Warning: What you need to know about fluoride and your child.

Everyone knows that fluoride helps prevent cavities.  Back in the day when you went to the dentist as a kid you got to pick a fluoride flavor and sit there with that bubble gum foam for a couple minutes.  Now your dentist makes sure that your child gets a fluoride treatment with every cleaning.  You can find fluoride in almost every toothpaste on the market and it’s added to the water supply of most American cities.

Well, what if I suddenly told you that fluoride is NOT good for you and doesn’t help prevent cavities or stop tooth decay.  In fact that it can damage your teeth AND, it was once classified as a hazardous toxic waste product.  You would say…well then why would my dentist be recommending it for my child?

The Fluoride Controversy

Let’s start from the beginning with a little story.  Once upon a time, a big industrial fertilizer company needed to get rid of large amounts of toxic waste but didn’t want to pay the expensive cost to dispose of it correctly.  Long story short, politics, politics, money, money, money, the right person got in the right place at a certain agency and they somehow came up with a way to convince the right people that fluoride would act as a beneficial nutrient and it should be added to the water supply.    Problem solved, large fertilizer industry happy, instead of spending billions of dollars to dispose waste, waste is now being sold to water companies as a nutrient, American people completely unaware.

The most upsetting part is that the government has known for quite some time that fluoride is hazardous but they have gone to extreme lengths to keep this a secret, and have endorsed the use of fluoride for decades.  “Up until 1931, the American Dental Association and the US Public Health Service recognized that fluoride caused dental problems, and that every effort should be made to remove such contamination from drinking water. “ (Fluoride the Aging Factor, p 140).  However, around the 1950’s US public health services began endorsing fluoridation with little evidence of its safety.

So what is fluoride supposed to do?

The American Dental Association says. “Community water fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.”

What does fluoride actually do?

It’s been linked by large amounts of research to things such as cancer, dental fluorosis, where your teeth actually become brittle and discolored, osteoporosis, neurotoxicity and lower IQ, advanced aging, and the list goes on, you can read more here.  There is in fact little to no scientific evidence that fluoride is at all safe or beneficial.

But the good news for exterminators is,  fluoride is approved as an insecticide and rat poison.  So that’s nice.

According to Dr. Connett, author of The Case against Fluoride,

“The sad irony here is that the FDA, which does not regulate fluoride in drinking water, does regulate toothpaste,” Connett says, “and on the back of a tube of fluoridated toothpaste… it must state that “if your child swallows more than the recommended amount, contact a poison control center.”

The amount that they’re talking about, the recommended amount, which is a pea-sized amount, is equivalent to one glass of water.

The FDA is not putting a label on the tap saying don’t drink more than one glass of water. If you do, contact a poison center.” 

Did you know that most European countries have stopped fluoridating their waters because of the research we have done here in the US?  Did you know that “A seven ounce tube of toothpaste, theoretically at least, contains enough fluoride to kill a small child.”  – Procter&Gamble, quoted in Fluoride the Aging Factor p14

AND…pay attention here moms, in November of 2006, the ADA sent out a warning to its members warning parents “should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride” when mixing baby formula.  Did you hear about that?  Probably not, due to the fact that they emailed their members this warning instead of making any type of public announcement.    Read this article here for a good explanation.

What can you do to avoid fluoride for you and your family?

Just being educated about the dangers of fluoride is a start.  A simple water filtration system would be the best thing, read about that here.  Limit use of toothpaste with fluoride.  Tell your dentist you don’t want your child to have a fluoride treatment.  And most importantly DO NOT use tap water with fluoride to mix infant formula.  The bottom line is this moms. Just because a medical establishment says some public health measure is safe, doesn’t mean it is.  The research is there and the days of unknowingly giving our children a hazardous waste product are over.

 

 

Real Mom Fridays: MOM CONFESSIONS!

In honor of Fall break and the fact that some of us have had kids home for a whole week now, I’d like to take a moment to be honest and tell you something… I can’t wait for my kids to go back to school.

Please don’t get me wrong I LOVE my kids dearly, but is it too much to ask to be able to go to the bathroom alone?  Put me on the stand if you’d like but I know you know what I’m talking about.   So I thought to make myself feel better about my confession I would ask some other Wellements Baby Moms for their secret Mom confessions.  Please feel free to leave yours below, this is a safe place so let it out and TRUST ME…you are NOT ALONE!

