Standing Your Ground | Seventh Generation
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Standing Your Ground

Author: kmiddings

Kaitlyn with corn on the cobOne of the first decisions we make as parents is choosing a pediatrician -- and a healthcare track in general. We read through information about immunizations, well-visits, growth charts, food pyramids, and percentiles, all meant to help us through the myriad choices we'll face about our children's health. The choices can be hard ones -- I know they were for me. Yet I also learned that sometimes your choices will go against the mainstream, and when they do, you will need to trust your judgment and stand your ground. The best way to make an informed decision is to equip yourself with the best information available.

Pregnant with my first child, I met with a well-respected and highly recommended pediatrician. I quickly realized that this doctor was not a good fit for our growing family: She didn't react well when she learned that we planned to raise our child vegan, without dairy products like milk.

Her response: "If you don't drink milk, I won't be able to tell you where to get calcium." My husband and I had done a lot of research, and we knew this wasn't the case (this was only the first in a long string of disparate views on health and nutrition -- I'm pretty sure the doctor thought we were herb-worshipping hippies!).

Leaving the office disappointed, I realized we also had an enlightening experience -- I'd learned that accurate information is your chief ally when you want to take a less conventional path.

Making informed decisions for ourselves also teaches our own children how to do so. We've taught our children to "listen" to what's going on within their bodies. I fear that given all the toxins in today's world, many little bodies have a hard time hearing themselves at all.

We went on to find a pediatrician who supported our decision to raise our children as vegans. But we continue to meet physicians and others who question our lifestyle, and we always have our facts at the ready.

(In case you were wondering, there are many good sources of calcium for vegan babies, including breast milk and soy milk, and when they are older, orange juice, raisins, molasses, broccoli, kale, lentils, pinto beans, and squash, to name a few.)

Here's a good bean recipe:

Black Bean and Corn Salad - a great spring salad, slightly sweet with a little added kick from the fresh garlic.

1 cup Black Beans, rinsed well
1 cup Corn
1 small purple onion
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tbsp. Apple Cider vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Dash of sea salt

Whisk together the olive oil, crushed garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, and maple syrup. Add in the onion (finely chopped). Then add the beans and corn. Toss and serve on a bed of blue corn chips or in a wrap with fresh greens. Top with a small amount of cinnamon and toss before serving.


