Monday, July 17, 2006

Breastfeeding Photo Contest

In the wake of women getting kicked out of Victoria's Secret for breastfeeding, and states having to pass laws to give women the right to breastfeed in public, How Cool Is THIS!?

Valley latching on to annual photo contest

By Rebecca Whitney
The Pictorial
Jul 15 2006

Success is only a breast away.

The third annual breastfeeding photo contest is calling for submissions to compile a 2007 calendar in celebration of breastfeeding mothers and their families.

"It's so cool because it honours breast feeding mothers and their babies," says Margaret Moss's Wendy Robb.

Margaret Moss Health Centre, Ts'ewulhtun Health Centre and La Leche League Cowichan are hosting the annual contest to raise awareness about the health benefits arising from breastfeeding.

There were 80 entries in the competition last year and the 12 best were chosen for the calendar, which sold all 250 of the copies printed.

This year the contest winners will be announced at a tea on Oct. 6 and prizes range from getaways to dinners out, all designed to pamper the photographer, so Robb encourages proud dads to get out the camera and start shooting.

The contest is open to all and welcomes pictures of any description - black and white, colour, digital, old or new.

"We've had some very artistic photos with a lot of skin. It's been so successful and so much fun," says Robb of the contest and calendar compilation, and it has really caught on.

La Leche League Canada is following the example of Cowichan Valley breastfeeding enthusiasts and doing a contest of their own.

The Cowichan Valley holds a week in honour of breastfeeding in October. This year the week's events will be held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 and will start off with the annual breastfeeding challenge which hopes to gather together as many breastfeeding women as possible in one location.

The contest closes Aug. 4. To submit to the contest just pick up an application form at Margaret Moss Health Centre, Ts'ewulhtun Health Centre or Kaatza Health Centre and drop off the photo and form to Margaret Moss to have your picture displayed and entered in the contest.

And Robb encourages all breastfeeding women in the Valley to bare some skin and join the celebration.

"Getting photos done to honour the whole process is so empowering for women."

Until next time,
Remember, You are Remarkable!

Jackie Lee

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Compensation awarded for Vaccine Injury

My mom called me yesterday to ask if I knew that there was a fund that paid people that had been injured by vaccines. Of course with all the recent research I have been doing in making the decision to vaccinate Hanna I did know about it. When I asked her why she was asking she told me that she had just heard about a child awarded millions of dollars from the fund. She was talking about the vaccine injury compensation program.

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (PL-99-660) is a vaccine safety and compensation system which (1) created a no-fault compensation alternative to suing vaccine manufacturers and providers on behalf of citizens injured or killed by vaccines; (2) helps prevent future vaccine injuries through education and an adverse reaction reporting system; and (3) creates incentives for the production of safer vaccines.

I asked her if she was aware that there is a place you can report any adverse reactions that your children get, no matter how minor, from their vaccinations. It is called Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). She told me she was not aware of that, as most parents are not. Doctor's are required to report adverse reaction as well. However, it is stated that only 10% of reactions are reported.

I went online to find the story of the child recently awarded money by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, and found out he was originally from Kansas City, not too far from us. Here's the story:

Kansas City Star, MOPosted on Fri, Jul. 07, 2006

Boy is Awarded $43.1 Million: The 7-Year-Old's Settlement Comes Under a National Vaccine Compensation Program.
By Julius A. Karash, The Kansas City Star, Mo.

In what is thought to be one of the largest such settlements ever, a quadriplegic boy has been awarded $43.1 million under a government vaccine injury program.

Seven-year-old Mario Arturo Rodriguez, who once lived in Kansas City and received a vaccination at Children's Mercy Hospital, will receive the money under a settlement reached this week through the no-fault National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Mario's case alleged that he became a quadriplegic after receiving a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at Children's Mercy Hospital's pediatric clinic on Jan. 25, 2000. The hospital was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Under the guidelines of the program, the litigation was filed against the Department of Health and Human Services. Kansas City attorney Leland Dempsey, who represented Mario, said Thursday that it was his understanding that the settlement was one of the biggest ever reached under the program. "One unusual aspect of the case is that Mario is expected to have a normal lifespan, and therefore will require more years of care that will cost more money," Dempsey said. "He will need round-the-clock care, including extensive medical intervention, throughout his life."Dempsey said the money will be paid over Mario's lifetime, probably beginning with about $2 million this year.

