Will more than a few, demand a ban on some of these chemicals and /or the use of them in certain products (some chemicals like mercury is naturally excreted in nature, so it can’t be all-out banned).

There are certainly other mental health management issues not covered here, but this article is now long enough…. A new Swedish project underway, will at least study 4,000 pregnant women and how  chemicals alter the health of a growing baby in utero.

“Fit Moms Make Fit Babies, Fit Babies make Smarter Children”.

www.expectingfitness.com

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Preventing Childhood Obesity from the Womb?

August 6, 2012

Birgitta Lauren,  August 6th 2012,

Today, with 30% of U.S. children overweight –the war on childhood obesity is mostly centered on what children eat, the marketing and availability of unhealthy, processed foods and parental choices, rather than the much easier prevention of it. And as important as healthy school lunches and PE is for children, not starting healthy habit programs until school, like Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign is too late for prevention.  The problem has already been created, both genetically and in habits – habits can be hard to change.  Since obesity leads to all other diseases, from physical to mental, pediatric obesity experts now say intervention must begin early – very early, as risk factors begin before birth, necessitating changing the diet and lifestyle of the mothers themselves, before, during and after pregnancy and with very young children. It’s an interesting note that “pediatricians” are doing this as opposed to “gynecologists”…..

The Obesity Problem is Multipronged:

Statistics from the CDC, show that Hispanic, black, poor, publicly insured, and kids living in the southeastern states and those lacking outside school activities have the highest obesity rates.  This tells us culture and environment matters, and may be difficult to change. But we also know that less expensive food is much less healthy. The latter is the fault of Big Food, Big Pharma (hormone, vaccine and anti-biotic injections of animals) and Big Chemicals (preservatives, additives, colors and flavors, fertilizers, pesticides & GMO’s etc…) manufacturers wanting to keep people addicted to their foods and also the government subsidizing processed foods to keep them less expensive. The collaborations between Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Chemicals, and the FDA, the USDA, the EPA and the government are keeping America fat. According to The Guardian, obesity is getting worse, not only due to too much food but, what’s in the food we eat – or not. Fixing this would require tossing out the entire Congress, or voting with your money, buying only fresh, organic and locally farmed foods, avoiding nutrient void, and chemically processed foods.

Obesity Starts in the Womb.

Too many women gain excessive amounts of weight during pregnancy as they use pregnancy as an excuse to eat too much, says researchers in a Division of Nutrition in Ithaca, N.Y Cornell University study that showed that 38% of normal-weight women, 67% of overweight women, and 46% of obese women gained too much weight while pregnant. 56% of the women who became obese during the study could have avoided it by staying within guidelines.  But a Dutch study this year found that even after counseling 16% of obese women about to get IVF, refused to lose weight36. Since 96% of IVF patients face multiple risk factors – This is a big problem.

 

The 2009 Institute of Medicine advised weight gain during pregnancy is 11 – 40 lbs. depending on woman being obese, normal or underweight.  “Get to a healthy weight before you conceive”, says the IOM, but with 55% of childbearing age women overweight, uncommon preconception care, half of pregnancies unplanned, and half of women don’t follow advice – it’s unfortunately a tall order. This is a problem as a child’s fat cells increase in number from 30 weeks of gestation through 18-24 months old. Over eating during pregnancy and nursing or formula feeding may increase the child’s number of fat cells.

Poor nutrition in the womb causes permanent genetic changes in the offspring –                                              says study published in the FASEB Journal 4.13.09, increasing risk for diabetes, growth retardation, CVD, obesity, and neurodevelopmental delays, autism, among others, affecting multiple healthcare issues across generations. Study reiterates that prenatal care is far more important than anyone could have imagined a decade ago.  Too much body fat, during pregnancy often puts too much stress on the uterus, leading to premature delivery. However obese pregnant women that exercise can prevent prematurity. However, a child will develop tastes and eating habits depending on moms eating habits. Everything mom does gestationally, will affect the baby’s future health for better or worse.

