Here’s my rendering of what I’m doing to keep my own baby healthy–both in terms of general wellness, extra immune support during the winter, and what I do to help his body detox after vaccinations.
PRE-CONCEPTION & PREGNANCY HEALTH
Just as my own health is a top priority to me, so is my baby’s health. I had always imagined having the healthiest pregnancy. I imagined continuing eating healthy, organic fruits and veggies and superfoods and juicing daily, staying fit, all that jazz. But when I fell horribly ill with hyperemesis gravidarum (read about that here), those dreams were no longer reality. I was so fearful and guilt ridden my entire pregnancy–I prayed that my horrendous diet of carbs and processed foods (which were the only thing I could stomach for months) and the nausea meds 4x daily (which kept me from throwing up, but didn’t stop the nausea) would not harm the baby. I did what I could do to survive the first two trimesters of my pregnancy. I did take a high quality, organic prenatal vitamin (this one), but I felt like an awful mother to not be able to do any better than that for the baby I was growing. Even after he was born seemingly healthy, I still feared any unseen damage from those first several months. The only consolidation I received was from the fact that I had had top notch preconception health. I had read somewhere that while the first trimester was the most important in terms of fetal development, the first few weeks (even before you may test positive) are the most crucial of all. I became sick around 6 weeks, so I hoped that small window of time provided some opportunity for healthy fetal development. I urge everyone, even before you start trying to conceive, to eat organic and healthy, and start taking a quality prenatal vitamin. Preconception health and pregnancy health are important to not only getting pregnant and sustaining a pregnancy, but they both provide a strong foundation to your baby’s health.
GENERAL BABY WELLNESS
Perhaps the easiest way to keep your baby healthy is to keep yourself healthy. Keeping yourself healthy does two things. One, if you aren’t sick, your baby isn’t going to catch anything from you. And two, if you are breastfeeding, your baby is going to reap the benefits of the good things you consume. After giving birth, I immediately started drinking a superfood shake. It’s my daily dose of dense nutrition, and I try to drink this daily. It was a godsend, especially during the first couple of months when I had no energy or time to prep and cook nutrient dense meals. During the winter, I drink a shot of Ningxia Red (also full of superfoods and great for immune health) daily as well. I also use colloidal silver, food grade hydrogen peroxide, astragalus, and essential oils to prevent illness in the wintertime. (Read in detail about what I do to stay healthy during the winter, here.) I haven’t gotten sick, which greatly lowers the risk of my son getting sick. And I eat nutritiously, therefore my son also eats nutritiously through my breastmilk. Moreover, when you breastfeed, saliva from baby’s mouth comes in contact with the nipple, which triggers an immune response in the mother, enabling mother to produce antibodies in her milk if there is such a need. Amazeballs!
Now I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to stay home with my son and not send him to daycare. And while that helps immensely, that isn’t the end all solution. I read recently from an online acquaintance who has a child the same age as mine that her baby has had the flu twice this year! That person hadn’t been taking her child out at all, the baby didn’t go to daycare, is breastfed, and they took precautions as far as washing hands and changing out of work clothes after coming home. My point of telling this little anecdote is to reiterate that not going out or not going to daycare alone isn’t always enough to keep your baby well. And on the other side of that, just because you do send you child to daycare, that isn’t a death sentence for your child’s ability to stay healthy and not get sick either!
There are things you can do to help your baby build his/ her immune system and to keep them healthy in the winter, and all year for that matter! Here’s a look at what I do.
Okay, you’ve heard me talk gut health over and over, and here I go again! Gut health is everything, it’s more than your digestive system, it is the key to ALL HEALTH. Same principal applies to babies. If you want baby to have a strong immune system, start by making baby have good gut health. Probiotics, probiotics, probiotics! You can get drops at your local store or this prebiotic/probiotic blend by Zarbees, (buy here). (I really like Zarbees brand for all things baby–chemical free, nothing synthetic, all natural, etc.) I give probiotics to my son every day.
I also give Sawyer high quality Vitamin C (buy here) every day. I empty a 500mg capsule and mix with 10ml of water and store in a glass, amber bottle in the refrigerator. I give him 1ml, which is 50mg of Vitamin C a day in a bottle with pumped milk. One capsule makes a 10 day supply, and I only make this much at a time so that it stays fresh and stores well. Now if he ever does come down with something, I will up the dosage to help him fight it off more efficiently.
IMMUNE SUPPORT VITAMINS & ELDERBERRY
I also have on hand this immune support vitamin blend from Zarbees (buy here) and this Elderberry for kids (buy here), for if he gets sick or if he is accidentally exposed to someone who is sick. The first is a special blend of vitamins including A, C, D, and E, and zinc. And elderberry is a wonderful herb (for adults too) that enhances immune response and helps to inhibit viruses from invading cells.
WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO WHERE THE GERMS ARE WITH OR WITHOUT BABY
I have two products that I LOVE for the times that I have had to go out into germy places this flu season. (Think doctor offices, pharmacy, pediatrician office for wellness visits, etc.) They have prevented me from carrying junk back to the baby when I’m out without him, and also from him catching anything when he’s had to be out with me.
I carry with me Young Living’s gentle mist personal diffuser. This is the perfect accessory to take with you to the doctor’s office and use it with essential oils that contain anti-viral, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties to help disinfect and purify the air. A go-to oil for me is Thieves essential oil. This battery powered, pocket size diffuser is perfect when on the go or when in a small space. You never know who or what was in a space like a doctor’s office room before you.