The boy lives with his mother in Oak Harbor, Wash., he said. Bill Hall, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services inWashington, said Thursday that he was not familiar with the case and therefore could not comment.According to statistics on the department's Web site,, in fiscal year 2006 the fund paid out a total of $38.2 million in cases involving 47 awards. The program was established in 1988 to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs and establish an accessible forum for those injured by vaccines. A small percentage of children have serious reactions to vaccinations. Dempsey emphasized that Mario's injuries are highly unusual and that parents should not hesitate to get their children immunized against diseases."I can't imagine that anyone would refrain from getting their child immunized," Dempsey said. "It would be irresponsible."

To reach Julius A. Karash, call (816) 234-4918 or send e-mail

Although Mr. Dempsey may feel it is irresponsible not to vaccinate your children, it is my opinion that it is irresponsible to blindly follow your doctor's instructions and not do some investigating for yourself.

No matter what decision you make for your children regarding the issue of vaccinations, please make an informed decision. Know what you are getting your children into, and whether the risks for your child outweigh the benefits.

Until next time,
Remember, You are Remarkable!

Jackie Lee

***** Conscious Pregnancy and Parenting Support Network ********

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sleeping through the night

Isn't it funny the thing we want most can make us a little nervous?

For the last 71/2 weeks all I have wanted is for Hanna to sleep through the night so I can get some sleep myself. I was only expecting about 5 hours which I would have been totally happy with.

Last Monday, Hanna slept from 10-6. I thought it was a fluke and woke up startled and running to the crib to make sure she was ok. Then the next night she did it again, except she had fallen asleep a little earlier. This whole week she has managed to sleep between around 10 hours a night.

Last night she fell asleep at 8:30p and woke up at 6:30a. It is really exciting, but at the same time I was a little worried. Crazy new mom kinda thing I guess. I called my mom this morning and she said "and you are complaining?". No I am certainly not complaining, I just am making sure that sleeping that long is "normal". Hah, there is no normal I have found when it comes to babies and sleep.

She eats well, has also learned to smile at people this week, she plays happily with toys. I guess I will just be grateful for the sleep and stop worrying.

I guess I have an answer to one of my very first blogs, between 6 and 7 weeks. That's when she will sleep through the night. Ah if I had only known then, how soon it would actually be, maybe I wouldn't have been quite so insane! Well hindsight's 20/20!

We had a birthday party for her step grandpa last weekend. She was looking dazzling in a flowy little sundress.

It is so amazing to me the little things that change so fast. Each day she wakes up and seems like a whole new person. She acts kind of different and even looks kind of different. She has even outgrown a couple of outfits. I never in my life could have imagined how much love I could have for this little person. I guess you never really understand it, until it happens to you.

Until next time,
Remember, You are Remarkable!

Jackie Lee

***** Conscious Pregnancy and Parenting Support Network ********

The first call is coming up July 13.

Feel free to join us this month's special guest:

Ask a Doula.
What is a doula? Do you need one?
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Monday, June 19, 2006

Carseats, Slings and Packs Oh My, What's a babywearer to do?

One of the tenets of attachment parenting is baby wearing. After reading all that Dr. Sears had to say about the benefits of babywearing, I was on board. I researched questions to ask when choosing a sling. I looked at exactly how these things work, and how you put it on. I compared different slings, and decided on a sling I wanted to purchase.

Then I ran into a problem. I was out of cash. So I ended up buying a sling at my local baby depot. And, I don't know, if it's because we live in Kansas or that's just the way the world is when it comes to slings, there was only one available. It happened to be the one they recommend you don't buy, but I didn't realize that at the time, and I had a gift certificate. :)

Hanna was born I excitedly tried to put her in the sling, and could not figure it out. The women at my LeLeche League meeting had told me to bring the baby and they would bring some slings, but I was just not that patient. The LLL meetings are only once a month! I finally called my Doula and she said come on over, we'll get the baby in there.

She helped me get Hanna in the sling, and it felt kind of unstable to me, but I'm assuming that's natural for a new mother and a new sling. Then Hanna started SCREAMING. What's up? Babies are supposed to LOVE their slings. I took her out and tried a few more times over the next week or two, same result every time, Screaming!!

Meanwhile we are using our car seat carrier to take her places in. But here's the problem with that, she hates that seat. As soon as I start to put her in it she starts, you guessed it, SCREAMING. Not just little baby screaming either, I'm talking hold your breath until you turn purple then do it again screaming. Then as you gasp for breath a warble comes out, then more screaming. This is a problem, since the united states government says she has to be in this if she is going to be in the car. It takes some doing but we get her calmed down, and once the car is going she usually falls asleep. She stays asleep for just about long enough to get in a store and then she wakes up and it is not long before the screaming begins again.