 

 

Causes of obesity in children:

 

Before & During Pregnancy:

  1. Lack of exercise
  2. Processed food, (high fructose corn syrup, soda, sugar, High GI foods)2
  3. Genetically Modified foods (GMOs), I.e.: corn & soy
  4. Excessive prenatal weight gain
  5. Insufficient prenatal weigh gain / Dieting around time of conception and early pregnancy3
  6. High-fat diet16, – fried foods.
  7. Chemicals like BPA, Phthalates11, diesel and petrochemicals exhausts12, and pesticides4.
  8. Medications, especially anti-depressants5
  9. High birth weight (whether from overeating or diabetes)
  10. Low birth weight, (whether from early delivery or undernourishment)
  11. Lack of Vitamin D6, 10
  12. Lack of probiotics, good bacteria and therefore vitamin K production in the gut7.
  13. Premature Delivery
  14. Babies born too close together8 (< 12 months between labor and conception).
  15. Mom’s lack of sleep5, as insufficient sleep may affect cortisol production35
  16. Chronic stress via Cortisol production.
  17. Labor complications and C-sections.
  18. Thyroid problems and Iodine deficiencies9 or toxicity.

 

Epigenetic Metabolic Reprogramming:

 

Maternal diet and physical activity during pregnancy has a profound effect on both placental and fetal development17.  Nutritionally deprived newborns are at stem cells level “programmed” to “conserve energy” (store fat) and eat more by developing less neurons in the region of the brain that controls food intake, according to an article published in the Journal Brain Research, from a study by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Altered brain development suggests that fetal growth restriction may lead to cognitive and/or behavioral problems.

These findings that dieting at conception causes obesity and diabetes shows obesity is not inherited, it’s manufactured. – “It also shows that epigenetics is the ‘new genetics’: …our DNA is susceptible to binge eating and dieting — we are what our mother’s ate.” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. Interestingly, infants born large, have less health problems than infants born too small despite both leading to obesity13.

Obesity may also have roots in 1950s when pregnant women smoked, spurned breast-feeding and restricted their weight during numerous, closely spaced pregnancies; says Melinda Sothern, leading fitness and nutrition expert at Louisiana State University.

Weight gain is a known side effect of many drugs, including powerful anti-psychotics, anti-histamines, anti-depressants, diabetes drugs, beta blockers, corticosteroids and contraceptives5.Except the later, all of which seems to be freely doled out to pregnant women despite side-effects. As well as anti-nausea medication, which prohibit moms Folate absorption – with resulting ill effects and growth retardation of baby. I even see moms using serious painkillers like OcyContin (sick). With these painkillers now being the biggest cause of accidental deaths, and the constant exposure to chemicals through environment, household and body products and the food supply – is there any wonder children have problems…?

But metabolic epigenetic changes also extend to what fathers and grandfathers eat. If your paternal grandpa went hungry, or your dad ate a low-protein diet, you are more likely obese, according to the 12.23.2010 issue of Cell. This University of Massachusetts study also linked dad’s high-fat diet to their daughter’s health problems. Another study of the Swedish Sami population a century ago showed an 11 year old boy going from famine to feast prior to puberty caused a propensity for higher weight in his future children34. This means we are never off the hook of eating healthy.

  1. Postpartum:
  2. Lack of Exercise
  3. Formula feeding14
  4. Early introduction to solid foods before 6 months14.
  5. Baby’s lack of sleep14,35
  6. Processed food, GMOs, or a high-fat16 diet consumed by mom while nursing or baby later.
  7. Dieting (insufficient calories and nutrients)
  8. Chemical exposure to BPA, Phthalates, diesel petrochemical exhausts, fertilizers and pesticides.
  9. Medications, especially anti-depressants
  10. Lack of Vitamin D
  11. Lack of probiotics
  12. Eating too fast15
  13. Mom & baby’s chronic stress (including neglect & abuse)
  14. Thyroid problems and Iodine deficiency9 or toxicity.

The growing obesity epidemic, will double diabetes and triple medical costs by 203420, costing $168 Billion annually (individually $2800) says Cornell University 2010. These medical costs will rise 36% a year. This is double the cost of smoking33 and bankrupting America.

How do We Prevent Obesity?

Excellent nutrition of fresh, natural and organic foods and sufficient intake of all micronutrients at all times from preconception through nursing is crucial to establish baby’s proper metabolism, as baby growths and develops throughout. Extra prenatal supplements are vital to help baby’s metabolic system. Mom needs to be “fully stocked up” nutritionally, preferably one year before conception says the FDA. All nutrients work together, and with DHA and EPA from fish-oil; there are 32 necessary nutrients for proper health.  Prenatal nutrition is like baking a cake: if you omit one ingredient or more, the cake or baby won’t be as healthy, so with most prenatals being incomplete, moms must be choosy.

