Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vaccines & Vaccinations

There was a discussion today on a friend's Facebook wall on this topic... In case there are others who'd like to look into the topic more in-depth, these are notes on the 4 books that we found most helpful in the decision making process. Happy reading. :)

The book we started researching vax with is Dr. Sears' "The Vaccine Book" simply because Dr. Sears is such a well-known/well-trusted pediatrician. It is a quick, easy read, and although a LOT of research is left out, it is meant to be a starting point for parents to make decisions from. He does not say "do" or "don't" on anything. Although he is pro-vax, he is also very much ALTERNATIVE vax - meaning, he (and the other Sears pediatricians) believe that the current APA schedule of vaccinations is too much, too soon, too risky - and often unnecessary or better off without.

"Vaccine Safety Manual: For Concerned Families and Health Professionals" is an excellent *very expansive* book. It should be noted that there are 73 pages - SEVENTY-THREE PAGES - of referenced peer-reviewed medical research studies/empirical journal articles (about 4,015 total studies from renowned sources like the "British Medical Journal" "Pediatrics" "American Journal of Health" "American Journal of Medicine" "Journal of Clinical Virology" "Epidemiology and Infection" "Lancet" "Medical Microbiology and Immunology" "Journal of Immunology" "International Journal of Cancer" "European Journal of Cancer" "American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology" "Canadian Journal of Health" "Medical Journal of Australia" ... you get the picture). Parents and health professionals can go check out the data for themselves if they so choose. Very well documented book. The author, interestingly enough, is a medical researcher and a MENSA member, so he is probably not the dullest knife in the drawer.

I also recommend and really like the book, "How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor." Although I am sure the title is enough to scare off a lot of parents, it is written by world-renowned pediatrician, Robert Mendelsohn. He really knows his line of work better than anyone and spent his entire life researching, reviewing the research, and working directly with babies/children and the young adults they grew into. There is not as much documentation as in "Vaccine Safety Manual" and Mendelsohn's book is a bit dated, but it is still a good one to add to the list.

One final good book on the topic is "Take Charge of your Child's Health" by another renowned physician (family practice) with a specialty in children's health (and father of 11 children himself) Dr. George Wootan. His book has 1 chapter on vaccinations divided into brief descriptions of each vaccine, the disease, the history, the effectiveness, the possible side effects, and the rates of it all. There are about 80 studies cited (with full citations in the back) from which parents can do further research if they choose.

Saturday, March 7, 2009




If Juneau and I were home, we would have been there for sure.

There are a lot of very ignorant comments at the end of this article... I am always dumbfounded at the stupidity out there.

But way-to-go to you mothers who took a stand!!



Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cutting Boys - Cuts to the Core

This was originally posted by my friend in her blog here.


I'm here to defend men in their right to be whole, and I don't want to hear any religious doctrine that blesses such a barbaric act. We must tackle ourselves where we least want to look - into our views about religion and how we are literally shackled to the past and to the rules which continue to be played out from one generation to the next. My dear Jewish friend Lauera Kaplan Shanley, author of Unassisted Childbirth, has something important to say on this subject:

"I am so offended by circumcision that it is difficult for me to even write about it. On any given day thousands of men will meet in support groups to vent their anger over having been circumcised without a choice in the matter. Over one third of the active members of the anti-circumcision movement are Jewish. On any given day at least one hundred routine infant circumcisions will result in complications, irreversible surgical trauma, penile loss or even death. I have no problem with Jews circumcising their own as long as the 'circumcisee' is a consenting adult. A week old infant is not a consenting adult. Religious freedom is not about inflicting your beliefs on others, regardless of whether or not the other is your child. Children grow up to be adults, and many, many Jewish men are angry that they were circumcised in the name of religion.

For those who say a Jewish circumcision is more humane because the child is held by loved ones and given wine to drink, Jody McLaughlin who is the editor/publisher of Compleat Mother magazine replies,

"Are you telling me that it is more humane to be hurt in the presence of those who supposedly love and care about you? Are you saying that it is more humane if a child's first sexual experience involving another human being is associated with blood, pain, and alcohol?"

As shocking as it may be to our western minds, little girls in other societies are routinely forced into a different form of circumcision - female clitorectomies. While the western world is condoning male circumcision with the excuse of cleanliness, other cultures are cutting out the clitoris of each and every young girl, assuring death to the power of female sexual pleasure. I am eternally grateful to organizations such as The Intact Network who work to save infants and children from the pain, torture, and destruction of genital mutilation. We need to stop the horror of sexual mutilation wherever it occurs on our planet.