So now I'm carrying the baby and this crazy car seat. This is not easy. So I am thinking and thinking, there must be another way.

It is then that I think about when Hanna is the happiest, and that is when she is laying on either my chest or her Daddy's. Then I get this brilliant idea, they have carriers where they lean against your chest. That must be the answer.

I'm still out of money, but pretty desperate to leave my house at some point. I look around the local dept store and sure enough, they have two font loading carriers. My mom generously offers to buy one for me, as we are going antiquing the next Saturday.

Hanna loves it. She is happy and quiet, and falls asleep almost immediately. Woo Hoo. Here's the problem. I can't get her out of it. It's almost too funny. She's good and sound asleep and I can't get her out. I finally got her out of the carrier with arms and legs barely intact, and I look at her beautiful face, bam, wide awake, although she is bright eyed and being happy baby after such a lovely nap.

I was talking to a friend about this problem, and she told me she had a front riding carrier as well. Hers was different though, you can unclip the baby from the carrier and then lay them down without disruption. This is exactly what I am looking for. She brought it to the next La Leche League meeting and told me I could have it, as her newborn doesn't like it at all.

This carrier is fantastic, exactly what I am looking for. We still use the first one around the house, and we still use the car seat for quick trips to places that have shopping carts (she's only 9 pounds and that thing already weighs a ton!), but when we are going in and out, and need to wear the baby so she will be happy, but also need to get her in and out of the carseat we use the new one.

I still want a sling, and am hoping to get together with others at the next meeting to try some other types of slings and see if there is one that she likes.

Babywearing has proven to be a really positive thing for us, she is much calmer when being worn, and it is a surefire way to get her to sleep, even when she is her most fussy. She also seems to have an easier time getting to sleep when she has been worn during the day. I definately encourage people to try wearing their babies. AND I encourage you to get together with others who wear their babies before you buy one for yourself to see what will make your baby the most happy. There are a million choices out there, and you can do all the research in the world, but ultimately, as I am finding out, your baby will decide.

Good luck! Until next time,

Remember, You are Remarkable!
Jackie Lee :)

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

How do I get this baby to stop crying?

Well Hanna has been having some pretty fussy periods, and pretty regularly now. It seems evenings are not a great time for her lately.

I was wandering around on the web today and I ran across this article about Colic, and a very interesting viewpoint on why colic exists.

I am reluctant to label Hanna's behavior as colic. Not sure why. I think I just refuse to have a colicky baby. I know, it's crazy, but, well, it's true.

But anyway, back to the article. I found it on, and here's the link to the whole article.

Dr. Greene states that colic is a necessary part of family integration. He believes that people would just go right back to their normal ways, habits, schedules after a couple of weeks if a baby would just be quiet and cooperate.

That's where colic comes in. The baby gets fussy, loud, frustrating, and makes her family stop and take notice. The new family must take time to figure out what makes baby happy, and what calms them down, thus interupting their normal routine and forcing them to develop new routines which include the new member to the family.

Now this is a very interesting idea. I can definately see how this could be true. As much as I love my new little one, I am definately eager to get back to my routine, my work, my life. I was actually managing to do that when she was quiet and angelic during the day and the evening. Now with this daily fussiness, I am drawn away from my normal schedule and find that I am spending time with her, thus developing new routines, that are center around her.

To tell you the truth, if she had not started getting so fussy, I probably would have worked her into my schedule and continued on as I had pre-baby. Now I no longer have that choice. She is one smart little chicklet! There have been so many other areas where our thinking has definately changed and become more family oriented, but my day to day schedule had not really been one of them.

I am feeling much closer to her, and becoming less frustrated with her fussy periods once I started looking at the positive aspects of our time together.

Yesterday, as she was screaming at the top of her lungs, I picked her up and kissed her on the cheek, and she stopped wailing, just like that. I thought to myself. "I did that." and that felt pretty good. All she wanted was some snuggling time with her mom, and as long as we were snuggling she was fine.

It must be pretty scary to come into this big wide world after being in such a safe cozy environment as a womb. It seems to me that the only thing that remains constant is mom. So it only makes sense that when things get a little scary or overwhelming for a little person, they would expect mom to rearrange her schedule and pencil in snuggling time from 9p to 12a.

And that's exactly what has been penciled in to my new "family" schedule.
9-midnight, Snuggling time with Hanna.

It's quickly becoming my favorite time of day!

Until next time,
Remember, You are Remarkable.

Jackie Lee :)

Ask a Doula.
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Monday, June 05, 2006

When's this baby gonna sleep?