Fit Moms Make Fit Babies

Exercise is a must during pregnancy. Moms who exercise produce children that are healthier on all levels: physically, mentally, better academically and athletically and are 5% leaner, says James F. Clapp MD Professor of OB/gyn Cleveland Metropolitan Health Medical Center.

Before & During Pregnancy & Nursing

  1. Loosing weight prior to conception if overweight.
  2. Exercise (3-6 x a week, 30-60 minutes a day).
  3. Avoid ALL processed & fried foods, white carbohydrates, sugar, soda and GMO’s.
  4. Eat ONLY FRESH FOODs (lean meats, fish, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables), preferably ORGANIC whenever possible.
  5. Sufficient Vitamin D3, preferably from sun exposure. (Whites: 10 min/day, blacks: 45 min/day minimum).
  6. Avoid all medications, drugs and chemicals if possible.
  7. Eating nuts like almonds21
  8. Apple peel’s ursolic acid may curtail obesity by increasing muscle mass and boosting calorieburning22
  9. Seaweed23
  10. Green Tea improves metabolic rate and reduces fat accumulation24.
  11. Proper protein intake above 15% of daily calories25
  12. Taking a good comprehensive prenatal supplement26
  13. Probiotics
  14. Getting enough sleep (7-9 hrs.)35 and going to bed before 11 pm to allow for Melatonin production (hormone secreted by the pineal gland 27 and found inmustard, Goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries).
  15. Colder weather activates brown fat burning28.
  16. Eat slowly15
  17. Reduce stress with meditation, breathing and naps.
  18. Breastfeeding prevents obesity.
  19. Positive Parenting through Parent Corps and other programs that promote effective parenting and prevent behavior problems.

 

With 90% of women deficient in vitamin D, iron 40%, Folate 24% and B12 4%, supplementation, dietary and lifestyle interventions31 in pregnancy is vital before conception30 for reducing weight gain, to reduce risk of preeclampsia, diabetes, hypertension, prematurity, still birth29,birth-defects and poor growth of babies31.

 

Breastfeeding is crucial in obesity prevention. Yet, breast-milk is only as good as moms’ diet.

 

Solid Food Introduction:

After 6 months introduce a little rice cereal mixed with breast milk. A few weeks later, oat cereal, then cooked & pureed vegetables & fruits. Later chicken or beef can. An ideal serving size would start with 1-3 tbsp.… offer toddlers a variety of fruits, vegetables, and freshly cooked foods. Avoid using food as a reward. Children will not get a “taste for foods” they aren’t introduced to. Keep TV watching to a minimum32 and get kids active joining you in exercise or take advantage of kid’s gyms and parks. Introduce kids to many sports until they find what they like so they stick with it.

Creating healthy kids is a parent’s responsibility, and will improve your family’s health for generations to come. There are NO excuses.

Resources:

  1.  2007 National Survey of Children’s Health
  2. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology  April 2009
  3. FASEB Journal  4.1.2012
  4. FASEB Journal  7.2012
  5. Dr. Julie Lumeng, University of Michigan, 2007
  6.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 7.2012
  7. British Journal of Nutrition 2.2010.
  8. LA Times 12.19.11
  9.  Newstarget 2005 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 7.2012
  10. Presented at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting 7.2012
  11. The Research Council of Norway’s Program on Environmental Exposures and Health Outcomes
  12. American Academy of Pediatrics  10.4.2004
  13. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007
  14. British Medical Journal 2008
  15. The International Association for the Study of Obesity
  16. OHSU School of Medicine
  17.  UC Davis MIND Institute 4.2012
  18. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 11.2007
  19. Diabetes Care 12.2009
  20. North American Association for the Study of Obesity
  21. PLoS ONE 6.2012
  22.  A Danish study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  23. Polish Research, Naturalnews.com April 2011
  24. University of Sydney, Australia  11.11
  25. Multivitamin International Journal of Obesity  2.2010
  26. Journal of Pineal Research 5.2011
  27. National Institutes of Health  6.12
  28. BMJ 5.17 2012
  29. Journal Seminars in Perinatology, 12.2011
  30. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC 5.5.2003
  31. Mayo Foundation 1.2010
  32. American Journal of Preventative Medicine 12.2009Origins
  33.  Uppsala University, Sweden  study  8.12
  34. Journal of Advanced Nursing 5.12

Prenatal vitamins halve the risk of autism.