deadlycurlz05 picture
I hope you haven't put all your eggs into Jenny McCarthy's "research" because it was discovered her child DOES NOT have Autism but Landau-Kleffner syndrome...Which would P me off if I had a child with Autism and this woman made herself the Ambassador of immunizations or lack thereof. People need to stop believing the hype and listening to all these celebrities who act like they are all knowing. Jenny McCarthy's "research" has been debunked by so many doctors, scientists and medical professionals, it would be laughable except it's frightening. We could have already erraticated so many diseases were it not for the anti-vaccine crowd. I have family members whose children have autism, friends whose children have autism, and teach children with autism in a state that has the highest concentration of Autistic children in the child is on the AAP recommended vaccination schedule because I'm confident these vaccines help more than they hurt.
drtharnish picture
... and you can't rely on your doctors to give you all the "right answers". The posting above from Chin is really sad and unfortunate to me. That is one perspective yes, but sounds so judgemental. Parents need to be able to make the best choices for their children after looking at all the available information. "Actually, listen to your pediatrician and the resources that he/she cite as scientific evidence." - from Chin's post... most pediatrician's know less about research than most educated empowered parents. They know what they read in textbooks in school and what their professors told them in class. Biological medicine and looking at the body/life cycle in an integrative way are knew to most MD's. There is an undeniable link between vaccines and Autism. Have researches been able to scientifically prove it, no. However, epidemiological research does show a correlation between the two. The fact remains that there are NO long term (more than a few months) studies on the effects of vaccines. NONE! I could go on, and on, but I challenge whom ever reads this to really consider the question "are vaccines safe". Then read both sides of the argument to make the best decision for you.
corabear1 picture
I have choosen to delay my daughters immunizations. If you read the information by Jenny McCarthy, she talks about moderation. There is no reason to bombard your baby with tons of chemicals all at once, not to mention all of the chemicals that we have in our bodies already. There is no way to keep your child completely free of toxins or germs and it is true that you need to work your immune system to have it be strong in the long run. The shots have not been tested together only apart. As the nwad lady spoke of above, just because 70% of the children can survive such punishment does not mean the rest of the 30% should be forced to see if they can survive also. My heart goes out to you-nwad. As the originator of this blog wrote so well - Arm yourself with info. Make sure that you read everyone's so you can find the descrepencies and find the science to fiqure out whats true. By the way, not immunizing your child can be more dangerous to your child rather than other people. (this is to chin)It's your child that is unprotected. You really have to look at your situation. Is your child in a daycare setting with tons of other children from a diverse background? Are any of those children exposed to adults who visit other countries? -Then yes immunizing early is important. If you have a child at home with you for the first 4 years of their life, then is it necessary? It is also a wise idea to just take your time and take one shot, see how your baby reacts. Just like anything. A new food, a new formula. Try a bit, see what happens.
nwad picture
And so the debate gets fired up- I used to be a very pro-immunization mom; I thought the "wackos" who were against them where just a bit extreme, and yes, putting the rest of us rational citizens @ risk. My first two children, girls, where immunized right on schedule. Ten years later, my third child, a boy, was also. All my children developed a fever after the shots, my son also developed a slight rash after his MMR. Being a good little mommy, I did what the ped. told me to and gave him Tylenol. Oops. A month later he got sick and he continued to be sick for the next six months with various colds, viruses, and ear infections. It peaked out at another seven months when he was hospitalized with another viral infection and given large doses of antibiotics for 5 days. Long story short, after that my sweet, talking, walking, bubbly, laughing, energetic beautiful son became a zombie that sat and drooled in his high chair, slumped and staring into space, and fell over when he walked like a drunken sailor. He wouldn't respond to his name, shouting, or clapping loudly behind his head. Every evening around 4 he would begin shrieking and would do so until 2 am or later. Then he would wake up at 6 and start the cycle again. My family and my son entered the world of autism, and you know, you just can't take it back. It destroyed my marriage, my career, my financial security, and the way we lived our lives. Choosing not to immunize is a highly personal choice. I believe that we could make better choices if we fully explored the issues and educated everyone on risk factors and experiences of some children who where impacted. It saddens me that educated indivduals approach so many topics with rational discussions, but a discussion about autism ends up being about how crazy the parents are. We need research not funded by big-pharma. We need pediatricians to be trained in proper nutrition (soy is not good for kids at all, calcium can be found in so many foods, etc) We need to respect each others choices as parents. We need to begin exploring why our kids are being diagnosed and medicated for/with so many developmental and neurological problems. Why are we not asking what the heck is going on? Why are we pointing fingers at and labeling those who question? Reasons not immunize or delay until the child's natural immune system develops (age 2 or later): Siblings have any autoimmune malfunction or behavioral issues (such as asthma or food allergies, ADD-ADHD, SIDS etc) Relatives have diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, food allergies,MS, Parkinson's,Alzheimer's, adrenal fatigue, Lupus, celiac or bowel issues, etc) The child has a cold, fever, or is acting unwell. The child is slightly behind on milestones. You must be honest with yourself. The child's diet has changed radically (from nursing to cow's milk, introduction to wheat) The mother is nursing and has been under a lot of stress or is ill herself with any long term digestive or neurological issues, not necessarily diagnosed. The child has been exposed to any chemicals or metals. Or, as the questioning parent, you feel uneasy about the massive social pressure to put things into your