Friday, August 29, 2008

UPDATE: Why Vitamin D is so Important

UPDATE: The story was actually from the Edmonton Journal - here is a link to an Ottawa Citizen story that is similar.

My mom pointed out a story to me from MORE Magazine about a woman who was horrified to find out her 1 year-old son had Rickets. Rickets is a softening of the bones potentially leading to fracture or deformity (from Wikipedia). Vitamin D is needed in the body to absorb and retain calcium. There are other serious complications that can arise in adults due to vitamin D deficiency.

Rickets was a disease of only the developing world where malnourishment was prevalent until the industrialized era in Britain. For the first time, breastfeeding mothers were not exposed to enough sunshine and children began to present deformities. 

The mother in the magazine article thought that by breastfeeding her son, she was doing what she was supposed to - what was best for him. It's always a battle to get vitamin D into my daughter but we dose her daily regardless of whether we'll be in the sun or not. If you're a breastfeeding mom and you didn't know about the importance of vitamin D or Rickets, please talk to your doctor about it. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Breastfeeding in the Dictionary?

I have to say that I find it ridiculous that blogger (google) thinks breastfeeding is a spelling error. How do we petition google's dictionary? Funny, google is also a spelling error if you make it possessive. spells it with a hyphen. Breast-feeding. Meh. I will continue to blatantly misspell my new favourite word. Breastfeeding is cool. You'll find out just how cool I think it is, just wait.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who cares...

...about the produce in my fridge? I do. But at the risk of an incredibly boring post, I'll keep it short. Since I was on maternity leave, I decided to join a food cooperative for the summer/fall. A collective of farmers from the Kawarthas produce food for the program. They all use organic processes although some are not certified organic. Every Tuesday I pick up a box of freshly picked produce, most of it picked that day, and bring it home. Every week I'm excited and full of energy about new recipes. Every week I wonder just what the heck I'm going to do with ANOTHER bunch of beets or swiss chard or kale but hey - that's part of the fun. 

I want to brag about my box this week because it's soooo useable. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, tons of basil (pesto - thanks for the idea mom), zucchini, cucumbers, a watermelon (yah), beans (freezing) and more beets (going to a friend).

This program makes me feel like a do-gooder. I'm supporting small, local farmers, eating locally, and cooking really good food at home. We won't participate again next year once I'm back to work because it'll start to feel like a chore but I will try to get to farmer's markets as often as possible. There's not a better eating experience than eating fresh.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Listeria is something I hadn't heard of until I was pregnant last year. At the time, I didn't know anything about it but decided to avoid deli meats and opt for tuna or a bowl of soup at lunch instead even though I believed that, in Canada, I would be safe. Although it is really unlikely that you will contract a disease, it can happen. Pregnant women who contract listeriosis may not experience symptoms more severe than a common flu but do risk - premature labour, still birth or passing the disease to their newborn.

Since it takes up to 70 days to present symptoms, the number of cases and deaths will continue to climb. I wonder about cases in newborns that lead to still birth or miscarriage not being reported because the pregnant mother may not even realize she has contracted the bacteria.

Something I've found disturbing about the outbreak coverage so far is how the media is applauding Maple Leaf's reaction to the crisis. Frankly this is the kind of thing that should put a company out of business. Their product has literally been tied to the deaths of 6 people. Why aren't we hearing from the families of the victims?

Our family tries to avoid processed foods mainly due to the sodium content but with this crisis we will probably avoid processed meat altogether from now on. 

Monday, August 25, 2008


Vaccinations are a hotly debated baby issue. Mostly doctors suggest following a specific immunization schedule. On the other side there are parent groups who advocate delaying shots, suggesting vaccines may cause autism and create catastrophic reactions. It's an issue that most parents don't think about - they follow their doctors advice and immunize according to the schedule. Before my daughter was born I did some research on the topic but was frustrated at a lack of supporting evidence for parents who delay. 

Today I delayed my daughter's 4 month shots. I have a few reasons for delaying. After her 2 month visit (and shots) I noticed a personality change, more than the 2 day "illness" they tell you to expect, and I blamed it on her shots. She may have been due for a temperament change that just happened to coincide with her shots but I'd like to feel confident it's not the shots. I also think since vaccines are tiny doses of disease, they're bound to have some negative effect on an infant. And I believe in a gentle parenting approach and a shot in each thigh of a 2 month-old is not particularly gentle.

So if you decide you want to delay your child's vaccinations, how do you go about it? Many parents I know simply cancel their appointment. For me, it's still important to visit the doctor regularly for well-being check-ups so I don't want to dodge those appointments. I decided to openly discuss my concerns with my doctor. Although it's your right to delay immunization if you want to, it can be difficult to take a stand when your doctor is advocating something else. My doctor was less resistant than I expected but still wanted me to know the vaccine was very unlikely to have caused my daughter's personality change. 

Ultimately I think the more parents raise concerns with their doctors and openly object to the immunization schedule the more likely that research will be done in the area. 

About me

First time blogger and momma on maternity leave. I'll be writing about baby stuff, family life and my Toronto neighbourhood.