June 12, 2011

by Birgitta Lauren –  June 12, 2011

Epidemiologist Rebecca J. Schmidt of the UC Davis MIND Institute and colleagues found that women who did not take prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy doubled their risk of having an autistic child. Those women who also had a mutation in a high risk gene were 7 times as likely to have an autistic child. The researchers found that the sooner a woman started her vitamins the less chance of autism. They also found 2 gene mutations called MTHFR and COMT which increase homocysteine levels and reduced Folate metabolism, increasing the risk 4. 5 and 7 times respectively if mom didn’t supplement.  This proves how important nutrition is during pregnancy and gives an inexpensive easy way for women to reduce the risk for her baby.

But nutrition is not all that affects Epigenome. Epigenome being the code that determines which of our genetic DNA will be switched on or off or how much. Sort of like the software telling your DNA hardware what to do. Many things affect your Epigenome depending on lifestyle choices and exposure. Such as:

Nutrition.

Drugs.

Exercise.

Stress.

Toxins.

The most vulnerable time for changes to the Epigenome is of course during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester when our DNA is formed.  In a 2009 Duke University study on epigenetics and autism, published in the Journal BMC Medicine they found that kids with autism had their Epigenome turning off genes necessary for oxytocin response that helps with social interaction.  Puberty is another important time of epigenetic changes that can be severely affected by irresponsible behavior…. But we (women and men) can continue to affect and change or Epigenome and therefore DNA throughout our lives, which in turn will affect our health and the health of our children and grandchildren… who’s DNA will be affected or molded by their future lifestyle and exposure etc… our DNA and therefore health is moldable and changeable indefinitely for better or worse.

The chemicals that make up the epigenetic code ultimately come from your diet. Folate for instance is needed to turn off unwanted DNA.  Pregnant mice fed Folate and other nutrients have lean, brown pups. Those not fed vitamins had yellow, fat pups prone to diabetes. Mice exposed to BPA plastic chemicals also produced yellow, fat pups, but not if they were also fed Folate and other vitamins. Proving further how important nutrition is in acting like a safety net, preventing toxic side-effects. Smoking is dangerous epigenetic factor that can seriously affect development and cancer.

Our DNA is not always completely “on” or “off”, but works sort of like on a dimmer switch depending on factors. One study at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito CA, studied men with prostate cancer who voluntarily practiced a special 3 months program of exercise, behavior and a healthy diet, without medical treatment. After the program their biopsies showed 48 genes turned up and 453 turned down.

Genes are inheritable, but it depends on what you do with them. Randy Jirtle, epigenetic scientist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. say’s: -“The thing I love about epigenetics is that you have the potential to alter your destiny” and my favorite quote: – “You now have a major responsibility… to optimize your Epigenome.”

If we know that prenatal vitamins can help prevent autism, does get the vaccines off the hook?  NO!

The more we get to know from epigenetic studies of how things affect our health the more responsible we need to be when it comes to toxic exposure of drugs and chemicals. The fewer chemicals we are exposed to the better. When we are exposed, nutritional safety nets needs to be considered. When/if any or certain vaccines are needed, they need to be spread out over time and not given in multiple doses. Mom’s nutritional intake and chemical exposure needs to be evaluated before babies are inoculated.  There is mercury in all vaccines as a preservative, among formaldehyde and many other chemicals.  And I do believe we need to re-educate ourselves on the immunological importance of some so-called childhood diseases, many of which I have had as a kid, as my mom made sure I got them to protect me in the future. Since when is measles so bad – it may be a bit itchy, but nothing worse than any flu. Besides it seemed to warrant a lot of ice cream…

“DNA referees”, by Amber Dance. LA Times May 3rd 2011,                                                                                            “Prenatal vitamins reduce the risk of autism by half, even more for some higher – risk cases”, by Thomas H. Maugh II. LA Times May 25th, 2011