Hanna will be 4 weeks old in 2 days. Which begs the question, "When's this baby gonna sleep?"

I have come to realize that with an infant there are no two days alike.

One day, she sleeps, eats, sleeps, eats. (not such bad days as there is plenty of time for me to get some work done.) Other days she eats, sits quietly making nice faces, eats, sleeps. (again not such bad days.) Then there are days when she eats eats eats eats, screams, eats eats eats, dozes, eats eats eats, screams (we're having one of those days today, and they are not such great days. Luckily daddy just came home and is trying to appease her for a while) So I have come to the conclusion that there is no rhyme nor reason in this infant sleeping business.

Which is unfortunate because I am a rhyme and reason kind of girl. So I went on a hunt today during the one nap she took to get some info on helping my little angel sleep, which means at times mommy gets some sleep too.

Here's a couple things I found, that I hadn't realized in the front of my brain yet.

Help baby distinguish day time sleeping from night time sleeping.
  • let baby take daytime naps in well lit room, with noises of the day around
  • make night time sleep in a dark, quiet room
  • give baby a warm bath before night time sleep
  • change baby into sleeping clothes before night time sleep
  • give baby a massage before night time sleep.

Keep an eye out for signs of tiredness:

  • eyes closing
  • quieting down
  • losing interest in people or toys

Your baby may have others, so keep an eye out for them. If you notice these signs and put your baby down right away it will be easier to get them to sleep. Remember your baby can't put themselves to sleep, so they need some help from you, some snuggling, singing, rocking.

The more tired a baby gets the more difficult it will be for them to fall asleep.

Babies make sleeping sounds:

This was a big one for me, that I only started to realize in the last couple of days/nights.

When a baby is asleep, they may grunt, whimper, or even cry, and they are still asleep! It's important to distinguish these noises from crying due to hunger or other needs not being met. If you resond to their sleep noises by picking them up you may wake them and this may upset them further and make it more difficult to get them back to sleep.

I just realized this recently with Hanna. I assumed that because she was making noises in the middle of the night she wanted to eat. One night it took me a minute to wake up and stumble over to the crib, and by the time I got there she had quieted down and was sleeping again. So the next time she started making noises I waited and sure enough she settled down and went back to sleep.

Sometimes she even wails pretty loud. Those times I get up and put my hand on her back or on her head before I pick her up. Sometimes she quiets down and sometimes she doesn't. When she doesn't quiet down I realize she is telling me she is hungry or wet and we get her diaper changed and nurse.

If I get to her quickly she doesn't wake up all the way and she goes back to sleep quickly and easily, making it easy for me to get back to sleep as well, because, I'm not quite all the way awake either.

So I'm going to try some of the suggestions that I have found today and see if we can make some sense out of this newborn sleeping. If not, I've heard it doesn't last forever!

Until next time,

Remember, You are Remarkable!

Jackie Lee :)

30K in 30 Days

Thursday, June 01, 2006

DPT Vaccine, Yes or No?

Last week I took Hanna in for her first check up. She had gained one pound, 6 ounces and grown 2 inches since we brought her home from the hospital a week earlier.

I was pleased to see she was gaining and had grown, and began to feel more comfortable about how our nursing was going, and have since become more relaxed about the process, and am just nursing on demand, which feels good to me.

During our visit, the doctor reviewed when our next visits would be, and mentioned that at her two month visit she should begin her vaccinations.

I was a little nervous about having this conversation with the doctor given our recent experience with medical professionals and my daughter. I mentioned that we would have to talk about her vaccinations, that I was leaning toward not vaccinating, except for maybe the polio vaccine, which I still needed to do more research on.

To my suprise and amazement, the doctor was open and friendly about this decision. She encouraged me to do the research and come and talk to her about my decisions, and we could work something out that would be right for my child.

She did encourage me to do more research on the DPT vaccine, as there was a large outbreak of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in our area last winter. She did mention that she had been born at a good time of year, but it might be a good vaccine for her to have.

She was so positive and cooperative with me, that I took her advice and I did some research in regards to the DPT vaccine. I also did some research regarding homeopathic remedies for Whooping Cough.

There is a lot of information out there, I will give you links to the complete article that I found most informative, and I will share the main reasons I have decided against getting the DPT vaccine here.

Here's the article I found most informative, I got it from NVIC website.

The first point that hit home for me, as with the mumps outbreak here in the midwest, vaccines don't always work.
"The state of Washington reported 162 cases in ten months in 1984; there were no deaths, no cases of brain damage, and 49 percent of the cases aged 3 months to 6 years had been appropriately vaccinated for their age with DPT. In 1993, Cincinnati reported that 40% of children who caught pertussis were vaccinated appropriately for their age."