 

MOM CONFESSIONS

“Even though I’m a mom of an almost 2 year old who doesn’t believe there are many benefits to kids under 2 of watching TV and try to impose a “no TV until 2 rule”, sometimes when my son doesn’t want to eat for a few meals in a row I stick him in front of the TV or play videos while feeding him myself…”

 

“My kids hate to brush their teeth so I told them if they didn’t sugar bugs would grow in their mouth.  Worked like a charm.”

 

“I told my daughter if she stepped in those oil puddles in parking lots that her feet would burn off.  I just didn’t want oil on my carpets.”

 

“I don’t like breakfast in bed; that was some of the kids favorite thing to do on mother’s day for me…..now my husband does it….I must have been good at pretending. “

 

“If I’m being completely honest about life with my toddlers then I have to tell you about my latest trip to the supermarket.  I decided that I needed to stock up for the week since we were beginning Monday with slim pickings from the cupboards.  I loaded up the crazy two year olds that I spend each marvelous day with and headed out to Walmart.  Not my usual shopping destination as I’m normally a Super Target gal, but what the hey?!  I figured it would be a nice change of scenery and maybe I could save a few bucks on our weekly food bill.   So…..it’s no later than 8:30 am and we are wheeling our half broken buggy up to the ever so cheerful (insert sarcasm) deli counter lady.  My children begin to scream and whine about cookies and cakes.  I cannot even fathom giving them a treat so early in the morning with such bad behavior coming at me but what choice do I have?  A) succumb to the brattiness?? B) pack them back in the car and go home grocery-less?!   In that instant I decide to take the easy road….ughhhhhh!  Why do I let them win today?!  I wheel over to the bakery woman and ask if I may have two free cookies (so my naughty twins can be rewarded for hysterically screaming at me).  She hands them over two bright orange frosted sugar cookies covered in Halloween sprinkles and they start to devour them in an instant.  Breakfast of champions, right?!  I felt like the worst Walmart mother of the year.  I know I got plenty of stares but the moral of the story is:  do what you must to survive life with toddlers.  I finished my morning shopping trip with two happy kiddos and returned home with a car full of groceries thinking tomorrow they’ll have broccoli and eggs for breakfast.”

“I take extra long showers in the morning as it’s the only time during the day that I have the time and space away to just be, think through life, and have some ‘me’ time.”

 

“I go through the Starbucks drive thru so much that one day when I was giving my order, my 3 year-old was saying it with me.”

 

“I drive to the park that is only 4 blocks from my house because I’m too tired to walk.”

 

“I get excited when I see certain kids shows are on (few favorites: Bubble Guppies, Electric Company).”

 

“My daughter was never a big nap taker, but sometimes I just had to get stuff done and needed a break, so there were days I would just put her in the crib and let her cry herself to sleep just so I could have an hour by myself.  When she would wake up so happy to see me I would just feel so completely guilty but I still did it anyways!”

 

“Even when the kids were driving me crazy and I would escape for an hour or two I would always miss them and couldn’t wait to get back to see them. “

 

“I used to play the game with my kids called brush mommy’s hair.  It was an easy way to get 5 minutes to close my eyes and still play a game.”

 

“My child is the WORST on planes.   I’m the mom that people hate to sit next to cause he screams basically the whole time.  It gives me major anxiety to travel with him so I broke down and gave him a little Benadryl…I had to…and it worked!  He was way calm and even fell asleep.  I felt really guilty but relieved at the same time.”

 

“My kids bring home so many art projects and drawings that I can’t fit them all on the fridge so I secretly throw some of them away.  When they ask me where I put them I tell them I hung them up at my office.”

What is your secret mom confession?  Leave us a comment below.

Is The Flu Vaccine Safe For My Child?

It’s officially fall moms!  Beautiful colors, warm sweaters, pumpkin lattes …and the flu.  Yes, flu season is here and you know you are just waiting for your child to come home from preschool and share the gift with your entire family.  Well it’s a good thing you can get a flu shot on virtually every street corner.  But does it work and is it safe?

What is it?