http://www.expectingfitness.com

Post Partum Depression Prevention Naturally

May 30, 2011

I’m here to talk to you about preventing Post Partum Depression (PPD) naturally.  There are many ways to prevent PPD and if this condition can be prevented and stopped there would be less need for heavy duty mind altering drugs which can be so harmful to both mother and the baby.  What if I told you that just 30 min of exercise decreased PPD scores on the Edinburg Post Partum Depression scale; a scale developed to see if a woman is suffering from PPD.  Exercise along with fatty acids or fish oil, a healthy diet, and psycho or talk therapy has been shown in studies to be more effective than SSRI’s or anti depressants.  ACOG says 1 in 10 new moms experience some depression postpartum, 10% of these have severe depression.  Depression is a symptom of the stresses that women may face during pregnancy, child birth, and a change in life style that the arrival of a new baby brings.  It’s not an illness itself that can be cured with a pill – anti depressant is only a temporary Band Aid while the underlying issues will still have to be addressed.  The stresses of becoming a new parent can be a rough transition.  Imagine if you will a small person quite literally living of a mother’s body.  The baby requires a lot of the mother’s nutrients and energy leaving little or any left over for mom.  There is a severe dip in progesterone and omega fatty acid levels right after birth which can affect the mother’s moods.  When the baby comes the mother makes breast milk and her life changes drastically, as she must give her utmost attention to her baby leaving her with little time or sleep for herself.  It’s no wonder she might experience some mood swings all the way to sever depression.

Now that is what happens in most pregnancies.  If you add on top of that financial and/or domestic problems or possibly an unwanted pregnancy, the issues can really take a toll on some mother’s moods. Other things that might cause PPD are fertility treatments, multiple pregnancies, food allergies, intestinal flora imbalances, lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise, poor food choices, nutritional deficiencies, food additives, such as aspartame which is an artificial sweetener, glutamic acid, MSG, common food additives like artificial flavors, colors, thickeners, moisteners and preservatives that are all neurotoxins that can block serotonin production in our bodies. Medications such as anti depressants, anti inflammatory medication, pain medication, anti-histamines to birth control, illicit street drugs, alcohol, smoking caffeine, Candida problems, cranial compression, stress from emotion, intuitive and spiritual issues can also drain nutrients. So can too, various other medical conditions and/or exposure to environmental chemicals and toxins, whether they are at home, work, food, in your garden, in your teeth, such as mercury fillings or in the air.  30% of stress and neurotic disorders are caused by a chemical toxicity according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

Anti depressants and their side effects.

Untreated pregnancy depression may have severe consequences in the form of suicide, miscarriage, hypertension, preeclampsia, low birth weight and PPD leaving the child at risk for depression and other health problems later. Untreated PPD also leaves moms at risk for violent behavior in addition to the above risks. However with the growing mountain of risk to the off spring from the use of anti depressants during pregnancy and postpartum, the FDA and Health Canada have required drug manufacturers to issue warnings on their labels. A report on SSRI’s use and birth defects by Swedish, Danish and American research find that all SSRI’s have been implicated in congenital heart malformation. But the most worrisome evidence concerns the drug Paxil.

According to the University of Montreal Canada, 1st trimester use of anti depressants is associated with major congenital and cardiac malformations. Other research shows increased risk for suicide, violence, homicide, heart disease, and high blood pressure, putting moms at risk for early delivery and preeclampsia, uterine and gastro intestinal bleeding, decrease in bone density, fertility problems, sexual dysfunction, sever withdrawal problems, miscarriage, early delivery. And for the newborn; low birth weight, lower APGAR scores, or increased admition to the neonatal care unit or NCU, jitteriness, tachycardia, hypothermia, vomiting, hypoglycemia, irritability, and constant crying, increased tonus, eating and sleeping difficulties, convulsions respiratory distress and pulmonary hypertension are seen in newborn from prenatal anti depressant exposure in utero through the 3rd trimester.

There are also problems with sudden discontinuation of anti depressants, whether during pregnancy or after delivery. The drugs implicated include Zylexa, generic Fluvoxamine, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac and Zymbiax.  The FDA advises very careful individual consideration of the risks and benefits of anti depressants. Andy adverse events should be reported to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

So with anti depressants coming 2nd after only Vioxx having THE MOST side effects, the MOST law suits due to the concealment of studies showing adverse events and overstating the efficacy of the drug by the manufacturers,  as well as a recent big push by doctors , psychiatrists, celebrities and mental health institutions, mostly supported by the big drug manufacturers advocating for depression screening and treatment with SSRI’s and therapy of pregnant and new moms without any consideration or education of natural prevention or alternatives to anti depressants… What is a New Mom to Do?

The mantra is that babies are better off with moms on drugs rather than not. – How far from the truth have we come?