The second point is possible reactions to the vaccine:
"Since its development in the mid 1930’s and its widespread use by the late 1950’s, there have been repeated reports by parents and medical researchers that children were dying or being left with medication resistant convulsions, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and physical handicaps after reacting severely to pertussis vaccine. Fifty years of scientific literature in medical journals and books has documented the history of these reports."

The last of which are the "other high risk children"

"Child has had cerebral irritation in the neonatal period (such as head trauma at birth from a difficult delivery."
"Child has a personal or family history of severe allergies (such as eczema, asthma and, especially, allergy to cow’s milk."

In my opinion two of the risk factors for a severe reaction is more than enough for me.

I also found that there a multitude of homeopathic remedies for Pertussis.

Here is an excellent website I found during my research on pertussis:

Between homeopathic remedies, my kinesiologist, my homeopathic practitioner, and of course the law of attraction I feel safe in not getting Hanna the DPT vaccine. I also feel confident in my ability to talk to the doctor and tell her why I have made that decision for my daughter.

Until next time,
Remember, You are Remarkable!

Jackie Lee

Coming soon: Conscious Pregnancy and Parenting
A program to assist people in eliminating myths and misconceptions, provide information, support and knowledge to allow families to make informed choices and feel confident in their pregnancy, birthing and parenting decisions.
For more information please feel free to contact me

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

When I first started thinking about using cloth diapers when I was early in my pregnancy I had no idea how complicated the world of cloth diapers was.

I found a system online and thought "oh great, we'll just use these." The price was kind of high, but I thought it will only be a one time payout, and it'll be great. As time went on and I talked to more people about cloth diapering, I realized the choice I had made might not be the best choice out there.

I started doing more research, and a "cloth diapering expert" came to one of our natural childbirth classes. I realized how many different options there were and just how different the prices could be.

That's when I started really doing some research, and I am going to share some of the great things I found with you.

The first place, if you are having cloth diapering confusion, I would send you is They have a quick "course in diapering" that is very thorough and easy to understand. It helped me to at least figure out what options were available, and what might work best for our situation.

I truly believe in cloth diapering, for a few reasons, better health for the baby, better health for the environment, and last but certainly not least, cost savings. If you don't believe it will be cheaper, here's a great site that will help you figure out your savings over disposable diapers.

Here's another great site that has a lot of information and spells out a lot of the benefits of using cloth diapers.

Well we finally decided to go with prefold diapers and covers. They seem to be the most economical, and even the newborn diapers can be used as extra padding overnight when she gets older.

Here's what I've come up with on how much to buy of whatever you are choosing to get.

2-3 dozen diapers (whether you're getting prefolds, fitteds, or all in ones) in each size. Unless you are expecting a baby less than 7 pounds I would skip the premie sizes.

3-6 covers in each size. These can be made of wool, nylon, polyurethane laminate (PUL), polyester, fleece and vinyl, but I highly discourage the use of vinyl due to chemicals found in that material.

While perusing for good deals on diapers, and possibly finding some used all in ones at a bargain price, I came across this seller of prefolds. definately the cheapest price I have found yet!. Make sure when getting the prefold diapers you get the chinese diaper service quality ones, or you will have problems with absorbancy. These are a steal.

The "cloth diapering expert" also told me about a company called Proservices, they sell the PUL Velcro covers, among other diapering products, which is exactly what we were wanting. If you call them they will give you a bargain price on seconds. The imperfections are so slight you will never notice them and you will save scads of money. So if you are looking for these covers here's the number: 1-800-397-8594.

Here are some other great sites I have found so you can continue to do research and make an informed decision for your family. Check out the "diapering on the cheap" link to find out how to make your own covers out of wool sweaters and diapers out of old t-shirts and other things around your house. Check out the frugal baby tips to find lots of good ideas and advice Tons of great certified organic diapering products. Great customer service and good prices on prefold diapers and covers.

There is also a yahoo group that you can join called cloth_diaper_supplies. It is a co-op of diapering items and related baby stuff and great discounts.

So that should get you started, and I will have more info on other aspects of cloth diapering in the future.

Until next time,
Remember, You are Remarkable!

Jackie Lee :)

Coming soon: Conscious Pregnancy and Parenting
A program to assist people in eliminating myths and misconceptions, provide information, support and knowledge to allow families to make informed choices and feel confident in their pregnancy, birthing and parenting decisions.
For more information feel free to contact me