Before I purchased the gentle mist personal diffuser, I carried with me Young Living’s Thieves Spray. I would use this to spray my area on an airplane, a waiting room, restaurant table, etc. This spray consists of essential oils that purify the air and support healthy immune system function. Just one small spray freshens counters, sinks, door handles, toilets, and more using only naturally derived, plant-based ingredients. It also protects from dust, mold, and undesirable microorganisms.
OTHER HEALTH TIDBITS
Sawyer wears a genuine, baltic amber anklet pretty much 24/7. The amber heats up from baby’s body and is released into the skin. The stones are a natural pain reliever and help promote a calm mood and good feelings.
I also try to give Sawyer time each day (usually during naps) on one of my grounding mats. He has done this since birth, though when he was really little, we did this mostly by me using the mat while holding him. Now that he will nap for a period of time without me holding him, I usually just lay him directly on the grounding mat. I especially like doing this in the living room because this is where we spend the majority of our time, and the electric charge is quite high in there because of all the electronic devices, wifi, etc.. The jist of why we use an earthing mat is because when the cells in your body are grounded, your body can start healing at a cellular level, and free radicals will be able to leave your body. (You can read in more detail about the benefits of earthing and grounding mats in a previous blog post, found here.)
And my last healthy tidbit, is to try to use as many chemical free/ non toxic products on and around baby. I use a lot of baby products from the Seedlings line by Young Living as well as the Babyganics brand (they make diapers too, and I prefer them to Seventh Generation diapers) that I learned could be found at a nearby Kroger. Thieves cleaner from YL is a great multipurpose cleaner and a single bottle lasts forever. Laundry detergent, soaps and shampoos, hand wipes and sanitizers, lotions, etc.–there are tons of non toxic versions out there that you can use instead of anything containing harmful ingredients! Beware, just because brands market products as “baby” or even as “natural”, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything, so check out the ingredient list. The more toxins you can eliminate from your household, the better.
This is a subject that is super important to me. I really struggled with the decision to vaccinate in the first place. I am NOT anti-vaccine. I believe we need vaccines, but I HATE with a passion that they are manufactured to contain such dangerous ingredients. What’s the saying–that there’s two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in between. That’s how I feel about vaccines. There are two schools of thought and people appear to strongly belong to one or the other. On one hand vaccines are crucial to public health and are totally safe, and on the other hand vaccines are causing autism and a slew of other health concerns. My personal feelings are that there’s some truth to both sides. As a new parent in today’s time, with endless amounts of information and research available to me, it’s hard to know what the “right” decision is to make. In the end, I decided to vaccinate, but on a delayed schedule, and to exercise precaution, which is why we do a gentle “baby detox” surrounding vaccinations.
- Cod Liver Oil(buy here) 1/5 tsp. (again this amount is based on his current age) rubbed on belly or given orally. We start 1 week prior to vaccine and continue for 1 week after. I’m not going to parrot off the research on this. It is pretty fascinating though, (some regarding non-verbal autistic children becoming verbal again) so research it if you are interested.
- Vaccishield nutritional supplement (buy here). This is additional nutritional support for infants and kids during vaccinations. I start 1 week prior to his vaccines and continue for a week afterwards.
- Detox Baths 2-3 times a week leading up to and following his vaccines:
In a full size tub, the general guideline for epsom salt for children under 60lbs is 1/2 cup. For children 60lbs-100lbs, 1 cup. For people 100lbs and up, 2 cups. I make further adjustments based on the smaller tub we us and because he is well below 60lbs. In general, I use approximately equal amounts of Himalayan salt, epsom salt, and baking soda, and then just add in a bit of coconut oil and bentonite clay because they are the “messier” ingredients and it doesn’t take much to go a long way.
- Bentonite Clay(buy here) on vacc site following the shot and applied to bottoms of the feet . Applying to his feet can get messy, so what I do after applying it is put a small amount of plastic wrap on his feet and then socks to hold it on. Make sure to let the clay dry (use a hair dryer to expedite) and leave the clay on about 20 minutes, then wash off.
- Massage Massaging baby is a great way to gently keep the lymphatic system detoxed. I use an organic coconut oil and always massage Sawyer after a bath.
- Hydration is also key to keeping a body healthy and detoxified!
When Sawyer gets older there are a couple additional practices I am going to add to his vaccine detox regime. He needs to be older before all essential oils are safe to use and to be eating solids before he can do what’s below.
- Cilantro, eaten or juiced, 1 spoon daily for a couple of weeks around vaccination period. Cilantro bonds to heavy metals.
- 1 drop of coriander oil to the detox bath recipe. (Cilantro is the name for coriander leaves.)
- Silica drops and/or Silica water (like Fiji water, but drops are more affordable). Silica is great for metal detox, especially aluminum. Research shows aluminum amounts in the brains of those with autism/ Alzheimer’s to be 50-70% less when they drink water with high silica content.
Also, just an FYI here, everything I’ve wrote about in this blog post are things that you can do as an adult to build your immune system, stay healthy in the winter, and to detox after vaccines. You don’t hear as much about negative side effects following vaccines in adults, presumably because adults have stronger immune systems than children. But it won’t hurt you to detox from all that Aluminum, Thimerosal (Mercury), MSG, Formaldehyde, etc.. found in vaccines (CDC website). You can follow all the same guidelines, you just have to up the amounts.
And lastly, if you know me, you know I’m not a doctor. (But I have to say that to any readers who might happen to stubble upon this post!) I started this blog to share with others my personal experiences and things that I discovered in my health and wellness journey that have benefited me and my family. My wish is to share those experiences with others in the hopes that it may benefit you and yours. More than anything, I hope my blog posts prompt others to do their own research, educate themselves, and make their own decisions regarding their health. It’s all about self-advocacy 🙂