At the American Psychiatric Association 2007 annual meeting it was said that for patients and their physicians opposed to prescription medications during pregnancy and nursing there’s an increased awareness of alternative treatment for depression. Psychotherapy, bright light therapy and psychological interventions have all been successful. Maria Corrall MD at Reproductive Health at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, Canada also mentions herbal, music, aroma, infant massage, exercise and yoga therapy that all seem to increase dopamine and serotonin levels while reducing cortisol and norepenephrine.

Fit moms have Healthier Babies.

Studies from the University of Birmingham UK, says there is now a lot of evidence to support the anti depressant effect of exercise in general and in the clinical populations. Data shows Australian and other studies supports walking as a very useful treatment for PPD. Studies comparing exercises with SSRI’s and talk therapy show that exercise is as effective as, and sometimes better than SSRI’s in treating and preventing PPD. In combining exercise with talk therapy, it shows a marked improvement over the anti depressants without the any side effects.

Dr. James F. Clapp III, MD and emeritus professor of reproductive biology at Case Western Reserve University and Research Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Vermont College, who has probably done most of the research in the world on prenatal fitness. He has found that there is a substantial reduction in pregnancy depression and PPD for those moms that continue to exercise through pregnancy and resume immediately post baby. Dr. Clapp also found that depression soars from obstetrical complications, and that exercise reduces obstetrical complications, and thus reduces chances of PPD.

On a personal note I have never in 19 years working with pregnant women seen pregnancy depression or PPD in a fit healthy mom, where all lifestyle factors were considered.

Exercise produces endorphins; it’s the feel good hormone that really helps prevent depression. On a separate note, anti depressants also have the effect of lowering the endorphin output of exercise according to the Department of Human Physiology and Sports Medicine at the Vrije University in Belgium. Thus that would reduce and negate the anti depressant effect of exercise. However, exercise is only half the battle; probably one the most promising methods in prevention of PPD lie in nutrition.

You and your baby are what you eat.

In a study published in the American Journal of clinical Nutrition in 2000 by McCrechs and Gibson noted that there is much interest in the needs of preterm delivery and preterm infants of Omega 3 fatty acids for proper development, but also in the need for the pregnant and nursing mother. Biochemically there seems to be a small reduction in fatty acids during pregnancy, but a much sharper drop postpartum, independent of lactation. Supplementation increases gestation, birth weight or both. The 2002 annual meeting of the American Chemical Society summarized many studies to DHA fatty acids supplements as improving infant development and reducing PPD. Dr. David Kyle Phd. From Advanced Bio-nutrition Corp. in Columbia Maryland , The Mother and Child Foundation, and  The Institute of Health says;  – “We believe the high incidence of PPD in the US may be triggered by a low dietary intake of DHA and the higher the intake of DHA the lower the incidence of depression”.  Dr. Hibbeln, another doctor also found a significant correlation with lower levels of DHA with both clinical depression and that of DHA content of breast milk and postpartum depression. While pregnant, the placenta pumps DHA from the mother to the fetus increasing the mothers risk for depression. The mother’s diet influences the breast milk levels of DHA.

Dr. Kyle said that the DHA content of mother’s milk in the US is actually among the lowest in the world. US women only have 40-50 mg in their breast milk, European women, 200 mg, and Japanese women who eat a lot of fish, 600 mg.

Toddlers from moms taking extra DHA perform significantly better on standard neurological motor function tests than those whose mothers don’t.  A recent Lancet issue quotes authors of another long term study by Dr. Joseph Hibbeln from the US national Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: -“Maternal seafood consumption of less than 340 mg / week did not protect children from adverse outcomes, rather the recorded beneficial effects on child development is on maternal seafood intake of more than 340 mg a week. “

These benefits also extend to learning difficulties, behavioral problem, Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, ADHA in Children.

Michelle Judge writes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that DHA supplementation during pregnancy improved problem solving abilities for the infants first year. Dutch research from the Maastricht University also advocates the association of low Omega fatty acid levels with PPD, and that supplementation with DHA could reduce and prevent the often debilitating symptoms.  – “Our finding highlights that diet can enhance or inhibit depression related inflammation “, wrote Jamie K. Glazer in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine. These behavioral dietary interactions have important implications for physical and mental health. The benefits of Omega 3, proteins essential vitamins and minerals from oily fish outweigh the risk of pollutants say American experts as well as British scientists who have found that pollutant levels are falling. At the recent meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, – “ The best studies coming out over the last 2 years have overwhelmingly been in favor of the benefits of seafood consumption”,  said Michael Morresy from Oregon’s State Seafood Laboratory.  –“There is no need to avoid fish, just some fish, like; shark, sward fish, mackerel, halibut and (sushi)  tuna come to mind”. Choose salmon, preferably the wild kind to avoid the red food coloring that may cause ADHD, and other various white fishes and trout.