small child's body that they might not be able to deal with. Your pediatrician will not tell you to look for these things. Ironically, they are not properly trained in biological medicine or nutrition. They are mostly trained by pharma. If you do immunize, supplementing with massive amounts of vitamin C and some vit A can help metabolize some of the ingredients. An ND is a great resource for guiding you through the process. And do not give ibuprofen(bowel damage) or acetaminophen (heavily increases the liver burden) before or after. You can choose to do one shot at a time and delay as long as possible. You can choose to eliminate some unnecessary ones like varicella. Many states allow for religious or philosophical exemptions. Check it out, educate, empower yourself. I wish I had known all there is to know before I helped hold my son down for his autism injection. Extreme? I believe I was having immune system issues while I was pregnant and nursing my son. Then I weaned him, introduced wheat into his body, and got him immunized. Genetically he may also have his own immune system issues. It was simply too much for him to handle in such a short time. His two sisters had also developed asthma at around age 2. They were NOT born with it. Hmmmm. I beg for your tolerance and consideration, our children are most precious. They are also the modern day canaries who are falling as our planet and our bodies are becoming poisoned and ill. Thank you for your patience if you read the whole thing! "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children's Vaccinations"- Stephanie Cave, MD
chin picture
Acheaz, To go about not immunizing your children, you must first accept a couple of unassailable truths regarding vaccines and herd health programs. These are: Accepting the fact that your child may die from a preventable disease that the US and western society has fought to nearly eradicate over the last 70 years or more. Prepare to inflict potential harm or death upon your neighbor and their children, when your non-vaccinated kids contract and spread their prventable diseases. In the US, be prepared to homeschool your children, as most states mandate certain vaccines in order to attend schools and daycare programs. Also, accept the fact that you will limit your children's higher education-most colleges require vaccines. Then, sit back and pat yourself on the back for "protecting" your child against the evils of modern medicine. Actually, listen to your pediatrician and the resources that he/she cite as scientific evidence.
acheaz picture
I've seen a lot of postings from mothers regarding immunizations. I don't have children yet and I wonder how do you go about not immunizing your children?
deadlycurlz05 picture
The first thing I learned after I became pregnant was to divulge as little information as possible about the way I was going to raise my child. Everyone, especially our "well meaning" family members, had an opinion on what our child should eat (put cereal in their bottle), where they should sleep (never in bed with mom and dad), and how often to pick them up (you don't want to spoil them). I've just learned to keep things on a need-to-know basis and nod whenever someone gives me "advice" I really didn't agree with--even if it's from my own pediatrician (start with cereal then introduce fruit). Times change and everyone has an opinion on how to raise a child. Things that were ok or common 35 years ago, are just not done anymore. At the end of the day, you have to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible and do what you feel is best for your family; Even if it goes against the grain.
JuliaZ picture
I agree that cow's milk is unnecessary for kids; breastmilk is best and we believe in "extended" -- i.e., species appropriate breastfeeding. Goat's milk is closer to human milk and is probably OK for toddlers once in a while. But soy milk is horrible stuff and I don't let my kids consume more than trace amounts of soy in any form. It is typically GMO, it is very highly processed even when organic/non-GMO, and the phytoestrogens and other hormones should not be ignored. Those hormones really affect little tiny bodies that are growing so fast! Kids fed soy formula are getting the hormonal equivalent of five birth-control pills a day, and kids who drink a lot of soy milk aren't that far behind that number... would you really feed your toddler birth-control pills? Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12 deficiencies are actually concerns for all American parents. Most toddlers do not get enough of either and the consequences can be severe. Breastfeeding is NOT sufficient protection if mom is deficient... and 85% of Americans ARE Vitamin-D deficient, so this is not a rare thing. My son and I were both diagnosed with rickets when he was 6 months old... I was shocked because I thought we were doing things "right" -- but my terrible deficiency (my blood test result was 2, when 32 is the lowest end of the acceptable range) meant that my breastmilk contained almost no D for him. We had to supplement both of us with D3 to get back to normal and still take it. I believe humans are naturally omnivorous, and that's how we eat, but I am pretty careful about it... I buy directly from local farmers -- grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, happy-chicken eggs (we can go pet the chickens whenever we like!), pasture-raised pork... not a lot of factory-anything on our plates most of the time. It's surprising how many doctors question even THOSE practices... I had an ND student quiz me about my 23-month old, saying, "Really? No Twinkies ever? No TV?" Yeah, really. And this was in the office of a "crunchy" pediatrician in a notably granola city (Seattle). LOL
tonyacole picture
My daughter is raised on an all raw vegan diet along with raw goats milk. I knew I was against mainstream medical advice and conformed government controlled education and statistics. I felt it not necessary to ever take my daughter to the doctor as she does not fit in their categories. She is extremely healthy, never been sick and the most happy baby and super smart! BTW, dark leafy greens has the most calcium and is the easiest to assimilate and utilize. It amazes me, cow's milk is designed to make a baby calf 300 pounds in 3 months and people think it was meant for us. Studies have shown that pasteurized milk from a grocery store fed to baby calves, they die and can not thrive on this milk yet mass media makes us believe we need it! -Tonya Calgary, AB
remyolson picture
Hi there, Have you calculated the mg Calcium needed for your child to determine if it's possible to get her recommended daily amount of mg calcium (and B12 and zinc) from vegan food sources (after weaning)? Does it come out to a reasonable amount of food for a child? Is it possible *without* fortified soy/other vegan milk to get the RDA calcium, zinc and B12? Curious... Thanks!