It seems only fitting that we should next touch on the subject of sexuality. One aspect of the anger that is addressed in support groups comprised of circumcised men is sexual sensitivity. Their non-circumcised counterparts are enjoying a level of sexual pleasure unknown to victims of the knife.

The foreskin acts as both lubricant and masseuse during intercourse, creating a highly stimulating sensation. As a mother, I can attest to this difference between circumcised and non-circumcised males because my three-year-old intact son absolutely loves pulling and stretching his foreskin, a gleeful pride in his eyes and a smile on his face. I don't see this self-nurturing behavior in the lives of toddler victims of circumcision.

Circumcision is a primal wound that changes the course of a life. This crime, together with denial of the breast and separate sleeping quarters defines the initial sexual experience for a huge percentage of our society's population. Pornography is that party called together; the walking wounded who, addicted to eagle-spread models in magazines search out the womb where everything was once just fine; the walking wounded who, starved of the sweet warmth of a mother's breast stare dreamily at the sight of cleavage; the walking wounded who, frustrated at their inability to know intimacy have sex with strangers who will only do it for pay; the walking wounded who, angry and anxious for the hatred they feel rape and kill women and children.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Homebirth Breastfeeding Orgasmic Birth on 20/20 & Discovery Health Seeks BIRTH FAMILY

Well, this turned out to be a pretty pathetic show. Entirely lacking of any accurate information, save what Robin, Laura and some of the other interviewees were able to say. The worst part was that they included the clip on "fake babies" -- i.e. dolls -- with the rest of the mothering topics. scary. I also couldn't believe they would pose the question of whether homebirth is actually just "mothers being selfish" (to avoid the very real 34% chance of c-section by just walking into the hospital to birth) without ever mentioning the remote possibility that there are HUGE and innumerable benefits for BABIES being birthed naturally, quietly, gently at home... Nick warned me not to watch it - that we would be irritated by it...and I guess he was right. He even left the room a couple times shaking his head saying how it is "just the opposite" of what they are suggesting. I guess we can't expect the made-for-$$-pop-media to get things right. That'd be asking too much.


Looks like this show is finally airing...we will see how topics are presented tomorrow (Fri, Jan 2nd).

I am going to forward these messages in case anyone is interested:


Dear Friends,

It appears that this Fri., Jan. 2nd, “20/20” (ABC TV) will at last be airing their “Extreme Motherhood” show. Segments include homebirth (both unassisted and midwife assisted), serial surrogates (women that have numerous babies for other women), “fake babies” (life like dolls), long-term breastfeeding, and orgasmic birth. Providing the show is good (or at least allows a few grains of truth to get through), I think it’s a great way to start off the new year.

In other news, the Discovery Health Channel is seeking a homebirth family that is willing to have their birth filmed. The birth can be either unassisted or midwife assisted. I’ll enclose a letter from the producer below. Happy New Year, everyone!!



Laura Shanley

Bornfree! The Unassisted Childbirth Page


Dear midwives, doulas, and expecting mothers,

My name is Zach Marion and I am producing a natural childbirth show
for Discovery Health Network. The hour long special will feature
three mothers having home births and airs during baby week in June.

We just wrapped on our first story in Kona, Hawaii where Kollette and
her husband, Jason, gave birth on their organic coffee bean farm.
Midwife, April Weaver, attended their birth. In February, my crew and
I will be traveling to Salt Lake City Utah to follow another family
who is erecting a birth teepee. However, our production schedule is
open during the month of January.

We are looking for one more family to feature on the program. The
focus here is home births with a unique angle. For example, home
birth in the city might be a nice contrast to our other two stories.
The baby must be due between the beginning of January and the middle
of February. Mothers who appear on the show receive an appearance fee.

The crew arrives a week or two before the due date to shoot a back-
story. We spend 3 or 4 days with the family doing interviews and
capturing their day-to-day life. Then, we are on standby to document
the birth.

We understand the effect we may have on a birth just by being there.
Through our experience gained in capturing 34 births for the
Discovery Health series, House of Babies, we know how to fade in to
the background and become a fly on the wall.

Exposure has always been an issue for our moms and their partners.
Network television does not allow nudity. Blurring is employed to
keep content tasteful. I would be more than happy to send an episode
of House of Babies on DVD to any mom so she understands.

This is a positive experience for all that are involved. As a
producer, I have the unique opportunity to promote midwifery and home
birth on a big stage. Help me take advantage of this position. Let's
put empowered mothers and inspiring birth plans on the show.

If you are a mother or know a mother that fits the above criteria,
please contact me immediately. I am in the office 8am to 5pm CST on
weekdays. I can be reached in the evenings and on weekends by cell

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

Zach Marion (zach @
Cell: (218) 556-8966
Work: (701) 232-3393