Brain function depends on exercise for production of “feel good” chemicals such as dopamines and the reduction of cortisol. When proper foods including these selective omega fatty acids accompany a good exercise program positive outcomes prevail, and my clients seem to rebound from postpartum difficulties. DHA and exercise also play an important role in reproductive health witnessed time and time again in neural and cognitive development of the child, especially when the DHA supplements during nursing is included. DHA supplementation and exercise should be a preconceptional through postpartum strategy, recommended by all OB/Gyn specialists as well as primary care practitioners says Jem Welsh CNC from Jem Welsh Nutrition in Orange County CA,. Welsh also recommend the Healthy Baby prenatal vitamins containing 1000 mg of DHA and EPA.

Other nutrition issues are also implicated in PPD. Michael Biomonte CCN reported in a 1997 that estrogen and copper levels usually increase during pregnancy, but they should return down to normal postbaby, but may remain elevated.  Excess copper has been implicated in PPD. When pregnancies are close together, copper remains high increasing chances of PPD.

Zinc, vitamin B6 and other nutrients can reverse this. Zinc deficiencies can also give rise to copper excess. Progesterone who works closely with zinc also plummets after delivery. Progesterone creams and supplements can be very effective in eliminating depression just like zinc. An ABC story on a 2005 Penn State University study on maternal iron deficiencies causing “bonding difficulties” for mom and child said: -“Experts say that women who forgo vitamin supplementation commonly experience iron deficiency after child birth”. They say iron deficiency is easy to correct and could be a big part of PPD with mother and child interaction. A lack of bonding may also increase PPD as the mother/child bonding produces the hormone “oxytocin”, which is another “feel good“hormone.

Amino acids, vitamin B1, B3, B6, B12, vitamin C, E, Folate, Inositol and calcium / magnesium supplements has been shown to help PPD as well.

In the last few years, much attention has been paid to our increased knowledge of the importance of Vitamin D. Vitamin D’s role as the “sunshine vitamin” since our bodies produce this vitamin when our skin is exposed to the sun is becoming vital. Vitamin D is found to avert pregnancy depression and PPD, and help in most other nutrient absorption and thus preventing most health problems and diseases, from the common cold to cancer.  Vitamin D deficiencies from excessive use of sunscreen and sun avoidance are causing osteoporosis and cancer. Every minute of sunshine for a Caucasian person produces 1000 iu’s of vitamin D.  However all things in moderation: Caucasian people need a minimum of 10-15 minutes of unprotected sunshine a day, darker skin tones 30 minutes, and black skinned people at least 45 minutes. In winter when this is difficult to achieve in colder climates, supplementation becomes vital for normal health.  Eating an otherwise unbalanced or unhealthy diet can affect mood swings and the health of an unborn baby, such as; too much sugar, and processed, foods such as; thickeners, preservatives, emollients, flavors and colors.

A pregnant mom only need about 300 extra calories a day while pregnant or about 5-600 if she exercise. This is only a couple of bananas. But she needs double and triple of many nutrients. That’s tough to fit into a couple of bananas. If these bananas turn into donuts or French fries, then neither mom nor the baby has any substantial sustenance to thrive on. It’s of utmost importance that a mom consumes as health of a diet as possible for her baby and herself during pregnancy and nursing.

Herbal remedies that have also shown promise in PPD reduction is St. Johns Work, Sam-e, although they do not work for everyone.

Otherwise reducing toxic exposure, allergens from food or airborne , mold (try not to clean with dangerous chemicals such bleach which is actually a “food source” for mold – use products coming soon from Betanix.com), Candida, food additives, processed and junk foods, checking your nutritional hormonal levels, increasing your light or sun exposure, managing your stress with meditation or exercise and normalizing the body’s energy balance with acupuncture, homeopathic or electromagnetic therapy should all be considered for depression prevention.

In a summary

In general a mother with healthy lifestyle habits, from preconception through postpartum, is much less likely to suffer from depression. And in accordance with the “Citizens Commission on Human Rights” we need to be more responsible in the case of depression and educate moms to practice a healthier lifestyle, with the alternative treatments and prevention methods that exercise and good nutrition and taking prenatal vitamins and especially Omega fatty acids supplementation before any pharmaceutical drugs are prescribed.

