My "No Toothpaste" Experiment

My entire life I believed conventional toothpaste was a necessary expense in order to have a fresh, healthy mouth. Buying it was a burden still and when we happened to run out my mouth felt dirty and uncomfortable. After some careful research and my own personal trial, I found that a healthy mouth is better achieved without conventional toothpaste.

I went through a whole week without toothpaste. Because I didn't feel clean just brushing with water, I used baking soda. I missed the flavors of toothpaste but my mouth seemed much healthier without it. My tongue's serrated look dissipated along with my bleeding gums. When I returned to conventional toothpaste as part of my experiment, both of these ailments returned as well.

Below you'll find my week-long journal of my experiment and some links to further reading so that maybe you can achieve a healthier mouth too.

Honestly, I am just glad I have one less item to have to worry about shopping for.

Day 1: Today marks the first day on my "No Toothpaste" experiment journey! I brushed with baking soda and was disgusted by all the color I spit out! YUCK! The taste is something I will need to accustom to or find a tastier alternative for, but my teeth feel cleaner than with the toothpaste I have been using up until this point.

Day 2: I brushed with baking soda again and I spit barely any color out. Yay! My teeth look a bit less yellow in the front but the sides are definitely more yellow.

Day 3: I am kind of missing the minty flavor of toothpaste.

Day 4: I cheated... I swished with toothpaste because I missed the flavors associated with brushing  but honestly, my mouth felt no better or fresher than with just the baking soda I have been using.

Day 5: I am noticing some big color change on my teeth. My side teeth seem to be more yellow, even though I know I am brushing there. Maybe I should put more baking soda on my toothbrush just to brush the more yellow areas?

Day 6: My mouth doesn't feel any less dirty than with ordinary toothpaste. Honestly, I am not missing toothpaste that much anymore.

Day 7: Today marks the last day in my No Toothpaste Experiment! What I have noticed is that my gums are bleeding less, my tongues serrated look is diminishing, and that my teeth look a bit whiter and that they don't feel any dirtier than with toothpaste.

For further information and some recipes please visit:
Toothpaste Alternatives
What Are The Harmful Ingredients In Toothpaste
Home Remedies: Natural & Herbal Dental Care

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A Letter To Vaccine Pushers

Dear "Vaccine Pushers", 

I am the mother to children who have all been vaccinated  according to the recommended schedule - until recently. It was no easy decision determining to first delay vaccines, then vaccinate selectively, and then refuse vaccination altogether as information was presented to me. I read many books, questioned medical professionals, and yes, even took to Google. To say there are no valuable resources on the internet would be a huge FALSE. I did extensive research and continue to do so. 

When I had my first child, I thought scientists and doctors had it all figured out and that I had nothing to worry about. After appointments my childrens doctor gave me a handout about each vaccine, highlighted symptoms to watch out for, and noted the dosage of Tylenol to give for minimizing any discomfort. It broke my heart to have to hold my child down and hear them scream, but at that time I thought I was doing the right thing. 

Fast-forward to when my fourth child went in for his 4 month checkup: The doctor examined him, deemed him healthy, and a little while later the nurse came in and administered vaccines. He was extra sleepy and fussy but that was to be expected. The next day, I noticed his bowel movements changed. They were happening more frequently, becoming runnier and runnier, and instead of being the usual yellow, they were turning green. He became increasingly fussy and stopped being the good eater he usually was. I thought something was wrong with my milk since I was breastfeeding. Whenever I tried to feed him he would latch, suckle a little, then turn his head away and cry. I decided to call the doctor who scheduled an appointment for the next day which the doctor discovered that my son had developed an "impressive" double ear infection. It took 7 rounds of various antibiotics to finally rid of the infection, not to mention the Thrush that developed which no prescription medication could treat .

While I know I can not logically blame the vaccines for my son's infection, that it correlated so closely with vaccination provoked me to do some research. I was appalled by the things I was learning; The ingredients, that adverse reactions are not that rare after all, that the makers of vaccines are not liable for any damages they may cause, that doctors are getting their information about vaccines from the same people who are making money off of them, I could go on and on. However, what stood out to me most was that my children can still get sick with the same diseases these vaccines were created to prevent, that all these shots my precious children were enduring would wear off and they would need to have boosters for the remainder of their lifetime and that that wouldn't even guarantee protection, and that my children could be spreading diseases after being injected with live vaccines. I learned that my firstborn child's special needs MAY just be vaccine induced, but there are too many other factors that come into play as well so I can't say for sure. One important lesson I learned was not to approve of any injections or treatments blindly, just because a doctor recommends it. I learned that many professionals have an alternative agenda, that others simply are unaware, and that some are truly remarkable but I am really the only person with the best interests regarding my family. 

It is NOT my obligation to risk my childrens health and safety or my health and safety from vaccines for the sake of the "greater good". Why should anyone elses health and safety be priority over that of my children or self? There is no right or wrong here when both sides and everyone else in between knows they are making the best decision. For some, the risks of vaccination outweigh the risks of the diseases they are supposed to prevent and to bash another person's judgement on that matter goes against the rights for people to choose. Do what you feel is necessary to protect your family, but please stop being so judgemental and nasty towards anyone who questions or refuses anything contrary to what you believe. We are all human and should treat each other as such. 