There are two types of flu vaccines.  The first is a flu shot, where an inactivated killed off version of the flu virus is injected.  The second is a weakened but not completely killed off version called Flu-Mist that is sprayed into your nose.   The idea is that when the inactivated or weakened virus enters your immune system, your body starts producing anti-flu protective agents.  This way, when your body comes in contact with the flu again, it will recognize the virus and be able to fight it off quickly without making you sick.

Each year scientist try to predict which three strains of the flu will be most prevalent during the upcoming flu season.  They then formulate vaccines to protect against those strains.

What is recommended?

Right now, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends “that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.”  They also specifically state that pregnant women, children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old should get the vaccine.

What’s the big deal?

All the controversy surrounding vaccines, the flu vaccine included, is causing a lot of confusion among parents.   The reason for concern is thimerosal, a form of mercury used as a preservative in the flu vaccine.

Thimerosal is used as an anti-bacterial agent in many different medications and has been used as a preservative in vaccines since around 1930.  However, some scientist and parent advocate groups have long argued that there is a link between this preservative and autistic spectrum disorder.

In the late 90’s the U.S. Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics agreed that as a precautionary measure any vaccine for children should be thimerosal free.  By 2003 thimerosal was taken out of all vaccines, except of course, the flu vaccine.

So why would it be taken out of every vaccine as a precautionary measure but then left in a flu vaccine that is recommended for almost every child?  Good question…doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  According to Dr. Julia McMillan, professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, “When we made the recommendation it was because we just didn’t have enough information about mercury. The FDA was reviewing it for use in dentistry, drugs and so forth. We decided since more children were getting more vaccines and being exposed to thimerosal at a rate we hadn’t considered before, it would be best to minimize the exposure as a precaution.”

Last time I check ingesting mercury was not a good thing, regardless of what kind of spin the FDA, CDC, or you name it puts on it.  There are some arguments that methyl mercury is the problem not ethyl mercury which is used in thimerosal.   Still, not sold.  While it may be true that the jury is still out on the real links between vaccines and autism, the FDA would not have placed a ban on thimerosal if there weren’t some potential danger.

The argument goes deeper than just mercury.  Here are 5 reasons from an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola.

Five Reasons to Reconsider Flu Shots For Your Child

1.  The majority of flu shots contain 25 micrograms of mercury, an amount considered unsafe for anyone weighing less than 550 pounds! And which groups are most sensitive to the neurological damage that has been associated with mercury? Infants, children, and the elderly.

2.  The above study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that vaccinating young children against the flu appeared to have no impact on flu-related doctor visits or hospitalizations during two recent flu seasons.

 At first glance, the data did suggest that children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years derived some protection from the vaccine in these years. But after adjusting for potentially relevant variables, the researchers concluded that “significant influenza vaccine effectiveness could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting.”

 3.  The new policy ignores a large-scale, systematic review of 51 studies, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2006, that found no evidence the flu vaccine is any more effective for children under 2 than a placebo. The studies involved 260,000 children, age 6 to 23 months.

 4.  If your child gets a flu shot, he can still get the flu (or flu-like symptoms). This is because it only protects against certain strains, and it’s anyone’s guess about which flu viruses will be in your area.

 5.  There are many studies supporting the hygiene hypothesis, which proposes that acquiring viral infections early in life is not a bad thing.  It actually helps build your child’s immune system, drastically reducing the risk for heart disease, allergies, and asthma, as he grows older.

 

So with that being said, you may have a circumstance where it is absolutely necessary to protect against the flu.  Maybe your child is at risk for other illnesses, or maybe you just know the daycare is ticking flu time bomb.  You CAN find flu vaccines that are thimerosal free.  Your pediatrician or local health department should be able to help you find a place that offers thimerosal free vaccines.

As always, question what your doctors tell you.  Ask why.  You are your child’s best advocate.  Review the evidence and make your own informed decision.  There are ways to help your child naturally prevent the flu such as, washing hands, eating less sugar, getting enough vitamin D, and making sure they get lots of sleep.  I’m willing to go out on a limb and say you probably never had a flu shot growing up, and you survived the flu so maybe your child can too.

 

What are your thoughts?  Do you get your child vaccinated for the flu? Leave a comment below.

What you need to know about your birth control!