Drugs need to be our very last resort for mom and baby’s sake.

Birgitta Lauren

www.expectingfitness.com

Chocolate, Hearts & Baby

February 13, 2011

Chocolate! Oh Chocolate….
Who knew Valentines Day could be so good for you. Chocolates history dates back to the Mayans who believed not only  in its divine origins but it’s medicinal properties. Cacao has long been used to reduce fever, anemia, poor appetite, mental fatigue, TB, gout, kidney stones, low virility and to help poor breast milk production digestion, constipation and the nervous system. Today we know how cacao reduces stress, and flavanols improve cognitive function.  Cacao has potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc magnesium, manganese, vitamin C and omega fatty acids that help cardiovascular heart health. In addition cacao help release dopamine and endorphins further reducing PMS symptoms and depression. . .    It’s chromium content helps blood sugar levels. Together chocolates qualities calms and excites your heart in an aphrodisiac way …..
Raw organic chocolate is of course more nutritious than roasted or more processed beans. and choclate should be consumed dark as the minute milk is included, cacao looses its benefits as dairy’s Sodium Casein protein reduces your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Knowing all this, just imagine the benefits for mom and baby. Actually, science from Ylae University shows that pregnant moms consuming chocoalte 5 times a week, have 40% less risk of preeclampsia, than women eating choclate less than once a week. The University of Helsinki, Finland, found daily prenatal choclate consumption produced infants less fearful and laughing more at 6 months.  Perhaps we can assume that all this chocolate also helps make babies with healthier hearts, minds and happier through life.

Rhythmic hearts of Mom & Baby.

February 13, 2011

Speaking of hearts …… moms bond with baby in more ways than thought…researchers at the University of Aberdeen, have found that the heart of mother and fetus beats harmoniously together with the same rhythm. Sweet.

Breast feeding and stronger Muscles.

February 13, 2011

It seems according to a University of Granada study that on top of all other breast milk benefits, it also creates children with stronger muscles and larger muscles, and kids that perform better athletically. Best results came with the longest nursing time (over 6 months). With the heart being a muscle and necessity for athletic performance, perhaps it is improved  by breast milk as well.

Good and Bad Formulas.

February 13, 2011

We already know that formula feeding infants causes more weight gain and higher obesity risks  than breastfeeding. But Julie Menella Ph.D of the Monell Center studied different formulas and found that infants fed formula made of Protein hydrolysate rather than cow’s milk gained less weight due to its pre-digested proteins, higher protein, peptide and amino acid content.

Vaginal Delivery Safer for Breech Babies.

February 13, 2011

New research from the Tel Aviv University is showing that C-sections may not be the best way to deliver breech babies. In fact breech babies are generally at no more risk during vaginal than C-section, but vaginal delivery may be safer for mothers.  C-section is easier for doctors and of course at times necessary , but scientist Marek Glezerman  says many women can medically bu returning to natural deliveries. “We are trying to unite obstetricians and midwives  in the field to revive vaginal delivery for breech presentations, the skilled has disappeared…”
http://www.breechbirth.ca/Research.html

Vitamin A could save millions of Children.

February 13, 2011

Cochran scientists recently found that vitamin A supplementation could save a million children a year by reducing measles and diarrhea. UNICEF says says 2 million children die annually from diarrhea. and according to Cochran 190 million children are vitamin A deficient globally.

More on Vitamin A:
A fat-soluble vitamin occurring naturally in 2 forms: preformed A and beta-carotene. The richest source of preformed A is found in fish-oil. Beta-carotene in carrots and greens. Preformed A is easier to absorb than carotene which needs to be converted into A for absorption. However, beta carotene is safer as the body will only convert it to as much A as it needs. More than 5000 IU’s of vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects. But certain disorders like diabetes may be unable to absorb carotene. Vitamin A is vital for immune function, all tissue (skin, hair, eyes, organs) growth,repair, and protection, helps fight infections and regenerates cells for proper body functions including fertility and miscarriage prevention. Deficiencies have shown to cause difficult births, fetal death, cleft palate and other congenital birth defects.  Vitamin A also aids in sex hormone and mucus production.Cooking and pureeing vegetables helps absorption. Vitamin A needs zinc and fat for absorption, and works with vitamin E, D, and C. Cold weather hinders absorption and stress calls for more A.