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 ********

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? Call in and talk to a professional Doula
for answers to your pregnancy, labor and delivery questions.

July 13 at 8pm CST
218-936-1027 Pin: 219941#

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?
Call in and talk to a professional Doula
for answers to your pregnancy,
labor and delivery questions.
July 13 at 8pm CST
218-936-1027 Pin: 219941#