Are you on birth control?  If so, my guess is you’ve been on it for quite some time.  You’ve probably had a couple years off and on with family planning but chances are it’s been a staple in your life.  So much a staple, that it’s the only pill that everyone knows as “THE PILL.” According to TIME Magazine,  “It was the first medicine ever designed to be taken regularly by people who were not sick.”

Birth control has been around since ancient times.  Even before the invention of the pill, back in caveman days, both men and woman would use different herbs, barriers and timing to prevent conception.   Around 1950 the FDA approved the birth control pill causing major controversy.  Would this cause a sexual revolution, more adultery, or change the way a family worked.  Or would it provide women with some freedom, choice, and relieve the burden of unwanted children.   No doubt there are many benefits to contraception but there are many downfalls to using birth control pills.  So many that women are now asking themselves, is the convenience worth the risk?
Birth control is made up of synthetic hormones estrogen and progesterone.  They work by simulating your body’s natural hormones and basically tricking your body into either not releasing an egg, or producing conditions in your cervix and uterus where an egg cannot be fertilized.  This is all great BUT, your body’s hormonal system is extremely complex and delicate and the effects of altering this natural system can majorly  impact all processes in the body.

 

If you’ve ever opened up the little pocket size notebook that comes with your birth control pack, you will notice the warnings section is as long and as hard to read as the constitution.  The list of potential side effects is daunting.  It includes things such as fatal blot clots, stroke, heart attack, migraines, irregular bleeding and the list goes on.  I know what you are thinking though…yeah yeah, every drug has a list like that and the odds of any of that really happening are slim.  Well hold on.

I’m sure you’ve heard at some point about adverse effects of taking hormones, specifically estrogen.  The facts don’t lie about this and they are not in our favor.  Dr. Mercola states, “There’s no question that nearly all medicinal estrogen is unhealthy and can cause more problems than it prevents.  Studies have found that hormone replacement therapy increases your breast cancer risk by at least one percent per year, and hormone replacement therapy with progestin increases your risk by eight percent per year, potentially going as high as 30 percent after just four years of use.”

If that’s not enough, here’s another list courtesy of Dr. Mercola of things to look forward to:

  • Cancer: Women who take birth control pills increase their risk of cervical and breast cancers, and possibly liver cancer as well.
  • Fatal blood clots: All birth control pills increase your risk of blood clots and subsequent stroke. And if your prescription contains the synthetic hormone desogestrel, your risk of fatal blood clots nearly doubles!
  • Thinner bones: Women who take birth control pills have lower bone mineral density (BMD) than women who have never used oral contraceptives.
  • Heart disease: Long-term use of birth control pills may increase plaque artery buildups in your body that may raise your risk of heart disease.
  • Long-term sexual dysfunction: The Pill may interfere with a protein that keeps testosterone unavailable, leading to long-term sexual dysfunction including decreased desire and arousal.
  • Weight gain and mood changes

I know, not pretty.  And, you know just as well as I do that now a days it isn’t uncommon for women to be on birth control for 10-15 years.  We start around 18, maybe we get off for a while 10 years later, then go back on.  15 years of these hormones..maybe more!!

While I’m not a fan of these birth control pills, I’m also not crazy and definitely don’t want to be the next Mrs. Dugger.  So here’s what I’m suggesting.  Consider some of the more natural ways to prevent pregnancy that wont compromise your health.

  • Condoms – yes it’s a love/hate relationship, but they work and I don’t think anyone ever got cancer from using them.
  • Diaphragm – I know this sounds like something your mom would have used back in the day but it’s still available ladies, and effective!  You have to get it fitted by your doctor but when used correctly they are 92 to 98 percent effective.
  • Female Condoms, Cervical cap, Cervical sponges – I only list these because they are available, but I’m a realist and know these are probably a long shot.  I have heard of these things but never met one women who has used them.  If you have, please comment below would love to know what you think.
  • Natural Family Planning – I’m actually a big fan of this one.  When done correctly this can be 95% effective.  This includes things like:
    • The Calendar Method – This means tracking your menstral cycle and abstaining from sex when you are fertile.  This works best for women who have a regular cycle.
    • Taking you Temperature – This entails taking your temperature every morning with an accurate “Basal Thermometer” to see when your temperature is up.  When it’s up you know you are ovulating and can avoid sex a couple days before and after.
    • Birth Control Beads – This is new one I just read about and I think is pretty cool.  It involves using a string of color-coded beads to identify your fertile days.  One study done over three years showed only a 5% failure rate.  Not bad…read more here.
  • The old SNIP – a favorite of many women.  Of course, most practical for those who are finished with having children and whose partners will cooperate.  But don’t we love this ladies! Send your man to the doctor and make him be the birth control.