Sincerely, "Information-Seeking Mom" 

An Inspirational Story About Overcoming Breastfeeding Obstacles

I had our third child, our first daughter, at a freestanding birth center with a wonderful midwife and nurses. I received no pain medication and no intervention besides an IV of antibiotics for a 1/2 hour as a precaution since I tested positive for GBS during my pregnancy. I had a surreal and empowering birth experience that I did not believe was possible. She weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long; My biggest baby yet! She was beautiful, healthy, and normal albeit a bit of a poop-machine which was great since she was eliminating all that meconium. 12 hours after she was born we went home but before we left, we set up an appointment with our daughter's pediatrician for the next day as requested by our midwife because of the GBS result.

The next day the nurse-practitioner (NP) who examined our daughter seemed almost disgusted that she wasn't born in the hospital and I don't think she took into account that our daughter was just a day old, not the usual 2-4 day-olds they customarily see. According to the scale my daughter now weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces so the NP prescribed a bottle of formula after every breastfeeding. I was dumbfounded by what she was suggesting and asked for a second opinion by the head pediatrician who agreed without much investigation. They shoved four large cans of formula into our hands as we left for home and I was devastated since I vowed to my second son that I'd breastfeed any future children for at least a whole year because he was supplemented with a lot of formula, weaned exclusively to formula at just 9 months and, consequently, experienced health issues that my firstborn, who I breastfed exclusively for 6 months and then-on with complimentary food until he was 21 months old, did not experience. I knew breastfeeding wasn't completely over for our daughter and I, but I did know that the bottles and formula would dramatically reduce our chances of successfully reaching our goals.

When we got home I decided to call the midwife to get her opinion. As I waited for a call back I tried feeding our daughter how the NP prescribed but, fortunately, she did not take to the bottle. When the midwife returned my call, her advice was quite contrary to what the NP and pediatrician advised. The midwife said that our daughter's weight loss wasn't that significant, that I should not giver her the formula, and that it'd be best if we found another pediatrician for our baby. I was a bit confused by the conflicting advice but she reassured me that our precious daughter would be fine and that in 3 days, they would bring a scale to the routine postpartum visit to check her weight.

I had to take our daughter for weight checks the next two days in a  row with which the NP was never satisfied enough with her gain. Instead of resting, healing, and bonding and getting to know our new addition, I was running around worrying and stressing. I felt relief the day of the postpartum visit since I did not have leave my house for once. Our daughter was sleeping so she examined me first and then our baby. Our daughter pooped 3 times within that 1 hour visit and the nurse said that that could be the reason for our daughter's weight loss, but that it was actually good since she was eliminating the meconium and that her weight loss was actually not concerning since she was wetting the recommended amount of diapers, obviously exceeded in pooping the amount recommended which are better indicators that she is getting "enough". Our baby girl now weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces! I was so grateful for the midwives at The Birth Center and I called our daughter's pediatrician to let them know.

We had one last weight check a week later and our daughter now weighed 9 pounds. The NP seemed satisfied but right before we left I let her know that our daughter would not take to the bottle and that she did not get any formula and her mouth seemed to just fall open.

This picture is of my daughter breastfeeding just after she was born. She nursed for 2 hours straight before the nurse decided to interrupt for the routine examination. 

This story is just a small example of what a lot of mothers have to overcome in order to breastfeed successfully. This story represents why it is so important to have support for your decision to breastfeed and know where to go when help is needed. 

An Introduction

I believe this very first post should serve as an introduction. My name is Jessica and I am a stay at home mother to 4 beautiful children ages 7,5,3, and 1. I love pregnancy, giving birth (yes, I said THAT), and babies! I have been with my husband for 8 years. I plan on becoming a doula once I am done having babies and they start school. Until then, I fulfill my passions by contributing to The Birthing Site (I added a tab to link you to all my articles there). 

Recently, my interests have led me onto a different path than just my usual pregnancy, birth, and parenting passion. Lately I have been looking into natural health remedies which somehow led me into vaccines which has really opened my eyes to just how much we don't know about most mainstream practices. With all this contradicting information presenting itself to me, I find that my opinions have shifted accordingly and I need to express them somewhere, hence this blog. 

By creating this blog I hope to educate others and encourage them to question convention. At the very least I would like my posts to pique their brains. After all, convention and mainstream practices aren't all evil or unnecessary but I believe that we have deviated so far from our ancestral times that we have developed some kind of fear or aversion to anything natural. I feel that people should be asking questions and researching before accepting routine, mainstream practices and that authorities should humble themselves in order to properly inform people. 

Its not always so serious around here though! I will also post recipes, reviews, crafts, DIY projects, and whatever else I come up with. 

I hope I can touch peoples lives the same way that others blogs have touched my life to create a sense of balance and harmony in all of my readers and, every now and then, a little laugh.