There are options ladies.  Do your research and really weigh the risk of that pill you are taking.  The research against it is mounting and only becoming more alarming.    If the ancient Egyptians could find a way, we can too.  It’s time to start really considering the impact of this convenience called “THE PILL.”

 

What kind of family planning do you use?  Leave us a comment below.

 

 

 

4 Simple Ways to Protect Your Baby From Toxins

Hidden Toxins

Have you ever thought about the fact that we spend an enormous amount of time making sure every baby apparatus that may come within 10 feet of our baby is completely safe.  There are so many locks, straps, snaps, covers.  Bottles have 15 parts just to make sure your baby doesn’t get one hiccup.  But one thing I don’t think we give enough thought to is the safety of the products and chemicals around our kids.  These are things that come in DIRECT contact with them on a daily basis and are often completely over looked.

The research on the harmful effects of  chemicals found in many common household items is starting to become completely overwhelming.  Groups such as the World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency have started to issue warnings to protect consumers against these harmful ingredients.  However, the FDA regulation on what is safe to use is often slow and very politically motivated, allowing these harmful ingredients to remain in use.  According to the Organic Consumer Association “The real negative effects of these types of chemicals come further down the road, when these children could exhibit learning disorders, a propensity for various types of cancer, early puberty, hormonal disruption and birth defects in their children.”

Here are 4  simple things you can do to make sure you are protecting your baby from unnecessary chemicals.

1.  Read Labels: This is a good rule of thumb for really anything: food, personal care products, cleaners.  If you see a laundry list of ingredients you’ve never heard of its probably a bad sign.   In food, watch out for words like artificial, hydrogenated, or any type of food coloring.  According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics more than half of children’s bath soaps, shampoos, lotions, and other personal care products tested by the group were found to contain 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde.  The problem is the ingredients aren’t listed as 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde so many parents are unaware.  In cleaning products you want to avoid ammonia, bleach or any type of acids.  As a general rule look for products that that only have a few ingredients and just keep it simple.

2.  Make your own simple green cleaner: I admit I was a Lysol wipe addict.  I was convinced that it was the only way to make sure things were disinfected and safe for tiny hands and feet.  WRONG.  You would be amazed at how easy and effective just simple vinegar, baking soda and water is at cleaning and disinfecting.  Pick up your own spray bottle and go to town! Click here for a million ways to clean with vinegar.  For specifics on things like tile, wood floors, and carpets, click here for more easy green clean mixtures.

3. Avoid  BPA: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a compound found in plastic bottles and in the plastic lining of canned foods.  The FDA has deemed BPA generally safe but released a statement in 2010 raising concern about the effect on infants and children.  BPA is known as an endocrine disruptor and basically can act like a hormone in the body causing all sorts of potential problems, specifically for pregnant women and infants.  The good news is many manufacturers of baby products are making BPA free products.  Specifically bottles, toys and baby food storage items.  Born Free, Green to Grow and Medela are just a couple brands that make BPA free bottles.  Here is a great website with a complete list of companies that make BPA free products. The point is be aware of BPA and look for products and toys that advertise BPA free.

4.  Buy non-toxic cleaners:  If you don’t feel like making your own green cleaner no problem.  There is now a plethora of great non-toxic, chemical free cleaners available at almost every grocery store.  Look for brands like Ecos, Mrs. Meyer, and Seventh Generation.  BabyGanics products are plant based organic, and chemical free; made specifically for houses with children.

 

Over the last few years the issues surrounding these harmful chemical have become more publicized forcing manufacturers to provide safe chemical free options that are widely available and affordable.  Now you can feel just as good about that plastic toy your baby wont stop chewing on as you can about your super safe car seat.

Do you have any chemical free favorites?  Leave a comment below.